The leaders carry the people to Egypt. (1-7) Jeremiah foretells the conquest of Egypt. (8-13)
Verses 1-7 Only by pride comes contention, both with God and man. They preferred their own wisdom to the revealed will of God. Men deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, because they are resolved not to conform themselves to Scripture rules. When men will persist in sin, they charge the best actions to bad motives. These Jews deserted their own land, and threw themselves out of God's protection. It is the folly of men, that they often ruin themselves by wrong endeavours to mend their situation.
Verses 8-13 God can find his people wherever they are. The Spirit of prophecy was not confined to the land of Israel. It is foretold that Nebuchadnezzar should destroy and carry into captivity many of the Egyptians. Thus God makes one wicked man, or wicked nation, a scourge and plague to another. He will punish those who deceive his professing people, or tempt them to rebellion.
This chapter contains the answer of the princes and people to the prophet's message; a relation of their going into Egypt; and a prophecy of the destruction of that land. The persons that gave the answer are described, some by name, and all by their character; and the time of their giving it is mentioned, in which they charge the prophet with a falsehood; impute the whole to an instigation of Baruch, and an ill design of his, and so were disobedient to the command of God, Jer 43:1-4; and went into Egypt, and carried all with them, of every rank, age, and sex, and even Baruch, and the prophet too, and came to Tahpanhes, the seat of the kings of Egypt, Jer 43:5-7; upon this a prophecy is delivered out, concerning the destruction of that country, which is signified by a symbol explained; the person, the instrument of it, is mentioned by name, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; the devastation he should make is expressed by slaying with the sword, and carrying into captivity; by burning the temples of their gods, and breaking their images in pieces, Jer 43:8-13.