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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 44

Bullinger's Companion Bible NotesBullinger's Companion Notes

Verse 1

The Thirty-Ninth Prophecy of Jeremiah (see book comments for Jeremiah).

This was Jeremiah's Thirty-Ninth and latest prophecy (see book comments for Jeremiah) relating to Israel. Chapters 46-51 relate to the Gentiles.

which dwell, &c. See longer note below.

Migdol. See note on Exodus 14:2 .

Tahpanhes. See note on Jeremiah 43:7 .

Noph. A contraction of the Egyptian Manu fr = the abode of the good. Hebrew. Moph in Hosea 9:6 ; afterward = Memphis; now Abu Sir. Compare Jeremiah 2:16 ; Jeremiah 46:14 , Jeremiah 46:19 .

Pathros. A part of Upper Egypt, south of Memphis. Compare Isaiah 11:11 .Ezekiel 29:14 ; Ezekiel 30:14 .


"The Jews which dwell in the land op Egypt " (Jeremiah 44:1 ).

As the end of the kingdom of Judah drew near, many of the Jews were determined to go into Egypt ; and this in spite of the warning given by Jehovah through Jeremiah. In Jeremiah 44:0 we have the latest prophecy concerning those who had gone thither; which declared that they should not escape, but should be consumed there (Jeremiah 44:27 , &c). This prophecy must have been fulfilled concerning that generation; but their successors, or others that subsequently followed, continued there a little longer, until the time came for Egypt itself to fall into the hands of Babylon. Recent discoveries of Papyri in the ruins of Elephantine (an island in the Nile, opposite Assouan), dating from the fifth century BC, bear witness to two great facts:

(1) That Jews were then dwelling there (in 424-405 BC).

(2) That they were observing the Feast of the Passover, "as it is written in the law of Moses".

The importance of these Papyri lies in the fact that modern critics confidently assert and assume that the greater part of the Pentateuch was not written till after the Exile ; and even then neither collectively as a whole, nor separately in its distinctive books.

In App-92 . it is shown that all through the prophets (who lived at the time of the kings in whose reigns they prophesied) there is a constant reference to the books of the Pentateuch, which conclusively proves that their contents were well known both to the prophets themselves and those whom they addressed. The Pentateuch, being full of legal expressions, technical ceremonial terms, and distinctive phraseology, affords abundant evidence of the above fact, and makes it easy to call continuous attention to it in the notes of The Companion Bible.

But there is further evidence found in the Papyri now discovered in the ruins at Elephantine in Upper Egypt.

They show that the Jews who dwelt there had a temple of their own and offered up sacrifices therein. That once, when this their temple was destroyed by the Egyptians, they appealed to the Persian governor of Judah, asking permission to restore it (Papyrus I).

There is a list preserved, registering the contributions towards the upkeep of the temple (containing the names of many ladies).

But the most interesting and important of these Papyri is one dated in the year 419 BC which is a Passover "announcement" of the approaching feast, such as were made from the earliest times to the present day (see Nehemiah 8:15 ), containing a brief epitome of its laws and requirements. This particular announcement shows that the following passages were well known : Exodus 12:16 . Leviticus 23:7-8 . Numbers 9:1-14 .Deuteronomy 16:6 .

This Papyrus has been recently published by Professor Edward Sachau, of Berlin: Aramdische Papyrus una Ostraka aus einer jildischen Militarkolonie zu Elephantine. Altorientalische Sprachdenkmaler des 5. Jahrhunderts vor Chr., mit 75 Lichtdrucktafalein. Leipzig, 1911. A small edition (texts only) by Professor Ungnad, of Jena, is published also under the title of Aramaische Papyrus aus Elephantine.

Nearly 2,400 years, since this announcement by Hananjah to the Jews in Egypt, have gone by. Elephantine is now a heap of ruins. The colony of Jews has passed away (unless the "Falashas" of Abyssinia are their descendants), but the Jewish nation still exists, and continues to keep the Passover, a standing witness to their truth of holy Scripture.

Verse 2

the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 7:3 .

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra'a'. App-44 .

Verse 3

wickedness. Hebrew. ra'a. App-44 .

serve other gods. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 13:6 ; Deuteronomy 32:17 ).

Verse 4

rising early, &c. See note on Jeremiah 7:13 .

Verse 7

the LORD, the God of hosts, the God of Israel. See note on Jeremiah 35:17 .

God. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, omit "the God".

against your souls. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 16:38 ).

souls. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

man. Hebrew ' ish . App-14 .

child = little one.

out of Judah = out of the midst of Judah.

Verse 8

works. Some codices, with five early printed editions (one, margin), and Syriac, read "work" (singular)

gone = come.

dwell = sojourn.

among. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "to".

Verse 9

wickedness = wickednesses, or wicked ways. Hebrew. ra'a'. App-44 . Note the Figure of speech Repetitio , used for great emphasis.

their wives. See Jeremiah 44:15 .

Verse 10

humbled = contrite.

Verse 11

I will set My face, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 17:10 ; Leviticus 20:3 , Leviticus 20:5 , Leviticus 20:6 ). App-92 .

Verse 13

as = according as.

Verse 14

have a desire = lift up their soul. Hebrew. nephesh, App-13 .

Verse 15

all. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Whole), for the specified part.

men. Hebrew, plural of enosh App-14 : i.e. the husbands.

multitude = assembly.

Verse 17

whatsoever thing goeth forth, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Numbers 30:12 .Deuteronomy 23:23; Deuteronomy 23:23 ). App-92 .

victuals. Hebrew "bread". Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), for all kinds of food.

Verse 20

men. Hebrew, plural of geber. App-14 .

Verse 21

them: i.e. your fathers.

it: i.e. the incense.

into His mind = upon His heart. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia. .

Verse 22

bear = forbear.

Verse 26

I have sworn, &c . Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 22:16 ).

The Lord GOD. Hebrew Adonai Jehovah. App-4 .

Verse 28

shall return, &c. So that the king ' s daughters either returned to Judah or remained in Egypt.

Verse 30

them. Not Nebuchadnezzar; but, as the monuments now tell us, the soldiers who revolted against Hophra. He was delivered into their hands, as Zedekiah had already been delivered into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.

life = soul. Hebrew. nephesh.

as = according as.

Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 44". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/jeremiah-44.html. 1909-1922.
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