Ezekiel 30:18
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
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(18) Tehaphnehes.—(Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 43:7-9; Jeremiah 44:1; Jeremiah 46:14.) Otherwise called Tahpanhes; the city Daphne, also a frontier town near Pelusium, strongly fortified. It may be especially mentioned, because the Jews who fled from Palestine through fear of Nebuchadnezzar had taken refuge there (Jeremiah 43, 44).

The day shall be darkened.—This is a common prophetic form of describing coming calamity. (See Ezekiel 30:3, Ezekiel 32:8; Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:10; Joel 2:31; Joel 3:15; Amos 8:9; Matthew 24:29, &c.)

The yokes of Egypt.—Not the yokes placed upon Egypt, but the tyranny which she exercised over others. The fuller expression, “bands of a yoke,” occurs in Ezekiel 34:27, and also in Leviticus 26:13, the latter in reference to the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt. It appears from Jeremiah 43:9-10 that there was a royal palace at Tahpanhes, and it was foretold by the prophet that Nebuchadnezzar should there set up his pavilion, and thence smite Egypt. It is correspondingly foretold here that the power of Egypt should there be broken, because this and the neighbouring Pelusium were the frontier fortresses and keys of the land.

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.Tehaphnehes - See the marginal reference note. "break the yokes of Egypt" i. e., break the yokes imposed by Egypt, or break up the tyrannous dominion of Egypt over other lands. 18. Tehaphnehes—called from the queen of Egypt mentioned in 1Ki 11:19. The same as Daphne, near Pelusium, a royal residence of the Pharaohs (Jer 43:7, 9). Called Hanes (Isa 30:4).

break … the yokes of Egypt—that is, the tyrannical supremacy which she exercised over other nations. Compare "bands of their yoke" (Eze 34:7).

a cloud—namely, of calamity.

Tehaphnehes; a great and goodly city of Egypt. Tachapanes, Tachpanes, Tahapanes, Tahpanes, Chanes, and Hanes, Isaiah 30:4, are names given it, and this from a queen of Egypt of that name in Solomon’s time, 1 Kings 11:19,20. It stood not far from Sin or Pelusium, and by the Greeks, a little softening the name, called Daphne Pelusiaca. It was a royal city, in it Pharaoh had a house; to it many Jews fled, when forbidden of the Lord by the prophet Jeremiah, Ezekiel 44. It was one of the first cities you come to out of the desert of Sin, and was one of the keys of Egypt.

The day shall be darkened; a night shall come upon it, and such a night of sorrow as shall grow darker and darker till the day, i.e. their day, be

darkness; or else, word for word, darkness shall be the day, and may bear this sense, shall be more welcome, more useful, more desired, than the day, whose light would discover their flight, which the night concealed.

I shall break, as into shivers.

The yokes; the sceptres; for there was one of Pharaoh’s houses, and probably some sceptre and other regal ornaments: or, the bars, which kept enemies out, and secured the citizens and country; such was this frontier town. Or, when, by giving this strong place into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand, I shall break the kingdom of Egypt, that it no more oppress with yokes, i.e. burdens.

The pomp; the beauty and goodliness with which the strength of this city was set out in her buildings, towers, forts.

Shall cease in her; shall be buried in her own ruins.

A cloud; sorrow at the success of the Chaldeans against her, compared often to a cloud.

Her daughters; either metaphorically, i.e. the towns and villages about her, or literally, her children; her daughters only mentioned, because her sons were destroyed and slain.

At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened,.... The same with Hanes in Isaiah 30:4 and Tahapanes in Jeremiah 2:16 and Tahpanhes, Jeremiah 43:7, it was a royal seat of the kings of Egypt: there was in Solomon's time a queen of Egypt of this name, and perhaps it might be so called from her, 1 Kings 11:19. It is generally thought to be the Daphne of Pelusium, it being near that city; though Junius takes it to be a place in another part of Egypt, at a great distance, which Herodotus (i) calls Tahcompso, an island encompassed by the Nile; and by Ptolemy (k) called Metacompso: now at this place the day should be darkened; or should "restrain" (l), as it may be rendered; that is, its light; it should be a calamitous and mournful time with the inhabitants of it:

when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt; the yokes they put upon the necks of others, who now should be freed from them: or, "the sceptres of Egypt", as the Vulgate Latin version renders it; the regalia of their kings, which might lie in this place; it being a royal seat where Pharaoh had a house, as appears from Jeremiah 43:9,

and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her; all that grandeur and magnificence which appeared in the courts of the kings of Egypt in this place:

as for her, a cloud shall cover her; as for this city, a cloud of calamity shall cover it, so as its glory shall not be seen. The Targum is,

"a king with his army shall cover her as a cloud ascends and covers the earth:''

and her daughters shall go into captivity; which may be taken either in a literal sense for the daughters of the inhabitants of this place, which must be a great affliction to their tender parents, to have them forced away by rude soldiers, and carried captive into distant lands; or in a figurative sense, for the villages and the inhabitants of them round about this city; it being usual to represent a city as a mother, and its villages as daughters; and so the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi interpret it.

(i) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 29. (k) Geograph. l. 4. c. 5. (l) "prohibuit", Montanus; "vitavit", Munster; "cohibuit", Cocceius; "probibebit, arcebit", Vatablus; so Ben Melech.

At Tehaphnehes also the day {c} shall be darkened, when I shall break there the {d} yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

(c) Meaning that there will be great sorrow and affliction.

(d) That is, the strength and force.

18. Tehaphnehes, spelled somewhat differently Jeremiah 2:16. Jeremiah 43:8 speaks of a royal palace there, and Ezekiel 46:14 it is named along with Memphis as a chief city in Egypt. Its site is probably the modern Tell Defenneh (Daphnae), near the Pelusiac arm of the Nile, south of lake Menzaleh, about 30 miles S.-W. of the ancient Pelusium.

the yokes of Egypt] must here be those imposed by Egypt, a sense not very suitable to the connexion. A different pointing would give sceptres (LXX.) or staves—but “staves” in the sense of supports is more than doubtful (cf. Isaiah 14:5).

her daughters] may be literal (cf. Ezekiel 30:17, young men of On), or said figuratively of her towns.

Verse 18. - At Tehaphnehes; the Tabu-panes of Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 42:7; Jeremiah 44:1; Jeremiah 46:14; (where it appears as having a royal palace); the Taphnae of the LXX.; the Daphne of Herod., 2:30. It was another frontier-fortress in the neighborhood of Pelusium, built by Psammetichus. It may, perhaps, be represented by the modern Tel-ed-Defenne, about twenty-seven miles southwest of Pelusium. The day shall be darkened. The normal image for the departure of the sunshine of prosperity, as in Ver. 3 and Ezekiel 32:7 (comp. Amos 5:20; Amos 8:9; Isaiah 5:30; Jeremiah 13:16, etc.). The yokes of Egypt. Commonly, as in Ezekiel 34:27; Leviticus 26:13; Jeremiah 27:2; Jeremiah 28:10, 12, the phrase would imply the deliverance of Egypt from the yoke of oppression suffered at the hand of others. Here that sense is clearly inappropriate. The LXX. and Vulgate give "the scepters" of Egypt, which implies a different reading, and this is adopted in substance by Ewald and Smend, the latter preferring rendering it by "supports" or "props," the "red" being used as a "staff" rather than as a "scepter" (comp. Ezekiel 19:14; Jeremiah 43:8; Jeremiah 48:17). The pomp of her strength. The phrase meets us again in Ezekiel 33:28, and includes what we speak of as the parade of power, here probably with a view to the foreign forces that garrisoned both Daphne and Pelusium. The daughters may be literally the women of the city, who were to share the usual fate of their sex on the capture of a city; or as in Ezekiel 26:6, 8; or probably as in Ezekiel 16:53, 55, for the villages and towns dependent on the strong city. On the whole, looking to the mention of the "young men" in Ver. 17, the literal meaning seems preferable. Ezekiel 30:18Further Description of the Judgment

Ezekiel 30:13. Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, I will exterminate the idols and cut off the deities from Noph, and there shall be no more a prince from the land of Egypt; and I put terror upon the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 30:14. And I lay Pathros waste, and bring fire into Zoan, and execute judgments upon No; Ezekiel 30:15. And I pour out my fury upon Sin, the stronghold of Egypt, and cut off the multitude of No; Ezekiel 30:16. And I put fire in Egypt; Sin will writhe in pain, and No will be broken open, and Noph - enemies by day. Ezekiel 30:17. The men of On and Bubastus will fall by the sword, and they themselves will go into captivity. Ezekiel 30:18. At Tachpanches the day will be darkened when I shatter the yokes of Egypt there, and an end will be put to its proud haughtiness; cloud will cover it, and its daughters till go into captivity. Ezekiel 30:19. And thus I execute judgments upon Egypt, that they may know that I am Jehovah. - Egypt will lose its idols and its princes (cf. Jeremiah 46:25). גּלּוּלים and אלילים are synonymous, signifying not the images, but the deities; the former being the ordinary epithet applied to false deities by Ezekiel (see the comm. on Ezekiel 6:4), the latter traceable to the reading of Isaiah 19:1. נף, contracted from מנף, Manoph or Menoph equals מף in Hosea 9:6, is Memphis, the ancient capital of Lower Egypt, with the celebrated temple of Ptah, one of the principal seats of Egyptian idolatry (see the comm. on Hosea 9:6 and Isaiah 19:13). In Ezekiel 30:13 מארץ מצר' belongs to נשׂיא, there shall be no more a prince from the land of Egypt, i.e., a native prince. נתן יראה, to put fear upon (cf. Ezekiel 26:17). From Lower Egypt Ezekiel passes in Ezekiel 30:14 to Upper Egypt (Pathros, see the comm. on Ezekiel 29:14), which is also to be laid waste, and then names several more of the principal cities of Lower Egypt along with the chief city of Upper Egypt. צען, Egypt. Zane, Copt. Jane, is the Τανίς, Tanis, of the Greeks and Romans, on the Tanitic arm of the Nile, an ancient city of Lower Egypt; see the comm. on Numbers 13:22 and Isaiah 19:11. נא equals נא אמון in Nahum 3:8, probably "abode of Amon," Egypt. P-amen, i.e., house of Amon, the sacred name of Thebes, the celebrated royal city of Upper Egypt, the Διὸς πόλις ἡ μεγάλη of the Greeks (see the comm. on Nahum 3:8). סין (literally, mire; compare the Aram. סין) is Πηλούσιον, Pelusium, which derives its name from πηλός (ὠνόμασται ἀπὸ τοῦ πηλοῦ πηλός, Strab. xvii. p. 802), because there were swamps all round. It was situated on the eastern arm of the Nile, to which it gave its name, at a distance of twenty stadia from the sea. The Egyptian name Pehromi also signifies dirty, or muddy. From this the Arabs have made Elfarama; and in the vicinity of the few ruins of the ancient Pelusium there is still a castle called Arab. t, Tineh (compare the Chaldee טינא, clay, in Daniel 2:41). Ezekiel calls it the "fortress or bulwark of Egypt," because, as Strabo (l.c.) observes, "Egypt is difficult of access here from places in the East;" for which reason Hirtius (de bell. Al. c. 27) calls it "the key of Egypt," and Suidas (s.v.) "the key both of the entrance and exit of Egypt." On the history of this city, see Leyrer in Herzog's Encyclopaedia. In המון נא many of the commentators find a play upon the name of the god אמון (Jeremiah 46:25), the chief deity of Thebes, which is possible, but not very probable, as we should not expect to find a god mentioned again here after Ezekiel 30:13; and הכרתּי would be inappropriate. - In Ezekiel 30:16 Sin ( equals Pelusium) is mentioned again as the border fortress, No ( equals Memphis) as the capital of Upper Egypt, as all falling within the range of the judgment. The expression נף צרי יומם has caused some difficulty and given occasion to various conjectures, none of which, however, commend themselves as either simple or natural explanations.

(Note: Ewald proposes to alter צרי into צדי (after the Aramaean), "rust," and renders it: "Memphis will be eternal rust." But to this Hitzig has very properly objected that in Ezekiel 24:6, Ezekiel 24:11, rust is called חלאה; and that even in Psalm 6:3 יומם does not mean perpetual or eternal. Hvernick proposes to explain צרים, from the Aramaean zer', to rend or tear in pieces, "Memphis shall become perpetual rents." To this also it may be objected, that צרים in Hebrew has the standing meaning of oppressors; and that יומם, interdiu, is not equivalent to perpetual; and still further, that the preposition ל could not be omitted before צרי.)

As Hitzig has correctly observed, צרי יומם is the same as שׁדד בּצּהרים in Jeremiah 15:8, and is the opposite of שׁדדי לילה in Obadiah 1:5. The enemy who comes by day, not in the night, is the enemy who does not shun open attack. The connection with נף is to be explained by the same rule as Jeremiah 24:2, "the one basket - very good figs." Memphis will have enemies in broad daylight, i.e., will be filled with them. און equals און, אן, in Genesis 41:45, Genesis 41:50 (Egyptian An, or Anu), is the popular name of Heliopolis in Lower Egypt (see the comm. on Genesis 41:45); and the form און (a vain thing, or idol) is probably selected intentionally in the sense of an idol-city (see the comm. on Hosea 4:15), because On-Heliopolis (בּית־שׁמשׁ in Jeremiah 43:13) was from time immemorial one of the principal seats of the Egyptian worship of the sun, and possessed a celebrated temple of the sun, with a numerous and learned priesthood (see the comm. on Genesis 41:45, ed. 2). פּי־בסת, i.e., βουβαστός (lxx), or βουβαστίν (Herod. ii. 59), Egyptian Pi-Pasht, i.e., the place of Pasht, so called from the cat-headed Bubastis or Pasht, the Egyptian Diana, which was worshipped there in a splendid temple. It was situated on the royal canal leading to Suez, which was begun by Necho and finished under Ptolemy II, not far from its junction with the Pelusiac arm of the Nile. It was the chief seat of the Nomos Bubastites, was destroyed by the Persians, who demolished its walls (Diod. Sic. xvi. 51), and has entirely disappeared, with the exception of some heaps of ruins which still bear the name of Tel Bastah, about seven hours' journey from the Nile (compare Ges. Thes. pp. 1101ff., and Leyrer in Herzog's Encyclopaedia, s.v.). The Nomos of Bubastis, according to Herod. ii. 166, was assigned to the warrior-caste of Calasirians. The בּחוּרים, the young military men, will fall by the sword; and הנּה, not αἱ γυναῖκες (lxx and others), but the cities themselves, i.e., their civil population as distinguished from the military garrison, shall go into exile. This explanation of הנּה is commended by בּנותיה in Ezekiel 30:18. תּחפנחס or תּחפּנחס (Jeremiah 43:7., Ezekiel 44:1; Ezekiel 46:14), and תּחפנס in Jeremiah 2:16 (Chetib), is Τάφναι, Τάφνη (lxx), or Δάφναι (Herod. ii. 30. 107), a frontier city of Egypt in the vicinity of Pelusium, after the time of Psammetichus a fortification with a strong garrison, where a palace of Pharaoh was also to be found, according to Jeremiah 43:9. After the destruction of Jerusalem, a portion of the Jews took refuge there, and to them Jeremiah predicted the punishment of God on the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar (Jeremiah 43:7., Ezekiel 44:1.). In the case of השך the reading varies; the printed Masora at Genesis 39:3 giving חשׂך as the reading to be found in all the codices examined by the author of the Masora; whereas many of the codices and printed editions have חשׁך, and this is adopted in all the ancient versions. This is evidently the correct reading, as חשׂך does not furnish an appropriate meaning, and the parallel passages, Ezekiel 32:8; Isaiah 13:10; Joel 3:4; Amos 8:9, all favour חשׁך. The darkening of the day is the phenomenal prognostic of the dawning of the great day of judgment upon the nations (cf. Joel 2:10; Joel 3:4, Joel 3:15; Isaiah 13:10, etc.). This day is to dawn upon Egypt at Tachpanches, the border fortress of the land towards Syria and Palestine, when the Lord will break the yokes of Egypt. These words point back to Leviticus 26:13, where the deliverance of Israel from the bondage of Egypt is called the breaking in pieces of its yokes (see also Ezekiel 34:27). That which took place then is to be repeated here. The yokes which Egypt put upon the nations are to be broken; and all the proud might of that kingdom is to be brought to an end (גּאון עזּהּ, as in Ezekiel 30:6). In Ezekiel 30:18, היא, which stands at the head in an absolute form, points back to בּתּחפנחס. The city (Daphne) will be covered with cloud, i.e., will be overthrown by the judgment; and her daughters, i.e., the smaller cities and hamlets dependent upon her (cf. Ezekiel 16:46 and Ezekiel 26:6), will go into captivity in the persons of their inhabitants. It follows from this that Daphne was the chief city of a Nomos in Lower Egypt; and this is confirmed by the circumstance that there was a royal palace there. If we compare the threat in this verse, that in Tachpanches an end is to be put to the proud might of Pharaoh, with the threatening words of Jeremiah 43:9., to the effect that Nebuchadnezzar would set up his throne at Tachpanches and smite Egypt, it is evident that the situation of Daphne must at that time have been such that the war between Egypt and Babylonia would necessarily be decided in or near this city. These prophetic utterances cannot be explained, as Kliefoth supposes, from the fact that many Jews had settled in Daphne; nor do the contents of this verse furnish any proof that Ezekiel did not utter this prophecy of his till after the Jews had settled there (Jeremiah 43:1-13 and 44). Ezekiel 30:19 serves to round off the prophecy.

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