Ezekiel 29:15
It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Pathros - The Thebaid or Upper Egypt, the original seat of the kingdom.

The land of their habitation - Rather, as margin, i. e., the home of the restored exiles.

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.

The basest; the most abject, debased, and most underling. It is likely the kings to whom Egypt was tributary kept them lowest, as knowing how dangerous that kingdom might be, as it recovered its ancient greatness; and the word seems to intimate this, for it is more than the kingdoms it shall be depressed.

Neither shall it exalt itself; its masters would so watch and check it. I will diminish them; beside the hard and cruel usages of the Persian kings, which might be unjust enough, God’s most just judgment should follow them to lessen their numbers, power, wealth, and honour.

They shall no more rule over the nations; though once they had subdued and ruled, yet should they not any more. In the times of the Ptolemies, though it was considerable, yet then it was not a kingdom that ruled the nations about her, though she made war upon them.

And it shall be the basest of the kingdoms,.... That belonged to the Persian monarchy, or to the Macedonian empire, being more kept under than the rest, lest it should regain its former strength and glory; though it became more famous in the times of some of the Ptolemies, yet never recovered its former greatness; and is now exceeding base indeed, as appears from the preceding note:

neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations; so as to conquer them, and make them tributary to it, as it had done:

for I will demolish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations; for though they made war upon other nations in the time of the Lagidae, yet they did not subdue them, and annex them to their kingdom, being much weakened both as to men and money.

It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 15. - It shall be the basest of the kingdoms. The words describe vividly the condition of Egypt under the Persian monarchy, after its conquest by Cambyses. With the Ptolemies it rose again to something like eminence, but that, it must be remembered, was an alien dynasty. The nationality of Egypt was suppressed, and Alexandria, practically a Greek city, took the place of Memphis, Sais, and Thebes. Ezekiel 29:15Restoration of Egypt

Ezekiel 29:13. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians out of the nations, whither they were scattered. Ezekiel 29:14. And I will turn the captivity of Egypt, and will bring them back into the land of Pathros, into the land of their origin, and they shall be a lowly kingdom there. Ezekiel 29:15. Lowlier than the kingdoms shall it be, and exalt itself no more over the nations; and I will make them small, so that they shall rule no more over the nations. Ezekiel 29:16. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, bringing iniquity to remembrance when they incline towards it; and they shall learn that I am the Lord Jehovah. - The turning of the period of Egypt's punishment is connected by כּי, which refers to the time indicated, viz., "forty years." For forty years shall Egypt be utterly laid waste; for after the expiration of that period the Lord will gather the Egyptians again from their dispersion among the nations, turn their captivity, i.e., put an end to their suffering (see the comm. on Ezekiel 16:53), and lead them back into the land of their birth, i.e., of their origin (for מכוּרה, see Ezekiel 16:3), namely, to Pathros. פתרוס, the Egyptian Petorēs (Παθούρης, lxx Jeremiah 44:1), or south land, i.e., Upper Egypt, the Thebais of the Greeks and Romans. The designation of Upper Egypt as the mother country of the Egyptians, or the land of their nativity, is confirmed not only by the accounts given by Herodotus (ii. 4 and 15) and Diodorus Sic. (i. 50), but also by the Egyptian mythology, according to which the first king who reigned after the gods, viz., Menes or Mena, sprang from the city of Thinis (Thynis), Egypt. Tenj, in the neighbourhood of Abydos in Upper Egypt, and founded the city of Memphis in Lower Egypt, which became so celebrated in later times (vid., Brugsch, Histoire d'Egypte, 1 Peter 16). But Egypt shall not attain to its former power any more. It will be and continue a lowly kingdom, that it may not again become a ground of confidence to Israel, a power upon which Israel can rely, so as to fall into guilt and punishment. The subject to ולא יהיה is Egypt as a nation, notwithstanding the fact that it has previously been construed in the feminine as a land or kingdom, and in אחריהם the Egyptians are spoken of in the plural number. For it is out of the question to take מזכּיר עון as the subject to לא יהיה in the sense of "no more shall one who calls guilt to remembrance inspire the house of Israel with confidence," as Kliefoth proposes, not only because of the arrangement of the words, but because the more precise definition of מזכּיר עון as 'בּפנותם אח clearly shows that Egypt is the subject of the sentence; whereas, in order to connect this definition in any way, Kliefoth is compelled to resort to the interpolation of the words, "which it committed." מזכּיר עון is in apposition to מבטח; making Egypt the ground of confidence, brings into remembrance before God the guilt of Israel, which consists in the fact that the Israelites turn to the Egyptians and seek salvation from them, so that He is obliged to punish them (vid., Ezekiel 21:28-29). - The truth of the prediction in Ezekiel 29:13-16 has been confirmed by history, inasmuch as Egypt never recovered its former power after the Chaldean period. - Moreover, if we compare the Messianic promise for Egypt in Isaiah 19:18-25 with the prediction in Ezekiel 29:13-15, we are struck at once with the peculiarity of Ezekiel, already referred to in the introductory remarks on Ezekiel 25-32, namely, that he leaves entirely out of sight the Messianic future of the heathen nations.

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