“Is Israel a slave?
Is he a home born servant?
Why then has he become plunder?
The lions have roared against him.
They have roared loudly.
They have made his land a waste.
His cities are in ruins.
They are without inhabitants.
The men of Memphis
Have broken the crown of your head.
The men of Tahpanhes
Have broken the crown of your head.”
Jeremiah points out, via the oracle of Yahweh, that the Israelites have become slaves or house servants to Egypt and Assyria. The lions roar loudly against them. People plunder them as the land has been laid waste. The cities are in ruins without anybody living in them. Moreover the Egyptian cities of Memphis, the capital, and Tahpanhes, the border town, have broken the Israelite crowns.