Jeremiah 46

46 The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning and against the [Gentile] nations.

2 Concerning and against Egypt: against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish, which [a]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote and defeated in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:(A)

3 Put in order the buckler and shield, and advance for battle!

4 Harness the horses, and mount, you horsemen! Stand forth with your helmets! Polish the spears, put on the coats of mail!

5 Why have I seen it? They are dismayed and have turned backward, and their mighty warriors are beaten down. They flee in haste and look not back; terror is on every side! says the Lord.(B)

6 Let not the swift flee nor the mighty man escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they stumble and fall.

7 Who is this that rises up like the Nile [River], like the branches [of the Nile in the delta of Egypt] whose waters surge and toss?

8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like the rivers whose waters surge and toss. She says, I will rise, I will cover the earth; I will destroy cities and their inhabitants.

9 Go up, you horses, and drive furiously, you chariots! Let the warriors go forth—men of Ethiopia and Put who handle the shield, men of Lud who are skilled in handling and stringing the bow.

10 But that day is a day of the Lord, the Lord of hosts—a day of vengeance, that He may avenge Himself on His adversaries. And the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiated and shall drink its fill of their blood; for the Lord, the Lord of hosts has a sacrifice [like that of a great sin offering] in the north country by the river Euphrates.

11 Go up into Gilead and take [healing] balm, O Virgin Daughter of Egypt! In vain do you use many medicines; for you there is no healing or remedy.

12 The nations have heard of your disgrace and shame, and your cry has filled the earth. For warrior has stumbled against and thrown down warrior, and they have fallen both of them together.

13 The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the coming of [b]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon and his smiting of the land of Egypt:

14 Declare in Egypt and proclaim in Migdol; and publish in Memphis and in Tahpanhes; say, Stand forth and get yourself ready, for the sword devours round about you.

15 Why is your strong one [the sacred bull-god Apis] swept and dragged away? He stood not, because the Lord drove him and thrust him down.

16 [The Lord] made many to stumble and fall; yes, they fell one upon another. And they said, Arise, and let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, away from the sword of the oppressor.

17 They cried there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is destroyed and is only a noise; he has let the appointed time [in which God had him on probation] pass by!

18 As I live, says the King, Whose name is the Lord of hosts, surely like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea, so shall he [the king of Babylon, standing out above other rulers] come.

19 O you daughter who dwells in Egypt and you who dwell with her, furnish yourselves [with all you will need] to go into exile, for Memphis will be waste, desolate, and burned up, without inhabitant.

20 Egypt is a very fair heifer [like Apis the bull-god, to which the country is, so to speak, espoused], but destruction [a gadfly] is coming—out of the north it is coming [against her]!

21 Also her hired troops in the midst of her are like fatted calves [in the stall], for they also are turned back and are fleeing together; they do not stand, because the day of their calamity is coming upon them, the time of their visitation (their inspection and punishment).

22 The sound [of Egypt fleeing from the enemy] is like the rustling of an escaping serpent, for her foes advance with a mighty army and come against her with axes, like those who fell trees and cut wood.

23 They shall cut down her forest, says the Lord, though it is impenetrable, because they [the invading army] are more numerous than locusts and cannot be counted.

24 The Daughter of Egypt shall be disgraced; she shall be delivered into the hands of the people of the north [the Chaldeans].

25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says: Behold, I will visit punishment upon Amon [the chief god of the sacred city, the capital of Upper Egypt] of No or Thebes, and upon Pharaoh and Egypt, with her gods and her kings—even Pharaoh and all those [Jews and others] who put their trust in [Pharaoh as a support against Babylon].

26 And I will deliver them into the hands of those who seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hands of his servants. Afterward [Egypt] will be [c]inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord.

27 But fear not, O My servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel. For behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their exile; and Jacob will return and be quiet and at ease, and none will make him afraid.

28 Fear not, O Jacob My servant, says the Lord, for I am with you. For I will make a full and complete end of all the nations to which I have driven you; yet I will not make a full end of you. But I will chasten and correct you in just measure, and I will not hold you guiltless by any means or leave you unpunished.


  1. Jeremiah 46:2 See footnote on Jer. 21:2.
  2. Jeremiah 46:13 See footnote on Jer. 21:2.
  3. Jeremiah 46:26 It is startling to realize that God, through His prophets, accurately foretold in detail the future of every one of the prominent nations of Old Testament times, often specifying the fate of particular rulers and chief cities as well. It will greatly increase the reader’s interest if he or she will look up the literal fulfillment of these prophecies as he or she comes to them, as indicated in the textual references or the footnotes. Notice how definite and specific the prophecies are; what was said of Babylon, for instance, would not have been applicable to Egypt or Ammon or Sidon. And history proves their fulfillment. If there was no other evidence that there is a God and that the Bible is inspired by Him, the fulfillment of prophecy in history should be sufficient proof for any person capable of thinking it through. Nor are the prophecies against some nations recorded by only one writer, but a number of them, widely separated by time and circumstances, set them down in writing. Let us approach these records with awe and awakened vision; we are on holy ground.

Cross references

  1. Jeremiah 46:2 : Isa. 19-20; Ezek. 29-32; Zech. 14:18, 19.
  2. Jeremiah 46:5 : Ps. 31:13; Jer. 6:25; 20:3, 10; 49:29.

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