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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 43

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-13

Chapter 43

So it came to pass, when Jeremiah was through speaking to all of the people the words of Jehovah their God, then spake Azariah, and Johanan, and all of the proud men, saying to Jeremiah, You're speaking falsely: Jehovah our God has not sent you to say, Don't go to Egypt to dwell there ( Jeremiah 43:1-2 ):

Now here they came and said, "Please pray to God, we beg you, pray to God for us, you know. Whatever God tells us we'll do whether it's good or evil. Please make supplication to God." Now Jeremiah lays it out to them, they say, "Oh, you're lying. God didn't tell you to say that to us."

But Baruch ( Jeremiah 43:3 )

That conspirator, he's the one that advised you to tell us this stuff in order that he might deliver us over as captives to the Babylonians.

that they might put us to death, and carry us away to Babylon. So Johanan, and the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah. But [all of these people] that had returned from these nations, that were with them; Even men, and women, and children, and the king's daughters, and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah, along with Jeremiah, and Baruch ( Jeremiah 43:3-6 ).

And it would seem according to Josephus that they forced Jeremiah to come and Baruch. They sort of kidnapped them. Took them by force.

So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes ( Jeremiah 43:7 ).

This, of course, to me is one of those sad and tragic scriptures. It ranks really as one of the most tragic of all the passages in the Word of God. For it is always tragic when a man returns to that from which God has once delivered him. He goes back to Egypt. Egypt is a type of our life in sin, a life after the flesh and the bondage to our flesh. And whenever a man or a nation returns to that place from which God had once delivered them, that is always a sad and a tragic day. Nine hundred years earlier God had delivered their fathers out of the horrible, cruel oppression of their Egyptian slavery and bondage. And now the sad day that they return. The reason for their return-fear, a lack of faith and trusting in God to sustain them in the land. And the fear of the retaliation of the Babylonians against them drove them back to Egypt. The lack of faith, which resulted in their disobedience. "And so they obeyed not the voice of the Lord and thus they came to Tahpanhes."

Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Take great stones in your hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh's house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of all of the men of Judah; and say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. And when he comes, he will smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword. And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself in the land of Egypt, as a shepherd puts on his garments; and he shall go forth from thence in peace. He shall break also the images of Bethshemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire ( Jeremiah 43:8-13 ).

So God said, "Take these great stones and put them in this clay pit where they had taken out the clay to make the bricks in the sight of all of the people, and say unto them, 'Over the top of these stones Nebuchadnezzar is going to build a pavilion of his court and he's going to set right here ruling over Egypt, destroying Egypt and their gods.' You come down here to escape Nebuchadnezzar, you're not going to escape him. You try to run from your problems, you can't run from your problems." God always wants us to face our problems with His strength and with His help. Never to run. A person never successfully runs away from a problem. We need to deal with the issues squarely with the help of the Lord. God will give us the strength. God will give us the help.

Flinders Petrie, famous archaeologist, several years ago now, I think it was in the 1920's, was excavating in Egypt Tell Defenneh. And as he was excavating there in Tell Defenneh, he came across this big pavement, pavilion, paved pavilion which was next to the ruins of the palace. And he dug under the bricks of this pavilion and found these very stones that Jeremiah had buried. These stones are now in a museum, the last I heard, in Cairo. The very stones that Jeremiah buried were found by Petrie as a witness to the truth of God's Word. Because Nebuchadnezzar did come down; he did conquer Egypt. He set his throne right there above the stones that Jeremiah buried. God's Word came to pass. God's Word will always come to pass. You can trust that God will keep His Word always.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Jeremiah 43". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/jeremiah-43.html. 2014.
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