Jer 43: "Jeremiah's forthright denunciation of the hypocrisy
of the ecclesial leaders, and his scathing revelation of the real motives
excited the angry rebuke of the people, who retaliate by accusing the prophet of
speaking falsely. These accusations were led by a man called Azariah (sig 'whom
Yahweh helps', but who denied the significance of his name). Perhaps Azariah was
presuming on the meaning of his name, forgetting that Yahweh hears and aids
those who do His will, but not those who reject His principles. So (1) The
captains angrily reject Yahweh's word: vv. 1-4. (2) Return to Egypt: vv 5-7.
Jeremiah is forced to go, so that if he could not protect them by his presence,
he should at least share their fate. (3) Jeremiah predicts Nebuchadnezzar's
invasion of Egypt: vv 8-13. Nebuchadnezzar is called 'the servant' of Yahweh (v
10) to accomplish the divine will in punishing the wayward nation. He is sent to
wage war on the gods of Egypt (vv 12,13). Sadly, the foolish Jews turn from
their Strength to these vain idols of the Gentiles (Jer 44). Egypt was to feel
the full force of the Babylonian onslaught, as the land of Egypt was affected by
the angelic action in the days of Moses. How quickly the influence of
worldliness affects those separated from the Egyptian darkness! Israel have
constantly sought to return to Egypt, as Lot's wife hankered after Sodom. The
lesson is obvious, as the world's attractions continue to challenge the spirit
of faith" (GEM).
Vv 7-11: At last the emigrants arrived at Tahpanhes, ten miles
west of where the Suez Canal now stands. There, in response to the word of the
Lord, Jeremiah the prophet called the attention of his fellow-Jews to a specific
prophecy regarding Nebuchadnezzar, whose wrath they had sought to
Not only would the king of Babylon come into Egypt, but he
would even set up his pavilion and throne of administration at the very place
where they now were. Egypt would surely feel the weight of his military might.
There would be plundering and destruction -- and surely these fearful and
faithless Jews would not escape him, even in this distant land! In as powerful
way as he possibly could, Jeremiah warned them, 'You may run from the judgments
of Yahweh, but you can't hide!'