Jeremiah 46:26
And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(26) Afterward it shall be inhabited, as in the days . . .—As in the earlier utterance of Isaiah (Isaiah 19:21-25) and the contemporary prophecies of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 29:11-16) there is a gleam of hope at the end of the vision of judgment. Egypt was to revive, though not again to take its place among the conquerors and tyrants of the world. (Comp. Jeremiah 48:47; Jeremiah 49:39.)

46:13-28 Those who encroached on others, shall now be themselves encroached on. Egypt is now like a very fair heifer, not accustomed to the yoke of subjection; but destruction comes out of the north: the Chaldeans shall come. Comfort and peace are spoken to the Israel of God, designed to encourage them when the judgments of God were abroad among the nations. He will be with them, and only correct them in measure; and will not punish them with everlasting destruction from his presence.Afterward ... - The invasion of Nebuchadnezzar is to be a passing calamity, the severity of which will be felt chiefly by the Jews, but no subjugation of Egypt is to be attempted, and after the Chaldaean army has withdrawn things will resume their former course. 26. afterward … inhabited—Under Cyrus forty years after the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, it threw off the Babylonian yoke but has never regained its former prowess (Jer 46:11; Eze 29:11-15). The former part of this verse is but the same which the prophet hath often before said. The latter part is a promise for the restoration of Egypt to some degrees of its former prosperity and liberty. The determinate time for the fulfilling of this prophecy is told us, Ezekiel 29:13,14, viz. at the end of forty years. This we are told by civil historians fell out in the time of Amasis, a king of Egypt coevous with Cyrus, who was overcome by Cyrus’s son Cambyses, who brought Egypt to be a province belonging to the Medes and Persians; by the fulfilling of which prophecy the truth both of Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s prophecies are justified. And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives,.... Into the hands of the Chaldeans; that is, the king of Egypt, and all his people, and those that trusted in him:

and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants; his general officers, that commanded in his army under him. Berosus (s), the Chaldean, makes mention of Nebuchadnezzar's carrying the Egyptians captive into Babylon;

and afterwards it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith the Lord; after forty years, as Ezekiel prophesied, Jeremiah 29:13; not that it should rise to the same glory and dignity as before, for it would be but a base kingdom; but whereas it was desolate and uninhabited after this destruction, it should now be inhabited again.

(s) Apud Joseph. Antiqu. l. 10. c. 11. sect. 1. & contra Apion, l. 1. c. 19.

And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants: and afterward it shall be inhabited, as {z} in the days of old, saith the LORD.

(z) Meaning, that after forty years Egypt would be restored, Isa 19:23, Eze 29:13.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. The v. may be well suspected as a gloss by a scribe who desired in the latter part of it to soften the dismal forecast for Egypt, especially as words of corresponding comfort follow for his own people. Cp. Jeremiah 48:47, Jeremiah 49:6; Jeremiah 49:39. Co., however, here (and in ch. 48) maintains the genuineness, comparing for the latter part Ezekiel 29:13 f.Verse 26. - Afterward it shall be inhabited, etc. After all these gloomy vaticinations, Jeremiah (as elsewhere in this group of prophecies; see Jeremiah 48:47; Jeremiah 49:6, 39) opens up a brighter prospect. "In the days of old," patriarchal and unmilitary, the fertile valley of the Nile offered a peaceful and a happy home to its teeming inhabitants; those times shall yet come again. To understand this, we must assume that during its period of depression Egypt has been but sparsely peopled, owing to the large numbers of its inhabitants carried away captive. Another explanation, "afterwards Egypt shall stay at home [i.e, 'be quiet']," though equally justifiable item the point of view of the lexicon (comp. Judges 5:17; Psalm 55:7), seems less natural. Possibly Ezekiel 29:13-16 is a development of our passage; it contains a promise of future remission of punishment, though a promise qualified in such a way as to be akin to a threat. The words, "And it shall no more be the confidence of the house of Israel" (Ezekiel 29:16), seem like a comment on Jeremiah's threat to "Pharaoh, and them that trust in him," in the preceding verse. "Egypt is a very beautiful young heifer; a gadfly from the north comes - comes. Jeremiah 46:21. Her mercenaries, too, in her midst, are like fatted calves; for they also turn their backs, they flee together: they do not stand, for the day of her destruction is some on her, the time of her visitation. Jeremiah 46:22. Its sound is like [that of] the serpent [as it] goes; for they go with an army, and come against her with axes, like hewers of trees. Jeremiah 46:23. They cut down her forest, saith Jahveh, for it is not to be searched; for they are more numerous than locusts, and they cannot be numbered. Jeremiah 46:24. The daughter of Egypt is disgraced; she is given into the hand of the people of the north. Jeremiah 46:25. Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, saith, Behold, I will visit Amon of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, her gods, and her kings; Pharaoh, and all those who trust in him. Jeremiah 46:26. And I will give them into the hand of those who seek their life, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants; but afterwards it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith Jahveh."

Jeremiah 46:20

In Jeremiah 46:20 the address begins afresh, in order to carry out further, under new images, the description of the desolation already threatened. Egypt is a very beautiful עגלה; this feminine is chosen with a regard to "the daughter of Egypt." יפה־פיּה is an adjective formed from the Peal of יפה, "very beautiful," not "coquetting" (Hitzig, who follows the κεκαλλωπισμένη of the lxx). A very beautiful heifer is the people when carefully and abundantly fed in their beautiful and fertile land (Hitzig). Upon this heifer there comes from the north קרץ. This ἁπ. λεγ. is variously rendered. קרץ means, in the Hebrew, to pinch, nip (Job 33:6), to compress together, as in winking (Psalm 35:19), to bring the lips closely together (Proverbs 16:30), and to nip off; cf. Arab. qaras[a to pinch, nip, cut off. Hence A. Schultens (Orig. Heb. ii. 34ff.), after Cocceius, and with a reference to Virgil, Georg. iii. 147, has rendered קרץ by morsus vellicans oestri. Hitzig (with whom Roediger, in his additions to Gesenius' Thesaurus, agrees) takes Arab. qârṣ, insectum cimici simile as his warrant for rendering it by oestrus, "the gadfly," which gives a more suitable meaning. Ewald, on the contrary, compares קרץ with Arab. qrs], and translates it "whale," a huge sea-monster; but this is quite arbitrary, for קרץ does not correspond to the Arabic qrs], and the whale or shark does not afford any figure that would be suitable for the context: e.g., Jeremiah 46:21, "her mercenaries also flee," shows that the subject treated of is not the devouring or destruction, but the expulsion of the Egyptians out of their land; this is put as an addition to what is said about exile in Jeremiah 46:19. Still less suitable is the general rendering excidium, destruction (Rabbins, Gesenius, Umbreit); and there is no lexical foundation for the Vulgate translation stimulator, nor for "taskmaster," the rendering of J. D. Michaelis and Rosenmller. The old translators have only made guesses from the context. The figure of the gadfly corresponds to the bee in the land of Assyria, Isaiah 7:18. The repetition of בּא gives emphasis, and points either to the certainty of the coming, or its continuance.

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