Jeremiah 42:8 – 44:30

Thursday Evening Bible Study

May 12, 2005


The day finally came on July 18, 586 BC.  After a long siege, the Babylonians broke into Jerusalem and began to level the place.  Many were killed, many were taken to Babylon.  Only a few left in the land, to be ruled by a governor appointed by Babylon, man named Gedaliah.  When Gedaliah was assassinated, the people that were left in the land panicked. They asked Jeremiah to pray and ask God for direction.  They promised that whatever God said to do, they would do.  After waiting for ten days, God gave His reply. 

Jeremiah 42

:8-22 God’s answer: Don’t go to Egypt

:8 Then he called Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,

:9 and said to them, "Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your petition before Him:

:10 'If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up. For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you.

God has some very good news for the people. If they will simply stay where they are, everything will be okay.

:11 'Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,' says the LORD, 'for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand.

:12 'And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.'

:13 "But if you say, 'We will not dwell in this land,' disobeying the voice of the LORD your God,

:14 "saying, 'No, but we will go to the land of Egypt where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor be hungry for bread, and there we will dwell';

:15 "Then hear now the word of the LORD, O remnant of Judah! Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'If you wholly set your faces to enter Egypt, and go to dwell there,

:16 'then it shall be that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; the famine of which you were afraid shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die.

Egypt looks like a logical place. The Egyptians were part of the original “anti-Babylon” alliance.

Things are cool in Egypt. There’s never any “war” in Egypt. There’s plenty to eat in Egypt.

Sounds a little like what the Israelites said as they were coming OUT of Egypt.
(Exo 16:3 NKJV) And the children of Israel said to them, "Oh, that we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
(Num 11:4-6 NKJV) Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat? {5} "We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; {6} "but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!"


Where do you run for help?

Egypt is also seen in the Bible as a picture of the “flesh”, our sin nature. Moses brought the Israelites out of the bondage of Egypt. Jesus died on a cross to free us from the bondage to sin.
It’s not good to go back to the old sinful ways.

(Prov 26:11 KJV) As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.

(2 Pet 2:19-22 NLT) They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves to sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. {20} And when people escape from the wicked ways of the world by learning about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up with sin and become its slave again, they are worse off than before. {21} It would be better if they had never known the right way to live than to know it and then reject the holy commandments that were given to them. {22} They make these proverbs come true: "A dog returns to its vomit," and "A washed pig returns to the mud."

It may seem like life was easy back when you were living in the “world”, but don’t forget the there’s “death” in Egypt.

(Rom 6:23 NKJV) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In the Law of Moses, there was a provision for people who got themselves into trouble.
It had to do with a person who was accidentally involved in the death of another person. If the death was not accidental, it was murder and there was no place to run if you committed murder. But if it was an accident, then it was manslaughter. And even though you didn’t mean to kill the other person, the customs in those days required the dead person’s relatives to hunt you down and kill you in revenge. In order to stop these “blood feuds”, God set up a series of six cities in the land of Israel called “Cities of Refuge”.
If you accidentally caused another person’s death, you were to pack your bags and flee to the nearest City of Refuge. As long as you stayed in that city, you were safe from any person who was out for revenge. You were required to stay in that city until the death of the high priest. When the high priest died, your sentence was up and you were allowed to go free.
If you were in trouble, you’d run to the City of Refuge, not to Egypt.
As Christians, there is a parallel for us.
There are times in our lives when we too get ourselves into trouble. It’s not always intentional, sometimes quite by accident. We need a place to run to.
Jesus is our “refuge”. We run to Him for help. And if you know what’s good for you, then you’ll stay in the city until the death of the high priest. And since Jesus is also our “Great High Priest” who “always lives to make intercession” for us, it’s best to stay as close to Jesus as possible.
(Psa 91 KJV) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. {2} I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. {3} Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. {4} He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. {5} Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; {6} Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. {7} A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. {8} Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. {9} Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; {10} There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling. {11} For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. {12} They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. {13} Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. {14} Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. {15} He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. {16} With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

A believer was fleeing from his enemies during a persecution in North Africa. Pursued over a hill and through a valley with no place to hide, he fell exhausted into a cave, expecting to be caught. Awaiting his death, he saw a spider weaving a web. Within minutes, the spider had woven a beautiful web across the mouth of the cave. The man’s pursuers arrived, but on seeing the unbroken web assumed it impossible for him to have entered the cave. Later that believer exclaimed, “Where God is, a spider’s web is like a wall. Where God is not, a wall is like a spider’s web.”

Few things offer security to believers more than an awareness that God will use His overcoming power to protect them.

:17 'So shall it be with all the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to dwell there. They shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the disaster that I will bring upon them.'

:18 "For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'As My anger and My fury have been poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so will My fury be poured out on you when you enter Egypt. And you shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach; and you shall see this place no more.'

:19 "The LORD has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah, 'Do not go to Egypt!' Know certainly that I have admonished you this day.

:20 "For you were hypocrites in your hearts when you sent me to the LORD your God, saying, 'Pray for us to the LORD our God, and according to all that the LORD your God says, so declare to us and we will do it.'

God already knew from the start how they would respond.

Not everyone who asks God for help really wants it.

:21 "And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, or anything which He has sent you by me.

:22 "Now therefore, know certainly that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to dwell."

Jeremiah 43

:1-3 The people accuse Jeremiah of lying

:1 Now it happened, when Jeremiah had stopped speaking to all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, all these words,

:2 that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, "You speak falsely! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, 'Do not go to Egypt to dwell there.'


Pride and obedience

It’s pride that keeps us from bowing our will before God.
It’s pride in us that says, “I’m not going to let so-and-so tell me what to do!”
Sometimes we need something to humble us, to “shut us up” in order for God to get our attention and for us to turn around and do the right thing.
(James 4:6-10 NKJV) But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." {7} Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. {8} Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. {9} Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. {10} Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.
Check your heart for pride.

:3 "But Baruch the son of Neriah has set you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon."

Baruch was Jeremiah’s assistant.



People will give all sorts of reasons for not believing or doing what God wants.
Here they are blaming Baruch – using Baruch as their excuse to disobey.
In reality it’s simply their pride.
People will do the same when it comes to following Jesus Christ.
Some people will say they have intellectual problems, but for many it comes down to their “will”.
They don’t want to change. They don’t want to give up their sin.

:4-7 Back to Egypt

:4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, all the captains of the forces, and all the people would not obey the voice of the LORD, to remain in the land of Judah.

:5 But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces took all the remnant of Judah who had returned to dwell in the land of Judah, from all nations where they had been driven;

:6 men, women, children, the king's daughters, and every person whom Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah.

:7 So they went to the land of Egypt, for they did not obey the voice of the LORD. And they went as far as Tahpanhes.

TahpanhesTachpanchec – “thou will fill hands with pity”. A city 160 miles (as the crow flies) from Jerusalem.

:8-13 Nebuchadnezzar is coming to Egypt

:8 Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying,

:9 "Take large stones in your hand, and hide them in the sight of the men of Judah, in the clay in the brick courtyard which is at the entrance to Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes;

Such a paved area has been found in front of the entrance to the royal dwelling.

:10 "and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "Behold, I will send and bring Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden. And he will spread his royal pavilion over them.

Nebuchadnezzar would invade Egypt in 568-567 BC and rule from this very spot.

:11 "When he comes, he shall strike the land of Egypt and deliver to death those appointed for death, and to captivity those appointed for captivity, and to the sword those appointed for the sword.

:12 "I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt, and he shall burn them and carry them away captive. And he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garment, and he shall go out from there in peace.

:13 "He shall also break the sacred pillars of Beth Shemesh that are in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians he shall burn with fire."' "

Beth-shemesh – “House of the Sun”. An ancient city near Cairo.

sacred pillars – obelisks; One such obelisk from Heliopolis is in Central Park in New York City; another is on the bank of the Thames River in London.


Trusting in the wrong things

To the remnant, Egypt seems the best, most logical place to be.
It seems to be a place where trouble never occurs.
But it will actually be a place soon to be conquered by Nebuchadnezzar.
Be careful about trying to avoid trouble. Trouble is everywhere.
The Bricklayer’s Accident
National Health Insurance, Inc./ ATTN: Claims Review/ PO Box 17342/ New York, NY 12276
Dear Sir/Madam:
I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block number 3 of the accident report form, I put “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident. You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient.
I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new 6-story building. When I completed my work, I discovered that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which fortunately was attached to the side of the building, at the sixth floor.
Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the brick into it. Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block number 11 of the accident report that I weigh 135 pounds.
Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull and broken collarbone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley.
Fortunately, by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope in spite of my pain.
At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground—and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel now weighed approximately 50 pounds.
I refer you again to my weight in block number 11. As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building.
In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles and the lacerations of my legs and lower body. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and, fortunately, only 3 vertebrae were cracked.
I’m sorry to report, however, that as I lay there on the bricks, in pain, unable to stand, and watching the empty barrel 6 stories above me—I again lost my presence of mind, and I let go of the rope. The empty barrel weighed more than the rope as it came back down on me and broke both my legs.
I hope I have furnished the information you require as to how the accident occurred.
Billy Wohlnut
I would say that Billy had more than his share of troubles that day. We may not always have days like Billy’s, but they do happen.
If you spend your life trying to avoid days like that, you’re going to find yourself running to the wrong places for help.
The secret of life is not about avoiding trouble, but surviving it.
Jesus taught:
(Mat 7:24-27 NKJV) "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: {25} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. {26} "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: {27} "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

You can’t avoid the storms of life. But you can build your house in a way to survive the storms.

Jeremiah 44

:1-6 Jerusalem judged for idolatry

:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwell in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,

Migdol, Tahpanhes, and Noph (or, Memphis) were in the northern part of Egypt.

Pathros was in the southern part of Egypt.

:2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'You have seen all the calamity that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them,

:3 'because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers.

:4 'However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, "Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate!"

:5 'But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods.

:6 'So My fury and My anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.'

This is a reminder that one of the reasons Jerusalem and Judah were destroyed was because of the idolatry of the people.

:7-14 Similar judgment coming to remnant in Egypt

:7 "Now therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah, leaving none to remain,

:8 'in that you provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, that you may cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?

:9 'Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives, your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?

:10 'They have not been humbled, to this day, nor have they feared; they have not walked in My law or in My statutes that I set before you and your fathers.'

Again, pride or humility? Humility obeys, pride rebels.

:11 "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: 'Behold, I will set My face against you for catastrophe and for cutting off all Judah.

:12 'And I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to dwell there, and they shall all be consumed and fall in the land of Egypt. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine. They shall die, from the least to the greatest, by the sword and by famine; and they shall be an oath, an astonishment, a curse and a reproach!

:13 'For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence,

:14 'so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to dwell there shall escape or survive, lest they return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return and dwell. For none shall return except those who escape.'"

God is giving them a warning that He is about to do to the remnant in Egypt what He did to the disobedient in Jerusalem. They are about to face God’s judgment.

:15-19 “Life was better serving the Queen of heaven”

:15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying:

:16 "As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you!

:17 "But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble.

Queen of heaven – The Babylonian goddess Ishtar, goddess of love and fertility. It’s kind of strange that the Catholic church now refers to Mary as the Queen of heaven.

This was what the people had been doing in Jerusalem. God had told Jeremiah many years earlier:

(Je 7:16-19 NKJV) 16 “Therefore do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them, nor make intercession to Me; for I will not hear you. 17 Do you not see what they do in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 18 The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead dough, to make cakes for the queen of heaven; and they pour out drink offerings to other gods, that they may provoke Me to anger. 19 Do they provoke Me to anger?” says the Lord. “Do they not provoke themselves, to the shame of their own faces?”

:18 "But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine."



We are a very superstitious people. Watch baseball players – they will go through little rituals, repeating certain actions because at some point this action was followed by something good, like hitting a home run. I have a friend who jokes around and will move around from chair to chair or from position to position while watching the Angels and whenever somebody hits a home run, he will stay in the position for a while hoping that this must be the magic place to sit for the Angels. He’s just kidding.
Yet we still think this way.
When something bad happens, we wonder what it was we did that triggered it.
When something good happens, we wonder what we did that caused it to happen.
A guy was on the side of the road hitchhiking on a very dark night and in the middle of a storm. The night was rolling on and no car went by. The storm was so strong he could hardly see a few feet ahead of him. Suddenly he saw a car coming toward him and stop. Without thinking about it, the guy got into the back seat, closed the door and then realized there was nobody behind the wheel! The car starts slowly; the guy looks at the road and sees a curve coming his way. Scared, he starts to pray begging for his life. He hasn’t come out of shock, when just before he hits the curve, a hand appears through the window and moves the wheel. The guy, paralyzed in terror, watched how the hand appears every time right before a curve. Gathering his strength, the guy jumps out of the car and runs to the nearest town. Wet and in shock, he goes to a restaurant and starts telling everybody about the horrible experience he went through. A silence enveloped everybody when they realize the guy was serious. About half an hour later, two guys walked in the same restaurant. They looked around for a table when one said to the other, “Look John, that’s the dummy who got in the car when we were pushing it.”
We need to stop thinking like this.
In reality, God is going to sometimes allow good things to happen because we’ve obeyed Him, but sometimes He’s going to allow good things to happen simply out of grace, for no good reason.
He will also sometimes allow bad things to happen because we’ve disobeyed and He’s trying to get us to turn our lives around. But He will also allow us to go through difficult times for no other reason than to grow us up by teaching us how to endure tough times.
We shouldn’t do things for the results, we should do things because they are right to do.

:19 The women also said, "And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands' permission?"

cakes – like flat pancakes, thought to be in the shape of the goddess.


Limits to submission

It’s possible that it was the women behind this idolatry, but that they did it with their husbands’ full knowledge.
But the way they say it, it makes it sound as if they are simply being good, obedient, submissive wives.
Men like the idea of wives being “submissive”

One man was from Texas, one from Florida and one from Pennsylvania. They got acquainted and started talking about their problems with their wives. The guy from Texas began by saying “I told my wife clearly that from now on she would have to do all of the cooking. Well, the first day after I told her, I saw nothing. The second day I saw nothing, but on the third day when I came home from work, the table was set, and a wonderful dinner was prepared with wine and even dessert.” Then the man from Florida spoke up “I sat my wife down and told her, that from now on she would have to do all the grocery shopping and all of the house cleaning. The first day I saw nothing. The second day I saw nothing. But the third day, when I came home, the whole house was spotless, and in the pantry the shelves were filled with groceries.” The fellow from PA was married to a woman who had grown up in PA all her life. He sat up straight on the bar stool, pushed out his chest and said. “I gave my wife a stern look and told her, that from now on she would have to do the cooking, shopping and house cleaning. Well, the first day I saw nothing. The second day I saw nothing. But by the third day, I could see a little bit out of my left eye.”

Submission is first to God and then to others.
(Col 3:18 NKJV)  Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.

It is “fitting” for a wife to submit to her husband.  But when her husband asks her to do something not according to God’s character, then it is not “fitting”.

(Col 3:22-25 NKJV)  Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. {23} And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, {24} knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. {25} But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.

We submit to our bosses, but only as long as it is the good and right thing to do.

If a person to whom we are to submit (a boss, a husband, a teacher) asks us to do something contrary to God’s Word, then we need the attitude the apostles had when the Jewish elders commanded them to stop talking about Jesus:

(Acts 5:29 NKJV) But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: "We ought to obey God rather than men.

:20-30 Judgment coming in Egypt like in Jerusalem

:20 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the people; the men, the women, and all the people who had given him that answer; saying:

:21 "The incense that you burned 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, did not the LORD remember them, and did it not come into His mind?

:22 "So the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and because of the abominations which you committed. Therefore your land is a desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this day.

:23 "Because you have burned incense and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies, therefore this calamity has happened to you, as at this day."

:24 Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt!

:25 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'You and your wives have spoken with your mouths and fulfilled with your hands, saying, "We will surely keep our vows that we have made, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her." You will surely keep your vows and perform your vows!'

Usually it’s a good thing to keep your word, to fulfill your “vows”. But there are some vows worth breaking, like vows to do wrong.

:26 "Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: 'Behold, I have sworn by My great name,' says the LORD, 'that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, "The Lord GOD lives."

:27 'Behold, I will watch over them for adversity and not for good. And all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them.

There will no longer be any people who claim to follow Yahweh in the land of Egypt (vs. 26) because God was going to wipe them all out, with one exception…

:28 'Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone to the land of Egypt to dwell there, shall know whose words will stand, Mine or theirs.

Escape Egypt

The only ones who would survive this episode in Egypt would be the ones who made a point to escape.

The majority of the restoration of the nation would come from the Jews that had been taken to Babylon and would return after seventy years.

:29 'And this shall be a sign to you,' says the LORD, 'that I will punish you in this place, that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for adversity.'

:30 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies and into the hand of those who seek his life, as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy who sought his life.'"

Hophra – He was the Pharaoh that had a treaty with Judah. He ruled from 589-570 BC. He initially marched his troops north to support King Zedekiah against the Babylonians, but when the Babylonians pulled back, he withdrew his troops without having engaged in any battles. He was slain in a revolt led by Ahmose in 570 B.C.

Hophra’s death would be a sign to the people that they were in BIG trouble with God.