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
ב וַיֹּאמְרוּ 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.