Jeremiah 42:16
Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which you feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, whereof you were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there you shall die.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
42:7-22 If we would know the mind of the Lord in doubtful cases, we must wait as well as pray. God is ever ready to return in mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who rely on his promises. He has declared enough to silence even the causeless fears of his people, which discourge them in the way of duty. Whatever loss or suffering we may fear from obedience, is provided against in God's word; and he will protect and deliver all who trust in him and serve him. It is folly to quit our place, especially to quit a holy land, because we meet with trouble in it. And the evils we think to escape by sin, we certainly bring upon ourselves. We may apply this to the common troubles of life; and those who think to avoid them by changing their place, will find that the grievances common to men will meet them wherever they go. Sinners who dissemble with God in solemn professions especially should be rebuked with sharpness; for their actions speak more plainly than words. We know not what is good for ourselves; and what we are most fond of, and have our hearts most set upon, often proves hurtful, and sometimes fatal.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." 16. sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you—The very evils we think to escape by sin, we bring on ourselves thereby. What our hearts are most set on often proves fatal to us. Those who think to escape troubles by changing their place will find them wherever they go (Eze 11:8). The "sword" here is that of Nebuchadnezzar, who fulfilled the prediction in his expedition to Africa (according to Megasthenes, a heathen writer), 300 B.C. In the general the prophet threateneth them, that in Egypt they should meet with the very same evils the fear of which made them flee out of their own country, the sword and famine; the sword of Nebuchadnezzar, who, after this, fully conquered Egypt; and a famine through want of bread; for although Egypt was a fruitful country, yet we know there was a famine there, against which Joseph provided; besides that scarcity of victuals commonly followeth great armies. Those who shun dangers, or think to shun them, by acts of disobedience to God, ordinarily are suffered by God to take such courses as they fall into the same or worse dangers than what they labour to avoid. Then it shall come to pass,.... That the various judgments following should come upon them:

that the sword, which ye feared, shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; that is, the sword; of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, which they feared they should fall by in Judea; this should come after them in Egypt, and there overtake them, as it did; Egypt being destroyed by the king of Babylon, as it was foretold it should, Jeremiah 46:25;

and the famine, whereof you were afraid, shalt follow close after you there in Egypt; the famine they were afraid would come upon them in Judea, should pursue them, overtake them, seize on them, and cleave unto them, in Egypt; thus the evils they thought to escape, by moving from one place, should befall them in another; there is no fleeing from the presence, power, and hand of God:

and there ye shall die; either by the sword, or by famine, or by pestilence, as in the Jeremiah 42:17.

Then it shall come to pass, that the sword, which ye feared, {f} shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine, of which ye were afraid, shall follow close after you there in Egypt; and there ye shall die.

(f) Thus God turns the policy of the wicked to their own destruction: for they thought themselves sure in Egypt, and there Nebuchadnezzar destroyed them and the Egyptians, Jer 46:25.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 16. - The sword, which ye feared; rather, which ye fear. The calamities mentioned were precisely these of which the Jews were apprehensive in their own country. So afterwards, "whereof ye are afraid." Shall overtake you there. For a further explanation, see Jeremiah 43:8-13. The word of the Lord. - At the end of ten days, the reply that had been asked for came from the Lord. Hitzig and Graf think that Jeremiah had lingered ten days with the answer, in order to obtain strong and clear conviction, "matured through his own meditation, probably also in part confirmed by the arrival of further news." This opinion is characterized by Ngelsbach as "in harmony with modern science, but unhistorical;" it should rather be called unscriptural, as resting on a denial of divine inspiration. The reason why the Lord did not make known His will to the prophet for ten days was a disciplinary one. By waiting, those who asked would get time for bethinking themselves, and for quietly considering the situation of affairs, so that they might be able, calmly and collectedly, to receive and obey the answer of God, which was far from satisfying the fears and wishes of their heart. Jeremiah 42:8. Jeremiah called the captains and all the people together, and announced to them as follows: Jeremiah 42:9. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, to whom ye have sent me, that I might bring your supplication before Him: Jeremiah 42:10. If ye will indeed abide in this land, then will I build you up and not pull down; and I will plant you, but not root out; for I repent of the evil that I have done to you. Jeremiah 42:11. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, whom ye fear, be not afraid of him, saith Jahveh; for I am with you to save you and to deliver you out of his hand. Jeremiah 42:12. And I will get pity for you, so that he shall take pity on you, and bring you back to your land. Jeremiah 42:13. But if ye say, We will not remain in this land, so that ye will not obey the voice of Jahveh your God, Jeremiah 42:14. Saying, Nay, but we will go to the land of Egypt, that we may not see war nor hear the wound of a trumpet, and we shall not hunger after bread, and we will dwell there. - Jeremiah 42:15. Now therefore hear the word of Jahveh, ye remnant of Judah: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, If ye do indeed set your face to go to Egypt, and go to sojourn there, Jeremiah 42:16. Then shall the sword, of which ye are afraid, overtake you there, in the land of Egypt, and hunger, which ye dread, shall there follow hard after you, in Egypt, and there shall ye die. Jeremiah 42:17. And all the men who have set their face to go to Egypt, to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, and through hunger, and from the plague; nor shall they have any one left or escaped from the evil which I will bring on them. Jeremiah 42:18. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: As mine anger and my wrath were poured out upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall my wrath be poured out upon you when ye go to Egypt, and ye shall become an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach, and ye shall not see this place again. - Jeremiah 42:19. Jahveh hath spoken to you, O remnant of Judah. Go not to Egypt: ye shall know for certain that I have warned you to-day. Jeremiah 42:20. For ye err at the risk of your souls when ye sent me to Jahveh your God, saying, Pray for us to Jahveh our God, and according to all that Jahveh our God shall say to us, so tell us, and we will do it. Jeremiah 42:21. Now I have told you to-day, and ye have not obeyed the voice of Jahveh your God, nor in anything for which He hath sent me unto you. Jeremiah 42:22. Now, therefore, ye must surely know that ye shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place whither ye have been pleased to go to sojourn."

The Lord's reply extends as far as Jeremiah 42:18; the last four verses (19-22) form an epilogue, a further address by the prophet, in which he once more specially impresses God's resolution on the minds of the people. The answer of God consists (1) in the promise that, if they will remain in the land, the Lord is willing to build them up, and protect them from the wrath of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 42:9-12); and (2) the threat that, if they will go to Egypt against the advice and will of the Lord, they shall certainly perish there by the sword, famine, and pestilence (Jeremiah 42:13-18). On the expression הפּיל תּהנּה, see on Jeremiah 36:7. שׁוב (Jeremiah 42:10) can only be inf. abs. of ישׁב, for ישׁוב ; if we view it as coming from שׁוּב morf , we get no suitable meaning, for the thought si revertendo illuc manseritis in hc terr (C. B. Michaelis) could not be expressed by שׁוב תּשׁבוּ. Certainly there is no other instance of such a form as שׁוב being used for ישׁוב; in a verb like ישׁב, however, which drops the י in the inf. constr., a like omission in the inf. abs. is quite conceivable, while the supposition of some injury having been done to the text (Olshausen, Gram. 89) is less probable. On the expression, "I will build you," etc., cf. Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 33:7. "I repent of the evil" is an anthropopathic expression for the cancelling of a penal sentence: cf. Joel 2:14, etc. - In Jeremiah 42:11, the repetition of the words "do not fear him" produces special emphasis.

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