The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.
Concerning Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah:
Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle!
Harness the horses; mount the steeds! Take your stations with your helmets, whet your lances, put on your coats of mail!
Why do I see them terrified? They have fallen back; their warriors are beaten down, and have fled in haste. They do not look back— terror is all around! says the Lord.
The swift cannot flee away, nor can the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen.
Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge?
Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. It said, Let me rise, let me cover the earth, let me destroy cities and their inhabitants.
Advance, O horses, and dash madly, O chariots! Let the warriors go forth: Ethiopia and Put who carry the shield, the Ludim, who draw the bow.
That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of retribution, to gain vindication from his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated, and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice in the land of the north by the river Euphrates.
Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you.
The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; both have fallen together.
The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt:
Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; Say, "Take your stations and be ready, for the sword shall devour those around you."
Why has Apis fled? Why did your bull not stand? —because the Lord thrust him down.
Your multitude stumbled and fell, and one said to another, "Come, let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the destroying sword."
Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name "Braggart who missed his chance."
As I live, says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts, one is coming like Tabor among the mountains, and like Carmel by the sea.
Pack your bags for exile, sheltered daughter Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant.
A beautiful heifer is Egypt— a gadfly from the north lights upon her.
Even her mercenaries in her midst are like fatted calves; they too have turned and fled together, they did not stand; for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment.
She makes a sound like a snake gliding away; for her enemies march in force, and come against her with axes, like those who fell trees.
They shall cut down her forest, says the Lord, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number.
Daughter Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be handed over to a people from the north.
The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: See, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him.
I will hand them over to those who seek their life, to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord.
But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid.
As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord, for I am with you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have banished you, but I will not make an end of you! I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza:
Thus says the Lord: See, waters are rising out of the north and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who live in it. People shall cry out, and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail.
At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the clatter of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, parents do not turn back for children, so feeble are their hands,
because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the Lord is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor.
Baldness has come upon Gaza, Ashkelon is silenced. O remnant of their power! How long will you gash yourselves?
Ah, sword of the Lord! How long until you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard, rest and be still!
How can it be quiet, when the Lord has given it an order? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore— there he has appointed it.
Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God,
instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.
And we will do this, if God permits.
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,
and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,
and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt.
Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.
But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.
Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation.
For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do.
And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end,
so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
When God made a promise to Abraham, because he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself,
saying, "I will surely bless you and multiply you."
And thus Abraham, having patiently endured, obtained the promise.
Human beings, of course, swear by someone greater than themselves, and an oath given as confirmation puts an end to all dispute.
In the same way, when God desired to show even more clearly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it by an oath,
so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible that God would prove false, we who have taken refuge might be strongly encouraged to seize the hope set before us.
We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shrine behind the curtain,
where Jesus, a forerunner on our behalf, has entered, having become a high priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (New Revised Standard Bible Version Online)