Ezekiel 30:20
And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
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(20) The eleventh year.—This was the year of the fall of Jerusalem, and the present prophecy (Ezekiel 30:20-26) was uttered a little more than three months and a half before its destruction. Very likely this prophecy had its occasion in the temporary raising of the siege of Jerusalem by Pharaoh-Hophra, and Nebuchadnezzar’s driving him away, the news of which would have been some months in reaching Chaldæa.

Ezekiel 30:20-26. It came to pass in the eleventh year, &c. — It seems this prophecy was delivered soon after the Egyptian army had marched out of Egypt to relieve Jerusalem when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, but had returned without effecting any thing, (see notes on Jeremiah 37:5; Jeremiah 37:7,) and some months before that city was taken, that is, more than sixteen years before the preceding prophecies. I have broken the arm of Pharaoh — I have begun to break, or will break, Pharaoh’s strength, so that he shall not be able to recover his former power. Calmet’s interpretation is, “I will break Pharaoh by the revolt of his subjects, by the war which Amasis shall bring upon him, and afterward by that of Nebuchadnezzar; and this in the space of fourteen or fifteen years.” It is usual for the prophets to speak of a thing future as if it was already accomplished. It shall not be bound up to be healed — His calamity shall be so far from being lessened, that it shall increase more and more every day. And will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken — Or, rather, the firm one, as well as the broken, or infirm one. The king of Babylon had before dispossessed the king of Egypt of all his new conquests, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates, 2 Kings 24:7. So that this part of his strength was already taken away, and never to be recovered; and now God threatens to destroy the remainder of his power, namely, the kingdom of Egypt itself. And I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand — He shall have no more strength to defend himself than a man hath to use his sword when his arm is broken. And he shall groan with the groanings of a deadly-wounded man — His strength and power shall fail, and he shall groan with anguish as a man who is dying of his wounds. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations — See note on Ezekiel 29:12-13.

30:20-26 Egypt shall grow weaker and weaker. If lesser judgments do not prevail to humble and reform sinners, God will send greater. God justly breaks that power which is abused, either to put wrongs upon people, or to put cheats upon them. Babylon shall grow stronger. In vain do men endeavour to bind up the arm the Lord is pleased to break, and to strengthen those whom he will bring down. Those who disregard the discoveries of his truth and mercy, shall know his power and justice, in the punishment for their sins.Fourth prophecy against Egypt spoken three months before the capture of Jerusalem Ezekiel 26:1, and three months after the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:1. Meantime, Pharaoh-Hophra's attempt on Jerusalem had been foiled, and the Egyptians driven back into their own country (Jeremiah 37:5 note).20. Here begins the earlier vision, not long after that in the twenty-ninth chapter, about three months before the taking of Jerusalem, as to Pharaoh and his kingdom. The eleventh year of Jeconiah’s captivity, three months and two days before Jerusalem was taken, Jeremiah 52:4.

In the first month; the fourth day of our April.

And it came to pass in the eleventh year,.... Of Zedekiah's reign, and Jehoiachin's captivity; some little time after the prophecy in Ezekiel 19:1, here the prophecies come into their order again, being interrupted by those of a much later date, at the end of the preceding chapter, and the former part of this:

in the first month, in the seventh day of the month; the month Nisan, which answers to part of March, and part of April; the seventh day must be about the twenty ninth of March; but, according to Bishop Usher (m), it was on the twenty sixth of April, on the third day of the week (Tuesday), in 3416 A.M. or before Christ 588: this was given out three months and two days before Jerusalem was taken:

that the word of the Lord came unto me, saying; as follows:

(m) Annales Vet. Test. A. M. 3416.

And it came to pass in the {e} eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

(e) Of the captivity of Jeconiah, or of Zedekiah's reign.

20–26. A new prophecy against Egypt, four months before the fall of Jerusalem

Pharaoh seems to have quite recently suffered a defeat (Ezekiel 30:21), and a complete disaster to his power is threatened (Ezekiel 30:22). This idea is expressed in a figure: one of his arms has been irremediably broken, it cannot be healed so as again to grasp the sword (Ezekiel 30:21). But both arms shall be broken, the strong one as well as the disabled one, and the sword shall fall out of his hand (Ezekiel 30:22). But Jehovah will make strong the arms of Nebuchadnezzar, and put his own sword into his hand, which he shall stretch out over Egypt. It is Jehovah’s sword that Neb: wields, and Egypt shall be scattered among the nations.

Verse 20. - In the eleventh year, etc. Assuming that the whole section, Ezekiel 29:17-30:19, were a later insertion, that which follows was written in April, B.C. 586. Its contents show that it was written at or about the time of the abortive attempt of Pharaoh-Hophra to come to the relief of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 34:21; Jeremiah 37:5-7). This was the breaking of the arm of Egypt, of which the next verse speaks. Ezekiel 30:20Destruction of the Might of Pharaoh by Nebuchadnezzar

According to the heading in Ezekiel 30:20, "In the eleventh year, in the first (month), on the seventh of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying," this short word of threatening against Egypt falls in the second year of the siege of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans, and, as Ezekiel 30:21 clearly shows, after the army of Pharaoh Hophra, which marched to the relief of Jerusalem, had been defeated by the Chaldeans who turned to meet it (Jeremiah 37:5, Jeremiah 37:7). If we compare with this the date of the first prophecy against Egypt in Ezekiel 29:1, the prophecy before us was separated from the former by an interval of three months. But as there is no allusion whatever in Ezekiel 29 to Pharaoh's attempt to come to the relief of the besieged city of Jerusalem, or to his repulse, the arrival of the Egyptian army in Palestine, its defeat, and its repulse by the Chaldeans, seems to have occurred in the interval between these two prophecies, towards the close of the tenth year.

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