Jeremiah 2:18

18 Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Nile a ? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates?

Read Jeremiah 2:18 Using Other Translations

And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?
And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
“What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River?

What does Jeremiah 2:18 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Jeremiah 2:18

And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt
By worshipping of idols, in imitation of them; or by sending ambassadors thither for help, when they had their Lord, their God, so nigh, had they not forsaken him; nor had Josiah any business to go out against Pharaohnecho, ( 2 Chronicles 35:21 ) and, contrary to the express word of God by the Prophet Jeremy, did the Jews which remained in Judea go into Egypt, ( Jeremiah 42:19 ) ( 43:1-7 ) . To drink the waters of Sihor?
which is the river Nile, as Jarchi interprets it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "the waters of Geon", or "Gihon": and this also is the same with the Nile, as Josephus F11 affirms, who says,

``Geon, which runs through Egypt, is the same which the Greeks call Nile.''
So Jerom F12 from Eusebius,
``Geon is a river, which with the Egyptians is called Nile.''
The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "troubled water"; and such were the waters of the Nile, which had its name of Sihor from the blackness of it; and hence, by the Greeks F13, was called Melas; and by the Latines F14, Melo. Hence, as Braunius F15 observes, it was represented by a black stone, as other rivers by a white one; for which reason the black colour was very grateful to the Egyptians; and for the same reason Osiris, which is the very Nile itself, was reckoned black; and the ox Apis they worshipped was a black one, at least part of it, and was covered with black linen cloth; and its priests were also clothed in black, hence called Chemarim, ( Hosea 10:5 ) ( Zephaniah 1:4 ) . Or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria;
to go after their idolatrous practices, or to send to them for help; for this was the usual method of the Jews; when the Assyrians oppressed them, then they sent to Egypt for help; and when the Egyptians were upon them, then they applied to the Assyrians; and in both cases acted wrong, for they ought to have sought the Lord their God only: to drink the waters of the river?
of the river Euphrates. The sense is, that they preferred the waters of the Nile and of Euphrates, or the gods of the Egyptians and Assyrians, or the help of these people, before the Lord, the fountain of living waters, and his worship and powerful help. The Targum paraphrases this last clause thus,
``why do ye make covenant with the Assyrian, to carry you captive beyond the river Euphrates?''


F11 Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 3.
F12 De locis Hebraicis, fol. 91. H.
F13 Eustathius in Dionys. (perihg)
F14 Servius in Virgil. Georg. l. 4. p. 343. & in Aeneid. l. 1. p. 541.
F15 Selecta Sacr. l. 4. c. 9. p. 492, & l. 5. Exercit. 4. sect. 8. p. 700, 701.
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