Scripture reading – Ezekiel 29; Ezekiel 30

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Ezekiel 29


The Prophecy Concerning the Judgment and Desolation of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:1-7)

It was in the tenth year of Ezekiel’s exile (I believe coinciding with King Jehoiachin being taken prisoner to Babylon) that the LORD came to the prophet with a pronouncement of judgment “against Pharoah king of Egypt” (Ezekiel 29:1-2). The stated determination of the LORD to begin His judgment with Pharaoh continues for four chapters, concluding with Ezekiel 32. Altogether, seven judgments are stated against Egypt and its ruler, with the first two recorded in Ezekiel 29.

Like the king of Tyrus, Pharaoh was guilty of pride and bragged that he was sovereign of Egypt’s wealth. Claiming ownership of the Nile River, he foolishly boasted, “I have made it for myself” (Ezekiel 29:3). The LORD, however, portraying Himself as a divine fisherman, warned that He would set a hook in Pharaoh’s jaws and pull him and “all the fish of thy rivers [i.e., the people] into the wilderness” (Ezekiel 29:4-5).

God’s purpose for His judgment was stated again: “Egypt shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 29:6). Because Pharaoh betrayed Judah’s trust, the LORD declared he would splinter Egypt like a reed (Ezekiel 29:7). For her sins, “the land of Egypt [would] be desolate and waste” and not “be inhabited for forty years” (Ezekiel 29:8-11).


The Promise of Egypt’s Restoration (Ezekiel 29:13-16)

Yet, unlike Assyria and Tyrus, Ezekiel prophesied God would mercifully restore the people of Egypt to her lands (Ezekiel 29:13), though Egypt would never again be a great world empire (Ezekiel 29:14-16).

Egypt’s Wealth Compensated Nebuchadnezzar’s Sacrifices

Egypt’s Wealth Compensated Nebuchadnezzar’s Sacrifices in Tyrus (Ezekiel 29:17-20)

Tyrus and Egypt would pay for their sins, and Nebuchadnezzar did serve as the LORD’s agent of judgment. Babylon’s siege against Tyrus lasted thirteen years and was a significant expense. Therefore, the LORD determined to repay Nebuchadnezzar with the vast wealth of Egypt. Out of the spoils of Egypt, the king of Babylon paid his army (Ezekiel 29:19).


The LORD Remembered Israel (Ezekiel 29:21)

After prophesying Egypt’s humiliation, the LORD promised to remember “the house of Israel.” Ezekiel foretold the day would come when “the horn (i.e., the strength) of the house of Israel” would “bud forth” (Ezekiel 29:21). In other words, Egypt’s defeat would be followed by Israel’s restoration as a nation.

Warning: Grave consequences befall those who persecute and take pleasure in the sorrows and sufferings of God’s people. 


Ezekiel 30 – The Third Judgment

We are amid God’s declaration of judgment on the nations for their ill-treatment of Israel. The current subject of the LORD’s ire was Egypt. The date of this prophesy is not given; however, there is good reason to believe it followed soon after Ezekiel 29:1, which was in the tenth year and the tenth month of Ezekiel’s exile in Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar, An Agent of God

A Storm of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 30:1-9)

Following the pattern of earlier prophecies, the LORD addressed Ezekiel as “son of man” and commanded him to “prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!” (which was to say, Oh no! The day of the Lord is near, a day of clouds, Ezekiel 30:2).

With Jerusalem under siege, Ezekiel was to pronounce a storm of God’s judgment would soon pass upon all the nations, for “the day of the Lord is near, a cloudy day” (Ezekiel 30:3). Doomed with Egypt, were her allies, including Ethiopia (Cush), Libya, Lydia, and Chub (Ezekiel 30:5). Egypt’s pride in her strength would fail, and her lands and cities would be laid waste (Ezekiel 30:6-7). The Egyptians would know it was the LORD, as her cities burned (Ezekiel 30:8). When news of Egypt’s fall reached Ethiopia, that nation would be terrified and say of their demise, “lo, it cometh” (Ezekiel 30:9).


Nebuchadnezzar, An Agent of God (Ezekiel 30:10-19)

The king of Babylon was named as the servant, the agent of God’s wrath (Ezekiel 30:10). Ezekiel was to declare that the “multitude of Egypt” would come to an end as the people were slain and driven as captives out of the land (Ezekiel 30:10-11). The rivers, streams, and irrigation canals that flowed from the Nile would be destroyed, and the wealth of Egypt would be plundered (Ezekiel 30:12). All of Egypt’s great cities would become desolate (Ezekiel 30:13-18), that the people might know and confess “the LORD” as sovereign (Ezekiel 30:19).


The Strength of Pharaoh Would Fail (Ezekiel 30:20-26)

Ezekiel 30:20 introduced the fourth judgment of the LORD against the nations. In the eleventh year of Ezekiel’s exile, the LORD declared, “I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed” (Ezekiel 30:21).

Portrayed as a man with broken arms, the strength of Pharaoh would never be reset, nor would Egypt have the resilience to war over other nations again (Ezekiel 30:21-22). The LORD would scatter the Egyptians among the nations (Ezekiel 30:23), and Pharaoh would “groan…with the groanings of a deadly wounded man” (Ezekiel 30:24). Thus, Egypt would come to know and confess the God of Israel is “the LORD” (Ezekiel 30:26).

Our study of the prophecies against Egypt will continue in our following Bible study.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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