|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:14-19 Is Israel a servant? No, they are the seed of Abraham. We may apply this spiritually: Is the soul of man a slave? No, it is not; but has sold its own liberty, and enslaved itself to divers lusts and passions. The Assyrian princes, like lions, prevailed against Israel. People from Egypt destroyed their glory and strength. They brought these calamities on themselves by departing from the Lord. The use and application of this is, Repent of thy sin, that thy correction may not be thy ruin. What has a Christian to do in the ways of forbidden pleasure or vain sinful mirth, or with the pursuits of covetousness and ambition?
Verse 16. - Also the children of Noph, etc. This is the climax of the calamity. Noph, called Moph in the Hebrew text of Hosea 9:6, is generally identified with Memphis (after the Septuagint), which was called in the inscriptions Mennufr, or "the good abode," but may possibly be Napata, the Nap of the inscriptions, the residency of the Ethiopian dynasty (De Rouge'). Tahapanes. The Hebrew form is Takhpanes or Tahhpanhhes. This was a fortified frontier town on the Pelusiot arm of the Nile, called in Greek Daphnae (Herod., 2:20), or Taphnae (Septuagint here). Have broken, etc.; rather, shall break, or (for the pointing in the Hebrew Bible requires this change) shall feed off (or depasture). From this verse onwards, Judah is personified as a woman, as appears from the suffixes in the Hebrew. Baldness was a great mark of disgrace (2 Kings 2:23; Jeremiah 48:45). There is a striking parallel to this passage in Isaiah 7:18-20, where, in punishment of the negotiations of Ahaz with Assyria, the prophet threatens an invasion of Judah both by Assyria and by Egypt: and employs the very. same figure (see ver. 20). So here, the devastation threatened by Jeremiah is the punishment of the unhallowed coquetting with the Egyptian power of which the Jewish rulers had been recently guilty. The fact which corresponds to this prediction is the defeat of Josiah at Megiddo, and the consequent subjugation of Judah (2 Kings 23:29). The abruptness with which ver. 16 follows upon ver. 15 suggests that some words have fallen out of the text.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes,.... These were cities in Egypt. Noph is the same with Moph in Hosea 9:6 and which we there rightly render Memphis; as Noph is here by the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; and was formerly, as Pliny (g) says, the palace of the kings of Egypt. It is the same that is now called Alcairo, or Grand Cairo. According to Herodotus (h), it was built by Menes, the first king of Egypt; and who also makes mention of a city of Egypt, called Momemphis (i). Tahapanes is the same with Hanes in Isaiah 30:4, and here, in the Arabic version, is called Daphnes; and is thought by some to be the same with Daphnae Pelusiae, a city in Egypt. This Tahapanes was the metropolis of Egypt, and the seat of their kings; mention is made of Pharaoh's house in it, in Jeremiah 43:9, now the inhabitants of these, called the children of them, and who are put for the people of Egypt in general, were the allies of the Jews, and in whom they trusted for help, when attacked by their enemies, Isaiah 30:2 and yet
even these have broken the crown of thy head; which is interpreted, by the Targum, of slaying their mighty men, and spoiling their goods; perhaps it had its accomplishment when Pharaohnecho king of Egypt came out against the king of Assyria, and Josiah king of Judah went out to meet him, and was slain by him at Megiddo; and his son Jehoahaz he put in bonds, and carried him to Egypt, and put his brother upon the throne, and took tribute of gold and silver of him, 2 Kings 23:29.
(g) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9. (h) L. 2. vel Euterpe, c. 99. (i) lb. c. 163, 169.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. Noph … Tahapanes—Memphis, capital of Lower Egypt, on the west bank of the Nile, near the pyramids of Gizeh, opposite the site of modern Cairo. Daphne, on the Tanitic branch of the Nile, near Pelusium, on the frontier of Egypt towards Palestine. Isa 30:4 contracts it, Hanes. These two cities, one the capital, the other that with which the Jews came most in contact, stand for the whole of Egypt. Tahapanes takes its name from a goddess, Tphnet [Champollion]. Memphis is from Man-nofri, "the abode of good men"; written in Hebrew, Moph (Ho 9:6), or Noph. The reference is to the coming invasion of Judah by Pharaoh-necho of Egypt, on his return from the Euphrates, when he deposed Jehoahaz and levied a heavy tribute on the land (2Ki 23:33-35). Josiah's death in battle with the same Pharaoh is probably included (2Ki 23:29, 30).
have broken—rather, shall feed down the crown, &c., that is, affect with the greatest ignominy, such as baldness was regarded in the East (Jer 48:37; 2Ki 2:23). Instead of "also," translate, "even" the Egyptians, in whom thou dost trust, shall miserably disappoint thy expectation [Maurer]. Jehoiakim was twice leagued with them (2Ki 23:34, 35): when he received the crown from them, and when he revolted from Nebuchadnezzar (2Ki 24:1, 2, 7). The Chaldeans, having become masters of Asia, threatened Egypt. Judea, situated between the contending powers, was thus exposed to the inroads of the one or other of the hostile armies; and unfortunately, except in Josiah's reign, took side with Egypt, contrary to God's warnings.
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