Jeremiah 42:17
So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
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(17) So shall it be with all the men . . .—The words possibly imply that others were taking the same course as those who had applied to Jeremiah. There was something like a “rush” from many nations—Moab, Edom, and others (Jeremiah 27:3)—of fugitives, looking to Egypt as their one hope of safety against the Chaldæans, and joining with the Jews that had sought shelter in their respective territories (Jeremiah 40:11). We note in the prophet’s warning the recurrence of the old familiar phrases, “by the sword, by the famine, by the pestilence” (Jeremiah 24:10; Ezekiel 6:11), of an “execration and an astonishment and a curse and a reproach” (Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 26:6; Jeremiah 29:18). They would involve themselves by rejecting his counsels in all the worst evils that he had prophesied before. What had been addressed to the mixed multitude is emphatically repeated in Jeremiah 42:19 to the “remnant of Judah.”

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.Translate it: "Then shall the sword of which ye are afraid reach you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine whereof ye pine shall cleave close unto you in Egypt, and there shall ye die; and all the men who have set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there shall die ... by the pestilence, nor shall they have anyone that is left or escaped from the evil which I will bring upon them." 17. all the men—excepting the "small number" mentioned (Jer 44:14, 28); namely, those who were forced into Egypt against their will, Jeremiah, Baruch, &c., and those who took Jeremiah's advice and fled from Egypt before the arrival of the Chaldeans. Those words,

that set their faces to go, may reasonably be interpreted as a limitation of the universal particle all; for as eventually we can hardly conceive that every individual person that went into Egypt did thus perish, so it can hardly be thought that the just God should order an equal punishment to those who were the ringleaders in this design, and those who were forced or overruled by them, or perhaps knew not how to live when the rest were gone. But, saith God, for those who drive on this design, and go with their whole heart resolvedly against the contrary revelation of my will, there shall none of them escape one or other of my sore judgments, sword, pestilence, or famine; they shall not be the lot of one or two, but of all such persons.

So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there,.... Not all that went into Egypt, but all that were resolutely set upon it; that were obstinately bent to go there, and did go, contrary to the express command of God; for otherwise there were some that were forced to go against their wills, as Jeremiah, Baruch, and no doubt others:

they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence; three of the Lord's sore judgments; some should die by one, and some by another, and some by a third; all should die by one or the other:

and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them; that is, none of those who wilfully, and of their own accord, went down to Egypt; they all perished there, none could escape the hand of God, or the evil he determined to bring upon them; which is to be understood of the above judgments.

So shall it be with all the men that set their faces to go into Egypt to sojourn there; they shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: and none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them.
Jeremiah 42:17ויהיוּ, used instead of the impersonal והיה, is referred to the following subject by a rather unusual kind of attraction; cf. Ewald, 345, b. All the men who set their faces, i.e., intend, to go to Egypt shall perish; not a single one shall escape the evil; for the same judgment of wrath which has befallen Jerusalem shall also come on those who flee to Egypt; cf. Jeremiah 7:20. On the expression "ye shall become a curse," etc., cf. Jeremiah 24:9; Jeremiah 25:18; Jeremiah 29:18.

Taking for granted that the leaders of the people will not obey, Jeremiah appends to the word of the Lord an earnest address, in which several points are specially insisted on, viz., that the Lord had spoken to them, that He had forbidden them to go to Egypt, and that he (the prophet), by proclaiming the word of the Lord, had warned them (העיד בּ, to testify, bear witness against a person, i.e., warn him of something, cf. Jeremiah 11:7). Thus he discloses to them the dangerous mistake they are in, when they first desire some expression of the mind of the Lord regarding their intentions, and, in the hope that He will accede to their request, promise unconditional obedience to whatever He may direct, but afterwards, when they have received a message from the Lord, will not obey it, because it is contrary to what they wish. The Kethib התעתים has been incorrectly written for התעיים, the Hiphil from תּעה, to err; here, as in Proverbs 10:17, it means to make a mistake. בּנפשׁותיכם, not, "you mislead your own selves," decepistis animas vestras (Vulg.), nor "in your souls," - meaning, in your thoughts and intentions (Ngelsbach), - but "at the risk of your souls," your life; cf. Jeremiah 17:21. וּלכל אשׁר (Jeremiah 42:21), "and that in regard to all that for which Jahveh has sent me to you," points back to their promise, Jeremiah 42:5, that they would do "according to all the word." By employing the perfect in Jeremiah 42:20, Jeremiah 42:21, the thing is represented as quite certain, as if it had already taken place. Jeremiah 42:22 concludes the warning with a renewed threat of the destruction which shall befall them for their disobedience.

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