“And Hashem said to you “You shall not continue to return on this path ever again.”” (Devarim 17:16)
It is a negative commandment that one may never dwell in the land of Egypt. This means that we may not go to fix our abode in Egypt, and about this it says “And he (the king) will not bring the people back to Egypt in order to have an abundance of horses, and Hashem said to you “You shall not continue to return on this path ever again.””. This prohibition is repeated in the Torah three times, and Chazal said about this “In three places the Torah warns us not to return to Egypt, and in all three times Klal Yisrael returned, and in all three cases they were punished!” These three places are as follows: 1) the one we have mentioned above. 2) In Devarim 28:68 it says (And Hashem will bring you back to Egypt in boats, on the way that I said to you that you will not continue to see it!” 3) In Shemos 14:13 it says “For as you see Egypt today, you will not continue to see them forever!” (According to the literal explanation of this verse, it was said as part of a story and not a prohibition, but Chazal received a transmission that the Torah intended it as a prohibition.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that since the Egyptians were evil sinners and Hashem took us out from there and redeemed us from their hands with His great kindness in order to give us the merit of going in the true paths, and He, in His great kindness, wanted to ensure that we would not return again to be defiled amongst them so that we would not learn from their ways and follow their ways which the Torah considers to be disgusting.
Amongst the laws of this commandment are that which Chazal said that the prohibition applies not only to the main city of Egypt, but also to the whole area which Chazal refer to as Ascandria, which Chazal say was the area of four hundred parsah (each parsah is about four kilometers) by four hundred parsah.
This prohibition applies at all times to both men and women. One who fixes his abode there, transgresses this prohibition but does not receive lashes, as the prohibition is when he settles and therefore he does not transgress when entering until he has settled, and at that stage he does not perform an action. The Rambam writes that it appears to him that if a Jewish king would conquer Egypt with permission of the Beis Din, then it would be permitted for us to dwell there. And the words of the mouth of a wise man are favored.