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sojourn there; and they shall all be consumed; they shall fall in the land of Egypt; by the sword and by famine they shall be consumed; from the least to the greatest they shall die by the sword and by famine, and shall become a curse, a horror and an imprecation and a reviling. 13. And I visit those who dwell in the land of Egypt like as I visited Jerusalem with the sword, with famine and pestilence. 14. And the remnant of Judah, who have come to sojourn there in the land of Egypt, shall have none escaping and surviving, so that they may return into the land of Judah, whither they cherish the desire to return and dwell there, for they shall not return save (one or two) fugitives.
15. Then all the men who knew that their wives offered incense to foreign gods, and all the women who stood there in a large assembly, and the whole people who dwelt in the land of Egypt (and) in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: 16. As concerns the word which thou hast spoken to us in the name of Yahveh, we will not hearken to thee. 17. On the contrary, we will carry out every word which has gone forth out of our mouth, to offer incense to the queen of
ver. 12. Ver. 14. 2V^n alludes to the "escaping and surviving," who might return. KBO, see on xxii. 27. The end of the verse, admitting the possibility of a few individuals returning, put more positively in ver. 14, shows that the proverbial B^B t6 "mBn is not to be taken literally. Such cases warn against a pedantic demand for a literal fulfilment. Ver. 15 shows that Jeremiah delivered this discourse before a large assembly, to which the Egyptian exiles were added. What festive occasion had gathered them together is not known. But it is clear from bftl 7f\p that the women took a large part in it. A feast to the queen of heaven is not meant, else the words would be out of place: the men who knew, etc. Yet the purpose of the wives may have been to join homage to the queen of heaven with the feast. In the land of Egypt, in Pathros, i.e. in Lower and Upper Egypt, asyndetic conjunction, unless l has fallen out. Ver. 17. The queen of heaven (respecting* whom see on vii. 18) was, accordingly, a goddess, to whom definite petitions were presented, and offerings vowed on fulfilment of the desires expressed. Since she was the goddess of fertility in women, it is easily conceivable to what the wishes and vows of wives referred. • Which went out of our mouth," frequent phrase heaven and to pour out libations to her, like as we have done, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; then we were satisfied with bread, and it was very well with us, and we saw no evil. 18. But from the time that we ceased to offer incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out libations to her, we were in lack of everything, and were conquered by sword and famine. 19. And if we offer incense to the queen of heaven, and make ready to pour out libations to her, is it without our husbands that we bake cakes for her to portray her, and to pour drink-offerings to her?
20. Then spake Jeremiah to all the people, to the men and the women and all the people, who answered him, saying:
21. The incense-burning, which you practised in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings and your princes and the people of the land, truly did not Yahveh remember these things, and it came into his mind?
22. And Yahveh was no longer able to bear it because of the wickedness of your works, because of the abominations which you committed; so then your land became a waste and a wilderness and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is this day!
in utterance of vows, Num. xxx. 3, 13; Deut. xxxiii. 24; Judg. xi. 36. By offering incense, the presenting of meat-offerings, cakes, of course with addition of inceuse, is understood. Gifts of wine, oil, etc., were joined therewith. Then were we in good condition, i.e. it stood well with us. Ver. 18. TK=at that time; a relative clause joins on to this. wDn for «isn, Ges. § 67. 5a; Eng. § 66. Ver. 19. The women whom the prophet accused here come forward to speak; they threw the blame from themselves on the men, who could have hindered them, but according to vii. 18 gave ready assistance in their preparations. As to the moon-shaped cakes which the Hellenes also had as sacred symbols and called etXf^ai or Ttfifiara. eOjvris, see on vii. 18. Among the Greeks they were round, representing the full moon; yet there may be a reference to horn-shaped confectionery. n3vyr6, with suff. fem. (on which account Mas. notes the weak n as irregular), signifies : in order to portray her (the goddess), to model; cf. fingere, 3vy (xxii. 28), vas fictile. Ver. 21. iBpn, noun-form from Piel, like D^ty, Deut. xxxii. 35. Ver. 22. pKD, see on ii. 15. DVrra, see on 23. Because of this, that you offered incense, and that you sinned against Yahveh, and hearkened not to Yahveh's voice, and did not walk in his law and his statutes and in his testimonies! For this reason has this evil befallen you, as it is this day!
24. Then said Jeremiah to all the people and all the women: Hear Yahveh's word, all Judah that is in the land of Egypt. 25. Thus speaks Yahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: You and your wives, you have spoken with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hands, saying: Let us now verily perform our vows which we have vowed, to offer incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour drink-offerings to her: You shall verily keep your vows and perform your promises. 26. For this reason hear the word of Yahveh, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, says Yahveh: Never more shall my name be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah, saying: "As truly as the Lord Yahveh lives " in the whole land of Egypt. 27. Behold, I watch over you for evil and not for good; and all the men of Judah, who are in the land of Egypt, shall be consumed by the sword and famine, until they vanish away. 28. And those who escape from the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, men who can be counted; and all the remnant of Judah, who came to the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose word shall stand, whether mine or theirs.
29. And this shall be the sign to you, is Yahveh's oracle, that I will visit you in this place, that you may know that my
xi. 5. Ver. 23. rwop for nKip, Ges. § 74. a. 1; Eng. § 73. Ver. 25. As the wives come first among the speakers and actors, masc. and fem. interchange. n3D'pn for njppn glances at the Dip in ver. 28 f. They steadily carry out what they say, but the Lord also will do the same, and in the end His word will stand, not theirs. Ver. 26. None of the Jews dwelling in Egypt shall swear by the living Yahveh, because none shall be there. Ver. 27. ipC, see on i. 11; cf. xxxi. 28, xxi. 10. Ver. 28. Men who can be counted, i.e. few of them, as in Gen. xxxiv.
30. The idea of the 'D is more fully explained and analysed by DnDi 'JDD; instead of "both of us," it is said "of me and of you." So min is often used in Arabic. Ver. 30. Pharaoh words concerning you shall stand firm for evil. 30. Thus says Yahveh: Behold, I deliver Pharaoh Hophrah, king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies and into the band of those who seek after his life, like as I gave up Zedekiah, king of Judah, into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, his adversary and deadly foe.
Hophrah, see on xxxvii. 5, called by the Greeks Apries, ruled, according to Herodotus, ii. 161 ff., more happily than the kings who had preceded him since his great-grandfather Psammetichus; but an unlucky campaign against Gyrene led to his dethronement by Amasis, who was compelled to surrender him to that enraged people, who then murdered him. Jeremiah's oracle may refer to this unhappy end (about 570), since it is not expressly said, as in xlvi. 26, that Pharaoh would fall into Nebuchadnezzar's hands. That the account of Herodotus, based on Manetho, is here defective, and Hophrah had also to suffer from Nebuchadnezzar, see on xliii. 8-13. The doubts of Hitzig and Graf in regard to xliv. 29 f. are without foundation.
Contents of ch. xliv. Last Testimony against the Idolatry of the Jews in Egypt: a. Dissuasive from Foreign Worship, vv. 1-14; b. Opposition of the Jews, especially of their Wives, vv. 15-19; c. their Conviction and Condemnation, vv. 20-28; d. Sign of the Judgment, ver. 29 f.
This testimony is the last one we have from Jeremiah. It belongs essentially to a later time than ch. xliii. The Jews, meanwhile, have settled in different places of the land, extending principally over Upper Egypt (Pathros), to which fear of the approaching Chaldieans perhaps contributed. On the other hand, the incident is earlier than the end of Tharaoh Hophrah (ver. 30), and therefore about 570. The prophet was then at the advanced age of from seventy to eighty years. He delivered this discourse before an assembly of Jews gathered on some festal occasion from every part of Egypt (ver. 15). The scene and occasion of the assembly are not stated. But it is clear from the incident that the Jewish community in Egypt held together, and intended, as far as possible, to continue its national worship on foreign soil, nay, probably regarded itself as the lineal representative of the seed of Abraham. And it is just as clear from Jeremiah's words and the opposition they met with, that even after all the severe experiences of the past, the people could not break away from idolatrous customs, but still continued them in the Egyptian colony. Thus the aged Jeremiah was forced at last to raise his voice against the same pernicious errors, against which the first testimony of the youth was a warning, and against which he had all his life fought a losing battle. He was unable even now—in distinction from the other exilian prophets—to speak in tones of cheerful promise, but was obliged again to hold up before the incorrigible nation of the Jews in Egypt the gravity of the judgment awaiting it.
In vv. 1-14 he points to the desolated home-land as the most eloquent witness to the divine retribution which has fallen on the worshippers of strange deities. In presence of this fact, it is insane wickedness to persevere in practices which have so openly drawn down the Lord's displeasure on land and people. The consequence of such conduct will be that the exiles who have saved nothing but their life will bring about the extermination of their race (vv. 7, 12 ff.). By way of warning, the finger of the prophet points in particular to the ruin brought on the whole nation by the women with their special leanings to heathen superstition and sensuous worship (ver. 9). For it is they who are again by their action provoking the Lord's anger.
Vv. 15-19. But the high regard in which the venerable prophet must have stood did not prevent the assembled community offering him public contradiction. If in Jerusalem it was rather the priests and princes with their false prophets who designedly and obstinately opposed him, just as in ch. xliii. the leaders of the nation did, whose plans were interfered with by his message; so, on the other hand, here he has the