The Old Testament reading for Monday, June 18 is:

Jeremiah 44:1–19 (Listen)

Judgment for Idolatry

44:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Judeans who lived in the land of Egypt, at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Memphis, and in the land of Pathros, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the disaster that I brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. Behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them, because of the evil that they committed, provoking me to anger, in that they went to make offerings and serve other gods that they knew not, neither they, nor you, nor your fathers. Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘Oh, do not do this abomination that I hate!’ But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil and make no offerings to other gods. Therefore my wrath and my anger were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, and they became a waste and a desolation, as at this day. And now thus says the LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves, to cut off from you man and woman, infant and child, from the midst of Judah, leaving you no remnant? Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, making offerings to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live, so that you may be cut off and become a curse and a taunt among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the evil of your fathers, the evil of the kings of Judah, the evil of their1 wives, your own evil, and the evil of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? 10 They have not humbled themselves even to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in my law and my statutes that I set before you and before your fathers.

11 “Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah. 12 I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to come to the land of Egypt to live, and they shall all be consumed. In the land of Egypt they shall fall; by the sword and by famine they shall be consumed. From the least to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine, and they shall become an oath, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. 13 I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, 14 so that none of the remnant of Judah who have come to live in the land of Egypt shall escape or survive or return to the land of Judah, to which they desire to return to dwell there. For they shall not return, except some fugitives.”

15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had made offerings to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great assembly, all the people who lived in Pathros in the land of Egypt, answered Jeremiah: 16 “As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you. 17 But we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and prospered, and saw no disaster. 18 But since we left off making offerings to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19 And the women said,2 “When we made offerings to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, was it without our husbands' approval that we made cakes for her bearing her image and poured out drink offerings to her?”

Footnotes

[1] 44:9 Hebrew his
[2] 44:19 Compare Syriac; Hebrew lacks And the women said

(ESV)


English Standard Version: Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.

Old Testament Pastoral Commentary for Jeremiah 44:1-19
Author: Pastor Bob Nordlie
Once the fugitives from Judah arrived in Egypt an assembly was convened of all the Jews who had sought refuge there in various places at various times. Jeremiah spoke the Word of the LORD to the assembly, reminding them of the devastation that had come upon Judah and Jerusalem because of their idolatry. Through His prophet God reminded them of His faithfulness in speaking to them through all the prophets He had sent to them. Because they refused to listen and repent, the cities of Judah and Jerusalem, the capital, had become a wasteland. God asked why they continued to provoke him to anger even then, by making offerings to the gods of the Egyptians. He warned that they would become a curse and a taunt to all the nations because of their idolatry. Had they so quickly forgotten all of the evil of their fathers, and the kings of Judah, which the prophets had condemned? God's word to them was strong and harsh: "Behold, I will set my face against you for harm, to cut off all Judah." God warned that the remnant that should have been preserved in the Promised Land would be destroyed by the sword and by famine. None of them would return except for a few fugitives. In the hardness of their hearts the people refused to listen, instead arrogantly promising: "we will do everything that we have vowed, make offerings to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we did, both we and our fathers, our kings and our officials, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem." They actually had the gall to claim that this was the reason they previously prospered and had plenty of food! Thus, they actually credited good gifts from the One True God to the idols of Egypt! In fact, they blamed all of their present troubles on the fact that they had stopped making offerings to these false gods. All of this had been done by the women with the full support of their husbands, who should have been faithful spiritual leaders of their households. In truth, these sadly mistaken people had everything backwards, but we still see that frequently today in the spiritual confusion that exists in our own society. How important it is to listen carefully to the Word of the LORD, and obey the voice of His prophets, even when we hear it in Scripture today!