|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-19 The prophecy of the destruction of Egypt is very full. Those who take their lot with God's enemies, shall be with them in punishment. The king of Babylon and his army shall be instruments of this destruction. God often makes one wicked man a scourge to another. No place in the land of Egypt shall escape the fury of the Chaldeans. The Lord is known by the judgments he executes. Yet these are only present effects of the Divine displeasure, not worthy of our fear, compared with the wrath to come, from which Jesus delivers his people.
Verse 17. - The young men of Aven; the "On" of Genesis 12:45, the "house of the sun" of Jeremiah 43:13, the Heliopolis of the LXX. and Vulgate. The form Avert (Hebrews for "a vain thing!" as in Hosea 4:15; Hosea 10:5) was perhaps chosen as a word of scorn pointing to the idolatry of the city. Pibeseth; LXX., Bubastos. The city situated on the Suez Canal, begun by Necho and finished under Ptolemy II. (Herod., 2:59). It derived its name from the eat-headed goddess Pasht, and was the chief seat of the home which was named after it. It was destroyed by the Persians (Diod. Sic., 15:51), but the name lingers in Tebbastat, a heap of ruins about seven hours journey from the Nile.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The young men of Aven and of Phibeseth shall fall by the sword,.... Aven is the same with On, of which Potipherah was priest in Joseph's time and whose daughter he married, Genesis 41:45, the same with Heliopolis, or Bethshemesh, the city of the sun, see Jeremiah 43:13; see Gill on Jeremiah 43:13; where was the temple of the sun, and where it was worshipped; and so it is rendered by the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, and Arabic versions. It is called here "Aven", or "vanity", because of the vain and idolatrous worship here performed. Phibeseth is the Bubastis of Herodotus, and called by other writers Bubastus; hence there was a nome or province in Egypt called the Bubastic nome, mentioned by Ptolemy (c), and others. In this was a temple built to the honour of Diana, where she was worshipped and Herodotus (d) says, that Bubastis, in the Greek tongue, is Diana; here she was worshipped in the form of a cat; and Stephanus (e) observes, that the Egyptians call a cat Bubastus; and it is also said that dead cats salted were buried in this city, as being sacred: according to Diodorus Siculus (f), it was built for the sake of Isis; and Hillerus (g) says, that in the Abyssine language it was called "Phy' mly' sith"; that is, the portion of the wife, namely of Isis married to Osiris, by whom this city was built to the honour of her; as appears by the pillar of Isis, on which these words are inscribed,
"for me the city of Bubastia is built; be glad, be glad, O Egypt, which brought me up.''
This place is now called Bishbesh, according to Dr. Shaw (h): now the young men of both these places, though they might exert themselves in the defence of them, yet should fail therein, and fall by the sword of the Chaldeans:
and these cities shall go into captivity; the rest of the inhabitants of the cities of Aven and Pibeseth, that shall not fall by the sword, shall be carried captive into other lands. Joseph Kimchi supplies "women" instead of "cities"; and thinks, that as the males are mentioned before, the females are understood here. The Targum is,
"they that served them shall go into captivity;''
that served the idols worshipped in these cities.
(c) Geograph. l. 4. c. 5. (d) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 59, 138, 156. (e) De Urbibus. (f) Bibliothec l. 1. p. 24. (g) Onomastic. Sacr. p. 672. (h) Travels, p. 306. Ed. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. 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 (Jer 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.
Pi-beseth—that is, 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.
these cities—rather, as the Septuagint, "the women," namely, of Aven and Pi-beseth, in antithesis to "the young men." So in Eze 30:18, "daughters shall go into captivity" [Maurer].
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