Yirmeyah 44

1 4 The davar that came to Yirmeyah concerning all the Yehudim which dwell in Eretz Mitzrayim, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Patros, saying,
2 Thus saith Hashem Tzva’os Elohei Yisroel; Ye have seen all the ra’ah that I have brought upon Yerushalayim, and upon all the towns of Yehudah; and, behold, this day they are a ruin, and no one dwelleth therein,
3 Because of their ra’ah (evil) which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn ketoret, and to serve elohim acherim, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor avoteichem.
4 Howbeit I sent unto you all My avadim the Nevi’im, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this to’evah (abominable thing) that I hate.
5 But they paid heed not, nor inclined their ozen to turn from their ra’ah (wickedness), to burn no ketoret unto elohim acherim.
6 Wherefore My wrath and Mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the towns of Yehudah and in the streets of Yerushalayim; and they are become a desolate ruin, as at this day.
7 Therefore now thus saith Hashem Elohei Tzva’os Elohei Yisroel: Why commit ye this ra’ah gedolah against your nefashot, to cut off from you ish and isha, olel (child) and yonek (infant), out of Yehudah, to leave you no she’erit (remnant);
8 In that ye provoke Me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning ketoret unto elohim acherim in Eretz Mitzrayim, where ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a kelalah (curse) and a cherpah (reproach) among kol HaGoyim of ha’aretz?
9 Have ye forgotten the ra’ot (wickednesses) of avoteichem, and the ra’ot of the melachim of Yehudah, and the ra’ot of their nashim, and your own ra’ot, and the ra’ot of your nashim, which they have committed in Eretz Yehudah, and in the streets of Yerushalayim?
10 They are not contrite even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in My torah, nor in My chukkot, that I set before you and before avoteichem.
11 Therefore thus saith Hashem Tzva’os Elohei Yisroel: Hineni, I will set My face against you for ra’ah, and to cut off kol Yehudah.
12 And I will take the she’erit (remnant) of Yehudah, that have set their faces to go into Eretz Mitzrayim to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in Eretz Mitzrayim; they shall even be consumed by the cherev and by the ra’av (famine); they shall die, from the katon even unto the gadol, by the cherev and by the ra’av; and they shall be an object of cursing, and a horror, and a kelalah, and a cherpah.
13 For I will punish them that dwell in Eretz Mitzrayim, just as I have punished Yerushalayim, by the cherev, by the ra’av, and by the dever;
14 So that none of the she’erit (remnant) of Yehudah, which are gone into Eretz Mitzrayim to sojourn there, shall escape or survive, that they should return into Eretz Yehudah, to the which they lift up [in desire] their nefesh to return to dwell there; for none shall return but such as shall escape.
15 Then all the anashim which knew that their nashim had burned ketoret unto elohim acherim, and all the nashim that stood by, a kahal gadol (great multitude), even kol HaAm that dwelt in Eretz Mitzrayim, in Patros, answered Yirmeyah, saying,
16 As for the davar that thou hast spoken unto us b’Shem Hashem, we will not pay heed unto thee.
17 But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn ketoret unto the Malkat HaShomayim (the Queen of Heaven), and to pour out nesakhim (drink offerings) unto her, as we have done, we, and Avoteinu, our Melachim, and our Sarim, in the towns of Yehudah, and in the streets of Yerushalayim; for then we had plenty of lechem, and were tovim (well off), and saw no ra’ah.
18 But since we left off burning ketoret to the Malkat HaShomayim, and to pour out nesakhim unto her, we have lacked all things, and have been consumed by the cherev and by the ra’av.
19 And when we burned ketoret to the Malkat HaShomayim, and poured out nesakhim unto her, did we make for her in her image cakes, and pour out nesakhim unto her, without our anashim?
20 Then Yirmeyah said unto kol HaAm, to the gevarim, and to the nashim, and to kol HaAm which had given him that answer, saying,
21 The ketoret that ye burned in the towns of Yehudah, and in the streets of Yerushalayim, ye, and avoteichem, your melachim, and your sarim, and the am ha’aretz, did not Hashem remember them, and came it not into His mind?
22 So that Hashem could no longer bear, because of the wickedness of your doings, and because of the to’evot (abominations) which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and a ruin, and a kelalah, without an inhabitant, as at this day.
23 Because ye have burned ketoret, and because ye have sinned against Hashem, and have not obeyed the voice of Hashem, nor walked in His torah, nor in His chukkot, nor in His edot; therefore this ra’ah has happened unto you, as at this day.
24 Moreover Yirmeyah said unto kol HaAm, and to all the nashim, Hear the Devar Hashem, all Yehudah that are in the Eretz Mitzrayim,
25 Thus saith Hashem Tzva’os Elohei Yisroel, saying: Ye and your nashim have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your yad, saying, We will surely perform nedareinu (our vows) that we have vowed, to burn ketoret to the Malkat HaShomayim, and to pour out nesakhim unto her; ye will surely accomplish your nedarim (vows), and surely perform your nedarim.
26 Therefore hear ye the Devar Hashem, all Yehudah that dwell in Eretz Mitzrayim: Hineni, I have sworn biShmi HaGadol (by My great Name), saith Hashem, that Shmi shall no more be named in the mouth of any Ish Yehudah in all Eretz Mitzrayim, saying, Adonoi Hashem liveth.
27 Hineni, I will watch over them for ra’ah, and not for tovah; and Kol Ish Yehudah that are in Eretz Mitzrayim shall be consumed by the cherev and by ra’av, until there be an end of them.
28 Yet a small number that escape the cherev shall return out of Eretz Mitzrayim into Eretz Yehudah, and all the she’erit (remnant) Yehudah, that are gone into Eretz Mitzrayim to sojourn there, shall know whose davar shall stand, Mine, or theirs.
29 And this shall be the ot (sign) unto you, saith Hashem, that I will punish you in this makom, that ye may know that My Davar shall surely stand against you for ra’ah:
30 Thus saith Hashem; Hineni, I will give Pharaoh Chophra Melech Mitzrayim into the yad of his oyevim, and into the yad of them that seek his nefesh; just as I gave Tzidkiyah Melech Yehudah into the yad of Nevuchadretzar Melech Bavel, his oyev, and that sought his nefesh (life).

Yirmeyah 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.

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.

Yirmeyah 44 Commentaries

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