God's Messages through the prophet Jeremiah regarding the godless nations.
The Message to Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt at the time it was defeated by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon while camped at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah:
"'Present arms! March to the front!
Harness the horses! Up in the saddles! Battle formation! Helmets on, spears sharpened, armor in place!'
But what's this I see? They're scared out of their wits! They break ranks and run for cover. Their soldiers panic. They run this way and that, stampeding blindly. It's total chaos, total confusion, danger everywhere!" God's Decree.
"The swiftest runners won't get away, the strongest soldiers won't escape. In the north country, along the River Euphrates, they'll stagger, stumble, and fall.
"Who is this like the Nile in flood? like its streams torrential?
Why, it's Egypt like the Nile in flood, like its streams torrential, Saying, 'I'll take over the world. I'll wipe out cities and peoples.'
Run, horses! Roll, chariots! Advance, soldiers from Cush and Put with your shields, Soldiers from Lud, experts with bow and arrow.
"But it's not your day. It's the Master's, me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies - the day when I have it out with my enemies, The day when Sword puts an end to my enemies, when Sword exacts vengeance. I, the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, will pile them on an altar - a huge sacrifice! - In the great north country, along the mighty Euphrates.
"Oh, virgin Daughter Egypt, climb into the mountains of Gilead, get healing balm. You will vainly collect medicines, for nothing will be able to cure what ails you.
The whole world will hear your anguished cries. Your wails fill the earth, As soldier falls against soldier and they all go down in a heap." Egypt's Army Slithers like a Snake
The Message that God gave to the prophet Jeremiah when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon was on his way to attack Egypt:
"Tell Egypt, alert Migdol, post warnings in Noph and Tahpanhes: 'Wake up! Be prepared! War's coming!'
"Why will your bull-god Apis run off? Because God will drive him off.
Your ragtag army will fall to pieces. The word is passing through the ranks, 'Let's get out of here while we still can. Let's head for home and save our skins.'
When they get home they'll nickname Pharaoh 'Big-Talk-Bad-Luck.'
As sure as I am the living God" - the King's Decree, God-of-the-Angel-Armies is his name - "A conqueror is coming: like Tabor, singular among mountains; like Carmel, jutting up from the sea!
So pack your bags for exile, you coddled daughters of Egypt, For Memphis will soon be nothing, a vacant lot grown over with weeds.
"Too bad, Egypt, a beautiful sleek heifer attacked by a horsefly from the north!
All her hired soldiers are stationed to defend her - like well-fed calves they are. But when their lives are on the line, they'll run off, cowards every one. When the going gets tough, they'll take the easy way out.
"Egypt will slither and hiss like a snake as the enemy army comes in force. They will rush in, swinging axes like lumberjacks cutting down trees.
They'll level the country" - God's Decree - "nothing and no one standing for as far as you can see. The invaders will be a swarm of locusts, innumerable, past counting.
Daughter Egypt will be ravished, raped by vandals from the north."
God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel, says, "Watch out when I visit doom on the god Amon of Thebes, Egypt and its gods and kings, Pharaoh and those who trust in him.
I'll turn them over to those who are out to kill them, to Nebuchadnezzar and his military. Egypt will be set back a thousand years. Eventually people will live there again." God's Decree.
But you, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear. Israel, there's no need to worry. Look up! I'll save you from that far country, I'll get your children out of the land of exile. Things are going to be normal again for Jacob, safe and secure, smooth sailing.
Yes, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear. Depend on it, I'm on your side. I'll finish off all the godless nations among which I've scattered you, But I won't finish you off. I have more work left to do on you. I'll punish you, but fairly. No, I'm not finished with you yet."
God's Message to the prophet Jeremiah regarding the Philistines just before Pharaoh attacked Gaza.
This is what God says: "Look out! Water will rise in the north country, swelling like a river in flood. The torrent will flood the land, washing away city and citizen. Men and women will scream in terror, wails from every door and window,
As the thunder from the hooves of the horses will be heard, the clatter of chariots, the banging of wheels. Fathers, paralyzed by fear, won't even grab up their babies
Because it will be doomsday for Philistines, one and all, no hope of help for Tyre and Sidon. God will finish off the Philistines, what's left of those from the island of Crete.
Gaza will be shaved bald as an egg, Ashkelon struck dumb as a post. You're on your last legs. How long will you keep flailing?
"Oh, Sword of God, how long will you keep this up? Return to your scabbard. Haven't you had enough? Can't you call it quits?
"But how can it quit when I, God, command the action? I've ordered it to cut down Ashkelon and the seacoast."
The Message on Moab from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel: "Doom to Nebo! Leveled to the ground! Kiriathaim demeaned and defeated, The mighty fortress reduced to a molehill,
Moab's glory - dust and ashes. Conspirators plot Heshbon's doom: 'Come, let's wipe Moab off the map.' Dungface Dimon will loudly lament, as killing follows killing.
Listen! A cry out of Horonaim: 'Disaster - doom and more doom!'
Moab will be shattered. Her cries will be heard clear down in Zoar.
Up the ascent of Luhith climbers weep, And down the descent from Horonaim, cries of loss and devastation.
Oh, run for your lives! Get out while you can! Survive by your wits in the wild!
You trusted in thick walls and big money, yes? But it won't help you now. Your big god Chemosh will be hauled off, his priests and managers with him.
A wrecker will wreck every city. Not a city will survive. The valley fields will be ruined, the plateau pastures destroyed, just as I told you.
Cover the land of Moab with salt. Make sure nothing ever grows here again. Her towns will all be ghost towns. Nobody will ever live here again.
Sloppy work in God's name is cursed, and cursed all halfhearted use of the sword.
"Moab has always taken it easy - lazy as a dog in the sun, Never had to work for a living, never faced any trouble, Never had to grow up, never once worked up a sweat.
But those days are a thing of the past. I'll put him to work at hard labor. That will wake him up to the world of hard knocks. That will smash his illusions.
Moab will be as ashamed of god Chemosh as Israel was ashamed of her Bethel calf-gods, the calf-gods she thought were so great.
For how long do you think you'll be saying, 'We're tough. We can beat anyone anywhere'?
The destruction of Moab has already begun. Her choice young soldiers are lying dead right now." The King's Decree - his full name, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
"Yes. Moab's doom is on countdown, disaster targeted and launched.
Weep for Moab, friends and neighbors, all who know how famous he's been. Lament, 'His mighty scepter snapped in two like a toothpick, that magnificent royal staff!'
"Come down from your high horse, pampered beauty of Dibon. Sit in dog dung. The destroyer of Moab will come against you. He'll wreck your safe, secure houses.
Stand on the roadside, pampered women of Aroer. Interview the refugees who are running away. Ask them, 'What's happened? And why?'
Moab will be an embarrassing memory, nothing left of the place. Wail and weep your eyes out! Tell the bad news along the Arnon river. Tell the world that Moab is no more.
"My judgment will come to the plateau cities: on Holon, Jahzah, and Mephaath;
on Dibon, Nebo, and Beth-diblathaim;
on Kiriathaim, Beth-gamul, and Beth-meon;
on Kerioth, Bozrah, and all the cities of Moab, far and near.
"Moab's link to power is severed. Moab's arm is broken." God's Decree. The Sheer Nothingness of Moab
"Turn Moab into a drunken sot, drunk on the wine of my wrath, a dung-faced drunk, filling the country with vomit - Moab a falling-down drunk, a joke in bad taste.
Wasn't it you, Moab, who made crude jokes over Israel? And when they were caught in bad company, didn't you cluck and gossip and snicker?
"Leave town! Leave! Look for a home in the cliffs, you who grew up in Moab. Try living like a dove who nests high in the river gorge.
"We've all heard of Moab's pride, that legendary pride, The strutting, bullying, puffed-up pride, the insufferable arrogance.
I know" - God's Decree - "his rooster-crowing pride, the inflated claims, the sheer nothingness of Moab.
But I will weep for Moab, yes, I will mourn for the people of Moab. I will even mourn for the people of Kir-heres.
I'll weep for the grapevines of Sibmah and join Jazer in her weeping - Grapevines that once reached the Dead Sea with tendrils as far as Jazer. Your summer fruit and your bursting grapes will be looted by brutal plunderers,
Lush Moab stripped of song and laughter. And yes, I'll shut down the winepresses, stop all the shouts and hurrahs of harvest.
"Heshbon and Elealeh will cry out, and the people in Jahaz will hear the cries. They will hear them all the way from Zoar to Horonaim and Eglath-shelishiyah. Even the waters of Nimrim will be dried up.
"I will put a stop in Moab" - God's Decree - "to all hiking to the high places to offer burnt sacrifices to the gods.
"My heart moans for Moab, for the men of Kir-heres, like soft flute sounds carried by the wind. They've lost it all. They've got nothing.
"Everywhere you look are signs of mourning: heads shaved, beards cut, Hands scratched and bleeding, clothes ripped and torn.
"In every house in Moab there'll be loud lamentation, on every street in Moab, loud lamentation. As with a pottery jug that no one wants, I'll smash Moab to bits." God's Decree.
"Moab ruined! Moab shamed and ashamed to be seen! Moab a cruel joke! The stark horror of Moab!"
God's verdict on Moab. Indeed! "Look! An eagle is about to swoop down and spread its wings over Moab.
The towns will be captured, the fortresses taken. Brave warriors will double up in pain, helpless to fight, like a woman giving birth to a baby.
There'll be nothing left of Moab, nothing at all, because of his defiant arrogance against me.
"Terror and pit and trap are what you have facing you, Moab." God's Decree.
"A man running in terror will fall into a trap. A man climbing out of a pit will be caught in a trap. This is my agenda for Moab on doomsday." God's Decree.
"On the outskirts of Heshbon, refugees will pull up short, worn out. Fire will flame high from Heshbon, a firestorm raging from the capital of Sihon's kingdom. It will burn off Moab's eyebrows, will scorch the skull of the braggarts.
That's all for you, Moab! You worshipers of Chemosh will be finished off! Your sons will be trucked off to prison camps; your daughters will be herded into exile.
But yet there's a day that's coming when I'll put things right in Moab. "For now, that's the judgment on Moab."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)