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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Jeremiah 46:17

 

 

"They cried there, `Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a big noise; He has let the appointed time pass by!'

Adam Clarke Commentary

They did cry there - Dr. Blayney translates this cry thus: -

- "O Pharaoh, king of Egypt, A tumult hath frustrated the appointed meeting."

These allies sent their excuse to Pharaoh, that the disasters they had met with had prevented them from joining him as they had intended.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/jeremiah-46.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Translate it with the versions: “They have called (or, Call ye) the name of Pharaoh king of Egypt - A noise: he hath overstepped the appointed time.” For this custom of giving prophetic names see Jeremiah 20:3; Isaiah 8:3, … The words mean that Pharaoh is a mere empty sound, and that he has allowed the years of prosperity, which he enjoyed at the beginning of his reign, to pass by; having misused them, nothing now remains but his ruin.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/jeremiah-46.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Jeremiah 46:17

Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise.

Religious judgments

How the Bible can torment its adversaries!--mock them, contemn them, dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Yet it is never mere contempt. The contempt of the Bible is the penal side of a profound philosophy. Its contempt is as necessary as its Gospel--nay, more, its Gospel renders its contempt necessary. Our God is a “consuming fire,” “God is love,” “the wrath of the Lamb.” So when Pharaoh-Necho--mighty man--is called by the contemptuous term of “noise” no mere sneer is employed. This is a righteous judgment, a moral estimate, a correct representation of things as they are in reality, not of things as they appear to be. In all judgments we must have regard to distance, proportion, perspective. Pharaoh king of Egypt, with horses, chariots, swords, spears, hosts of men, is a terrific power; but to a man standing in the quiet of the Divine sanctuary, “Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise”--a waft of wind, a curl of smoke dying whilst it rises. If men would but consider this law of proportion the whole estimate of life would undergo an instantaneous and complete reversion. The text brings before us the great subject of religious judgments--by religious judgments I mean estimates. We must call religion into the house if we would take a true appraisement of what we possess. Only religion, as interpreted in Holy Scripture, can tell you what you are and what you are worth.

1. With regard to those religious estimates or judgments, note how fearless they are. They are not judgments about personal manners, social etiquette, little and variable customs; they challenge the whole world. We are moved by their heroism. Religious judgments do not fritter away our time and patience in discussing little questions and petty problems: they summon kings to their bar and call nations to stand back and be judged. There is a national entity as well as a personal individuality. Blessed is the voice that, fills a nation; grand is the Gospel that spreads itself over the whole world. We cannot do without the heroic element, the heroic judgment, the broad estimate, the complete arbitrament, that takes within its purview and decision everything concerning individual life and general civilisation. You must have the great call, the sublime challenge, the heroic appeal, the white throne that stretches itself from horizon to horizon, and before which kings are as little men and little men as kings--the grand astronomical pomp and majesty before which all else settles into its right relation. That you have in the Bible, and nowhere else.

2. The judgments of the Bible are rational as well as fearless. Under all contempt there is a rock of logic. Why does the Bible contemn things? Because of their proportion. It knows the exact proportion which everything bears to the sum-total of things and to the sovereign purpose of the Divine government. Then the judgments of the Bible are rational because the matter or element of duration is continually present to the minds of the inspired writers. The inspired writer has been locked up with God, and turning away from that glory all other things become as the baseless fabric of a vision. If we could see God we should be filled with contempt regarding all things, in so far as they affected to hinder us by their greatness or overpower us by their solidity.

3. Then the judgments of the Bible are also critical. They are very dainty in their expression: they take the right word with an inspired ingenuity. “Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise.” You cannot amend that comment. Try to amend anything Jesus Christ ever said. As well amend a dewdrop; as well paint the lily. And the nations, according to the biblical estimate, are but “a wind” that cometh for a little time and then passeth away; and our life is but “a vapour,” dying in its very living. These are the condensations of Omniscience; these arc the sharpened points whetted in eternity; these stand incapable of amendment.

4. But “fearless,” “rational,” “critical”--is there no word that comes nearer to my own necessity? Yes, there is a word that touches us all to-day: these religious judgments are inspiring. Man wants inspiration every day. The Bible was not inspired once for all, in the sense of having its whole meaning shown in one disclosure. Inspiration comes with every dawn, distils in every dew-shower, breathes in every breeze; it is the daily gift of God. How are these judgments inspiring? Because they enable a man who is right in his spirit and purpose to say, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (J. Parker, D. D.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Jeremiah 46:17". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/jeremiah-46.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

They did cry there,.... Not the Chaldeans, deriding Pharaoh and his army, and mocking them, saying the following words, as some; nor the Egyptians in Egypt, as Kimchi, complaining of their king; much less in Carchemish, as others; since this prophecy refers to another event, time, and place; but the auxiliaries of Egypt in the field of battle; these did cry out aloud, as follows:

Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he boasted and bragged of great things he would do, and does nothing; he promised to bring a large army into the field, and talked big of attacking the enemy with great ardour and fury, and hectored and blustered as if he feared him not, and was sure of victory; but when it came to the push, his courage failed him; and it may be said of him what the man said of his nightingale, "vox et praeterea nihil", a voice, and nothing else. This was not Pharaohnecho, as the Septuagint have wrongly inserted, but Pharaohhophra, Jeremiah 44:30; or it may be supplied thus, "Pharaoh king of Egypt is a king of noise"F12מלך מצרים שאון "rex Aegypti, rex tumultus", Munster, Vatablus; "rex perturbationis", Calvin; so Ben Melech; "rex Aegypti, vir strepertus est", Piscator, Junius & Tremellius. ; a noisy, big, and blusterous king in words, but in deeds nothing:

he hath passed the time appointed; to join his auxiliaries, in order to give the enemy battle; and so left them in the lurch, of which they complain; or through his dilatoriness lost the proper opportunity of attacking him. Some indeed understand it, not of the king of Egypt, but of the king of Babylon; as if the sense was this, the Egyptians cried aloud, and encouraged themselves and their allies against the king of Babylon; saying, what Jeremiah the prophet said concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and his destruction is all mere noise; there is nothing in it; for the time set by him for that event is passed and over: others, because the word has sometimes the signification of a solemn meeting or festival, take the meaning to be, that Pharaoh king of Egypt being brought to utter destruction, as the word for noise may signify, or being a noisy tumultuous prince, who brought ruin on himself and others, has thereby caused the solemn feasts to pass awayF13העביר המועד "transire fecit solennitatem", De Dieu. , or the festivals to cease; whether in a civil or a religious way; but the first sense seems best.


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/jeremiah-46.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

They cried there, Pharaoh king of Egypt [is but] a noise; he o hath passed the time appointed.

(o) He derides them who blame their overthrow on lack of counsel and policy, or to fortune and not observing of time: not considering that it is God's just judgment.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/jeremiah-46.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

there — in their own country severally, the foreign soldiers (Jeremiah 46:16) cry, “Pharaoh is,” etc.

but a noise — He threatens great things, but when the need arises, he does nothing. His threats are mere “noise” (compare 1 Corinthians 13:1). Maurer translates, “is ruined,” literally (in appropriate abruptness of language), “Pharaoh, king … ruin.” The context favors English Version. His vauntings of what he would do when the time of battle should come have proved to be empty sounds; he hath passed the time appointed (namely, for battle with the Chaldeans).


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/jeremiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.

Pharaoh — Hath made a great noise, but it cometh to nothing.

Passed — That is, he hath passed the time himself fixed when he would cone, and fight the Chaldeans.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/jeremiah-46.html. 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

This verse ought to be joined with the preceding, for he refers to the cries of the soldiers who had been deceived by their own hopes: they at length cried, Pharaoh is to us a king of confusion. The Prophet predicts what was to be; but he speaks, according to what was usually done, in the past time; for the Prophets announce unknown things as before their eyes, in order to gain credit to their prophecies. He then says, that there would be a cry among the soldiers, Pharaoh the king of Egypt is a king of confusion; for the word שאון, shaun, is to be read in the genitive case; as though the Prophet had said that the soldiers would really find that Pharaoh would not turn out according to his boasting. The name of Egypt first filled him and the whole nation with arrogance; and further, it was dreaded by the neighbouring nations. When, therefore, they came to Pharaoh, they thought that they were coming to some sort of a god. The Prophet derided that foolish confidence unreasonably entertained, and says, “They shall cry there, O Pharaoh, magnificent king, thou art now a king of tumult,” or confusion.

What follows is not well explained, as I think, by interpreters; for they all, with one consent, think that Pharaoh is derided, because he delayed time, after having before said that he would go against Nebuchadnezzar; as earthly kings, when they think themselves sufficiently prepared, do not wait until the enemy is at hand, or finds them at home, but go to meet him at a distance. Others think that the time for war had been proclaimed, as it was usual formerly for both sides to proclaim a certain day on which they were to come to a conflict. But from the last verse we may gather that the Prophet meant another thing, he then derides, if I am not mistaken, the folly of Pharaoh for another reason, even because he thought that those threatenings were vain and empty, which had been dispersed by the Jews; for the Egyptians were not ignorant of what had been predicted by the Prophets. Isaiah had long before cried out against the Jews, because they made treaties with the Egyptians, and fled there for aid. There is no doubt but the courtiers, in order to gain favor, said to them, “Behold, our Prophets hinder us as much as they can, and we must take care lest they turn aside the people: while then there is time, let us make the treaty, which will be useful to you as well as to us.” As, then, the destruction of Egypt had been predicted many years before, and as the Egyptians remained in safety after Judea was overthrown and laid waste, it is probable that they became more hardened, thinking that the time had elapsed. And this view, as I have said, is confirmed by the context. For it follows, —


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Bibliography
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/jeremiah-46.html. 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Jeremiah 46:17 They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt [is but] a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.

Ver. 17. Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise,] (a) A mere flash, one that vaunteth and vapoureth, and that is all. So of Charles VIII, King of France, Guicciardini saith, that in his expedition to Naples he came into the field like thunder and lightning, but went out like a snuff; more than a man at first, and less than a woman at last.

He hath passed the time appointed.] He let slip his best opportunity, which, in giving battle, is sometimes the loss of all. Charles, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, was for this fault called Carolus Cunctator, i.e., The Delayer.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/jeremiah-46.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Jeremiah 46:17. They did cry there, &c.— They cried there to Pharaoh, king of Egypt; the storm or shock has already passed the appointed time. Houbigant. See Isaiah 10:3.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/jeremiah-46.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

That is, the Ethiopians and Lubims that should come to help the king of Egypt should cry, or the Chaldeans or the Egyptians themselves should cry, Pharaoh is but a noise, that is, hath made a great noise, but it cometh to nothing: others make the sense, Pharaoh is a man of noise, or tumult. that hath made a great deal of disturbance to himself and us.

He hath passed the time appointed; that is, say the most, he hath passed the time himself fixed whereat he would come and fight the Chaldeans. But these words compared with the next verse incline others to think, that either Pharaoh’s soldiers or his allies are here brought in mocking at Pharaoh, promising himself that the king of Babylon would not come, and laughing at Jeremiah’s prophecy, saying the time appointed was past, that is, the time of his coming mentioned by Jeremiah was past. Jeremiah foretells that Pharaoh’s army and confederates would see reason to cry out, Pharaoh, in saying so, was but a noise.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/jeremiah-46.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

17. Noise — Rather, destruction. There they cry, Pharaoh… is destruction.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/jeremiah-46.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The allies concluded that Pharaoh was nothing but talk, since he had failed to defend his nation in a timely fashion.

"Hophra was a big noise who seemed adept at missing the appointed time [cf. Jeremiah 37:5-6]." [Note: Thompson, p692.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/jeremiah-46.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Pharao. Septuagint add, "Nechao." But Apries seems rather to be meant. (Calmet) --- A. Hebrew shaon hehebir hamohed. Protestants, "is but a noise, he hath passed the time appointed;" (Haydock) or, "the height which the crowd (or God, who raised) hath displaced." (Calmet) --- Septuagint retain the original: but the middle word varies in their copies. (Haydock) --- All the boasts of Pharao ended in smoke. He lost the proper opportunity, and caused his own kingdom to be laid waste. Syriac, "the disturber, who deranges the times." (Calmet)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/jeremiah-46.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

noise = sound.

passed = let pass over. Compare 2 Samuel 20:5.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/jeremiah-46.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.

They did cry there - in their own country severally, the foreign soldiers (Jeremiah 46:16) cry, "Pharaoh king of Egypt is," etc.

But a noise. He threatens great things, but when the need arises he does nothing; his threats are mere noise (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:1). Maurer translates 'is ruined'-literally, (in appropriate abruptness of language), 'Pharaoh king, etc., ruin,' [ shaa'own (Hebrew #7588), from shaa'aah (Hebrew #7582), to desolate]. The context favours the English version, his vauntings of what he would do when the time of battle should come have proved to be empty sounds, mere bluster: he is nothing but bluster: he hath passed the time appointed (namely, for battle with the Chaldeans). He had appointed a time when he would engage in battle, but he failed to make good his word when the time came [Junius, shaa'aah (Hebrew #7582), often means to be tumultuous, to move with great noise] (Buxtorf). What a magnificent contrast to "Pharaoh king of Egypt ... a noise," a mere empty bluster, does Jeremiah 46:18 present, "The KING, whose name is the Lord of hosts."


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/jeremiah-46.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(17) They did cry there . . .—Better, There they cry . . . The difficulty of the verse has led to very various renderings. The meaning of the English version is that the exiles returning to their own land would say that Pharaoh with all his haughty boasts was but an empty noise, that he had passed the limit of God’s long-suffering, and that the day of retribution had come. A slight change in the Hebrew words, however, gives, They have called the name of Pharaoh king of Egypt, A Noise; he hath passed (or lost) the appointed season—i.e., the time allowed by the long-suffering of God. This is supported by some of the ancient versions, and may be accepted as the best rendering. The LXX. and Vulg. agree in taking the opening words as an imperative, “Call ye the name of Pharaoh . . . ;” but the former, as if despairing of the meaning, simply reproduces the Hebrew words that follow in Greek letters, while the latter translates, Tumultum adduxit tempus (“Time, the appointed time, has brought the noise”—i.e., of war and destruction), as if it were, like Magor-missabib, a new nomen et omen given to the Egyptian king. Luther, giving another meaning to the words translated “appointed time,” renders “Pharaoh king of Egypt lies prostrate, he has left his tent.” Ewald, following the line of the Vulgate, renders the name by which Pharaoh is spoken of as “tumult, which a sign or ‘moment’ disperses,” the “tumult” being his boastful clamour, the “sign” the token of Jehovah’s will. Hitzig agrees more closely with the English version in the latter clause, and it may be accepted as having on the whole most in its favour.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/jeremiah-46.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

They did cry there, Pharaoh king of Egypt is but a noise; he hath passed the time appointed.
Pharaoh
Exodus 15:9; 1 Kings 20:10,18; Isaiah 19:11-16; 31:3; 37:27-29; Ezekiel 29:3; Ezekiel 31:18

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Jeremiah 46:17". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/jeremiah-46.html.

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