No more festivals (Hos 9:5-9:6)

“What will you do

On the day

Of the appointed festival?

What will you do

On the day

Of the festival

Of Yahweh?

Even if they escape

Destruction,

Egypt shall gather them.

Memphis shall bury them.

Nettles shall possess

Their precious things

Of silver.

Thorns shall be

In their tents.”

There will be no more festivals for Yahweh. Even if they are not destroyed, Egypt would take them away. They would be buried in the southern capital of Egypt, Memphis. Nettles were stinging plants that would be all over their precious metal silver objects. Their tents would have thorns in them. They would have a very unpleasant life.

The destruction of the various Egyptian city idols (Ezek 30:13-30:16)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will destroy

The idols.

I will put an end

To the images

In Memphis.

There shall no longer

Be a prince

In the land of Egypt.

Thus I will put fear

Into the land of Egypt.

I will make Pathros

A desolation.

I will set fire

To Zoan.

I will execute

Acts of judgment

On Thebes.

I will pour my wrath

Upon Pelusium,

The stronghold of Egypt.

I will cut off

The hordes of Thebes.

I will set fire

To Egypt.

Pelusium shall be

In great agony.

Thebes shall be

Breached.

Memphis will face

Adversaries by day.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to destroy the idols and images of the city of Memphis, the capital of lower Egypt. They would face daily adversaries. There would be no longer a prince in Egypt. Yahweh was going to put fear into the people of Egypt. He was going to decimate Pathros and set a fire in Zoan, that later became known as Tanis, in the northeast Delta area. He was going to execute his judgment on Thebes, current day Karnak, by getting rid of the multitude of people there, when the walls would be broken down. He was going to pour out his wrath on the stronghold of Pelusium that was east of Zoan, so that it would be in great agony.

 

The coming exile of Egypt (Jer 46:17-46:19)

“Give Pharaoh,

The king of Egypt,

The name

‘Braggart

Who missed his chance.’

‘As I live!’

Says the King,

Whose name is

Yahweh of hosts.

‘One is coming

Like Tabor

Among the mountains,

Like Carmel

By the sea.

Pack your bags

For exile!

Sheltered daughter Egypt!

Memphis shall become

A waste,

A ruin,

Without inhabitants.’”

The Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, Neco, missed his chance since he was only a braggart who did not back up his words. Yahweh was going to send someone who would make a big impact on southern Egypt around Memphis. He would come like the great mountains of Tabor or the sea mountains of Carmel, both around the plains of Jezreel. They ought to pack their bags to get ready to leave for exile. The city of Memphis would become a waste and a ruin, without anyone living there. This was a clear warning.

The fear in southern Egypt (Jer 46:15-46:16)

“Why has Apis fled?

Why did your bull

Not stand?

Because Yahweh

Thrust him down.

Your multitude stumbled.

They fell.

They said to one another.

‘Come!

Let us go back

To our own people,

To the land of our birth,

Because of the destroying sword.’”

Apis, the sacred bull god of Memphis and southern Egypt, has fled because Yahweh threw him down. Why was he not able to stand up against Yahweh? All the people stumbled around as they fell. They said to one another that they should go back to their own people, where they were born. They wanted to avoid the destroying sword of the king of Babylon.

King Nebuchadnezzar is going to invade Egypt (Jer 46:13-46:14)

“The word

That Yahweh spoke

To the prophet Jeremiah

About the coming

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon

To attack the land of Egypt.

‘Declare in Egypt!

Proclaim in Migdol!

Proclaim in Memphis!

Proclaim in Tahpanhes!

Say!

‘Take your stations!

Be ready!

The sword shall devour

Those around you.’”

Once again, Yahweh speaks an oracle to Jeremiah. This time it is about the coming of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to attack Egypt. Exactly when this will take place is not clear. Jeremiah was to declare this attack in Egypt, especially in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. They should get ready. Migdol was an island in the Nile River, while Memphis was in the heart of the southern Egyptian delta. Tahpanhes was a northeastern border town, where the migrant Judeans had first gone. All these places should man their stations because the powerful sword of Babylon was going to devour all the people around them.

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.

All the Judeans in Egypt (Jer 44:1-44:1)

“The word came

To Jeremiah

For all the Judeans

Living in the land

Of Egypt,

At Migdol,

At Tahpanhes,

At Memphis,

As well as in the land of Pathros.”

Jeremiah received an oracle that was to be addressed to all the Judeans living in Egypt. No longer was this a small group of the remnant led by Johanan at Tahpanhes, but this was addressed to all the other Judeans living in different cities and places in Egypt. How did these Judeans get there? How big were these Israelite colonies? Were they left over from Exodus times? Were they also recent immigrants? The remnant group with Jeremiah and Baruch at Tahpanhes had just arrived. Were there other Judeans before they arrived in that town? Migdol was an island in the Nile River, east of Tahpanhes. Memphis was the ancient capital of lower Egypt, in the Nile River delta area. Pathros was also in the southern part of Egypt where Judean colonies might have been. As these places are mentioned, the assumption is that there must have been some other Judeans there. At least the author of this work knew something about them. Like the preceding chapter, this section has a different numbered chapter in the Greek translation of the Septuagint, chapters 51, not chapter 44 as here.