The Egyptian intervention (Jer 37:5-37:5)

“Meanwhile the army of Pharaoh

Had come out of Egypt.

When the Chaldeans,

Who were besieging Jerusalem,

Heard news of them,

They withdrew from Jerusalem.”

The army of Pharaoh, King Hophra or Apries (590-571 BCE), had come out of Egypt to do battle with the Babylonians, probably around 588 BCE. When the Chaldean Babylonian soldiers heard this, they stopped their siege of Jerusalem. Did King Zedekiah have some sort of agreement with the Egyptian king? Did the Chaldeans fight against the Egyptians? Anyway, things looked good for Jerusalem at least for the time being.

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The siege of Jerusalem (Jer 32:2-32:2)

“At that time,

The army of

The king of Babylon

Was besieging Jerusalem.

The prophet Jeremiah

Was confined

In the court of the guard

That was in the palace

Of the king of Judah.

King Zedekiah of Judah

Had confined him.”

The time frame is clearly the time of the siege of Jerusalem by the Babylonian army. However, Jeremiah was imprisoned in the palace jail by King Zedekiah of Judah. King Zedekiah had been installed as king by King Nebuchadnezzar in 598 BCE. However, he revolted against him and sought the aid of King Hophra or Pharaoh Apries (589-570 BCE) of Egypt. This led to the siege that lasted almost 2 years as the Egyptians tried to help King Zedekiah. Eventually, the Babylonians were successful. Meanwhile, King Zedekiah had Jeremiah confined to prison because, as always, Jeremiah was pro-Babylonian.