Ezekiel 29-32

A Prophecy Against Egypt

Judgment on Pharaoh

In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 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.
You say, “The Nile belongs to me;
    I made it for myself.”
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.
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.

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

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

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring a sword against you and kill both man and beast. Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the Lord.

“‘Because you said, “The Nile is mine; I made it,” 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.[b] The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.

“‘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. 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. 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. 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.’”

Nebuchadnezzar’s Reward

In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: “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. 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. I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign Lord.

“On that day I will make a horn[c] grow for the Israelites, and I will open your mouth among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

A Lament Over Egypt

The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, prophesy and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘Wail and say,
    “Alas for that day!”
For the day is near,
    the day of the Lord is near—
a day of clouds,
    a time of doom for the nations.
A sword will come against Egypt,
    and anguish will come upon Cush.[d]
When the slain fall in Egypt,
    her wealth will be carried away
    and her foundations torn down.

Cush and Libya, Lydia and all Arabia, Kub and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

“‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘The allies of Egypt will fall
    and her proud strength will fail.
From Migdol to Aswan
    they will fall by the sword within her,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
“‘They will be desolate
    among desolate lands,
and their cities will lie
    among ruined cities.
Then they will know that I am the Lord,
    when I set fire to Egypt
    and all her helpers are crushed.

“‘On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt’s doom, for it is sure to come.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt
    by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
He and his army—the most ruthless of nations—
    will be brought in to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt
    and fill the land with the slain.
I will dry up the waters of the Nile
    and sell the land to an evil nation;
by the hand of foreigners
    I will lay waste the land and everything in it.

I the Lord have spoken.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘I will destroy the idols
    and put an end to the images in Memphis.
No longer will there be a prince in Egypt,
    and I will spread fear throughout the land.
I will lay waste Upper Egypt,
    set fire to Zoan
    and inflict punishment on Thebes.
I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
    the stronghold of Egypt,
    and wipe out the hordes of Thebes.
I will set fire to Egypt;
    Pelusium will writhe in agony.
Thebes will be taken by storm;
    Memphis will be in constant distress.
The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis
    will fall by the sword,
    and the cities themselves will go into captivity.
Dark will be the day at Tahpanhes
    when I break the yoke of Egypt;
    there her proud strength will come to an end.
She will be covered with clouds,
    and her villages will go into captivity.
So I will inflict punishment on Egypt,
    and they will know that I am the Lord.’”

Pharaoh’s Arms Are Broken

In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt. It has not been bound up to be healed or put in a splint so that it may become strong enough to hold a sword. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt. I will break both his arms, the good arm as well as the broken one, and make the sword fall from his hand. I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 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 mortally wounded man. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall limp. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he brandishes it against Egypt. I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon

In the eleventh year, in the third month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, say to Pharaoh king of Egypt and to his hordes:

“‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
Consider Assyria, once a cedar in Lebanon,
    with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high,
    its top above the thick foliage.
The waters nourished it,
    deep springs made it grow tall;
their streams flowed
    all around its base
and sent their channels
    to all the trees of the field.
So it towered higher
    than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
    and its branches grew long,
    spreading because of abundant waters.
All the birds of the sky
    nested in its boughs,
all the animals of the wild
    gave birth under its branches;
all the great nations
    lived in its shade.
It was majestic in beauty,
    with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.
The cedars in the garden of God
    could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
    equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees
    compare with its branches—
no tree in the garden of God
    could match its beauty.
I made it beautiful
    with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden
    in the garden of God.

“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud of its height, I gave it into the hands of the ruler of the nations, for him to deal with according to its wickedness. I cast it aside, and the most ruthless of foreign nations cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys; its branches lay broken in all the ravines of the land. All the nations of the earth came out from under its shade and left it. All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches. Therefore no other trees by the waters are ever to tower proudly on high, lifting their tops above the thick foliage. No other trees so well-watered are ever to reach such a height; they are all destined for death, for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On the day it was brought down to the realm of the dead I covered the deep springs with mourning for it; I held back its streams, and its abundant waters were restrained. Because of it I clothed Lebanon with gloom, and all the trees of the field withered away. I made the nations tremble at the sound of its fall when I brought it down to the realm of the dead to be with those who go down to the pit. Then all the trees of Eden, the choicest and best of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled in the earth below. They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword, along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.

“‘Which of the trees of Eden can be compared with you in splendor and majesty? Yet you, too, will be brought down with the trees of Eden to the earth below; you will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.

“‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”

A Lament Over Pharaoh

In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:

“‘You are like a lion among the nations;
    you are like a monster in the seas
thrashing about in your streams,
    churning the water with your feet
    and muddying the streams.

“‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘With a great throng of people
    I will cast my net over you,
    and they will haul you up in my net.
I will throw you on the land
    and hurl you on the open field.
I will let all the birds of the sky settle on you
    and all the animals of the wild gorge themselves on you.
I will spread your flesh on the mountains
    and fill the valleys with your remains.
I will drench the land with your flowing blood
    all the way to the mountains,
    and the ravines will be filled with your flesh.
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens
    and darken their stars;
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
    and the moon will not give its light.
All the shining lights in the heavens
    I will darken over you;
    I will bring darkness over your land,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
I will trouble the hearts of many peoples
    when I bring about your destruction among the nations,
    among[e] lands you have not known.
I will cause many peoples to be appalled at you,
    and their kings will shudder with horror because of you
    when I brandish my sword before them.
On the day of your downfall
    each of them will tremble
    every moment for his life.

“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
    will come against you.
I will cause your hordes to fall
    by the swords of mighty men—
    the most ruthless of all nations.
They will shatter the pride of Egypt,
    and all her hordes will be overthrown.
I will destroy all her cattle
    from beside abundant waters
no longer to be stirred by the foot of man
    or muddied by the hooves of cattle.
Then I will let her waters settle
    and make her streams flow like oil,
declares the Sovereign Lord.
When I make Egypt desolate
    and strip the land of everything in it,
when I strike down all who live there,
    then they will know that I am the Lord.’

“This is the lament they will chant for her. The daughters of the nations will chant it; for Egypt and all her hordes they will chant it, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

Egypt’s Descent Into the Realm of the Dead

In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, wail for the hordes of Egypt and consign to the earth below both her and the daughters of mighty nations, along with those who go down to the pit. Say to them, ‘Are you more favored than others? Go down and be laid among the uncircumcised.’ They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; let her be dragged off with all her hordes. From within the realm of the dead the mighty leaders will say of Egypt and her allies, ‘They have come down and they lie with the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.’

“Assyria is there with her whole army; she is surrounded by the graves of all her slain, all who have fallen by the sword. Their graves are in the depths of the pit and her army lies around her grave. All who had spread terror in the land of the living are slain, fallen by the sword.

“Elam is there, with all her hordes around her grave. All of them are slain, fallen by the sword. All who had spread terror in the land of the living went down uncircumcised to the earth below. They bear their shame with those who go down to the pit. A bed is made for her among the slain, with all her hordes around her grave. All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword. Because their terror had spread in the land of the living, they bear their shame with those who go down to the pit; they are laid among the slain.

“Meshek and Tubal are there, with all their hordes around their graves. All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword because they spread their terror in the land of the living. But they do not lie with the fallen warriors of old,[f] who went down to the realm of the dead with their weapons of war—their swords placed under their heads and their shields[g] resting on their bones—though these warriors also had terrorized the land of the living.

“You too, Pharaoh, will be broken and will lie among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword.

“Edom is there, her kings and all her princes; despite their power, they are laid with those killed by the sword. They lie with the uncircumcised, with those who go down to the pit.

“All the princes of the north and all the Sidonians are there; they went down with the slain in disgrace despite the terror caused by their power. They lie uncircumcised with those killed by the sword and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit.

“Pharaoh—he and all his army—will see them and he will be consoled for all his hordes that were killed by the sword, declares the Sovereign Lord. Although I had him spread terror in the land of the living, Pharaoh and all his hordes will be laid among the uncircumcised, with those killed by the sword, declares the Sovereign Lord.”


Footnotes
  1. Ezekiel 29:7 Syriac (see also Septuagint and Vulgate); Hebrew and you caused their backs to stand
  2. Ezekiel 29:10 That is, the upper Nile region
  3. Ezekiel 29:21 Horn here symbolizes strength.
  4. Ezekiel 30:4 That is, the upper Nile region; also in verses 5 and 9
  5. Ezekiel 32:9 Hebrew; Septuagint bring you into captivity among the nations, / to
  6. Ezekiel 32:27 Septuagint; Hebrew warriors who were uncircumcised
  7. Ezekiel 32:27 Probable reading of the original Hebrew text; Masoretic Text punishment

Read More of Ezekiel 29