Old Testament

Jeremiah 46
A Prophecy About Egypt
461The word of the Lord that came to Jeremiah the prophet concerning the nations.
2Concerning Egypt:
Concerning the strong army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah.
3Arrange your shields, both large and small,
and march out for battle!
4Harness the horses!
Mount up, you horsemen!
Take up your stations with your helmets on.
Polish your spears.
Put on your armor!
5But what do I see?
They are terrified.
They are turning back.
Their warriors are beaten.
They are fleeing without looking back.
There is terror on every side! declares the Lord.
6There is no chance for the swift to flee.
There is no escape for the strong.
In the north, near the River Euphrates,
they stumble and fall.
7Who is this, rising like the Nile,
like rivers with surging waters?
8It is Egypt that rises like the Nile,
like rivers with surging waters.
Egypt said, “I will rise.
I will cover the earth.
I will destroy cities
and those who live in them.”
9Horses, charge!
Charioteers, drive like madmen!
Forward, you warriors,
you men of Cush and Put who carry the shield,
you men of Lud who grasp and bend the bow![]
10That day is the day of the Lord, the God of Armies.
It is a day of vengeance,
when he will take vengeance on his foes.
The sword will devour and be satisfied
when it drinks its fill of their blood.
For there will be a sacrifice to the Lord, the God of Armies
in the Northland by the river Euphrates.
11Go up to Gilead and get balm,
virgin daughter of Egypt!
You have tried many medicines with no results.
There is no healing for you.
12The nations have heard of your shame,
and your cry fills the earth.
Warrior stumbles against warrior,
and the two of them fall together.
Nebuchadnezzar Will Attack Egypt
13This is the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to strike the land of Egypt.
14Declare this in Egypt. Proclaim it in Migdol.
Proclaim it in Memphis[] and Tahpanhes.
Say, “Take your positions and get ready.
The sword is going to devour those around you.”
15Why are your mighty ones laid low?[]
They cannot stand, for the Lord has pushed them down.
16He made many stumble.
They fall against each other.
They say, “Get up! Let's go back to our people
and to the land of our birth,
away from the sword of our oppressor.”
17There they will cry out,
“Pharaoh king of Egypt is only a loud noise.
He has missed his opportunity.”
18As surely as I live, declares the King,
whose name is the Lord of Armies,
someone is coming who is like Tabor among the mountains,
and like Carmel by the sea.[]
19Get your bags ready to go into exile,
you daughter who dwells in Egypt,
for Memphis will become a desolation
and lie in ruins without an inhabitant.
20Egypt is a lovely heifer,
but a horsefly has come against her out of the north.
21The mercenaries in her ranks are like fattened calves.
They will turn and flee together.
They will not stand,
for the day of disaster has come upon them,
the time for their punishment.
22Egypt will hiss like a snake,
because the enemy will advance as an army.
It will come against her with axes,
like men who cut down trees.
23They will cut down her forest, declares the Lord,
though it is impenetrable,
even though they are more numerous than locusts,
even though they are too many to count.
24The daughter of Egypt will be put to shame,
handed over to the people from the north.
25The Lord of Armies, the God of Israel, says: Watch, I will punish Amon god of Thebes, along with Pharaoh, with Egypt, her gods, and her kings—Pharaoh and those who trust in him. 26I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers.
But afterward Egypt will be inhabited as in former days, declares the Lord.
27But do not be afraid, my servant Jacob.
Do not be terrified, Israel,
because I will save you from a faraway place,
and I will rescue your descendants from the land where they are captives.
Jacob will return.
He will enjoy quiet and be at ease,
and no one will make him afraid.
28Do not be afraid, my servant Jacob, declares the Lord,
for I am with you.
I will completely destroy all the nations
among which I have scattered you,
but I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you with justice,
and I will not regard you as entirely innocent.


  • 46:9 Men from these nations served as mercenaries in the Egyptian army. Cush is in Sudan. Put is in Libya. Lud is either Lydia in present-day Turkey or another region in Libya.
  • 46:14 Hebrew Noph. English commonly uses the Greek forms of the names of Egyptian cities. Also in verse 19.
  • 46:15 The translation follows the Hebrew. The Greek reads why has Apis fled? Apis was an Egyptian sacred bull.
  • 46:18 Tabor and Carmel are two notable mountains in Israel.