The negative response of the Judean refugees (Jer 44:15-44:16)

“Then all the men

Who were aware

That their wives

Had been making offerings

To other gods,

Stood by

With their women.

This was a great assembly.

All the people

Who lived in Pathros

In the land of Egypt,

Answered Jeremiah.

‘As for the word

That you have spoken

To us

In the name of Yahweh,

We are not going

To listen to you.’”

There is an admission at the beginning of this response to Jeremiah that the wives of these men had been offering sacrifices to other gods. There is no attempt to hide this fact. All the people tried to respond, which is a euphemism for a spokesman, at least. They are quite concise and to the point. They are not going to listen to Jeremiah and his oracles about Yahweh. Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that these are the people who live in Parthos, the southern part of Egypt, near Nubia, not the northern area around Memphis and the upper Nile of Tahpanhes, where the first refugees stopped at. This might indicate that there were other Israelites or Judeans in Egypt.

Jerusalem and Judah (Jer 25:18-25:18)

“I went to Jerusalem.

I went to

The towns of Judah,

Its kings,

Its officials,

To make them

A desolation,

A waste,

An object of hissing,

An object of cursing,

As they are today.”

Jeremiah was obviously sent to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah with their kings and officials. There is no mention of how many towns in Judah, but usually that is a euphemism for its leaders. They were going to be laid waste like a desolation. They would become the object of hissing and cursing just as they are today. This seems to imply that the exile was actually taking place at this time.

Jeremiah speaks to all the people (Jer 25:2-25:2)

“The prophet Jeremiah

Spoke to

All the people of Judah,

All the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”

It is not clear how Jeremiah the prophet was able to speak to all the people of Judah and Jerusalem together. This would assume that they were all in one place. We just had a specific time, but it is hard to find a place big enough for this kind of an assembly. Obviously it is a euphemism to indicate that Jeremiah’s words should be heard by all the people of Judah and Jerusalem.