Ezekiel 32:7
And when I shall put you out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.
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(7) Make the stars thereof dark.—This verse follows very closely Isaiah 13:10, spoken of Babylon. In this and the following verse the judgments of God are described in the common prophetic figure of changes in the heavenly bodies. (See Note on Ezekiel 30:18, and references there.)

Ezekiel 32:7-10. And when I shall put thee out — When I shall cast thee down from thy power, and extinguish all thy glory. I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark — It is well known that the downfall of states and kingdoms, kings and princes, is often expressed in the Scriptures by these or such like metaphors: see notes on Isaiah 13:10; Isaiah 24:23; Isaiah 30:26. But here the expressions may mean, I will make every thing look sad and dismal, or will cause a universal sorrow; for to men amidst great calamities and afflictions every thing appears dark and gloomy, and even the light itself seems little different from darkness; and therefore it is usual to express a state of great sorrow by the heavens being covered, and the stars darkened. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee — I will involve thy whole land in trouble and distress, making every thing in it look dismal. I will vex the hearts, &c., when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations — When thy exiles shall be dispersed into foreign countries, (see Ezekiel 29:12,) and relate the miserable circumstances of thy destruction, it shall cause grief and consternation in all that hear it. Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings, &c. — The kings and princes of Africa, who lay near to Egypt, seem here to be spoken of; for the destruction of Egypt could not but fill them with fear for themselves, lest the victor should make them suffer the same fate.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.The prophet passes from the image of the crocodile to that of dead bodies of the slain heaped up on the land. Some render "height," "foulness." 7. put thee out—extinguish thy light (Job 18:5). Pharaoh is represented as a bright star, at the extinguishing of whose light in the political sky the whole heavenly host is shrouded in sympathetic darkness. Here, too, as in Eze 32:6, there is an allusion to the supernatural darkness sent formerly (Ex 10:21-23). The heavenly bodies are often made images of earthly dynasties (Isa 13:10; Mt 24:29). Put thee out; as a torch is extinguished, Isaiah 43:17, so I will put out thy light, and turn thee into darkness.

Cover the heaven; either by dark vapours that arise from blood and putrefying carcasses, which darken the heavens; or it is a description of great sorrows, fears, troubles, and perplexities; or else it may intimate particularly the total ruin of the whole kingdom, in which the best, greatest, and noblest parts are; as heaven suppose the government, the sun the king, the moon the queen, the stars the princes and nobles, bright lights the most eminent of the subjects for wisdom and understanding, and then the land the common people: all shall be covered with clouds, and darkness of misery first, and sorrow next. Or it is possible that some unusual darknesses might be seen in the heavens and on the earth about that time. And when I shall put thee out,.... As a candle is put out, or some great light or blazing torch is extinguished; such was the king of Egypt in his splendour and glory; but now should be like a lamp put out in obscure darkness, and all his brightness and glory removed from him, Job 18:5,

I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; with the smoke that should arise at the extinguishing of this lamp; or they should be covered with mourning, or clad in black, at the destruction of this monarch and his monarchy:

I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light; all which figures are sometimes made use of to denote the dissolution of kingdoms and states: the "heaven" being an emblem of a kingdom itself; the "sun" of an emperor or king, or kingly power; the "moon" of the queen, or of the priesthood; the "stars" of nobles, princes, counsellors, and such like eminent persons, useful in government; who being destroyed or removed, the light and glory, the prosperity and happiness of a kingdom, are gone; see Isaiah 13:10. The Targum is,

"tribulation shall cover thee when I shall extinguish the splendour of the glory of thy kingdom from heaven; and the people of thine army shall be lessened, who are many as the stars; a king with his army shall cover thee as a cloud that ascends and covers the sun, and as the moon, whose light does not shine in the day.''

And when I shall {f} put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.

(f) The word signifies to be put out as a candle is put out.

7. put thee out] i.e. extinguish thee. Pharaoh is regarded as a brilliant luminary; cf. Isaiah 14:12, “How art thou fallen from heaven, O shining one, morning star!” It is doubtful if there is any ref. to the constellation of the dragon. The dragon (Job 3:8; Job 9:13; Job 26:12) is not a constellation but a purely ideal representation of the eclipse or the storm-cloud which swallows up the lights of heaven. The phenomena in the verse are those usually characteristic of the dissolution of nature on the day of the Lord (Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:31; Joel 3:15; Amos 8:9); but here they express rather the shock which creation receives when one so great meets with destruction.Verse 7. - When I shall put thee out; better, with the Revised Version, extinguish. The verb is used of lamps in 2 Chronicles 29:7. The change of metaphor is at first startling, but I follow Ewald, Hitzig, and Smend, in thinking that there is a traceable sequence of ideas. The "dragon of the Egyptian waters" suggested the "dragon" which was conspicuous between Ursa Major and Minor among the constellations of the heavens, and the name of which, probably derived by the Greek astronomers from a remote past, suggested that of an enemy of God (comp. Isaiah 51:9). So taken, the new comparison finds a parallel in that of the King of Babylon to Lucifer, the morning star, in Isaiah 14:12. Upon this there follows naturally the imagery of Ezekiel 30:18; Isaiah 34:4. As the other trees of the forest had mourned for the cedar (Ezekiel 31:15), so the other lights of heaven mourn for that particular star which has been quenched for ever (comp. for the general imagery. Isaiah 13:10; Joel 2:10; Joel 3:4, Hebrew ['English version, Ezekiel 2:31]. Further 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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