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This chapter has two judgment announcements: the judgment on Egypt (Ezekiel 30:1-Psalms :) and the judgment on Pharaoh (Ezekiel 30:20-:). The first section can be divided into two sections: Ezekiel 30:1-2 Kings : deal with the judgment day for all of Egypt; Ezekiel 30:13-Psalms : deal with the judgment on the individual cities of Egypt.
The Judgment Day Upon Egypt
The word of the LORD comes to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 30:1). He is commanded to wail because of the judgment day that is coming upon Egypt on behalf of the LORD (Ezekiel 30:2). That judgment day is called “the day of the LORD” (Ezekiel 30:3) and is seen as “near”. This expression is usually used to refer to the period beginning with the Lord Jesus taking His public authority into His hands and culminating in the realm of peace. In a narrower sense, the day of the LORD refers to the first time of that period when He begins to judge the world, which is after the rapture of the church and specifically the time of the great tribulation.
The judgment on Egypt is reminiscent of that day and points forward to it. The clouds indicate heavy thunderstorms and symbolize the time of the coming judgments on the nations.
The sword of the king of Babylon will come upon Egypt when Nebuchadnezzar’s armies invade Egypt (Ezekiel 30:4). He will kill many with the sword. The slaughter will be so fierce that Ethiopia south of Egypt will be seized with anguish when the message reaches them. Nebuchadnezzar will rob Egypt of its abundance and tear down its foundations, making reconstruction of the land impossible.
Nebuchadnezzar will also deal with people from all kinds of countries who support Egypt (Ezekiel 30:5). Probably we can think of mercenaries from those countries that Egypt has hired to be stronger against the king of Babylon. By “the people of the land that is in league [literally “of the covenant”] may be meant the Judeans who fled to Egypt. But all “those who support Egypt will fall” (Ezekiel 30:6). The pride of Egypt will sink and disappear. The land and cities of Egypt will be devastated (Ezekiel 30:7).
The LORD will give up Egypt to the fire of destruction (Ezekiel 30:8). All who help Egypt will be crushed. This is how they will know that He is the LORD. He deals with them, using Nebuchadnezzar as His tool. The fleeing Egyptians, as true emissaries of the LORD, will go out in ships to neighboring countries to tell them what has happened to them from the LORD (Ezekiel 30:9). The news of “the day of Egypt”, that is, the day when judgment comes on Egypt – and “behold, it comes!”, that day will surely come! –, will cause terror and paralyzing pain to all who hear of it.
The instrument the LORD will use to judge Egypt is Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon (Ezekiel 30:10). He will put an end to the hordes of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar’s armies are made up of the most violent people from the nations he has conquered (Ezekiel 30:11). The composition of his army guarantees a ruthless slaughter, which will bring the land to ruin and be filled with the slain.
By “evil men” and “strangers” are meant the Babylonians (Ezekiel 30:12). The LORD uses their “hand” to bring devastation upon Egypt. They will drain the canals, the Nile arms. These canals provide fertility for the land. When the water can no longer be brought over the land, it will wither and become a wilderness. They will “will make the land desolate and all that is in it”. That is how it will happen, for He, the LORD, has spoken.
Judgment on the Cities of Egypt
Starting in Ezekiel 30:13, it is about the judgment on the cities of Egypt. Each city has its own gods and temples. The LORD shows that no god in Egypt is powerful enough to stand against Him. He also shows that He is different from the other gods because Jerusalem has been destroyed and He nevertheless has the power to destroy Egypt.
He begins with a word about the destruction of “the stink gods” and “the images” (Ezekiel 30:13). The Egyptians rely on these gods, as did God’s people. The worthlessness of these gods is apparent. The folly of relying on them is demonstrated. When the idols are gone, the Egyptians will no longer consult demons. There will also be no more human leadership, “prince”, for the princes have also been killed. That situation will cause fear in Egypt, a fear that God will place on that people, giving His exaltation over them even more emphasis.
Ezekiel 30:14-Job : list several Egyptian cities that are special objects of God’s judgment. God uses a wide variety of words to express what He will do and what it will cause. There is talk in these verses of:
1. desolate (cf. Leviticus 26:32; Hosea 2:12),
2. set a fire (Ezekiel 30:14; Ezekiel 30:16),
3. execute judgments (Ezekiel 30:14; Ezekiel 30:19),
4. pour out wrath (Ezekiel 14:19; Ezekiel 30:15),
5. cut off (Ezekiel 14:13; Ezekiel 14:17Ezekiel 21:3; Ezekiel 25:13Ezekiel 25:16; Ezekiel 29:8Ezekiel 30:15; Ezekiel 35:7),
6. writhe in anguish (Isaiah 26:17; Ezekiel 30:16),
8. daily distresses,
9. fall by the sword (Ezekiel 5:12; Ezekiel 17:21Ezekiel 30:17; Ezekiel 33:27),
10. go into captivity (Ezekiel 30:17-Job :).
“Sin”, the stronghold of Egypt (Ezekiel 30:15), does not impress Nebuchadnezzar, nor does a crowd or youthful strength or youthful beauty (Ezekiel 30:17). He will break the yoke of power with which Egypt has subjugated other nations (Ezekiel 30:18). Nothing will remain of “the pride of her power”. A cloud of disaster and misery will have descended over Egypt, leaving nothing recognizable of its original attractiveness. This is emphasized by the going into captivity of his daughters, with which the prospect of a restoration also disappears.
All these judgments, which come as punishments on Egypt, are done by the LORD (Ezekiel 30:19). By this they will know that He is the LORD.
Judgment on Pharaoh
In the eleventh year, which is the year of the fall of Jerusalem, the word of the LORD comes to Ezekiel (Ezekiel 30:20). The LORD tells him that He has broken Pharaoh’s arm – arm is a picture of strength (Ezekiel 30:21). Pharaoh no longer has strength in his arm to wield the sword. That strength will not come back either, because his arm will not be bound to heal. Because that break will not heal, he will not be able to become strong enough to develop any strength at all.
The LORD will also break the remnant of his power (Ezekiel 30:22). Both arms will be broken so that he cannot even hold the sword, let alone use it. Regrouping will not be possible either, for the LORD will scatter the Egyptians among the nations (Ezekiel 30:23).
In contrast, the LORD will make strong the arms of the king of Babylon (Ezekiel 30:24). He will also give him His sword in his hand. Pharaoh’s arms are broken by Him, made powerless, so that he cannot stand against the king of Babylon. He will groan before the king of Babylon like a mortally wounded man.
Once again the LORD says He will make the arms of the king of Babylon strong and Pharaoh’s arms will fall down powerless (Ezekiel 30:25). When Nebuchadnezzar will strike Egypt with the sword the LORD has given him, they will know that He is the LORD. They will also know that He is the LORD when He scatters them among the nations and disperses them among the lands (Ezekiel 30:26). It is also important for Israel to know this, so that they will never again rely on Egypt.
Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Ezekiel 30". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/
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