My daily exploration of the Bible, taking it one chapter at a time. If I do it everyday, it'll take 1189 days.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Jeremiah 44

The End of Egypt

Jeremiah prophesied to the remnant, and told them that Judah was in ruins because they had followed other gods. As the remnant they should follow idols and other gods if they want to continue to exist. The remnant who went to Egypt will be destroyed.

The people protested, wanting to worship the goddess. They believed that their suffering was due to the cessation of their offerings to the goddess. Jeremiah saw that they were determined and prophesied that God had cut himself off from them, and was now against them. God's sign for this was that the Pharoah would be defeated by Babylon.

Key verse:
17. We will burn incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm.

My thoughts:
It's actually quite rare for the Jews in the Bible to openly declare that they didn't want God anymore. Normally they'd secretly know that they should worship Yahweh, but struggled to do it in practice. In this case, where they openly confess their contempt towards Yahweh, Yahweh sets himself clearly against them.

The fact that Egypt was to be conquered would be a big call for the time. The people would have been intelligent to be confident of Egypt's security, because it appears to me that before this point, Egypt had never ever been seriously externally conquered since the states started around 3000BCE. Though Egypt had diminished in power since the second millenium BCE, no other power had arisen to defeat them yet. Jeremiah's prophecy was bold.


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