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The desolation of Egypt, and her helpers. The arm of Babylon shall be strengthened to break the arm of Egypt.
Before Christ 588.
Ezekiel 30:3. The day is near— The day of the Lord implies a day of sacrifice and vengeance upon his enemies. The destruction of Babylon, described in such awful terms, as if all nature suffered by the shock, is represented as the day of the Lord, Isaiah 13:6. So is the destruction of Bozrah and Idumaea, Isaiah 34:8. See also Jeremiah 46:10. Joel 3:14.Zephaniah 2:2-3; Zephaniah 2:2-3. When the figurative day is used in general to express the period of any one's existence, then it denotes time; but when it is used to express any particular thing or employ, then it signifies some characteristical circumstance. Thus that signal catastrophe in the fortunes of the Jews, both spiritual and temporal, is called their day, Hosea 1:11. See Div. Leg. vol. 4: Sharp on the Rise and Fall of Jerusalem; and Calmet.
Ezekiel 30:4. Her multitude— Her wealth. Houbigant: and so Ezekiel 30:10.
Ezekiel 30:5. Lybia and Lydia— Or, Mauritania and Abyssinia. All the mingled people, mean their mercenaries and auxiliaries; Chub means the Chubians, placed by Ptolemy in the Mareotis. "I do not know (says Calmet) whether the name of Egypt may not be derived from Cub, or Cubti, or Gubti;—Egubti." The men of the land that is in league, mean the neighbouring people, who were confederate with the Egyptians against the king of Babylon.
Ezekiel 30:6. From the tower of Syene— Or, from Migdol to Syene.
Ezekiel 30:9. In that day shall messengers go forth, &c.— In that day shall swift messengers go forth from me, who shall terrify the secure Ethiopian; and he shall have great fears concerning the day of Egypt, because it shall be nigh. Houbigant; who observes, that as the messengers are sent to Cush or Ethiopia, if the Arabians be meant, they were not to be gone to by ships: if the Ethiopians, properly so called, to the south of Egypt, it was not proper for messengers to be sent to them in ships, because the navigation was against the stream, and could not be so quick as it ought upon an approaching calamity.
Ezekiel 30:12. I will make the rivers dry, &c.— "I will destroy the strength of Egypt." The metaphor is taken from the decrease or falling of the Nile, upon the overflowings of which all the plenty and prosperity of Egypt depended. See 2Ki 19:24 and Isaiah 37:25.
Ezekiel 30:13. Noph— Or, Memphis; and so Ezekiel 30:16. There shall be no more a prince, &c. seems to mean that there shall be no more a natural prince of the Egyptian race, but it shall be subject to foreigners. It is probable, that these prophesies respect the time of Cambyses and Darius Ochus. See the note on chap. Eze 29:15 and Usher's Annals, A.M. 3478 and 3653.
Ezekiel 30:14. Pathros—Zoan— Delta, or Thebais—Tanis. No] Diospolis, or Thebes. Boch.
Ezekiel 30:15. Sin—the multitude of No— Pelusium, a strong city on the frontiers of Egypt. Bochart and Michaelis. See Nahum 3:8.
Ezekiel 30:17. Aven—Phibeseth.— Heliopolis—Bubastum.
Ezekiel 30:18. Tehaphnehes—yokes— Daphne—sceptres.
Ezekiel 30:21. To put a roller to bind it— It shall be bound with a roller, to heal it, and that it may be strengthened to hold the sword. Houbigant.
Ezekiel 30:22. The strong, and that which was broken— The strong arm as well as the wounded. Houbigant. "I will break Pharaoh, by the revolt of his subjects, by the war which Amasis shall bring upon him; and afterwards by that of Nebuchadrezzar; and all this in the space of fourteen or fifteen years." See Calmet.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, Fearful is the overthrow of the Egyptians here recorded.
1. They are called to howl, and lament the dreadful day, big with wrath, and swift approaching; a day of darkness and gloominess, when every face should gather blackness. It shall be the time of the heathen; either the time to visit the heathen nations of Egypt and Ethiopia, or the time of the Chaldean power. Note; The sinner's day, though long delayed, shall come at last; and then, too late, he will pour forth his remediless sorrows.
2. The threatened destruction shall utterly ruin both Egypt and her confederates. The sword of the victorious king of Babylon shall fill the land, from one end to the other, with the carcases of the slain; the cities shall be destroyed, the images broken, the country made desolate, terrors spread on every side, the beauty, strength, and multitude of Egypt utterly wasted, and the dark cloud of abject wretchedness spread over them. Thus shall a fierce and terrible enemy, from a strange and distant land, wicked men, whom no laws of humanity or justice restrain, be let loose upon them, and ravage without mercy. The pride of Egypt, her royal family, shall be extinct, and no hopes remain from the rising generation, the young men being slain with the sword, and the daughters gone into captivity. Nor shall her auxiliaries be able to give her the least support; they shall fall with her, Ethiopia, Lybia, Lydia, Chub, and all the mingled people of various nations, who are in league with Egypt, shall perish. And while many out of these countries, who sojourned among the Egyptians, or were auxiliaries in their army, fell with them, the tidings of the destruction shall fly swift to the careless Ethiopians, and terrify them with the apprehensions of sharing Egypt's fate. Nor are their apprehensions groundless; for, Lo! it cometh. Note; (1.) Confederates in iniquity will perish together. (2.) When we see our neighbour's house on fire, it is time to tremble for our own: one sinner's fall should alarm the survivors.
3. God's hand is visible in the judgment. Whatever instrument he employs, the work is his own. His veracity is engaged for the fulfilment of the threatening; and, in the judgments that he will execute, his power and faithfulness will appear, and they shall know that he is the Lord. Note; (1.) Whatever judgments are in the earth, God's hand is to be seen and acknowledged in them. (2.) One jot or tittle of God's word shall never fail.
2nd, The army of the Egyptians, which had attempted to raise the siege of Jerusalem, had been now forced to retire with shame to their own land, and, without making any farther efforts, left Jerusalem to her fate; but their own ruin quickly followed. It is foretold,
1. That Egypt shall be weakened by degrees, and brought to destruction. One arm of Pharaoh was already broken in the defeat received at Carchemish, Jer 46:2 and the conquest of a part of the Egyptian dominions, 2Ki 24:7 and from this fatal stroke he never recovered; a second blow would complete his ruin. His strong arm, like that which was broken, God will break by the sword of Nebuchadrezzar: so that, unable to wield a sword, groaning as a soldier desperately wounded, he must fall. His kingdom shall be vanquished, his people dispersed and led into captivity. And in these sufferings, which God inflicts, he will make them know that he is the Lord.
2. The king of Babylon shall grow stronger and stronger. God will put a sword into his hands, give him might to wield it, and subdue Egypt before him. All power is given from above: the strength of the mightiest is derived alone from the Almighty God.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Ezekiel 30". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany