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Jeremiah 46 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

VIII. Oracles Against the Nations[a]

Chapter 46

The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations.

Against Egypt. Concerning Egypt. Against the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates[b] by Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, king of Judah:

Prepare buckler and shield!
    move forward to battle!
Harness the horses,
    charioteers, mount up!
Fall in, with helmets on;
    polish your spears, put on your armor.
What do I see?
    Are they panicking, falling apart?
    Their warriors are hammered back,
They flee headlong
    never making a stand.
Terror on every side—
    oracle of the Lord!
The swift cannot flee,
    nor the warrior escape:
There up north, on the banks of the Euphrates
    they stumble and fall.
Who is this? Like the Nile, it rears up;
    like rivers, its waters surge.
Egypt rears up like the Nile,
    like rivers, its waters surge.
“I will rear up,” it says, “and cover the earth,
    destroying the city and its people.
Forward, horses!
    charge, chariots!
March forth, warriors,
    Cush and Put, bearing shields,
    Archers of Lud, stretching bows!”
10 Today belongs to the Lord God of hosts,
    a day of vengeance, vengeance on his foes!
The sword devours and is sated, drunk with their blood:
    for the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice
    in the land of the north, on the River Euphrates.
11 Go up to Gilead, procure balm,
    Virgin daughter Egypt!
No use to multiply remedies;
    for you there is no healing.
12 The nations hear your cries,
    your screaming fills the earth.
Warrior stumbles against warrior,
    both collapse together.

13 The word that the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet when Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, came to attack the land of Egypt:[c]

14 Proclaim in Egypt, announce in Migdol,
    announce in Memphis and Tahpanhes!
Say: Fall in, get ready,
    the sword has devoured your neighbors.
15 Why has Apis[d] fled?
    Your champion did not stand,
Because the Lord thrust him down;
16     he stumbled repeatedly then collapsed.
They said to each other,
    “Get up! We must return to our own people,
To the land of our birth,
    away from the destroying sword.”
17 Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name
18 As I live, says the King
    whose name is Lord of hosts,
Like Tabor above mountains,
    like Carmel[f] above the sea, he comes.
19 Pack your bags for exile,
    enthroned daughter Egypt;
Memphis shall become a wasteland,
    an empty ruin.
20 Egypt is a beautiful heifer,
    a horsefly from the north keeps coming.
21 Even the mercenaries in her ranks
    are like fattened calves;
They too turn and flee together—
    they do not stand their ground,
For their day of ruin comes upon them,
    their time of punishment.
22 Her voice is like a snake!
    Yes, they come in force;
They attack her with axes,
    like those who fell trees.
23 They cut down her forest—oracle of the Lord
    impenetrable though it be;
More numerous than locusts,
    they cannot be counted.
24 Shamed is daughter Egypt,
    handed over to a people from the north.

25 The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, has said: See! I will punish Amon[g] of Thebes and Egypt, gods, kings, Pharaoh, and those who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchadrezzar, king of Babylon, and to his officers. But later, Egypt shall be inhabited again, as in days of old—oracle of the Lord.

27 But you, my servant Jacob, do not fear;
    do not be dismayed, Israel!
Listen! I will deliver you from far-off lands;
    your offspring, from the land of their exile.
Jacob shall again find rest,
    secure, with none to frighten him.
28 You, Jacob my servant, must not fear—oracle of the Lord
    for I am with you;
I will make an end of all the nations
    to which I have driven you,
But of you I will not make an end:
    I will chastise you as you deserve,
    I cannot let you go unpunished.


  1. 46:1–51:64 A collection of oracles against foreign nations constitutes the final section of the Hebrew text of Jeremiah; in the Greek text they follow 25:13. The oracles here appear to be arranged in loose chronological order: 46:2 mentions the fourth year of Jehoiakim; the oracles in 50:1–51:64 are evidently from the end of Jeremiah’s life.
  2. 46:2 Carchemish on the Euphrates: the western terminus of the Mesopotamian trade route, where Nebuchadnezzar defeated Pharaoh Neco in 605 B.C., thus gaining undisputed control of Syria and Palestine.
  3. 46:13 In 601 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar advanced into Egypt itself, but finally had to withdraw to Syria.
  4. 46:15 Apis: the chief god of Memphis; the black bull honored as an incarnation of the god Ptah and, later, of the god Osiris.
  5. 46:17 “Braggart-missed-his-chance”: the Hebrew phrase may contain a pun on the Pharaoh’s name or royal title.
  6. 46:18 Tabor…Carmel: mountains in Palestine that seem to tower over their surroundings as Nebuchadnezzar towers over the nations in his path as he makes his way toward Egypt.
  7. 46:25 Amon: the sun-god worshiped at Thebes in Upper Egypt.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Jeremiah 46 New International Version (NIV)

A Message About Egypt

46 This is the word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations:

Concerning Egypt:

This is the message against the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah:

“Prepare your shields, both large and small,
    and march out for battle!
Harness the horses,
    mount the steeds!
Take your positions
    with helmets on!
Polish your spears,
    put on your armor!
What do I see?
    They are terrified,
they are retreating,
    their warriors are defeated.
They flee in haste
    without looking back,
    and there is terror on every side,”
declares the Lord.
“The swift cannot flee
    nor the strong escape.
In the north by the River Euphrates
    they stumble and fall.

“Who is this that rises like the Nile,
    like rivers of surging waters?
Egypt rises like the Nile,
    like rivers of surging waters.
She says, ‘I will rise and cover the earth;
    I will destroy cities and their people.’
Charge, you horses!
    Drive furiously, you charioteers!
March on, you warriors—men of Cush[a] and Put who carry shields,
    men of Lydia who draw the bow.
10 But that day belongs to the Lord, the Lord Almighty—
    a day of vengeance, for vengeance on his foes.
The sword will devour till it is satisfied,
    till it has quenched its thirst with blood.
For the Lord, the Lord Almighty, will offer sacrifice
    in the land of the north by the River Euphrates.

11 “Go up to Gilead and get balm,
    Virgin Daughter Egypt.
But you try many medicines in vain;
    there is no healing for you.
12 The nations will hear of your shame;
    your cries will fill the earth.
One warrior will stumble over another;
    both will fall down together.”

13 This is the message the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to attack Egypt:

14 “Announce this in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol;
    proclaim it also in Memphis and Tahpanhes:
‘Take your positions and get ready,
    for the sword devours those around you.’
15 Why will your warriors be laid low?
    They cannot stand, for the Lord will push them down.
16 They will stumble repeatedly;
    they will fall over each other.
They will say, ‘Get up, let us go back
    to our own people and our native lands,
    away from the sword of the oppressor.’
17 There they will exclaim,
    ‘Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise;
    he has missed his opportunity.

18 “As surely as I live,” declares the King,
    whose name is the Lord Almighty,
“one will come who is like Tabor among the mountains,
    like Carmel by the sea.
19 Pack your belongings for exile,
    you who live in Egypt,
for Memphis will be laid waste
    and lie in ruins without inhabitant.

20 “Egypt is a beautiful heifer,
    but a gadfly is coming
    against her from the north.
21 The mercenaries in her ranks
    are like fattened calves.
They too will turn and flee together,
    they will not stand their ground,
for the day of disaster is coming upon them,
    the time for them to be punished.
22 Egypt will hiss like a fleeing serpent
    as the enemy advances in force;
they will come against her with axes,
    like men who cut down trees.
23 They will chop down her forest,”
declares the Lord,
    “dense though it be.
They are more numerous than locusts,
    they cannot be counted.
24 Daughter Egypt will be put to shame,
    given into the hands of the people of the north.

25 The Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh. 26 I will give them into the hands of those who want to kill them—Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past,” declares the Lord.

27 “Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;
    do not be dismayed, Israel.
I will surely save you out of a distant place,
    your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
    and no one will make him afraid.
28 Do not be afraid, Jacob my servant,
    for I am with you,” declares the Lord.
“Though I completely destroy all the nations
    among which I scatter you,
    I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
    I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”


  1. Jeremiah 46:9 That is, the upper Nile region
New International Version (NIV)

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