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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 46

Verses 1-28

  1. Intro:
    1. Salmon Portland Chase, the U.S. Sec. Of the Treasury, under Pres.Lincoln, writing to the Director of the Mint in Philadelphia wrote:
      1. Dear Sir, No nation can be strong except in the strength of God or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins. You will cause a device to be prepared w/o unnecessary delay w/a motto expressing in the fewest & tersest words possible this national recognition. Yours Truly, S.P.Chase
      2. March 3, 1865 Congress approved “In God We Trust!”
      3. Benjamin Franklin said, “I have lived, Sir, a long time, & the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs in the affairs of men.”
      4. The next 6 ch.’s (46-51) contain a collection of poems & short prose passages speaking to the nations surrounding Israel, because of their relationship (or lack thereof) to Israel.
    2. Key verse: 46:18 “God is the master of world events!”
      1. Fulfillment of 25:15 “Drink up Nations”!
      2. This also was part of Jeremiah’s call from the beginning 1:5.
      3. Nearly every prophet has words against Israel’s neighbors.
      4. Name 3 books wholly given to a foreign country?
        1. Obadiah/Edom; Jonah & Nahum/Ninevah.
      5. Ps.46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
  2. SET UP! (1,2)
    1. Quick Egyptian history:
      1. In 609bc Pharaoh Necho defeated Judah & killed King Josiah at Meggido. (2 Chron. 35:20-27)
      2. In 605bc Neb. came down & defeated Necho which broke the power of Egypt & made Babylon supreme in the Near East.
    2. Jeremiah describes this famous “Battle of Carchemish”(kar-kem-eesh)!
      1. Carchemish is in Syria (1/2 way between the 2 fighting countries. Necho killed Josiah on his way up to do battle w/Neb.
    3. Here goes the famous “battle of Carchemish” w/a graphic descriptions. {It changed world history…the fall of Egypt.}
  3. EGYPT PUNISHED! (3-12)
    1. ​​​​​​​3,4 – 1st he describes the officers confidently preparing their troops.
      1. Buckler – (!i ∓magen) small shield, circular shape.
      2. Shield – (#!$Tsinna) Oval or rectangular, to protect the whole body.
      3. Helmet – put on their leather helmets rt. before battle.
      4. Polish Spears –like the blood on a sword causing corrosion, so w/sin, if we let it build up & not confess it, it will cause corrosion & corruption!
    2. 5,6 – Now, all prepared for battle we now watch them flee in terror before the Babylonian army.
    3. 7,8 – When the Egyptian army appeared on the battlefield, they looked like the Nile in flood season(8a).
      1. (8b) The military leaders are sure of victory(“I will,…I will”).
        1. “The fly sat upon the axle-tree of the chariot-wheel and said, What a dust do I raise!” -- Francis Bacon
        2. One whale sounded the following caution to his dear mate: "Better watch it; when you get to the top and start to blow, that's when you get harpooned!" What's true at sea is also true in our world.
    4. 9 – Hired mercenaries were eager to fight.
    5. 10 – God determined that Egypt would lose!
      1. What they thought would be a day of Victory – ended up The Day of the Lord!
      2. It was a “Holy War” in which God offered Egypt as a sacrifice!
      3. The battle is truly the Lords! (context, David to Goliath) "Then all this assembly shall know that the LORD does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hands."(1 Sam.17:47)
    6. 11,12 - Note: From the 3rd millennium bc, Egypt was renowned for her physicians, medicines, & books on healings; but now, “there is no healing!” {They couldn’t even heal their pride!} {I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention!}
      1. “Egypt’s wounds were incurable & her shame inevitable”.(www)
      2. Egypt trusted in themselves - We also must be like David & refuse Saul’s armor!
        1. Peter Marshall in his characteristically trenchant manner describes 20th century Christians in these words: "They are like deep-sea divers encased in suits designed for many fathoms deep, marching bravely forth to pull plugs out of bathtubs."
          1. We dress for battle, to sit in our lounge chairs, pool side.
          2. We own the steel sword of God’s word, yet use a wooden toothpick to ward off the evil one.
        2. Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding!
  4. BABYLON, EGYPT’S PADDLE! (13-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​13 – New battle. (37 yrs. later) this one was in 568-67 bc. (This fulfilled prophecy, & also Jer.’s action sermon 43:8-13.)
    2. 14,15 – The Egyptian army tries to “stand fast”.
    3. 16 – Yet they not only fall over, but fall upon one another trying to get out of there.
      1. 16b - They desert their post & Pharaoh, & run home to mommy.
    4. 17 – The Babylonian soldiers called Pharaoh “a noise”(a loud mouth, or big mouth, full of hot air, all show no go!
      1. Big talk is empty w/o action! – Remember à “Empty barrels make the most noise.”
    5. 18 – Neb. was compared to tall “Mnt. Tabor”(compared to the rest of the plain & smaller Mnts. around it) & to “the Carmel Mnt. range” (compared to the sea).
    6. 19 – A short infomercial to Judah in Egypt.
    7. 20 – Listen for some graphic images Jeremiah uses:
    8. 20-24 – Heifer(20); fatted(prize) calves that stampeded(21); they fled like hissing serpants slithering away(22); & fell like trees before woodcutters(23); the invading army was like a swarm of locusts(23); & like a young woman being violated & unable to escape(24).
    9. 25 – The defeat of Egypt was the defeat of its gods!
      1. Amon was a chief god in the Egyptian pantheon.
        1. His residence was at Thebes the capital of Egypt.
        2. God would also judge the gods of these other nations like back in Egypt in Ex.12:12 “'For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD.
        3. Though the gods didn’t really exist, judged in the sense of the worship of them was stopped & “God” showed Himself stronger than them!
          1. Q: What god has God defeated in your life?
    10. 26 – Nebuchadnezzar won, Necho lost, only because God decreed it!!!
      1. Dan.4:34,35.
      2. “Afterward” - But God also decreed their restoration! (also will w/Moab, Ammon, & Elam)
      3. Awesome prophecy of them to Ezekial 29:8-16 (40 yrs., a lowly kingdom after that)
  5. ISRAEL PRESERVED! (27,28)
    1. ​​​​​​​27,28 –Babylon became so powerful as the new World power. The children of Israel in captivity must have thought “who could stop them?” Why would he ever release us?
      1. But God had promised after 70 yrs. “you will return back to your land!”…And His promises are Yes & Amen!
      2. (www) “God’s word will stand, no matter what the newspapers report!”
    2. 28b – No matter how dark the day – look for the bright light of His promises!
      1. 2 Pet.1:19 “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;”
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/jeremiah-46.html. 2017.