This may sound flip, but I mean it sincerely. Jeremiah easily has the worst luck out of all of the prophets so far. Again, I know Job and Daniel are coming, but at this point, poor Jeremiah can’t seem to catch a break. Johanan and his followers promised to believe him no matter what, but when Jeremiah comes back with less than stellar news from God, they immediately change their tones and accuse him of speaking falsely. They wind up doing the exact opposite of what he has told them to do, and leaving the land of Judah, the one thing they had been ordered not to do.
“And they came to the land of Egypt, for they did not hearken to the voice of the Lord, and they came to Tahpanhes (Jeremiah 43:7).” Jeremiah is still with them, so at least he’s not in jail this time. In Taphanhes, God tells him to symbolically take large stones and hide them in the mortar that is being prepared for the entrance of Pharaoh’s local palace, and to do this before the people. This is meant to be symbolic of Nebuchadrezzar, the Babylonian king, coming to Egypt to destroy the land, and with it, those who have chosen to be there rather than remaining in Judah. It definitely sounds like the troubles of the people are not even close to over, and once again, they never seem to learn.