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The Day of Judgment upon Egypt - Ezekiel 30:1-19
Commencing with a call to lamentation, the prophet announces that the Lord's day of judgment upon the nations is near at hand, and will burst upon Egypt, and the nations in alliance with it (Ezekiel 30:2-5). He then depicts in three strophes, with the introductory words ' כּה אמר , the execution for this judgment, namely: ( a) the destruction of the might of Egypt and the devastation of the land (Ezekiel 30:6-9); ( b) the enemy by whom the judgment will be accomplished (Ezekiel 30:10-12); and ( c) the extermination of the idols of Egypt, the conquest and demolition of its fortresses, the slaughter of its male population, and the captivity of the daughters of the land (Ezekiel 30:13-19).
The heading does not contain any chronological information; and the contents furnish no definite criteria for determining with precision the date of the prophecy. Jerome assigns this oracle to the same period as the prophecy in Ezekiel 29:1-16, whilst others connect it more closely with Ezekiel 29:17-21, and regard it as the latest of all Ezekiel's prophecies. The latter is the conclusion adopted by Rosenmüller, Hävernick, Hitzig, Kliefoth, and some others. The principal argument adduced for linking it on to Ezekiel 29:17. is, that in Ezekiel 30:3 the day of judgment upon Egypt is threatened as near at hand, and this did not apply to the tenth year (Ezekiel 29:1), though it was perfectly applicable to the twenty-seventh (Ezekiel 29:17), when the siege of Tyre was ended, and Nebuchadnezzar was on the point of attacking Egypt. But the expression, “the day of the Lord is near at hand,” is so relative a chronological phrase, that nothing definite can be gathered from it as to the date at which an oracle was composed. Nor does the fact that our prophecy stands after the prophecy in Ezekiel 29:17-21, which is furnished with a date, prove anything; for the other prophecies which follow, and are furnished with dates, all belong to a much earlier period. It is very evident from this that Ezekiel 29:17-21 is inserted without regard to chronological sequence, and consequently Ezekiel 30:1-19 may just as well belong to the period between the tenth month of the tenth year (Ezekiel 29:1) and the first month of the eleventh year (Ezekiel 30:20), as to the twenty-seventh year (Ezekiel 29:17), since all the reasons assigned for the closer connection of our prophecy with the one immediately preceding (Ezekiel 29:17-21), which is supposed to indicate similarity of date, are invalid; whilst, on the other hand, the resemblance of Ezekiel 30:6 and Ezekiel 30:17 to Ezekiel 29:10 and Ezekiel 29:12 is not sufficient to warrant the assumption of a contemporaneous origin.
Announcement of the judgment upon Egypt and its allies. - Ezekiel 30:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 30:2. Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Howl ye! Woe to the day! Ezekiel 30:3. For the day is near, the day of Jehovah near, a day of cloud, the time of the heathen will it be. Ezekiel 30:4. And the sword will come upon Egypt, and there will be pangs in Ethiopia, when the slain fall in Egypt, and they take her possessions, and her foundations are destroyed. Ezekiel 30:5. Ethiopians and Libyans and Lydians, and all the rabble, and Chub, and the sons of the covenant land, will fall by the sword with them. - In the announcement of the judgment in Ezekiel 30:2 and Ezekiel 30:3, Ezekiel rests upon Joel 1:13, Joel 1:15, and Joel 2:2, where the designation already applied to the judgment upon the heathen world by Obadiah, viz., “the day of Jehovah” (Obadiah 1:15), is followed by such a picture of the nearness and terrible nature of that day, that even Isaiah (Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:14) appropriate the words of Joel. Ezekiel also does the same, with this exception, that he uses ההּ instead of אההּ , and adds to the force of the expression by the repetition of קרוב יום . In Ezekiel 30:3, the words from יום ענן to יהיה are not to be taken together as forming one sentence, “a day of cloud will the time of the nations be” (De Wette), because the idea of a “time of the nations” has not been mentioned before, so as to prepare the way for a description of its real nature here. יום ענן and עת גּוים contain two co-ordinate affirmations concerning the day of Jehovah. It will be a day of cloud, i.e., of great calamity (as in Joel 2:2), and a time of the heathen, i.e., when heathen ( גּוים without the article) are judged, when their might is to be shattered (cf. Isaiah 13:22). This day is coming upon Egypt, which is to succumb to the sword. Ethiopia will be so terrified at this, that it will writhe convulsively with anguish ( חלחלה , as in Nahum 2:11 and Isaiah 21:3). לקח המנהּ signifies the plundering and removal of the possessions of the land, like נשׂא המנהּ in Ezekiel 29:19. The subject to לקחוּ is indefinite, “they,” i.e., the enemy. The foundations of Egypt, which are to be destroyed, are not the foundations of its buildings, but may be understood in a figurative sense as relating to persons, after the analogy of Isaiah 19:10; but the notion that Cush, Phut, etc. (Ezekiel 30:9), i.e., the mercenary troops obtained from those places, which are called the props of Egypt in Ezekiel 30:6, are intended, as Hitzig assumes, is not only extremely improbable, but decidedly erroneous. The announcement in Ezekiel 30:6, that Cush, Phut, etc., are to fall by the sword along with the Egyptians ( אתּם ), is sufficient of itself to show that these tribes, even if they were auxiliaries or mercenaries of Egypt, did not constitute the foundations of the Egyptian state and kingdom; but that, on the contrary, Egypt possessed a military force composed of native troops, which was simply strengthened by auxiliaries and allies. We there interpret יסדותיה , after the analogy of Psalms 11:3 and Psalms 82:5, as referring to the real foundations of the state, the regulations and institutions on which the stability and prosperity of the kingdom rest.
The neighbouring, friendly, and allied peoples will also be smitten by the judgment together with the Egyptians. Cush, i.e., the Ethiopians, Phut and Lud, i.e., the Libyans and African Lydians (see the comm. on Ezekiel 27:10), are mentioned here primarily as auxiliaries of Egypt, because, according to Jeremiah 46:9, they served in Necho's army. By כּל־הערב , the whole of the mixed crowd (see the comm. on 1 Kings 10:15 - πάντες οἱ ἐπίμικτοι , lxx), we are then to understand the mercenary soldiers in the Egyptian army, which were obtained from different nations (chiefly Greeks, Ionians, and Carians, οἱ επίκουροι , as they are called by Herodotus, iii. 4, etc.). In addition to these, כּוּב ,eseht ( ἁπ λεγ. ) is also mentioned. Hävernick connects this name with the people of Kufa, so frequently met with on the Egyptian monuments. But, according to Wilkinson ( Manners, etc., I 1, pp. 361ff.), they inhabited a portion of Asia farther north even than Palestine; and he ranks them (p. 379) among the enemies of Egypt. Hitzig therefore imagines that Kufa is probably to be found in Kohistan, a district of Media, from which, however, the Egyptians can hardly have obtained mercenary troops. And so long as nothing certain can be gathered from the advancing Egyptological researches with regard to the name Cub, the conjecture that כּוּב is a mis-spelling for לוּב is not to be absolutely set aside, the more especially as this conjecture is naturally suggested by the לוּבים of Nahum 3:9 and 2 Chronicles 16:8, and the form לוּב by the side of לוּבים is analogous to לוּד by the side of לוּדים in Jeremiah 46:9, whilst the Liby-Aegyptii of the ancients, who are to be understood by the term לוּבים (see the comm. on Genesis 10:13), would be quite in keeping here. On the other hand, the conjecture offered by Gesenius ( Thes. p. 664), viz., נוּב , Nubia, has but a very weak support in the Arabic translator; and the supposition that לוּב may have been the earlier Hebrew form for Nubia (Hitzig), is destitute of any solid foundation. Maurer suggests Cob, a city ( municipium ) of Mauretania, in the Itiner. Anton. p. 17, ed. Wessel. - The following expression, “sons of the covenant land,” is also obscure. Hitzig has correctly observed, that it cannot be synonymous with בּעלי , their allies. But we certainly cannot admit that the covenant land (made definite by the article) is Canaan, the Holy Land (Hitzig and Kliefoth); although Jerome writes without reserve, de filiis terrae foederis , i.e., de populo Judaeorum ; and the lxx in their translation, καὶ τῶν υιῶν τῆς διαθήκης μου , undoubtedly thought of the Jews, who fled to Egypt, according to Theodoret's exposition, along with Jeremiah after the destruction of Jerusalem and the murder of the governor Gedaliah, for fear of the vengeance of the Chaldeans (Jer 42-43, and 44). For the application of the expression “land of the covenant” to the Holy Land is never met with either in the Old or New Testament, and cannot be inferred, as Hitzig supposes, from Psalms 74:20 and Daniel 11:28, or supported in any way from either the epithet “the land of promise” in Hebrews 11:9, or from Acts 3:25, where Peter calls the Jews “the children of the prophets and of the covenant.” We therefore agree with Schmieder in regarding ארץ as signifying a definite region, though one unknown to us, in the vicinity of Egypt, which was inhabited by a tribe that was independent of the Egyptians, yet bound to render help in time of war.
All the supports and helpers of Egypt will fall, and the whole land with its cities will be laid waste. - Ezekiel 30:6. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Those who support Egypt will fall, and its proud might will sink; from Migdol to Syene will they fall by the sword therein, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 30:7. And they will lie waste in the midst of waste lands, and its cities be in the midst of desolate cities. Ezekiel 30:8. They shall learn that I am Jehovah, when I bring fire into Egypt, and all its helpers are shattered. Ezekiel 30:9. In that day will messengers go forth from me in ships to terrify the confident Ethiopia, and there will be writing among them as in the day of Egypt; for, behold, it cometh. - ”Those who support Egypt” are not the auxiliary tribes and allies, for they are included in the term עזריה in Ezekiel 30:8, but the idols and princes (Ezekiel 30:13), the fortified cities (Ezekiel 30:15), and the warriors (Ezekiel 30:17), who formed the foundation of the might of the kingdom. גּאון , “the pride of its might,” which is an expression applied in Ezekiel 24:21 to the temple at Jerusalem, is to be taken here in a general sense, and understood not merely of the temples and idols of Egypt, but as the sum total of all the things on which the Egyptians rested the might of their kingdom, and on the ground of which they regarded it as indestructible. For ' ממּגדּל וגו , see the comm. on Ezekiel 29:10. The subject to יפּלוּ בהּ is the ' סמכי מצר . Ezekiel 30:7 is almost a literal repetition of Ezekiel 29:12; and the subject to נשׁמּוּ is מצרים regarded as a country, though the number and gender of the verb have both been regulated by the form of the noun. The fire which God will bring into Egypt (Ezekiel 30:8) is the fire of war. Ezekiel 30:9. The tidings of this judgment of God will be carried by messengers to Ethiopia, and there awaken the most terrible dread of a similar fate. In the first hemistich, the prophet has Isaiah 18:2 floating before his mind. The messengers, who carry the tidings thither, are not the warlike forces of Chaldea, who are sent thither by God; for they would not be content with performing the service of messengers alone. We have rather to think of Egyptians, who flee by ship to Ethiopia. The messengers go, מלפני , from before Jehovah, who is regarded as being present in Egypt, while executing judgment there (cf. Isaiah 19:1). צים , as in Numbers 24:24 = ציּים (Daniel 11:30), ships, trieres, according to the Rabbins, in Hieron. Symm. on Isaiah 33:21, and the Targum on Num. (cf. Ges. Thes. p. 1156). בּטח is attached to כּוּשׁ , Cush secure or confident, equivalent to the confident Cush (Ewald, §287 c). ' והיתה חלח , repeated from Ezekiel 30:4. בּהם , among the Ethiopians. ' כּיום מצר , as in the day of Egypt, i.e., not the present day of Egypt's punishment, for the Ethiopians have only just heard of this from the messengers; but the ancient, well-known day of judgment upon Egypt (Exodus 15:12.). Ewald and Hitzig follow the lxx in taking כּיום for בּיום ; but this is both incorrect and unsuitable, and reduces ' בּיום מצר into a tame repetition of בּיּום החוּא . The subject to הנּה באה is to be taken from the context, viz., that which is predicted in the preceding verses (Ezekiel 30:6-8).
The executors of the judgment. - Ezekiel 30:10. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, And I will put an end to the tumult of Egypt through Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. Ezekiel 30:11. He and his people with him, violent of the nations, will be brought to destroy the land; they will draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with slain. Ezekiel 30:12. And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of wicked men, and lay waste the land and its fulness by the hand of foreigners; I Jehovah have spoken it. - המון cannot be understood as signifying either the multitude of people only, or the abundance of possessions alone; for השׁבּית is not really applicable to either of these meanings. They are evidently both included in the המון , which signifies the tumult of the people in the possession and enjoyment of their property (cf. Ezekiel 26:13). The expression is thus specifically explained in Ezekiel 30:11 and Ezekiel 30:12. Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the land with his men of war, slaying the people with its possessions. עריצי , as in Ezekiel 28:7. מוּבאים , as in Ezekiel 23:42. ' הריק וגו , cf. Ezekiel 12:14, Ezekiel 12:28; 7. חלל ... מלאוּ , as in Ezekiel 11:6. יארים , the arms and canals of the Nile, by which the land was watered, and on which the fertility and prosperity of Egypt depended. The drying up of the arms of the Nile must not be restricted, therefore, to the fact that God would clear away the hindrances to the entrance of the Chaldeans into the land, but embraces also the removal of the natural resources on which the country depended. מכר , to sell a land or people into the hand of any one, i.e., to deliver it into his power (cf. Deuteronomy 32:30; Judges 2:14, etc.). For the fact itself, see Isaiah 19:4-6. For ' השׁמּתי וגו , see Ezekiel 19:7.
Further Description of the Judgment
Ezekiel 30:13. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I will exterminate the idols and cut off the deities from Noph, and there shall be no more a prince from the land of Egypt; and I put terror upon the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 30:14. And I lay Pathros waste, and bring fire into Zoan, and execute judgments upon No; Ezekiel 30:15. And I pour out my fury upon Sin, the stronghold of Egypt, and cut off the multitude of No; Ezekiel 30:16. And I put fire in Egypt; Sin will writhe in pain, and No will be broken open, and Noph - enemies by day. Ezekiel 30:17. The men of On and Bubastus will fall by the sword, and they themselves will go into captivity. Ezekiel 30:18. At Tachpanches the day will be darkened when I shatter the yokes of Egypt there, and an end will be put to its proud haughtiness; cloud will cover it, and its daughters till go into captivity. Ezekiel 30:19. And thus I execute judgments upon Egypt, that they may know that I am Jehovah. - Egypt will lose its idols and its princes (cf. Jeremiah 46:25). גּלּוּלים and אלילים are synonymous, signifying not the images, but the deities; the former being the ordinary epithet applied to false deities by Ezekiel (see the comm. on Ezekiel 6:4), the latter traceable to the reading of Isaiah 19:1. נף , contracted from מנף , Manoph or Menoph = מף in Hosea 9:6, is Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt, with the celebrated temple of Ptah, one of the principal seats of Egyptian idolatry (see the comm. on Hosea 9:6 and Isaiah 19:13). In Ezekiel 30:13 מארץ מצר ' belongs to נשׂיא , there shall be no more a prince from the land of Egypt, i.e., a native prince. נתן יראה , to put fear upon (cf. Ezekiel 26:17). From Lower Egypt Ezekiel passes in Ezekiel 30:14 to Upper Egypt ( Pathros, see the comm. on Ezekiel 29:14), which is also to be laid waste, and then names several more of the principal cities of Lower Egypt along with the chief city of Upper Egypt. צען , Egypt. Zane, Copt. Jane, is the Τανίς , Tanis, of the Greeks and Romans, on the Tanitic arm of the Nile, an ancient city of Lower Egypt; see the comm. on Numbers 13:22 and Isaiah 19:11. נא נא אמון in Nahum 3:8, probably “abode of Amon,” Egypt. P - amen, i.e., house of Amon, the sacred name of Thebes, the celebrated royal city of Upper Egypt, the Διὸς πόλις ἡ μεγάλη of the Greeks (see the comm. on Nahum 3:8). סין (literally, mire; compare the Aram. סין ) is Πηλούσιον , Pelusium , which derives its name from πηλός ( ὠνόμασται ἀπὸ τοῦ πηλοῦ πηλός , Strab. xvii. p. 802), because there were swamps all round. It was situated on the eastern arm of the Nile, to which it gave its name, at a distance of twenty stadia from the sea. The Egyptian name Pehromi also signifies dirty, or muddy. From this the Arabs have made Elfarama; and in the vicinity of the few ruins of the ancient Pelusium there is still a castle called Arab. t, Tineh (compare the Chaldee טינא , clay, in Daniel 2:41). Ezekiel calls it the “fortress or bulwark of Egypt,” because, as Strabo ( l.c.) observes, “Egypt is difficult of access here from places in the East;” for which reason Hirtius ( de bell. Al. c. 27) calls it “the key of Egypt,” and Suidas ( s.v.) “the key both of the entrance and exit of Egypt.” On the history of this city, see Leyrer in Herzog's Encyclopaedia. In המון נא many of the commentators find a play upon the name of the god אמון (Jeremiah 46:25), the chief deity of Thebes, which is possible, but not very probable, as we should not expect to find a god mentioned again here after Ezekiel 30:13; and הכרתּי would be inappropriate. - In Ezekiel 30:16 Sin (= Pelusium) is mentioned again as the border fortress, No (= Memphis) as the capital of Upper Egypt, as all falling within the range of the judgment. The expression נף צרי יומם has caused some difficulty and given occasion to various conjectures, none of which, however, commend themselves as either simple or natural explanations.
(Note: Ewald proposes to alter צרי into צדי (after the Aramaean), “rust,” and renders it: “Memphis will be eternal rust.” But to this Hitzig has very properly objected that in Ezekiel 24:6, Ezekiel 24:11, rust is called חלאה ; and that even in Psalms 6:3 יומם does not mean perpetual or eternal. Hävernick proposes to explain צרים , from the Aramaean z e râ', to rend or tear in pieces, “Memphis shall become perpetual rents.” To this also it may be objected, that צרים in Hebrew has the standing meaning of oppressors; and that יומם , interdiu, is not equivalent to perpetual; and still further, that the preposition ל could not be omitted before צרי .)
As Hitzig has correctly observed, צרי יומם is the same as שׁדד בּצּהרים in Jeremiah 15:8, and is the opposite of שׁדדי לילה in Obadiah 1:5. The enemy who comes by day, not in the night, is the enemy who does not shun open attack. The connection with נף is to be explained by the same rule as Jeremiah 24:2, “the one basket - very good figs.” Memphis will have enemies in broad daylight, i.e., will be filled with them. און און אן , in Genesis 41:45, Genesis 41:50 (Egyptian An, or Anu), is the popular name of Heliopolis in Lower Egypt (see the comm. on Genesis 41:45); and the form און (a vain thing, or idol) is probably selected intentionally in the sense of an idol-city (see the comm. on Hosea 4:15), because On-Heliopolis ( בּית־שׁמשׁ in Jeremiah 43:13) was from time immemorial one of the principal seats of the Egyptian worship of the sun, and possessed a celebrated temple of the sun, with a numerous and learned priesthood (see the comm. on Genesis 41:45, ed. 2). פּי־בסת , i.e., βουβαστός (lxx), or βουβαστίν (Herod. ii. 59), Egyptian Pi - Pasht , i.e., the place of Pasht, so called from the cat-headed Bubastis or Pasht, the Egyptian Diana, which was worshipped there in a splendid temple. It was situated on the royal canal leading to Suez, which was begun by Necho and finished under Ptolemy II, not far from its junction with the Pelusiac arm of the Nile. It was the chief seat of the Nomos Bubastites, was destroyed by the Persians, who demolished its walls (Diod. Sic. xvi. 51), and has entirely disappeared, with the exception of some heaps of ruins which still bear the name of Tel Bastah, about seven hours' journey from the Nile (compare Ges. Thes. pp. 1101ff., and Leyrer in Herzog's Encyclopaedia, s.v.). The Nomos of Bubastis, according to Herod. ii. 166, was assigned to the warrior-caste of Calasirians. The בּחוּרים , the young military men, will fall by the sword; and הנּה , not αἱ γυναῖκες (lxx and others), but the cities themselves, i.e., their civil population as distinguished from the military garrison, shall go into exile. This explanation of הנּה is commended by בּנותיה in Ezekiel 30:18. תּחפנחס or תּחפּנחס (Jeremiah 43:7., Ezekiel 44:1; Ezekiel 46:14), and תּחפנס in Jeremiah 2:16 ( Chetib), is Τάφναι , Τάφνη (lxx), or Δάφναι (Herod. ii. 30. 107), a frontier city of Egypt in the vicinity of Pelusium, after the time of Psammetichus a fortification with a strong garrison, where a palace of Pharaoh was also to be found, according to Jeremiah 43:9. After the destruction of Jerusalem, a portion of the Jews took refuge there, and to them Jeremiah predicted the punishment of God on the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:7., Ezekiel 44:1.). In the case of השך the reading varies; the printed Masora at Genesis 39:3 giving חשׂך as the reading to be found in all the codices examined by the author of the Masora; whereas many of the codices and printed editions have חשׁך , and this is adopted in all the ancient versions. This is evidently the correct reading, as חשׂך does not furnish an appropriate meaning, and the parallel passages, Ezekiel 32:8; Isaiah 13:10; Joel 3:4; Amos 8:9, all favour חשׁך . The darkening of the day is the phenomenal prognostic of the dawning of the great day of judgment upon the nations (cf. Joel 2:10; Joel 3:4, Joel 3:15; Isaiah 13:10, etc.). This day is to dawn upon Egypt at Tachpanches, the border fortress of the land towards Syria and Palestine, when the Lord will break the yokes of Egypt. These words point back to Leviticus 26:13, where the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt is called the breaking in pieces of its yokes (see also Ezekiel 34:27). That which took place then is to be repeated here. The yokes which Egypt put upon the nations are to be broken; and all the proud might of that kingdom is to be brought to an end ( גּאון עזּהּ , as in Ezekiel 30:6). In Ezekiel 30:18, היא , which stands at the head in an absolute form, points back to בּתּחפנחס . The city ( Daphne) will be covered with cloud, i.e., will be overthrown by the judgment; and her daughters, i.e., the smaller cities and hamlets dependent upon her (cf. Ezekiel 16:46 and Ezekiel 26:6), will go into captivity in the persons of their inhabitants. It follows from this that Daphne was the chief city of a Nomos in Lower Egypt; and this is confirmed by the circumstance that there was a royal palace there. If we compare the threat in this verse, that in Tachpanches an end is to be put to the proud might of Pharaoh, with the threatening words of Jeremiah 43:9., to the effect that Nebuchadnezzar would set up his throne at Tachpanches and smite Egypt, it is evident that the situation of Daphne must at that time have been such that the war between Egypt and Babylonia would necessarily be decided in or near this city. These prophetic utterances cannot be explained, as Kliefoth supposes, from the fact that many Jews had settled in Daphne; nor do the contents of this verse furnish any proof that Ezekiel did not utter this prophecy of his till after the Jews had settled there (Jeremiah 43:1-13 and 44). Ezekiel 30:19 serves to round off the prophecy.
Destruction of the Might of Pharaoh by Nebuchadnezzar
According to the heading in Ezekiel 30:20, “In the eleventh year, in the first (month), on the seventh of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying,” this short word of threatening against Egypt falls in the second year of the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and, as Ezekiel 30:21 clearly shows, after the army of Pharaoh Hophra, which marched to the relief of Jerusalem, had been defeated by the Chaldeans who turned to meet it (Jeremiah 37:5, Jeremiah 37:7). If we compare with this the date of the first prophecy against Egypt in Ezekiel 29:1, the prophecy before us was separated from the former by an interval of three months. But as there is no allusion whatever in Ezekiel 29 to Pharaoh's attempt to come to the relief of the besieged city of Jerusalem, or to his repulse, the arrival of the Egyptian army in Palestine, its defeat, and its repulse by the Chaldeans, seems to have occurred in the interval between these two prophecies, towards the close of the tenth year.
Ezekiel 30:21. son of man, the arm of Pharaoh the king of Egypt have I broken; and, behold, it will no more be bound up, to apply remedies, to put on a bandage to bind it up, that it may grow strong to grasp the sword. Ezekiel 30:22. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will deal with Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and will break both his arms, the strong one and the broken one, and will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. Ezekiel 30:23. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them in the lands, Ezekiel 30:24. And will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and give my sword into his hand, and will break the arms of Pharaoh, so that he shall groan the groanings of a pierced one before him. Ezekiel 30:25. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh will fall; and they shall know that I am Jehovah, when I give my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, that he may stretch it against the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 30:26. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them in the lands; and they shall know that I am Jehovah. - The perfect שׁברתּי in Ezekiel 30:21 is not a prophetic utterance of the certainty of the future, but a pure preterite. This may be seen “both from the allusion in Ezekiel 30:21 to the condition resulting from the shbr שׁבר , and also to the obviously antithetical relation of Ezekiel 30:22, in which future events are predicted” (Hitzig). The arm is a figurative expression for power, here for military power, as it wields the sword. God broke the arm of Pharaoh by the defeat which the Chaldeans inflicted upon Pharaoh Hophra, when he was marching to the relief of besieged Jerusalem. חבּשׁה is a present, as is apparent from the infinitive clauses (' לתת וגו ) which follow, altogether apart from הנּה ; and חבשׁ signifies to bind up, for the purpose of healing a broken limb, that remedies may be applied and a bandage put on. לחזקהּ , that it may become strong or sound, is subordinate to the preceding clause, and governs the infinitive which follows. The fact that the further judgment which is to fall upon Pharaoh is introduced with לכן (therefore) here (Ezekiel 30:22), notwithstanding the fact that it has not been preceded by any enumeration of the guilt which occasioned it, may be accounted for on the ground that the causal לכן forms a link with the concluding clause of Ezekiel 30:21: the arm shall not be healed, so as to be able to grasp or hold the sword. Because Pharaoh is not to attain any more to victorious power, therefore God will shatter both of his arms, the strong, i.e., the sound one and the broken one, that is to say, will smite it so completely, that the sword will fall from his hand. The Egyptians are to be scattered among the nations, as is repeated in Ezekiel 30:23 verbatim from Ezekiel 29:12. God will give the sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and equip and strengthen him to destroy the might of Pharaoh, that the latter may groan before him like one who is pierced with the sword. This thought is repeated in Ezekiel 30:25 and Ezekiel 30:26 with an intimation of the purpose of this divine procedure. That purpose it: that men may come to recognise Jehovah as God the Lord. The subject to וידעוּ is indefinite; and the rendering of the lxx is a very good one, καὶ γνώσονται πάντες .
The Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Ezekiel 30". Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent