corner graphic   Hi,    
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to

Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Ezekiel 30



Verse 2

2. Woe worth the day — That is, Woe be to the day. This is not satire; it is real lamentation. There is no nation or people without a heavenly Father’s love and watch care. Just as Jehovah brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt, so did he bring up “the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir” (Amos 9:7; see also Psalms 87).

Verse 4

4. Multitude — See Ezekiel 29:19.

Her foundations shall be broken down — The national power of Egypt was as strong as her temple walls, but both should feel the shock of invasion.

Verse 5

5. Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia — R.V., “Ethiopia [or, Cush], and Put, and Lud.” (See notes Ezekiel 27:10; compare Ezekiel 38:5.) LXX. reads “Persia” for Ethiopia, but Ethiopia about this time had especial prominence in the world’s annals. The Assyrian monarch conquered Tirhakah of Egypt (about 671 B.C.), and called him on a stele of Senjerli “king of Ethiopia” (Kuss), and represented him on the tablet as a little negro with curly hair (B. and O. Record, July, 1891).

Mingled people — It is not known to what people this refers (compare Jeremiah 25:24), if indeed it does not refer to the mercenaries and allies in Hophra’s army.

Chub — R.V., “Cub.” Naville compares with the Egyptian Keneb, the name for the Ethiopians and negroes; Brugsch with Qeb, Qabt (Coptos); Smend reads Lub, with LXX., that is, “Libyans” (compare Nahum 3:9; 2 Chronicles 16:8), which is the most probable, with present knowledge.

Men of the land that is in league — Literally, the children of the land of the covenant, but probably not referring here to the Israelites. Toy reads “Cherethites.” (Compare Ezekiel 25:16.) One version reads “Cretans.” (Compare the khab-iri, “confederates,” mentioned in the Tel-el-Amarna tablets.)

Verse 6

6. From the tower of Syene — Hebrews, from Migdol to Syene. (See note Ezekiel 29:10.)

Verse 8

8. The day of the Lord is near — The day when accounts shall be settled and punishment or reward meted out to the nations; a day of darkness to the wicked and rebellious, a day of triumph to the righteous (Ezekiel 7:7; Amos 5:8; Jeremiah 27). One of these times of divine settlement seemed near, and was near. (Compare Isaiah 2, 3, 13; Joel 2:1; Joel 2:12.)

Verse 9

9. From me in ships — LXX, and Peshito, in haste; R.V., “from before me in ships.” (Compare Isaiah 18:2.)

As in the day — Omit “as.” The Ethiopians fear that Nebuchadnezzar will not stop at Syene, but will press on into their country (notes Ezekiel 29:10-11).

Verse 10-11

10, 11. Compare Ezekiel 28, 29.

Verse 12

12. Rivers dry — The Nile canals (note Ezekiel 29:3; compare Isaiah 19:5-6).

Verse 13

13. Images — Hebrews, no-gods. By the omission of one syllable the LXX. reads, “great ones.”

Noph — LXX., Memphis, as Hosea 9:6; “Moph” (Assyrian, Mi-im-pi). Memphis, the splendid capital of the ancient empire, is to-day no more than a dust heap connected with the most magnificent cemetery on earth.

Verse 14

14. Pathros — See note on Ezekiel 29:14. Zoan (Numbers 13:22; Isaiah 19:11) — Tanis (modern San). This city commanded the northern highway to Syria, and was a royal city (probably the Raamses of the Bible, Exodus 1:11; compare Psalms 78:43) filled with monuments which even yet remain covered with inscriptions in which the kings call themselves “givers of all stability”… “reducing every foreign land to nonexistence” (Egyptian Exploration Fund, Second and Fourth Memoirs).

No No Amon (Nahum 3:8) was Thebes (Jeremiah 46:25). Hundreds of the mighty pillars of Thebes can be seen to-day lying in ruins, as if smitten by the fist of the Almighty. Professor R.S. Poole justly says that “nowhere else in Egypt has the solid masonry of the temples been thus destroyed.”

Verse 15

15. Sin — Supposed to be Pelusium. The Egyptian name for Pelusium has not yet been found, but the meaning of Sin in Hebrew corresponds exactly to that of Pelusium in Greek. This city guarded the northern entrance into Egypt. To-day its site is marked by yellow sand and a poisonous swamp.

Multitude of No — In Hebrews (almost) Amon No. (Compare Ezekiel 30:14.)

Verse 16

16. Distresses daily — R.V., “adversaries in the daytime.” It should become so feeble that there would be no need of a conspiracy or night surprise.

Verse 17

17. Aven and of Pi-beseth — The Greek, Latin, and Coptic correctly translate “on [Heliopolis] and Bubastis.” Heliopolis (“city of the sun,” Jeremiah 43:13) was one of the most renowned and holy cities of ancient Egypt. There the king “washed his face” before the sun-god centuries before Joseph married the daughter of the priest (Genesis 41:45). The spot is still called “sun fountain,” but even the rains of this celebrated city have disappeared, with the single exception of one lonely obelisk. Pi-beseth (Egyptian, Pi-beset, “house of Beset”) was undoubtedly Bubastis (now Tel Bast). There is probably a word play here between Beseth and the familiar Bo-sheth (shame) which was the Hebrew nickname for Baal (Jeremiah 11:13; 2 Samuel 11:21). The worship of Bast greatly resembled that of Baal. The city was the “key to the Delta,” protecting as it did the road used by all Syrian invaders. It was a magnificent city, one of the eight selected for mention by Pomponius Mela among twenty thousand said to have existed in the days of King Amasis — who was a contemporary of Ezekiel. The great temple which Herodotus described at length is now a mere heap of bricks. Naville has thoroughly explored the ruins. (See Egyptian Exploration Fund, Eighth Memoir.)

Verse 18

18. Tehaphnehes — LXX., Tapne (Daphnae). Modern name, Tel Deppennuch. This was another fortress which had guarded the great highway into Syria from Solomon’s day or earlier. In Ezekiel’s era it was occupied largely by Greek mercenaries. It was naturally to this frontier city that Jeremiah and other Hebrews fled (Jeremiah 43:5-11). Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of Egypt may have been largely due to Egypt’s favorable reception of these refugees. Dr. Petrie has found the old Greek camp and fort, and uncovered the brickwork where Nebuchadnezzar spread his royal pavilion (Egyptian Exploration Fund, Fourth Memmoir). The largest building in the ruins is still called by the Arabs “the palace of the Jew’s daughter.”

The yokes of Egypt — LXX. and Vulgate translate scepters. If yokes is the correct reading, it cannot mean that the yokes that bind Egypt are broken (compare Ezekiel 34:27), but the yokes which Egypt has heretofore placed upon others. (For the symbolic “darkness” see Ezekiel 30:3; Ezekiel 32:7; Amos 5:29; Joel 2:2; Joel 3:15.)

Verse 21

21. I have broken the arm of Pharaoh — The loss by Hophra of his dependencies, because of the failure of his attempt to resist the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 34:21; Jeremiah 37:5) is compared to a fractured arm. (See Ezekiel 31:17.) This loss of power will never be regained. He will not even have time to apply healing medicines and to put a splint (roller) upon it before Jehovah, in the person of Nebuchadnezzar, shall be upon him to break the other arm also (Ezekiel 30:22).

Verse 24

24. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon — Nebuchadnezzar is unknowingly working out the will of Jehovah, and it is because of Jehovah’s help that he shall see the Pharaoh groaning and dying at his feet, while his people are carried away captive into far countries by the victor (Ezekiel 30:23; Ezekiel 30:26; notes Ezekiel 29:11-12; Ezekiel 28:22).


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Ezekiel 30:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". 1874-1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology