Prophecies against Egypt
2 About Egypt and the army of Pharaoh Neco, Egypt's king, which was defeated at Carchemish on the Euphrates River by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon in the fourth year of Judah's King Jehoiakim son of Josiah:
3 Deploy small shields and large; draw near for battle! 4 Harness the horses; mount the steeds; take your positions with helmets on! Polish the lances; put on armor! 5 Why have I seen [this]? They are terrified, they are retreating, their warriors are crushed, they flee headlong, they never look back, terror is on every side! [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration. 6 The swift cannot flee, and the warrior cannot escape! In the north by the bank of the Euphrates River, they stumble and fall.
7 Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters churn? 8 Egypt rises like the Nile, and its waters churn like rivers. He boasts: I will go up, I will cover the earth; I will destroy cities with their residents. 9 Rise up, you cavalry! Race furiously, you chariots! Let the warriors go forth- Cush and Put, who are able to handle shields, and the Ludim, who are able to handle and string the bow. 10 That day belongs to the Lord, the God of Hosts, a day of vengeance to avenge Himself against His adversaries. The sword will devour and be satisfied; it will drink its fill of their blood, because it will be a sacrifice to the Lord, the God of Hosts, in the northern land by the Euphrates River.
11 Go up to Gilead and get balm, Virgin Daughter Egypt! You have multiplied remedies in vain; there is no healing for you. 12 The nations have heard of your dishonor, and your outcry fills the earth, because warrior stumbles against warrior and together both of them have fallen.
13 [This is] the word the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to defeat the land of Egypt:
14 Announce it in Egypt, and proclaim it in Migdol! Proclaim it in Memphis and in Tahpanhes! Say: Take positions! Prepare yourself, for the sword devours all around you. 15 Why have your strong ones been swept away? Each has not stood, for the Lord has thrust him down. 16 He continues to stumble. Indeed, each falls over the other. They say: Get up! Let's return to our people and to the land of our birth, away from the sword that oppresses. 17 There they will cry out: Pharaoh king of Egypt was all noise; he let the opportune moment pass.
18 As I live- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the King's declaration; the Lord of Hosts is His name. He will come like Tabor among the mountains and like Carmel by the sea. 19 Pack your bags for exile, inhabitant of Daughter Egypt! For Memphis will become a desolation, uninhabited ruins.
20 Egypt is a beautiful young cow, but a horsefly from the north is coming against her. 21 Even her mercenaries among her are like stall-fed calves. They too will turn back; together they will flee; they will not take their stand, for the day of their calamity is coming on them, the time of their punishment. 22 Egypt will hiss like a slithering snake, for [the enemy] will come with an army; with axes they will come against her like those who cut trees. 23 They will cut down her forest- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- though it is dense, for they are more numerous than locusts; they cannot be counted. 24 Daughter Egypt will be put to shame, handed over to a northern people.
25 The Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: "I am about to punish Amon, [god] of Thebes, along with Pharaoh, Egypt, her gods, and her kings-Pharaoh and those trusting in him. 26 I will hand them over to those who want to take their lives-to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. But after this, it will be inhabited again as in ancient times." [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration.
Reassurance for Israel
27 But you, My servant Jacob, do not be afraid, and do not be discouraged, Israel, for without fail I will save you from far away and your descendants, from the land of their captivity! Jacob will return and have calm and quiet with no one to frighten him. 28 And you, My servant Jacob, do not be afraid- [this is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the Lord's declaration- for I will be with you. I will bring destruction on all the nations where I have banished you, but I will not bring destruction on you. I will discipline you with justice, but I will by no means leave you unpunished.