Jeremiah 43

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Read Jeremiah 43

43 When Jeremiah had finished telling the people all the words of the Lord their God—everything the Lord had sent him to tell them— Azariah son of Hoshaiah and Johanan son of Kareah and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah, “You are lying! The Lord our God has not sent you to say, ‘You must not go to Egypt to settle there.’ But Baruch son of Neriah is inciting you against us to hand us over to the Babylonians, so they may kill us or carry us into exile to Babylon.”

So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the peopledisobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah. Instead, Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers led away all the remnant of Judah who had come back to live in the land of Judah from all the nations where they had been scattered. They also led away all those whom Nebuzaradan commander of the imperial guard had left with Gedaliah son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan—the men, the women, the children and the king’s daughters. And they took Jeremiah the prophet and Baruch son of Neriah along with them. So they entered Egypt in disobedience to the Lordand went as far as Tahpanhes.

In Tahpanhes the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “While the Jews are watching, take some large stones with you and bury them in clay in the brick pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes. 10 Then say to them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopyabove them. 11 He will come and attack Egypt, bringing death to those destined for death, captivity to those destined for captivity, and the sword to those destined for the sword. 12 He will set fire to the temples of the gods of Egypt; he will burn their temples and take their gods captive. As a shepherd picks his garment clean of lice, so he will pick Egypt clean and depart.13 There in the temple of the sun in Egypt he will demolish the sacred pillarsand will burn down the temples of the gods of Egypt.’”

Go Deeper

This section of Jeremiah are the final days for Jerusalem and Judah. In Jeremiah 42, the people seek Jeremiah’s counsel. They tell him regardless of if his counsel is favorable or unfavorable, they will obey the Lord. Jeremiah spends ten days in prayer and then tells the people, “Don’t go to Egypt” (42:19). Jeremiah knows that the people are going to disobey, and they do. This chapter is a picture of deliberate disobedience. All the people “disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah” (v. 4). 

The people not only disobey Jeremiah, but they accuse him of being a false prophet, kidnap him, take him to Egypt, and force him to disobey God’s commands. They refused to listen to God, and this eventually resulted in destruction. The people who hundreds of years prior had been delivered from the hands of the Egyptians are now back in bondage again. They confused God’s will with their own.

The people promised to do whatever God told them to do but that promise was empty. They did what they thought was right in their own eyes. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” If they believed and obeyed God, they would have prospered. However, because they disobeyed God, they had to face the consequences of that. 

The rest of this chapter predicts the consequences of the people not obeying the voice of God. Jeremiah illustrates another prophetic word using large stones. God commanded Jeremiah to pick up these large stones and bury them at the entrance of Pharaoh’s house. God promised that he would send King Nebuchadnezzar to conquer Egypt, just like they did Judah. The Lord says, “I will send for my servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will set his throne over these stones I have buried here; he will spread his royal canopy above them” (v. 10). What the people were trying to escape in Judah, they now would find in Egypt.

God’s commands to us are not meant to be burdensome, but for our benefit. Psalm 19 tells us that, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” We can obey God’s voice and His instruction, and walk in righteousness, or we can disobey and face the earthly consequences of that disobedience. May we take note and avoid the mistakes the Israelites made. Their disobedience communicated a lack of trust in God and who He had revealed Himself to be. May we be people who are submitted to God’s Word, regardless of if it is convenient to us. May we trust that God loves us, He is good, and He is in control. He is worthy of our full obedience. 


  1. When is a time in your life where God answered a prayer differently than what you expected? How did you respond to that?
  2. Is there an area of your life today where you are in disobedience to God’s Word?  
  3. What does this chapter teach you about the character of man? How can you avoid making the same mistake as the people in this chapter? 

A Quote

In his book Run With the Horses (based on the story of Jeremiah), author and pastor Eugene Peterson says this about the late stage of Jeremiah’s life and his faithfulness in spite of his circumstances: 

“In Egypt, the place he doesn’t want to be, with people who treat him badly, he continues determinedly faithful, magnificently courageous, heartlessly rejected—a towering life terrifically lived.”

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5 thoughts on “Jeremiah 43”

  1. There is something intrinsically woven into our DNA that seeks God’s approval for our plans, but not necessarily his direction or guidance. How weary God must become of us denying his word and following our wicked hearts down paths that never end well. Whatever we place our trust in other than him will turn into idolatry. The anecdote is full surrender to the One who is both the Alpha and Omega, beginning and the end, and all the time in between. Let’s quit coddling and rationalizing our selfish ways and trust that God is good, trustworthy and knows what is best for us, then wholeheartedly follow him.

  2. Rebellion. God can work in our rebellion. But, He desires to work in our obedience. Waiting for the best He has in store for us is the hardest. Microwaves, air fryers, insta-,pots we get everything faster these days, no wonder we are in so much trouble. BUT GOD is soverign, even when we take matters in our own hands, He can work. Arrogant, insolent men in control of the people, said You are lying Jeremiah. So God let them go but He had another plan, with rocks. What is your house built on? The foundation of Jesus Christ or of man and his wicked ways?

    God thank You for ears to hear Your voice and not the enemey’s lies. God thank You for obedence in all You desire for my life. God may my life be built only on the solid rock and firm foundation of Jesus Christ. God I desire to be the hands and feet for You here and now. I desire that not only am I going to heaven but that heaven is in me now. I want my tree to odd and full of Godly fruit. Thank You that Your Holy Spirit shines in my life. I give You the glory for all that I am and I all I am becoming every minute of everyday. Thank You for ears to hear You, eyes to see others through Your love goggles, a voice to speak with confidence about You and a heart that is effervescencing with unabounding Love for YOU!! in Jesus name amen.

  3. Each time Jeremiah tells the remnant what God has told him, the seem to scoff at him and doubt the truth behind it. But each time, God does exactly what He told Jeremiah He would do. How can the remnant still disobey?!

    How often do I fail to obey God like the remnant of Judah? I know there are areas of my life I need to surrender, and I need to confess those areas.

  4. Diane Frances Rogers

    The consequences of rebellion. Disobedience leads to destruction.
    Examining my heart I ask,
    *Where is my lack of obedience?
    *Where is confession of sin needed?
    It’s frightening how easily, if we’re not careful, we can go on with our lives just day to day, even reading our bibles, praying and not stop to examine our hearts. It’s a dangerous way to live deceiving ourselves about our sin.
    *How am I not walking in obedience to God?
    O God, search us, know us, open our eyes to hidden faults, the things that we might not even see that we’re doing. I want to seek obedience, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  5. “and all the arrogant men said to Jeremiah . . .”

    I could have easily found myself in that cohort of “arrogant men”!

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