44:1 the country of Pathros. The Jews soon migrated throughout Egypt. Pathros was “Upper Egypt”—that is, southern Egypt. Noph (same as Memphis) was the capitol of “Lower Egypt,” including the Nile delta regions. Migdol and Tahpanhes were small towns in the latter area.
44:18 queen of heaven. The so-called “queen of heaven” was the chief goddess of the pagan pantheon, known by various names in the various nations, notably Ishtar in Babylon, but also Astarte, Ashtoreth, Venus and others. Both a fertility and military goddess, she was commonly worshipped, especially by pagan women, through sexual rites. King Josiah had, for a time, been able to stop these idolatrous practices, and now these apostate Jews were arguing that this had been the cause of their calamities. Strangely, even in Christian lands, there has been a modern revival of worship of the “goddess” among the feminists of the New Age movement, and even some evangelicals have begun to argue that God is our universal “mother” as well as heavenly Father. There is even a danger that Mary, the mother of Jesus, might be exalted in the minds of some to the status of deity.
44:30 I will give Pharaoh-hophra. This particular pharaoh, ruling at the time of this Jewish flight into Egypt, was later assassinated by his own enemies in the palace, with the resulting turmoil giving Nebuchadnezzar and his armies occasion and opportunity to invade and subjugate Egypt. See the similar prophecy in Jeremiah 43:8-13. Although there has been little secular confirmation of this invasion and captivity of Egypt by Babylon, there has been enough in recent years to confirm its basic historicity. See notes on Ezekiel 29, which predicts the same event.