In chapter 46 to 52 (end of his book) Jeremiah prophesies against nine nations: Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Arabia (Kedar and Hazor), Elam, and Babylon. The nations are listed geographically, i.e., from west to east.
Chapter 46 regards Egypt; their pending doom and distant end time futures. Their immediate future as prophesied by Jeremiah involves their armed forces and a history now past. It may not be of much value to the reader other than FYI, but Egypt’s army at this time was composed of a significant number of mercenaries from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydians. The Lydians were not from Africa proper as were Ethiopia and Libya, but from an area we know today as Turkey. One can see on the map to the right, this area includes several of the churches discussed in Revelation 1-3. Per the Ethiopians (Cush), Libyans (Put/Phut), and mercenaries from Lydia (Turkey), read Jeremiah 46:9…
“Go ahead, Egypt. Tell your chariots and cavalry to attack and fight hard. Order your troops to march out, with Ethiopians and Libyans carrying shields, and the Lydians armed with bows and arrows.” [CEV]
We previously studied that the remnant of Judeans, along with a forced move of Jeremiah and Baruch, fled to Egypt abandoning the very land in which God had told them through Jeremiah to remain. We also read in a previous article they would die by the sword, famine, and pestilence if they did go to Egypt. None (excluding the possibility of Jeremiah and Baruch) would or will return to their homeland of Judah.
Jeremiah 46:13-19 tells us that Egypt will beia invaded by the Babylonns. It also tells us that the mercenaries Egypt hired to protect them will think of themselves at this precise time and desert Egypt leaving it to fight on its own. In former years this might have been a possibility but at this time Egypt’s valiant military consisted of outsiders; mercenaries. Jeremiah foretells of these mercenaries retreating to their own lands. Between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C. Egypt was in a steady decline as a power. Reminder…shortly before this time when Judah was under siege by the Babylonians and Zedekiah was on the throne of Judah, the Egyptian forces (mercenaries) marched out to help Judah but changed their mind and retreated. These are the same forces we are discussing here; mercenaries from Ethiopia, Lydia, and Libya.
JIV NOTE: What does the future hold for these areas? In Isaiah 11:11 we read: “It will happen in that [end time] day that the Lord will set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.”
This prophecy of Jeremiah comes after the remaining remnants of Judah fled to Egypt against God’s offer to protect them if they remained in their land of Judah, but destroy them if they go to Egypt. Jeremiah points out that the king/Pharaoh boasts of his future conquests with his mercenary army; overflowing like the Nile he will conquer the rest of the world. However, Jeremiah states in 46:14 Egypt will fall by the sword. So will those Judeans who fled to Egypt for protection. What a mess!
This is a direct intervention by God-Jehovah. Verse 15 states that “that they do not stand because the Lord has thrust them [Egypt] down” (ESV). Understandably, verse 16 the Pharaoh/king is called a noisy one; i.e. one that only make noise but cannot produce. In short, he can only rattle his sabre. He is as a clinging sound. Unless the Babylonians fear a rattling sound in the night they will conquer Egypt and wreak havoc in that land.
From Jeremiah 46:16 forward there is a pending and a tinge of yet-to-be-fulfilled prophecy. Egypt will be desolate. To date, this has not yet happened unless we consider the time of Babylon attacking Egypt where the Judeans had fled per Jeremiah and the surrender of Babylon to the Medo-Persians of Daniel’s time.
So what makes this a prophecy yet-to-be-fulfilled? Read the last three verses of chapter 46 [below]. It tells us that this is an event yet to happen. It regards Israel being re-inhabited. Keep in mind that when Jeremiah and Baruch were forced to go with the fleeing Judeans, their land was now abandoned. This is today’s “West Bank” territories the Palestinian-Arabs and most of the rest of the world claim do not belong to Israel.
Jer 46:26 And I will give them into the hand of those that seek their life, and into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and into the hand of his servants; but afterwards it shall be inhabited, as in the days of old, saith Jehovah.
This is a soon event and a future event prophesied in verse 26…”give the land into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar” and in the future it will “be as it was in the days of old.”
Jer 46:27 But thou, my servant Jacob, fear not, neither be dismayed, Israel: for behold, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and *Jacob shall return, and **be in rest and at ease, and ***none shall make him afraid.
*Verse 27 declares Israel, not Judah alone. “Jacob” shall return. This means all Tribes of Jacob.
**“Shall be in rest.” This has yet to happen in any part of Palestine or modern day Israel.
***“…and none shall make him (Israel) afraid.” This too is yet to happen but, it will in End Time when Jesus is on the throne in Jerusalem.
Jer 46:28 Fear thou not, my servant Jacob, saith Jehovah: for I am with thee; *for I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have driven thee, but I will not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee with judgment, and I will not hold thee altogether guiltless.
*“for I will make a full end of all nations.” This certainly has not yet happened.
Now we can see that Jeremiah is also a futuristic prophet. Study scripture to show yourself approved, rightly dividing it. It takes more than a cursory reading of a portion of the bible to understand it. Study builds knowledge and knowledge builds understanding.