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Judgment on Egypt (29:1-16)
At the time Ezekiel delivered this prophecy against Egypt, Jerusalem was besieged by the Babylonian armies (29:1; see 2 Kings 25:1-2). The Judean king Zedekiah depended upon Egyptian aid in rebelling against Babylon, but Ezekiel knows that to depend on Egypt is to invite defeat. By his condemnation of Egypt in this message, he shows how unacceptable any Judean-Egyptian alliance is in God’s sight (2; cf. 17:15-18; Jeremiah 37:6-10).
In this very pictorial prophecy, Egypt is likened to the mythical monster who thought he owned the Nile. God says he will catch this monster, drag it out of the river and leave it to lie in the fields, where it will become food for foul birds and animals. Egypt will fall to foreign powers (3-5).
Ezekiel then gives another illustration. Judah at times had depended on Egypt for help, as a cripple depends on a walking stick. Egypt, however, proved to be not a walking stick but a reed, which broke and brought injury to the person who depended on it. For its treachery to Judah, Egypt will be punished (6-9a; cf. Isaiah 36:6). For its pride also it will be punished, and its land will be left desolate (9b-12). Although God will later restore Egypt, it will never regain its former power (13-16).
Babylon’s victory over Egypt (29:17-21)
A much later prophecy is put into the collection at this point, to show how God’s judgment on Egypt was carried out. The year was 571 BC (17).
Babylon took thirteen years of hard work to conquer Tyre, and this left the Babylonian soldiers worn out. To make matters worse, they did not gain the profit they expected from the conquered city, because the people of Tyre had apparently shipped out much of their wealth during the thirteen years of siege (18). Therefore, the Babylonian forces will turn south and conquer Egypt, assured by God that the rewards of victory in Egypt will compensate for what they missed at Tyre. In both cases they were ‘hired’ by God to carry out his judgment, and he would make sure they received fitting ‘wages’ (19-20). The fulfilment of this prophecy will be proof to Israel of God’s power (21).
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Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Ezekiel 29". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17