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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Jeremiah 44

Verses 1-6

JEREMIAH - CHAPTER 44

JEREMIAH PROPHESIES IN EGYPT

Vs. 1-6: A REMINDER OF PAST REBELLION

1. This word is directed to all the Jews that dwell in the land of Egypt; and they are widely scattered throughout the land, (vs. 1).

2. All have witnessed the judgment and desolation that the Lord has brought upon Jerusalem and the land of Judah, (vs. 2; comp. Isaiah 6:11; Micah 3:12).

3. This judgment has come upon their accumulated wickedness whereby they have provoked the Lord to anger - burning incense to, and serving other gods which are no-gods, (vs. 3; Jeremiah 2:17-19; Nehemiah 9:33; Daniel 9:5; Deuteronomy 13:6-9; Deuteronomy 29:24-29).

4.Though the Lord repeatedly sent His prophets - urging His people to repudiate these abominations - they refused to listen, or to turn from their shameful wickedness, (VS. 4-5; Jeremiah 7:13; Jeremiah 25:4-6; Zechariah 7:7; Jeremiah 11:8-10; Jeremiah 13:10).

5. ft was for this reason that God’s anger and wrath was so aroused against Jerusalem and Judah that they are now waste and desolate, (vs. 6; Jeremiah 34:22; Jeremiah 42:18; Isaiah 51:17-20).

Verses 7-14

Vs. 7-14: THEY ARE COURTING DISASTER

1. Though they have seen what God did to Judah and Jerusalem, the Jews who have fled to Egypt, are inviting similar calamity upon themselves, (vs. 7; Ezekiel 33:11).

2. In burning incense to gods which their own hands have made, they are so provoking the Lord to anger that He is about to destroy them - making them a curse and reproach among all nations, (vs. 8; 2 Kings 17:15-17; Jeremiah 7:8-11; Jeremiah 11:12; Jeremiah 11:17; Hosea 4:12-14;1 Kings 9:7-8).

3.Seeing that they are fearlessly rejecting the law of their God, He inquires if they have totally forgotten the wickedness that brought Judah and Jerusalem to their bitter end, (vs. 9-10; Jeremiah 6:16; Jeremiah 8:12-13; Jeremiah 26:4­6; 32:23).

4. Because these who have fled to Egypt will not be brought to repentance and contrition, God is determined to punish them in that land, (vs. 11-12; Jeremiah 21:10; Jeremiah 42:15-18; Leviticus 26:17; Isaiah 1:28); their punishment will be like that which fell upon Judah and Jerusalem -sword, famine and pestilence, (vs. 13).

5. Except for a very few fugitives, none of them will survive to return to their own land, (vs. 14; comp. vs. 27-28; Jeremiah 22:10; Jeremiah 22:26-27; Isaiah 10:20).

Verses 15-19

Va. 15-19: THE SCORNFUL RESPONSE OF THE REMNANT

1. The determined apostasy of the refugees is evidenced by their response to Jeremiah.

2. In essence, they told him that he might as well save his breath; they had no intention of giving heed to his words, (vs. 15-16; Jeremiah 5:3; Jeremiah 43:2; Proverbs 11:21).

3. They will certainly perform what they have sworn to "the queen of heaven" (Ashteroth) - even though they did not hesitate to lie to the man of God! (vs. 17).

a. They have every intention of continuing to burn incense and pour out drink-offerings to the "queen of heaven" - justifying their action by what their fathers, kings and princes have done before them in Judah, (Jeremiah 32:32; Jeremiah 7:18; Nehemiah 9:34).

b. So long as they honored HER (according to their remembrance), they had plenty to eat, enjoyed good health, and everything went well with them, (comp. Exodus 16:3; Isaiah 48:4-5; Hosea 2:5­9; Isaiah 1:3).

c. But, since they ceased worshipping her (evidently under Josiah’s religious reforms, 2 Kings 23:4-20), the land has been consumed by sword, famine and pestilence, (comp. Numbers 11:5-6; Isaiah 58:3; Malachi 3:13-15).

4. And these women want it understood that their husbands HAVE FULLY SUPPORTED THEM in the practice of these abominations! (vs. 19).

Verses 20-30

Vs. 20-30: JEREMIAH’S FINAL MESSAGE TO JUDAH

1. Jeremiah vehemently rejects the Jews’ interpretation of recent events!

2. It was because of their ABOMINABLE IDOLATRIES that the Lord poured out His judgment upon Judah and Jerusalem, (vs. 21-23; Jeremiah 4:4-5; Jeremiah 21:12; Jeremiah 30:12-15; 1 Kings 9:8-9).

3. Jeremiah acknowledges that both the Jewish men and women in Egypt have made vows to the "queen of heaven"; with sarcasm, he tells them to go ahead and perform with their hands what they have pledged with their lips, (vs. 24-25; comp. Ezekiel 20:39).

4. Jehovah has also sworn by his great name that His name shall no more be spoken by any men of Judah who dwell in Egypt; He forbids them to swear by His holy name! (vs. 26-27; Psalms 50:16-17; Ezekiel 20:39; comp. Jeremiah 5:2).

5. When the judgment of Jehovah falls, they will know whose word will stand theirs, or the Lord’s! (vs. 28; Psalms 33:11; Isaiah 14:27; Isaiah 46:9-11; Zechariah 1:5-6).

6. As a sign that the threatened judgment upon their idolatry will stand (Proverbs 19:21), Jeremiah is commissioned to tell the Jews in Egypt that He will give Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies - just as He delivered Zedekiah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, (vs. 29-30; Jeremiah 43:9-13; Jeremiah 46:24-26; Ezekiel 29:3-7) - a sign that was fulfilled when the Pharaoh was supplanted by a young relative; he was slain in battle (566 B.C.) attempting to re-establish his authority over the land.

7 It should be pointed out that this was Jeremiah’s FINAL RECORDED PROPHECY to the people of Judah; through more than 40 trying years of prophetic ministry, he was faithful to Jehovah, ’ to himself, and to the rebellious and gainsaying people whom he loved so dearly!

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Jeremiah 44". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/jeremiah-44.html. 1985.