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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel

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FRAMEWORKS: Ezekiel 29: Prophecies, Parts 1 & 2 against Egypt

 

Context

Part 5b Egypt

Ch.29 Prophecies, Parts 1 & 2 against Egypt

Ch.30 – Prophecies, Parts 3 & 4 against Egypt

Ch.31 – Prophecy, Part 5 against Egypt

Ch.32 – Prophecies, Parts 6 & 7 against Egypt

  

    

[Preliminary Comment : The next FOUR chapters turn the focus on Egypt with seven prophecies beginning with the familiar, “the word of the Lord came to me”. The first two in this chapter first denounce Pharaoh's pride and then his failure to support Israel and then they go on to declare that the Lord will use Nebuchadnezzar to humble and bring down Egypt for forty years. Note that although we refer to seven prophecies they were mostly sequential – see the dating in 29:1, 29:17, 30:20, 31:11, 32:1, 32:17 There was no dating for the 3 rd prophecy which means we assume it was at the same time as the 2 nd one which appears to come seventeen years later than the first one. 4-7 seem to flow on chronologically from the first one. See the Introduction to Ezekiel for notes on timing.]

 

 

v.1,2 Start of the FIRST Word against Egypt

v.1   In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, [1] the word of the Lord came to me:

v.2  ‘Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt.

 

[Notes: The year is probably 587BC the year of the fall of Jerusalem. The Lord is calling Pharaoh and all Egypt to account.]

 

v.3-6a First two complaints about Egypt – pride

v.3  Speak to him and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

‘“I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt,
    you great monster lying among your streams.
[i] You say, ‘The Nile belongs to me;
    
[ii] I made it for myself.'
v.4  But I will put hooks in your jaws
    and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales.
I will pull you out from among your streams,
    with all the fish sticking to your scales.
v.5  I will leave you in the desert,
    you and all the fish of your streams.
You will fall on the open field
    and not be gathered or picked up.
I will give you as food
    to the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky.

v.6  Then all who live in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.

 

[Notes: Because they made such a thing of the Nile [a god], Pharaoh is portrayed as a river monster who God will pull out from its safe environment.]

 

v.6b-9a Third complaint – you failed to be a support to Israel

[iii] ‘“You have been a staff of reed for the people of Israel.

v.7  When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched.

v.‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring a sword against you and kill both man and beast.

v.9  Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

 

[Notes: Moreover, even when Israel should have turned to the Lord for their support but instead turned to Egypt for support, they were still God's people and Egypt did not support them accordingly.]

 

v.9b-12 First two complaints reiterated and condemnation – desolation

[i & ii] ‘“Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine; I made it,'

v.10  therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush.

v.11  The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years.

v.12  I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate for forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.

 

[Notes: Because of their pride [and robbing God of His glory as Creator?] the Lord would humble them by bringing them down for a forty-year humbling period.]

 

v.13-16 Although the Lord will restore them after forty years they will be humbled

v.13  ‘“Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: at the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered.

v.14  I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt, the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly kingdom.

v.15  It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations.

v.16  Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”'

 

[Notes: They will be exiled for forty years to do this, but then the Lord will have them returned to their land – weak and humbled.]

 

v.17-21 The SECOND Word – Nebuchadnezzar will come

v.17   In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, [2] the word of the Lord came to me:

v.18  ‘Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre.

v.19  Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army.

v.20  I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign Lord.

v.21  ‘On that day I will make a horn grow for the Israelites, and I will open your mouth among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.'

 

[Notes: In the second word that comes to Ezekiel about Egypt, the Lord declares that He will use Nebuchadnezzar to bring them down. Note that if the dating is right, this prophecy came seventeen years later than the previous one. We should see these four chapters as simply a collection of the prophecies that Ezekiel brought at various times against Egypt.]

    

    

Continue to Chapter 30