Jeremiah 43:4
So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
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Jeremiah 43:4-7. So Johanan and all the captains, &c., obeyed not, &c. — That is, they resolved not to obey the message God had sent them by Jeremiah; but took all the remnant of Judah that were returned, &c. — The resolution which they had formed they presently put in practice. Though Jeremiah and Baruch, and probably many of the people, were not willing to go along with them, yet these rebellious captains forced them to go; so that the prophet and his pious friends were now a kind of prisoners to their own countrymen. So they came into the land of Egypt — Their great inclination to go into Egypt arose, as has been intimated, from a supposition that they should be safer there from the Babylonians, who, they thought, might injure them at any time while they stayed in Judea; but would not venture to attack Egypt, on account of its strongly fortified cities, which commanded the passes into the country, and the various channels of the Nile, which were great obstructions to the march of an army. Thus they came even to Tahpanhes — One of the principal cities of Egypt, and a place of residence for their kings. The word is contracted to Hanes, Isaiah 30:4, and joined with Zoan, the chief city of the kingdom. Tahpanhes gave a name to a queen of Egypt, (1 Kings 11:19,) and is supposed by many to be the same city which was afterward called Daphnæ Pelusiacæ. In this behaviour of the Jews we have an instance of great impiety joined to hypocrisy. They had promised with an oath to follow the advice of the prophet; but, because his counsel was not agreeable to their inclinations, they went down into Egypt, and even charged the prophet with speaking falsely in the name of the Lord. In these Jews we see a picture of those persons who, upon some occasions, express their zeal and good intentions, but reject the most wholesome counsels when those counsels thwart their passions, and are in opposition to what they have secretly purposed. With respect to Jeremiah, it may be observed, God suffered him to be carried to Egypt, that he might there denounce the ruin of the Egyptians as well as of the Jews, who had put their trust in them. Wherever the wicked are, the hand of God finds them out; and those who think, by disobeying him, to avoid the evils which they dread, and to that end make use of unlawful means, fall by those very means into the evils they expect to shun, and are confounded in their hope.43:1-7 Only by pride comes contention, both with God and man. They preferred their own wisdom to the revealed will of God. Men deny the Scriptures to be the word of God, because they are resolved not to conform themselves to Scripture rules. When men will persist in sin, they charge the best actions to bad motives. These Jews deserted their own land, and threw themselves out of God's protection. It is the folly of men, that they often ruin themselves by wrong endeavours to mend their situation.All the people - Many, nevertheless, would be unwilling agents, compelled to do what their unscrupulous leaders forced upon the community. 3. Baruch—He being the younger spake out the revelations which he received from Jeremiah more vehemently. From this cause, and from their knowing that he was in favor with the Chaldeans, arose their suspicion of him. Their perverse fickleness was astonishing. In the forty-second chapter they acknowledged the trustworthiness of Jeremiah, of which they had for so long so many proofs; yet here they accuse him of a lie. The mind of the unregenerate man is full of deceits. That is, they resolved not to obey the message God had sent them by Jeremiah. So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people,.... The generality of them, at least, all agreed together, were of the same mind, and in the same sentiment and practice: and so

obeyed not the voice of the Lord, to dwell in the land of Judah; it was the command of the Lord they should dwell there, and not go into Egypt; but they would not believe this was the voice of the Lord, only a scheme concerted between the prophet and Baruch; or which the former was instigated to deliver as the word of the Lord by the latter, and therefore would not give heed unto it; though the truth of the matter was, it was contrary to their inclination and resolution, and therefore, though they had reason to believe it was the will of God they should abide in their own land, yet they were determined they would not, but go into Egypt, as they, did.

So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
ויהיוּ, used instead of the impersonal והיה, is referred to the following subject by a rather unusual kind of attraction; cf. Ewald, 345, b. All the men who set their faces, i.e., intend, to go to Egypt shall perish; not a single one shall escape the evil; for the same judgment of wrath which has befallen Jerusalem shall also come on those who flee to Egypt; cf. Jeremiah 7:20. On the expression "ye shall become a curse," etc., cf. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 29:18.

Taking for granted that the leaders of the people will not obey, Jeremiah appends to the word of the Lord an earnest address, in which several points are specially insisted on, viz., that the Lord had spoken to them, that He had forbidden them to go to Egypt, and that he (the prophet), by proclaiming the word of the Lord, had warned them (העיד בּ, to testify, bear witness against a person, i.e., warn him of something, cf. Jeremiah 11:7). Thus he discloses to them the dangerous mistake they are in, when they first desire some expression of the mind of the Lord regarding their intentions, and, in the hope that He will accede to their request, promise unconditional obedience to whatever He may direct, but afterwards, when they have received a message from the Lord, will not obey it, because it is contrary to what they wish. The Kethib התעתים has been incorrectly written for התעיים, the Hiphil from תּעה, to err; here, as in Proverbs 10:17, it means to make a mistake. בּנפשׁותיכם, not, "you mislead your own selves," decepistis animas vestras (Vulg.), nor "in your souls," - meaning, in your thoughts and intentions (Ngelsbach), - but "at the risk of your souls," your life; cf. Jeremiah 17:21. וּלכל אשׁר (Jeremiah 42:21), "and that in regard to all that for which Jahveh has sent me to you," points back to their promise, Jeremiah 42:5, that they would do "according to all the word." By employing the perfect in Jeremiah 42:20, Jeremiah 42:21, the thing is represented as quite certain, as if it had already taken place. Jeremiah 42:22 concludes the warning with a renewed threat of the destruction which shall befall them for their disobedience.

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