Jeremiah 46-52: Lots of destruction

After the last time Nebuchadnezzar came and rounded up some of the people to take into exike, those who were left behind decided to go to Egypt, against the expressed desire of God, and took Jeremiah with them. Chapter 44 had some pretty specific consequences that were to befall them.

Chaper forty six

There is another, more specific prophesy about what will happen to Egypt while the Judeans and Israelites are there. It’s more explanation that Egypt will be demolished by Babylon and that the Judeans and Israelites are being punished but will be restored later while the others will not be restored.

There is a mention of the “Virgin daughter of Egypt” which was not what I thought it was. This just refers to the people as a whole. I don’t know what makes them virginal though. Is this a place that has never been attacked? Is this a generation that hadn’t yet participated in any wars? I don’t know. Maybe they were just throwing around the word too.

Chapter forty seven

Prophesy about destroying the Philistines.

Chapter forty eight

Prophesy about destroying Moab. This one includes yet another mention of the pain being like a woman in labor. There are also both sons and daughters mentioned separately of going into captivity. The pronouns also shift here where the city itself begins with feminine pronouns as usual but shifts to masculine pronouns suddenly, which I found strange.

Chapter forty nine

Prophesy about destroying Ammon. It comes back to using feminine pronouns for the city and referring to it and it’s inhabitants as daughters.

Prophesy about destroying Edom. More mentions of birth pain.

Prophesy about destroying Damascus. And more mentions of birth pain.

Prophesy about destroying Kedar and Hazor. I never heard if these two cities, but I guess they were doing wrong too.

Prophesy about destroying Elam. This is probably those most harsh of these prophesies, in my opinion.

Chapter fifty

And finally the prophesy about destroying Babylon. This makes it seem like it was not much later but I  googled it and the time from when Nebuchadnezzar first besieged Jerusalem to the time when Babylon goes down is about 60 years.

At the beginning of this book, there is mention that Nebuchadnezzar serves God without knowing it but now he’he’s done something to anger God that isn’t included in the text and his own downfall is coming.

There are two mentions of women in this prophesy. The first is in verse 37:

37A sword against her horses and against her chariots,
and against all the foreign troops in her midst,
that they may become women!

I get the women didn’t often go into battle then but it’s a crappy way to make the point. I’m sure they meant weaker and inexperienced,  as most women of the day may understandably have been. Remember that no birth control means babies almost every year and as we’we’ve seen of the way these books discuss labor pain, it seems it was recognized as the worst pain ever. Still, it depends on translation. Several translations use “become as women”  and a few change it over to “weaklings”. The second mention is actually another of these labor pain comparisons.


Chapter fifty one

At last Jeremiah comes to the “utter destruction of Babylon”, remember that this would be sixty years from the first invasion and probably about sixteen from the one that landed Jeremiah in Egypt.

In verse 30 we come back to the warriors “becoming women” as mentioned in the last chapter. Become women or become as women? Again, depends on translation.

Chapter fifty two

In the last chapter, Jeremiah bounces back from the destruction of Babylon to the last time that Babylon comes into Jerusalem and basically lays waste to everything. There’s a very detailed account of taking away everything from the temple and numbers on how many people were taken in each wave of exile throughout the book. Then it ends with a mention that the original king that Babylon had overthrown was released from prison but kept there and given an “allowance”.

And that’s Jeremiah.

Chapter links go to the ESV translations at but I’m reading from the ESV Global Study Bible, which is available for free on the Kindle Reading App.



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