30 The word of the Eternal came to me with a lament for Egypt.
Eternal One: 2 Son of man, speak! Tell them this is what the Eternal Lord has to say:
Weep and wail,
for today is the day you’ve dreaded;
3 The day of God’s judgment is near;
the day of the Eternal is closing in!
It is a day of dark clouds and gloom
that foreshadows the doom of the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt,
agony will invade Ethiopia,
When the dead cover the land of Egypt,
when her wealth is taken away and her foundations are leveled.
5 Every nation in league with her will be destroyed in the war: Ethiopia,[a] Put, Lud, all of Arabia, and Libya.
6 Egypt’s friends will crumble
along with her arrogance, her proud strength.
From Migdol to Aswan,[b]
they will fall by the sword.
7 Egypt will be laid waste, a tragedy among tragedies, the most devastating of devastations! Her cities will lie in ruins, surrounded by the empty desolation of other ruined cities. 8 Then they will all know that I am the Eternal One after I burn down Egypt and demolish her allies. 9 On that day of destruction, I will dispatch messengers in ships to wake up the sleeping nation of Ethiopia. They will drown in agony when they hear the news of Egypt’s doom! They will know, “We’re next! Judgment is on the horizon!”
10-11 This is what the Eternal Lord has to say:
Eternal One: I will put an end to the wealth and population of Egypt
using the power of Nebuchadnezzar as My weapon.
I will dispatch the king of Babylon and his armies—
the most ruthless in the world—
to ravage the land!
They will unsheathe their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
12 I will dry up the waterways of the Nile
and sell the land to those who have evil designs.
I, the Eternal, promise to recruit foreigners
to destroy the land and plunder away everything of value.
13 I, the Eternal Lord, have this to say:
I will demolish the breathless idols
and destroy the vulgar images in Memphis.[c]
There won’t be a prince left in all the land of Egypt anymore;
I will infect the entire nation with a plague of fear!
14 I will crush Pathros in the south, set fire to Zoan in the delta,
and deliver a horrific punishment to Thebes[d] and all its temples.
15 I will drown Sin[e]—the great fortress of Egypt—in My wrath
and put an end to the wealth and population of Thebes.
16 I will set fire to all of Egypt!
Sin will writhe in pain.
Thebes will be torn apart;
day after day Memphis will live in fear.
17 The young soldiers of Heliopolis[f] and Pi-beseth will die in the battle;
the women will go into captivity.
In the ancient world, conquered peoples become the victors’ property. While the men are often killed, the women are taken away and used as slaves for various purposes.
18 An unnatural darkness will cover Tehaphnehes
when I destroy the dominion of Egypt.
I will put an end to her arrogance, her proud strength!
Dark clouds will veil her,
and her daughters will be led away as slaves.
19 This is how I will deliver My punishing judgments against Egypt;
then they will know that I am the Eternal One.
20 During the eleventh year, on the seventh day of the first month, the word of the Eternal came to me with a message about Egypt:
Eternal One: 21 Son of man, I’ve broken the arm of the Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Look! The bone has not yet been set, and his arm has not been splinted in order to promote healing. Therefore, he won’t be able to handle a sword to defend the nation’s power. 22 So this is what I, the Eternal Lord, have to say: Look! I oppose Pharaoh, king of Egypt. I will break both arms—the strong one and the already-broken one. I’ll make sure he’ll not be able to handle a sword! 23 I will scatter the Egyptians to the wind—dividing them among the nations. 24-25 Meanwhile I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king, and I will place My sword in his hand. But I will break Pharaoh’s arms, and the king of Egypt will groan with the pain of his injury before Nebuchadnezzar. So I will make the arms of Babylon’s king strong, even as the arms of Pharaoh grow weak and fall limp at his side. Then Egypt will know that I am the Eternal One—when I place My sword in the hands of the Babylonian king and he wields it against the land of Egypt. 26 When I scatter the Egyptians to the wind and divide them among the nations, they will know that I am the Eternal One.