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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 46

Trapp's Complete CommentaryTrapp's Commentary

Verse 1

The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles;

The word of the Lord which came to Jeremiah against the Gentiles. — God had at first set him over the nations and over the kingdoms - as a plenipotentiary - "to root out and to pull down, and to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant." Jeremiah 1:10 This power of his the prophet had put forth and exercised against his own nation of the Jews, whom he had doomed to destruction, and lived to see execution done accordtngly. Now he takes their enemies, the neighbour nations, to do, telling them individually what they shall trust to. And this indeed the prophet had done before in part, and in fewer words, under the type of a cup of wine to be divided among and drunk up by the nations, Jeremiah 25:15-33 but here to the end of Jeremiah 51:1-64 . more plainly and plentifully. Isaiah had done the same in effect (Isaiah 13:1-22 ; Isaiah 14:1-32 ; Isaiah 15:1-9 ; Isaiah 16:1-14 ; Isaiah 17:1-14 ; Isaiah 18:1-7 ; Isaiah 19:1-25 ; Isaiah 20:1-6 ; Isaiah 21:1-17 ; Isaiah 22:1-25 ; Isaiah 23:1-18 ; Isaiah 24:1-23 ), Ezekiel also, from Ezekiel 25:1-17 ; Ezekiel 26:1-21 ; Ezekiel 27:1-36 ; Ezekiel 28:1-26 ; Ezekiel 29:1-21 ; Ezekiel 30:1-26 ; Ezekiel 31:1-18 ; Ezekiel 32:1-32 ; Ezekiel 33:1-33 , that by the mouth of three such witnesses every word might stand, and this burden of the nations might be confirmed. Jeremiah beginneth fitly with the Egyptians, who besides the old enmity, had lately slain good King Josiah, with whom died all the prosperity of the Jewish people, who were thenceforth known, as the Thebans also were after the death of their Epaminondas, only by their overthrows and calamities.

Verse 2

Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.

Against Egypt. — First, That the Jews might not rely on that broken reed, as they did to their ruin, because they would never be warned.

Against the army of Pharaohnecho. — Who had beaten Nebuchadnezzar Priscus at Carchemish, and gotten all the country from Egypt to Euphrates; but was afterwards himself beaten out again, by Nebuchadnessar II, surnamed Magnus, in the first year of his reign, which was the fourth year of Jehoiakim, who also was glad to become his tributary. Joseph., lib. x. cap. 7. Now this overthrow of the Egyptian, who was driven out of all Syria, as far as Pelusium, by the Babylonian, is here foretold.

Verse 3

Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.

Order ye the buckler and shield. — So Pharaoh is brought in bespeaking his forces, when he was going to fight against Nebuchadnezzar. Or so the prophet bespeaketh the Egyptians ironically, Hypotuposis ironica. and by way of scoff; q.d., Do so, but all shall be to no purpose, State galeati, loricati, lanceati: sed frustra. See the like Isaiah 8:9 . Congregamini et vincemini. We are assembled and will be conquered. Yea, though upon Pharaoh’s shield should be the same inscription that was once upon Agamemnon’s, This is the terror of all mortal wights. Oυτος μεν φσβος εστι βροτων . - Pausan.

Verse 4

Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with [your] helmets; furbish the spears, [and] put on the brigandines.

Harness the horses. — Those warlike creatures, but yet vain things for safety. Psalms 33:17 Proverbs 21:31 Egypt was famous for the best horses; Deuteronomy 17:16 1 Kings 10:26 ; 1 Kings 10:28 but the Lord delighteth not in the strength of a horse, … Psalms 147:10-11

Verse 5

Wherefore have I seen them dismayed [and] turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: [for] fear [was] round about, saith the LORD.

Wherefore have I seen them dismayed? — Surprised with a panic terror.

And are fled apace. — Heb., Fled to flight.

For fear was round about. — A proverbial form. Jeremiah 6:25

Verse 6

Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.

Let not the swift fly away,i.e., Think to save themselves by flight.

Nor the mighty man escape,i.e., Think to save himself by his might, be he never so stout hearted.

Toward the north,i.e., Toward Carchemish, the stage of the war, where Pharaohnecho had beaten Nebuchadnezzar the elder, and is now beaten in the same place by Nebuchadnezzar the younger, alterna victoria in another victory. Herod., lib. ii., αλλοπροσαλλος .

Verse 7

Who [is] this [that] cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?

Who is this that cometh up like a flood? — Pharaoh with his forces is here notably described, vivo sermonum colore, and compared to an impetuous river, that threateneth to overflow and swallow up all. See Isaiah 8:7 .

Verse 8

Egypt riseth up like a flood, and [his] waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, [and] will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.

Egypt riseth up like a flood. — Like the Nile. The Egyptians were an ancient, proud, luxurious people.

And he saith, I will go up and cover the earth. — See the like vain vaunts of this proud people, Exodus 15:9-10 .

Verse 9

Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle [and] bend the bow.

Come up, ye horses,i.e., Ye horsemen, all the cavalry of Egypt. as Exodus 14:7

And rage. — Or, Bestir yourselves as if ye were wild or mad: instar furiarum discurrite per campos.

The Ethiopians and the Lybians. — The Africans that were confederates and auxiliaries to the Egyptians.

Verse 10

For this [is] the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.

For this is the day of the Lord God of hosts. — See Isaiah 34:5-8 .

Verse 11

Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; [for] thou shalt not be cured.

Go up unto Gilead, and take balm. — See Jeremiah 8:22 cf. Genesis 37:25 ; q.d., Thy calamity is no less incurable than ignominious.

Verse 12

The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, [and] they are fallen both together.

The nations have heard of thy shame. — Of the shameful defeat given thee; so that thou who wast once a terror to them art now a scorn.

For the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty. — And this is the sum of the talk that goeth of thee.

Verse 13

The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come [and] smite the land of Egypt.

The word that the Lord spake. — Another prophecy, but against Egypt also. God had yet a further quarrel to that country for the death of good Josiah; their delivering up Uriah, God’s faithful servant, to the sword of Jehoiakim; their idolatry, pride, perfidy, …

How Nebuchadnezzar … should come and smite the land of Egypt. — In the twentieth-fifth year of his reign, as Jeremiah also had set forth by a sign. Jeremiah 44:30

Verse 14

Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee.

Publish in Noph, and in Tahpanhes. — See Jeremiah 44:1 .

For the sword shall devour roundabout thee. — Egypt was no whit amended by the former discomfiture at Carchemish; therefore is now wholly subdued by the Babylonian conqueror, about three and twenty years after. And the like befell the Greek empire, overturned by the Turks.

Verse 15

Why are thy valiant [men] swept away? they stood not, because the LORD did drive them.

They stood not, because the Lord did drive them. — He struck a panic terror into them; and then no wonder that men flee at the noise of a shaken leaf.

Verse 16

He made many to fall, yea, one fell upon another: and they said, Arise, and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our nativity, from the oppressing sword.

Yea, one fell upon another. — See Jeremiah 46:12 . In a confused flight it is wont so to be.

And they said. — The auxiliary and stipendiary soldiers said so, when once they saw that there was no good to be done for the Egyptians, Nebuchadnezzar having so wasted all.

Verse 17

They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt [is but] a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.

Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise,Strepitus est. A mere flash, one that vaunteth and vapoureth, and that is all. So of Charles VIII, King of France, Guicciardini saith, that in his expedition to Naples he came into the field like thunder and lightning, but went out like a snuff; more than a man at first, and less than a woman at last.

He hath passed the time appointed. — He let slip his best opportunity, which, in giving battle, is sometimes the loss of all. Charles, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, was for this fault called Carolus Cunctator, i.e., The Delayer.

Verse 18

[As] I live, saith the King, whose name [is] the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor [is] among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, [so] shall he come.

As I live.Formula iurandi elliptica, et Deo propria. Let none presume to swear in that sort.

Surely as Tabor is among the mountains. — As Tabor surmounts and commandeth the little hills round about it, and Carmel the adjoining sea, over which it hangeth a promontory, so shall Nebuchadnezzar come into Egypt and subdue the whole country.

Verse 19

O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant.

O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt. — But not likely to dwell long there.

Furnish thyself to go into captivity. — Heb., Make thee instruments or implements of captivity. Sarcinis reculisque collectis, prepare to be packing.

Verse 20

Egypt [is like] a very fair heifer, [but] destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north.

Egypt is like a very fair heifer.Vitula elegans, a trim bullock; Iuvenca petulca. worshipping Apis the bull and Mnevis the cow, and unaccustomed to the yoke of subjection, as Hosea 10:11 but I shall bring her to it.

Destruction cometh. — Or, Excision from the north cometh, cometh, certo, cito, penitus venit Ezekiel 7:6 There come those that shall cut up this fair heifer or fat calf.

Verse 21

Also her hired men [are] in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, [and] are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, [and] the time of their visitation.

Also her hired men in the midst of her like fatted bullocks. — Heb., Bullocks of the stall, not like to do much good service in respect of their luxury and petulancy; fat Eglon had but sluggish soldiers. Campania with her delicacies marred Hannibal’s forces. These mercenaries carried themselves as if hired non ad militiam sed saginam. not to fight, but to fat themselves

Verse 22

The voice thereof shall go like a serpent; for they shall march with an army, and come against her with axes, as hewers of wood.

The voice thereof (of Egypt) shall go like a serpent.Vox trepida et prae metu instar serpentum stridula. Submissa voce loquetur. She shall hiss and whisper, as being daunted and damped, scarce able to mutter or utter aught for fear. Isaiah 29:4

Verse 23

They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and [are] innumerable.

They shall cut down her forest,i.e., Her many cities. Herodotus telleth of one thousand and twenty cities that were in the land of Egypt in the days of King Amasis.

Because they are more than the grasshoppers. — The Babylonian sellers are; and those many hands will make light work. Lib. ii.; Diodor., lib. i. cap. 31.

Verse 24

The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.

The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded. — This is, in plain terms, the sum of all that had been said before. Subiungit epiphonema.

Verse 25

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and [all] them that trust in him:

The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saith. — And shall he say and not do? Numbers 23:19 Shall the word of God be broken John 10:35

Verse 26

And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD.

Behold, I will punish the multitude of No. — Called populous No, Nahum 3:8 populous as Nineveh; so Galilee of the Gentiles. Some render it nourishing No. Hodie dicitur Alexandria. Today it is called Alexandria.

And their kings. — Here Calvin conjectureth that Pharaoh had made many of his princes kings for his greater magnificence; but this came down soon after. A bulging wall is near unto a downfall.

And Pharaoh. — Hophra. Jeremiah 44:30

And all them that trust in him. — As the Jews in Egypt did.

And afterward it shall be inhabited. — Forty years after Ezekiel 29:13 - sc., in the days of Amasis, whom Cambyses the Persian conquered, after which it remained subject to the Persian monarchs one hundred and fifty years, saith Eusebius, being but a base and tributary kingdom.

Verse 27

But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make [him] afraid.

But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob. — If Egypt find so much favour, as Jeremiah 46:26 what mayest not thou hope for? See the same, Jeremiah 30:10 .

Verse 28

Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I [am] with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

Fear thou not, O Jacob, … — See Jeremiah 30:11 .

But correct thee in measure, … — God dealeth much otherwise with his own people than he doth with unbelievers, whose prosperity, as it is full of thorns, so their adversity is but a foretaste of eternal torment; whereas "all things," even afflictions also, "work together for good to them that love God."

Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jtc/jeremiah-46.html. 1865-1868.
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