Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, May 25th, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 43

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-13

Jeremiah 43:3 . Baruch setteth thee on against us, in our purpose to seek an asylum in Egypt. Jeremiah’s character as a prophet, having received the seals of providence, they durst not deny him the glory, but artfully threw the blame on Baruch.

Jeremiah 43:7 . Tahpanhes, is Pelusium, and called Hanes in Isaiah 30:4. It was the frontier fortress of Egypt, and is now the residence of the court. It is by others called Daphnæ.

Jeremiah 43:13 . Bethshemesh, the house of the sun, which the LXX read, Heliopolis, the city of the sun. It was situate between Alexandria and the Coptus, and so called because it had a temple dedicated to the sun, and was the grand seat of Egyptian idolatry. Its inhabitants were reckoned the most enlightened and ingenious of all the Egyptians. See Strabo, lib. 17., and Herodotus.


No sooner had Jeremiah closed his speech, and delivered his revelation from the Lord, than it was rejected, and slandered as a lie of Baruch’s forgery. Nay, so violent were those men, that they forcibly carried away Jeremiah, and all the people into Egypt. They forsook the wings of JEHOVAH to trust in the bruised reeds of Egypt, which had so often proved faithless to the Hebrews. God sends a spirit of infatuation on wicked men who reject his word, and they go from evil to evil till they go to their own place.

The wicked often involve their children in their own calamities. They carried away the king’s daughters, who were of course in nonage and infancy, as Zedekiah’s reign was short. Thus the iniquities of the fathers, by a mysterious providence, were temporally visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.

When the wicked flee from one country to another, they take their guilt with them, and their punishment is sure to follow. Scarcely had these refugees received the promises of protection from Pharaoh, scarcely had they got settled in the places assigned them for a dwelling, before Jeremiah troubled them with new predictions. He threw great stones into the brick kiln as a sort of pedestal for Nebuchadnezzar’s throne, who is called the Lord’s servant, because he accomplished his pleasure in scourging the impious nations. He described all the horrors of his invasion. He saw the cities stormed, he saw the carnage of the sword, he saw the princes led to execution, and the best looking of the younger people delivered to captivity. Nay, more: he saw the temples of Egypt, in which these apostate Jews had sought refuge, all in flames, as the defiled temple of Jerusalem. When the sanctuary of God becomes impure with crimes, it is not long before the Lord purifies it with vengeance. May sinners learn never to speak against religion, because it is the only hope and refuge of man.

The burning of the Egyptian temples claims a farther thought. When God inspires an army to do his awful pleasure, they astonish the earth by their ardour, their courage and achievements. Rabshakeh scarcely deigned to mention the conquests of nations, being so much taken up with the conquests of the gods of Hamath, Arphad, and Damascus. Belshazzar boasted with equal pride of the gods his grandfather had subdued. Isaiah 36:0. Daniel 5:0. Xerxes with equal pride burnt the temples of Greece and Asia in his career of devastation. Hence Jeremiah showed his apostate countrymen the temple of the sun in Bethshemesh, this most ancient seat of idolatry, all in flames, that they might make a just transition in their own thoughts to the unquenchable fire about to receive them, unless a radical work of repentance ensued.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Jeremiah 43". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/jeremiah-43.html. 1835.
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