Jeremiah 42:14
Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:
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(14) No; but we will go into the land of Egypt.—The thoughts that were in the hearts of the applicants are stated with dramatic vividness. Egypt, then under Apries (the Pharaoh-hophra of Jeremiah 44:30), seemed to them so safe and peaceful. As of old, it was still the granary of the East, and its plenteous harvests formed a bright contrast to the famine which they had experienced during the invasion of the Chaldæans. Jeremiah, however, has simply to reject the plan, as from first to last he had resisted altogether the thought of an Egyptian alliance (Jeremiah 2:36; Jeremiah 37:7): there would be no safety nor peace nor plenty found in acting on it. Ezekiel’s prophecies as to Egypt and her king were in this respect in harmony with Jeremiah’s (Ezekiel 17:11-18; Ezekiel 29-32), and were, as nearly as possible, contemporary with them.

42:7-22 If we would know the mind of the Lord in doubtful cases, we must wait as well as pray. God is ever ready to return in mercy to those he has afflicted; and he never rejects any who rely on his promises. He has declared enough to silence even the causeless fears of his people, which discourge them in the way of duty. Whatever loss or suffering we may fear from obedience, is provided against in God's word; and he will protect and deliver all who trust in him and serve him. It is folly to quit our place, especially to quit a holy land, because we meet with trouble in it. And the evils we think to escape by sin, we certainly bring upon ourselves. We may apply this to the common troubles of life; and those who think to avoid them by changing their place, will find that the grievances common to men will meet them wherever they go. Sinners who dissemble with God in solemn professions especially should be rebuked with sharpness; for their actions speak more plainly than words. We know not what is good for ourselves; and what we are most fond of, and have our hearts most set upon, often proves hurtful, and sometimes fatal.Egypt had lost the battle of Carchemish, but it had not been the scene itself of military operations; while Judaea, from the date of the battle of Megiddo, had perpetually been exposed to the actual horrors of war. 14. where we shall see no war—Here they betray their impiety in not believing God's promise (Jer 42:10, 11), as if He were a liar (1Jo 5:10). The sense of the words is obvious, they thought that their life in the land of Judah would be at best an uneasy life, where they should be continually alarmed with the noise of war; and though they could not fear the want of bread in a land that flowed with milk and honey, yet they also considered that Egypt was a very fruitful country, by the overflowing of Nilus; and the prospect of this made them quit that usual fondness which people have of their native country. From whence appears that their great sin was unbelief; they would not take the promise of God for a security to them for a quiet and peaceable abode in Judah, but would fancy noises of drums and trumpets, and fear where no fear was. The prophet saw they were resolved into Egypt they would go, to live a more certain easy life (as they fancied); he therefore tells them, that if after their sending him to God to inquire for them, and promising a compliance with his will, and hearing now what that will was, this were their resolution, he had another word from God to them. Saying, no, but we will go into the land of Egypt,.... It was all one as if they had said, no, we will not obey the voice of the Lord to continue in our own land; we are determined to go into Egypt, induced by the following reasons:

where we shall see no war; either internal, or with a foreign enemy; as both of late in their own land, and which they feared would be again; but promised themselves exemption from both in the land of Egypt, and therefore coveted to dwell there:

nor hear the sound of the trumpet; neither hear of wars nor rumours of wars; not the sound of the trumpet in the armies of the enemy, or among themselves, to gather together and prepare for battle; or, as Jarchi thinks, the sound of the trumpet blown by the watchman, giving notice to the people of the approach of an enemy:

nor have hunger of bread; as they had had while Judea was invaded and Jerusalem besieged, and a foreign army in the land; and though they had no reason to fear this now, yet they thought they should be more out of the danger of it in Egypt, a fruitful country, overflowed by the Nile:

and there will we dwell; in peace, prosperity, and safety: this was their resolution, to go and abide there; and this their confidence, that such would be their happy state.

Saying, No; but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the trumpet, nor have hunger of bread; and there will we dwell:
14. we shall see no war] We shall be in a land further from Babylon, and therefore not so liable to invasion.The word of the Lord. - At the end of ten days, the reply that had been asked for came from the Lord. Hitzig and Graf think that Jeremiah had lingered ten days with the answer, in order to obtain strong and clear conviction, "matured through his own meditation, probably also in part confirmed by the arrival of further news." This opinion is characterized by Ngelsbach as "in harmony with modern science, but unhistorical;" it should rather be called unscriptural, as resting on a denial of divine inspiration. The reason why the Lord did not make known His will to the prophet for ten days was a disciplinary one. By waiting, those who asked would get time for bethinking themselves, and for quietly considering the situation of affairs, so that they might be able, calmly and collectedly, to receive and obey the answer of God, which was far from satisfying the fears and wishes of their heart. Jeremiah 42:8. Jeremiah called the captains and all the people together, and announced to them as follows: Jeremiah 42:9. "Thus saith Jahveh, the God of Israel, to whom ye have sent me, that I might bring your supplication before Him: Jeremiah 42:10. If ye will indeed abide in this land, then will I build you up and not pull down; and I will plant you, but not root out; for I repent of the evil that I have done to you. Jeremiah 42:11. Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, whom ye fear, be not afraid of him, saith Jahveh; for I am with you to save you and to deliver you out of his hand. Jeremiah 42:12. And I will get pity for you, so that he shall take pity on you, and bring you back to your land. Jeremiah 42:13. But if ye say, We will not remain in this land, so that ye will not obey the voice of Jahveh your God, Jeremiah 42:14. Saying, Nay, but we will go to the land of Egypt, that we may not see war nor hear the wound of a trumpet, and we shall not hunger after bread, and we will dwell there. - Jeremiah 42:15. Now therefore hear the word of Jahveh, ye remnant of Judah: Thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel, If ye do indeed set your face to go to Egypt, and go to sojourn there, Jeremiah 42:16. Then shall the sword, of which ye are afraid, overtake you there, in the land of Egypt, and hunger, which ye dread, shall there follow hard after you, in Egypt, and there shall ye die. Jeremiah 42:17. And all the men who have set their face to go to Egypt, to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, and through hunger, and from the plague; nor shall they have any one left or escaped from the evil which I will bring on them. Jeremiah 42:18. For thus saith Jahveh of hosts, the God of Israel: As mine anger and my wrath were poured out upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall my wrath be poured out upon you when ye go to Egypt, and ye shall become an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach, and ye shall not see this place again. - Jeremiah 42:19. Jahveh hath spoken to you, O remnant of Judah. Go not to Egypt: ye shall know for certain that I have warned you to-day. Jeremiah 42:20. For ye err at the risk of your souls when ye sent me to Jahveh your God, saying, Pray for us to Jahveh our God, and according to all that Jahveh our God shall say to us, so tell us, and we will do it. Jeremiah 42:21. Now I have told you to-day, and ye have not obeyed the voice of Jahveh your God, nor in anything for which He hath sent me unto you. Jeremiah 42:22. Now, therefore, ye must surely know that ye shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place whither ye have been pleased to go to sojourn."

The Lord's reply extends as far as Jeremiah 42:18; the last four verses (19-22) form an epilogue, a further address by the prophet, in which he once more specially impresses God's resolution on the minds of the people. The answer of God consists (1) in the promise that, if they will remain in the land, the Lord is willing to build them up, and protect them from the wrath of the king of Babylon (Jeremiah 42:9-12); and (2) the threat that, if they will go to Egypt against the advice and will of the Lord, they shall certainly perish there by the sword, famine, and pestilence (Jeremiah 42:13-18). On the expression הפּיל תּהנּה, see on Jeremiah 36:7. שׁוב (Jeremiah 42:10) can only be inf. abs. of ישׁב, for ישׁוב ; if we view it as coming from שׁוּב morf , we get no suitable meaning, for the thought si revertendo illuc manseritis in hc terr (C. B. Michaelis) could not be expressed by שׁוב תּשׁבוּ. Certainly there is no other instance of such a form as שׁוב being used for ישׁוב; in a verb like ישׁב, however, which drops the י in the inf. constr., a like omission in the inf. abs. is quite conceivable, while the supposition of some injury having been done to the text (Olshausen, Gram. 89) is less probable. On the expression, "I will build you," etc., cf. Jeremiah 24:6; Jeremiah 31:4; Jeremiah 33:7. "I repent of the evil" is an anthropopathic expression for the cancelling of a penal sentence: cf. Joel 2:14, etc. - In Jeremiah 42:11, the repetition of the words "do not fear him" produces special emphasis.

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