|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:1-16 Worldly, carnal minds pride themselves in their property, forgetting that whatever we have, we received it from God, and should use it for God. Why, then, do we boast? Self is the great idol which all the world worships, in contempt of God and his sovereignty. God can force men out of that in which they are most secure and easy. Such a one, and all that cleave to him, shall perish together. Thus end men's pride, presumption, and carnal security. The Lord is against those who do harm to his people, and still more against those who lead them into sin. Egypt shall be a kingdom again, but it shall be the basest of the kingdoms; it shall have little wealth and power. History shows the complete fulfilment of this prophecy. God, not only in justice, but in wisdom and goodness to us, breaks the creature-stays on which we lean, that they may be no more our confidence.
Verse 14. - Into the land of Pathros. (For the land of their habitation, read, with the Revised Version, the land of their birth.) (For Pathres, see Genesis 10:13, 14; 1 Chronicles 1:12; Isaiah 11:1; Jeremiah 44:1.) Its position is somewhat doubtful, but the balance of evidence is in favor of placing it in the Thebaid of Upper Egypt, which Herodotus (2. 4, 15) describes as the original seat of the Egyptian monarchy. Its name may be connected with the Pathyrite name in which Thebes was situated (Pliny, 'Hist. Nat.,' 5:9). The LXX. gives the form Pathures, and is followed by the Vulgate, with a slight change, Phathures.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt,.... For what is done by men, under the direction and influence of divine Providence, is said to be done by the Lord, as this was, though by the means of Cyrus:
and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros; which was a part of the land of Egypt; perhaps so called from Pathrusim, the son of Mizraim, from whom Egypt had its name, Genesis 10:14. Bochart takes it to be Thebais, a principal country in Egypt:
into the land of their habitation; or nativity, where they were born, and where they before dwelt:
and they shall be there a base kingdom; as it is at this day more especially, to which it has been gradually reduced, having passed into various hands, and come under the power and dominion of different states: whatever might be the case and circumstances of it under Cyrus, Cambyses his son entered into it, made sad devastation in it, and an entire conquest of it; and though it revolted under Darius Hystaspes, it was subdued again, and brought into a worse state than before by Xerxes: it revolted again in the reign of Darius Nothus, and was at last by Ochus totally subdued; and from that time the Egyptians never had a king of their own nation to reign over them. Along with the Persian empire it came into the hands of Alexander without any opposition; and, after his death, fell to the share of Ptolemy, one of his captains; and, though some of the first kings of that name were of considerable note and power, yet Egypt made a poor figure under the reigns of several of them. When the Roman empire obtained, it became a province of that, and continued so for six or seven hundred years; and then it fell into the hands of the Saracens, when it sunk into ignorance and superstition, the Mahometan religion being established in it, with whom it continued until about the year of Christ 1250; when the Mamalucks, or Turkish and Carcassian slaves, rose up against their sovereigns, the sultans of Egypt, and usurped the government, in whose hands it was until the year 1517; when Selim the ninth, emperor of the Turks, conquered the Mamalucks, and put an end to their government, and annexed it to the Ottoman empire; of which it is a province to this day (x), being governed by a Turkish basha, with twenty four begs or princes under him, who are raised, from being servants, to the administration of public affairs; and so it is become a base kingdom indeed, if to be called one (y).
(x) Written about 1730. Editor. (y) See all this at large, with the proofs of it, in Dr. Newton's Dissertations on Prophecies, from p. 382. to 394.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. Pathros—the Thebaid, or Upper Egypt, which had been especially harassed by Nebuchadnezzar (Na 3:8, 10). The oldest part of Egypt as to civilization and art. The Thebaid was anciently called "Egypt" [Aristotle]. Therefore it is called the "land of the Egyptians' birth" (Margin, for "habitation").
base kingdom—Under Amasis it was made dependent on Babylon; humbled still more under Cambyses; and though somewhat raised under the Ptolemies, never has it regained its ancient pre-eminence.
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