Jeremiah 46:28
Fear you not, O Jacob my servant, said the LORD: for I am with you; for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven you: but I will not make a full end of you, but correct you in measure; yet will I not leave you wholly unpunished.
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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.These two verses are a repetition of Jeremiah 30:10-11, with those slight variations which Jeremiah always makes when quoting himself. Egypt's fall and restoration have been foretold; but the prophet closes with a word of exhortation to the many erring Jews who dwelt there. Why should they flee from their country, and trust in a pagan power, instead of endeavoring to live in a manner worthy of the noble destiny which was their true glory and ground of confidence? 27, 28. Repeated from Jer 30:10, 11. When the Church (and literal Israel) might seem utterly consumed, there still remains hidden hope, because God, as it were, raises His people from the dead (Ro 11:15). Whereas the godless "nations" are consumed even though they survive, as are the Egyptians after their overthrow; because they are radically accursed and doomed [Calvin]. See Poole "Jeremiah 30:10", See Poole "Jeremiah 30:11", where is the substance of what is said in these two verses, and almost the very words are repeated. The great thing to be observed by us is the difference which the just and righteous God maketh betwixt his punishments of his church and own people, and his punishments of wicked men, who are their enemies: as there is a great difference in the root of such dispensations, God dealing them out to his people out of love, that they might not be condemned with the wicked; so there is a great deal of difference in the measure and duration of their punishments, the rod of the wicked shall not always lie upon the backs of the righteous, and they are corrected in measure. Fear thou not, O Jacob, my servant, saith the Lord, for I am with thee,.... Though afar off, in foreign lands, and in captivity: this exhortation is repeated, to strengthen their consolation, and them, against their fears of being cast off by the Lord:

for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee; the Babylonians and Chaldeans are no more:

but I will not make a full end of thee; the Jews to this day remain a people, and distinct from others, though scattered about in the world:

but correct thee in measure; with judgment, and in mercy:

yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished; See Gill on Jeremiah 30:11.

Fear thou not, O Jacob my servant, saith the LORD: for I am with thee; for I will make a full end of all the nations where I have driven thee: but I will not make a full end of thee, but correct {b} thee in measure; yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunished.

(b) Read Geneva Jer 20:14

In Jeremiah 46:22, Jeremiah 46:23, the annihilation of the power of Egypt is portrayed under another figure. A difficult expression is קולהּ כּנּחשׁ ילך, "her (viz., that of the daughter of Egypt) voice is like (the voice of) the serpent (which) goes." ילך must be taken as part of a relative sentence, since this verb is nowhere used of a voice or sound; hence it cannot be so joined here. Ewald, following the συρίζοντος of the lxx, would read שׁרק, "hissing," instead of ילך, and translates, "it makes a noise like the hissing serpent." He more fully defines the meaning thus: "Even though Egypt were hidden like a serpent in a thicket, yet it would be heard in its flight, like a nasty serpent hissing fiercely, while it hurries away from the axe of the wood-cutter." But, apart from the arbitrary change of ילך into שׁרק (the former word is used in Genesis 3:14 of the going, i.e., crawling, of a serpent), Ewald puts into the words an idea altogether foreign to them. The nasty, fierce hissing of the serpent that is forced to flee, is quite unsuitable; for there is no further mention made of the flight of the Egyptians, but Egypt is hewn down like a forest by woodcutters. Moreover, as Graf has already well remarked, Egypt is not compared to a serpent, but only its voice to the voice or hiss of a serpent. For קול signifies, not merely the voice, but any sound, even the rustling and rattling of leaves (cf. Genesis 3:8; Leviticus 26:36; 2 Samuel 5:24); hence it may denote the noise caused by a serpent crawling on its belly in the thicket. The comparison, as Graf has correctly observed, is like that in Isaiah 29:4. There it is the daughter of Zion, but here it is the daughter of Egypt that lies on the ground, deeply humbled; weeping softly and moaning, making a sound like that of a serpent in a moss among fallen leaves, fleeing before the woodcutters.

(Note: The old translators have quite misunderstood these words, and attempted to apply them, each one according to his own fancy, to the enemy. Thus the lxx translate: Φωνὴ αὐτῶνקולם( ) ὡς ὄφεοως συρίζοντος, ὅτι ἐν ἄμμῳבּחול( for בּחיל) πορεύσονται, κ.τ.λ. Chald.: vox collisionis armorum eorum est sicut vox serpentum repentium; and similarly the Syriac. The Vulgate is: vox ejus quasi aerisנחשׁת( for נחשׁ) sonabit, quoniam cum exercitu properabunt et cum securibus venient. The translator of the Vulgate has thus read קולהּ, and referred the suffix to קרץ, which he renders stimulator. Luther follows the Vulgate: "Sie faren daher, das der Harnisch brasselt, und kommen mit Heeres Krafft." Hitzig also seeks to change the text, after the lxx, turning קולהּ into קולם, and בּחיל into בּחול. But this alteration disturbs the order of the sentence. Not only in Jeremiah 46:20 and Jeremiah 46:21, but also in Jeremiah 46:23, Jeremiah 46:24, the first clause always treats of Egypt, and what befalls her is only stated in the clauses which follow: so is it in Jeremiah 46:22. Thus the alteration made affords a very trivial result, viz., that the enemy advancing on Egypt march through the very sandy desert between Gaza and Egypt, and make slow progress, like serpents, because they wade through the sand; so that they make their appearance suddenly and unexpectedly.)

Thus she lies on the ground, for the enemy comes in force, with axes like woodcutters, to hew down the forest of men in Egypt. The mention of the axes is occasioned by the comparison of the foe to woodcutters; we are not to think of battle-axes as weapons of the Massagetae, Scythians, Persians, and other nations (Herodotus, i. 215, iv. 70, vii. 64; Xenophon, Cyroped. i. 2, 9). Axes here form the type of murderous weapons generally. On the comparison of a multitude of people to a forest, cf. Jeremiah 21:14; Isaiah 10:18., Isaiah 10:33. The clause כּי לא יחקר is referred by L. de Dieu, J. D. Michaelis, Hitzig, Ngelsbach, etc., to the wood, "for it cannot be explored or penetrated;" thus a road must be made in order to get through it. However, the question is not about the enemy going or marching through Egypt, but about the destruction of Egypt and her powers. Rosenmller and Graf, with Raschi, are more correct in referring the clause to the hostile army, "for it cannot be investigated," i.e., it is impossible to learn the number of them. It is no great objection to this interpretation that the verb occurs in the singular: this must be retained as it is, since it is not the individual enemies that cannot be searched out, but it is the number of the whole army that cannot be reckoned. On the employment of חקר in the Niphal in connection with the impossibility of counting a multitude, cf. 1 Kings 7:47, and the expression לא in Job 5:9; Job 9:10; Job 36:36. The clauses which follow, and conclude Jeremiah 46:23, explain the thought further: "more numerous than grasshoppers," i.e., innumerable.

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