Jeremiah 44

Disaster Because of Idolatry

1 This word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypt—in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis—and in Upper Egypt:
2 “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins
3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew.
4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’
5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods.
6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.
7 “Now this is what the LORD God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant?
8 Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse[a] and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth.
9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem?
10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.
11 “Therefore this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah.
12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach.
13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem.
14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah,
16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD!
17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.
18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”
19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him,
21 “Did not the LORD remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land?
22 When the LORD could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today.
23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the LORD and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”
24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah in Egypt.
25 This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’ “Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows!
26 But hear the word of the LORD, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the LORD, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign LORD lives.”
27 For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed.
28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.
29 “ ‘This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,’ declares the LORD, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’
30 This is what the LORD says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’ ”

Jeremiah 44 Commentary

Chapter 44

The Jews in Egypt persist in idolatry. (1-14) They refuse to reform. (15-19) Jeremiah then denounces destruction upon them. (20-30)

Verses 1-14 God reminds the Jews of the sins that brought desolations upon Judah. It becomes us to warn men of the danger of sin with all seriousness: Oh, do not do it! If you love God, do not, for it is provoking to him; if you love your own souls, do not, for it is destructive to them. Let conscience do this for us in the hour of temptation. The Jews whom God sent into the land of the Chaldeans, were there, by the power of God's grace, weaned from idolatry; but those who went by their own perverse will into the land of the Egyptians, were there more attached than ever to their idolatries. When we thrust ourselves without cause or call into places of temptation, it is just with God to leave us to ourselves. If we walk contrary to God, he will walk contrary to us. The most awful miseries to which men are exposed, are occasioned by the neglect of offered salvation.

Verses 15-19 These daring sinners do not attempt excuses, but declare they will do that which is forbidden. Those who disobey God, commonly grow worse and worse, and the heart is more hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Here is the real language of the rebellious heart. Even the afflictions which should have parted them from their sins, were taken so as to confirm them in their sins. It is sad when those who should quicken each other to what is good, and so help one another to heaven, harden each other in sin, and so ripen one another for hell. To mingle idolatry with Divine worship, and to reject the mediation of Christ, are provoking to God, and ruinous to men. All who worship images, or honour saints, and angels, and the queen of heaven, should recollect what came from the idolatrous practices of the Jews.

Verses 20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not. Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with repentance and obedience.

Cross References 110

  • 1. S Deuteronomy 32:42; S Jeremiah 24:8
  • 2. S Exodus 14:2
  • 3. S Jeremiah 43:7,8
  • 4. S Isaiah 19:13
  • 5. S Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 46:14
  • 6. S 2 Chronicles 34:24
  • 7. S Jeremiah 40:5
  • 8. S Leviticus 26:31; S Deuteronomy 29:23; S Isaiah 6:11; Jeremiah 9:11; Jeremiah 34:22
  • 9. S Exodus 32:22
  • 10. S Numbers 11:33
  • 11. S Numbers 16:40
  • 12. ver 8; S Numbers 25:3; Deuteronomy 13:6-11; Deuteronomy 29:26; Isaiah 19:1
  • 13. S Judges 2:19; Deuteronomy 32:17; Jeremiah 19:4
  • 14. S Jeremiah 7:13
  • 15. S Numbers 11:29; Jeremiah 7:25; Jeremiah 25:4; Jeremiah 26:5
  • 16. S Deuteronomy 18:9; S 1 Kings 14:24; 1 Peter 4:3
  • 17. Daniel 9:6
  • 18. S Jeremiah 25:4
  • 19. S Genesis 6:5; Romans 1:18; 2 Timothy 2:19
  • 20. ver 21; Jeremiah 1:16; Ezekiel 8:11; Ezekiel 16:18; Ezekiel 23:41
  • 21. Jeremiah 11:8-10; S Jeremiah 25:7
  • 22. Ezekiel 8:18; Ezekiel 20:34
  • 23. S Leviticus 26:31,34; S Deuteronomy 29:23; Lamentations 1:13; Zechariah 7:14
  • 24. Jeremiah 26:19
  • 25. Jeremiah 51:22
  • 26. S 2 Kings 21:14
  • 27. S Isaiah 40:18-20; S Jeremiah 10:3; Romans 1:23; Jeremiah 25:6-7
  • 28. ver 17-25; Jeremiah 41:5
  • 29. S ver 3; S Exodus 12:12
  • 30. S 1 Corinthians 10:22
  • 31. S Psalms 44:13; Jeremiah 42:18
  • 32. S Judges 2:19
  • 33. S 2 Kings 23:11
  • 34. 1 Kings 21:25
  • 35. S Proverbs 31:10; S Jeremiah 6:12
  • 36. ver 17,21; Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 32:32
  • 37. S Deuteronomy 8:3; S Matthew 23:12; Philippians 2:8
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 6:13; S Psalms 5:7
  • 39. S Joshua 1:7; S Jeremiah 11:8; Matthew 5:17-20; Galatians 3:19; 1 John 3:4
  • 40. S Leviticus 18:4
  • 41. 1 Kings 9:6-9; 2 Kings 17:17
  • 42. Revelation 4:8
  • 43. S 2 Chronicles 34:24; Jeremiah 21:10; Amos 9:4
  • 44. ver 7; Jeremiah 40:15
  • 45. S Jeremiah 42:1
  • 46. S Isaiah 1:28
  • 47. S Deuteronomy 28:25; S Jeremiah 29:18; Jeremiah 42:15-18
  • 48. S Exodus 32:34; Leviticus 26:14-17
  • 49. S Jeremiah 15:2
  • 50. S Jeremiah 42:17
  • 51. ver 28; Jeremiah 22:24-27; Jeremiah 49:5; Lamentations 4:15; Ezekiel 6:8; S Romans 9:27
  • 52. S Proverbs 31:10; S Jeremiah 6:12
  • 53. S Jeremiah 18:15
  • 54. S Genesis 3:6; 1 Timothy 2:14
  • 55. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 56. S 1 Samuel 8:19; Job 15:25-26; Jeremiah 11:8-10
  • 57. S Jeremiah 42:19
  • 58. ver 28; Deuteronomy 23:23; Zechariah 1:6
  • 59. S Isaiah 65:3
  • 60. ver 25; Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 7:18
  • 61. Nehemiah 9:34
  • 62. S ver 9; S Jeremiah 2:26
  • 63. S Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:4-6
  • 64. S Job 21:15; Isaiah 3:9; Hosea 2:5-13; Hosea 9:1
  • 65. Leviticus 23:18
  • 66. Malachi 3:13-15
  • 67. Jeremiah 42:16
  • 68. S Jeremiah 18:15
  • 69. Jeremiah 7:18
  • 70. S Genesis 3:6; Ephesians 5:22
  • 71. Leviticus 7:12
  • 72. S Leviticus 26:1; Acts 17:29
  • 73. Isaiah 64:9; S Jeremiah 14:10; Hosea 8:13
  • 74. S Jeremiah 11:13
  • 75. ver 9
  • 76. S Psalms 79:8
  • 77. S Jeremiah 2:26
  • 78. S Isaiah 1:14
  • 79. S Jeremiah 25:18
  • 80. S Leviticus 26:31,32
  • 81. S Genesis 19:13; Psalms 107:33-34; Ezekiel 33:28-29
  • 82. S 1 Kings 9:6
  • 83. S Leviticus 18:4
  • 84. Jeremiah 40:2
  • 85. S Leviticus 26:33; S 1 Kings 9:9; Jeremiah 7:13-15; Ezekiel 39:23; Daniel 9:11-12
  • 86. ver 15; S Genesis 3:6
  • 87. Jeremiah 43:7
  • 88. S Proverbs 31:10
  • 89. S ver 17; S Deuteronomy 32:38
  • 90. S Proverbs 20:25; Ezekiel 20:39; James 1:13-15
  • 91. S Jeremiah 24:8
  • 92. S Genesis 22:16; S Isaiah 48:1; Acts 19:13; Hebrews 6:13-17
  • 93. S Genesis 15:2
  • 94. Deuteronomy 32:40; Psalms 50:16; S Jeremiah 4:2
  • 95. S Jeremiah 1:12
  • 96. S Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 31:28
  • 97. S Leviticus 26:38; S Job 15:22; 2 Peter 3:9
  • 98. S Genesis 41:55
  • 99. S Jeremiah 9:16; Daniel 9:14; Amos 9:8
  • 100. Jeremiah 45:5; Ezekiel 6:8
  • 101. ver 13-14; S Isaiah 10:19
  • 102. S 2 Kings 21:14
  • 103. S Isaiah 7:9; S Jeremiah 39:16; Jeremiah 42:15-18
  • 104. S ver 17,25-26
  • 105. S Genesis 24:14; S Exodus 3:12; S Numbers 16:38; S Matthew 12:38; Matthew 24:3
  • 106. S Exodus 32:34
  • 107. S Proverbs 19:21
  • 108. S Jeremiah 25:19; Jeremiah 46:26; Ezekiel 30:21; Ezekiel 32:32
  • 109. 2 Kings 25:1-7; S Jeremiah 24:8
  • 110. Jeremiah 43:9-13; Jeremiah 39:5

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. That is, your name will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that you are cursed; also in verse 12; similarly in verse 22.

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains a sermon of Jeremiah's to the Jews in Egypt, reproving them for their idolatry there; their answer to it, expressing their resolution to continue in their idolatrous practices; and a denunciation of judgments upon them, of which a sign is given. The sermon begins with observing to them the destruction of Jerusalem, and the causes of it, idolatry and contempt of the prophets, Jer 44:1-6; then follows an expostulation with the present Jews for doing the same things, and exposing themselves and their posterity to the same punishment, Jer 44:7-10; upon which they are threatened with the sore judgments of God that should come upon them, and cut them off in general, Jer 44:11-14; yet such were the impudence and obstinacy of this people, that they declared they would not hearken to the prophet, but persist in their idolatry; it having been better with them when they practised it than when they left it, Jer 44:15-19; to which the prophet replies by observing, that for the idolatry of their fathers their land was become a desolation and a curse, as at this day, Jer 44:20-23; and assures them that destruction would come from the Lord upon them, which he had swore to, Jer 44:24-28; and a sign of it is given; the delivery of the king of Egypt into the hand of the king of Babylon, Jer 44:29,30.

Jeremiah 44 Commentaries