A message came to me from the Lord. It was about the nations.
Here is what the LORD says about Egypt. Here is his message against the army of Pharaoh Neco. He was king of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, won the battle over his army. That happened at Carchemish on the Euphrates River. It was in the fourth year that Jehoiakim was king of Judah. He was the son of Josiah. The message says,
"Egyptians, prepare your shields! Prepare large and small shields alike! March out for battle!
Get the horses and chariots ready to ride! Take up your battle positions! Put your helmets on! Shine up your spears! Put on your armor!
What do I see? The Egyptians are terrified. They are pulling back. Their soldiers are losing. They run away as fast as they can. They do not look back. There is terror on every side," announces the Lord.
"Those who run fast can't get away. Those who are strong can't escape. In the north by the Euphrates River they trip and fall.
"Who is this that rises like the Nile River? Who rises like rivers of rushing waters?
Egypt rises like the Nile River. It rises like rivers of rushing waters. Egypt says, 'I will rise and cover the earth. I'll destroy cities and their people.'
Charge, you horses! Drive fast, you chariot drivers! March on, you soldiers! March on, you men of Cush and Put who carry shields. March on, you men of Lydia who draw bows.
But that day belongs to me. I am the LORD who rules over all. It is a day for me to pay back my enemies. The sword will eat until it is satisfied. It will drink until it has no more thirst for blood. I am the Lord. I am the LORD who rules over all. I will offer a sacrifice. I will offer it in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
"People of Egypt, go up to Gilead and get some healing lotion. But no matter what you try, you will not be healed. There isn't any healing for you.
The nations will hear about your shame. Your cries of pain will fill the earth. One soldier will trip over another. Both of them will fall down together."
Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, was coming to attack Egypt. Here is the message the LORD spoke to me about it. He said,
"Egyptians, here is what I want you to announce in your land. Announce it in Migdol. Also announce it in Memphis and Tahpanhes. Say, 'Take up your battle positions! Get ready! The sword eats up those who are around you.'
Why are your soldiers lying on the ground? They can't stand, because I bring them down.
They will trip again and again. They will fall over one another. They will say, 'Get up. Let's go back home. Let's return to our own people and our own lands. Let's get away from the swords that will bring us great harm.'
The Egyptian soldiers will cry out, 'Pharaoh is our king. But he's only a loud noise. He has missed his chance to win the battle.'
"I am the King. My name is The LORD Who Rules Over All. Someone will come who is like Mount Tabor among the mountains. He is like Mount Carmel by the Mediterranean Sea. And that is just as sure as I am alive," announces the King.
"So pack your belongings, you who live in Egypt. You will be taken away from your land. Memphis will be completely destroyed. Its buildings will be broken down. No one will live there.
"Egypt is like a beautiful young cow. But Nebuchadnezzar is coming against her from the north. He will bite her like a fly.
Hired soldiers are in Egypt's army. They are like fat calves. All of them will turn and run away. They will not hold their positions. The day of trouble is coming on them. The time for them to be punished is near.
The Egyptians will hiss like a snake that is trying to get away. A powerful army will advance against them. Their enemies will come against them with axes. They will be like those who cut down trees.
Egypt is like a thick forest. But they will chop it down," announces the Lord. "There are more of them than there are locusts. In fact, they can't even be counted.
The nation of Egypt will be put to shame. It will be handed over to the people of the north."
The LORD who rules over all is the God of Israel. He says, "I am about to punish Amon, the god of Thebes. I will also punish Pharaoh. I will punish Egypt and its gods and kings. And I will punish those who depend on Pharaoh.
I will hand them over to those who are trying to kill them. I will give them to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylonia, and his officers. But later, many people will live in Egypt again as in times past," announces the Lord.
"People of Jacob, do not be afraid. You are my servant. Israel, do not be terrified. I will bring you safely out of a place far away. I will bring your children back from the land where they were taken. Your people will have peace and security again. And no one will make them afraid.
People of Jacob, do not be afraid. You are my servant. I am with you," announces the Lord. "I will completely destroy all of the nations among which I scatter you. But I will not completely destroy you. I will correct you. But I will be fair. I will punish you in a way that is fair and right."