Scripture reading – Ezekiel 32


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Today’s Scripture reading, Ezekiel 32, introduced the date Ezekiel received a message from the LORD that he would deliver to the exiles living in Babylon. It was “the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month,” thus twelve years after Ezekiel’s exile began (Ezekiel 32:1). Chronologically, two months before chapter 32, the Jews living in Babylon had received news of Jerusalem’s destruction (Ezekiel 33:21).

Our focus on the prophecies foretold against Egypt began in Ezekiel 29 and concludes with today’s Scripture reading, in which the LORD foretold His judgment of all the world’s nations.


A Lament for Pharaoh, king of Egypt (Ezekiel 32:2-6)

After the LORD commanded Ezekiel, “Take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt,” He depicted the harsh reign of Pharaoh and said: “Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale [i.e., a serpent or perhaps a crocodile] in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers” (Ezekiel 32:2).

In essence, the kings of Egypt troubled “the waters” (i.e., the people and nations, Ezekiel 32:2). Therefore, for his wickedness, the LORD foretold He would cast the net of His judgment upon Pharaoh and Egypt (Ezekiel 32:3). Figuratively, the king would be dragged from his throne in a net and cast into the wilderness where the “beasts of the whole earth” (i.e., the nations) would feed upon his flesh (Ezekiel 32:4-5). The destructive nature of Egypt’s fall was foretold as the land and the waters would be stained red with the people’s blood (Ezekiel 32:6).

A Lament for Pharaoh, king of Egypt

A Dreadful Picture of God’s Final Judgment (Ezekiel 32:7-10)

As we have seen in earlier studies, prophecies often have immediate implications and far-reaching applications. Ezekiel 32:7-10 followed that pattern and described the LORD’s imminent judgment of Egypt as a time of great darkness. However, the same description was given as the LORD’s final judgment in the last days (Isaiah 13:9-11: 34:1-4; Matthew 24:29-31; Revelation 6:12-17; 8:12).  

Ezekiel foretold that the fall of Egypt would be so great that “the hearts of many people” would be troubled as the news reached countries unknown to Pharaoh (Ezekiel 32:9). The kings of the nations would “be horribly afraid” as the LORD declared “I shall brandish my sword…and they shall tremble” (Ezekiel 32:10).


Nebuchadnezzar: The Agent of God’s Judgment (Ezekiel 32:11-16)

Once again, the LORD identified Nebuchadnezzar as His servant, for His sword would be borne by “the king of Babylon” (Ezekiel 32:11). Ezekiel prophesied that Egypt’s fall to Babylon was determined. The ruthless reputation of Babylon was portrayed as “the terrible of the nations” (Ezekiel 32:12). Nebuchadnezzar’s army would wreak havoc on the land, spoil the treasures of Egypt, and kill the people and livestock (Ezekiel 32:12-13).

The rivers and streams of Egypt would “run like oil” (smooth and undisturbed by man or beasts, Ezekiel 32:14). The waters and canals that irrigated Egypt’s fields would run dry as the land became “desolate,” and “the country [would] be destitute” (Ezekiel 32:15).

To what end or purpose did the fall and humiliation of Egypt serve? The LORD declared, “When I shall smite all them that dwell therein, then shall they know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 32:15). The world’s nations would look upon Egypt’s sorrows and lament her fall (Ezekiel 32:16).

Nebuchadnezzar: The Agent of God’s Judgment

The Nations Sentenced to Hell (Ezekiel 32:17-32)

Picturing Hell for what it is, a place of death and torment for sinners who reject the LORD and His Word (Ezekiel 32:17-32), the Egyptians were warned they would suffer the fate of other nations (Ezekiel 32:18). Despite that nation’s glory, Egypt would take her place “with the uncircumcised” (i.e., heathen nations, Ezekiel 32:19-22).

Assyria (Asshur) “and all her company” had fallen to Babylon. We read of her slain that their “graves are set in the sides of the pit [hell]” (Ezekiel 32:23). Assyria joined other ancient nations who made their graves in hell: Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, and Zidon had all borne “their shame with them that go down to the pit” (Ezekiel 32:24-30).

Pharoah and Egypt would not be spared or favored above the nations. Ezekiel warned, “Thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are slain with the sword” (Ezekiel 32:28). The king of Egypt and his army would be “slain by the sword, saith the LORD GOD” (Ezekiel 32:31). Pharaoh would take his place “in the midst of the uncircumcised” with the eternal damned (Ezekiel 32:32).

Ezekiel’s prophecy of Egypt’s imminent judgment concluded with the words, “saith the LORD God” (Ezekiel 32:32). Thus, all that the LORD revealed to Ezekiel came to pass. While His purpose was that the people would know He was LORD, the people and nations rejected Him and perished. 


Closing thought

Friend, our prophetic Bible studies have given us insight into the LORD’s heart and longsuffering with His chosen people (Israel and Judah) and the nations. I look forward to sharing the balance of the chapters in Ezekiel, for they foretell a glorious future for God’s people (Ezekiel 33:1-39:29).

2 Peter 3:9 – “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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