“Yahweh has spoken concerning you, remnant of Judah, ‘Don’t go into Egypt!’ Know certainly that I have testified to you today. For you have dealt deceitfully against your own souls; for you sent me to Yahweh your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to Yahweh our God; and according to all that Yahweh our God says, so declare to us, and we will do it.’ I have declared it to you today; but you have not obeyed Yahweh your God’s voice in anything for which he has sent me to you. Now therefore know certainly that you will die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.”
When Jeremiah had finished speaking to all the people all the words of Yahweh their God, with which Yahweh their God had sent him to them, even all these words, then Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, “You speak falsely. Yahweh our God has not sent you to say, ‘You shall not go into Egypt to live there;’ but Baruch the son of Neriah has turned you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they may put us to death or carry us away captive to Babylon.”
So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, didn’t obey Yahweh’s voice, to dwell in the land of Judah. But Johanan the son of Kareah and all the captains of the forces took all the remnant of Judah, who had returned from all the nations where they had been driven, to live in the land of Judah— the men, the women, the children, the king’s daughters, and every person who Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan; and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah. They came into the land of Egypt, for they didn’t obey Yahweh’s voice; and they came to Tahpanhes.
It has been hard for me to read about the life of Jeremiah. He spent his life in obedience to God but in return he had a life of great persecution by his own people and here we read that it continued as he was taken captive by more disobedient Jews and forced to go to Egypt. It’s alarming that these Jews lied to Jeremiah about what they intended to do. Notice that they accused Jeremiah of lying as they themselves were lying. When we fail to trust in God, our fears are able to take over and produce evil in us. If only they had been willing to simply rest in God’s word. Instead, they forced Jeremiah to go with them to Egypt.
Jeremiah’s words here appear to show us that he was used to the idea that God was using him to give messages to those who would disobey them. Even before the people decided to disobey, Jeremiah predicted that they would. Perhaps Jeremiah was learning to rest in God’s will for him. As we move on to the next book of the Bible, I think we will get a better look at what Jeremiah was thinking as he went through these things. The next book of the Bible is called: Lamentations. It’s pretty obvious from that name that it wasn’t a fun thing for Jeremiah to endure, but perhaps we will learn how he was able to endure it and it will help us as we endure things that we must endure in our lives as well.