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Bible Commentaries
Jeremiah 43

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary


Jeremiah 43:0


(The parentheses represent poetic literary units)

In Egypt Jeremiah Warns of JudgmentJeremiah Is Taken to EgyptFlight to Egypt(Jeremiah 42:1-7)Jeremiah Is Taken to EgyptThe Flight to Egypt(Jeremiah 42:1-7)
Jeremiah 43:1-7Jeremiah 43:1-7Jeremiah 43:1-7Jeremiah 43:1-7Jeremiah 43:1-3
Jeremiah 43:4-7
Jeremiah In Egypt(Jeremiah 43:8-30)Jeremiah Foretells the Invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar
Jeremiah 43:8-13Jeremiah 43:8-13Jeremiah 43:8-13(vv. Jeremiah 43:11)Jeremiah 43:8-13Jeremiah 43:8-11(vv. Jeremiah 43:11)
Jeremiah 43:12-13

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)


This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compare your subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-7

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Jeremiah 43:1-7 1But as soon as Jeremiah, whom the LORD their God had sent, had finished telling all the people all the words of the LORD their God-that is, all these words- 2Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are telling a lie! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, 'You are not to enter Egypt to reside there'; 3but Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us to give us over into the hand of the Chaldeans, so they will put us to death or exile us to Babylon.” 4So Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of the LORD to stay in the land of Judah. 5But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the commanders of the forces took the entire remnant of Judah who had returned from all the nations to which they had been driven away, in order to reside in the land of Judah 6the men, the women, the children, the king's daughters and every person that Nebuzaradan the captain of the bodyguard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam and grandson of Shaphan, together with Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch the son of Neriah 7and they entered the land of Egypt (for they did not obey the voice of the LORD) and went in as far as Tahpanhes.

Jeremiah 43:1 “Jeremiah, whom the LORD their God had sent” This phrase, like “Jeremiah the prophet” in Jeremiah 42:2, Jeremiah 42:4, affirms the true status of Jeremiah. He was YHWH's spokesperson to them. He was the giver of the “voice of YHWH” (cf. Jeremiah 42:13, Jeremiah 42:21). To disobey his prophecy was to disobey YHWH!

Jeremiah 43:2

NASB, TEV, NJB“the arrogant men” NKJV“the proud men” NRSV“the insolent men” PESHITTA“the wicked men”

The Hebrew word (BDB 267) has the connotation of those who knowingly reject YHWH's word/message (cf. Psalms 119:21; Proverbs 21:24; Malachi 4:1 [MT 3:19]).

This type of person is described in Jeremiah 5:12-13. The consequences of this attitude was clearly stated in Jeremiah 42:15-16.

“you are telling a lie” They knew that Jeremiah was a prophet because all of his predictions had come true, yet they had already made up their minds (cf. Jeremiah 41:17). They wanted the pretense of spirituality but not the demanded obedience!

Jeremiah 43:3 “but Baruch is inciting you against us” This shows that Baruch was more than just a secretary. He had great influence on Jeremiah (cf. chapter 45).

Jeremiah 43:5 “who had returned from all the nations to which they had been driven away, in order to reside in the land of Judah” They were afraid because of Ishmael's ruthless acts against Gedaliah and the Babylonian honor guard. These people had returned to live in the land of Judah; how ironical that now they were fleeing to Egypt.

Jeremiah 43:6 “together with Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch” The prophet and his scribe were forced to accompany them in the face of God's warning.

Jeremiah 43:7 “Tahpanhes” This is one of the border cities (i.e., in Egyptian, “the Fortress of Penhase”) in the eastern delta region on the caravan route to Palestine. It was just barely into Egypt's national boundary.

Verses 8-13

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Jeremiah 43:8-13 8Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, 9”Take some large stones in your hands and hide them in the mortar in the brick terrace which is at the entrance of Pharaoh's palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of some of the Jews; 10and say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, “Behold, I am going to send and get Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant, and I am going to set his throne right over these stones that I have hidden; and he will spread his canopy over them. 11He will also come and strike the land of Egypt; those who are meant for death will be given over to death, and those for captivity to captivity, and those for the sword to the sword. 12And I shall set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt, and he will burn them and take them captive. So he will wrap himself with the land of Egypt as a shepherd wraps himself with his garment, and he will depart from there safely. 13He will also shatter the obelisks of Heliopolis, which is in the land of Egypt; and the temples of the gods of Egypt he will burn with fire.”'“

Jeremiah 43:8-13 This paragraph describes the Babylonian invasion and destruction of Egypt as far as Heliopolis (Hebrew, “House of the Sun”). Jeremiah is again giving a very specific prophecy to prove/validate his role as prophet (possible date is 568-567 B.C.).

Jeremiah 43:10

NASB, NJB, REB“canopy” NKJV, PESHITTA“royal pavilion” TEV“royal tent” JPSOA“pavilion” LXX“his weapons”

The BDB 1051 and KB 1636 suggest that this term (found only here in the OT) could mean

1. royal pavilion

2. canopy

3. carpet

4. scepter (from Akkadian root)

The first three suggestions assume an Assyrian VERB, “to spread out.”

Jeremiah 43:11 This is a literary way of expressing YHWH's sovereignty (cf. Jeremiah 15:2) through Nebuchadnezzar (called YHWH's servant in Jeremiah 43:10).

The translation of Jeremiah 43:12a reflects this by the NRSV and REB having “he” and the MT having “I.” Nebuchadnezzar's army will do it but the real power and will are YHWH's.

Jeremiah 43:12 The idols will be burned and their gold, silver, and jewels taken to Babylon.

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 43". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/jeremiah-43.html. 2021.
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