Then all the captains of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even unto the greatest, came near,Among those delivered by Johanan from Ishmael had been Jeremiah and Baruch Jeremiah 43:6; and to them now all, without exception, come for counsel.
Jezaniah - He is called Azariah in Jeremiah 43:2. The Septuagint, in both places, call him Azariah. Since there is little reason for identifying him with Jezaniah the Maachathite Jeremiah 40:8, it is probable that the Septuagint is right in calling him in both places Azariah, and that the reading Jezaniah arose from some scribe assuming that his name must be found in the earlier list.
And said unto Jeremiah the prophet, Let, we beseech thee, our supplication be accepted before thee, and pray for us unto the LORD thy God, even for all this remnant; (for we are left but a few of many, as thine eyes do behold us:)
That the LORD thy God may shew us the way wherein we may walk, and the thing that we may do.
Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto them, I have heard you; behold, I will pray unto the LORD your God according to your words; and it shall come to pass, that whatsoever thing the LORD shall answer you, I will declare it unto you; I will keep nothing back from you.
Then they said to Jeremiah, The LORD be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not even according to all things for the which the LORD thy God shall send thee to us.Between us - Against us, as in Jeremiah 42:19 (margin.)
According to all things - literally, "according to the whole word as to which Yahweh thy God shall send thee to us."
Whether it be good, or whether it be evil, we will obey the voice of the LORD our God, to whom we send thee; that it may be well with us, when we obey the voice of the LORD our God.We - The form used here occurs nowhere else in the Old Testament, but is the regular form of the pronoun in the Talmud. It is one out of many instances of Jeremiah using the popular instead of the literary language of his times.
And it came to pass after ten days, that the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah.After ten days - On previous occasions Jeremiah when consulted answered at once Jeremiah 21:3. The present delay (compare Jeremiah 28:12) was probably granted by God in order to free the minds of the people from the panic caused by the murder of Gedaliah and their fear of Chaldaean vengeance. Jeremiah could have had no doubt that the flight into Egypt was contrary to the tenor of his former prophecies.
Then called he Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces which were with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest,
And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him;
If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.I repent me - As punishment had been inflicted, the divine justice was satisfied.
Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.
And I will shew mercies unto you, that he may have mercy upon you, and cause you to return to your own land.Or, I will give you compassion before (i. e., obtain pity from) the king of Babylon, and "he shall have mercy upon you, and let you dwell upon your own soil."
But if ye say, We will not dwell in this land, neither obey the voice of the LORD your God,
Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:Egypt had lost the battle of Carchemish, but it had not been the scene itself of military operations; while Judaea, from the date of the battle of Megiddo, had perpetually been exposed to the actual horrors of war.
And now therefore hear the word of the LORD, ye remnant of Judah; Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; If ye wholly set your faces to enter into Egypt, and go to sojourn there;
Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.Translate it: "Then shall the sword of which ye are afraid reach you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye pine shall cleave close unto you in Egypt, and there shall ye die; and all the men who have set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there shall die ... by the pestilence, nor shall they have anyone that is left or escaped from the evil which I will bring upon them."
So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; As mine anger and my fury hath been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so shall my fury be poured forth upon you, when ye shall enter into Egypt: and ye shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach; and ye shall see this place no more.A curse - contempt, or ignominy.
The LORD hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day.The request made in Jeremiah 42:3 has been fulfilled: Yahweh has spoken. The prophet now adds these four verses as a sort of epilogue, in which he urges upon them the several points of the divine message. In the ten days which had intervened between the request and the answer Jeremiah had become aware that neither princes nor people were prepared to obey unless the answer was in accordance with their own wishes. He does therefore his best to convince them, but as usual it was his lot to speak the truth to willful men, and gain no hearing.
For ye dissembled in your hearts, when ye sent me unto the LORD your God, saying, Pray for us unto the LORD our God; and according unto all that the LORD our God shall say, so declare unto us, and we will do it.Ye dissembled in your hearts - Or, "ye have led yourselves astray," i. e., your sending me to ask counsel of God was an act of self-delusion. You felt so sure that God would direct you to go into Egypt, that now that He has spoken to the contrary, you are unable to reconcile yourselves to it.
And now I have this day declared it to you; but ye have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God, nor any thing for the which he hath sent me unto you.
Now therefore know certainly that ye shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in the place whither ye desire to go and to sojourn.