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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Ezekiel 29

Verses 1-21

EZEKIEL - CHAPTER 29

THE COMING FALL OF EGYPT

Verses 1-21:

Verses 1, 2 specify the date the word of the Lord came to Ezekiel to prophesy of coming judgment upon Egypt and Pharaoh her king. The message came to him January 10th, 586 B.C. it was the tenth year of the tenth month of the 12th day of Ezekiel’s captivity in Babylon, seven months before the fall of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 25:19; Jeremiah 44:30; Jeremiah 46:2; Isaiah 19:1-17; Isaiah 30:1-32.

Verse 3 directs Ezekiel to speak against Pharaoh (a term used to signify the king or chief ruler of Egypt). He was personified as the "great dragon," (18 to 20 ft. crocodile) that "lolled" about in the great Nile river, fed by smaller river branches. The king or Pharaoh had called it "his river," claiming to have made it for himself, Ezekiel was to make it clear to him that God was against him, v. 10; Ezekiel 28:22; Jeremiah 44:30; Ezekiel 32:2; Psalms 72:13-14; Isaiah 27:1; Isaiah 51:9.

Verse 4 foretells that in judging Pharaoh and Egypt God will put hooks in their jaws, lead them out like a wild beast. He would cause the fish of their rivers, a chief source of their food protein, to be drawn out of the rivers with Pharaoh, the old crocodile. The crocodile monsters were captured by placing a sharp hook through their nose or jaw, Job 41:1-2. As the flowing Nile denoted prosperity in Egypt so the depopulating it, of the crocodile and fish, denotes the fall of the people of Egypt, with their king and kingdom, 2 Kings 19:28; Job 41:1-2; Ezekiel 38:4; Isaiah 37:29; Amos 4:2.

Verse 5 asserts that the Lord purposed to judge Egypt by overthrowing and leaving her desolate in the wilderness and all the fish of her rivers. He would leave her in an open field, scattered, frustrated, not gathered together. She was to be given for meat to the carnivorous beasts of the fields and fowls or vultures of the heavens, as recounted or verified Jeremiah 8:2; Jeremiah 16:4; Jeremiah 25:33. This judgment denotes separation from the prosperity of the Nile river; And death without burial, in the open barren fields, in contrast with expensive mausoleums in which the Egyptians gloried. Each of Pharaoh’s dying subjects is seen as a part of him in judgment, Jeremiah 7:33.

Verse 6 adds that all the surviving inhabitants of Egypt should come to know by this judgment that the Lord was the true God. For they had once been a staff or reed (a strength of support) to the house of Israel; But now they were broken like a reed, 2 Kings 18:21; Isaiah 36:6. When Israel entered treaties with Egypt she found her to be like a broken reed.

Verse 7, 8 disclose that while Egypt had extended a hand of friendship to Israel, she had then treacherously torn her shoulders, or done her bodily harm: and when Israel leaned on Egypt she had broken her spirits and paralyzed her loins. Because of such the Lord announced that He would bring the sword, instrument of destruction, down upon her, to cut off or cut down man and beast, Ezekiel 14:17; Ezekiel 17:15-17; Jeremiah 37:5; Jeremiah 46:13.

Verse 9 restates prophetically that the land of Egypt will become a place of desolation and waste because Pharaoh, in making himself a god, had arrogantly asserted that the river (of Egypt) was his and he had himself made it, arrogating to himself creative powers, v. 3; Proverbs 16:18; Proverbs 18:12.

Verse 10 concludes that because of Pharaoh’s sins God was against him and the rivers and land of Egypt and was determined to send desolation upon them, from Migdol tower to Syene, even to the border of Ethiopia, Exodus 14:2; Jeremiah 44:1. The territory was from north of the Suez to the remote or extreme southern part of Egypt. None of the land was to escape desolation.

Verse 11 asserts that for a period of forty years no man, not even the foot of beast, would pass through the land, neither would it be inhabited for a forty year period of desolation from the Lord, Jeremiah 43:11-12; Jeremiah 46:19; Ezekiel 32:13. It is noted in history that the interval between Nebuchadnezzar’s overthrow of Egypt and the deliverance by Cyrus was about forty years, 572 B.C. to 532 B.C., Isaiah 19:2; Isaiah 19:11. The land was in civil degradation during all this period.

Verses 12 restates that the Lord will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, other countries and cities that Assyria had also conquered, Jeremiah 25:15-19; Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 27:11. The Egyptians too were to be scattered, carried captive like the Israelites, into other countries for a period of forty years. Yet, the Lord pledged that He would regather the Egyptians to their country after forty years from all the places they had been scattered, Jeremiah 46:19; Isaiah 19:22; Jeremiah 46:26.

Verse 14 further pledges that the Lord will bring again the captivity of Egypt to the land of Pathros, upper Egypt, the land of their nativity, where they should thereafter be a base kingdom, a low-grade nation among the heathen, a vassal or slave-like people, Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 44:1; Jeremiah 44:15; Ezekiel 30:14.

Verse 15 asserts that Egypt should become the basest (lowest), most degraded, of the kingdoms, nor would it ever thereafter exalt itself above the nations. For the Lord declared that He would diminish, weaken, or bring them so low in judgment that they should never rise again to rule over other nations, Ezekiel 17:6; Ezekiel 17:14; Ezekiel 30:13; Zechariah 10:11; See also Ezekiel 31:2; Ezekiel 32:2; Nahum 3:8-10. For the carnally proud and exalted shall be humbled, Luke 18:14; James 4:6; James 4:10; 1 Peter 5:6.

Verse 16 declares that Egypt would no more, after her fall and judgment, be the confident object of trust of the house of Israel. Their judgment and fall would bring to Israel’s remembrance her own vain trust in them, as a weak reed, on whom they wrongfully leaned for help against Assyria; But both Israel and Egypt, the once mighty gentile nation, after their judgment, would come to acknowledge that the Lord was God, Isaiah 20:5; Isaiah 30:1-3; Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 2:18-19; Jeremiah 2:36; Jeremiah 37:5; Jeremiah 37:7; Ezekiel 17:15; Ezekiel 29:6; See also Isaiah 64:9; Jeremiah 14:10; Ezekiel 21:23; Hosea 8:13; Lamentations 4:17.

Verse 17 is a transitional testimony of Ezekiel that about B.C. 571, about two years after Ezekiel’s prophecies is here introduced, out of chronological order, apparently in dealing with gentile nations, Isaiah 45:3; Jeremiah 27:6. It came to him in the twenty seventh year and on the first day of the first month, called Abib or April, Ezekiel 24:1; Ezekiel 26:1; Ezekiel 29:1; Ezekiel 30:20; Ezekiel 40:1.

Verse 18 describes how Nebuchadnezzar laid siege against Tyre for 13 years, 585-572 B.C. The siege was an economic failure. When he had no booty to pay his soldiers he invaded Egypt and took booty for his soldiers. Though the men wore their heads bald, carrying baskets of dirt and stone for the siege-work. When they overcame the city, she had shipped her wealth away, in the 13 years of the siege by sea, Jeremiah 25:9; Jeremiah 27:6; Jeremiah 48:37; Ezekiel 27:31.

Verse 19 discloses that after Nebuchadnezzar-had besieged and conquered Tyre, but found no pay for her soldiers in Tyre, because she had sent her treasures away by ship, by way of the sea, God, whom Nebuchadnezzar had served in judging Tyre, sent him on his way to overrun and judge Egypt where much booty was readily available for pay to his soldiers, Ezekiel 30:10; Ezekiel 30:24-25; Ezekiel 32:11; See also Jeremiah 43:10; Jeremiah 43:13; Ezekiel 30:14.

Verse 20 explains that God had given the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar for the labor he, as a gentile king, had performed in punishing Tyre. The booty of the land of Egypt, by the strength of the Lord, was captured by the Babylonian army, sanctioned as pay for the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Kings 10:30; Isaiah 10:6-7; Isaiah 45:1-3; Jeremiah 25:9.

Verse 21 foretells that on that day, of Egypt’s complete subjection, the Lord would cause Israel to be restored to her land (with a good remnant) and the Lord was to "open your mouth," that of Ezekiel, to witness in their midst, a matter about which the Bible seems to be silent thereafter; though it is revealed a goodly remnant was restored from Babylon, Psalms 9:2; Psalms 9:10; Psalms 31:17; 1 Samuel 2:10; See also Ezekiel 3:27; Ezekiel 24:27; Ezekiel 33:22; Amos 3:7-8; Luke 1:6; Luke 21:15. Horn represents or is a symbol of power, as used in the scripture, Jeremiah 48:25. NOTES:

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 29". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/ezekiel-29.html. 1985.