Jeremiah 44:17-19

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?”

Jeremiah 44:17-19 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JEREMIAH 44

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 44:17-19 In-Context

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?

Cross References 15

  • 1. ver 28; Deuteronomy 23:23; Zechariah 1:6
  • 2. S Isaiah 65:3
  • 3. ver 25; Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 7:18
  • 4. Nehemiah 9:34
  • 5. S ver 9; S Jeremiah 2:26
  • 6. S Exodus 16:3; Numbers 11:4-6
  • 7. S Job 21:15; Isaiah 3:9; Hosea 2:5-13; Hosea 9:1
  • 8. Leviticus 23:18
  • 9. Malachi 3:13-15
  • 10. Jeremiah 42:16
  • 11. S Jeremiah 18:15
  • 12. Jeremiah 7:18
  • 13. S Genesis 3:6; Ephesians 5:22
  • 14. Leviticus 7:12
  • 15. S Leviticus 26:1; Acts 17:29
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