- It is clear the remnant of the people left in the land were obsessed by fear – fear of the Chaldeans (42:11) and fear of famine (42:16). From both these evils Egypt appeared to offer a secure place of refuge (42:14). But what did God say they ought to do?
And what did he say would happen to them if they went to Egypt?
- Why did the people, in spite of their promise to obey God, take a wrong course?
What did they lack spiritually that they failed so badly? Read carefully 42:20, 21 (see Note 1 below), and cf, Matt. 15:7, 8; Heb. 3:18, 19. What does this teach us about our attitude in seeking to know the will of God?
Note 42:6. Are we guilty of making up our minds in advantage? Cf. 43:2.
- Over against the people and their failure, contrast the character of Jeremiah. God had made the same promise to him that he now made to these Hebrews (see 1:18, 19); but how different was the response in Jeremiah’s case? What are the outstanding features that you observe in Jeremiah in these chapters?
- 42:21. Jeremiah anticipates the reply they were about to make in their fixed resolve to seek refuge in Egypt. Perhaps during the interval (verse 7) preparations for flight had been in hand.
- 43:7. ‘Tahpanhes’ was on the eastern branch of the Nile not far from the Mediterranean.
- 43:10-13. Nebuchadnezzar did invade Egypt before two decades were out.