English Standard Version
Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a waste and a desolation, as at this day.
King James Bible
Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.
American Standard Version
Wherefore my wrath and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.
Wherefore my indignation and my fury was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem: and they are turned to desolation and waste, as at this day.
English Revised Version
Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as it is this day.
Webster's Bible Translation
Wherefore my fury and my anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.
Jeremiah 44:6 Parallel
CommentaryKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
In conclusion, mention is further made of the destruction of the famous temple of the Sun at Heliopolis, to show the fulfilment of the prophecy that all Egypt would fall under the power of Nebuchadnezzar. בּית שׁמשׁ, "House of the Sun," is the Hebrew rendering of the Egyptian Pe-râ, i.e., House of the Sun, the sacred name of the city vulgarly called On; see on Genesis 41:45. It lay north-east from Cairo, near the modern village of Matarieh, and thus pretty far inland; it was renowned for its magnificent temple, dedicated to Râ, the Sun-god. At the entrance to this building stood several larger and smaller obelisks, of which the two larger, added to the two older ones by Pheron the son of Sesostris, were about 150 feet high. One of these the Emperor Augustus caused to be brought to Rome; the other was thrown down in the year 1160; while one of the more ancient but smaller obelisks still stands in its original position, raising its head in the midst of a beautiful garden over a mass of dense foliage. These obelisks are signified by מצּבות. The additional clause, "which is in the land of Egypt," does not belong to Beth-shemesh, as if it were appended for the purpose of distinguishing the city so named from Beth-shemesh in the land of Judah; the words are rather connected with מצּבות, and correspond with אלהי מצרים in the parallel member of the verse. The obelisks of the most famous temple of the Egyptian Sun-god are well known as the most splendid representatives of the glory of the Egyptian idolatry: the destruction of these monuments indicates the ruin of all the sanctuaries of the ancient kingdom of the Pharaohs. The last clause is a kind of re-echo from Jeremiah 43:12; ישׂרף is strengthened by the addition of בּאשׁ for the purpose of giving a sonorous ending to the whole. - The king of Egypt is not named in the prophecy, but according to Jeremiah 44:30 it is Pharaoh-Hophra, who is to be given into the power of Nebuchadnezzar.
When we inquire as to the fulfilment of this prediction, we find M. Duncker, in his Gesch. des Alterthums, i. 841, giving a reply in these words: "Nebuchadnezzar did not fulfil these expectations (of Jeremiah, Jeremiah 43:8-13; Jeremiah 44:30, and of Ezekiel, Jeremiah 29:32). He contented himself with having repelled the renewed attack of Egypt. The establishment of his dominion in Syria did not depend on his conquering Egypt; but Syria must obey him, throughout its whole extent. The capture of Jerusalem followed the siege of the island-town of Tyre (b.c. 586), the last city that had maintained its independence. The army of the Chaldean slay thirteen years before Tyre without being able to bring the king Ethbaal (Ithobal) under subjection. At last, in the year 573, a treaty was concluded, in which the Tyrians recognised the supremacy of the king of Babylon." That Tyre was brought into subjection is inferred by Duncker (in a note, p. 682), first, from the generally accepted statement of Berosus, that the whole of Phoenicia was subdued by Nebuchadnezzar (Josephus' Ant. x. 11. 1, and contra Ap. i. 19); secondly, from Josephus' statement (contra Ap. i. 21), that the kings Merbal and Hiram had been brought by the Tyrians from Babylon; and lastly, from the fact that, with the close of the siege, the reign of Ithobal ends and that of Baal begins. "It would thus appear that Ithobal was removed, and his family carried to Babylon." These facts, which are also acknowledged by Duncker, sufficiently show (what we have already pointed out in Ezekiel) that the siege of Tyre ended with the taking of this island-city. For, unless the besieged city had been taken by storm, or at least compelled to surrender, the king would not have let himself be dethroned and carried to Babylon. - But whence has Duncker derived the information that Nebuchadnezzar had no concern with the subjugation of Egypt, but merely with the establishment of his authority in Syria? Although Nebuchadnezzar began the siege of the island-city of Tyre soon after the destruction of Jerusalem, and required thirteen years to reduce it, yet it does not by any means follow from this that he had only to do with the strengthening of his authority in Syria, and no connection with the subjugation of Egypt; all that we can safely infer is, that he thought he could not attempt the conquest of Egypt with any certain prospect of success until he had subdued the whole of Syria. Besides, so long as such an one as Pharaoh-Hophra occupied the throne of Egypt, - who had not only sent an army to Zedekiah king of Judah to raise the siege of Jerusalem, but also (according to Herodotus, ii. 161, who draws from Egyptian sources) led an army to Sidon and fought a naval battle with the Tyrians; who (as Diod. Sic. i. 68 relates, also following Egyptian tradition) set out for Cyprus with abundant war-material and a strong army and fleet, and took Sidon by storm, while the rest of the towns submitted through fear; who, moreover, had defeated the Phoenicians and Cyprians in a naval engagement, and had returned to Egypt with immense spoil; - how could Nebuchadnezzar possibly think that his rule in Syria was firmly established? Such statements as those now referred to even Duncker does not venture to reject. We must, however, view them with a regard to the usual exaggerations by which the Egyptians were accustomed to extol the deeds of their Pharaohs; but after making all due allowance, we are led to this, that, after the fall of Tyre, Hophra sought to prevent the island of Cyprus as well as Tyre from becoming a dependency of Nebuchadnezzar. Could Nebuchadnezzar leave unmolested such an enemy as this, who, on the first suitable opportunity, would attempt to wrest the whole of Syria from him? So short-sighted a policy we could not attribute to such a conqueror as Nebuchadnezzar. Much more considerate is the judgment previously expressed regarding this by Vitringa, on Isaiah 19:"Etiamsi omnis historia hic sileret, non est probabile, Nebucadnezarem magnum dominatorem gentium, post Palaestinam et Phoeniciam subactam, non tentasse Aegyptum, et si tentaverit, tentasse frustra; et qu parte Aegyptum occupavit, eam non vastasse et desolasse."
It is also to be borne in mind that the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, which is denied by Hitzig and Graf as well as Duncker, as it formerly was by Volney, is vouched for by the trustworthy testimony of Berosus (in Josephus, contra Ap. i. 19), who says that Nebuchadnezzar took Egypt (κρατῆσαι Αἰγύπτου, ̓Αραβίας, κ.τ.λ.); the denial, too, rests on a mere inference from the account given by Herodotus from the traditions of the priests regarding the reign of Apris (Hophra). If the witness of Berosus regarding the conquest of Syria and Phoenicia be trustworthy, why should his testimony concerning Egypt be unreliable? The account of Josephus (Ant. x. 9. 7), that Nebuchadnezzar, in the fifth year after the capture of Jerusalem, and the twenty-third year of his reign, invaded Egypt, killed the king (Hophra), put another in his place, and led captive to Babylon the Jews that had fled to Egypt, - this account will not admit of being brought forward (as has often been attempted, and anew, of late, by Mrc. von Niebuhr, Assur und Babel, S. 215) as sufficient testimony for a successful campaign carried on by Nebuchadnezzar against Egypt during the siege of Tyre. The difficulty in the way of proving that such a campaign actually took place is not so much that the death of Hophra in battle with Nebuchadnezzar, or his execution afterwards, contradicts all authenticated history, as that the particular statements of Josephus regarding this campaign, both as to the date and the carrying away to Babylon of the Jews that had fled to Egypt, are simply conclusions drawn from a combination of Jeremiah 43:8-13 and Jeremiah 44:30 with Jeremiah 52:20; besides, the execution of King Hophra by Nebuchadnezzar is foretold neither by Jeremiah nor by Ezekiel. Ezekiel, in Jeremiah 29-32, merely predicts the decline of the Egyptian influence, the breaking of the arm of Pharaoh, i.e., of his military power, and his fall into Sheol; but he does it in so ideal a manner, that even the words of Jeremiah 30:13, "there shall be no more a prince out of the land of Egypt," - i.e., Egypt shall lose all her princes, just as her idols have been destroyed, - even these words cannot well be applied to the execution of Pharaoh-Hophra. But Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 43:1-13 and in Jeremiah 46:13., predicts merely the downfall of the pride and power of Pharaoh, and the conquest, devastation, and spoiling of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. And even in the words of Jeremiah 44:30, "I (Jahveh) will deliver Pharaoh-Hophra into the hand of his enemies, and of those who seek his life, just as I delivered Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar his enemy, and of those who sought after his life," there is nothing definitely stated regarding Hophra's being executed by Nebuchadnezzar, or killed in battle with him. Such a reference cannot be made out from the words, even though we lay no emphasis on the plural "his enemies," in contrast with the expression "Nebuchadnezzar his enemy," and, according to Jeremiah 46:26, understand Nebuchadnezzar and his servants as being included under the "enemies;" for certainly Zedekiah was not killed by Nebuchadnezzar, but merely taken prisoner and carried to Babylon. Besides, there was no need of special proof that the prophecies of Jeremiah regarding Egypt declare much more important matters than merely an expedition of Chaldean soldiers to Egypt, as well as the plunder of some cities and the carrying away of the Jews who resided there; and that, in Jeremiah 44, what the Jews who went to Egypt against the will of God are threatened with, is not transportation to Babylon, but destruction in Egypt by sword, hunger, and pestilence, until only a few individuals shall escape, and these shall return to Judah (Jeremiah 44:14, Jeremiah 44:27-28).
But if we compare with the prophecy of Jeremiah in Jeremiah 43:8-13, and in Jeremiah 46:13-26, that of Ezekiel in Jeremiah 29:17-21, which was uttered or composed in the twenty-seventh year of the captivity of Jehoiachin, i.e., in the year 573, it becomes abundantly evident that Nebuchadnezzar cannot have invaded and conquered Egypt before that year, and not till after the fall of Tyre, which immediately ensued. And that this was actually the case, is put beyond doubt by the statement of Herodotus, ii. 161ff., regarding Apris, that he lost his throne and his life in consequence of being defeated in battle with the Cyrenians. What Herodotus assigns as the cause of the fall of Apris, is insufficient to account for the unhappy end of this king. Herodotus himself states, ii. 169, that the Egyptians were filled with the most intense hatred against Apris; the monuments also bear witness to this fact. This bitter feeling must have had a deeper source than merely the unsuccessful issue of a war with Cyrene; it receives its explanation only when we find that Apris, by his attempts against Nebuchadnezzar, had deserved and brought on the subjugation of Egypt by the king of Babylon; cf. Hvernick on Ezekiel, p. 500. By sending an auxiliary army to Judah, for the purpose of driving back the Chaldeans, and by forming an expedition to Cyprus and the cities of Phoenicia, which was evidently directed against the establishment of the Chaldean power in Phoenicia, Apris had so provoked the king of Babylon, that the latter, immediately after the subjugation of Tyre, entered on the campaign against Egypt, which he invaded, subdued, and spoiled, without, however, killing the king; him he preferred allowing to rule on, but as his vassal, and under the promise that he would recognise his authority and pay tribute, just as had been done with King Jehoiakim when Jerusalem was first taken. If all this actually took place (which we may well assume), Apris might probably have begun another war against Cyrene, after the Chaldeans had departed, in the hope of procuring some small compensation to the Egyptians for the defeat they had suffered from the Chaldeans, by subduing that province in the west; in this war the king might have lost his life, as Herodotus relates, through want of success in his attempt. In this say, the account of Herodotus regarding the death of Apris quite agrees with the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar. But that Herodotus makes no mention of the conquest of Egypt, is sufficiently accounted for when we remember that he derived his information from the stories of the priests, who carefully omitted all mention of a struggle between Egypt and the power of Chaldea, since this had ended in the humiliation of Egypt; hence also mention was made only of the victories and mighty deeds of Necho II, while his defeat at Carchemish was passed over in silence.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
And I will lay your cities waste and will make your sanctuaries desolate, and I will not smell your pleasing aromas.
Your country lies desolate; your cities are burned with fire; in your very presence foreigners devour your land; it is desolate, as overthrown by foreigners.
Wake yourself, wake yourself, stand up, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from the hand of the LORD the cup of his wrath, who have drunk to the dregs the bowl, the cup of staggering.
For thus says the LORD, "The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.
Do you not see what they are doing in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
And I will silence in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, for the land shall become a waste.
Behold, I will command, declares the LORD, and will bring them back to this city. And they will fight against it and take it and burn it with fire. I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant."
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