THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part LXXVII: God's Devastating Judgment Followed By His Gracious Restoration
A. God's righteousness and love are both equally expressed in history, especially regarding His judgment on sin.
B. His righteousness demanded that God severely punish the idolatrous nation of Egypt as well as Judah for her idolatry, but His love also dictated that He would restore both nations in the latter days. We view the prophecy regarding these truths in Jeremiah 46:13-28 for our insight and edification (as follows):
II. God's Devastating Judgment Followed By His Gracious Restoration, Jeremiah 46:13-28.
A. The Lord had directed Jeremiah to predict for the exiles of Judah who had fled to Egypt for asylum from Babylon that Babylon would actually invade Egypt, Jeremiah 43:5-7, 8-13.
B. Accordingly, Jeremiah 46:13-26a predicts the details of that invasion as follows:
1. Announcing in Jeremiah 46:13 that this verse began his prophecy on Babylon's invasion of Egypt, Jeremiah added that those in Migdol, Memphis and Tahpanhes, the cities Jeremiah named in Jeremiah 44:1 in addressing the Jewish exiles there who were committing idolatry as they had in Judah -- those in these cities were to prepare for the coming of the sword, Jer. 46:14; Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1193.
2. After asking why the Egyptian soldiers in these cities would be laid low (Jeremiah 46:15a), Jeremiah answered his own question, claiming that Judah's God Jahweh would have pushed them down so they could not take their stand against the Babylonian invaders, Jeremiah 46:15b; Ibid.
3. Egypt's mercenaries would stumble over each other trying to flee to their own lands, for they would realize that Pharaoh's boasts that they would have a great victory was but much noise, that there was no substance to his boast and that he had missed his opportunity to defeat Babylon, Jeremiah 46:16-17; Ibid.
4. The Lord of hosts had determined that just as Mount Tabor and Mount Carmel dominated northern Israel, so Nebuchadnezzar would dominate Egypt, Jeremiah 46:18. This allusion to mountains in Israel hints at Israel's GOD being the cause of Nebuchadnezzar's victory over Egypt as judgment not only on Egypt, but also on the exiles of Judah who had faithlessly fled to Egypt for asylum from Babylon!
5. The Lord called for the Egyptians likened to a fair maiden to pack their belongings for exile into Babylon for Nebuchadnezzar would attack Memphis and leave it in ruins without an inhabitant, Jeremiah 46:19.
6. Jeremiah then used several figures of speech to illustrate Egypt's fall to Babylon, Jeremiah 46:20-24:
a. Egypt was a beautiful heifer that would be bitten by a gadfly, Babylon, that was coming from the north, Jeremiah 46:20; Ibid. This metaphor is moving since one of Egypt's gods was the bull god Apis, but God likened the nation to just a fragile, beautiful heifer that a mere gadfly would destroy!
b. Second, Egypt's mercenaries were likened to fattened calves that had been prepared for slaughter, calves that would turn and flee when disaster in the form of the Babylonian invasion arrived, Jeremiah 46:21.
c. Third, Egypt was like a fleeing serpent that could only hiss at her enemy as she slithered quickly away to avoid the axes of the Babylonian woodcutters who would chop down her forest home, Jeremiah 46:22-23.
d. In each illustration, Egypt is to be shamed since God would hand her over to Babylon, v. 24; Ibid.
7. The Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, would thus punish Egypt with her gods and all those who trusted in Pharaoh, including especially Judah's exiles in the land of Egypt, delivering them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, Jeremiah 46:25-26a.
C. However, in the latter days of the Messianic Kingdom, God would restore Egypt to her land, Jeremiah 46:26b.
D. In addition, the people of Israel and Judah, the sons of Jacob, were not to be dismayed, for God would eventually restore them from far off realms of national captivity and return them to the Promised Land live in rest and ease with none to make them afraid, Jeremiah 46:27. Indeed, God promised that He would be with the Hebrew people to make a full end of all the nations to which He had driven them into exile, but He would restore her after He had measured out just punishment for her rebellion against Him, Jeremiah 46:28 ESV.
Lesson: Though God's severe judgment in the form of the Babylonian invasion was coming on Egypt and the exiles of Judah who had fled to Egypt for asylum from Babylon due to His infinite righteousness, God would restore both the Egyptians and the Hebrew people to their lands in grace due to His infinite love.
Application: May we be assured that though God severely punishes in righteousness, He surely restores in love.