Now You've Done It!By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz
When Jeremiah finished speaking to the people, he was answered by Azaraiah the son of Hoshaya, Yochanan, and all the disobedient people. They accused him of giving a false prophecy. They thought that he had been influenced by his student, Baruch, the result of which would be falling before the army of the Kasdim. So, Yochanan and the others did not listen to G-d’s instruction to remain in Israel. They took the people who remained in Judah and went to Egypt. (Jeremiah was with them, possibly taken against his will.)
G-d spoke to Jeremiah in Egypt and told him to take some large stones and put them in the mortar in front of the Pharaoh’s palace, in front of everyone. Jeremiah was to proclaim that G-d was sending Nebuchadnezzar, whose throne will be over the place where Jeremiah had put the stones. Nebuchadnezzar was coming to Egypt, where he would mete out death (by famine), captivity and the sword, each person receiving what they deserve. G-d will light a fire in the temples of the Egyptian “gods” and Nebuchadnezzar will burn them and capture them. (“Them” could refer to the idols or to their worshippers.) Nebuchadnezzar would “wrap up” Egypt and then depart. He will break the idols in Heliopolis and burn the temples.