Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Pharaoh Falls

Week 46 – Book of Jeremiah

Read Jeremiah Chapter 46


“The great prediction which runs like a golden thread through the whole contents of the Old Testament is that regarding the coming and work of the Messiah.”[1] Many prophecies concerning the Jewish nation, to include Abraham and his descendants, Isaac and Jacob and their descendants, have been fulfilled. Today, some prophecies of the Bible are being fulfilled or not yet fulfilled. “The great body of Old Testament prophecy relates directly to the advent of the Messiah.”[2]  The New Testament contains many predictions directly delivered by Jesus. Christians still wait for the promise of the Second Advent of Christ to be fulfilled.

“Jeremiah indeed foretold a remarkably series of historical events.”[3] Prophecies are to help guide the Hebrew people, the Chosen People of God, despite their rebellion and disobedience. A prophet during the reign of five kings, Jeremiah gives 18 prophecies. The first prophecy relates to the fall of Judah and Jerusalem. Not well liked because of his foretelling of destruction, Jeremiah finds himself beaten, imprisoned, and although acquitted, he is even “tried on charges of the capital crime of false prophecy.”[4]

The words Jeremiah speaks come from Yahweh. Sometimes he uses symbolic meanings to explain the message, like the potter and the clay. All the prophecies have these basic truths: the sinful disobedience to God, God’s righteous judgment for the sin, and hope of restoration. God’s messenger Jeremiah defines the judgment to come as Babylonian captivity and exile and repeatedly reminds them of God’s mercy. The kings often disregarded the prophecies, to their regret.

The most profound prophecies are still remembered by the Jewish faithful today, the fall of Judah resulting in Babylonian exile and the destruction of the Temple. The defeat of Babylon and the return of the Jews to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple fulfills the prophecy of God’s plan for His people, a future to come.

Jeremiah’s prophecy regarding the New Covenant reveals a “context of redemptive history.”[5]  He prophesies during the last stages of the decline of Judah, the final years of the Southern Kingdom. Expressions of restoration and renewal weave throughout the Old Testament but complete “restoration would dawn only when Jesus of Nazareth came into Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God.”[6] The gospel “is foreshadowed by Jeremiah’s message” and with “his words and suffering he points to the sovereign grace of God in his control over world history and his faithfulness to His covenant that will be fulfilled in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.”[7] Jeremiah is remembered and studied today as a prophet to the nations, a prophet of judgment and hope, a prophet of destruction and restoration.



We are entering the last segment of the book of Jeremiah, chapters 46-52. Most commentaries call chapters 46-49 God’s judgment on the nations, with chapters 50-51 relating to the fall of Babylon.  “While the names, places, and events are ancient history to most of us, the lessons behind these events reveal to us the hand of God in the rise and fall of rulers and nations.”[8] In Chapter 46 we find God’s judgment on Egypt. Even though Pharaoh Neco defeats Judah, killing King Josiah at Megiddo in 609 BC, history tells us that Nebuchadnezzar defeats Neco in Carchemish during Jehoiakim’s reign. This begins the rise of the Babylonian Empire as a superpower. In chapter 46, Jeremiah describes the Babylonian invasion of Egypt.

The famous Battle of Carchemish becomes the focus of Jeremiah, the great and shameful defeat of Egypt by a new world power. In verse 5 we again see the familiar phrase “‘terror on every side’ that we’ve met before (6:25, 20:3) and will meet again (49:29).”[9] Full of confidence, Egyptian military leaders go into battle with horses and chariots. “Egypt is the primary source of fine horses during this time period.”[10] Horses imported from Egypt during Solomon’s reign sell for “600 shekels of silver.”[11] Predictions that “no healing” for Egypt (v 11) is especially ironic as “Egypt was renowned for its expertise in the healing arts.”[12] This is “a holy war in that God offered Egypt as a sacrifice.”[13]

Scholars date vs 13-26 around 568-67 BC, which fulfills Jeremiah’s action sermon previously described in Jeremiah 43:8-13. Various metaphors and imagery reflect soldiers, military failure, symbols of the Egyptian pharaoh, and Egyptian deities. “I shall give them over… into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.” (v 26) Nebuchadnezzar does conquer Egypt but his “conquest of Egypt was only temporary, the destruction minimal, and he soon withdrew without making it part of his empire.”[14]

In the closing words, once again God’s hope for Israel rises above the chaos, “I am going to save you from afar.” (v 27) The Lord continues to reassure, “do not fear, for I am with you.” (v 28) “God’s love is far-reaching and multifaceted. It includes blessing, protection, and guidance. It also includes discipline, forgiveness, and restoration.”[15]


. . . The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. He gave the sea its boundaries and locked the oceans in vast reservoirs . . . let everyone stand in awe of Him. . . The LORD looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From His throne He observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so He understands everything they do. . . the LORD watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love. . . We depend on the LORD alone to save us. Only He can help us, protecting us like a shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we are trusting in His holy name. . . our hope is in You alone. Psalm 33 NLT

I invite you to read all of Psalm 33 as it describes the characteristics of our Sovereign God, the LORD of all creation. In these verses we are reminded of Genesis chapter 1 as it reflects the beginnings of the world. God is referred to in Genesis 1:1-3 as Elohimthe All-powerful One, the Creator. The LORD in Psalm 33 is the Hebrew Yahweh, I AM, the One Who Is. God never changes, and His promises never fail. He is always faithful, even when we are not.


I don’t know about you, but my imagination cannot begin to understand this kind of holy power. Just thinking about the minute details of every living thing brings a sense of awe and wonder to my mind. This reverent awe, this overwhelming wonder brings me to my knees in worship and praise of God. This kind of fear transforms the heart, mind, and soul; this is the mark of reverence.


LORD, Yahweh ~ You are the beginning and the end of all things, of all measured time. Your whisper can change the wind, calm the storm, light the night sky, and water the earth. Your Goodness embraces me and Your Protection surrounds me, but I do not notice. You are the Source of life, yet I forget. Forgive me as You fill me with holy wonder. Transform me as You teach me unfailing love. May my life reveal a mark of reverence for the Creator of all!



Eugene Peterson writes, “God isn’t geographically restricted… His mercy extends to the far corners of the earth.” We frequently make God small, try to explain the mystery, and sometimes put Him in a little defined and limited container.

How BIG do you allow God to be in your life?

Donna Oswalt

[1] Easton’s Bible Dictionary

[2] Ibid

[3] Prophecies of Jeremiah

[4] Ibid

[5] Gospel Transformation Study Bible, intro to Jeremiah

[6] Ibid

[7] Ibid

[8] Be Decisive, Wiersbe, Warren p 164

[9] Ibid, p 165

[10] Archaeological Study Bible

[11] 1 Kings 10:28-29                                                                                                                                                           

[12] Archaeological Study Bible

[13] Wiersbe, p 165

[14] Apologetics Study Bible, Jeremiah 46:26b

[15] Blackaby Study Bible notes on Jeremiah 46

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you would like me to respond to you, please leave me an email address.