This is the message the LORD spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack Egypt:
“Announce this in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol; proclaim it also in Memphis and Tahpanhes: ‘Take your positions and get ready, for the sword devours those around you.’
Why will your warriors be laid low? They cannot stand, for the LORD will push them down.
They will stumble repeatedly; they will fall over each other. They will say, ‘Get up, let us go back to our own people and our native lands, away from the sword of the oppressor.’
There they will exclaim, ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise; he has missed his opportunity.’
“As surely as I live,” declares the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty, “one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains, like Carmel by the sea.
Pack your belongings for exile, you who live in Egypt, for Memphis will be laid waste and lie in ruins without inhabitant.
“Egypt is a beautiful heifer, but a gadfly is coming against her from the north.
The mercenaries in her ranks are like fattened calves. They too will turn and flee together, they will not stand their ground, for the day of disaster is coming upon them, the time for them to be punished.
Egypt will hiss like a fleeing serpent as the enemy advances in force; they will come against her with axes, like men who cut down trees.
They will chop down her forest,” declares the LORD, “dense though it be. They are more numerous than locusts, they cannot be counted.
Daughter Egypt will be put to shame, given into the hands of the people of the north.”
The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh.
I will give them into the hands of those who want to kill them—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past,” declares the LORD.
“Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid.
Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only in due measure; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”