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A Sad Day for Egypt

30 This is another message that came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, prophesy and give this message from the Sovereign Lord:

“Weep and wail
    for that day,
for the terrible day is almost here—
    the day of the Lord!
It is a day of clouds and gloom,
    a day of despair for the nations.
A sword will come against Egypt,
    and those who are slaughtered will cover the ground.
Its wealth will be carried away
    and its foundations destroyed.
The land of Ethiopia[a] will be ravished.
    Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all Arabia,[b]
and all their other allies
    will be destroyed in that war.

“For this is what the Lord says:
All of Egypt’s allies will fall,
    and the pride of her power will end.
From Migdol to Aswan[c]
    they will be slaughtered by the sword,
    says the Sovereign Lord.
Egypt will be desolate,
    surrounded by desolate nations,
and its cities will be in ruins,
    surrounded by other ruined cities.
And the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord
    when I have set Egypt on fire
    and destroyed all their allies.
At that time I will send swift messengers in ships
    to terrify the complacent Ethiopians.
Great panic will come upon them
    on that day of Egypt’s certain destruction.
Watch for it!
    It is sure to come!

10 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
By the power of King Nebuchadnezzar[d] of Babylon,
    I will destroy the hordes of Egypt.
11 He and his armies—the most ruthless of all—
    will be sent to demolish the land.
They will make war against Egypt
    until slaughtered Egyptians cover the ground.
12 I will dry up the Nile River
    and sell the land to wicked men.
I will destroy the land of Egypt and everything in it
    by the hands of foreigners.
    I, the Lord, have spoken!

13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will smash the idols[e] of Egypt
    and the images at Memphis.[f]
There will be no rulers left in Egypt;
    terror will sweep the land.
14 I will destroy southern Egypt,[g]
    set fire to Zoan,
    and bring judgment against Thebes.[h]
15 I will pour out my fury on Pelusium,[i]
    the strongest fortress of Egypt,
and I will stamp out
    the hordes of Thebes.
16 Yes, I will set fire to all Egypt!
    Pelusium will be racked with pain;
Thebes will be torn apart;
    Memphis will live in constant terror.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastis[j] will die in battle,
    and the women[k] will be taken away as slaves.
18 When I come to break the proud strength of Egypt,
    it will be a dark day for Tahpanhes, too.
A dark cloud will cover Tahpanhes,
    and its daughters will be led away as captives.
19 And so I will greatly punish Egypt,
    and they will know that I am the Lord.”

The Broken Arms of Pharaoh

20 On April 29,[l] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. His arm has not been put in a cast so that it may heal. Neither has it been bound up with a splint to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am the enemy of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt! I will break both of his arms—the good arm along with the broken one—and I will make his sword clatter to the ground. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians to many lands throughout the world. 24 I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king and put my sword in his hand. But I will break the arms of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he will lie there mortally wounded, groaning in pain. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, while the arms of Pharaoh fall useless to his sides. And when I put my sword in the hand of Babylon’s king and he brings it against the land of Egypt, Egypt will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, dispersing them throughout the earth. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Egypt Compared to Fallen Assyria

31 On June 21,[m] during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, give this message to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and all his hordes:

“To whom would you compare your greatness?
You are like mighty Assyria,
    which was once like a cedar of Lebanon,
with beautiful branches that cast deep forest shade
    and with its top high among the clouds.
Deep springs watered it
    and helped it to grow tall and luxuriant.
The water flowed around it like a river,
    streaming to all the trees nearby.
This great tree towered high,
    higher than all the other trees around it.
It prospered and grew long thick branches
    because of all the water at its roots.
The birds nested in its branches,
    and in its shade all the wild animals gave birth.
All the great nations of the world
    lived in its shadow.
It was strong and beautiful,
    with wide-spreading branches,
for its roots went deep
    into abundant water.
No other cedar in the garden of God
    could rival it.
No cypress had branches to equal it;
    no plane tree had boughs to compare.
No tree in the garden of God
    came close to it in beauty.
Because I made this tree so beautiful,
    and gave it such magnificent foliage,
it was the envy of all the other trees of Eden,
    the garden of God.

10 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because Egypt[n] became proud and arrogant, and because it set itself so high above the others, with its top reaching to the clouds, 11 I will hand it over to a mighty nation that will destroy it as its wickedness deserves. I have already discarded it. 12 A foreign army—the terror of the nations—has cut it down and left it fallen on the ground. Its branches are scattered across the mountains and valleys and ravines of the land. All those who lived in its shadow have gone away and left it lying there.

13 “The birds roost on its fallen trunk,
    and the wild animals lie among its branches.
14 Let the tree of no other nation
    proudly exult in its own prosperity,
though it be higher than the clouds
    and it be watered from the depths.
For all are doomed to die,
    to go down to the depths of the earth.
They will land in the pit
    along with everyone else on earth.

15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When Assyria went down to the grave,[o] I made the deep springs mourn. I stopped its rivers and dried up its abundant water. I clothed Lebanon in black and caused the trees of the field to wilt. 16 I made the nations shake with fear at the sound of its fall, for I sent it down to the grave with all the others who descend to the pit. And all the other proud trees of Eden, the most beautiful and the best of Lebanon, the ones whose roots went deep into the water, took comfort to find it there with them in the depths of the earth. 17 Its allies, too, were all destroyed and had passed away. They had gone down to the grave—all those nations that had lived in its shade.

18 “O Egypt, to which of the trees of Eden will you compare your strength and glory? You, too, will be brought down to the depths with all these other nations. You will lie there among the outcasts[p] who have died by the sword. This will be the fate of Pharaoh and all his hordes. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”


  1. 30:4 Hebrew Cush; similarly in 30:9.
  2. 30:5 Hebrew Cush, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Cub. Cub is otherwise unknown and may be another spelling for Lub (Libya).
  3. 30:6 Hebrew to Syene.
  4. 30:10 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
  5. 30:13a The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
  6. 30:13b Hebrew Noph; also in 30:16.
  7. 30:14a Hebrew Pathros.
  8. 30:14b Hebrew No; also in 30:15, 16.
  9. 30:15 Hebrew Sin; also in 30:16.
  10. 30:17a Hebrew of Awen and Pi-beseth.
  11. 30:17b Or and her cities.
  12. 30:20 Hebrew On the seventh day of the first month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on April 29, 587 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  13. 31:1 Hebrew On the first day of the third month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on June 21, 587 B.c.; also see note on 1:1.
  14. 31:10 Hebrew you.
  15. 31:15 Hebrew to Sheol; also in 31:16, 17.
  16. 31:18 Hebrew among the uncircumcised.

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