And the sword shall come on Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The sword: see Ezekiel 29:8.
In Ethiopia; next neighbour and ally to Egypt; they shall tremble at so great danger, so near, and they uncertain whether it will come on them, but very certain to be ruined if it does come, and as certain that they have cause to suspect it will come on them.
When the slain shall fall in Egypt; when the Egyptians, under the eye of the Ethiopians, shall fall in battle, and at the taking of their towns.
They shall take away her multitude; in miserable captivity carry them to Babylon, by whole droves.
Her foundations, their government, laws, counsellors, strong holds, which are to a nation as foundations to a house, are destroyed.
and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt; Ethiopia being a neighbouring nation to Egypt, shall be in a panic when it shall hear of the sword of the Chaldeans being in Egypt, and of the ravages made by it, of the multitudes slain with it; fearing it will be their turn next to fall into the same hands, and in the same manner; and the rather, not only as they were neighbours, but allies:
and they shall take away her multitude; that is, the Chaldeans shall carry captive vast numbers of the Egyptians; such as fell not by the sword should not escape the hand of the enemy, but be taken and carried into other lands. Egypt was a very populous country; according to Agrippa's speech in Josephus (f), there were in it 7,500,000 persons from Ethiopia to Alexandria, besides the inhabitants of the latter, as might be gathered from the tribute each person paid; hence they are compared to the trees of a forest that cannot be searched, and to grasshoppers innumerable, Jeremiah 46:23, but now their numbers should be lesser:
and her foundations shall be broken down; either in a literal sense, the foundations of the cities, towers, and fortified places in Egypt, should be undermined and destroyed, and consequently the buildings on them must sink and fall; or in a figurative sense, her king, princes, magistrates, laws, and government, which are the support of a state, should be removed, and be of no more service.And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)4. great pain] anguish, a late word, cf. Ezekiel 30:9.
her multitude] Ch. Ezekiel 29:19; cf. Ezekiel 29:10; cf. Ezekiel 29:15, ch. Ezekiel 31:2. Her “foundations” is suggested by the idea of a building overthrown. Reference is hardly to the allies and mercenaries on whom Egypt relied in war, rather to the classes and institutions in which the strength of the state lay.Verse 4. - Great pain shall be in Ethiopia. The words point to the extension of the invasion of Egypt - by Nebuchadnezzar in the first instance, and afterwards by other conquerors - to the upper valley of the Nile. They shall take away her multitude. The word is taken by Keil, Smend, and others of things rather than persons, the multitude of possessions. Hengstenberg renders "tumult" in the sense of the stir of a crowded city. The foundations are probably to be taken figuratively of the bases of the prosperity of Egypt, its allies and mercenaries, rather than of actual buildings (comp. Psalm 11:3; Psalm 82:5).
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