A group of Judeans defy Yahweh’s will and travel to Egypt. Jeremiah places stones in front of Pharaoh’s palace for the eventual throne of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy Egypt’s temples and bring death and captivity to its inhabitants.
Nebuchadnezzar will make himself comfortable: “[Nebuchadnezzar] will wrap himself up in the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself up in his garment” (v. 12).
III. Select Verses
1-3: When Jeremiah had finished speaking all these words to all the people — all the words of the LORD their God, with which the LORD their God had sent him to them — Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The LORD our God did not send you to say, ‘Don’t go to Egypt and sojourn there’! It is Baruch son of Neriah who is inciting you against us, so that we will be delivered into the hands of the Chaldeans to be killed or to be exiled to Babylon!”
8-11: And the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: Get yourself large stones, and embed them in mortar in the brick structure at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes, with some Judeans looking on. And say to them: “Thus said the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: I am sending for My servant King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones which I have embedded. He will spread out his pavilion over them. He will come and attack the land of Egypt, delivering ¶ Those destined for the plague, to the plague, Those destined for captivity, to captivity, And those destined for the sword, to the sword.
12-13. And I will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn them down and carry them off. He shall wrap himself up in the land of Egypt, as a shepherd wraps himself up in his garment. And he shall depart from there in safety. He shall smash the obelisks of the Temple of the Sun which is in the land of Egypt, and he shall burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.
1-3. Johanan and his men impugn Jeremiah’s decision, attributing it to Baruch 4-7. Johanan travels to Egypt with the remnant of Judah, the kings daughters, and Jeremiah and Baruch 8-13. Oracle for symbolic action 8. Introduction: message to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, Egypt 9.-10 Symbolic action: place stones in Pharaoh’s palace for Nebuchadnezzar’s throne 11. Nebuchadnezzar will bring death and captivity 12-13. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the temples and gods of Egypt
Yahweh speaks to Jeremiah at Tahpanhes. Many identify this site with the city called Daphnae by the Greeks, probably modern Tell ed-Defenna, situated about 8 km W of el-Qantara and about 24 km SW of Pelusium/Farmea/Tell el-Farama on the eastern delta of Egypt bordering Sinai. (Richard N. Jones, Zbigniew T. Fiema, “Tahpanhes (Place),” Anchor Bible Dictionary 6: 308).
If this identification is correct, the Judahites would have been approximately 191 miles (308 km) from their homeland.
VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
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