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The Destruction of the Crocodile
Pharaoh is compared to the crocodile of the Nile. God will drag him forth with hooks, and cast him, with the fish that stick to his scales, into the wilderness, as a punishment for his deception of Israel (Ezekiel 29:1-7). Egypt will be desolate for forty years (Ezekiel 29:8-12), after which it will be restored, but not to its former greatness (Ezekiel 29:13-15). Israel will no longer place a mistaken confidence in it (Ezekiel 29:16).
1. The tenth year.. the tenth month] January-February, 587 b.c., about seven months before the fall of Jerusalem.
2. Pharaoh] The king of Egypt at this time was Pharaoh-hophra (Apries): see Jeremiah 44:30. He reigned from 588-569 b.c.
3. Dragon] the crocodile. His rivers] the Nile and its branches.
4. Fish] the subjects of Pharaoh. 6, 7. This was the constant character of Egypt in its relations with Israel. It incited Israel by promises of help to rebel against Assyria or Babylon, and failed in the hour of need: see 2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 30:7; Isaiah 31:8; Jeremiah 37:7.
10. From the tower of Syene] RM ’from Migdol to Syene,’ and so in Jeremiah 30:6. The places named represent the N. and S. extremities of the country. Migdol was a town in Lower Egypt. Syene is the modern Assouan, in Upper Egypt.
11, 12. Forty years] a round number, standing for a full generation, as in Ezekiel 4:6. The period represented Ezekiel’s forecast of the duration of Babylonian supremacy: see Jeremiah 25:9-11, Jeremiah 25:19.
14. Pathros] Upper Egypt.
For Ezekiel 29:17-21 see the end of the Section, after Ezekiel 32.
§ 3. Egypt (Ezekiel 29-32)
The most of this series of prophecies against Egypt are connected with dates during the siege of Jerusalem, the time when Ezekiel was silent as a prophet of Israel. They were therefore probably written rather than spoken. Ezekiel 32 is dated in the year after the fall of Jerusalem, and Ezekiel 29:17-21 belongs to a much later time. In chronological order the series includes (1) the destruction of the crocodile (Ezekiel 29:1-16), (2) the invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadrezzar (Ezekiel 30:1-19), (3) the breaking of Pharaoh’s arms (Ezekiel 30:20-26), (4) the fall of the great cedar (Ezekiel 31), (5) two lamentations for Pharaoh and Egypt (c 32), (6) Egypt substituted for Tyre (Ezekiel 29:17-21).
Egypt as Nebuchadrezzar’s Wages for the Siege of Tyre
This is the latest of Ezekiel’s dated prophecies, and was uttered nearly sixteen years after the destruction of Jerusalem. Nebuchadrezzar’s siege of Tyre was now over, and had not ended so successfully as Ezekiel prophesied in Ezekiel 26-28. Ezekiel now proclaimed that Egypt would be substituted for Tyre as Nebuchadrezzar’s reward, and concluded with a promise of revival to Israel.
17. The seven and twentieth year, the first month] March-April, 570 b.c.
20. They wrought for me] Nebuchadrezzar and his army were God’s instruments.
21. The humiliation of Egypt would open the way for Israel’s restoration, and the prophet would no longer be silenced by the incredulity of his people.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 29". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany