1 These are Yahweh’s words ad dressed to the prophet Jeremiah con cerning the nations.
2 Concerning Egypt, this is the message against the army of Pha raoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates by Nebu chadnezzar, king of Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:
3 “Prepare shield and buckler,
3 and march to battle!
4 Harness the horses.
4 Into your saddles, horsemen!
4 To your ranks, with your helmets on!
4 Polish your spears!
4 Put on your breastplates!
5 But what do I see?
5 With broken ranks they fall back; their warriors are routed.
5 They flee headlong without looking back,
5 as terrors explode on every side.
6 The swift cannot flee,
6 nor the hero escape.
6 In the north by the Euphrates,
6 they stumble and fall.
7 Who is this surging forward like the Nile,
7 like rivers of billowing waters?
8 Egypt surges like the Nile,
8 like rivers of billowing waters.
8 She says, ‘I will rise and flood the earth;
8 I will sweep cities and their people away.’
9 Charge, horses!
9 Drive madly, charioteers!
9 March on, warriors –
9 men of Cush and Put, with your shields,
9 men of Lydia, with your bows.
10 This is the day of Yahweh God of hosts, a day of vengeance on his foes.
10 The sword devours, drunk with blood;
10 for Yahweh Sabaoth holds a sacrifice
10 in the north country by the Euphrates.
11 Go up to Gilead in search of balm,
11 virgin daughter of Egypt.
11 You have taken medicines in vain,
11 but for you there is no healing.
12 The nations have heard of your shame,
12 the earth is filled with your cries;
12 warrior has stumbled against warrior,
12 and both have fallen together.”
Invasion of Egypt
13 This is the message Yahweh gave to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of Nebu chadnezzar, king of Babylon, who was to attack Egypt:
14 “Announce this in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis and Tahpan hes. Say to them:
14 Take your posts; prepare for the worst!
14 The sword has devoured your neighbors.
15 Why has Apis fled?
15 Your black bull god did not make a stand!
15 Why? Because Yahweh thrust him down 16 and caused him to stumble and fall.
16 Then they said to each other:
16 ‘Get up, let us go back to our people,
16 to the land of our birth,
16 away from the devouring sword.’
17 Pharaoh, king of Egypt, will be called ‘The noisy one who lets his chance slip by.’
18 As surely as I live – says the King
18 whose name is Yahweh Sabaoth –
18 one will come who is like Tabor,
18 like Carmel above the sea.
19 Pack your belongings ready for exile,
19 you who live in Egypt,
19 for Memphis will be laid waste,
19 without inhabitants and desolate.
20 Egypt is a beautiful heifer,
20 but a gadfly from the north has come upon her.
21 The mercenaries in her ranks
21 are like fattened calves;
21 but they too have fled
21 failing to stand their ground,
21 for the day of their calamity has come,
21 the time of their punishment.
22 She makes a sound like a fleeing ser pent
22 as her enemies advance in force,
22 coming against her with axes,
22 like loggers cutting down trees.
23 Dense though her forest be,
23 they will raze it – says Yahweh.
23 They are beyond number,
23 more numerous than locusts.
24 The daughter of Egypt will be abased,
24 handed over to the people of the north.”
25 Yahweh Sabaoth, the God of Israel, has said: “I will punish Amon of Thebes, and Egypt with her gods and kings, Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchad nezzar, king of Babylon, and his ministers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited again as in times past – it is Yahweh who says so.
27 But fear not, my servant Jacob; be not dismayed, O Israel. I will deliver you from a dis tant land, your descendants from their place of exile. Jacob will again find rest, and no one will make him afraid.
28 Fear not, Jacob my servant, for I am with you – Yahweh speaks – I will make an end of the nations among which I scattered you, but I will spare you. I will discipline you, though, with justice; I will not let you go unpunished.