Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes: “Take in your hands large stones and hide them in the mortar in the pavement that is at the entrance to Pharaoh’s palace in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will set his throne above these stones that I have hidden, and he will spread his royal canopy over them. He shall come and strike the land of Egypt, giving over to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword. Jeremiah 43:8-11
So the people come down to Egypt despite the word of God. This people, who had been delivered from Egypt 900 years before the power of God, is now back in Egypt again, back in the land of bondage, the land of peril.
Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah down in Egypt, at Tahpanhes. The word of God is never bound. The people of God may be bound, but the word of God is never bound. The word comes to Jeremiah and tells him again to do one of those strange things which are graphic illustrations of truth. He is to take large stones and hide them in the mortar of the pavement at the entrance to Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, as a testimony to the fact that Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon would come down to Egypt and spread his royal canopy above these stones. The thing they were trying to escape in Judah, they would find in Egypt. The king of Babylon would be there.
Some years ago Sir Flinders Petrie, the English Egyptologist, digging in the very location of the ancient city of Tahpanhes, found a pavement with large stones embedded in it. Jeremiah’s stones are still there. This people had a testimony that God would confirm his word to them. They would find in Egypt what they were fleeing from.