Jeremiah 46 - 48 - Outline of Jeremiah (MENU page)
Appendix: Judgment upon the Gentile nations...
As discussed in the introduction to the notes on ch. 45, Jeremiah's ministry to his people closed at the end of ch. 44. His final prophecy is of judgment upon the unbelieving remnant of Judah in the land of Egypt. The remainder of the book consists of appendices, written, for the most part, prior to the fall of Jerusalem. The final chapter (ch. 52) is a recapitulation of Jerusalem's fall and adds some details to the account given in ch. 39.

As we saw, chapter 45 is a personal message, of encouragement and correction, directed to Baruch, Jeremiah's scribe, just before Jerusalem's fall.

Chapters 46-51 are messages of judgment upon the Gentile nations (46:1) which surrounded Israel.

These countries are addressed from west to east, with the exception that Babylon is reserved for last, and addressed in greater length, due to their role in the judgment upon Israel and the other nations.
     We will not take time to examine everything in these chapters, but will attempt to highlight a few important points. Further study would be rewarding.
     Each message begins with something like "The Word of the LORD 'against' {ie., concerning, in regard to} Egypt..." (cp. 46:1,2; 49:1). The LORD's warning of impending judgment is actually an expression of grace toward each of these groups. Individuals who believe and heed His warnings are afforded a way of escape. In ch.50 and 51, the LORD does state that He is 'against' Babylon to ensure its destruction (50:31; 51:25), but the wording there is much different than in the introductions to the messages in the prior chapters.

I. Judgment upon Egypt, 46:1-28
  1. Egypt's advance against Babylon will be defeated (46:1-12).
    • The time and occasion of the prophecy (v.2) - The fourth year of Jehoiakim (cp. 25:1).
      The prophecies regarding the other nations may have been delivered at this time also (cp. 25:15-38; Compare the list of nations in 25:19-26 with the order of the prophecies in the appendices to Jeremiah's book (listed above)... "and Sheshach {Babylon} shall drink after them").
    • Jehoiakim had been installed as king by Pharaoh-Nechoh (2Kin 23:34-37).
      Judah had looked to Egypt for protection. But Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, displaced Egypt and became the predominant power in the region, at the battle of Carchemish (which is described prophetically here, in v.1-12). This battle took place in 605 BC (approximately 4 years after the prophecy was given, and 19 years before the fall of Jerusalem). Carchemish was on the upper Euphrates, in the frontier between modern day Turkey and Syria.
  2. Babylon's invasion of Egypt will be successful (v.13-26).
    • This invasion took place in about 568 BC. It was foretold here and also in ch. 44.
      Following the fall of Jerusalem, the remnant of Judah had fled to Egypt for fear of Nebuchadnezzar. Yet, Nebuchadnezzar would overtake the very places in which they had taken refuge (cp. v.13-14; 44:1-f).
    • The daughter of Egypt had been (and would be) confounded when her misplaced confidences failed her (v.24,25).
      The daughters of Judah, who had turned from the Lord to dwell in Egypt and to trust in her strength and false gods, would share in Egypt's desolation (v.19).
  3. Hope for the future (v.26b-28)
    • Egypt would be restored, after her desolation (v.26b; cp. Eze 29:6-14).
    • Israel will be restored, though all other nations be brought to nothing (v.27-28).
      • The Lord will accomplish this: "I will..." for "I am with thee..."
      • He promises to save the seed of Israel "from the land of their captivity" (ie., Babylon).
        The promise is not extended to those who have fled into Egypt (44:27).
      • In the future day of restoration, Israel will have true and lasting peace and security.
      • It should be obvious that although some aspects of these prophecies have been fulfilled historically, others await fulfillment in the future 'day of the LORD' (v.10).
II. Judgment upon Philistia (47:1-7)
  1. The near application of this passage is the trampling of a people and region caught up in the conflict between Pharaoh-Nechoh of Egypt (v.1) and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whose armies are "the waters from the north" (v.2), as described in ch. 46 (above).
  2. The future application: The sword of the LORD will not rest in this region (v.6,7), until Israel enters its rest (46:27,28) in the Messiah's millennial Kingdom. The places mentioned here receive an amazing amount of attention in the news media, today.
    • Gaza- One of the primary cities in the Gaza strip.
    • Tyre and Sidon- Prominent cities in Lebanon.
    • Ashkelon- a port on the Mediterranean Sea, located 15 miles north of Gaza city.
      In Jeremiah's day, it was a city of the Philistines. Today, it is under Israeli control. It's proximity to the Gaza strip (just 6 miles north of the border), makes it a frequent target for Palestinian missiles.
    • Caphtor {ie., the island of Crete? or Cyprus? or a province of Egypt?}-
      The Philistines are called "the remnant" {remainder, descendants} of Caphtor (cp. Amos 9:7).
      However, the present day "Palestinians" are related to the Arab nations of the region.
    Note: Restoration is not promised to Philistia (nor to Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor and Babylon). These countries occupy territory which the LORD has promised to Israel in her final restoration (Gen 15:18).
III. Judgment upon Moab (ch. 48)
  1. The warning (48:1,2) and terror of her destruction (v.3-6).-
    The progression of the enemy's conquest is traced from city to city. (Madmen is the name of one of the cities.) Moab was located directly east of the Dead Sea. Heshbon, a city on the border with the Ammonites to their north, would turn against Moab, and also against those Moabites who attempted to take refuge there (v.5). The spoiler (v.8) is Nebuchadnezzar and his army. In this lengthy chapter, the turmoil of war is vividly portrayed, as the spoiler makes multiple advances to crush its unsubmissive prey.
  2. The reasons for her judgment:
    • Their trust in her own works and wealth (v.7a).
    • Their trust in her false god, Chemosh (v.7b,12,13).
    • Their self-exaltation and pride against the LORD (v.26,29,42).
    • Their joy at the captivity of Israel by Assyria, though Israel had not coveted (as thieves) Moab's land (v.27).
      In fact, the cities mentioned, in this chapter, had long belonged to Israel. They had taken them, when the Amorites had attacked Israel as they traveled to Canaan, in the time of Moses and Joshua (cp. the cities mentioned in v.45 with Num 21:21-31). Israel had lost the land when they turned from the LORD to false gods. Moab had rejoiced at Israel's captivity (to Assyria) and quickly appropriated the land as their own. Likewise, when Jerusalem was besieged by Babylon, Moab cheered for Judah's enemy. The judgment, which would fall upon them, would reveal to them the identity of the true and living God (Eze 25:8-11).
  3. The result of her judgment: The nation of Moab was "destroyed from being a people" (v.42)-
    Today, it's territory and ethnic identity have been swallowed up by the country of Jordan, the Hashemite kingdom, whose Arab rulers claim descent from Muhammed.
  4. The promise of her restoration (v.47)- In the latter days, the Lord will restore this people, which are descendants of Lot (Gen 19:36,37), though their ethnic identity is untraceable, today.

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