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Bible Commentaries
Ezekiel 30

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

Verse 1

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Two distinct messages:

(1) From Ezekiel 30:1-19 a repetition of Ezekiel 29:1-16, with fuller details of lifelike distinctness. The date is probably not long after that mentioned in Ezekiel 29:17, "the seven and twentieth year, in the first month:" on the eve of Nebuchadnezzar's march against Egypt after subjugating Tyre.

(2) A vision relating directly to Pharaoh and the overthrow of his kingdom, communicated at an earlier date, the seventh of the first month of the eleventh year: about three months after the date, Ezekiel 29:1, "the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month," and three months before the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

Verse 2

Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!

Woe worth the day! - i:e., Alas for the day!

Verse 3

For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

It shall be the time of the heathen - namely, for taking vengeance on them. The judgment on Egypt is the beginning of a world-wide judgment on all the pagan enemies of God (Joel 1:15; Joel 2:1-2; Joel 3:1-21; Obadiah 1:15).

Verse 4

And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.

Great pain shall be in Ethiopia - "pain," literally, pangs with trembling, as of a woman in childbirth.

Verse 5

Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.

All the mingled people - the mercenary troops of Egypt from various lands, mostly from the interior of Africa (cf. Ezekiel 27:10; Jeremiah 25:20; Jeremiah 25:24; Jeremiah 46:9; Jeremiah 46:21).

Chub - the people named Kufa on the monuments (Havernick); a people considerably north of Palestine (Wilkinson); Coba or Chobat, a city of Mauritania (Maurer).

The men of the land that is in league - too definite an expression to mean merely men in league with Egypt; rather, 'son's of the land of the covenant' - i:e., the Jews who migrated to Egypt and carried Jeremiah with them (Jeremiah 42:1-22; Jeremiah 43:1-13; Jeremiah 44:1-30.) Even they shall not escape (Jeremiah 42:22; Jeremiah 44:14).

Verse 6

Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.

From the tower of Syene - (see note, Ezekiel 29:10, and margin here, 'from Migdol to Syene').

Verse 7

And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.

They shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate - Egypt shall fare no better than those desolate countries (Ezekiel 29:10).

Verse 8

And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed. No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 9

In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.

In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships, to make the careless Ethiopians afraid - (Isaiah 18:1-2). The cataracts interposing between them and Egypt should not save them. Egyptians "fleeing from before me" in my execution of judgment, as "messengers" in 'skiffs' ("vessels of bulrushes," Isaiah 18:2) shall go up the Nile, as far as navigable, to announce the advance of the Chaldeans. In Isaiah 18:1-7 the messengers were to announce good news to the Ethiopians-namely, that God would overthrow Sennacherib the Assyrian king; but here the messengers are to announce terrors to the Ethiopians-namely, that the Chaldean army is advancing toward them.

Great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt. The day of Ethiopia's "pain" shall come shortly, as Egypt's day came.

Verse 10

Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.

I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease - I will diminish the large population.

Verse 11

He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 12

And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.

I will make the rivers dry - I will dry up the artificial canals made from the Nile for irrigation. The drying up of these would cause scarcity of grain, and so prepare the way for the invaders ( Isaiah 19:5-10).

Verse 13

Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.

I will destroy the idols ... of Noph - Memphis, the capital of Middle Egypt, and the stronghold of "idols." Though no record exists of Nebuchadnezzar's 'destroying' these, we know from Herodotus, etc., that Cambyses took Pelusium, the key of Egypt, by placing before his army dogs, cats, etc., all held sacred in Egypt, so that no Egyptian would use any weapon against them. He slew Apis, the sacred ox, and burned other idols of Egypt.

There shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt - referring to the anarchy that prevailed in the civil wars between Apries and Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. There shall no more be a prince of the land of Egypt, ruling the whole country; or, no independent prince.

Verse 14

And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.

I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan - Pathros, Upper Egypt, with "No" or Thebes, its capital (famed for its stupendous buildings, of which grand ruins remain), in antithesis to "Zoan" or Tanis, a chief city in Lower Egypt, within the Delta.

Verse 15

And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.

I will pour my fury upon Sin - i:e., Pelusium, the frontier fortress on the northeast; therefore called "The strength (i:e., the key) of Egypt." It stands in antithesis to No or Thebes, at the opposite end of Egypt - i:e., I will afflict Egypt from one end to the other.

Verse 16

And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.

Noph shall have distresses daily. Maurer translates, 'enemies during the day' - i:e., open enemies, who do not wait for the covert of night to make their attacks (cf. Jeremiah 6:4; Jeremiah 15:8, "a spoiler at noonday"). However, the Hebrew [ yowmaam (H3119)], though rarely, is sometimes rendered (see Psalms 13:2), as in the English version, "daily."

Verse 17

The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity.

Aven - meaning vanity or iniquity; applied by a slight change of the Hebrew name, to On or Heliopolis, in allusion to its idolatry. Here stood the temple of the sun, whence it was called in Hebrew Beth-shemesh -

i.e., 'the house of the sun' (Jeremiah 43:13). The Egyptian hieroglyphics call it 'Re Athom,' the sun, the father of the gods, being impersonate in Athom or Adam, the father of mankind.

Phi-beseth - i:e., Bubastis, in Lower Egypt, near the Pelusiac branch of the Nile: notorious for the worship of the goddess of the same name (Coptic, Pasht), the granite stones of whose temple still attest its former magnificence.

The young men of ... shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity - "these cities," rather, as Septuagint, 'the women'-namely, of Aven and Phi-beseth, in antithesis to "the young men." So in Ezekiel 30:18, "her daughters shall go into captivity" (Maurer).

Verse 18

At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

Tehaphnehes - called from the queen of Egypt, Tahpenes, and sister to the wife of Hadad, of the royal seed of Edom, who fled from Edom to Pharaoh, and afterward became Solomon's adversary, as is mentioned in 1 Kings 9:19. The same as Daphne near Pelusium, a royal residence of the Pharaohs (Jeremiah 43:7; Jeremiah 43:9). Called Hanes (Isaiah 30:4).

When I shall break there the yokes of Egypt - i:e., the tyrannical supremacy which she exercised over other nations. Compare "the bands of their yoke" (Ezekiel 34:27).

A cloud shall cover her - "a cloud," namely, of calamity.

Verse 19

Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD.

No JFB commentary on this verse.

Verse 20

And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

In the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month. Here begins the earlier vision, not long after that in Ezekiel 29:1-21, about three months before the taking of Jerusalem, as to Pharaoh and his kingdom.

Verse 21

Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.

I have broken the arm of Pharaoh - (Psalms 37:17, "The arms of the wicked shall be broken;" Jeremiah 48:25). Referring to the defeat which Pharaoh-hophra sustained from the Chaldeans, when trying to raise the siege of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 37:5; Jeremiah 37:7); and previously, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, the defeat which Pharaoh-necho sustained from Nebuchadnezzar at Carchemish by the Euphrates, and the deprivation of all his conquests from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (2 Kings 24:7; Jeremiah 46:2); also to the Egyptian disaster in Cyrene.

Verse 22

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand.

And will break his arms - not only the 'one arm' broken already (Ezekiel 30:21) was not to be healed, but the other also should be broken. In contrast to "I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon" ( Ezekiel 30:24).

The strong, and that which was broken - i:e., I will break both the strong arm and that which was already broken. I will impair both the resources of Egypt which still remain intact and those which are already impaired. The one arm of Egypt already broken was all the region from the Nile to the Euphrates, which Nebuchadnezzar had already taken from him (2 Kings 24:7); the arm still intact, but presently to be broken, is Egypt proper itself. Thus all power of carrying on war would be taken from him. Not a corporal wound, but a breaking of the power of Pharaoh is intended.

I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand - I will deprive him of the resources of making war.


(1) The prophecy against Egypt is very full, because Egypt was the oldest enemy of Israel, and her perpetual seducer to idolatry and creature-confidences. The judgment on Egypt is an earnest of the world-wide judgment which shall fall ultimately on all the pagan enemies of God (Ezekiel 30:3), when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled (Luke 19:24). That day of the Lord shall be the day of His visitation in wrath upon those Gentiles who shall have resisted all the offers of His mercy in this His day of visitation in love. Let us be wise in time, that so that day may be to us not a day of terror, but a day of joy in the prospect of immediate redemption.

(2) Not, only Egypt herself, but also all 'who uphold her,' should fall (Ezekiel 30:6); and among these Johanan and the Jews who "leagued" themselves with her (Ezekiel 30:5), in direct violation of God's prohibition (Jer. 42:44 ). They who take part with God's enemies shall share with them in their awful punishment.

(3) As sinners perversely refuse to know God as a God of love, they shall know Him as a God that hates sin, and takes vengeance on the sinner for all unatoned guilt (Ezekiel 30:8). Severe as were the temporal judgments on Pharaoh and his people, what are they when compared with the eternal judgments which shall descend on the lost? Let us flee, while yet there is time, to Him who is our only Saviour from the wrath to come, and from the "fire" (Ezekiel 30:8) which shall never be quenched.

(4) The artificial canals and "rivers" (Ezekiel 30:12) of Egypt, whence that country derived its fertility, were all to be dried up by the judgment of God. Whenever He pleases to punish a people, no resources can avail against His power and will; He dries up at will the springs of their prosperity: "He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and the water-springs into dry ground; a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein" (Psalms 107:33-34).

(5) The wrath of God is especially directed against "the idols" of a land (Ezekiel 30:13), of whatever kind they be, whether they be images directly worshipped as gods, or riches which steal away from God the hearts of those who would repudiate the charge of idolatry, though guilty of it before the God who calls covetousness idolatry. As the Egyptian On, the seat of the idolatrous sun-worship in Egypt, was doomed by God to become Aven, or vanity, so all creature-confidences shall at last prove vain to those who have trusted in them rather than in God.

(6) Ere long "a cloud" of calamity "shall cover" every authority like Egypt which exalts itself against God; the "pomp" of man's power shall cease, and the "yoke" which human tyrants have imposed on the people of God shall be broken (Ezekiel 30:18). Whereas God was about to "strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon" (Ezekiel 30:24), the executioner of God's judicial wrath, He was about to 'break both arms of Pharaoh,' the object of His displeasure (Ezekiel 30:22; Ezekiel 30:24). As Israel and Judah had been scattered among the nations, owing to the corrupting influence of Egypt, which brought God's wrath on the elect nation, so the Egyptians themselves, in righteous retribution, were be scattered among the nations (Ezekiel 30:23; Ezekiel 30:26). It is in vain that men try to bind up and heal the wound that God inflicts (Ezekiel 30:21). Stroke shall fall upon stroke in rapid succession whensoever God is against men. The very weakest instruments are sufficient, when strengthened by Him, to execute God's vengeance; and He has at His disposal all the powers that are in heaven and earth. How foolish, then, it is for any to remain in a state of enmity with God! Rather let the sinner, ere the stroke descends, take hold of God's strength, that he may make peace with God, and He shall make peace with him (Isaiah 27:5).

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Ezekiel 30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/ezekiel-30.html. 1871-8.
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