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Commentary On Jeremiah And Lamentations Volume 4 by Jean Calvin

Jeremiah 46:13

13 The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come and smite the land of Egypt.

13. Sermo quem locutus est Jehova ad Jeremiam Prophetam ad veniendum (vel, de veniendo,) de adventu Nabuchadnezer regis Babylonis ad percutiendam terram Aegypti.

The former prophecy was respecting the slaughter of the Egyptian army, when Pharaoh came to assist the Assyrians, with whom he was then confederate. But this prophecy extends farther; for Jeremiah declares that the Egyptians themselves would have their turn; for we know even from other Prophets, that punishment had been denounced on them, (and Ezekiel pursues this subject through many chapters,) because they had, by their allurements, deceived the people of God. And God punished them not only for the evils by which they had themselves provoked his wrath, but because they had corrupted the Jews and confirmed them more and more in their obstinacy.

We now then perceive the design of the Prophet: the meaning is, that God, after having executed his judgment on the Israelites and the Jews, would become also the judge of the Egyptians and of other nations. We must further observe, that this prophecy was announced before the city was taken. At the time, then, that the Egyptians were secure, and that the Jews, relying on their aid, thought themselves safe from the violence of Nebuchadnezzar, it was then that this prophecy was delivered. But we see again, that the order of time is not observed as to these prophecies; for he had spoken of the slaughter of the army, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim. And it is probable, though the time is not pointed out here, that the destruction of Egypt had then been predicted; for before Jeremiah began to discharge his prophetic office, Isaiah had spoken against Egypt. Ezekiel, also, when an exile in Chaldea, at the same time confirmed the prophecies of Jeremiah, and said many more things against Egypt. We must however remark, that Jeremiah had not once only prophesied of the ruin of Egypt; for after he was forcibly led there, he confirmed, as we have before seen, what he had said previously.

Jeremiah then had predicted what we read here many years before the taking of the city. But as the Jews disregarded what he had said before, he again confirmed it, when he was in Egypt, though it was not without great danger to his life, for he spared neither the king nor the nation.

He then says, that the word came to him respecting the coming of Nebuchadnezzar to smite the land of Egypt Hitherto he has spoken of the punishment which God inflicted on the Egyptians, beyond their own kingdom, on the bank of the Euphrates; but, now he records the punishment of Egypt itself, when Nebuchadnezzar not only went to meet the Egyptians, to drive them from his own borders, but when he made an irruption into their kingdom, and plundered many cities, and so afflicted the whole kingdom, that the Egyptian king afterwards reigned only, as it were, by his permission. It follows, --

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