ORACLES CONCERNING THE NATIONS
1This is what the LORD told the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations.
Prophecy against Egypt
2About Egypt! A message for the army of Pharaoh Neco, Egypt’s king, which was defeated by Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish near the Euphrates River in the fourth year of Judah’s King Jehoiakim, Josiah’s son:
3Grab your shields
and prepare for war!
4Saddle the horses;
mount the stallions!
Take your positions
with helmets on!
Polish your spears;
put on your armor!
5Why do I see them terrified,
retreating in haste?
Their soldiers are crushed,
running for cover,
and they don’t turn back.
Panic lurks at every turn,
declares the LORD.
6The swift can’t flee;
the mighty can’t escape.
Up north by the Euphrates River,
they stagger and fall.
7Who is this that rises like the Nile,
whose banks overflow?#Or like rivers whose waters roar
8It’s Egypt that rises like the Nile,
whose banks overflow,#Or like rivers whose waters roar
who declares, "I will arise
and cover the earth
and destroy cities and inhabitants."
9Charge, you horses;
advance, you chariots!
Attack, you soldiers
with your shield in hand,
you people of Cush and Put#Traditionally Ethiopia and Libya
with your bow drawn,
you archers from Lud.
10But that day belongs to the
LORD God of heavenly forces;
it’s a day of reckoning,
settling scores with enemies.
The sword will devour
until it has had its fill of blood.
The LORD God of heavenly forces
is preparing a sacrifice in the north
by the Euphrates River.
11Go up to Gilead and seek balm,
virgin Daughter Egypt.
You search out remedies in vain,
for your disease is incurable.
12Nations hear of your shame;
the earth is filled with your sobs.
Soldier stumbles over soldier;
together they go down.
13This is the word that the LORD spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the military offensive of Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar against the land of Egypt:
14Tell Egypt, warn Migdol,
alert Memphis and Tahpanhes!
Say: "Brace yourselves for what’s coming.
War is breaking out from every side!"
15Why have your mighty fallen?
Why haven’t they stood their ground?
Because the LORD has struck them down.
16He’s tripped them up;
they fall over each other and say,
"Let’s get out of here
and go home to our people,
where we were born,
far away from the oppressor’s sword."#Heb uncertain
17There they call Pharaoh, Egypt’s king,
Loudmouth—Nothing But Hot Air!
18As I live, declares the king,
whose name is the LORD of heavenly forces,
one is coming
just as surely as Tabor is in the mountains
and Carmel is by the sea.#Heb uncertain
19Get what you need for deportation,
you inhabitants of Egypt.#Or inhabitant, Daughter Egypt
Memphis will be reduced to a wasteland,
a ruin with no one left.
20Egypt is a beautiful, yes, beautiful heifer,
but a horsefly from the north
is coming to bite her.#Heb uncertain
21Even her mercenaries
are like well-fed calves;
they too will retreat and run for cover;
they won’t survive.
The day of disaster has come to haunt them,
the time of their punishment.
22Like the sound of a snake hissing
as it slithers away
is Egypt#Heb lacks is Egypt. as armies approach in force;
they come against her with axes,
23They destroy her dense forest,
though it is vast,
because they outnumber locusts
and can’t be counted,
declares the LORD.
24Daughter Egypt will be humiliated,
handed over to people from the north.
25This is what the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel, proclaims: I’m going to punish Amon of Thebes, Egypt and its gods and kings, as well as Pharaoh and all who rely on him. 26I will hand them over to those who seek to kill them, namely Babylon’s King Nebuchadnezzar and his servants. But afterward Egypt will dwell like it did a long time ago, declares the LORD.
27But don’t be afraid, my servant Judah;
don’t lose heart, Israel.
I will deliver you from a faraway place
and your children from the land of their exile.
My people Jacob will again be safe and sound,
with no one harassing them.
28So don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
declares the LORD.
I’m with you;
I will put an end to all the nations
where I have scattered you.
But I won’t put an end to you.
I won’t let you avoid punishment;
I will discipline you as you deserve.