New English Translation
Prophecies Against Foreign Nations
1 The LORD spoke to Jeremiah about the nations.
The Prophecy about Egypt's Defeat at Carchemish
2 He spoke about Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Necho king of Egypt which was encamped along the Euphrates River at Carchemish. Now this was the army that King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year that Jehoiakim son of Josiah was ruling over Judah.
3 "Fall into ranks with your shields ready! Prepare to march into battle!
4 Harness the horses to the chariots! Mount your horses! Put on your helmets and take your positions! Sharpen you spears! Put on your armor!
5 What do I see?" says the LORD. "The soldiers are terrified. They are retreating. They have been defeated. They are overcome with terror; they desert quickly without looking back.
6 But even the swiftest cannot get away. Even the strongest cannot escape. There in the north by the Euphrates Riverthey stumble and fall in defeat.
7 "Who is this that rises like the Nile, like its streams turbulent at flood stage?
8 Egypt rises like the Nile, like its streams turbulent at flood stage. Egypt says, 'I will arise and cover the earth. I will destroy cities and the people who inhabit them.'
9 Go ahead and charge into battle, you horsemen! Drive furiously, you charioteers! Let the soldiers march out into battle, those from Ethiopia and Libya who carry shields, and those from Lydia who are armed with the bow.
10 But that day belongs to the LORD God who rules over all. It is the day when he will pay back his enemies. His sword will devour them until its appetite is satisfied! It will drink their blood until it is full! For the LORD God who rules over all will offer them up as a sacrifice in the land of the north by the Euphrates River.
11 Go up to Gilead and get medicinal ointment, you dear poor people of Egypt. But it will prove useless no matter how much medicine you use; there will be no healing for you.
12 The nations will hear of your devastating defeat. your cries of distress will echo throughout the earth. In the panic of their flight one soldier will trip over another and both of them will fall down defeated."
The LORD Predicts that Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack and Plunder Egypt
13 The LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about Nebuchadnezzar coming to attack the land of Egypt.
14 "Make an announcement throughout Egypt. Proclaim it in Migdol, Memphis, and Tahpanhes. 'Take your positions and prepare to do battle. For the enemy army is destroying all the nations around you.'
15 Why will your soldiers be defeated? They will not stand because I, the LORD, will thrust them down.
16 I will make many stumble. They will fall over one another in their hurry to flee. They will say, 'Get up! Let's go back to our own people. Let's go back to our homelands because the enemy is coming to destroy us.'
17 There at home they will say, 'Pharaoh king of Egypt is just a big noise! He has let the most opportune moment pass by.'
18 I the King, whose name is the LORD who rules over all, swear this: I swear as surely as I live that a conqueror is coming. He will be as imposing as Mount Tabor is among the mountains, as Mount Carmel is against the backdrop of the sea.
19 Pack your bags for exile, you inhabitants of poor dear Egypt. For Memphis will be laid waste. It will lie in ruins and be uninhabited.
20 Egypt is like a beautiful young cow. But northern armies will attack her like swarms of stinging flies.
21 Even her mercenaries will prove to be like pampered, well-fed calves. For they too will turn and run away. They will not stand their ground when the time for them to be destroyed comes, the time for them to be punished.
22 Egypt will run away, hissing like a snake, as the enemy comes marching up in force. They will come against her with axes as if they were woodsmen chopping down trees.
23 The population of Egypt is like a vast, impenetrable forest. But I, the LORD, affirm that the enemy will cut them down. For those who chop them down will be more numerous than locusts. They will be too numerous to count.
24 Poor dear Egypt will be put to shame. She will be handed over to the people from the north."
25 The LORD God of Israel who rules over all says, "I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes. I will punish Egypt, its gods, and its kings. I will punish Pharaoh and all who trust in him. 26 I will hand them over to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops, who want to kill them. But later on, people will live in Egypt again as they did in former times. I, the LORD, affirm it!"
A Promise of Hope for Israel
27 "You descendants of Jacob, my servants, do not be afraid; do not be terrified, people of Israel. For I will rescue you and your descendants from the faraway lands where you are captives. The descendants of Jacob will return to their land and enjoy peace. They will be secure and no one will terrify them.
28 I, the LORD, tell you not to be afraid, you descendants of Jacob, my servant, for I am with you. Though I completely destroy all the nations where I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will indeed discipline you but only in due measure. I will not allow you to go entirely unpunished."
King James Version
1 The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles;
2 Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaoh-necho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.
3 Order ye the buckler and shield, and draw near to battle.
4 Harness the horses; and get up, ye horsemen, and stand forth with your helmets; furbish the spears, and put on the brigandines.
5 Wherefore have I seen them dismayed and turned away back? and their mighty ones are beaten down, and are fled apace, and look not back: for fear was round about, saith the LORD.
6 Let not the swift flee away, nor the mighty man escape; they shall stumble, and fall toward the north by the river Euphrates.
7 Who is this that cometh up as a flood, whose waters are moved as the rivers?
8 Egypt riseth up like a flood, and his waters are moved like the rivers; and he saith, I will go up, and will cover the earth; I will destroy the city and the inhabitants thereof.
9 Come up, ye horses; and rage, ye chariots; and let the mighty men come forth; the Ethiopians and the Libyans, that handle the shield; and the Lydians, that handle and bend the bow.
10 For this is the day of the Lord GOD of hosts, a day of vengeance, that he may avenge him of his adversaries: and the sword shall devour, and it shall be satiate and made drunk with their blood: for the Lord GOD of hosts hath a sacrifice in the north country by the river Euphrates.
11 Go up into Gilead, and take balm, O virgin, the daughter of Egypt: in vain shalt thou use many medicines; for thou shalt not be cured.
12 The nations have heard of thy shame, and thy cry hath filled the land: for the mighty man hath stumbled against the mighty, and they are fallen both together.
13 ¶ The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come and smite the land of Egypt.
14 Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee.
15 Why are thy valiant men swept away? they stood not, because the LORD did drive them.
16 He made many to fall, yea, one fell upon another: and they said, Arise, and let us go again to our own people, and to the land of our nativity, from the oppressing sword.
17 They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.
18 As I live, saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts, Surely as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea, so shall he come.
19 O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant.
20 Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north.
21 Also her hired men are in the midst of her like fatted bullocks; for they also are turned back, and are fled away together: they did not stand, because the day of their calamity was come upon them, and the time of their visitation.
22 The voice thereof shall go like a serpent; for they shall march with an army, and come against her with axes, as hewers of wood.
23 They shall cut down her forest, saith the LORD, though it cannot be searched; because they are more than the grasshoppers, and are innumerable.
24 The daughter of Egypt shall be confounded; she shall be delivered into the hand of the people of the north.
25 The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him:
26 And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the LORD.
27 ¶ But fear not thou, O my servant Jacob, and be not dismayed, O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.
28 Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.