14. Declare ye in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say ye, Stand fast, and prepare thee; for the sword shall devour round about thee.
14. Annuntiate in Aegypto, et promulgate in Migdol, promulgate in Noph et in Taphnees, dicite, Sta, et para te; quia voravit (vel, consumpsit) gladius circuitus tuos.
He pursues the same mode of speaking as we observed yesterday; and the reason was explained, even because, as men are very inattentive to God's judgments, the message of Jeremiah would have been ineffectual, had he spoken plainly, and in an ordinary way. It was therefore necessary to adopt an elevated style, and to speak, as he does, in a manner striking and forcible. Public speakers affect fine speaking, but only to catch applause, or to fill men with empty fear or joy: but the Prophets had in view another thing, even to teach, to exhort, to reprove, to threaten, in a way calculated to be effectual.
He says, Declare ye in Egypt, as though he pronounced a sentence from a tribunal, being endowed with divine authority. He then bids this message to be brought to the Egyptians. He afterwards mentions some cities, Migdol, Noph, and Tahpanhes. Some think Noph to be Alexandria; but it was probably Memphis, and this appears evident from other parts of Scripture. But they are mistaken who think that the same was Migdol, for the Prophet here refers to them as different places. Of Tahpanhes we have spoken elsewhere. Now these were celebrated cities and known to the Jews, as they were not far from them.
We know that Memphis was a renowned city; but this was much more known to the Israelites, for it was not far from their passage from Egypt, as we may learn from the second book of Moses and other parts of Scripture. Then we have seen that the Jews dwelt in Tahpanhes when they became fugitives from their own land, and were received there as guests.
It is then the same as though the Prophet had said, that God was now armed against the Egyptians; but as he was not a teacher set over them, he speaks of them as of foreign nations, Declare, he says, in Egypt, that is, let the Egyptians know this. Say, Stand, and prepare thyself, for the sword has devoured thy borders, and everything around thee. By these words the Prophet intimates, that though the Egyptians, being warned in due time, should exercise vigilance, yet their care would be useless, for they could not prevent God from executing what he had determined, he speaks, however, of what was incredible, for the Egyptians thought themselves far from every danger: hence the Prophet says, that how much so ever they might prepare themselves, yet it would all be in vain. He then derides their security, because they thought themselves beyond the reach of danger. It follows --