Jeremiah 44:28
Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
44:20-30 Whatever evil comes upon us, it is because we have sinned against the Lord; we should therefore stand in awe, and sin not. Since they were determined to persist in their idolatry, God would go on to punish them. What little remains of religion were among them, would be lost. The creature-comforts and confidences from which we promise ourselves most, may fail as soon as those from which we promise ourselves least; and all are what God makes them, not what we fancy them to be. Well-grounded hopes of our having a part in the Divine mercy, are always united with repentance and obedience.Literally, "And fugitives from the sword (see Jeremiah 44:14) shall return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, mere of number, i. e., so few that they can be counted: and all the remnant of Jadah that are going etc." So unendurable shall be their sufferings in Egypt, that the men now abandoning Judaea in the hope of finding an asylum there shall be glad to return like runaways from a lost battle.

Whose words ... - Whose word shall stand, from Me or from them, i. e., the one prediction, that their descent into Egypt would be their ruin, which they denied.

28. small number—(see on [969]Jer 44:14; and Jer 42:17; Isa 27:13); compare "all-consumed" (Jer 44:27). A band easily counted, whereas they were expecting to return triumphantly in large numbers.

shall know—most of them experimentally, and to their cost.

whose words … mine, or theirs—Hebrew, "that from Me and them." Jehovah's words are His threats of destruction to the Jews; theirs, the assertion that they expected all goods from their gods (Jer 44:17), &c. "Mine"; by which I predict ruin to them. "Theirs"; by which they give themselves free scope in iniquity.

shall stand—(Ps 33:11).

This justifieth the restrained interpretation of none of the remnant, Jeremiah 44:14; for here it is plainly said that some should escape and return; but for the rest, they should there perish, and by that it would appear whether God’s word or theirs should stand, and have its accomplishment; they promising themselves security, God threatening them with utter ruin and destruction.

Yet a small number that shall escape the sword,.... The sword of the king of Babylon, and the other judgments, and which would be but very few; "men of number" (k), as in the Hebrew text, which might easily be numbered; Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah, and some few righteous persons among them, as Kimchi and Abarbinel observe:

shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah; they shall make their escape out of the land of Egypt, whither they did not go willingly; and, by one providence or another, shall come back to their native country, the land of Judea, When the rest will not; which must be a distinguishing your to them:

and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know what words shall stand, mine or theirs; those that are left of the sword, famine, and pestilence, shall know experimentally, by facts laid down, whose words have their effect and accomplishment, stand firm and sure; whether theirs, that promised impunity and safety, peace and prosperity, in their idolatrous practices; or the Lord's, which threatened with ruin and destruction. The Lord is true, and every man a liar; whatever devices are in a man's heart, the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand.

(k) "viri numeri", Montanus, &c.

Yet a small number that escape the sword {o} shall return from the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that have gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.

(o) We see therefore that God has a perpetual care over his, wherever they are scattered: for though they are but two or three, yet he will deliver them when he destroys his enemies.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 28. - Yet a small number, etc. Isaiah's doctrine of the remnant. In the midst of judgment, God remembers mercy, and his ancient covenant. A remnant is saved as the nucleus of a regenerate people. Jeremiah 44:28Announcement of the punishment for this idolatry. - Jeremiah 44:24. "And Jeremiah said unto all the people, and unto all the women, Hear the word of Jahveh, all of Judah that are in the land of Egypt; Jeremiah 44:25. Thus saith Jahve of hosts, the God of Israel: Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouth, and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, We will assuredly perform our vows which we have vowed, by burning incense to the queen of heaven, and by pouring out libations to her: ye will by all means perform your vows, and carry out your vows. Jeremiah 44:26. Therefore hear the word of Jahveh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith Jahveh, truly my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah, saying, 'As the Lord Jahveh liveth,' in all the land of Egypt. Jeremiah 44:27. Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good; and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, till they are annihilated. Jeremiah 44:28. And those who escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, a small number; and all the remnant of Judah, that went to the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose word shall stand, mine or theirs. Jeremiah 44:29. And this shall be the sign to you, saith Jahveh, that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that my words shall surely rise up against you for evil: Jeremiah 44:30. Thus hath Jahveh spoken, Behold, I will give Pharaoh-Hophra into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of those who seek his life, just as I have given Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, who was his enemy, and sought his life."

After refuting the false assertion of the people, Jeremiah once more announces to them, on behalf of God, in the most solemn manner, the punishment of extermination by sword and famine in Egypt; this he does for the purpose of giving the greatest possible emphasis to his warning against persevering in idolatry. For substance, this announcement is similar to that of Jeremiah 44:11-14, but the expression is stronger. Even in the summary account of their offences, Jeremiah 44:25, the words are so chosen and arranged as to bring out clearly the determination of the people to persevere in worshipping the queen of heaven. "As for you and your wives, ye have spoken with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand" (on the Vav consec. attached to תּדבּרנה, cf. Ewald, 344, b), i.e., ye have uttered vows and then carried them out; for ye say, We must keep the vows that we have vowed. It is to be observed that the verbs תּדבּרנה, and in the concluding portion תּקימנה and תּעשׂינה, are feminine, since the address chiefly applies to the wives, who clung most tenaciously to idolatry. In the clause 'הקים תּקימנה וגו, "ye will make your vows and perform them," there is unmistakeable irony, in which the reference is to the wilfulness of the people in this idolatry. This ἑθελοθρησκεία is shown by the inf. abs. הקים, which strengthens תּקימנה. "To establish vows," i.e., to make them, was not a thing commanded, but left to one's free determination. Hence, also, no appeal to the maxim that vows which have been made or uttered must be fulfilled, can justify the making of the vows. The form תּקימנה for תּקמנה is an unusual one; and the י which the Hirik takes after it is occasioned by the form הקים; cf. Ewald, 196, c. - The announcement of the punishment is introduced by a solemn oath on the part of God. Jahveh swears by His great name, i.e., as the one who has shown Himself God by His mighty deeds - who has the power of keeping His word. The name is, of course, only a manifestation of His existence. אם as a particle used in swearing equals certainly not. His name shall no more be named in the mouth of any Jew in the land of Egypt, i.e., be used in asseverations, because all the Jews in Egypt shall be exterminated. On the expression, "Behold, I will watch over them," etc., cf. Jeremiah 31:28 and Jeremiah 21:10. In Jeremiah 44:28, it is more exactly stated that only a few individuals shall escape the sword and return to Judah; thus, no one shall remain behind in Egypt. By this judgment, all the remnant of Judah that went to Egypt shall find out whose word - Jahveh's or theirs - will endure, i.e., prove true. ממּנּי properly depends on דבר, "the word from me or from them" (the people).

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