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Bible Commentaries

Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Jeremiah 44

Verses 1-30

Jeremiah 44. Denunciation of the Jewish Worship of Ishtar in Egypt.— Jeremiah points to the desolation of Judah as the experienced consequence of idolatry, notwithstanding Yahweh’ s warnings ( Jeremiah 44:1-6). Why, then, do they repeat the offence, forgetting the past? Yahweh will destroy the remnant in Egypt, leaving fugitives only ( Jeremiah 44:7-14). The assembled men and women refuse to abandon the worship of Ishtar (“ the queen of heaven” , Jeremiah 7:18 *), which they have vowed ( Jeremiah 44:17, “ out of our mouth” , Judges 11:36); prosperity of old accompanied that worship, whereas, since its abandonment ( i.e., in Jeremiah 6:21, at the Deuteronomic Reformation) there has been nothing but disaster ( Jeremiah 44:15-19). Jeremiah urges his point, i.e. that the true connexion is between Jewish idolatry and Jewish disaster ( Jeremiah 44:20-23), and ironically tells them to fulfil their vows of idolatrous worship. Yahweh solemnly declares ( Jeremiah 44:26) that all Jewish reference to Him in Egypt shall cease (a grim hint that no Jews will be left). He is wakeful ( Jeremiah 1:12, Jeremiah 31:28) to bring this penalty; as its token, He asserts that the fate of the Egyptian king shall be like that of the Jewish. Pharaoh Hophra (589– 564) was defeated in 570 by a rebellion under Amasis (his successor), and was strangled in 564; see Herod, ii. 169.

Jeremiah 44:1 . Migdol: E. of Tahpanhes, Jeremiah 43:7; Noph: Memphis, near Cairo, Jeremiah 2:16; Pathros: S. or Upper Egypt.

Jeremiah 44:2 . The first ye is emphatic.

Jeremiah 44:3 . burn incense: rather “ offer sacrifice” , Jeremiah 1:16; so Jeremiah 44:8; Jeremiah 44:17, etc.

Jeremiah 44:9 . Read “ princes” for the first “ wives” with LXX; cf. Jeremiah 44:17; Jeremiah 44:21.

Jeremiah 44:15 . Egypt must denote Lower, Pathros Upper, Egypt; but such a gathering is improbable.

Jeremiah 44:19 . Some MSS of LXX, with Syr., put this verse into the mouth of the women, as the closing words require, by prefixing “ And (all) the women answered and said” . The cakes were perhaps star-shaped; cf. RVm. For the point of the women’ s reference to their husbands, see the later law of vows in Numbers 30:3-16.

Jeremiah 44:25 . Ye and your wives: read, with LXX, “ ye women” .

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Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Jeremiah 44". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". 1919.