44 1THE WORD that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who were dwelling in the land of Egypt--at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis--and in the country of Pathros, saying, 2Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the evil that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah; and see, this day they are a desolation and no man dwells in them 3Because of the wickedness which they committed, provoking Me to anger in that they went to burn incense to serve other gods that they did not know--neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. 4Yet I sent to you all My servants the prophets earnestly and persistently, saying, Oh, do not do this loathsome and shamefully vile thing that I hate and abhor! 5But they did not listen and obey or submit and consent to turn from their wickedness and burn no incense to other gods. 6Therefore My wrath and My anger were poured out and were kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they became wasted and desolate, as it is this day. 7Therefore now thus says the Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves that will cut off from you man and woman, infant and weaned child, out of Judah, to leave yourselves with none remaining? 8Why do you provoke Me to anger with the works (idols) of your own hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you [of your own accord] have come to dwell temporarily, that you might be cut off and become a curse and a reproach (an object of reviling and taunts) among all the nations of the earth? 9Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, the wickedness of the kings of Judah, the wickedness of their wives [who clung to their foreign gods], your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives [who imitated their queens], which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10They are not humbled (contrite, penitent, and bruised for their guilt and iniquities) even to this day, neither have they feared and revered [Me] nor walked in My law or My statutes which I set before you and before your fathers. 11Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set My face against you for evil--even to cut off all Judah [from the land]. 12And I will take away the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to come into the land of Egypt to dwell here temporarily [fleeing to Egypt instead of surrendering to the Chaldeans as directed by the Lord through Jeremiah], and they will all be consumed and will fall in the land of Egypt; they will be consumed by the sword and by famine. From the least even to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine. And they will be a detestable thing, an astonishment, a curse, and a reproach (an object of horror, reviling, and taunts). 13For I will punish all the inhabitants of the land of Egypt as I have punished Jerusalem--by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence-- 14So that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to the land of Egypt to dwell temporarily shall escape or survive or return to the land of Judah, to which they desire and lift up their souls to return to dwell there; for none shall return except [a few] fugitives. 15Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by--a great assembly--even all the people who dwelt in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: 16As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not listen to or obey you. 17But we will certainly perform every word of the vows we have made: to burn incense to the [A]queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her as we have done--we and our fathers, our kings and our princes--in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then we had plenty of food and were well off and prosperous and saw no evil. 18But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine. 19[And the wives said] When we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes [in the shape of a star] to represent and honor her and pour out drink offerings to her without [the knowledge and approval of] our husbands? 20Then Jeremiah said to all the people--to the men and to the women and to all the people who had given him that answer-- 21The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem--you and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land--did not the Lord [earnestly] remember [your idolatrous wickedness] and did it not come into His mind? 22The Lord could no longer endure the evil of your doings and the abominations which you have committed; because of them therefore has your land become a desolation and an [astonishing] waste and a curse, without inhabitants, as it is this day. 23Because you have burned incense [to idols] and because you have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord or walked in His law and in His statutes and in His testimonies, therefore this evil has fallen upon you, as it is this day. 24Moreover, Jeremiah said to all the people, including all the women, Hear the word of the Lord, all you of Judah who are in the land of Egypt, 25Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You and your wives have both declared with your mouths and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings to her. [Surely] then confirm your vows and [surely] perform your vows! [If you will defy all My warnings to you, then, by all means, go ahead!] 26Therefore hear the word of the Lord, all [you people of] Judah who dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by My great name, says the Lord, that My name shall no more be invoked by the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, As the Lord God lives. 27Behold, I am watching over them for evil and not for good; and all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine until there is an end of them and they are all destroyed. 28Yet a small number who escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah who came to the land of Egypt to dwell temporarily shall know whose words shall stand, Mine or theirs. 29And this will be the sign to you, says the Lord, that I will punish you in this place, so that you may know that My words will surely stand against you for evil. 30Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will give Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies and into the hands of those who seek his life, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of [B]Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, who was his enemy and was seeking his life.
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