Ezekiel 32:12
By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed.
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32:1-16 It becomes us to weep and tremble for those who will not weep and tremble for themselves. Great oppressors are, in God's account, no better than beasts of prey. Those who admire the pomp of this world, will wonder at the ruin of that pomp; which to those who know the vanity of all things here below, is no surprise. When others are ruined by sin, we have to fear, knowing ourselves guilty. The instruments of the desolation are formidable. And the instances of the desolation are frightful. The waters of Egypt shall run like oil, which signifies there should be universal sadness and heaviness upon the whole nation. God can soon empty those of this world's goods who have the greatest fulness of them. By enlarging the matters of our joy, we increase the occasions of our sorrow. How weak and helpless, as to God, are the most powerful of mankind! The destruction of Egypt was a type of the destruction of the enemies of Christ.When I shall bring thy destruction - i. e., the news of thy destruction. The phenomena here mentioned are the accompaniments of "the day of the Lord" Joel 2:10; Luke 21:25 or the day of judgment. The fall of Pharaoh represents the fall of the world-power before the sovereignty of God. 10. brandish my sword before them—literally, "in their faces," or sight. By the swords of the mighty; the soldiers of Nebuchadnezzar, helped also by Amasis, and the rebellious Egyptians that joined with Amasis and Nebuchadnezzar against their own king.

The multitude; the people of the land, which were numerous before they were wasted by these wars.

The terrible of the nations: see Ezekiel 31:12.

Spoil the pomp; break her strength, rob her treasures, sack her cities, captivate her people, and make the kingdom tributary, and so stain all her glory.

All the multitude thereof, from high to low, the great and the mean promiscuously, shall perish.

By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall,.... Pharaoh's numerous subjects; or his army, as the Targum; the vast number of soldiers in it, whose carcasses should fall in battle by the sword of the Chaldeans, the mighty men of Nebuchadnezzar's army:

the terrible of the nations all of them; which army consisted of men of several nations, and those the most terrible, fierce, and cruel, by whose swords this slaughter should be made:

and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt; cut off the king, the princes of the blood, the nobility and gentry, the prime of the nation; plunder the king's palace of all the wealth and riches in it, the treasury of the kingdom; destroy the metropolis of it; demolish its cities and fortified places, and take away all its strength and glory:

and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed: all the people of the land, high and low, rich and poor; the destruction shall be general, all ranks and degrees of men shall share in it.

By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall lay waste the {h} pomp of Egypt, and all its multitude shall be destroyed.

(h) This came to pass in less than four years after this prophecy.

12. terrible of the nations] Cf. on Ezekiel 28:7, Ezekiel 29:19.

Ezekiel 32:12The judgment upon Egypt will be executed by the king of Babylon. - Ezekiel 32:11. For thus saith the Lord Jehovah, The sword of the king of Babylon will come upon thee. Ezekiel 32:12. By swords of heroes will I cause thy tumult to fall, violent ones of the nations are they all, and will lay waste the pride of Egypt, and all its tumult will be destroyed. Ezekiel 32:13. And I will cut off all its cattle from the great waters, that no foot of man may disturb them any more, nor any hoof of cattle disturb them. Ezekiel 32:14. Then will I cause their waters to settle and their streams to flow like oil, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah, Ezekiel 32:15. When I make the land of Egypt a desert, and the land is made desolate of its fulness, because I smite all the inhabitants therein, and they shall know that I am Jehovah. Ezekiel 32:16. A lamentatoin (mournful ode) is this, and they will sing it mournfully; the daughters of the nations will sing it mournfully, over Egypt and over all its tumult will they sing it mournfully, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. - In this concluding strophe the figurative announcement of the preceding one is summed up briefly in literal terms; and toward the close (Ezekiel 32:14) there is a slight intimation of a better future. The destruction of the proud might of Egypt will be effected through the king of Babylon and his brave and violent hosts. עריצי גּוים, as in Ezekiel 31:12 (see the comm. on Ezekiel 28:7). המון in Ezekiel 32:12 and Ezekiel 32:13 must not be restricted to the multitude of people. It signifies tumult, and embraces everything in Egypt by which noise and confusion were made (as in Ezekiel 31:2 and Ezekiel 31:18); although the idea of a multitude of people undoubtedly predominates in the use of המון in Ezekiel 32:12. גּאון , the pride of Egypt, is not that of which Egypt is proud, but whatever is proud or exalts itself in Egypt. The utter devastation of Egypt includes the destruction of the cattle, i.e., of the numerous herds which fed on the grassy banks of the Nile and were driven to the Nile to drink (cf. Genesis 47:6; Genesis 41:2.; Exodus 9:3); and this is therefore specially mentioned in Ezekiel 32:13, with an allusion to the consequence thereof, namely, that the waters of the Nile would not be disturbed any more either by the foot of man or hoof of beast (compare Ezekiel 32:13 with Ezekiel 29:11). The disturbing of the water is mentioned with evident reference to Ezekiel 32:2, where Pharaoh is depicted as a sea-monster, which disturbs the streams of water. The disturbance of the water is therefore a figurative representation of the wild driving of the imperial power of Egypt, by which the life-giving streams of the nations were stirred up.

Ezekiel 32:14. Then will God cause the waters of Egypt to sink. Hitzig and Kliefoth understand this as signifying the diminution of the abundance of water in the Nile, which had previously overflowed the land and rendered it fertile, but for which there was no further purpose now. According to this explanation, the words would contain a continued picture of the devastation of the land. But this is evidently a mistake, for the simple reason that it is irreconcilable with the אז, by which the thought is introduced. אז, tunc, is more precisely defined by 'בּתתּי וגו in Ezekiel 32:15 as the time when the devastation has taken place; whereas Kliefoth takes the 15th verse, in opposition both to the words and the usage of the language, as the sequel to Ezekiel 32:14, or in other words, regards בּתתּי as synonymous with ונתתּי. The verse contains a promise, as most of the commentators, led by the Chaldee and Jerome, have correctly assumed.

(Note: The explanation of Jerome is the following: "Then will purest waters, which had been disturbed by the sway of the dragon, be restored not by another, but by the Lord Himself; so that their streams flow like oil, and are the nutriment of true light.")

השׁקיע, to make the water sink, might no doubt signify in itself a diminution of the abundance of water. But if we consider the context, in which reference is made to the disturbance of the water through its being trodden with the feet (Ezekiel 32:13), השׁקיע can only signify to settle, i.e., to become clear through the sinking to the bottom of the slime which had been stirred up (cf. Ezekiel 34:18). The correctness of this explanation is confirmed by the parallel clause, to make their streams flow with oil. To understand this as signifying the slow and gentle flow of the diminished water, would introduce a figure of which there is no trace in Hebrew. Oil is used throughout the Scriptures as a figurative representation of the divine blessing, or the power of the divine Spirit. כּשׁמן, like oil, according to Hebrew phraseology, is equivalent to "like rivers of oil." And oil-rivers are not rivers which flow quietly like oil, but rivers which contain oil instead of water (cf. Job 29:6), and are symbolical of the rich blessing of God (cf. Deuteronomy 32:13). The figure is a very appropriate one for Egypt, as the land is indebted to the Nile for all its fertility. Whereas its water had been stirred up and rendered turbid by Pharaoh; after the fall of Pharaoh the Lord will cause the waters of the stream, which pours its blessings upon the land, to purify themselves, and will make its streams flow with oil. The clarified water and flowing oil are figures of the life-giving power of the word and Spirit of God. But this blessing will not flow to Egypt till its natural power is destroyed. Ewald has therefore given the following as the precise meaning of Ezekiel 32:14 : "The Messianic times will then for the first time dawn on Egypt, when the waters no more become devastating and turbid, that is to say, through the true knowledge to which the chastisement leads." Ezekiel 32:16 "rounds off the passage by turning back to Ezekiel 32:2" (Hitzig). The daughters of the nations are mentioned as the singers, because mourning for the dead was for the most part the business of women (cf. Jeremiah 9:16). The words do not contain a summons to the daughters of the nations to sing the lamentation, but the declaration that they will do it, in which the thought is implied that the predicted devastation of Egypt will certainly occur.

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