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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Jeremiah 46



Verses 1-28

Jeremiah 46:1 The word of the LORD which came to Jeremiah the prophet against the Gentiles;

Jeremiah 46:1Comments- Jeremiah 46:1 serves as an introductory verse to the collection of prophecies against the nations contained in Jeremiah 46:1 to Jeremiah 51:64.

Jeremiah 46:2-28 — Prophecy Against Egypt - Jeremiah 46:2-28 is a prophecy against the nation of Egypt.

Jeremiah 46:2 Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah.

Jeremiah 46:2Comments- King Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah, took the kingship of Judah around 608 B.C. after the death of his father Josiah and after the three-month reign of his brother Jehoahaz. Because of the wickedness of Jehoahaz, God moved upon Pharaoh-necho to replace him with his brother Eliakim as a vassal king. The Pharaoh changed his name from Eliakim ( אליקים) (H 471), meaning "God will establish," to Jehoiakim ( יהויקים) (H 3079), meaning, "YHWH sets up" or "YHWH has established" ( 2 Kings 23:34). King Jehoiakim reigned over Jerusalem for eleven years (608-598 B.C.), serving Pharaoh during his initial years by taxing the Jews and giving him silver and gold; thus, committed much evil in God's eyes. His reign was also plagued by raiding bands from neighbouring countries as a form of divine judgment. He oppressed Jeremiah the prophet, who continually warned him of impending judgment and his eventual death at the hands of Babylon. Josephus tells us that Nebuchadnezzar came to power in Babylon during the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign (Antiquities 1061), 28] which is confirmed by Jeremiah ( Jeremiah 46:2). He came to Jerusalem during the eighth year of Jehoiakim's reign in order to put Judah under tribute, having taken Syria in the preceding years. Jehoiakim accepted to Babylonian dominion, but after three years he rebelled ( 2 Kings 24:1), resulting in a second visit by Nebuchadnezzar to Jerusalem that is described in Daniel 1:1-2. Josephus records that Jehoiakim opened the gates of Jerusalem to receive this king a second time, during the eleventh year of his reign, expecting to have a peaceful resolution to his recent refusal to pay tribute to Babylon. Instead, Nebuchadnezzar entered the city and killed many noble people in the city, including Jehoiakim, and threw these bodies outside the city walls. Jeremiah prophesied that this king would be killed and his body thrown outside the city gates ( Jeremiah 22:18-19), which event Josephus confirmed (Antiquities 1062-3). The death of Jehoiakim would have ended his eleven year reign in Jerusalem, bringing his son Jehoiachin to power. King Jehoiakim's reign is recorded in 2 Kings 23:34 to 2 Kings 24:6 and 2 Chronicles 36:5-8.

28] Josephus says, "Now in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim, one whose name was Nebuchadnezzar took the government over the Babylonians, who at the same time went up with a great army to the city Carchemish, which was at Euphrates, upon a resolution he had taken to fight with Neco, king of Egypt, under whom all Syria then was. (Antiquities 1061)

2 Kings 23:34, "And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there."

Jeremiah 22:18-19, "Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem."

Hobbs tells us that the Babylonian Chronicle supports the possibility of multiple invasions by Nebuchadnezzar into Palestine during Jehoiakim's reign. Therefore, he does not take 2 Chronicles 36:6-7 as a "complete parallel" passage. He dates Jehoiakim's initial subjection to Babylon in 604/603 B.C, and rebellion about three years later (601to 598 B.C.). This is earlier than Josephus' date of subjection in the eighth year of his reign (601/600 B.C.), and rebellion in his eleventh year. 29]

29] Hobbs refers to Wiseman, Chronicles, 43-77, and Grayson, Texts from Cuneiform Sources . See T. R. Hobbs, 2 Kings , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD-Rom, vol 13, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 348.

However, many scholars believe the siege described in 2 Kings 24:1 and 2 Chronicles 36:6 refers to the same event, arguing that the sacred and royal vessels could only have been taken away one time, and that there was only one siege on Jerusalem during Jehoiakim's reign. Those who take this view date Nebuchadnezzar's invasion of Judah in 605 B.C, during the third year of Jehoiakim's reign ( Daniel 1:1-2). However, a contradiction must now be addressed; for Jeremiah dates the year of the Babylonian king's invasion into this region and his battle against Egypt as the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign ( Jeremiah 25:1; Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 46:2). A number of resolutions have been proposed. (1) Some scholars attempt to resolve these conflicting dates by saying the Babylonians followed a different dating system from Judah for the reign of kings, which called the first year of reign the accession year and the following year as the first year of reign. However, in Judah the first year of a king's reign was counted as his first year. Thus, Jeremiah's date of the fourth year of Jehoiakim's reign would be equivalent to Daniel's description of the event taking place during his third year of reign, since Daniel would be following the Babylonian method of counting, and Jeremiah the Jewish method. (2) A second resolution is to suggest that Nebuchadrezzar first seized Jerusalem in Jehoiakim's third year, and fought with the Egyptians during his fourth year of rule. (3) Keil and Delizsch disagree with both suggestions, saying that in the first option no such reckoning system is recorded in Scripture, and in the second option that Nebuchadrezzar could not have passed to Jerusalem without luring Egypt out in a battle to protect Judah as their vassal. They suggest a third alternative by interpreting Daniel 1:1 to say that Nebuchadrezzar began to "march towards Jerusalem" in the third year of Jehoiakim's reign. This allows the battle of Carchemish to take place first as a part of this march towards Judah. 30]

30] C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, The Book of Daniel , in Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database (Seattle, WA: Hendrickson Publishers Inc, 1996), in P.C. Study Bible, v 31 [CD-ROM]. Seattle, WA: Biblesoft Inc, 1993-2000, notes on Daniel 1:1-2.

Jeremiah 25:1, "The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;"

Jeremiah 25:9, "Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations."

Jeremiah 46:2, "Against Egypt, against the army of Pharaohnecho king of Egypt, which was by the river Euphrates in Carchemish, which Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon smote in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah."

Verses 1-64

Prophecies Against the Nations - Jeremiah 46:1 to Jeremiah 51:64 consists of a collection of nine prophecies against the nations surrounding the land of Israel. The Lord had spoken to Jeremiah during his divine commission and said, "Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant." ( Jeremiah 1:9-10)

1. Prophecy Against Egypt — Jeremiah 46:2-28

2. Prophecy Against the Philistines — Jeremiah 47:1-7

3. Prophecy Against Moab — Jeremiah 48:1-47

4. Prophecy Against the Ammonites — Jeremiah 49:1-6

5. Prophecy Against Edom — Jeremiah 49:7-22

6. Prophecy Against Damascus — Jeremiah 49:23-27

7. Prophecy Against Kedar and Hazor — Jeremiah 49:28-33

8. Prophecy Against Elam — Jeremiah 49:34-39

9. Prophecy Against Babylon — Jeremiah 50:1 to Jeremiah 51:64


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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