The Egyptian choice (Jer 42:13-42:14)

“But if you continue to say.

‘We will not stay

In this land.’

You are disobeying

The voice

Of Yahweh,

Your God.

If you say.

‘No!

We will go

To the land of Egypt,

Where we shall not see war.

We shall not hear

The sound of the trumpet.

We shall not be hungry

For bread.

There we will stay.’”

Jeremiah warned against those who did not want to stay in the land of Judah. Instead, they wanted to go to Egypt. Jeremiah told them that they were not obeying the voice of Yahweh, their God if they went to Egypt. They believed that they would not see any war in Egypt. There they would not hear the sound of the war trumpet. They also would not be hungry because they would have enough bread for food in Egypt. Thus they would prefer to live and stay in Egypt.

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The lamentation over this sudden disaster (Jer 4:19-4:22)

“My anguish!

My anguish!

I writhe in pain!

O!

The walls of my heart!

My heart is beating wildly!

I cannot keep silent!

I hear the sound of the trumpet.

I hear the alarm of war.

Disaster overtakes disaster.

The whole land is laid waste.

Suddenly my tents are destroyed.

My curtains are destroyed in a moment.

How long must

I see the standard?

How long must

I hear the sound of the trumpet?

‘My people are foolish.

They do not know me.

They are stupid children.

They have no understanding.

They are skilled in doing evil.

But they do not know

How to do good.’”

Jeremiah laments the actions that are taking place. He is pained and in anguish. His heart is beating wildly as he hears the sound of the war trumpet. There was disaster after disaster in the land, as their tents and curtains were also destroyed quickly. He wondered how long this was going to last. He realized that his people were foolish, acting like stupid children, not listening to him. They had no understanding of what was happening. The only thing that they knew was evil, since they did not know how to do good things.