This is what the LORD told the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.
About Egypt! A message for the army of Pharaoh Neco, Egypt's king, which was defeated by Babylon's Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish near the Euphrates River in the fourth year of Judah's King Jehoiakim, Josiah's son:
Grab your shields and prepare for war!
Saddle the horses; mount the stallions! Take your positions with helmets on! Polish your spears; put on your armor!
Why do I see them terrified, retreating in haste? Their soldiers are crushed, running for cover, and they don't turn back. Panic lurks at every turn, declares the LORD.
The swift can't flee; the mighty can't escape. Up north by the Euphrates River, they stagger and fall.
Who is this that rises like the Nile, whose banks overflow?
It's Egypt that rises like the Nile, whose banks overflow, who declares, "I will arise and cover the earth and destroy cities and inhabitants."
Charge, you horses; advance, you chariots! Attack, you soldiers with your shield in hand, you people of Cush and Put with your bow drawn, you archers from Lud.
But that day belongs to the LORD God of heavenly forces; it's a day of reckoning, settling scores with enemies. The sword will devour until it has had its fill of blood. The LORD God of heavenly forces is preparing a sacrifice in the north by the Euphrates River.
Go up to Gilead and seek balm, virgin Daughter Egypt. You search out remedies in vain, for your disease is incurable.
Nations hear of your shame; the earth is filled with your sobs. Soldier stumbles over soldier; together they go down.
This is the word that the LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the military offensive of Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar against the land of Egypt:
Tell Egypt, warn Migdol, alert Memphis and Tahpanhes! Say: "Brace yourselves for what's coming. War is breaking out from every side!"
Why have your mighty fallen? Why haven't they stood their ground? Because the LORD has struck them down.
He's tripped them up; they fall over each other and say, "Let's get out of here and go home to our people, where we were born, far away from the oppressor's sword."
There they call Pharaoh, Egypt's king, Loudmouth—Nothing But Hot Air!
As I live, declares the king, whose name is the LORD of heavenly forces, one is coming just as surely as Tabor is in the mountains and Carmel is by the sea.
Get what you need for deportation, you inhabitants of Egypt. Memphis will be reduced to a wasteland, a ruin with no one left.
Egypt is a beautiful, yes, beautiful heifer, but a horsefly from the north is coming to bite her.
Even her mercenaries are like well-fed calves; they too will retreat and run for cover; they won't survive. The day of disaster has come to haunt them, the time of their punishment.
Like the sound of a snake hissing as it slithers away is Egypt as armies approach in force; they come against her with axes, like woodcutters.
They destroy her dense forest, though it is vast, because they outnumber locusts and can't be counted, declares the LORD.
Daughter Egypt will be humiliated, handed over to people from the north.
This is what the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: I'm going to punish Amon of Thebes, Egypt and its gods and kings, as well as Pharaoh and all who rely on him.
I will hand them over to those who seek to kill them, namely Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar and his servants. But afterward Egypt will dwell like it did a long time ago, declares the LORD.
But don't be afraid, my servant Judah; don't lose heart, Israel. I will deliver you from a faraway place and your children from the land of their exile. My people Jacob will again be safe and sound, with no one harassing them.
So don't be afraid, my servant Jacob, declares the LORD. I'm with you; I will put an end to all the nations where I have scattered you. But I won't put an end to you. I won't let you avoid punishment; I will discipline you as you deserve.