When Jeremiah had finished speaking to all the people all the words of the LORD their God-- all these words the LORD their God had sent him to give them--
then Azariah son of Hoshaiah, Johanan son of Kareah, and all the other arrogant men responded to Jeremiah, "You are speaking a lie! The LORD our God has not sent you to say, 'You must not go to Egypt to live there for a while!'
Rather, Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Chaldeans to put us to death or to deport us to Babylon!"
So Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies did not obey the voice of the LORD to stay in the land of Judah.
Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the commanders of the armies took the whole remnant of Judah, those who had returned from all the nations where they had been banished to live in the land of Judah for a while--
the men, women, children, king's daughters, and everyone whom Nebuzaradan, captain of the guard, had allowed to remain with Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan, along with Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah--
and they went to the land of Egypt because they did not obey the voice of the LORD. They went as far as Tahpanhes.
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah at Tahpanhes:
"Pick up some large stones and set them in the mortar of the brick pavement that is at the opening of Pharaoh's palace at Tahpanhes. [Do this] in the sight of the Judean men
and tell them: This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I will send for My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will place his throne on these stones that I have embedded, and he will pitch his pavilion over them.
He will come and strike down the land of Egypt-- those [destined] for death, to death; those [destined] for captivity, to captivity; and those [destined] for the sword, to the sword.
I will kindle a fire in the temples of Egypt's gods, and he will burn them and take them prisoner. He will clean the land of Egypt as a shepherd picks lice off his garment, and he will leave there unscathed.
He will smash the sacred pillars of the sun temple in the land of Egypt and burn down the temples of the Egyptian gods."
[This is] the word that came to Jeremiah for all the Jews living in the land of Egypt-- at Migdol, Tahpanhes, Memphis, and in the land of Pathros:
"This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: You have seen all the disaster I brought against Jerusalem and all Judah's cities; look, they are a ruin today without an inhabitant in them
because of their evil ways that provoked Me to anger, going and burning incense to serve other gods they, you, and your fathers did not know.
So I sent you all My servants the prophets time and time again, saying, Don't do this detestable thing that I hate.
But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their evil or stop burning incense to other gods.
So My fierce wrath poured forth and burned in Judah's cities and Jerusalem's streets so that they became the desolate ruin they are today.
"So now, this is what the LORD, the God of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: Why are you doing such great harm to yourselves? You are cutting off man and woman, child and infant from Judah, leaving yourselves without a remnant.
You are provoking Me to anger by the work of your hands. You are burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live for a while. As a result, you will be cut off and become an object of cursing and insult among all the nations of earth.
Have you forgotten the evils of your fathers, the evils of Judah's kings, the evils of their wives, your own evils, and the evils of your wives that were committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
They have not become humble to this day, and they have not feared or walked by My law or My statutes that I set before you and your ancestors.
"Therefore, this is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: I am about to turn against you to [bring] disaster, to cut off all Judah.
And I will take away the remnant of Judah, those who have resolved to go to the land of Egypt to live there for a while; they will meet their end. All of them in the land of Egypt will fall by the sword; they will meet their end by famine. From the least to the greatest, they will die by the sword and by famine. Then they will become an object of execration, of scorn, of cursing, and of disgrace.
I will punish those living in the land of Egypt just as I punished Jerusalem by sword, famine, and plague.
Then the remnant of Judah-- those going to live for a while there in the land of Egypt-- will have no fugitive or survivor to return to the land of Judah where they are longing to return to live, for they will not return except [for a few] fugitives."
However, all the men who knew that their wives were burning incense to other gods, all the women standing by-- a great assembly-- and all the people who were living in the land of Egypt at Pathros answered Jeremiah,
"As for the word you spoke to us in the name of the LORD, we are not going to listen to you!
Instead, we will do everything we said we would: burn incense to the queen of heaven and offer drink offerings to her just as we, our fathers, our kings, and our officials did in Judah's cities and in Jerusalem's streets. Then we had enough food and good things and saw no disaster,
but from the time we ceased to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to offer her drink offerings, we have lacked everything, and through sword and famine we have met our end."
And the women said, "When we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it apart from our husbands' knowledge that we made sacrificial cakes in her image and poured out drink offerings to her?"
But Jeremiah responded to all the people-- the men, women, and all the people who were answering him-- saying,
"As for the incense you burned in Judah's cities and in Jerusalem's streets-- you, your fathers, your kings, your officials, and the people of the land-- did the LORD not remember them? He brought this to mind.
The LORD can no longer bear your evil deeds and the detestable acts you have committed, so your land has become a waste, a desolation, and an object of cursing, without inhabitant, as [you see] today.
Because you burned incense and sinned against the LORD and didn't obey the LORD's voice and didn't walk in His law, His statutes, and His testimonies, this disaster has come to you, as [you see] today."
Then Jeremiah said to all the people, including all the women, "Hear the word of the LORD, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt.
This is what the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel, says: 'As for you and your wives, you women have spoken with your mouths, and you men fulfilled it by your deeds, saying: We will keep our vows we have made to burn incense to the queen of heaven and to pour out drink offerings for her. [Go ahead,] confirm your vows! Pay your vows!'
"Therefore, hear the word of the LORD, all you Judeans who live in the land of Egypt: 'I have sworn by My great name, says the LORD, that My name will never again be invoked by anyone of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, As the Lord God lives.
I am watching over them for disaster and not for good, and every man of Judah who is in the land of Egypt will meet his end by sword or famine until they are finished off.
Those who escape the sword will return from the land of Egypt to the land of Judah only few in number, and the whole remnant of Judah, the ones going to the land of Egypt to live there for a while, will know whose word stands, Mine or theirs!
This will be a sign to you'-- [this is] the LORD's declaration-- 'that I am about to punish you in this place, so you may know that My words of disaster concerning you will certainly come to pass.
This is what the LORD says: I am about to hand over Pharaoh Hophra, Egypt's king, to his enemies, to those who want to take his life, just as I handed over Judah's King Zedekiah to Babylon's King Nebuchadnezzar, who was his enemy, the one who wanted to take his life.'"