Go Not into Egypt
Johanan and the captains, set on going to Egypt, ask Jeremiah to enquire of Yahweh for a blessing (vv. 1-6).
From v. 18 of ch. 41, in their fear they still showed some apparent respect to Jeremiah. Agreeing to pray for them, Jeremiah says that he will tell them exactly what Yahweh's answer is, good or bad. Johanan replies: "we will obey," and in parenthesis we should put, 'as long as it is what we want.'
Notice v. 2, 'pray for us' and in v. 3, 'Yahweh thy Elohim.' Firstly these statements show they couldn't pray for themselves, and secondly that they didn't recognise Yahweh as their God.
In vv. 7-12, the answer comes from Yahweh, in which they are encouraged to continue in the land of Judah, and assured that if they did so it should be for their well-being. Contrast v. 7, when the answer came after 'ten days' (which were probably spent in meditation before Yahweh) with the instant replies to the righteous (2Kgs. 20 with Hezekiah; Neh. 2; Dan. 9; John 12).
Following this in vv. 13-18, Jeremiah, knowing their intentions, the language becomes stronger and clearer, so that they are left in no doubt as to the consequences of their actions. In vv. 19-22, the hypocrisy of the people is known unto Yahweh. They had already made up their minds to go into Egypt. The thinking of the flesh is apparent in the record, so the sentence is not only passed upon them, but also is confirmed to the statement that they would die in the place of the sojourn.