Thoughts and Reflection
Today we read the people flee to Egypt regardless of the Lord telling them not to. Jeremiah warns again not to do it. but they don’t listen. They take Jeremiah as a hostage as they flee Jerusalem. In Egypt, the Israelites fall back into idolatry. The people are confused as to why things are happening to them. They think it is because they haven’t worshiped their idols enough, but Jeremiah tells them it is because they have neglected God.
Ishtar was sometimes called the queen of heaven. Later Catholics have called Mary the queen of heaven.
About This Project
For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!
3 It was Baruch son of Neriah, who keeps inciting you against us, to hand us over to the Chaldaeans so that they can put us to death or deport us to Babylon.’
4 So neither Johanan nor any of the military leaders nor any of the people obeyed the voice of Yahweh by staying in the country of Judah.
5 Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the military leaders led off the entire remnant of Judah, those who had come back from all the nations where they had been driven to live in the country of Judah:
6 men, women, children, the royal princesses too, and every single person that Nebuzaradan commander of the guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, son of Shaphan, including the prophet Jeremiah and Baruch son of Neriah.
7 And so, in disobedience to the voice of Yahweh, they reached Egypt and arrived at Tahpanhes.
10 Then say to them, “Yahweh, God of Israel, says this: Look, I shall send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he willplace his throne on these stones I have buried, and spread his canopy above them.
11 When he comes, he will defeat Egypt: Those for the plague, to the plague; those for captivity, to captivity; those for the sword, to the sword!
12 “He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn these gods or take them prisoner; like a shepherd wrapping his cloak round him, so he will wrap Egypt round him, and then leave without anyone laying hands on him.
1 The word that came to Jeremiah for all the Judaeans living in Egypt, those, that is, living in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph and the territory of Pathros.
3 This was because of the wicked deeds they committed to provoke my anger, by going and offering incense and serving other gods whom neither they, nor you, nor your ancestors knew anything about,
5 But they would not listen or pay attention, and turn from their wickedness and stop offering incense to other gods.
6 And so my furious anger overflowed, burning down the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, which were reduced to ruins and wasteland, as they still are today.
7 And now, Yahweh, God Sabaoth, God of Israel, says this: Why bring complete disaster on yourselves by cutting yourselves off from Judah — your men, women, children and babes in arms — so as to leave yourselves no remnant,
8 by provoking my wrath by your actions, offering incense to other gods in Egypt where you have come to settle, as though bent on your own destruction and on becoming a curse and a laughing-stock for all the nations of the earth?
9 Have you forgotten the wicked deeds of your ancestors, of the kings of Judah and of your princes, your own wicked deeds and those of your wives, committed in the country of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?
12 I shall take the remnant of Judah who were determined to come to Egypt and settle there, and in Egypt they will perish; they will fall to the sword or perish of famine, from least to greatest; by sword and famine they will die and be an object of execration and horror, a curse, a laughing-stock.
13 I shall punish those who live in Egypt just as I punished Jerusalem: by sword, famine and plague.
14 Of the remnant of Judah which has come to settle in Egypt, not a single one will escape or survive to return to the country of Judah where they long to return and live. For none of them will return, except a few refugees.” ‘
15 At this, all the men who knew that their wives offered incense to other gods, and all the women who were standing there, a great crowd (and all the people living in Egypt, in Pathros), answered Jeremiah as follows,
16 ‘We have no intention of listening to the word you have just spoken to us in Yahweh’s name,
17 but intend to go on doing all we have vowed to do: offering incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations in her honour, as we used to do, we and our ancestors, our kings and our chief men, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem: we had food in plenty then, we lived well, we suffered no disasters.
19 Besides, when we offer incense to the Queen of Heaven and pour libations in her honour, do you think we make cakes for her with her features on them, and pour libations to her, without our husbands’ knowledge?’
20 To all the people, men and women, all those who had made this answer, Jeremiah retorted,
21 ‘The incense you offered in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, you, your ancestors, your kings, your chief men and the people at large — was this not what Yahweh kept remembering, and found so repellent
23 Because you offered incense, because you sinned against Yahweh, refusing to listen to the voice of Yahweh, or to observe his Law, his statutes and his decrees — that is why the present disaster has overtaken you.’
24 Further, Jeremiah said to all the people, and particularly to all the women, ‘Listen to the word of Yahweh, all you Judaeans in Egypt,
25 Yahweh Sabaoth, God of Israel, says this, “You and your wives, what your mouths promised, your hands have indeed performed! You said: We shall punctiliously fulfil the vows we have made and offer incense to the Queen of Heaven and pour libations in her honour. Very well, keep your vows, perform them punctiliously!
26 But listen to the word of Yahweh, all you Judaeans living in Egypt: I swear by my great name, Yahweh says, that my name will no longer be uttered by any man of Judah throughout Egypt; no one will say: As Lord Yahweh lives.
28 Yet, though few in number, those who escape the sword will return to the country of Judah from Egypt. Then the entire remnant of Judah which has come and settled in Egypt will know whose word comes true, mine or theirs.
30 Yahweh says this: Look, I shall hand Pharaoh Hophra, king of Egypt, over to his enemies and to those determined to kill him, just as I handed Zedekiah king of Judah over to his enemy Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who was determined to kill him.” ‘
1 When the men who were still in their tents heard the news they were appalled.
3 The men who had been bivouacking in the mountains round Bethulia were fleeing too. Then all the Israelite warriors charged down on them.
4 Uzziah sent messengers to Betomasthaim, Bebai, Choba, Kola, throughout the whole territory of Israel, to inform them of what had happened and to urge them all to hurl themselves on the enemy and annihilate them.
5 As soon as the Israelites heard the news, they fell on them as one man and massacred them all the way to Choba. The men of Jerusalem and the entire mountain country also rallied to them, once they had been informed of the events in the enemy camp. Then the men of Gilead and Galilee attacked them on the flank and struck at them fiercely till they neared Damascus and its territory.
6 All the other inhabitants of Bethulia fell on the Assyrian camp and looted it to their great profit.
7 The Israelites returning from the slaughter seized what was left. The hamlets and villages of the mountain country and the plain also captured a great deal of booty, since there were vast stores of it.
10 By doing all this with your own hand you have deserved well of Israel, and God has approved what you have done. May you be blessed by the Lord Almighty in all the days to come! And the people all said, ‘Amen!’
11 The people looted the camp for thirty days. They gave Judith the tent of Holofernes, all his silver plate, his divans, his drinking bowls and all his furniture. She took this, loaded her mule, harnessed her carts and heaped the things into them.
12 All the women of Israel, hurrying to see her, formed choirs of dancers in her honour. Judith took wands of vine-leaves in her hand and distributed them to the women who accompanied her;
13 she and her companions put on wreaths of olive. Then she took her place at the head of the procession and led the women as they danced. All the men of Israel, armed and garlanded, followed them, singing hymns.
14 With all Israel round her, Judith broke into this song of thanksgiving and the whole people sang this hymn:
5 but the Lord Almighty has thwarted them by a woman’s hand.
6 For their hero did not fall at the young men’s hands, it was not the sons of Titans struck him down, no proud giants made that attack, but Judith, the daughter of Merari, who disarmed him with the beauty of her face.
9 Her sandal ravished his eye, her beauty took his soul prisoner and the scimitar cut through his neck!
11 These were struck with fear when my lowly ones raised the war cry, these were seized with terror when my weak ones shouted, and when they raised their voices these gave ground.
12 The children of mere girls ran them through, pierced them like the offspring of deserters. They perished in the battle of my Lord!
14 May your whole creation serve you! For you spoke and things came into being, you sent your breath and they were put together, and no one can resist your voice.
16 A little thing indeed is a sweetly smelling sacrifice, still less the fat burned for you in burnt offering; but whoever fears the Lord is great for ever.
22 She had many suitors, but all her days, from the time her husband Manasseh died and was gathered to his people, she never gave herself to another man.
23 Her fame spread more and more, the older she grew in her husband’s house; she lived to the age of one hundred and five. She emancipated her maid, then died in Bethulia and was buried in the cave where Manasseh her husband lay.
24 The House of Israel mourned her for seven days. Before her death she had distributed her property among her own relations and those of her husband Manasseh.
25 Never again during the lifetime of Judith, nor indeed for a long time after her death, did anyone trouble the Israelites.
17 A friend is a friend at all times, it is for adversity that a brother is born.