Reading 1 Jeremiah 46:1-47:7
46 The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the nations. Concerning Egypt, about the army of Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates at Carchemish and which King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon defeated in the fourth year of King Jehoiakim son of Josiah of Judah: Prepare buckler and shield, and advance for battle! Harness the horses; mount the steeds! Take your stations with your helmets, whet your lances, put on your coats of mail! Why do I see them terrified? They have fallen back; their warriors are beaten down, and have fled in haste. They do not look back- terror is all around! says the Lord. The swift cannot flee away, nor can the warrior escape; in the north by the river Euphrates they have stumbled and fallen. Who is this, rising like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge? Egypt rises like the Nile, like rivers whose waters surge. It said, Let me rise, let me cover the earth, let me destroy cities and their inhabitants. Advance, O horses, and dash madly, O chariots! Let the warriors go forth: Ethiopia and Put who carry the shield, the Ludim, who draw the bow. That day is the day of the Lord God of hosts, a day of retribution, to gain vindication from his foes. The sword shall devour and be sated, and drink its fill of their blood. For the Lord God of hosts holds a sacrifice in the land of the north by the river Euphrates. Go up to Gilead, and take balm, O virgin daughter Egypt! In vain you have used many medicines; there is no healing for you. The nations have heard of your shame, and the earth is full of your cry; for warrior has stumbled against warrior; both have fallen together. The word that the Lord spoke to the prophet Jeremiah about the coming of King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon to attack the land of Egypt: Declare in Egypt, and proclaim in Migdol; proclaim in Memphis and Tahpanhes; Say, "Take your stations and be ready, for the sword shall devour those around you." Why has Apis fled? Why did your bull not stand? -because the Lord thrust him down. Your multitude stumbled and fell, and one said to another, "Come, let us go back to our own people and to the land of our birth, because of the destroying sword." Give Pharaoh, king of Egypt, the name "Braggart who missed his chance." As I live, says the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts, one is coming like Tabor among the mountains, and like Carmel by the sea. Pack your bags for exile, sheltered daughter Egypt! For Memphis shall become a waste, a ruin, without inhabitant. A beautiful heifer is Egypt- a gadfly from the north lights upon her. Even her mercenaries in her midst are like fatted calves; they too have turned and fled together, they did not stand; for the day of their calamity has come upon them, the time of their punishment. She makes a sound like a snake gliding away; for her enemies march in force, and come against her with axes, like those who fell trees. They shall cut down her forest, says the Lord, though it is impenetrable, because they are more numerous than locusts; they are without number. Daughter Egypt shall be put to shame; she shall be handed over to a people from the north. The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, said: See, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him. I will hand them over to those who seek their life, to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and his officers. Afterward Egypt shall be inhabited as in the days of old, says the Lord. But as for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel; for I am going to save you from far away, and your offspring from the land of their captivity. Jacob shall return and have quiet and ease, and no one shall make him afraid. As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord, for I am with you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have banished you, but I will not make an end of you! I will chastise you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished.
47 The word of the Lord that came to the prophet Jeremiah concerning the Philistines, before Pharaoh attacked Gaza: Thus says the Lord: See, waters are rising out of the north and shall become an overflowing torrent; they shall overflow the land and all that fills it, the city and those who live in it. People shall cry out, and all the inhabitants of the land shall wail. At the noise of the stamping of the hoofs of his stallions, at the clatter of his chariots, at the rumbling of their wheels, parents do not turn back for children, so feeble are their hands, because of the day that is coming to destroy all the Philistines, to cut off from Tyre and Sidon every helper that remains. For the Lord is destroying the Philistines, the remnant of the coastland of Caphtor. Baldness has come upon Gaza, Ashkelon is silenced. O remnant of their power! How long will you gash yourselves? Ah, sword of the Lord! How long until you are quiet? Put yourself into your scabbard, rest and be still! How can it be quiet, when the Lord has given it an order? Against Ashkelon and against the seashore- there he has appointed it.