Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch. Whom he knew by name, had a great regard for, and honours with this prophecy; and, being an Israelite, both in a literal and spiritual sense, he addresses him as the God of Israel, and as being his covenant God; in whom he should put his trust, and from whom he might expect safety and protection in the worst of times; and to whose sovereign will, in all the dispensations of his providence, he ought to have humbly and patiently submitted. Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch:
Announcement of the punishment for this idolatry. - Jeremiah 44:24
. "And Jeremiah said unto all the people, and unto all the women, Hear the word of Jahveh, all of Judah that are in the land of Egypt; Jeremiah 44:25
. Thus saith Jahve of hosts, the God of Israel: Ye and your wives have both spoken with your mouth, and fulfilled it with your hands, saying, We will assuredly perform our vows which we have vowed, by burning incense to the queen of heaven, and by pouring out libations to her: ye will by all means perform your vows, and carry out your vows. Jeremiah 44:26
. Therefore hear the word of Jahveh, all Judah that dwell in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by my great name, saith Jahveh, truly my name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah, saying, 'As the Lord Jahveh liveth,' in all the land of Egypt. Jeremiah 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 famine, till they are annihilated. Jeremiah 44:28
. And those who escape the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt to the land of Judah, a small number; and all the remnant of Judah, that went to the land of Egypt to sojourn there, shall know whose word shall stand, mine or theirs. Jeremiah 44:29
. And this shall be the sign to you, saith Jahveh, that I will punish you in this place, that ye may know that my words shall surely rise up against you for evil: Jeremiah 44:30
. Thus hath Jahveh spoken, Behold, I will give Pharaoh-Hophra into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of those who seek his life, just as I have given Zedekiah the king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, who was his enemy, and sought his life."
After refuting the false assertion of the people, Jeremiah once more announces to them, on behalf of God, in the most solemn manner, the punishment of extermination by sword and famine in Egypt; this he does for the purpose of giving the greatest possible emphasis to his warning against persevering in idolatry. For substance, this announcement is similar to that of Jeremiah 44:11-14, but the expression is stronger. Even in the summary account of their offences, Jeremiah 44:25, the words are so chosen and arranged as to bring out clearly the determination of the people to persevere in worshipping the queen of heaven. "As for you and your wives, ye have spoken with your mouth and fulfilled it with your hand" (on the Vav consec. attached to תּדבּרנה, cf. Ewald, 344, b), i.e., ye have uttered vows and then carried them out; for ye say, We must keep the vows that we have vowed. It is to be observed that the verbs תּדבּרנה, and in the concluding portion תּקימנה and תּעשׂינה, are feminine, since the address chiefly applies to the wives, who clung most tenaciously to idolatry. In the clause 'הקים תּקימנה וגו, "ye will make your vows and perform them," there is unmistakeable irony, in which the reference is to the wilfulness of the people in this idolatry. This ἑθελοθρησκεία is shown by the inf. abs. הקים, which strengthens תּקימנה. "To establish vows," i.e., to make them, was not a thing commanded, but left to one's free determination. Hence, also, no appeal to the maxim that vows which have been made or uttered must be fulfilled, can justify the making of the vows. The form תּקימנה for תּקמנה is an unusual one; and the י which the Hirik takes after it is occasioned by the form הקים; cf. Ewald, 196, c. - The announcement of the punishment is introduced by a solemn oath on the part of God. Jahveh swears by His great name, i.e., as the one who has shown Himself God by His mighty deeds - who has the power of keeping His word. The name is, of course, only a manifestation of His existence. אם as a particle used in swearing equals certainly not. His name shall no more be named in the mouth of any Jew in the land of Egypt, i.e., be used in asseverations, because all the Jews in Egypt shall be exterminated. On the expression, "Behold, I will watch over them," etc., cf. Jeremiah 31:28 and Jeremiah 21:10. In Jeremiah 44:28, it is more exactly stated that only a few individuals shall escape the sword and return to Judah; thus, no one shall remain behind in Egypt. By this judgment, all the remnant of Judah that went to Egypt shall find out whose word - Jahveh's or theirs - will endure, i.e., prove true. ממּנּי properly depends on דבר, "the word from me or from them" (the people).