Jeremiah 2:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Nile? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates?

New Living Translation
"What have you gained by your alliances with Egypt and your covenants with Assyria? What good to you are the streams of the Nile or the waters of the Euphrates River?

English Standard Version
And now what do you gain by going to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? Or what do you gain by going to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

Berean Study Bible
Now what will you gain on your way to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? What will you gain on your way to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

New American Standard Bible
"But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates?

King James Bible
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

Christian Standard Bible
Now what will you gain by traveling along the way to Egypt to drink the water of the Nile? What will you gain by traveling along the way to Assyria to drink the water of the Euphrates?

Contemporary English Version
and you trusted the power of Egypt and Assyria.

Good News Translation
What do you think you will gain by going to Egypt to drink water from the Nile? What do you think you will gain by going to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now what will you gain by traveling along the way to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? What will you gain by traveling along the way to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

International Standard Version
Now, what are you doing on the road to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile? And what are you doing on the road to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates?

NET Bible
What good will it do you then to go down to Egypt to seek help from the Egyptians? What good will it do you to go over to Assyria to seek help from the Assyrians?

New Heart English Bible
Now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You won't gain anything by going to Egypt to drink water from the Nile River. You won't gain anything by going to Assyria to drink water from the Euphrates River.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And now what hast thou to do in the way to Egypt, To drink the waters of Shihor? Or what hast thou to do in the way to Assyria, To drink the waters of the River?

New American Standard 1977
“But now what are you doing on the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of the Nile? Or what are you doing on the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the Euphrates?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt? to drink the waters of the Nile? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria? to drink the waters of the river Eufrates?

King James 2000 Bible
And now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

American King James Version
And now what have you to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what have you to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

American Standard Version
And now what hast thou to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? or what hast thou to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the troubled water? And what hast thou to do with the way of the Assyrians, to drink the water of the river?

Darby Bible Translation
And now, what hast thou to do with the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? And what hast thou to do with the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?

English Revised Version
And now what hast thou to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of Shihor? or what hast thou to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?

Webster's Bible Translation
And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

World English Bible
Now what have you to do in the way to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Shihor? Or what have you to do in the way to Assyria, to drink the waters of the River?

Young's Literal Translation
And now, what -- to thee in the way of Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? And what -- to thee in the way of Asshur, To drink the waters of the River?
Study Bible
The Consequences of Israel's Sin
17Have you not brought this on yourself by forsaking the LORD your God when He led you in the way? 18Now what will you gain on your way to Egypt to drink the waters of the Nile? What will you gain on your way to Assyria to drink the waters of the Euphrates? 19Your own evil will discipline you; your own apostasies will reprimand you. Consider and realize how evil and bitter it is for you to forsake the LORD your God and to have no fear of Me,” declares the Lord GOD of Hosts.…
Cross References
Joshua 13:3
from the Shihor east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north (considered to be Canaanite territory)—that of the five Philistine rulers of Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron, as well as the Avvites;

Isaiah 7:20
On that day the Lord will use a razor hired from beyond the Euphrates—the king of Assyria—to shave your head and the hair of your legs, and to remove your beard as well.

Isaiah 23:3
On the great waters came the grain of Shihor; the harvest of the Nile was the revenue of Tyre; she was the merchant of the nations.

Isaiah 30:2
They set out to go down to Egypt without asking My advice, to seek shelter under Pharaoh’s protection and take refuge in the shade of Egypt.

Jeremiah 37:7
“This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the king of Judah, who is sending you to inquire of Me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which has marched out to help you, is going back to its own land of Egypt.

Ezekiel 16:28
Then you prostituted yourself with the Assyrians because you were not satisfied. Even after that, you were still not satisfied.

Treasury of Scripture

And now what have you to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? or what have you to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?

what hast

Jeremiah 2:36 Why gad you about so much to change your way? you also shall be ashamed …

Jeremiah 37:5-10 Then Pharaoh's army was come forth out of Egypt: and when the Chaldeans …

Isaiah 30:1-7 Woe to the rebellious children, said the LORD, that take counsel, …

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and …

Lamentations 4:17 As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching …

Ezekiel 17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, …

Hosea 7:11 Ephraim also is like a silly dove without heart: they call to Egypt, …

Sihor

Joshua 13:3 From Sihor, which is before Egypt, even to the borders of Ekron northward, …

or what hast

2 Kings 16:7-9 So Ahaz sent messengers to Tiglathpileser king of Assyria, saying, …

2 Chronicles 28:20,21 And Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria came to him, and distressed him, …

Hosea 5:13 When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then went …







(18) In the way of Egypt . . .?--The rebuke becomes more and more specific. Great rivers were, in the poetry of the prophets, the natural symbols of the kingdoms through which they flowed. Sihor (= the turbid or muddy river) here, and in Isaiah 23:3 the Nile (though in Joshua 13:3 it stands for the border stream between Palestine and Egypt), represented Egypt. The "river," or "flood," needing no other name as pre-eminent in its greatness (comp. Joshua 24:14-15), the Euphrates, stood for Assyria (comp. Isaiah 8:7). The words point to the tendency to court the alliance now of one, now of the other of the great kingdoms of the world. The policy was no new one. Menahem in Israel, Ahaz in Judah, had courted Assyria (2Kings 15:19; 2Kings 16:7-8); Hezekiah, Babylon (Isaiah 39); Hoshea had sought help from Egypt (2Kings 17:4). The prophet Hosea had rebuked both policies (Hosea 5:13; Hosea 7:11; Hosea 8:9). Even under Hezekiah there was a party seeking the Egyptian alliance (Isaiah 18, 19, 31. Under Manasseh and Amon that party was in power, and the very name of the latter probably bears witness to its influence. Josiah kept as far as possible the position of a neutral, but, when forced into action, and probably guided by the counsels of Hilkiah, resisted the advance of Pharaoh-nechoh (2Kings 23:29). On his death the Egyptian party again gained ground under Jehoiakim, while Jeremiah, opposing its strength, urged the wisdom of accepting the guidance of events, and submitting to the Chaldaeans (so far continuing the line of action adopted by Hezekiah), and ultimately was accused of deserting his own people and "falling away" to their oppressors (Jeremiah 37:13).

Verse 18. - What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt? rather, with the way to Egypt. Isaiah (Isaiah 30:2-5; Isaiah 31:1) and Hosea (Hosea 7:11, 16) had already inveighed against an Egyptian alliance. The name given by Manasseh to his sen and successor (Amen) suggests that at one period in his reign an Egyptian policy was in the ascendant, which coincides with the tradition preserved in 2 Chronicles 33:11, of an Assyrian captivity of Manasseh. Jehoiakim at a later period was a vassal of Egypt (2 Kings 23:31, 35). To drink the waters; taking up the idea of the second clause of ver. 13. Sihor, or Shihor, occurs again in Isaiah 23:3, as a name of the Nile. It properly means, not so much "the black" as "the dark grey" (connected with shakhar, the morning grey), from the color of the water. Rosenmüller's contrast between the muddy waters of foreign streams and the "fountain of living waters" is uncalled for; besides, the Nile water has always been held in high esteem. The Septuagint has Γηών, i.e. Gihon, also a name of-the Nile according to Ecclus. 24:27. The way of - rather, to - Assyria. It is true that Assyria was, to say the least, powerless to interfere for good or for evil, when these words were written. But in ver. 5 the prophet has already warned us that his complaints are partly retrospective. It would seem that the Assyrian party from time to time gained the upper hand over the Egyptian in the councils of the State. Or perhaps the prophet may refer to the Quixotic fidelity to Assyria of Josiah (see below on ver. 36). The river; i.e. the Euphrates, "the great river" (Genesis 15:18). Babylonia it should be remembered, was in nominal subjection to Assyria; the Euphrates was the boundary between Syria and Palestine on the one hand, and Assyria - here the Assyrio-Babylonian region - on the other. And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt,.... By worshipping of idols, in imitation of them; or by sending ambassadors thither for help, when they had their Lord, their God, so nigh, had they not forsaken him; nor had Josiah any business to go out against Pharaohnecho, 2 Chronicles 35:21 and, contrary to the express word of God by the Prophet Jeremy, did the Jews which remained in Judea go into Egypt, Jeremiah 42:19.

To drink the waters of Sihor? which is the river Nile, as Jarchi interprets it. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "the waters of Geon", or "Gihon": and this also is the same with the Nile, as Josephus (k) affirms, who says,

"Geon, which runs through Egypt, is the same which the Greeks call Nile.''

So Jerom (l) from Eusebius,

"Geon is a river, which with the Egyptians is called Nile.''

The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "troubled water"; and such were the waters of the Nile, which had its name of Sihor from the blackness of it; and hence, by the Greeks (m), was called Melas; and by the Latines (n), Melo. Hence, as Braunius (o) observes, it was represented by a black stone, as other rivers by a white one; for which reason the black colour was very grateful to the Egyptians; and for the same reason Osiris, which is the very Nile itself, was reckoned black; and the ox Apis they worshipped was a black one, at least part of it, and was covered with black linen cloth; and its priests were also clothed in black, hence called Chemarim, Hosea 10:5.

Or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria; to go after their idolatrous practices, or to send to them for help; for this was the usual method of the Jews; when the Assyrians oppressed them, then they sent to Egypt for help; and when the Egyptians were upon them, then they applied to the Assyrians; and in both cases acted wrong, for they ought to have sought the Lord their God only:

to drink the waters of the river? of the river Euphrates. The sense is, that they preferred the waters of the Nile and of Euphrates, or the gods of the Egyptians and Assyrians, or the help of these people, before the Lord, the fountain of living waters, and his worship and powerful help. The Targum paraphrases this last clause thus,

"why do ye make covenant with the Assyrian, to carry you captive beyond the river Euphrates?''

(k) Antiqu. l. 1. c. 1. sect. 3.((l) De locis Hebraicis, fol. 91. H. (m) Eustathius in Dionys. (n) Servius in Virgil. Georg. l. 4. p. 343. & in Aeneid. l. 1. p. 541. (o) Selecta Sacr. l. 4. c. 9. p. 492, & l. 5. Exercit. 4. sect. 8. p. 700, 701. 18. now—used in a reasoning sense, not of time.

the way of Egypt—What hast thou to do with the way, that is, with going down to Egypt; or what … with going to Assyria?

drink … waters—that is, to seek reinvigorating aid from them; so Jer 2:13, 36; compare "waters," meaning numerous forces (Isa 8:7).

Sihor—that is, the black river, in Greek, Melas ("black"), the Nile: so called from the black deposit or soil it leaves after the inundation (Isa 23:3). The Septuagint identifies it with Gihon, one of the rivers of Paradise.

the river—Euphrates, called by pre-eminence, the river; figurative for the Assyrian power. In 625 B.C., the seventeenth year of Josiah, and the fourth of Jeremiah's office, the kingdom of Assyria fell before Babylon, therefore Assyria is here put for Babylon its successor: so in 2Ki 23:29; La 5:6. There was doubtless a league between Judea and Assyria (that is, Babylon), which caused Josiah to march against Pharaoh-necho of Egypt when that king went against Babylon: the evil consequences of this league are foretold in this verse and Jer 2:36.2:14-19 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?



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