For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4



A Bible Study - Commentary by Jim Melough

Copyright 2003 James Melough

44:1.  “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,”


44:2.  “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein.”


God was about to give another message to Jeremiah relative to all the Jews who were settled in these Egyptian cities, in rebellion against the Lord’s word that they were to have remained in the cities of Judah, in submission to Nebuchadnezzar.


The message began with a reminder that they were well aware of what God had done to Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah because of rebellion: they were heaps of desolate ruins without inhabitant.


44:3.  “Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.”


In spite of all God’s warnings against idolatry, they had ignored Him, and had aped their heathen neighbors by worshiping the idols of those neighbors, so-called “gods” which neither they nor their ancestors had ever known.  And they had done this in spite of the fact that God had revealed Himself to them in numerous ways, something these imaginary gods had never done, and would never be able to do because they lacked the power to do anything.  For example, Jehovah had revealed Himself to their ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; He had spoken to them through Moses, and His mighty miracles against the Egyptians; in His having divided the Red Sea to permit the Israelites safe crossing; and then closing those same waters to slay the pursuing Egyptians.  He had fed them with manna for forty years in the desert, guiding them by a pillar of cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night.  He had divided a flooded Jordan to provide them with dry-shod entry to Canaan; He had caused the walls of Jericho to collapse miraculously; and He had given them Canaan


Pages could be filled with the evidences of His power, love, grace, and mercy exercised for their blessing; but they had chosen to ignore all this, and to turn from Him to worship idols made by men’s hands!  Were it not recorded in Scripture it would be impossible to believe that men could have been so utterly stupid and thankless.


It is equally inconceivable that men today have also chosen to spurn the evidence of Scripture, and to worship Mammon, Pleasure, Education, to name but three of Christendom’s many modern “gods.”


44:4.  “Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.”


In addition to the proofs already mentioned above, there had been the words of the prophets, fulfilled predictions being infallible proof of the veracity of their words.


In spite of all this they still did “this abominable thing” which God hates: they worshiped idols.


44:5.  “But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.”


They wouldn’t even listen to God’s messengers the prophets, and when they did chance to hear words of warning they refused to obey.  They were too occupied with the “gods” they themselves had invented, to pay any heed to the only true God; and equally rebellious Christendom has chosen to walk in their same sinful footsteps.


44:6.  “Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day.”


His great patience finally exhausted, God poured out His furious anger against the idolaters, delivering them into the hand of their enemies whom He used as His instruments of chastisement to slay the rebels, and carry the survivors into captivity, leaving their plundered cities and towns heaps of burnt ruins, and the land abandoned to desolation.


The now imminent Tribulation judgments will wreak similar ruin, but on a world-wide scale; and now, as then, a money-hungry, pleasure-crazed world turns a deaf ear to all warning.


44:7.  “Therefore now thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts (armies), the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain;”


By using the name “the God of hosts (armies)” He was reminding them of His power to execute the threatened judgment; and by calling Himself “the God of Israel” He was reminding them that He had chosen them as His special people to enjoy blessings far surpassing those available to others.  But He also reminded them that their sin had been not just against Him: they had sinned against their own souls, as does every man who repeats their folly.  They were about to be cut off as a nation, for as discussed already, there was no hope of reprieve for that guilty generation, except for the rare individual here and there who would repent and thus save his soul, though not necessarily his life.  As a nation their doom was irrevocable.


Were today’s apostate Christendom and godless world to take a moment from its intense preoccupation with sin, it would find its own doom prewritten in that of the Judah addressed by God through Jeremiah.  But like guilty Judah, it is too busy with sin to either hear or see the warning so plainly written in the Scriptures it refuses to read.


44:8.  “In that ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?”


It is instructive to note that they practiced their idolatry in Egypt where they had gone in rebellion against God’s command that they dwell in the land of Judah; and as we have already discussed, Egypt represents the godless world of business and pleasure, but Judah, meaning he shall be praised, speaks of that realm which is characterized by the praise and worship evoked by the constant remembrance of Who God is, and of all the blessings His love, and grace, and mercy have showered upon us.  The world which Egypt represents is not conducive to worship, for everything in it is designed to shut God out of our thoughts.


It is also instructive to remember that rebel Judah had chosen to go there in direct defiance of God’s command to remain in the land of Judah.  Of necessity believers have to spend time in “Egypt” to earn a living, but it is sadly apparent that many choose to spend far more time there than the earning of a living requires; and they do so with the same disastrous results as attended Judah’s dalliance with literal Egypt.  They “cut themselves off” spiritually, for the vital spiritual life quickly withers in the poisonous atmosphere of “Egypt.”  And they make themselves “a curse and a reproach,” for nothing evokes the disgust of the unconverted as much as does the contradictory life of the worldly professed believer.


44:9.  “Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?”


Yes, they had forgotten the wickedness of their fathers in having forsaken Jehovah to worship idols, as they had also forgotten the same wickedness wrought by their rulers; and in addition they had forgotten the wickedness of the wives of their fathers and of their kings, as they had forgotten their own wickedness and that of their own wives, committed in Judah, and in Jerusalem where they had actually set up at least one idol in the Temple itself. The wickedness had been practiced so long that they no longer saw it as sin, long usage having made it an accepted way of life.


Exactly the same pattern can be traced in the development of evil in apostate Christendom and in the world.  The insidious spread of evil that has been going on for centuries has now permeated every part of society, so that it has become the equivalent of a loathsome body so rotted by disease that it is fit only for burial, the stench unnoticed by the affected members. 


And the burial is about to take place!  The Tribulation judgments that will culminate with the disposal of the corrupt carcase, are about to break, and will see the “burial” complete when the Lord Jesus Christ, returned in power and glory, banishes bodily into hell every unbeliever on the face of the earth.


The emphasis upon the presence of the evil in “the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem” reminds us that professedly religious society is no less corrupt than is the irreligious.


The twice-repeated reference to wives is clearly designed to underscore the active part played in all of this idolatry by the Judean women, an activity which is matched today in Christendom by the increasing departure of women from their God-appointed place of subjection and silence, and their aggressive intrusion into spheres that God has restricted to men.  In connection with this trend it is interesting to read in Isa 3:12, “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths,”


44:10.  “They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers.”


Nothing had humbled them or produced repentance.  All fear of God had departed from them, and as for His law, they scoffed at it.


44:11.  “Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah.”


Having exhausted God’s patience, they must now suffer His terrible wrath.  That generation of Judah was about to be destroyed; and in that destruction God bids us see the foreshadowing of what is about to occur in the Tribulation, and that will leave this present world in the same state of desolation as was the land of Judah in Jeremiah’s day.


44:12.  “And I will take the remnant of Judah, that have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt; they shall even be consumed by the sword and by the famine: they shall die, from the least even unto the greatest, by the sword and by the famine: and they shall be an execration, and an astonishment, and a curse, and a reproach.”


The severity of the punishment is proportionate to the enormity of the evil committed.  Their determination to enter Egypt was in blatant defiance of God’s direct command to remain in the land of Judah, and their charging Jeremiah His spokesman with being a liar was tantamount to calling God Himself a liar.  The wonder is that He didn’t strike them dead on the spot, but that would have been a lesser punishment than their sin deserved.  Their destruction would be extended over years during which they would live in fear of their lives, suffering hunger and disease, seeing their loved ones die one by one; seeking unsuccessfully a hiding place from the sword of the enemy, becoming the object of the hatred, cursing, and horror of those who beheld them - until at last that whole evil generation would have perished.


It is a fearful thing to sin to the point where God refuses to pardon, and where the offender becomes the object of His unmitigated fury with no hope of mercy.  Such is the state of all who die without having confessed themselves sinners, and having trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior.


44:13.  “For I will punish them that dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence:”


Two worlds are portrayed here: Egypt represents the godless world of business and pleasure; Jerusalem, the equally godless world of apostate religion, the one as much as the other being anathema to God; His abhorrence of both being declared in the fact that His punishment of Jerusalem would be also His punishment of Egypt.


The literal instruments of His punishment were sword, famine, and pestilence; but since the two places are used symbolically as well as literally, it is apparent that the three agents of punishment may also be similarly viewed, for each brings death.


The sword is a symbol of God’s Word, which brings life to the believer, but death to the unbeliever.  Famine represents lack of God’s Word, that Word being described as the bread of life to all who believe and feed upon it.  The unbeliever, however, abhors that Word which nurtures the life of faith, so that his lack of it brings death.


Pestilence represents the deadly effects of sin, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior being the only antidote, so that he who doesn’t believe in Christ dies in and because of sin.


For apostate Judah, to whom God’s Word was a mere fetish, a shibboleth on their lips, but not in their hearts, Scripture was the sword which slew them spiritually by condemning their sin.  Their refusal to “eat” it, i.e., obey it, brought spiritual famine, which in turn brought pestilence: sinful living, the end result being that they died spiritually and physically.


The fact that the punishment fell first upon Jerusalem (the center of Jewish religious life) is the reminder that religion without faith in Christ as Savior, is a deadly thing that first takes men down to hell, and then into the eternal torment of the lake of fire “which is the second death.”


Since the punishment of “them that dwell in the land of Egypt” was to be exactly the same as that of those who had “dwelt in Jerusalem,” the spiritual lesson being taught is that, the fate of the religious but unconverted man is exactly the same as that of the irreligious worldling.  As occupation with the world’s business and pleasure brings spiritual death, so also does occupation with mere religion.  The one is as deadly as is the other.


44:14.  “So that none of the remnant of Judah, which are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall escape or remain, that they should return into the land of Judah, to which they have a desire to return to dwell there: for none shall return but such as shall escape.”


This continues the warning against being anywhere except in the place appointed by God, i.e., in Christ, the land of Judah being a biblical type or symbol of the realm of faith, as it is written, “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation),” 2 Cor 5:17, and therefore fitted to dwell eternally in heaven, God’s warning relative to man’s natural state being, “... flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” 1 Cor 15:50.


It is instructive to note that their ultimate goal was to “return into the land of Judah ... to dwell (live permanently) there,” their immediate intention being merely “sojourn” (dwell temporarily) in Egypt.  And so is it with all men, for a basic tenet of every religion is the expectation of living eternally in a better place after life on earth.  But those Judeans didn’t want to live in Judah at that particular time: Egypt seemed a much better place just then.  And again so is it with all men.  Heaven is the place where everyone wants to dwell, but only after life on earth.  What fools!  If the principles governing life in heaven are abhorrent to them now, why are they so foolish as to imagine that those same principles will be pleasant after earthly life is over? 


The fact is that only the new spiritual birth, which results from faith in Christ as Savior, gives man the new nature which alone equips him to enjoy heaven.  That his earthly nature is incapable of enjoying the things of heaven is clearly demonstrated by the fact that spiritual things are abhorrent to him here on earth.  Consider, for example: the natural man doesn’t like to pray, talk about God, study Scripture, warn others of the need to be “born again,” or, in fact, anything that delights the true believer.  It is Satanic delusion that induces man in his natural state to think that he would like heaven.  If he doesn’t like those things now, death isn’t going to transform him.


In passing, we should note that the professed faith of the man who doesn’t enjoy the spiritual things mentioned above, is very much open to question.


“... for none shall return but such as shall escape.”  Who are the returnees referred to here?  The answer to this question lies in understanding what was going to happen very shortly.  The Egypt that seemed then to be a safe place in which to escape the Babylonians, was about to be invaded by Babylon, the escapees being those few who would manage to escape and flee back to the land of Judah - the very place in which God had commanded them to remain, but from which they, in deliberate rebellion, had departed.  Those few would be the only ones of that rebellious generation who would return to the land of Judah.  They represent the few of any age who are saved through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, Who when questioned relative to the number of those who are saved, replied, “Strive to enter in at the strait (narrow) gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able” Lk 13:24; see also Mt 7:13-23 relative to the religious, but unconverted, who hope to enter heaven on the basis of good works.


44:15.  “Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathos (Upper, i.e., southern Egypt), answered Jeremiah,” saying,”


44:16.  “As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee.”


As has been noted already, the parallel between the past and the present is too obvious to be missed, one confirmation of the parallel being emphasized in the fact that the women appear to have been the ringleaders in idolatry.  The prominent place occupied in every sphere today by women requires no comment.  Whether it be in government, business, the professions, etc., the number of women virtually equals or exceeds that of men; all of this “equality” being at odds with the order God has appointed for the sexes.   Nor is it without significance that it is becoming more generally recognized that a horde of social ills has been spawned by this “freedom,” more and more women daily adding their assent to the recognition of that fact.


And strangely, her new “freedom” hasn’t made the modern woman any happier than her “unliberated” sister.  The opposite, in fact, is true, and for a very simple reason: the order appointed by God is designed for man’s blessing, rejection of that order bringing only unhappiness in its wake.  But now as then, man’s self-willed rebellious response to God’s Word is, “We will not hearken unto thee.


44:17.  “But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem.”


The queen of heaven is generally believed to have been Ishtar, the Babylonian fertility goddess, also known as Venus, whose worship involved gross immorality.


“We will not hearken unto thee,” was the negative aspect of their rebellion; this verse expresses the positive side: they would do whatever they themselves thought was right, which was to worship the queen of heaven, i.e., to commit idolatry.  The fact that the object of their worship was a female deity continues to emphasize that the power behind their rebellion was the will of their women, while the specific emphasis on drink offerings points to the sensuality of their idolatry, wine being a biblical symbol of joy or pleasure, good or bad, and in the present context very obviously bad.


One has but to compare what passes for worship in Christendom, with what is prescribed in Scripture, to realize the extent of the disparity, and the degree to which that so-called worship is sensual, not spiritual.


It is to be noted further that their idolatry was not a new thing: it had been practiced by their fathers, kings, and minor rulers, as has been also the travesty which passes for worship in Christendom today.


“... in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem.”  The idolatry was practiced in the two places where it should have been most unexpected, for both were synonymous with the legitimate worship ordained by Jehovah.  But again the parallel is found in Christendom.  What might be expected in a heathen land and temple is, in fact, the norm in today’s so-called Christian lands and churches.  Look, for example, at the so-called worship of Romanism.  It is nothing less than the old Babylonian system disguised in gossamer Christian garb; and Protestantism, which is but a slightly modified form of Romanism, is no less Babylonian in nature.


44:18.  “But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine.”


The implied reformation, to which these women attributed lack of blessing, was very probably that of the good king Josiah, see 2 Ki 23, but the truth is that that reformation was superficial, the hearts of the people remaining unchanged.  Their worship was a mere  hypocritical ritual involving the outward forms of the Levitical order of worship, but without the genuine repentance apart from which true worship is impossible, the observance of mere outward ritual being an abomination to God.  Another example of such “worship” was that practiced by Israel when the Lord walked in their midst, mocked and hated, and eventually crucified.


The very fact of their having been “consumed by the sword and by the famine” while practicing such “worship” declares in unmistakable language just how very much God abhorred it.  It was obviously prompted by ulterior motive, not by genuine love for Him. 


Apostate Christendom acts out the same loveless, ritualistic charade, in spite of what the Lord Jesus Christ has declared relative to worship, “... true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth,” Jn 4:23-24.  The Holy Spirit must indite the worship, and it must be the expression of the genuine love of the worshiper.  Such worship is virtually unknown in today’s Christendom, as is evidenced by the ritual that passes there for worship, and that is prompted by the same ulterior motive as evoked the Lord’s scathing denunciation of unbelieving Israel.


44:19.  “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?”


With brazen insolence the women went on to justify their idolatry by assuring the prophet that it had not been done without the sanction of their husbands, as though that were sufficient  validation for the abominable practice.  The same attitude prevails today in Christendom: man’s approval is deemed sufficient authority for doing what God loathes and has forbidden.


The Liberty Bible Commentary notes that, “According to the law, a vow made by a woman rested upon the consent of her husband, who had the power to annul it if he didn’t approve (Nu 30:7-15).”


One can’t read these references to the veneration of the “queen of heaven” without being forcibly reminded of the close parallel with the so-called worship of Roman Catholicism which revolves around the veneration of Mary, that “worship” being sheer idolatry, as abominable to God as was Israel’s idolatrous worship of the queen of heaven.  It is ominously significant, that other than in this present evil context, Scripture is silent relative to any queen of heaven.  As has been noted already, Romanism has its roots in the old Babylonian mystery religion, which was also centered on the worship of the vile Semiramis, wife of the equally evil Nimrod; that idolatrous system spreading to every ancient major nation on earth, and existing today in the form of Roman Catholicism.  Even a cursory examination of the ancient Babylonian system reveals it to be the template of Romanism.


44:20.  “Then Jeremiah said unto all the people, to the men, and to the women, and to all the people which had given him that answer, saying,”


44:21.  “The incense that ye burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, ye, and your fathers, your kings and your princes, and the people of the land, did not the Lord remember them, and came it not into his mind?”


The prophet’s question indicates by implication the foolish reasoning of the sinful people.  They had assured themselves that God was satisfied as long as they maintained the outward form of the Levitical ritual, and that He didn’t care whether they also worshiped the idols of the land.  They had conveniently forgotten His command, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” which in modern language is, “Thou shalt have no other gods - period.”  The prophet was, in fact, asking whether the people were so utterly stupid as to believe that Jehovah didn’t care whether they worshiped other gods as long as He was first in their pantheon.


He did care.  The evils that had come upon them were but a partial expression of His anger; their complete destruction would be the full expression of it.


Christendom, worshiping Mammon, Pleasure, Education, etc., is equally foolish - and is about to suffer the same fate in the impending Great Tribulation.


44:22.  “So that the Lord could no longer bear, because of the evil of your doings, and because of the abominations which ye have committed; therefore is your land a desolation, and an astonishment, and a curse, without an inhabitant as at this day.”


“... could no longer bear” means that He would no longer put up with their sin; but their consciences had become so seared that they were unconscious of having sinned, and couldn’t therefore understand why their land had become a desolate waste, an object of horror to all who beheld it, a cursed place without inhabitant.  In their blind ignorance they thought that all of this had happened because they had at some undisclosed time temporarily stopped offering sacrifices to “the queen of heaven,” see verse 18.


44:23.  “Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned against the Lord, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord, nor walked in his law, nor in his statutes, nor in his testimonies; therefore this evil is happened unto you, as at this day.”


Jeremiah fearlessly dispelled their illusions.  All that they had suffered was by God’s appointment because they had rebelled against Him.  They had disobeyed His voice, (possibly the words of the prophets); they had broken His law (the Ten Commandments); and His statutes (His laws governing their worship, etc.,); and His testimonies, His judicial laws.  They had failed utterly to be a testimony to Him amongst the nations.


Apostate Christendom has walked all to faithfully in Israel’s rebellious footsteps, and is about to suffer similar judgment in the Great Tribulation.


44:24.  “Moreover Jeremiah said unto all the people, and to all the women, Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah that are in the land of Egypt:”


44:25.  “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hand, saying, We will surely perform our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her: ye will surely accomplish your vows, and surely perform your vows.”


Its being emphasized that He spoke, not only to all the people, but very specially to the women, continues to point up the applicability of this prophecy to the present day in view of the prominent place into which women have moved, particularly in Western, i.e., nominally Christian society.


What they had promised with their lips they had performed with their hands; and knowing that nothing would change them, God, in effect, removed His restraint, and delivered them over to the free execution of their evil desires - and to His certain terrible concomitant judgment.


The tidal wave of unrestrained evil, originating in our Western “Christian?” society, and sweeping over the rest of the world, will be followed by the fearful tidal wave of Divine judgment that will sweep the world in the Great Tribulation, carrying billions down to eternal destruction, and leaving the world in ruins.


Just as surely as the apostate Judeans rebuked by Jeremiah, would keep their evil vows, so will the God of heaven just as surely keep His pure and holy Word.  Nothing can avert the promised fearful judgment about to envelop this present evil world.


44:26.  “Therefore hear ye the word of the Lord, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt; Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith the Lord, that my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah, in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord God liveth.”


44:27.  “Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good: and all the men of Judah that are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by the famine, until there be an end of them.”


While the judgment was pronounced that day upon the rebel generation that had gone to live in Egypt in defiance of God’s command to remain in the land of Judah, it is clear to all but spiritually blind eyes, that a fuller application related to the terrible judgment that fell upon the guilty nation in AD 70, the ultimate application being to the yet more terrible judgments of the impending Great Tribulation that will affect not only Israel, but the whole world.


It is to be noted that while that generation in Egypt did die, there was later a large Jewish population in Egypt who did worship Jehovah.


44:28.  “Yet a small number that escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah, and all the remnant of Judah, that are gone into the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose words shall stand, mine, or theirs.”


This was literally fulfilled when Babylon invaded Egypt, and a small remnant of the Jews did manage to escape the sword by fleeing back to their homeland; but the larger symbolic picture continues to be of what will be in the coming Great Tribulation when a remnant of the Israel that was scattered amongst the nations in AD 70, will yet be gathered back to Palestine, from all the countries of the world, of which Egypt is the biblical symbol.  In that day the whole world will learn that God’s pronouncements are immutable: not one word will go unfulfilled.


44:29.  “And this shall be a sign unto you, saith the Lord, that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that my words shall surely stand against you for evil:”


44:30.  “Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will give Pharaoh-hophra king of Egypt into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of them that seek his life; as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, his enemy, and that sought his life.”


When it would be too late to do them any good, the unbelievers amongst them would be given proof that God was speaking the truth, declaring what would be, with the same certainty as though it had already occurred.  So will it be with those who die unrepentant.  They who would not believe on earth will believe in hell that God wasn’t issuing an idle threat in declaring the eternal damnation of all who die in unbelief.


Pharaoh-hophra, in whom they had placed their trust, would neither be able to save them nor himself.  Amasis, a court official, rebelled against the Pharaoh, seized the throne, imprisoned him, and later delivered him over to a mob who strangled him.


There can be little question that the broader symbolic picture here is of what is yet to be in a day that is still more than a thousand years in the future, for as Egypt portrays the world, so does Pharaoh-hophra represent Satan, and in the death of the Egyptian king, God would have us see the death of Satan, the god of this world, at the end of the Millennium.


A proof that His every word would be fulfilled, was furnished in what happened to Zedekiah, for as God had foretold the end of that evil king, so had they seen His word fulfilled.  Today’s unbelieving world has been furnished with similar proof of the veracity of God’s word: fulfilled prophecy!  The greater part of biblical prophecy has already been accurately fulfilled, leaving no doubt in any reasonable mind that the fraction remaining will also be fulfilled with the same precision.  Peter’s word relative to prophecy is not only for the encouragement of the believer: it is also for the warning of the skeptic, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts,” 2 Pe 1:19.

[Jeremiah 45]


     Scripture portions taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version
© 2000-2005 James Melough