A Prophecy Against Egypt

Judgment on Pharaoh

29 In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came to me:(A) “Son of man, set your face against(B) Pharaoh king of Egypt(C) and prophesy against him and against all Egypt.(D) Speak to him and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

“‘I am against you, Pharaoh(E) king of Egypt,
    you great monster(F) lying among your streams.
You say, “The Nile(G) belongs to me;
    I made it for myself.”
But I will put hooks(H) 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)
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(J) or picked up.
I will give you as food
    to the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky.(K)

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

“‘You have been a staff of reed(L) for the people of Israel. When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered(M) and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched.[a](N)

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

“‘Because you said, “The Nile(P) is mine; I made it,(Q) 10 therefore I am against you(R) and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt(S) a ruin and a desolate waste(T) from Migdol(U) to Aswan,(V) as far as the border of Cush.[b](W) 11 The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years.(X) 12 I will make the land of Egypt desolate(Y) 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.(Z)

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,(AA) the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly(AB) kingdom.(AC) 15 It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations.(AD) 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(AE) for the people of Israel but will be a reminder(AF) of their sin in turning to her for help.(AG) Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.(AH)’”

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:(AI) 18 “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar(AJ) king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare(AK) and every shoulder made raw.(AL) 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(AM) of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder(AN) the land as pay for his army.(AO) 20 I have given him Egypt(AP) as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign Lord.(AQ)

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

A Lament Over Egypt

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

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

Cush and Libya,(BA) Lydia and all Arabia,(BB) Kub and the people(BC) of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.(BD)

“‘This is what the Lord says:

“‘The allies of Egypt will fall
    and her proud strength will fail.
From Migdol to Aswan(BE)
    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.(BF)
Then they will know that I am the Lord,
    when I set fire(BG) to Egypt
    and all her helpers are crushed.(BH)

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

10 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

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

I the Lord have spoken.

13 “‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:

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

Pharaoh’s Arms Are Broken

20 In the eleventh year, in the first month on the seventh day, the word of the Lord came to me:(CF) 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm(CG) of Pharaoh(CH) king of Egypt. It has not been bound up to be healed(CI) or put in a splint so that it may become strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt.(CJ) I will break both his arms, the good arm as well as the broken one, and make the sword fall from his hand.(CK) 23 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.(CL) 24 I will strengthen(CM) the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword(CN) in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan(CO) before him like a mortally wounded man. 25 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(CP) into the hand of the king of Babylon and he brandishes it against Egypt.(CQ) 26 I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.(CR)

Pharaoh as a Felled Cedar of Lebanon

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

“‘Who can be compared with you in majesty?
Consider Assyria,(CU) once a cedar in Lebanon,(CV)
    with beautiful branches overshadowing the forest;
it towered on high,
    its top above the thick foliage.(CW)
The waters(CX) 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.(CY)
So it towered higher(CZ)
    than all the trees of the field;
its boughs increased
    and its branches grew long,
    spreading because of abundant waters.(DA)
All the birds of the sky
    nested in its boughs,
all the animals of the wild
    gave birth(DB) under its branches;
all the great nations
    lived in its shade.(DC)
It was majestic in beauty,
    with its spreading boughs,
for its roots went down
    to abundant waters.(DD)
The cedars(DE) in the garden of God
    could not rival it,
nor could the junipers
    equal its boughs,
nor could the plane trees(DF)
    compare with its branches—
no tree in the garden of God
    could match its beauty.(DG)
I made it beautiful
    with abundant branches,
the envy of all the trees of Eden(DH)
    in the garden of God.(DI)

10 “‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because the great cedar towered over the thick foliage, and because it was proud(DJ) of its height, 11 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,(DK) 12 and the most ruthless of foreign nations(DL) cut it down and left it. Its boughs fell on the mountains and in all the valleys;(DM) 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.(DN) 13 All the birds settled on the fallen tree, and all the wild animals lived among its branches.(DO) 14 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(DP) for death,(DQ) for the earth below, among mortals who go down to the realm of the dead.(DR)

15 “‘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.(DS) 16 I made the nations tremble(DT) 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(DU) of Eden,(DV) the choicest and best of Lebanon, the well-watered trees, were consoled(DW) in the earth below.(DX) 17 They too, like the great cedar, had gone down to the realm of the dead, to those killed by the sword,(DY) along with the armed men who lived in its shade among the nations.

18 “‘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,(DZ) with those killed by the sword.

“‘This is Pharaoh and all his hordes, 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

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