Jeremiah 44 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)
God’s Judgment against His People in Egypt
44 This is the word that came to Jeremiah for all the Jews living in the land of Egypt—at Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the land of Pathros: 2 “This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You have seen all the disaster I brought against Jerusalem and all Judah’s cities; look, they are a ruin today without an inhabitant in them 3 because of their evil ways that provoked Me to anger, going and burning incense to serve other gods that they, you, and your fathers did not know. 4 So I sent you all My servants the prophets time and time again,[a] saying: Don’t do this detestable thing that I hate. 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their evil or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 So My fierce wrath poured out and burned in Judah’s cities and Jerusalem’s streets so that they became the desolate ruin they are today.
7 “So now, this is what the Lord, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves? You are cutting off man and woman, child and infant from Judah, leaving yourselves without a remnant. 8 You are provoking Me to anger by the work of your hands. You are burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live for a while. As a result, you will be cut off and become an object of cursing and insult among all the nations of earth. 9 Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, the evils of Judah’s kings, the evils of their wives, your own evils, and the evils of your wives that were committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not become humble to this day, and they have not feared or followed My instruction or My statutes that I set before you and your ancestors.
11 “Therefore, this is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you to bring disaster, to cut off all Judah. 12 And I will take away the remnant of Judah, those who have resolved to go to the land of Egypt to live there for a while; they will meet their end. All of them in the land of Egypt will fall by the sword; they will meet their end by famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by the sword and by famine. Then they will become an object of cursing, scorn, execration, and disgrace. 13 I will punish those living in the land of Egypt just as I punished Jerusalem by sword, famine, and plague. 14 Then the remnant of Judah—those going to live for a while there in the land of Egypt—will have no fugitive or survivor to return to the land of Judah where they are longing[b] to return to live, for they will not return except for a few fugitives.”
The People’s Stubborn Response
15 However, all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, all the women standing by—a great assembly—and all the people who were living in the land of Egypt at Pathros answered Jeremiah, 16 “As for the word you spoke to us in the name of Yahweh, we are not going to listen to you! 17 Instead, we will do everything we said we would: burn incense to the queen of heaven[c] and offer drink offerings to her just as we, our fathers, our kings, and our officials did in Judah’s cities and in Jerusalem’s streets. Then we had enough food and good things and saw no disaster, 18 but from the time we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to offer her drink offerings, we have lacked everything, and through sword and famine we have met our end.”
19 And the women said,[d] “When we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it apart from our husbands’ knowledge that we made sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”
20 But Jeremiah responded to all the people—the men, women, and all the people who were answering him: 21 “As for the incense you burned in Judah’s cities and in Jerusalem’s streets—you, your fathers, your kings, your officials, and the people of the land—did the Lord not remember them? He brought this to mind. 22 The Lord can no longer bear your evil deeds and the detestable acts you have committed, so your land has become a waste, a desolation, and an object of cursing, without inhabitant, as you see today. 23 Because you burned incense and sinned against the Lord and didn’t obey the Lord’s voice and didn’t follow His instruction, His statutes, and His testimonies, this disaster has come to you, as you see today.”
24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including all the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: ‘As for you and your wives, you women have spoken with your mouths, and you men fulfilled it by your deeds, saying, “We will keep our vows that we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings for her.” Go ahead, confirm your vows! Pay your vows!’
26 “Therefore, hear the word of the Lord, all you Judeans who live in the land of Egypt: ‘I have sworn by My great name, says Yahweh, that My name will never again be invoked by anyone of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, “As the Lord God lives.” 27 I am watching over them for disaster and not for good, and every man of Judah who is in the land of Egypt will meet his end by sword or famine until they are finished off. 28 Those who escape the sword will return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah only few in number, and the whole remnant of Judah, the ones going to the land of Egypt to live there for a while, will know whose word stands, Mine or theirs! 29 This will be a sign to you’—this is the Lord’s declaration—‘that I am about to punish you in this place, so you may know that My words of disaster concerning you will certainly come to pass. 30 This is what the Lord says: I am about to hand over Pharaoh Hophra, Egypt’s king, to his enemies, to those who want to take his life, just as I handed over Judah’s King Zedekiah to Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar, who was his enemy, the one who wanted to take his life.’”
Jeremiah 44 New International Version (NIV)
Disaster Because of Idolatry
44 This word came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews living in Lower Egypt—in Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis—and in Upper Egypt: 2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You saw the great disaster I brought on Jerusalem and on all the towns of Judah. Today they lie deserted and in ruins 3 because of the evil they have done. They aroused my anger by burning incense to and worshiping other gods that neither they nor you nor your ancestors ever knew. 4 Again and again I sent my servants the prophets, who said, ‘Do not do this detestable thing that I hate!’ 5 But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. 6 Therefore, my fierce anger was poured out; it raged against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem and made them the desolate ruins they are today.
7 “Now this is what the Lord God Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Why bring such great disaster on yourselves by cutting off from Judah the men and women, the children and infants, and so leave yourselves without a remnant? 8 Why arouse my anger with what your hands have made, burning incense to other gods in Egypt, where you have come to live? You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves a curse[a] and an object of reproach among all the nations on earth. 9 Have you forgotten the wickedness committed by your ancestors and by the kings and queens of Judah and the wickedness committed by you and your wives in the land of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem? 10 To this day they have not humbled themselves or shown reverence, nor have they followed my law and the decrees I set before you and your ancestors.
11 “Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I am determined to bring disaster on you and to destroy all Judah. 12 I will take away the remnant of Judah who were determined to go to Egypt to settle there. They will all perish in Egypt; they will fall by the sword or die from famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by sword or famine. They will become a curse and an object of horror, a curse and an object of reproach. 13 I will punish those who live in Egypt with the sword, famine and plague, as I punished Jerusalem. 14 None of the remnant of Judah who have gone to live in Egypt will escape or survive to return to the land of Judah, to which they long to return and live; none will return except a few fugitives.”
15 Then all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, along with all the women who were present—a large assembly—and all the people living in Lower and Upper Egypt, said to Jeremiah, 16 “We will not listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord! 17 We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our ancestors, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. 18 But ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine.”
19 The women added, “When we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did not our husbands know that we were making cakes impressed with her image and pouring out drink offerings to her?”
20 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, both men and women, who were answering him, 21 “Did not the Lord remember and call to mind the incense burned in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem by you and your ancestors, your kings and your officials and the people of the land? 22 When the Lord could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, your land became a curse and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today. 23 Because you have burned incense and have sinned against the Lord and have not obeyed him or followed his law or his decrees or his stipulations, this disaster has come upon you, as you now see.”
24 Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including the women, “Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah in Egypt. 25 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: You and your wives have done what you said you would do when you promised, ‘We will certainly carry out the vows we made to burn incense and pour out drink offerings to the Queen of Heaven.’
“Go ahead then, do what you promised! Keep your vows! 26 But hear the word of the Lord, all you Jews living in Egypt: ‘I swear by my great name,’ says the Lord, ‘that no one from Judah living anywhere in Egypt will ever again invoke my name or swear, “As surely as the Sovereign Lord lives.” 27 For I am watching over them for harm, not for good; the Jews in Egypt will perish by sword and famine until they are all destroyed. 28 Those who escape the sword and return to the land of Judah from Egypt will be very few. Then the whole remnant of Judah who came to live in Egypt will know whose word will stand—mine or theirs.
29 “‘This will be the sign to you that I will punish you in this place,’ declares the Lord, ‘so that you will know that my threats of harm against you will surely stand.’ 30 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am going to deliver Pharaoh Hophra king of Egypt into the hands of his enemies who want to kill him, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the enemy who wanted to kill him.’”