TORAH
FIVE BOOKS OF MOSES
NEVI'IM
PROPHETS
KETUVIM
WRITINGS

Jeremiah 42

1Then all the army officers, with Yochanan son of Kareah, Jezaniah son of Hoshaiah, and all the rest of the people, great and small, approached

אוַיִּגְּשׁוּ כָּל־שָׂרֵי הַחֲיָלִים וְיוֹחָנָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ וִיזַנְיָה בֶּן־הוֹשַׁעְיָה וְכָל־הָעָם מִקָּטֹן וְעַד־גָּדוֹל׃

2the Navi Yirmiyahu and said, “Grant our plea, and pray for us to Hashem your God, for all this remnant! For we remain but a few out of many, as you can see.

va-yo-m'-RU el yir-m'-YA-hu ha-na-VEE ti-pol NA t'-khi-na-TAY-nu l'-fa-NE-kha v'-hit-pa-LAYL ba-a-DAY-nu el a-do-NAI e-lo-HE-kha b'-AD kol ha-sh'-ay-REET ha-ZOT kee nish-AR-nu m'-AT may-har-BAY ka-a-SHER ay-NE-kha ro-OT o-TA-nu

בוַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא תִּפָּל־נָא תְחִנָּתֵנוּ לְפָנֶיךָ וְהִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדֵנוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּעַד כָּל־הַשְּׁאֵרִית הַזֹּאת כִּי־נִשְׁאַרְנוּ מְעַט מֵהַרְבֵּה כַּאֲשֶׁר עֵינֶיךָ רֹאוֹת אֹתָנוּ׃

42:2   For we remain but a few out of many 

The people, in panic over the upcoming invasion from Babylonia, turn to the prophet and ask him to pray for guidance. Yirmiyahu counsels them against going down to Egypt. However, in their final act of disobedience against God, they flee to Egypt, forcefully taking Yirmiyahu with them. Their statement that they were once many, but now have become few, represents an undoing of the divine promises. Sefer Devarim (10:22) describes how God took a few people, made them many, and brought them from Egypt to the Land of Israel. Now, they leave Eretz Yisrael headed for Egypt, few instead of many; a painful reminder of the damage caused by refusing to listen to the word of God.

3Let Hashem your God tell us where we should go and what we should do.”

גוְיַגֶּד־לָנוּ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת־הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר נֵלֶךְ־בָּהּ וְאֶת־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר נַעֲשֶׂה׃

4The Navi Yirmiyahu answered them, “Agreed: I will pray to Hashem your God as you request, and I will tell you whatever response Hashem gives for you. I will withhold nothing from you.”

דוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם יִרְמְיָהוּ הַנָּבִיא שָׁמַעְתִּי הִנְנִי מִתְפַּלֵּל אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם כְּדִבְרֵיכֶם וְהָיָה כָּל־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲנֶה יְהֹוָה אֶתְכֶם אַגִּיד לָכֶם לֹא־אֶמְנַע מִכֶּם דָּבָר׃

5Thereupon they said to Yirmiyahu, “Let Hashem be a true and faithful witness against us! We swear that we will do exactly as Hashem your God instructs us through you—

הוְהֵמָּה אָמְרוּ אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ יְהִי יְהֹוָה בָּנוּ לְעֵד אֱמֶת וְנֶאֱמָן אִם־לֹא כְּכָל־הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁלָחֲךָ יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֵלֵינוּ כֵּן נַעֲשֶׂה׃

6Whether it is pleasant or unpleasant, we will obey Hashem our God to whom we send you, in order that it may go well with us when we obey Hashem our God.”

ואִם־טוֹב וְאִם־רָע בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ אֲשֶׁר אנו [אֲנַחְנוּ] שֹׁלְחִים אֹתְךָ אֵלָיו נִשְׁמָע לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יִיטַב־לָנוּ כִּי נִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ׃

7After ten days, the word of Hashem came to Yirmiyahu.

זוַיְהִי מִקֵּץ עֲשֶׂרֶת יָמִים וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה אֶל־יִרְמְיָהוּ׃

8He called Yochanan son of Kareah and all the army officers, and the rest of the people, great and small,

חוַיִּקְרָא אֶל־יוֹחָנָן בֶּן־קָרֵחַ וְאֶל כָּל־שָׂרֵי הַחֲיָלִים אֲשֶׁר אִתּוֹ וּלְכָל־הָעָם לְמִקָּטֹן וְעַד־גָּדוֹל׃

9and said to them, “Thus said Hashem, the God of Yisrael, to whom you sent me to present your supplication before Him:

טוַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵיהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר שְׁלַחְתֶּם אֹתִי אֵלָיו לְהַפִּיל תְּחִנַּתְכֶם לְפָנָיו׃

10If you remain in this land, I will build you and not overthrow, I will plant you and not uproot; for I regret the punishment I have brought upon you.

יאִם־שׁוֹב תֵּשְׁבוּ בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת וּבָנִיתִי אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא אֶהֱרֹס וְנָטַעְתִּי אֶתְכֶם וְלֹא אֶתּוֹשׁ כִּי נִחַמְתִּי אֶל־הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי לָכֶם׃

11Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, whom you fear; do not be afraid of him—declares Hashem—for I am with you to save you and to rescue you from his hands.

יאאַל־תִּירְאוּ מִפְּנֵי מֶלֶךְ בָּבֶל אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּם יְרֵאִים מִפָּנָיו אַל־תִּירְאוּ מִמֶּנּוּ נְאֻם־יְהֹוָה כִּי־אִתְּכֶם אָנִי לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם וּלְהַצִּיל אֶתְכֶם מִיָּדוֹ׃

12I will dispose him to be merciful to you: he shall show you mercy and bring you back to your own land.

יבוְאֶתֵּן לָכֶם רַחֲמִים וְרִחַם אֶתְכֶם וְהֵשִׁיב אֶתְכֶם אֶל־אַדְמַתְכֶם׃

13“But if you say, ‘We will not stay in this land'—thus disobeying Hashem your God—

יגוְאִם־אֹמְרִים אַתֶּם לֹא נֵשֵׁב בָּאָרֶץ הַזֹּאת לְבִלְתִּי שְׁמֹעַ בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם׃

14if you say, ‘No! We will go to the land of Egypt, so that we may not see war or hear the sound of the shofar, and so that we may not hunger for bread; there we will stay,'

ידלֵאמֹר לֹא כִּי אֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם נָבוֹא אֲשֶׁר לֹא־נִרְאֶה מִלְחָמָה וְקוֹל שׁוֹפָר לֹא נִשְׁמָע וְלַלֶּחֶם לֹא־נִרְעָב וְשָׁם נֵשֵׁב׃

15then hear the word of Hashem, O remnant of Yehuda! Thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: If you turn your faces toward Egypt, and you go and sojourn there,

טווְעַתָּה לָכֵן שִׁמְעוּ דְבַר־יְהֹוָה שְׁאֵרִית יְהוּדָה כֹּה־אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם־אַתֶּם שׂוֹם תְּשִׂמוּן פְּנֵיכֶם לָבֹא מִצְרַיִם וּבָאתֶם לָגוּר שָׁם׃

16the sword that you fear shall overtake you there, in the land of Egypt, and the famine you worry over shall follow at your heels in Egypt too; and there you shall die.

טזוְהָיְתָה הַחֶרֶב אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יְרֵאִים מִמֶּנָּה שָׁם תַּשִּׂיג אֶתְכֶם בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם וְהָרָעָב אֲשֶׁר־אַתֶּם דֹּאֲגִים מִמֶּנּוּ שָׁם יִדְבַּק אַחֲרֵיכֶם מִצְרַיִם וְשָׁם תָּמֻתוּ׃

17All the men who turn their faces toward Egypt, in order to sojourn there, shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. They shall have no surviving remnant of the disaster that I will bring upon them.

יזוְיִהְיוּ כָל־הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־שָׂמוּ אֶת־פְּנֵיהֶם לָבוֹא מִצְרַיִם לָגוּר שָׁם יָמוּתוּ בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדָּבֶר וְלֹא־יִהְיֶה לָהֶם שָׂרִיד וּפָלִיט מִפְּנֵי הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא עֲלֵיהֶם׃

18For thus said the lord of Hosts, the God of Yisrael: As My anger and wrath were poured out upon the inhabitants of Yerushalayim, so will My wrath be poured out on you if you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration of woe, a curse and a mockery; and you shall never again see this place.

יחכִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהֹוָה צְבָאוֹת אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל כַּאֲשֶׁר נִתַּךְ אַפִּי וַחֲמָתִי עַל־יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלַ ִם כֵּן תִּתַּךְ חֲמָתִי עֲלֵיכֶם בְּבֹאֲכֶם מִצְרָיִם וִהְיִיתֶם לְאָלָה וּלְשַׁמָּה וְלִקְלָלָה וּלְחֶרְפָּה וְלֹא־תִרְאוּ עוֹד אֶת־הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה׃

19Hashem has spoken against you, O remnant of Yehuda! Do not go to Egypt! Know well, then—for I warn you this day

יטדִּבֶּר יְהֹוָה עֲלֵיכֶם שְׁאֵרִית יְהוּדָה אַל־תָּבֹאוּ מִצְרָיִם יָדֹעַ תֵּדְעוּ כִּי־הַעִידֹתִי בָכֶם הַיּוֹם׃

20that you were deceitful at heart when you sent me to Hashem your God, saying, ‘Pray for us to Hashem our God; and whatever Hashem our God may say, just tell us and we will do it.'

ככִּי התעתים [הִתְעֵיתֶם] בְּנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם כִּי־אַתֶּם שְׁלַחְתֶּם אֹתִי אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לֵאמֹר הִתְפַּלֵּל בַּעֲדֵנוּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ וּכְכֹל אֲשֶׁר יֹאמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ כֵּן הַגֶּד־לָנוּ וְעָשִׂינוּ׃

21I told you today, and you have not obeyed Hashem your God in respect to all that He sent me to tell you—

כאוָאַגִּד לָכֶם הַיּוֹם וְלֹא שְׁמַעְתֶּם בְּקוֹל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם וּלְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם׃

22know well, then, that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you want to go and sojourn.”

כבוְעַתָּה יָדֹעַ תֵּדְעוּ כִּי בַּחֶרֶב בָּרָעָב וּבַדֶּבֶר תָּמוּתוּ בַּמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר חֲפַצְתֶּם לָבוֹא לָגוּר שָׁם׃