Jeremiah expresseth the desolation of Judah for their idolatry.
Jeremiah 44:1 This is the worde that was shewed to Ieremy concerninge all the Iewes, whyche dwelt in Egipte, at Magdall, at Thaphnis, at Memphis & in the lande of Patures. Jeremiah 44:2 Thus saieth the Lorde of Hostes the God of Israel: ye haue sene al the mysery that I haue brought vpon Ierusalem, and vpon al the cities of Iuda, so that this day they are desolate, & no man dwellinge therin: Jeremiah 44:3 and that because of the great blasphemyes, which they committed, to prouoke me vnto anger. In that they wente backe to do sacrifyce, and worshippe vnto straunge Goddes: whome neyther they, nor ye, nor youre fathers haue knowne. Jeremiah 44:4 How be it, I sent vnto them my seruauntes al the prophetes: I rose vp earlye, I sent vnto them, and gaue them warninge: O do no such abhominable thinges, & thinges that I hate. Jeremiah 44:5 But they woulde not folow nor herken, to turne from their wyckednes, and to do no more sacrifice vnto straung Goddes. Jeremiah 44:6 Wherfore myne indignacion and wrathe was kyndled, and it brente vp the cytyes of Iuda, the feldes with the stretes of Ierusalem, so that they were made waste and desolate as it is come to passe thys day. Jeremiah 44:7 Now therfore thus sayeth the Lorde of Hostes the God of Israel. How happeneth it, that ye do so great euyl vnto your owne soules, thus to destroy the men and wemen, children and babes of Iuda? so that none of you is left, Jeremiah 44:8 because ye prouoke me vnto wrath wyth the worckes of your owne handes: when ye offre vnto straung Goddes in the lande of Egipte, where as ye be gone to dwel. That ye myght vtterly peryshe, and that ye myght be reuyled and shamefully intreated of all nacyons. Jeremiah 44:9 Or haue ye nowe forgotten the wyckednes of your forfathers, the wickednes of the kinges of Iuda & their wyues, þe wickednes that ye your selues and youre wyues haue done in the lande of Iuda, in the cytye and in the lande of Ierusalem? Jeremiah 44:10 Yet are ye not sory this daye, ye feare not neyther walke ye in my lawe, and in my commaundementes, that I haue geuen vnto you and youre forefathers.
He prophesieth their destruction, who commit idolatry in Egypt.
Jeremiah 44:11 Therfore thus sayeth the Lorde of Hostes the God of Israel: I am stedfastlye aduysed and determed, to punysh you, and to rote out al Iuda. Jeremiah 44:12 As for the remnaunt of Iuda that purposly wente into Egipte, there to ease them of their mysery I wyll take them, and they shall al be destroyed. In the lande of Egipte shall they peryshe beynge consumed with the swerde, and with honger. For from the least vnto the mooste, they shall peryshe with the swerd and with honger. Moreouer they shal be reuyled, abhorred, shamed, and confounded. Jeremiah 44:13 For I will vpset them that dwel in Egypte, as I haue visited Ierusalem: with the swerde, wyth honger and wyth pestilence: Jeremiah 44:14 So that none of the remnaunt of Iuda, which are gone to dwell in Egypte, shalbe left to come agayn into the lande of Iuda al though they thincke to come thither againe & to dwel there. For none shall come agayne, but suche as are fled awaye.
The obstinacy of the Jews.
Jeremiah 44:15 Then all the men whiche knewe that their wyues haue offered vnto straunge Goddes, and a greate sorte of wyues, that stode there, yea and al the people that dwelt there in Egipte in the cytye of Patures, answerde Ieremy, & sayd: Jeremiah 44:16 As for the wordes that thou hast spoken vnto vs in the name of the Lorde, we will in no wyse heare them: Jeremiah 44:17 but whatsoeuer goeth oute of oure owne mouth, that wyl we do. We wyl do sacryfice, and offre oblacions vnto the Quene of Heauen: lyke as we & our forefathers, our kinges and oure heades haue done in the cities of Iuda, & in the stretes, & feldes of Ierusalem. For then had we plenteousnesse of vytayles, then were we in prosperytie, and no mysfortune came vpon vs. Jeremiah 44:18 But sence we left, to offre, and to do sacrifice vnto the Quene of Heauen, we haue had scarcenes of all thynges, and peryshe wyth the swerde and honger. Jeremiah 44:19 Last of all, when we wemen dyd sacryfyce and offred vnto the Quene of heauen, dyd we make her cakes and poure vnto her drynckedofferynges, to do her seruice wythoute oure husbandes wylles.
Jeremiah threateneth them for the same,
Jeremiah 44:20 Then sayde Ieremy vnto all the people, to the men, to the wemen and to all the folcke which had geuen hym that answere: Jeremiah 44:21 Did not the Lorde remembre the sacryfyces, that ye youre forefathers, youre kynges and rulers (wyth all the people) haue offred in the cities of Iuda, in the stretes and land of Ierusalem? and hath he not consydred this in his mynde? Jeremiah 44:22 In so muche, that the Lorde myght no longer suffre the wickednes of youre inuencyons, and the abhominable thinges whiche he dyd? Is not youre lande desolate and voyde, yea & abhorred, so that no man dwelleth therin any more, as it is come to passe this day? Jeremiah 44:23 Dyd not al this happen vnto you, because ye made suche sacryfyce, and sinned agaynste the Lorde? Ye haue not folowed his voyce, to walcke in his lawe, in hys ordynaunces and statutes. Yea, this is the cause, that all mysfortune happened vnto you, as it is come to passe this daye. Jeremiah 44:24 Moreouer, Ieremye spake vnto all the people, and to al the wemen: Heare the worde of the Lorde all Iuda, ye that be in the lande of Egipte: Jeremiah 44:25 Thus sayeth the Lorde of Hostes the God of Israel: Ye & your wyues haue spoken with your own mouth, the thing that ye haue fulfylled in dede. Yea thus haue ye saide: We wyl not fayle but do the thynge that pleaseth vs: we will do sacrifice and poure not drinckofferynges to the Quene of heauen. Purposlye haue ye set vp your owne good meaninges, & hastely haue ye fulfilled youre owne intente. Jeremiah 44:26 And therefore: heare the worde of the Lorde al Iuda, ye that dwel in the lande of Egipte. Beholde, I haue sworne by my greate name, sayeth the Lorde, that my name shall not be rehearsed thorow any mans mouth of Iuda, in al the lande of Egipte: to saye: The lord God lyueth, Jeremiah 44:27 for I wil watch, to plage them, and not for their wealth. And al the men of Iuda that be in the lande of Egipte, shal perysh with the swerde and with honger, vntil they be vtterly destroyed. Jeremiah 44:28 Neuertheles, those that fled away for the swerde, shal come agayne into the land of Iuda, but there shalbe verye fewe of them. And all the remnaunte of Iuda, that are gone into Egypte, there to dwel, shal knowe whose wordes shalbe founde true: theirs or myne.
and for a sign prophesieth the destruction of Egypt.
Jeremiah 44:29 Take this for a token, that I wyll vyset you in this place, sayeth the Lorde, and that ye maye knowe, howe that I (wythoute doute) will perfourme my purpose vpon you, to punishe you. Jeremiah 44:30 Beholde, sayeth the Lorde, I wyll delyuer Pharao Hophrea kynge of Egipte into the handes of his enemies, that seke after his life: euen as I gaue Zedekiah the kinge of Iuda into the handes of Nabuchodonozor king of Babylon, whiche sought after his lyfe.