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Bible Commentaries

Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Ezekiel 32

Verse 1

In the twelfth month - About one year and seven months after the destruction of Jerusalem. In the meantime had occurred the murder of Gedaliah and the flight into Egypt of the Jews left behind by the Chaldaeans Jer. 41–43. Jeremiah, who had accompanied them, foretold their ruin Jeremiah 44:0 in a prophecy probably contemporaneous with the present - the sixth against Egypt, delivered in the form of a dirge Ezekiel 44:2-16.

Verse 2

Thou art like ... - Rather, Thou wouldest be like to (others, “wast likened unto”) a young lion.

And thou art - In contrast to what thou wouldest be.

A whale - Rather, crocodile (marginal reference note). Pharaoh should have been like the king of beasts, but he is a mere sea-monster. There is strong irony here, because the Egyptian king was proud of the comparison between himself and the mighty crocodile.

Seas - The word is often used of the waters of a great river, like the Nile.

Thou camest forth with thy rivers - Rather, thou didst burst forth in “thy rivers” as the crocodile does from the water into which he has plunged.

Verse 5

The prophet passes from the image of the crocodile to that of dead bodies of the slain heaped up on the land. Some render “height,” “foulness.”

Verse 9

When I shall bring thy destruction - i. e., the news of thy destruction. The phenomena here mentioned are the accompaniments of “the day of the Lord” Joel 2:10; Luke 21:25 or the day of judgment. The fall of Pharaoh represents the fall of the world-power before the sovereignty of God.

Verse 14

A promise of a return of God’s favor. This concerns not the restoration of Egypt’s original power, but the establishment of the Divine Ruler in the place of a pagan God-opposing power.

Verse 16

Daughters of the nations - Pagan kingdoms.

Verse 17

The seventh prophecy against Egypt Ezekiel 32:17-32. A funeral dirge founded on Ezekiel 31:18. The figure is the same as in Isaiah 14:0, where see the notes. In this dirge Pharaoh is especially addressed. The other nations are represented by their kings, the nations’ overthrow being depicted by the king’s body laid low in the grave.

The month - i. e., the twelfth (see Ezekiel 32:1).

Verse 19

whom dost thou pass in beauty? - Thou art not more beautiful than other nations: thou shalt not escape their fate.

Verse 20

She is delivered to the sword - Rather, the sword is put forth. Draw her down as one dragged to execution.

Verse 21

The uncircumcised - throughout this dirge is equivalent to pagan viewed as impure (Ezekiel 31:18 note).

Verse 22

In Jeremiah 25:0 there is an enumeration of nations destined to be subject to the fury of the Chaldaeans. Here we find those of them who had already fallen not named by Jeremiah. Asshur is the king of Assyria, representing as usual the whole nation. The king is surrounded by the graves of his people.

Verse 24

See the marginal referenc. Elam answers to the country known to the Greeks and Romans as Elymais, near Persia and Media. The Elamites were a fierce and warlike people. In the records of Assurbanipal his final triumph over Elam seems to have been one of his proudest boasts. Elam no doubt in the decline of Assyrian power again asserted its independence and was again crushed by the Chaldaean conqueror.

Verse 27

And they shall not lie - Better, “Shall they not lie?” or, “Are they not laid?” The custom of burying warriors with their swords, shields, or helmets, raider their heads is well known, and common to most warlike nations.

But their iniquities ... - They, rested in all the glories of a warrior’s sepulture, but their sins followed them to the grave.

Verse 30

The princes of the north - i. e., north of Palestine - The Tyrians and the Syrians.

With their terror they are ashamed of their might - i. e., “When their might and power were terrible to all, they were shorn of their power and delivered over to shame and confusion.” There are here six nations, Asshur, Elam, Meshech, Tubal, Edom, Zidon, which added to Egypt make up seven (see the Ezekiel 25:1 note). The section which contains the prophecies against the pagan, closing with this description of the kings who had gone down to the grave, accords with the general purport of the whole section, namely,: the declaration that all the powers of the world shall be annihilated to make way for the kingdom of God.

Verse 31

Comforted - By the knowledge that his ruin is no more than that of every world-power.

Verse 32

My terror - Better “his terror,” the terror caused by him.

The land of the living - The land of God’s people. It was Yahweh who caused Pharaoh to be terrible to His people, and now, when the time is come, Pharaoh is fallen, and he is laid etc.

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Ezekiel 32". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bnb/ezekiel-32.html. 1870.