This chapter is a long poem about how the Ammonites, Edomites, and Elamites would all be destroyed because God was mad. Also, Nebuchadnezzar would raze the cities of Damascus, Reder, and Hazer because God was mad.
This chapter is a long poem Jeremiah wrote about how the Moabites would be destroyed because God was mad.
This chapter is a long poem about how the Philistines would be destroyed by the Egyptians, because God was mad.
Jeremiah generally prophesied woe to everyone. In this chapter, he wrote a long poem describing how Egypt would be destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar because God was mad.
By the way, it is really important to know that back when Baruch was helping Jeremiah write his book, he kept whining about his hard lot at being stuck at helping Jeremiah, so Jeremiah told him that God had a message: Suck it up, buckaroo. God was turning everyone’s life to shit. But…for helping Jeremiah out, God would make sure that Baruch wouldn’t be murdered during the wars.
Being forcibly carried into Egypt by his compatriots of course didn’t change Jeremiah’s tune. He continued preaching destruction and desolation. In particular he singled out the idolatry of the women who continued offerings and prayers to the Queen of Heaven, hallowed by her name, be it Asherah, Ishtar, Isis, or Aphrodite. Jeremiah intoned, The cheating on God continues, especially among the women, and for that, you are all doomed to destruction!
The men folk told Jeremiah, Go suck an egg, you old debbie downer! Mind your own business and leave us to tend to our women! If you wanted a wife to boss, you shoulda got married! If God didn’t want our wives to make offerings to the Queen of Heaven, then It should have manifested Itself a feminine version for them!
Jeremiah just raised his eyes and said, You should all renew your vows to God and stop cheating on It, or you’ll be sorry! But because you won’t, you’ve condemned Pharaoh Wahibre Haaibre and all his people to death and destruction at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar!
Everyone was all, You’re just a Babylonian spy, Jeremiah! You’re a traitor and a liar! God doesn’t talk to you. Fuck you and your prophecies. We’re going to Egypt, and by damned, you’re coming with us!
When they got to Egypt, to Tahpanhes on Lake Manzala, where Pharaoh had a summer palace, Jeremiah took some stones and hid them in the pavement in front of the one of the palace gates and was all, Mark this spot! For here, Nebudcadnezzar will destroy Pharaoh and all Egypt! He will cast down the obelisks of Heliopolis–well most of them anyway! In any case, Egypt will not prove a safe haven. It will burn, just like Jerusalem!
So Johanan asked Jeremiah to ask God what It thought about everyone going to Egypt. Jeremiah was all, But what if you don’t like the answer? But everyone was all, You’ve always been right! We’ll listen to you this time!
Then Jeremiah went and communed with God, and at the end of ten days, he called everyone to him and was all, God wants you to stay right here. If you stay here, you will prosper and life will be good because the king of Babylon will treat you well. But if you go into Egypt, you will all suffer and die.
Seven months later, Ishmael murdered Gedaliah and a bunch of his followers and threw their bodies down a well until it was full–apparently that was a thing back then. Anyway, then he gathered up all the survivors to take as captives back to the Ammonites. However, General Johanan routed him and saved the captives. Johanan then became the new leader of the Jews by default. He thought they should all go back to Egypt.
Nebuchadnezzar’s general was sorting out the captives–who was too poor to bother with, who was coming to Babylon–when he came to Jeremiah. He was all, You’re cool, dude. If you want to come with us, you’re welcome. If you want to stay here, that’s cool too.
Jeremiah stayed. He went to live with Gedaliah, whom Nebuchadnezzar had appointed governor of Judah.
When all the Judeans who had fled to other lands like Moab and all the troops who had been stationed in the hinterlands heard that the war was over and Jerusalem had fallen, they made their way to Mizpah, where Gedialiah was headquartered to figure out what to do next. So they all settled down and eked out a living.
However, trouble was afoot. General Johanan tried to warn Gedaliah that this dude, Ishmael, who claimed he had royal blood, was gunning for him, but Gedaliah ignored him.