Jeremiah 47 Summary

Jeremiah 47 Summary

Jeremiah 47 Summary: Jeremiah chapter 47 is directed against the nation known as the Philistines – as we can see in verse 1.

KJV Jeremiah 47:1 ¶ The word of the LORD that came to Jeremiah the prophet [against/concerning] the Philistines, before that Pharaoh [smote/struck down/attacked] Gaza.

And the date of this oracle was probably 609 BC. This was the same year as Josiah’s death at the hands of Pharaoh Necho. Further, this year – 609 BC – is about 4 years before the Battle of Carchemish, where Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon defeated Necho and Egypt.

Jeremiah 47 Summary
A Flood Coming (47:2)

Now, the Lord starts his oracle against the Philistines by putting in their minds a picture of a flood. That flood will turn out to be Babylon. Verse 2.

2 Thus saith the LORD;

[Behold/Look!], [waters/enemies that are like water in a river] [rise up/are rising] out of the north [the direction from which Babylon would come…],
and shall [be/become/be like] an overflowing [flood/torrent/stream],

and shall [overflow/overwhelm] the land,
and all that [is therein/fills it];

the city,
and them that dwell therein:

then the men shall [cry/cry out in alarm],
and all the inhabitants of the land shall [howl/wail/cry out in pain].

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Debilitating Terror (47:3)

And when Babylon comes – with all their horses and all their chariots – they will cause the Philistines terror that will be debilitating for them. Verse 3.

3 At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his strong horses,
at the rushing of his chariots,
and at the rumbling of his wheels,

the fathers shall not look back to their children for feebleness of hands;

So, the terror of this invasion would be so overwhelming that fathers – usually notable for their bravery and desire to protect their families and especially their little ones – will refuse to turn back and try to save those whom they would usually be very much inclined to protect from danger.

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Purpose Behind Invasion (47:4)

Now, why was the Lord going to bring Babylon to invade and conquer the Philistines? He lets us in on one aspect of the reason in verse 4.

4 Because of the day that [cometh/has come] [Why is God bringing that day?…]
to [spoil/destroy] all the Philistines, [What’s the purpose of that?…]
and to cut off from Tyrus and Zidon [every helper/all the help] that remaineth:

for the LORD [will spoil/is destroying/will destroy] the Philistines,
the remnant [of/that came from] the [country/coastland/island] of [Caphtor/Crete].

So, the purpose behind the Lord sending Babylon to destroy the Philistines was to break off support to Tyre and Sidon.

And that might strike us as a strange purpose that God seems to give out-of-the-blue here. Because we haven’t even heard of the judgement of Tyre and Sidon – nor will we hear of it in this section of Jeremiah.

So, why mention Tyre and Sidon and God’s desire to cut off support from those two cities here?

Let’s consider for a moment what the New Testament reveals as to why God judged Tyre and Sidon. Think of Jesus’ statements in the gospels when he is denouncing the cities that didn’t repent at his presence. He said, “It will be more tolerable for … Tyre and Sidon in the judgement than for you [unrepentant cities].” And the Lord uses another city in that denunciation formula. And that city is Sodom.

So, Jesus was comparing sinful unrepentant cities – Sodom, Tyre, and Sidon – with cities that were even worse because Jesus was among them and they still didn’t repent.

So, here’s what we need to catch from that. God the Son – Jesus Christ – considered Tyre and Sidon very sinful and unrepentant.

So, that much is established from the New Testament.

But do we have any more information about Tyre and Sidon and why God here in the book of Jeremiah is so concerned with cutting off their support? We do.

Ezekiel was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah. Ezekiel was perhaps a bit younger than Jeremiah. But a bigger difference between these two prophets is that Jeremiah ministered in Judah and was with those Jews in that nation until the bitter end. In contrast, Ezekiel was exiled to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar invaded Judah during Jehoiakim’s reign.

And — interestingly enough — in Ezekiel 28 we have the Lord pronouncing the following judgement against Tyre – one of these cities whose support God wants to cut off. Here it is.

KJV Ezekiel 28:5 [God speaking to Tyre…] By thy great [wisdom/skill] [and by thy/in] [traffick/trade] hast thou increased thy riches,
and thine heart is [lifted up/proud] because of thy riches:

6 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD;

Because [thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God/you think you are godlike];

7 Behold, therefore I will bring [strangers/foreigners] [upon/against] thee,
the [terrible/most terrifying] of the nations:

and they shall draw their swords against the beauty [of/made by] thy wisdom,
and they shall defile thy [brightness/splendor].

OK, so, we actually need to go to Ezekiel to see one of the reasons why God was going to cut off support for Tyre and Sidon by punishing the Philistines. Tyre – at least – started viewing themselves as gods. And the real and only God understandably had a problem with that.

So, since the Philistines were a help to these two cities, God was going to destroy them. That’s the one purpose that God gives in this chapter for sending Babylon against the Philistines…

Now, one more thing to address from this verse is this statement about where the Philistines originated from. The KJV says Caphtor. We have reason to believe this was the island that we know of as Crete. Crete is out in the Mediterranean Sea to this day. It’s south-east of Greece, south-west of Turkey, and north of both Libya and Egypt.

And interestingly Jeremiah chapter 47, verse 4 isn’t the only place that mentions that the Philistines were from this island of Caphtor or Crete. Amos 9:7 says the same thing.

KJV Amos 9:7 [Speaking to Israel, God says…] Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

Jeremiah 47 Summary
Mourning (47:5)

Alright, well, moving on, because of God’s purposed destruction of the Philistines, now verse 5 says that there would be mourning throughout that nation.

5 Baldness [which indicates mourning…] is come upon Gaza;
[The people of…] Ashkelon [is cut off with/has perished/will be struck dumb]

[O/You…] [the remnant/who remain] of [their valley/Philistia’s power]:
how long wilt thou [cut/gash] thyself [to show your sorrow…]?

Jeremiah 47 Summary
God’s Punishment is Unstoppable (47:6-7)

And then verses 6 and 7 relate that God’s punishment that he intended to bring on the Philistines would be unstoppable.

6 [The Philistines are pictured saying…] [O/Ah!] thou sword of the LORD,
how long will it be ere thou [be quiet/stop killing]?

put up thyself into thy [scabbard/sheath],
[rest, and be still/stay there and rest].

7 [But here’s God’s response…] How can it [be quiet/rest], [seeing/when] [I…] the LORD hath given it [a charge/orders]
[against/to attack] Ashkelon, and against the sea shore? there hath he appointed it.

So, the Philistines would experience destruction at the hands of Babylon just like Judah and just like Egypt, as we’ve seen in the last few chapters of the book of Jeremiah.

And that ends chapter 47.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary

Jeremiah 46 Commentary Image

Jeremiah 46 Commentary: Turn to Jeremiah, chapter 46.

As we enter the 46th chapter of the book of Jeremiah we come to the second-to-last major section of the book.

We just finished witnessing the “Bitter End of Judah” in chapters 36-45. Now we enter the section of the book that runs from chapters 46-51 that consists of God declaring punishment on many of the nations of that time.

This whole book for the most part has dealt with the punishment that Judah deserves. And now, we come to find out that God is going to deal not just with his people but with the whole world of Jeremiah’s time.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:1-51:64 | Nations Denounced

And so, starting in chapter 46, verse 1 we see the Nations Denounced. Let’s read verse 1.

KJV Jeremiah 46:1 ¶ The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet [against/concerning/about] the [Gentiles/nations];

And that will be the theme of this book until we reach the end of chapter 51 – God’s word concerning the nations of that time. God denouncing the nations of Jeremiah’s day.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:2-26 | Egypt Denounced

Now, the first nation to be denounced is Egypt.

That particular nation to the southwest of Israel along the Mediterranean Sea – it receives its message from God in verses 2-26 of this chapter.

And the message to Egypt is broken up into two sections.

First, in verses 2-12 God tells that nation that it will be defeated by Babylon abroad – outside of the borders of Egypt.

And second, in verses 13-26 God tells Egypt that it will experience defeat from Babylon at home – inside its own borders.

So, defeat abroad and at home for Egypt takes up most of this chapter.

And then at the end of the chapter, we’ll see a short encouragement for Judah.

So, Egypt will be defeated abroad and at home. Judah is to take some encouragement from this fact. This is what chapter 46 is about in a nutshell.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:2-12 | Egypt Defeated Abroad

So, let’s examine what God says about Egypt being defeated abroad in verses 2-12.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:2 | Intro

Verse 2 starts by giving an introduction.

2 ¶ [Against/About/He spoke about] Egypt,
[against/concerning/and] the army of [Pharaohnecho/Pharaoh Nec(h)o] king of Egypt, which was [by/encamped along] the river Euphrates [in/at] Carchemish, [and…] which [army…] Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon [smote/defeated] in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.

So, Egypt is at a place called Carchemish. It was a city along the Euphrates river – which was east of Israel.

This happened in Jehoiakim’s 4th year.

Now, according to chapter 25 and verse 1, this was Nebuchadnezzar’s first year. It was in that chapter that the Lord caused Jeremiah to deliver what I labeled an Anniversary Message because in it, Jeremiah reminded the people that he had been ministering to them for 23 years. And in that time, the people hadn’t changed and so God was going to punish them. But Jeremiah also revealed in that message that the Lord was going to punish the nations of the world at that time – much like we see him saying here in this chapter.

Also in Jehoiakim’s fourth year – Nebuchadnezzar’s first – we had in chapter 36 the scroll incident. Jeremiah had Baruch write the Lord’s message on a scroll. Jehoiakim cut it up and burned it. And that all happened starting in Jehoiakim’s fourth year.

And finally in chapter 45 which we studied last time we had a brief message to Baruch encouraging him to not seek great things for himself but rather to seek his great God. That also – we were told – happened in Jehoiakim’s fourth year.

And now this – the Battle of Carchemish is also happening in Jehoiakim’s fourth year.

And what history tells us is that this was a turning point in the political climate of the ancient near east. This would be the changing of the guards as it were – where Egypt would transition from the reigning world power to something less than that – far less. And Babylon would take over that title of “world power”. And all of that happened – as I’ve said – in this fourth year of Jehoiakim.

And the history books could tell you that much. But no modern history book will give the reason for this shift in the world economy of that day. The real reason being that the God of heaven decided that this shift should happen at exactly this time – as we’ll see as we continue here in this chapter.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:3-4 | A Call to Arms for Egypt

Moving on, verses 3 and 4 feature a call to arms for Egypt.

3 [Order ye/Prepare/Fall into ranks with] the buckler and shield,
and [draw near/advance/prepare to march] [to/for/into] battle.

4 Harness the horses [to the chariots…]; [and get up/mount], [O…] ye horsemen,
[and stand forth/take your stations] with your helmets; [furbish/polish/sharpen] the spears, and put on the [brigandines/armor].

So, that’s the rousing call to arms issued to the Egyptian army.

But who is giving this call? Well, it’s actually the Lord. At least that’s what Pharaoh Necho told the king of Judah named Josiah.

In 2 Chronicles 35:20-21, we read this.

KJV 2 Chronicles 35:20 ¶ After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by Euphrates: and Josiah went out against him. 21 But he [Necho…] sent ambassadors to him [Josiah…], saying, What have I to do with thee, thou king of Judah? I come not against thee this day, but against the house wherewith I have war: for [And here’s what we’ve just asked – who is giving this call to arms? Answer…] God commanded me to make haste: forbear thee from meddling with God, who is with me, that he destroy thee not.

So, who then issued this call to arms to the Egyptians so that they would come together with the Assyrians to fight Babylon at Carchemish by the Euphrates? I think it’s clear that it was the Lord who issued the summons.

Both God himself in Jeremiah chapter 46 and Pharaoh Necho in 2 Chronicles say as much.

Now, Necho surely thought the call to arms would have resulted in his certain victory.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:5-6 | Egyptian Army Fleeing in Defeat

And yet, we’re going to see that this call is not met with an equal response from the Egyptian army. In fact, what we see God predicting will happen to the Egyptians at Carchemish in verses 5 and 6 – which perhaps Neco did not know about – is that they will flee in defeat at this battle.

5 [Wherefore have I seen it?/Why have I seen it?/What do I see?]

[them/the soldiers] [dismayed/terrified] and [turned away back/turned backward/retreating]?
and their [mighty ones/warriors] are [beaten down/defeated], and are fled [apace/in haste], and look not back: for [fear/terror] was [round about/on every side/overwhelming] [magor misabib], [saith/declares] the LORD.

6 [Let not/Even x cannot] the swift flee away,
nor the [mighty man/warrior] escape;

they [shall/have] [stumble/stumbled],
and fall [in defeat…] [toward/in] the north by the river Euphrates.

And so, despite a call to arms from the Lord himself, the Egyptian army will be defeated in Carchemish. That’s the Lord’s message to Egypt thus far.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:7-8 | Egypt’s Boasting Remembered

And part of the defeat handed to Egypt by the Lord was due to their great boasting, according to verses 7 and 8.

7 Who is this that [cometh up/rises] as [a flood/the Nile] [yeor],
whose waters [are moved/surge/are turbulent] as the rivers [at flood stage…]?

8 Egypt riseth up like [a flood/the Nile] [yeor],
and his waters [are moved/surge/are turbulent] like the rivers [at flood stage…];

and [he/Egypt] saith, I will [go up/rise], and will cover the earth;
I will destroy [the city/cities] and the inhabitants thereof.

So, that’s Egypt’s boasting. And it’s part of what both caused the Lord to hand them this defeat at Carchemish – and at the same time this pride of theirs is what the Lord used to stir them up to go and fight Babylon on the Euphrates.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:9 | Egypt’s Helpers Called to the Defeat

And Egypt wasn’t alone in this battle. In fact, history tells us that the Assyrians were assisting them. But in addition, the Bible itself in verse 9 tells us that Egypt – much like Judah – hired mercenary fighters to help them in battle.

9 [Come up/Advance/Go ahead and charge into battle], ye [horses/horsemen];
and [rage/drive furiously], ye [chariots/charioteers];

and let the [mighty men/warriors/soldiers] [come forth/go out/march out into battle];
the Ethiopians [Cush, where Ebed-Melech was from…] and the Libyans [Put…], that [handle/carry] the shield;
and the Lydians [Lud…], that [handle and bend/are armed with] the bow.

So, God called Egypt to this Battle in Carchemish. Egypt had many allies. They had numerous past military victories. They were the world’s superpower. And yet, God is predicting that they will fall in battle and flee in humiliation.


Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:10 | God’s Doing

Because as verse 10 states, this is God’s doing. He’s taking vengeance on this godless nation.

10 For this is the day [of/that belongs to] the Lord GOD of hosts,
a day [of vengeance, that he may avenge him of/for paying back] his [adversaries/foes]:

and the sword shall devour [them…],
[and/until] [the appetite of…] it shall be [satiate/sated/satisfied]
and [made drunk with/drink its fill of] their blood:

for the Lord GOD of hosts [hath/holds/will offer them up as] a sacrifice in the north [country/land]
by the river Euphrates.

So, in very unsettling terms, God compares the slaughter of Egypt to a sacrifice which he has prepared for himself. It would be bloody. And the result of it was that the Lord would be pleased.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:11-12 | Irreversible International Shame

And when this world superpower would be defeated in that city along the Euphrates by Babylon – this once-proud nation would experience irreversible international shame. That’s what we read in verses 11 and 12.

11 Go up into Gilead, and take [balm/medicinal ointment],
[O virgin, the daughter/You dear poor people/Defenseless people] of Egypt:

[in vain/uselessly] [shalt/have] thou use many medicines;
for thou shalt not be [cured/healed].

12 The nations have heard of thy [shame/devastating defeat],
and thy cry hath [filled/echoed throughout] the [land/earth]:

[In the panic of their flight…] for [the mighty man/warrior/one soldier] [hath/will] [stumbled/trip] [against/over] [the mighty/warrior/another],
and they [are/have] fallen [defeated…] both together.

OK, so that’s what God says about Egypt being defeated abroad in verses 2-12. And this all happened in Jehoiakim’s fourth year – Nebuchadnezzar’s first year. It all happened at the Battle of Carchemish on the Euphrates River.

This battle ensured that Babylon – rather than Egypt – would be the world’s reigning champion. And all of this was orchestrated by the God of the Bible – the one whose authority all must submit to. Because – among many other reasons – he alone can do things like he’s just prophesied would happen.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:13-26 | Egypt Judged at Home

And, now, because Egypt was just about to experience the irreversible international humiliation of being defeated by Babylon, now God can issue the second part of his message to Egypt. It’s found in verses 13-26. And it’s here that we learn what God says about Egypt being defeated – not abroad – but at home.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:13 | Intro

We start with the introduction to this section in verse 13.

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

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:14 | Call to Arms

And here in this message just like the last one we have God issuing a call to arms to the Egyptian army in verse 14.

14 [Declare ye/Make an announcement] [in/throughout] Egypt,
[and publish/Proclaim it] in Migdol, and publish in [Noph/Memphis] and in Tahpanhes:

say ye,

[Stand fast/Stand ready/Take your positions], and [prepare thee/be prepared/prepare to do battle];
for [the sword shall/enemy army is] [devour/destroying] [all the nations…] round about thee.

Babylon is coming and is destroying everything in its path. Therefore – God says to Egypt – get ready! They’re coming for you, too!

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:15-16 | God-Intended Defeat for Egypt

And yet, God knows that this call to arms is not going to help at all. Because the one issuing that call had himself determined that Egypt would experience defeat at the hands of Babylon, according to verses 15 and 16.

15 Why [are/will] [thy valiant men/your mighty ones/your soldiers] [swept away/face down/be defeated]?

And of course, God has rhetorical intent behind this question. He knows why Egypt will be defeated – he’s the reason behind it! He says so in the next phrase…

they [stood/will stand] not, because the LORD did [drive them/thrust them down].

16 He [The Lord…] made many [to fall/stumble],
yea, one fell upon another [in their hurry to flee]:

So, that’s God’s actions. Here’s Egypt’s reactions…

and they [Egyptian soldiers…] said [to one another…], [Arise/Get up!], and let us go [again/back] to our own people,
and to the land of our [nativity/birth], [from/because of] the [oppressing sword/sword of the oppressor/enemy who is coming to destroy us].

Now, I think that’s the mercenary soldiers speaking – those hired to fight for Egypt – since they’re speaking of returning to their native land. As in these people didn’t hail from Egypt. They were from Ethiopia or Libya or somewhere around there.

Well, the soldiers of Egypt – native and foreign – have been exposed as weak.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:17 | Ruler Exposed as Weak

But this weakness will be apparent even at the highest levels of leadership in that nation according to verse 17.

17 [They did cry there/Call],

Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a [noise/noisy one/a big noise];
he hath [passed/let pass] the [time/hour/moment] [appointed/opportune].

Now, you could wonder what this appointed time or opportune moment is that these soldiers are portrayed as saying that Pharaoh missed. Perhaps it’s saying that he let his hour of world rulership pass. Maybe they’re more focused on the recent defeat at Carchemish and they’re blaming him for that.

Whatever the case, the people are discovering that Pharaoh is much like the Wizard of Oz. Out front there’s this imposing presence – grand and impressive. But behind the screen, he’s a little weak man.

And that’s the truth about any national ruler past or present or future – IF God is against them. Donald Trump as powerful as he is – if God is against him – is ultimately just a big noise. Same with Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un and you name the international figure. And if God is against them – they may seem to be on top of the world, but they will be revealed some day as what they are – a big noise.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:18 | New Ruler is Strong

And for Egypt, what would make their Pharaoh look even weaker is that God was now empowering a new world ruler who appeared very strong. We see the Lord speak of him in verse 18.

18 As I live, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts,

Surely as [imposing as…] Tabor is among the mountains,
and as Carmel [by/against the backdrop of] the sea, so shall [he/one/a conqueror] come.

That’s Nebuchadnezzar. The one who is as imposing as Tabor or Carmel – two mountains in Israel that – though they’re not the largest in the world – they do stand towering over the landscapes in which they are located.

And when it came to the ancient near east, Babylon certainly at this point would be towering over Egypt.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:19 | Exile for Egypt

And not only towering over Egypt – but Babylon would also be sending Egypt away into exile just like they would be doing to Judah. Verse 19.

19 O thou [daughter/poor dear] [dwelling in/inhabitants of] Egypt, [furnish/prepare baggage for/pack bags for] thyself to go into captivity:

for [Noph/Memphis] shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:20 | Babylon is Coming

And that exile will happen because Babylon is coming, as they’re told in verse 20.

20 Egypt is like a [very fair/beautiful] [heifer/young cow],
but [destruction/biting flies/swarms of stinging flies] cometh;
it cometh out of the north.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:21 | Mercenaries Will Flee

And when Babylon comes, Egypt’s mercenary fighters will flee. Verse 21.

21 Also her [hired men/hired soldiers/mercenaries] are in the midst of her like [fatted bullocks/fattened calves/pampered well-fed calves];
for they also are turned back, and are fled away together:

they [did/will] not stand [their ground…], because the day of their [calamity/destruction] [was/had] come upon them,
and the time of their [visitation/punishment].

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:22-23 | Serpentine Egypt Flees Before Woodsmen of Babylon

And all of the preceding thoughts lead to the next thought in verses 22 and 23 – which is that Egypt – compared to a snake – will flee before Babylon which is compared to a hoard of woodsmen.

22 The voice [thereof/of Egypt] shall [go/be] like a serpent [hiss! or gliding…];
for they [Babylon…] shall march with an army,
and come against her [Egypt…] with axes, as hewers of wood [lumberjacks…].

23 They [Babylon…] shall cut down her [Egypt’s…] forest [i.e., population…], [saith/declares/affirms] the LORD,
though it cannot be [searched/penetrated];

because they [Babylon…] are more than [the grasshoppers/locusts],
and are innumerable.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:24 | Shame for Defenseless Egypt

This will result in shame for defenseless Egypt, according to verse 24.

24 [The daughter of/Poor dear] Egypt shall be [confounded/put to shame];
she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:25-26b | Judgement on Egypt’s Gods

And God will also use Babylon’s invasion to judge and punish Egypt’s false gods. Verses 25 and 26.

25 ¶ The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith;

Behold, I will punish [the multitude/Amon, the god] of [No/Thebes] [the ancient capital of Egypt…], and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings;
even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him:

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/officers/troops]:

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:26b | But…A Restoration!

But, very similar to Judah – amazingly, God promises Egypt that he will see to it that this land is populated once more, at the end of verse 26!

[and afterward/but later on] [it/Egypt] shall be inhabited, as in [the days of old/former times], [saith/declares/affirms] the LORD.

And this is what we see at this very time. The people who are there right now might not be descendants of the former Egyptians. And yet, there is no denying that Egypt is a populated land. In fact, this nation is playing a role in current events on a regular basis these days. Maranatha Baptist Seminary has at least one student from Egypt. Egypt is alive and well today – just like God promised in verse 26.

So, we’ve seen what God says about Egypt being defeated at home in verses 13-26. Before that, we saw what he said about Egypt being defeated abroad in verses 2-12.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
46:27-28 | Judah Encouraged

And those two messages lead the Lord to encourage his people Israel and Judah in verses 27 and 28.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
Don’t Fear

To begin, God is expecting his people to be reading this oracle about Egypt. Right? If not, then he wouldn’t be addressing them in this section.

But he does address them and he tells them to not fear.

27 But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob,
and be not [dismayed/terrified], O Israel:

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
Restoration to the Land

Why the lack of fear? Because God is going to restore Israel to their land like he’s going to populate Egypt once more.

for, behold, I will [save/rescue] thee from [afar off/far away/faraway lands],
and thy [seed/offspring/descendants] from the land of their captivity;

and Jacob shall return [to their land…], and [be in/have] [rest/quiet] and at ease,
and none shall make him afraid.

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
Don’t Fear

Since there will be none to make them afraid in the future, God again in verse 28 re-issues the call to not fear.

28 Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD:

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
God is with Them


for I am with thee;

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
God will Destroy the Nations and Save Israel

And God’s being “with” his people ensures that while he will destroy other nations, he will not destroy Israel.

Egypt today is likely not populated with the descendants of ethnic Egyptians from 2500 years ago. That nation is populated but it’s not the same group ethnically. In that sense, that nation was “destroyed”.

But I do know a nation that is populated with the descendants of the same group that was in their land 2500 years ago. That nation is Israel. That’s because God promised the following…

for I will [make a full end of/completely destroy] all the nations whither I [have driven/scatter] thee:
but I will not [make a full end of/completely destroy] thee,

Jeremiah 46 Commentary
God Will Discipline Israel

And yet, God’s love – in addition to saving Israel and Judah and ensuring that their descendants would survive into the future – also results in him chastening them according to the last part of verse 28.

but [correct/discipline] thee in [just/due…] measure;
yet will I not leave thee [wholly/entirely] unpunished.

So, that’s the message of encouragement for Israel and Judah in verses 27 and 28.

God’s presence was and is uniquely with his people Israel to an extent that other nations – like Egypt – simply would not enjoy. Egypt would be populated once more and we see that today. But not with the same group of folks.

And so, we’ve seen in this chapter Egypt’s defeat and demotion from world super-power to basically, an empty uninhabited land – all at the Lord’s sovereign will.

Next time we’ll see a message of judgement for the Philistines in chapter 47.

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Fate of Baruch

But then the Lord presents another fate. In verse 5 he promises a certain fate to Baruch. And he’s going to hear God promise him a fate that is in stark contrast to that of the destruction that’s coming to the world.

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Change in Plans

But before the Lord can contrast his plans for Baruch to his plans for the world, he needs to address Baruch’s own plans for himself – which we discover is something God wants the scribe to change.

5 And seekest thou great things for thyself?
seek them not:

So, this man who has had a family history of ties to royalty – who himself is a smart and maybe even ambitious man – Baruch was seeking great things for himself.

And I do wonder if this scribe was starting to wander from God’s plan for his life. It’s not hard to see how this might be the case.

Baruch takes this job as Jeremiah’s scribe. He writes down a message straight from the prophet who got it from the God of heaven. But then the reaction is humiliating. In fact, now Baruch fears for his own life.

And so, I think it’s easy to imagine that Baruch was regretting his choice of identifying himself with the prophet. In fact, we already saw in this chapter that he was starting to blame God for his life of woe. Maybe he was starting to imagine what life would be like without all the baggage of being identified with the Lord and with Jeremiah.

But God’s simple and straightforward response to this second-guessing scribe is: “STOP IT!” “Don’t seek great things for yourself in this world apart from the Lord!”


Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Reminder of the World’s Fate

Well, here again the Lord reminds Baruch of the fate of this world – which he just told him about a few sentences prior to this.

for, behold, I will bring [evil/disaster] upon all [flesh/humanity], saith the LORD:

So, this judgement and punishment are universal. No one will escape this time of God’s dealing with the world. And again, we’ll see that in greater detail in the next six chapters.

Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning
Baruch’s Fate

But now, God brings it all home for Baruch.

Baruch was seeking things from the world that the world simply couldn’t give – because it was passing away. It was sinking sand. And Baruch was being tempted to leave the solid ground of Submitting to God’s Authority to jump right in to the quicksand of the world around him. What a mistake that would have been.

And so, God encourages Baruch with his fate contrasted to that of the world at the end of verse 5.

but thy life will I give unto thee for a [prey/prize of war] in all places whither thou goest.

And I’d like us to consider what actually happened to Baruch. And we just saw it in the last several chapters as we’ve gone from chapter 36 where Baruch’s very life was being threatened to chapters 42-44 where Baruch was still living – even being accused by the other Jews of stirring up Jeremiah to be against them.

The point is that Baruch heeded this message. And as a result he lived.

In addition, we need to note how Baruch’s life ties in with the last few words of chapter 44, verse 28. There we have God telling the rebellious Jews in Egypt that he’s going to bring Babylon to Egypt, and that as a result they “shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.”

Well, in the life of Baruch, whose words stood? The Lord’s word to Baruch certainly stood. And in contrast to God’s word standing in chapter 44, here with Baruch, the Lord’s word stood – not for Baruch’s destruction – but for his salvation – his physical deliverance.

So, what we see in verse 5 here is God challenging Baruch to set his sights a little lower. He shouldn’t seek great things in this world. He should seek to be faithful to God and submit to his authority.

If he does – no, he wouldn’t be dealing with “great things” – but “great things” are worthless in a world that is crumbling to bits. “Great things” grow wings and fly away. “Great things” can’t save your life in this world or the next.

But if Baruch submits to God, he would have what hardly any other Israelite had by the time Babylon was through with them. He would have… his life. God would see to it that just as Jeremiah was protected and preserved, just as Ebed-Melech was protected, so too Baruch would be protected from all life-threatening danger.

So, life wouldn’t turn out for Baruch as perhaps he had planned.

He wouldn’t be a prized advisor to the king like his grandfather was to Josiah. And yet Baruch was a helper to the most faithful man in Judah at the time – Jeremiah.

Baruch wouldn’t be a “quiet prince” or a “prince of rest” like his brother Seraiah. But he would receive rest from the Lord – even when almost everyone else around him was being killed.

Baruch wouldn’t receive great things in the crumbling world of his time. But he would serve his great God and the great prophet of that great God. And he would receive the great reward of keeping his life.

And all this – not for being great or trying to achieve greatness – but for simply remaining faithful to the Lord when all others were turning from him.

And if we want to be great and to be successful in this life, we can take this example from Baruch’s life. Don’t seek greatness in this crumbling world. Seek the great God whose kingdom will never crumble and whose faithful covenant love endures forever.

May the Lord encourage us toward this end with this Rebuke to Baruch.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch

Jeremiah 45 Baruch: Let’s examine the subject of this message in Jeremiah 45. His name is Baruch. And we’ve seen him before.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch
What We’ve Already Seen

He witnessed to Jeremiah’s signing of a deed. He wrote and then delivered a message from the prophet. He was accused of stirring Jeremiah up against the people who wanted to go to Egypt.

That’s what we’ve seen of him in the book of Jeremiah so far. But we do have a bit more information on him from both this book and outside of this book.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch
Grandfather a Governor

Chapter 32, verse 12 tells us that Baruch’s grandfather was a man named Mahseiah. Mahseiah was a governor of Jerusalem under king Josiah according to 2 Chronicles 34:8.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch
Brother a Quartermaster

Baruch’s brother was named Seraiah. According to chapter 51, verse 59, Seraiah was a “quiet prince” in the KJV – more likely an official who was in charge of resting places – or a more official sounding title for that position would be “quartermaster.” Someone in charge of sleeping quarters in the palace. So, the point is that he was an official in Zedekiah’s court.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch
Privileged Family

And here’s what we gather from Baruch’s family relations. He came from a family which was privileged with positions in government.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch
Educated Man

And even the fact that Baruch himself was a scribe indicates that he was well educated.

So, Baruch comes from privilege. Let’s keep that in mind as we continue.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary KJV Summary Sermon Baruch

Jeremiah 45 Commentary: As we enter Jeremiah chapter 45 we find ourselves at the end of the main section in Jeremiah that we’ve been recognizing as “The Bitter End of Judah.” That section started in chapter 36 and, as I say, ends here in chapter 45.

We’ll re-cover some of the details from this main section in just a little bit.

But first we’re going to read chapter 45 in its entirety. And then we’ll seek to understand this chapter in detail.

KJV Jeremiah 45:1 ¶ The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; 3 Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the LORD hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest. 4 Thus shalt thou say unto him, The LORD saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land. 5 And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the LORD: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verse 1: Intro

Now, let’s take a closer look at this chapter, starting with the introduction to the chapter in verse 1. Let’s read that one more time.

KJV Jeremiah 45:1 ¶ The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah,

when he [had written/was writing] these words in a book at the [mouth/dictation] of Jeremiah,

in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying,

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Change in Time

Let’s try to understand the timeframe we’re working with here in chapter 45.

Here in chapter 45 we’re told that we’re in the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

And that time reference actually brings us all the way back to where we were all the way back in chapter 36. And a lot has happened since chapter 36.

So, let’s review what we’ve seen since studying that chapter.

Chapter 36 is where God commands Jeremiah to have Baruch write all his words on a scroll. That happens in the fourth year of Jehoiakim.

Baruch is then to take that scroll and read it in the Temple because Jeremiah has been banned from the Temple.

Baruch goes to the Temple on a fast day in Jehoiakim’s fifth year according to chapter 36, verse 9 and declares to everyone what Jeremiah has spoken with the Lord’s authority.

King Jehoiakim then hears the message and doesn’t tremble like his father Josiah – but rather he burns the message and seeks to kill Jeremiah and Baruch who have already hidden themselves.

Then chapter 36 ends with Jeremiah dictating more words to Baruch and this time that scroll doesn’t get burned.

Then, moving from chapter 36 to chapter 37 we skip over the last five or six years of Jehoiakim’s reign. We also skip over the three months of Jeconiah’s reign. And finally we land in the reign of the last king of Judah named Zedekiah.

Chapter 37, verse 4 tells us that Jeremiah had not yet been put into prison. But then later on in that chapter in the 11th verse we see Jeremiah being put into prison around the 8th year of Zedekiah’s reign. So, in chapter 37 we’re somewhere around Zedekiah’s 8th year.

Then in chapter 39, Jerusalem is finally taken by Babylon. This happens toward the end of Zedekiah’s 9th year.

Then in chapter 40 we saw the Babylonians place a governor over Judah by the name of Gedaliah. He was appointed over everyone who remained in Judah after the Babylonians exiled or killed most of the Jews. This would have happened a few months or maybe a few years after Babylon invaded Jerusalem.

At that point, Jews who were in hiding started returning to Gedaliah. But then in chapter 41, Ishmael kills Gedaliah and takes the people toward Ammon. But then in that same chapter we see the people rescued by an army officer named Johanan.

They all ask Jeremiah if they should go to Egypt for protection in chapter 42. God tells Jeremiah to tell them to stay in Judah and they disobey the Lord and go to Egypt anyway.

Then the Lord gave the Jews a threat of punishment in chapters 43 and 44.

And then we find ourselves in chapter 45 today with this message for Baruch.

But here’s why we went through all of that. This message in chapter 45 was given all the way back in the time covered in chapter 36 – Jehoiakim’s 4th year. The same year that Baruch wrote the scroll at Jeremiah’s dictation.

So, as far as the timeframe is concerned, what’s recorded in chapter 45 is a flashback all the way back probably around 20 years prior to what we see at the end of chapter 44.

So, that’s the timeframe we’re dealing with in chapter 45.

Jeremiah 45 Baruch Biography

Get more insight on this man named Baruch at our Jeremiah 45 Baruch article.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 2-5 Message to Baruch

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 2-3 Baruch’s Thoughts

And, so, it’s to this man of privilege that God chooses to speak through Jeremiah starting in verses 2-3.

2 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch;

3 Thou didst say,

[Woe is me now/I feel so hopeless/I’m as good as dead]!
for the LORD hath added [grief/sorrow] to my [sorrow/pain/suffering];

I [fainted/am weary/am worn out] [in/with/from] my [sighing/groaning],
and I find no rest.

So, the Lord gives us and Jeremiah and Baruch himself a window into Baruch’s mindset at the time.

Baruch is feeling sorry for himself. Remember, this is being spoken to Baruch right around the time when he had to give a very unpopular message to the king. His family had been apparently very well-thought-of by the royalty of Judah until that point. But as a result of the message that Baruch was going to give to the king he would seek to kill this scribe.

In fact, we might see some hint of Baruch comparing his lot to that of his brother. Remember, we know from chapter 51 that Baruch’s brother Seraiah was a quartermaster or a “quiet prince” or a “prince of rest.” The word translated as “quiet” is the same word we see at the end of verse 3 here. So, perhaps Baruch is looking at his brother who is a “prince of rest” and he looks at his own situation being Jeremiah’s scribe and is saying that his situation is not nearly as restful as even his own brother.

In addition, it wasn’t just the reaction of the king or the comparison of his life to that of his brother that was bothering Baruch. But this scribe who had some smarts was hearing Jeremiah’s message from the Lord and he was seeing that things were going to be getting much worse – not just for him but for his whole country. And this was very concerning for him.

But we see also some assignment of blame to the Lord from Baruch. The Lord knew that in his heart Baruch was saying that God himself was to blame for these realities.

Now, it’s very obvious that God was simply responding to the sin of Baruch’s countrymen. It’s not that God by default enjoys punishing. He does so in response to people’s sins.

But Baruch is blaming God for his sorrow and pain and lack of rest.

So, that’s the Lord pointing out to Baruch that he knows what he’s thinking and what he’s saying.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verses 4-5 God’s Response

So then in verses 4 and 5 we have God’s response to Baruch’s thoughts.

Jeremiah 45 Commentary
Verse 4 Fate of the World

To begin, in verse 4, the Lord foretells the fate of the entire world.

4 Thus shalt thou [Jeremiah…] say unto him [Baruch…],

The LORD saith thus;

Behold, that which I have built will I break down,
and that which I have planted I will pluck up,
even this whole [land/earth].

Now, the words “built,” “break down,” “planted,” and “pluck up” are all found in chapter 1, verse 10. There – at the beginning of this book – we read:

KJV Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee [Jeremiah…] over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

And so now finally, what God called Jeremiah to do is finally happening.

And the scope of this destruction is definitely over all the land of Judah.

We see proof of that again all the way back in chapter 1. Verse 14 of that chapter says:

KJV Jeremiah 1:14 Then the LORD said unto me [Jeremiah…], Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land [same word as chapter 45, verse 4].

And of course, in chapter 45 we’re simultaneously looking forward to the destruction to come – while at the same time we’re able to look back over the previous several chapters and see that destruction had already come. It came upon the land of Judah.

But, that word “land” (eretz) can also mean “world” – as in the entire world. And interestingly enough, right after this chapter, God will devote six chapters to warning nations all over the world of that time of the destruction that’s coming to them.

So, when God tells Baruch in chapter 45, verse 4 that he’s going to break down and pluck up the whole world – he’s including both Judah and really, the entire inhabited earth.

So, the Lord has Baruch face the fate of the whole world. That fate is destruction.

But Baruch’s fate is much different. Read of it at our Jeremiah 45 5 Meaning article.