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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books
Jeremiah 43

 

 

Verses 1-13

Indignation filled the hearts of "the proud men" of Judah at these words. Angrily, Azariah and the captain, Johanan, exclaimed, "Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there. But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives to Babylon" (Jeremiah 43:1-3).

It was a case of the wish being father to the thought. They were determined to go down to Egypt. They would not believe that GOD had forbidden them to do so. Nor did they have the effrontery, after all their humble speeches before, to charge Jeremiah with deliberately seeking to deceive them by palming off his own thoughts as a divine revelation; but Baruch was made the scapegoat, and upon him the blame was laid.

This man had faithfully stood in the breach with his master, and on several occasions had put his life in jeopardy by his boldness in carrying out commissions entrusted to him. But it was sheer folly to suppose the prophet to be a mere puppet moved by his servant. Only gross unbelief and determinate self-will could so conclude.

Forthwith Johanan and the captains gathered all the remnant together, forcing both Jeremiah and Baruch to be of the number, and set out for Egypt in direct opposition to the Word of the Lord. We read of no further delay until they arrived at Tahpanhes, where they concluded to settle (Jeremiah 43:4-7). This city was located in northeastern Egypt, some twenty miles from the historic treasure city of Pithon, the scene and reminder of Israel's former degradation, as built by their fathers in the days of their slavery. It was in the land of Goshen, and was dedicated to a heathen goddess.

Here the emigrants sought a home, hoping that they had left far behind them the awful trinity of destruction that had harassed them for so long - war, pestilence, and famine.

This could not be, however, for they were bent on a course of rebellion against the Lord. They could never be at home in the land from which He had once delivered them, when He separated them to Himself.

Jeremiah is again commissioned to warn them of the impending storm of divine wrath. He may be in a sense a prisoner, but "the Word of the Lord is not bound," and he is bidden to instruct the people both by an object-lesson and by word of mouth. At the Lord's bidding, he took great stones in his hand, which he hid in the brick-kiln at the entry of Pharaoh's house in the city, in the sight of the men of Judah. From this it would appear that the king of Egypt sometimes resided in Tahpanhes (Jeremiah 43:8-9), if at this time it was not, indeed, his capital.

Having thus attracted the attention of the people, he declared in the name of the Lord of hosts that He was about to send Nebuchadrezzar, who is again designated "My servant," (Jeremiah 43:10) and all the land of Egypt should be given into his hands. His throne was to be set upon the stones thus hidden, and his royal pavilion spread over them. Like a shepherd (as the shepherd kings had done before, in the days of the patriarchs), he should "array himself with the land of Egypt" as with a garment. Egypt's gods and their people would be destroyed in that day, and it would be vain for the men of Judah to seek relief from his vengeance (Jeremiah 43:10-13).

With more fulness of detail the same theme is taken up in the next chapter.

 

 

 

 


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Bibliography Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 43:4". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/jeremiah-43.html. 1914.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20
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