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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 29

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-21

Chapter 29

Now as we get into chapter 29:

In the tenth year ( Ezekiel 29:1 ),

That would be the year 587 B.C.

And in the tenth month, the twelfth day of the month ( Ezekiel 29:1 ),

This prophecy came to Ezekiel concerning the Pharaoh who was the king of Egypt, who was Pharaoh Haaibre.

And it came against him, and against all of Egypt: [And He said,] Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lies in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is my own, and I have made it for myself ( Ezekiel 29:2-3 ).

Glorying in the great Nile and its tributaries.

But I will put hooks in your jaws, and I will cause the fish of the 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. 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. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel ( Ezekiel 29:4-6 ).

Now, Israel leaned upon Egypt for help. It wasn't right that they do so; God wanted them to lean upon Him. In fact, the prophet Jeremiah said, "If you lean upon Egypt, it'll be like a broken reed and it'll pierce your hand." Now a reed is not a strong staff at all. A reed may look strong, but it's very fibrous and it has no strength at all. Though it looks like you could really lean upon it, you go to lean upon a reed and the thing will just bend and you can just pierce through your hand with the thing if you really are leaning hard upon a reed, you're trusting in something that just can't hold you up. It'll bend; it'll break and you'll fall.

Now, Egypt was likened unto a reed upon the people of God leaned. And Pharaoh Haaibre did come up with the Egyptian forces. And he caused Nebuchadnezzar to pull back from his sieging of Jerusalem for a while. But then the Pharaoh Haaibre returned to Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar continued his siege and destroyed Jerusalem. So because Pharaoh Haaibre was not really a help to Judah, God speaks against him. "You have been like a staff of reed to the house of Israel."

When they took hold of thee by thy hand, you did break, and you tore all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, you broke, and you made their loins to be at a stand. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it ( Ezekiel 29:7-9 ).

Again, as Nebuchadnezzar said, "This great Babylon is mine, I have made it." And the watchers in heaven said, "Oh, we'll put you down for that one." And he went insane for a period of time. We'll get that in a few weeks when we get to Daniel. Fascinating story.

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. No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast for a period of forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will gather the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: 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. 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. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which brings their iniquity to remembrance. And it came to pass in the seventh and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me saying, Son of man ( Ezekiel 29:10-18 ),

Now, there are those Bible critics who say, "Well, this did not happen during the time of Pharaoh Haaibre, that Nebuchadnezzar did not conquer Egypt during the time of his reign." It is interesting that they have skipped this particular reference in verse Ezekiel 29:17 . He doesn't say that Nebuchadnezzar conquered the Pharaoh Haaibre and conquered Egypt during the time of his reign. But this came in the twenty-seventh year; the previous prophecy came in the tenth year. So the latter part of this chapter came seventeen years later, after the death of Pharaoh Haaibre.

Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar 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 ( Ezekiel 29:18 ):

Now God is saying, "Look, Nebuchadnezzar was My servant. He destroyed Tyrus but he didn't get paid." By the time he conquered the city, there was no spoil. So neither he nor his army got their pay for the job that they did for Me in the destruction of Tyrus. Therefore they will go down and they will conquer Egypt and there they will get their wages as they take the great wealth of Egypt unto themselves. And so the spoil of Egypt was to be the pay that God gave to Nebuchadnezzar and his troops for the lack of pay in the destruction of Tyrus. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Ezekiel 29". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/ezekiel-29.html. 2014.
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