1 The following messages were given to Jeremiah the prophet from the LORD concerning foreign nations.
2 This message concerning Egypt was given in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah,* the king of Judah, on the occasion of the battle of Carchemish when Pharaoh Neco, king of Egypt, and his army were defeated beside the Euphrates River by King Nebuchadnezzar* of Babylon.1
3 "Buckle on your armor and advance into battle!
4 Harness the horses, and prepare to mount them. Put on your helmets, sharpen your spears, and prepare your armor.
5 But look! The Egyptian army flees in terror. The bravest of its fighting men run without a backward glance. They are terrorized at every turn, says the LORD.
6 The swiftest cannot flee; the mightiest warriors cannot escape. By the Euphrates River to the north they stumble and fall.
7 "Who is this, rising like the Nile River at floodtime, overflowing all the land?
8 It is the Egyptian army, boasting that it will cover the earth like a flood, destroying every foe.
9 Then come, you horses and chariots and mighty warriors of Egypt! Come, all you allies from Ethiopia, Libya, and Lydia* who are skilled with the shield and bow!2
10 For this is the day of the Lord, the LORD Almighty, a day of vengeance on his enemies. The sword will devour until it is satisfied, yes, drunk with your blood! The Lord, the LORD Almighty, will receive a sacrifice today in the north country beside the Euphrates River.
11 Go up to Gilead to get ointment, O virgin daughter of Egypt! But your many medicines will bring you no healing.
12 The nations have heard of your shame. The earth is filled with your cries of despair. Your mightiest warriors will stumble across each other and fall together."
13 Then the LORD gave the prophet Jeremiah this message about King Nebuchadnezzar's plans to attack Egypt.
14 "Shout it out in Egypt! Publish it in the cities of Migdol, Memphis,* and Tahpanhes! Mobilize for battle, for the sword of destruction will devour everyone around you.3
15 Why have your warriors fled in terror? They cannot stand because the LORD has driven them away.
16 They stumble and fall over each other and say among themselves, `Come, let's go back to our homeland where we were born. Let's get away from the sword of the enemy!'
17 There they will say, `Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, is a loudmouth who missed his opportunity!'
18 "As surely as I live," says the King, whose name is the LORD Almighty, "one is coming against Egypt who is as tall as Mount Tabor or Mount Carmel by the sea!
19 Pack up! Get ready to leave for exile, you citizens of Egypt! The city of Memphis will be destroyed, without a single person living there.
20 Egypt is as sleek as a young cow, but a gadfly from the north is on its way!
21 Egypt's famed mercenaries have become like fattened calves. They turn and run, for it is a day of great disaster for Egypt, a time of great punishment.
22 Silent as a serpent gliding away, Egypt flees. The invading army marches in; they come against her with axes like woodsmen.
23 They will cut down her people like trees," says the LORD, "for they are more numerous than grasshoppers.
24 Egypt will be humiliated; she will be handed over to men from the north."
25 The LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "I will punish Amon, the god of Thebes,* and all the other gods of Egypt. I will punish its rulers and Pharaoh, too, and all who trust in him.4
26 I will hand them over to those who want them killed--to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon and his army. But afterward the land will recover from the ravages of war. I, the LORD, have spoken!
27 "But do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant; do not be dismayed, Israel. For I will bring you home again from distant lands, and your children will return from their exile. Israel* will return and will have peace and quiet, and nothing will make them afraid.5
28 Fear not, Jacob, my servant," says the LORD, "for I am with you. I will destroy the nations to which I have exiled you, but I will not destroy you. But I must discipline you; I cannot let you go unpunished."