Critical dating the battle of carchemish
Verses 1-12: Jeremiah announced in advance that Egypt would fall to the Babylonians at the Battle of Carchemish in 605 B. This defeat would bring judgment on the excessive pride of Egypt, which desired to “cover the earth” like the Nile flooding its banks.
Chapters 46-51 comprise a collection of prophecies against various foreign nations.
Hebrew University professor Avraham Malamat has aptly applied the term “bipolar politics” to this contest.
They underscore the fact that all nations are under the power of the God of the universe (compare Isa. These prophecies were received from the Lord and delivered by Jeremiah at various times.
Source: Drawing by Karla Van Huysen based on a relief from the central palace at Nimrud (London: British Museum).
Israelite prophecy tends to coagulate around periods of political insecurity and crisis.
They are collected here as a body of texts dealing with God’ judgment of the nations. Egypt abounded in horses, and so no doubt brought a large cavalry and a multitude of chariots into the field of battle.
For other such collections, see Isaiah Chapters 13-21; chapter 23; Ezekiel chapters 25-32; and Amos 1:3 – 2:3. The Egyptians, after all this preparation for war, and seeming ardent to engage in battle.
The eighth century BCE was just that for the Israelites and Judeans, largely because of the expansion of the neo-Assyrian empire.