Egypt is cursed and dies
|The date was 585 BC. Jerusalem had fallen the year before. This chapter completes a series of prophecies against Egypt. Verses 1-16 describe it as a dragon. The remainder of the chapter is a funeral dirge as Egypt sinks into its grave (she'ol.)|
¶ And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in
the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
.2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers.
3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my net.
Thou art like a young lion Should read "You have seen yourself as a young lion."
Whale Hebrew tannim for "dragon." The intent may have been "crocodile."
Net over thee Compare ez2904.
The "lion" in the photo is apparently a camel. I found the image on a search under "lion" and "pharaoh." © Corel
| 4 Then will I leave thee upon
the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all
the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts
of the whole earth with thee.
5 And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height.
6 I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee.
|This reminds us of the plague of waters turned to blood ex0719. Many would die by the sword of Babylon.|
| 7 And when I shall put thee
out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover
the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.
8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
9 I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known.
.10 Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall.
| 7 -
... dark ... cover the sun These were objects of worship.
10 - Kings ... horribly afraid The Lord put fear in their hearts.
| 11 For thus saith the Lord
GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee.
12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed.
13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts trouble them.
14 Then will I make their waters deep, and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD.
- Terrible of the nations See ez3011.
Many nations were conquered by Babylon.
14 - Make the waters deep Literally "Cause their waters to sink down." Animals and people along the river would no longer trample the water v13. Active life would cease.
15 When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate, and the country shall
be destitute of that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all them that
dwell therein, then shall they know that I am the LORD.
16 This is the lamentation wherewith they shall lament her: the daughters of the nations shall lament her: they shall lament for her, even for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
16 - Daughters of the nations According to customs, women were hired to mourn 2sa0124, je0917. The intent here may be to show the suffering of women who lost sons and husbands would mourn as would the women of Egypt. Compare re1809.
The desert picture is apparently of the Valley of the Kings showing tomb openings.
| 17 ¶ It came to pass
also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word
of the LORD came unto me, saying,
.18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.
.19 Whom dost thou pass ["surpass" RSV] in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised.
20 They shall fall in the midst of them that are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes.
- It came to pass Only days after the previous vision v1.
18 - Nether parts That is she'ol. See on pr1511 where concepts describing death are listed.
19 - Laid with the uncircumcised Circumcision was practiced in Egypt before the time of the Israelites. Being placed in the grave beside an uncircumcised man would have been a dishonor. This picture shows that the prophecy is in figurative language. The uncircumcised who had been slain are from other nations: Assur, Elam, Edom, and so on as we see in the next verses. The message is that these slain had met the same fate. However, the bodies were not all in a mass grave in Egypt.
The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell
with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain
by the sword.
22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:
23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living.
|21 - Hell See on ez3115. Many who had fallen in battle from other nations, listed in the next verses, were in the realm of the dead. See on v19 just above.|
| 24 There is Elam and all her
multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword,
which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which
caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their
shame with them that go down to the pit.
25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain.
| 26 There is Meshech, Tubal,
and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised,
slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the
.27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are slain with the sword.
- Meshech, Tubal Noted on Assyrian inscriptions.
27 - They shall not lie The Syriac and Septuagint manuscripts read "they shall lie" which seems more in harmony with the context. Pharaoh v1, v19 would receive the same fate as we see the conclusion in the next verse.
| 29 There is Edom, her kings,
and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were
slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them
that go down to the pit.
30 There be the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword, and bear their shame with them that go down to the pit.
31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.
32 For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
|31 - Pharaoh ... comforted The conclusion of the symbolic warning v18 is that Pharaoh would go down and be buried as were other kings and their armies. Egypt would have had historical accounts of battles. Damascus had been destroyed not much earlier. The Pharaoh addressed would have also have been reminded of the earlier Pharaoh who died with his army in the Red Sea. The "comfort" was really present anxiety. Egyptian kings thought they would go to a happy spirit world. Ezekiel's message was that, instead of being surrounded in death by bliss, they would die as nations who had other gods and no Egyptian god or pyramid would protect them from the outcome. On Egyptian pride, see beginning at ex1423, ex1501.|