Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JEREMIAS - Chapter 44

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Jeremias xliv.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Magdal, the third station of the Israelites, (Exodus xiv. 2.) or another "tower" twelve miles from Pelusium, chap. xlvi. 14. --- Memphis, the capital of Nome, near the western banks of the Nile, and famous for its pyramids, which are standing, though the town be no more, chap. xlvi. 19. --- Phatures; perhaps in higher Egypt. Jeremias might go or send to these cities, this his last prediction, (Calmet) to reclaim his countrymen from idolatry. (Haydock)

Ver. 2. Inhabitant: or the number is exceedingly small. (Calmet) --- All the Jews had retired. (Haydock) --- It would be well if people would reflect, how those who have given way to heresy and infidelity have been treated. (Worthington)

Ver. 6. Forth, drop by drop, chap. xlii. 18. I have repeatedly warned them by punishments. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. Gods. Their blindness and malice was inconceivable. They attribute their past miseries to the neglect of worshipping the moon! ver. 18. They may be compared to a mixture of iron and brass, which is put through the crucible in vain, chap. vi. 29., and Ezechiel xxii. 18.

Ver. 11. Face, to punish grievously, Ezechiel iv. 3., and xx. 35. (Calmet) --- All did not perish, but the far greatest part, ver. 14, 28. (Worthington)

Ver. 14. Desire and expectation, chap. xxii. 27. They meant to return as soon as the Chaldeans had left the country: but their hopes were vain. The enemy would fall upon Egypt, after he had taken Tyre and the neighbouring provinces; and those who had not abandoned that country in time, would perish, ver. 12, 26. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. The queen of heaven; the moon, which they worshipped under this name, (Challoner) as also under that of the Celestial Venus, (Theodoret) Diana, and Isis. It seems the Jews had engaged by vow (ver. 27.) to restore her worship. (Calmet) --- The women more particularly adored the moon: yet all were guilty, chap. vii. 18., and 4 Kings xxiii. 5. (Worthington)

Ver. 18. Famine. They think nothing of the transgression of the law, &c., ver. 23. Could obduracy and blindness go greater lengths? (1 Machabees i. 12.)

Ver. 19. Worship. Hebrew, "to represent." The cakes had a crescent on them. (Calmet) See Hesychius in selenai. --- Husbands. The women are most zealous. But all partook of this idolatry, chap. vii. 18. (Calmet)

Ver. 21. Heart, or mind to punish you for idolatry. Sacrifice could be offered to the Lord only in his temple. (Haydock)

Ver. 26. Liveth. They swore by his name as well as by that of idols. God could not abide such company. (Calmet) --- Not one of these obstinate Jews shall be spared, ver. 14. Others, like Jeremias, the Septuagint [translators], and the holy family[Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph], no doubt called upon the Lord in the land of Egypt. (Haydock)

Ver. 30. Enemies. Herodotus (ii. 161, 169.) informs us that Apries reigned fortunately twenty-five years, when he lost many of his men fighting against the Cyreneans, and was dethroned by Amasis, and strangled by his subjects. Usher (the year of the world 3433) suspects that Amasis was assisted and confirmed by Nabuchodonosor, and he might thus fulfill the prophecies, chap. xliii. 11., &c., and Ezechiel xxix., &c. Josephus (Antiquities x. 11.) and Berosus (contra Apion i.) assert, that Nabuchodonosor defeated and slew the king of Egypt, though Herodotus is silent on this subject, his account being communicated by the Egyptian priests, and full of fables. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

The prophet's admonition to the Jews, in Egypt, against idolatry, is not regarded: he denounces to them their destruction.

1 The word that came to Jeremias, concerning all the Jews that dwelt in the land of Egypt, dwelling in Magdal, and in Taphnis, and in Memphis, and in the land of Phatures, saying:

2 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all this evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Juda; and behold they are desolate this day, and there is not an inhabitant in them:

3 Because of the wickedness which they have committed, to provoke me to wrath, and to go and offer sacrifice, and worship other gods, which neither they, nor you, nor your fathers knew.

4 And I sent to you all my servants, the prophets, rising early, and sending, and saying: Do not commit this abominable thing, which I hate.

5 But they heard not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their evil ways, and not to sacrifice to strange gods.

6 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.

7 And now thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against your own souls, that there should die of you man and woman, child and suckling, out of the midst of Juda, and no remnant should be left you:

8 In that you provoke me to wrath with the works of your hands, by sacrificing to other gods, in the land of Egypt, into which you are come to dwell there: and that you should perish, and be a curse, and a reproach to all the nations of the earth?

9 Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, and the evils of the kings of Juda, and the evils of their wives, and your evils, and the evils of your wives, that they have done in the land of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem?

10 They are not cleansed even to this day; neither have they feared, nor walked in the law of the Lord, nor in my commandments, which I set before you and your fathers.

11 Therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: *Behold, I will set my face upon you for evil; and I will destroy all Juda.

12 And I will take the remnant of Juda that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt, and to dwell there: and they shall be all consumed in the land of Egypt: they shall fall by the sword, and by the famine: and they shall be consumed, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword, and by the famine shall they die: and they shall be for an execration, and for a wonder, and for a curse, and for a reproach.

13 And I will visit them that dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have visited Jerusalem by the sword, and by famine, and by pestilence.

14 And there shall be none that shall escape, and remain, of the remnant of the Jews that are gone to sojourn in the land of Egypt: and that shall return into the land of Juda, to which they have a desire to return, to dwell there: there shall none return but they that shall flee.

15 Then all the men that knew that their wives sacrificed to other gods: and all the women, of whom there stood by a great multitude, and all the people of them that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Phatures, answered Jeremias, saying:

16 As for the word which thou hast spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken to thee:

17 But we will certainly do every word that shall proceed out of our own mouth, to sacrifice to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her, as we and our fathers have done, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem: and we were filled with bread, and it was well with us, and we saw no evil.

18 But since we left off to offer sacrifice to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword, and by famine.

19 And if we offer sacrifice to the queen of heaven, and pour out drink-offerings to her: did we make cakes to worship her, to pour out drink-offerings to her, without our husbands?

20 And Jeremias spoke to all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying:

21 Was it not the sacrifice that you offered in the cities of Juda, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you and your fathers, your kings, and your princes, and the people of the land, which the Lord hath remembered, and hath it not entered into his heart?

22 So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which you have committed: therefore your land is become a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant, as at this day.

23 Because you have sacrificed to idols, and have sinned against the Lord: and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, and have not walked in his law, and in his commandments, and in his testimonies: therefore are these evils come upon you, as at this day.

24 And Jeremias said to all the people, and to all the women: Hear ye the word of the Lord, all Juda, you that dwell in the land of Egypt:

25 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: You and your wives have spoken with your mouth, and fulfilled with your hands, saying: Let us perform our vows which we have made, to offer sacrifice to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings to her: you have fulfilled your vows, and have performed them indeed.

26 Therefore, hear ye the word of the Lord, all Juda, you that dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord: that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Juda, in the land of Egypt, saying: The Lord God liveth.

27 Behold I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Juda that are in the land of Egypt, shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine, till there be an end of them.

28 And a few men that shall flee from the sword, shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Juda: and all the remnant of Juda that are gone into the land of Egypt, to dwell there, shall know, whose word shall stand, mine, or theirs.

29 And this shall be a sign to you, saith the Lord, that I will punish you in this place: that you may know that my words shall be accomplished indeed against you for evil.

30 Thus saith the Lord: Behold I will deliver Pharao Ephree, king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life: as I delivered Sedecias, king of Juda, into the hand of Nabuchodonosor, the king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.



11: Amos ix. 4.