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In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
The tenth year — Of Jeconiah's captivity.
Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
The great dragon — The crocodile; our prophet, as well as Isaiah, compares the Egyptian king to that devouring serpent, or dragon.
That lieth — Not only at rest, but waiting for prey.
My river — My kingdom, power, riches, and forces, all the strength and glory of Egypt.
But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.
Put hooks — The Allegory is continued.
The fish — The people of Egypt.
To stick — To adhere to their king.
And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.
Leave thee — When thus brought out, I will leave thee.
The wilderness — The deserts of Libya and Syene.
All the fish — The whole army of the Egyptians.
The open fields — There was this king and his army ruined.
Gathered — These were not buried, but left in the wilderness, a prey to wild beasts, and birds.
When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand.
Rent — Didst them much mischief instead of benefiting them, as thou hast promised, Jeremiah 37:7.
Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
Syene — Boundary between Ethiopia and Egypt; that is, all Egypt from north-east to south-west.
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
Forty years — These forty years began about the thirtieth year of Jeconiah's captivity, and end with the seventieth year of the captivity, which was the first of Cyrus.
And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom.
Pathros — The southern part of Egypt, in which was the famous city Thebae, known for its hundred gates.
Their habitation — The ancient habitation of their fathers.
A base — A low, tributary, dependent kingdom.
It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
No more rule — Though in the times of the Ptolemeys, it was considerable, yet then, even then it did not rule the nations about her.
And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
Which — Which sinful reliance on the arm of flesh provoked God to call to mind their other iniquities.
When — When they forgot God, and respected Egypt.
They — The house of Israel.
And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
In the seven and twentieth year — Of Jeconiah's captivity, the year after the conquest of Tyre.
Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
Caused — The army, and commanders were weary of the siege, but the immovable resolution of the king kept them on.
A great service — It was service to the justice of God. It was great service both for hardness of work, heaviness of burdens, and length of the siege, thirteen years together.
Made bald — Through age, or sicknesses, or continued wearing of helmets.
Peeled — Galled with carrying burdens.
No wages — For though Tyre was very rich, when first besieged, much wealth was carried away during the siege, much spent and wasted in the siege, and what was left, preserved by articles of surrender.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.
Her multitude — Common people, who shall be made captives, and servants or slaves.
Her prey — What she had before taken from others.
The wages — God will be behind-hand with none, who do any service for him; one way or other he will recompence them. None shall kindle a fire at his altar for nought.
I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.
They — The Babylonians.
For me — God's work was doing by them, tho' they thought nothing less.
In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
The horn — Jehoiakim, who was then advanced by Evil-Merodach.
The opening of the mouth — Thou shalt have liberty, to open thy mouth in comforting the good among them, and to give praise to God.
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Ezekiel 29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany