44:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwell in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, and at a Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,
(a) These were all famous and strange cities in Egypt, where the Jews that fled dwelt for their safety but the prophet declares that there is no hold so strong that can preserve them from Gods vengeance. 44:4 Yet I sent to you all my servants the prophets, b rising early and sending [them], saying, O, do not this abominable thing that I hate.
44:6 Wherefore c my fury and my anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted [and] desolate, as at this day.
(b) Read ( Jeremiah 7:25 Jeremiah 25:3 Jeremiah 29:19 Jeremiah 32:33 ).
(c) He sets before their eyes Gods judgments against Judah and Jerusalem for their idolatry that they might beware by their example, and not with the same wickedness provoke the Lord: for then they would be double punished. 44:9 Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the d kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?
(d) He shows that we ought to keep in memory Gods plagues from the beginning that considering them, we might live in his fear, and know if he did not spare our fathers, yea kings, princes, rulers and also whole countries and nations for their sins that we vile worms cannot look to escape punishment for ours. 44:12 And I will take the remnant of Judah, that e have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, [and] fall in the land of Egypt; they shall [even] be consumed by the sword [and] by the famine: they shall die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, [and] an horror, and a f curse, and a reproach.
(e) Which have fully set their minds and are gone there on purpose. By which he excepts the innocents as Jeremiah and Baruch that were forces: therefore the Lord shows that he will set his face against them: that is, purposely destroy them. 44:14 So that none of the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there: for none shall return but g such as shall escape.
(f) Read ( Jeremiah 26:6 Jeremiah 41:18 ).
(g) Meaning but a few. 44:16 [As for] the word that thou hast spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will h not hearken to thee.
(h) This declares how dangerous a thing it is to decline once from God and to follow our own fantasies: for Satan ever solicits such and does not leave them till he has brought them to extreme impudency and madness, even to justify their wickedness against God and his prophets. 44:17 But we will certainly do whatever thing proceedeth from our own mouth, to burn incense to i the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for [then] we had k plenty of food, and were well, and saw no evil.
44:19 And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make for her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her, without l our husbands?
(i) Read ( Jeremiah 7:18 ) it seems that the papists gathered of this place "Salbe Regina" and "Regina caeli latare" calling the virgin Mary Queen of heaven and so out of the blessed virgin and mother of our saviour Christ, made an idol; for here the prophet condemns their idolatry.
(k) This is still the argument of idolaters who esteem religion by the belly and instead of acknowledging Gods works who sends both plenty and famine, health and sickness. They attribute it to their idols and so dishonour God.
(l) This teaches us what a great danger it is for the husbands to permit their wives anything of which they are not assured by Gods word: for by it they take an opportunity to justify their doings and their husbands will give an account of it before God. 44:25 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying; Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your m hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.
(m) You have committed double evil in making wicked vows, and in performing the same. 44:26 Therefore hear ye the word of the LORD, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the LORD, that my name n shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord GOD liveth.
(n) This declares a horrible plague toward idolaters, seeing that God will not vouchsafe to have his Name mentioned by such as have polluted it. 44:28 Yet a small number that escape the sword o shall return from the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.
(o) We see therefore that God has a perpetual care over his, wherever they are scattered: for though they are but two or three, yet he will deliver them when he destroys his enemies. 44:30 Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will p give Pharaohhophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.
(p) He shows the means by which they would be destroyed to assure them of the certainty of the plague and yet they remain still in their obstinacy till they perish: for Josephus writes that five years after the taking of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar the younger having overcome the Moabites and the Ammonites went against Egypt and slew the king and so brought these Jews and others into Babylon.