Ezekiel 30 (ESV)
A Lament for Egypt
The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord God:
“Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’
3 For the day is near,
the day of the Lord is near;
it will be a day of clouds,
a time of doom for the nations.
4 A sword shall come upon Egypt,
and anguish shall be in Cush,
when the slain fall in Egypt,
and her wealth is carried away,
and her foundations are torn down.
In context, this was an audacious statement. “Imagine an exile from Judah, a third-rate Palestinian state whose future was very much in doubt, asserting that Judah’s national deity is about to bring an end to Egypt! When Ezekiel spoke these words, Egypt had existed for two and a half millennia. The pyramids, the symbol of the achievements of that great civilization, had stood already for two thousand years. What Egypt did is without parallel in human history, ancient or modern. In the face of this, Ezekiel had the temerity to declare that Egypt, its cities, its rulers, and its people were vulnerable to the judgment of Judah’s God. It was either outrageous delusion or great faith that led the prophet to utter this oracle of judgment against Egypt.”
–Vawter and Hoppe
“Thy justice like mountains high soaring above!”
5 Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
6 “Thus says the Lord:
Those who support Egypt shall fall,
and her proud might shall come down;
from Migdol to Syene
they shall fall within her by the sword,
declares the Lord God.
7 And they shall be desolated in the midst of desolated countries,
and their cities shall be in the midst of cities that are laid waste.
8 Then they will know that I am the Lord,
when I have set fire to Egypt,
and all her helpers are broken.
9 “On that day messengers shall go out from me in ships to terrify the unsuspecting people of Cush, and anguish shall come upon them on the day of Egypt’s doom; for, behold, it comes!
10 “Thus says the Lord God:
“I will put an end to the wealth of Egypt,
by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him, the most ruthless of nations,
shall be brought in to destroy the land,
and they shall draw their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
And Nebuchadnezzar will be God’s instrument of punishment. “Nebuchadnezzar will not come alone. He will be accompanied by his troops and a host of alien forces described as ‘the most barbarous of nations,’ an expression that struck terror in the heart of anyone.”
–Daniel I. Block
12 And I will dry up the Nile
and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers;
I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it,
by the hand of foreigners;
I am the Lord; I have spoken.
13 “Thus says the Lord God:
“I will destroy the idols
When God long before sent the plagues against Egypt (Exodus 7-11), each plague was directed against one of their idols. Now, many hundreds of years later, God promised to once again destroy the idols of Egypt, by bringing judgment to the land and exalting Himself over them.
“The Greek historian Herodotus related how Cambyses of Persia, son of Cyrus the Great, took Pelusium by setting before his army cats and dogs, sacred to Egypt, which the Egyptians would not attack.”
–Charles L. Feinberg
and put an end to the images in Memphis;
there shall no longer be a prince from the land of Egypt;
so I will put fear in the land of Egypt.
City by city, the prophet ticks off the list:
14 I will make Pathros a desolation
and will set fire to Zoan
and will execute judgments on Thebes.
15 And I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
the stronghold of Egypt,
and cut off the multitude of Thebes.
16 And I will set fire to Egypt;
Pelusium shall be in great agony;
Thebes shall be breached,
and Memphis shall face enemies by day.
17 The young men of On and of Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword,
and the women shall go into captivity.
18 At Tehaphnehes the day shall be dark,
when I break there the yoke bars of Egypt,
and her proud might shall come to an end in her;
she shall be covered by a cloud,
and her daughters shall go into captivity.
19 Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
“During Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, Pharaoh wouldn’t recognize the Lord; but now the nation would learn that the Lord God of the Hebrews was indeed the only true and living God.”
–Warren W. Wiersbe
Egypt Shall Fall to Babylon
20 In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and behold, it has not been bound up, to heal it by binding it with a bandage, so that it may become strong to wield the sword. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will break his arms, both the strong arm and the one that was broken, and I will make the sword fall from his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them through the countries. 24 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a man mortally wounded. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall.
“These apparently mighty monarchs of Egypt and Babylon were both in the hands of Jehovah. Their apparent successes and failures resulted from His action. They were completely in His power.”
–G. Campbell Morgan
Then they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. 26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
What a powerful God! He strengthens some and weakens others, according to His will! HERE is a song that worships a strong God: “Immortal, Invisible.”