New International Version - UK

Ezekiel 29

A prophecy against Egypt

Judgment on Pharaoh

1In 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,’ 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.[b] 11 The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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.”’

Nebuchadnezzar’s reward

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

21 ‘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.’

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 symbolises strength.

New International Reader's Version

Ezekiel 29

A Prophecy Against Egypt

1It was the tenth year since King Jehoiachin had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner. On the 12th day of the tenth month, a message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “Son of man, turn your attention to Pharaoh Hophra. He is king of Egypt. Prophesy against him and the whole land of Egypt. Tell him, ‘The Lord and King says,

“ ‘ “Pharaoh Hophra, I am against you.
    King of Egypt, you are like a huge monster
    lying among your streams.
You say, ‘The Nile River belongs to me.
    I made it for myself.’
But I will put hooks in your jaws.
    I will make the fish in your streams
    stick to your scales.
I will pull you out from among your streams.
    All the fish will stick to your scales.
I will leave you out in the desert.
    All the fish in your streams
    will be there with you.
You will fall down in an open field.
    You will not be picked up.
I will feed you to the wild animals
    and to the birds in the sky.

Then everyone who lives in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.

“ ‘ “You have been like a walking stick made out of a papyrus stem. The people of Israel tried to lean on you. They took hold of you. But you broke under their weight. You tore open their shoulders. The people of Israel leaned on you. But you snapped in two. And their backs were broken.” ’ ”

So the Lord and King says, “I will send Nebuchadnezzar’s sword against you. He will kill people and animals alike. Egypt will become a dry and empty desert. Then your people will know that I am the Lord.

“You said, ‘The Nile River belongs to me. I made it for myself.’ 10 So I am against you and your streams. I will destroy the land of Egypt. I will turn it into a dry and empty desert from Migdol all the way to Aswan. I will destroy everything as far as the border of Cush. 11 No people or animals will travel through Egypt. No one will even live there for 40 years. 12 Egypt will be more empty than any other land. Its destroyed cities will lie empty for 40 years. I will scatter the people of Egypt among the nations. I will send them to other countries.”

13 But here is what the Lord and King says. “At the end of 40 years I will gather the Egyptians together. I will bring them back from the nations where they were scattered. 14 I will bring them back from where they were taken as prisoners. I will return them to Upper Egypt. That is where their families came from. There they will be an unimportant kingdom. 15 Egypt will be the least important kingdom of all. It will never place itself above the other nations again. I will make it very weak. Then it will never again rule over the nations. 16 The people of Israel will no longer trust in Egypt. Instead, Egypt will remind them of how they sinned when they turned to it for help. Then they will know that I am the Lord and King.”

17 It was the 27th year since King Jehoiachin had been brought to Babylon as a prisoner. On the first day of the first month, a message from the Lord came to me. Here is what the Lord said. 18 “Son of man, King Nebuchadnezzar drove his army in a hard military campaign. The campaign was against Tyre. Their helmets rubbed their heads bare. The heavy loads they carried made their shoulders raw. But he and his army did not gain anything from the campaign he led against Tyre. 19 So I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. He will carry off its wealth. He will take away anything else they have. He will give it to his army. 20 I have given Egypt to him as a reward for his efforts. After all, he and his army attacked Egypt because I told them to,” announces the Lord and King.

21 “When Nebuchadnezzar wins the battle over Egypt, I will make the Israelites strong again. Ezekiel, I will open your mouth. And you will be able to speak to them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”