2 Kings 25:26
And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Arose and came to Egypt.—They took Jeremiah with them (Jeremiah 43:6). This verse only gives the end of the story as it is told in Jeremiah.

2 Kings 25:26. And all the people arose, and came to Egypt — Contrary to the persuasion of Jeremiah, who pressed them to stay in the land, that it might not altogether lie uncultivated, (seeing they were to be settled in it again, according to the word of the Lord by the Prophet Isaiah, chap. Isaiah 44:28, and Isaiah 45:1,) assuring them that they should be safe if they would stay in the land of Judah, but should perish if they went into Egypt. See Jeremiah 42:9-10, &c. But they would not hearken. Thus this populous and fertile country was laid waste and desolate, part of the people being carried captive to Babylon, part of those who were left in the land being slain with Gedaliah, and the remainder fleeing into Egypt. So that it was left to be overrun with briers and thorns, and to be inhabited by wild beasts. Only some of the neighbouring nations seem to have settled themselves in some parts of it. And from hence the Jews found much greater difficulty when they came to be restored than they would have done if some of them had continued in their country and cultivated it. For they were afraid of the Chaldees

The Chaldeans had reason enough to be offended at the murder of Gedaliah; but, if those that remained had humbly remonstrated to them, that it was only the act of Ishmael and his party, we may suppose they who were innocent of it, nay, who suffered greatly by it, would not have been punished for it: but, under pretence of this apprehension they all went into Egypt, where, it is probable, they mixed with the Egyptians by degrees, and were never heard of more as Israelites. Thus there was a full end made of them by their own folly and disobedience, and Egypt had the last of them, that the last verse of that chapter of threatenings might be fulfilled after all the rest, (Deuteronomy 28:68,) The Lord shall bring thee into Egypt again. For a more particular account of these events see the prophecy of Jeremiah, from chap. 40. to chap. 45.

25:22-30 The king of Babylon appointed Gedaliah to be the governor and protector of the Jews left their land. But the things of their peace were so hidden from their eyes, that they knew not when they were well off. Ishmael basely slew him and all his friends, and, against the counsel of Jeremiah, the rest went to Egypt. Thus was a full end made of them by their own folly and disobedience; see Jeremiah chap. 40 to 45. Jehoiachin was released out of prison, where he had been kept 37 years. Let none say that they shall never see good again, because they have long seen little but evil: the most miserable know not what turn Providence may yet give to their affairs, nor what comforts they are reserved for, according to the days wherein they have been afflicted. Even in this world the Saviour brings a release from bondage to the distressed sinner who seeks him, bestowing foretastes of the pleasures which are at his right hand for evermore. Sin alone can hurt us; Jesus alone can do good to sinners.Jeremiah gives this history with much fullness of detail Jeremiah 41-43. 26. and all the people … came to Egypt—In spite of Jeremiah's dissuasions (Jer 43:7, 8) they settled in various cities of that country (Jer 44:1). No text from Poole on this verse.

And all the people, both small and great,.... High and low, rich and poor, among whom were the king's daughters, committed to the care of Gedaliah, and also the prophets Jeremiah and Baruch, see Jeremiah 41:16.

and the captains of the armies rose, and came to Egypt; contrary to the express command of God; these were Johanan, and the captain of the forces with him, Jeremiah 43:4.

for they were afraid of the Chaldees; lest they should come and avenge the death of Gedaliah, appointed governor of Judea, see Jeremiah 41:17.

And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to {m} Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees.

(m) Contrary to Jeremiah's counsel in Jeremiah 40-42.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. all the people … and the captains of the armies [R.V. forces] arose and came to Egypt] Feeling now sure that there would be reason to fear because of the servants of the Chaldæans. They were in a panic, and fled away in spite of the exhortations of Jeremiah, and they carried Jeremiah with them into Egypt (Jeremiah 43:1-7). On their arrival at Tahpanhes and on the prophetic action of Jeremiah there, read Jeremiah 43:8-13. Other Jewish settlements in Egypt mentioned by the prophet (Jeremiah 44:1) are Migdol, Noph and the country of Pathros.

Verse 26. - And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies (see above, ver. 23). The leader of the movement was Johanan, the son of Careah. Having first attacked Ishmael, and forced him to fly to the Ammonites (Jeremiah 41:15), he almost immediately afterwards conceived a fear of Nebuchadnezzar, who would, he thought, resent the murder of Gedaliah, and even avenge it upon these who had done all they could to prevent it. He therefore gathered together the people, and made a preliminary retreat to Chimham, near Bethlehem (Jeremiah 41:17), on the road to Egypt, whence he subsequently, against the earnest remonstrances and prophetic warnings of Jeremiah 42:9-22, carried them on into Egypt itself (Jeremiah 43:1-7). The first settle-merit was made at Tahpanhes, or Daphnae. Arose, and came into Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees (see Jeremiah 41:18; Jeremiah 43:3). There does not appear to have been any real reason for this fear. Nebuchadnezzar might have been trusted to distinguish between the act of an individual and conspiracy on the part of the nation. 2 Kings 25:26After Ishmael had performed this deed, and had also treacherously murdered a number of men, who had come to the temple with a sacrifice from Shechem, Shiloh, and Samaria, he took the Jews who were at Mizpah prisoners, with some kings' daughters among them, intending to take them over to the Ammonites; but as soon as his deed became known, he was pursued by Johanan and the rest of the military chiefs and was overtaken at Gibeon, whereupon those who had been led away by him went over to Johanan, so that he was only able to make his escape with eight men and get away to the Ammonites (Jeremiah 41:4-15). Johanan then went with the rest of the military commanders and the people whom he had brought back into the neighbourhood of Bethlehem, with the intention of fleeing to Egypt for fear of the Chaldaeans. There they did indeed have recourse to the prophet Jeremiah, to inquire of him the word of the Lord; but they did not allow themselves to be diverted from their intention by the word of the Lord which he announced to them, that if they remained in the land they need not fear anything from the king of Babel, but if they went to Egypt they should all perish there with sword, hunger, and pestilence, or by the prediction that the Lord would also deliver Pharaoh Hophra into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 42). They went to Egypt notwithstanding, taking the prophet himself with them, and settled in different cities of Egypt, where they gave themselves up to idolatry, and did not suffer themselves to be drawn away from it even by the severe judgments which the prophet Jeremiah predicted as sure to fall upon them (Jeremiah 43:1-13 and 44). In the verse before us we have simply a brief allusion to the eventual result of the whole affair. "Because they were afraid of the Chaldaeans," namely, that they might possibly take vengeance upon them for the murder of the governor.
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