Ezekiel 32:7
And when I shall put thee 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]. Ezekiel 32:7His overthrow fills the whole world with mourning and terror. - Ezekiel 32:7. When I extinguish thee, I will cover the sky and darken its stars; I will cover the sun with cloud, and the moon will not cause its light to shine. Ezekiel 32:8. All the shining lights in the sky do I darken because of thee, and I bring darkness over thy land, is the saying of the Lord Jehovah. Ezekiel 32:9. And I will trouble the heart of many nations when I bring out thine overthrow among the nations into lands which thou knowest not, Ezekiel 32:10. And I will make many nations amazed at thee, and their kings shall shudder at thee when I brandish my sword before their face; and they shall tremble every moment, every one for his life on the day of his fall. - The thought of Ezekiel 32:7 and Ezekiel 32:8 is not exhausted by the paraphrase, "when thou art extinguished, all light will be extinguished, so far as Egypt is concerned," accompanied with the remark, that the darkness consequent thereupon is a figurative representation of utterly hopeless circumstances (Schmieder). The thought on which the figure rests is that of the day of the Lord, the day of God's judgment, on which the lights of heaven lose their brightness (cf. Ezekiel 30:3 and Joel 2:10, etc.). This day bursts upon Egypt with the fall of Pharaoh, and on it the shining stars of heaven are darkened, so that the land of Pharaoh becomes dark. Egypt is a world-power represented by Pharaoh, which collapses with his fall. But the overthrow of this world-power is an omen and prelude of the overthrow of every ungodly world-power on the day of the last judgment, when the present heaven and the present earth will perish in the judgment-fire. Compare the remarks to be found in the commentary on Joel 3:4 upon the connection between the phenomena of the heavens and great catastrophes on earth. The contents of both verses may be fully explained from the biblical idea of the day of the Lord and the accompanying phenomena; and for the explanation of בּכבּותך, there is no necessity to assume, as Dereser and Hitzig have done, that the sea-dragon of Egypt is presented here under the constellation of a dragon; for there is no connection between the comparison of Egypt to a tannim or sea-dragon, in Ezekiel 32:2 and Ezekiel 29:3 ( equals רהב, Isaiah 51:9), and the constellation of the dragon (see the comm. on Isaiah 51:9 and Isaiah 30:7). In בּכבּותך Pharaoh is no doubt regarded as a star of the first magnitude in the sky; but in this conception Ezekiel rests upon Isaiah 14:12, where the king of Babylon is designated as a bright morning-star. That this passage was in the prophet's mind, is evident at once from the fact that Ezekiel 32:7 coincides almost verbatim with Isaiah 13:10. - The extinction and obscuration of the stars are not merely a figurative representation of the mourning occasioned by the fall of Pharaoh; still less can Ezekiel 32:9 and Ezekiel 32:10 be taken as an interpretation in literal phraseology of the figurative words in Ezekiel 32:7 and Ezekiel 32:8. For Ezekiel 32:9 and Ezekiel 32:10 do not relate to the mourning of the nations, but to anxiety and terror into which they are plunged by God through the fall of Pharaoh and his might. הכעיס , to afflict the heart, does not mean to make it sorrowful, but to fill it with anxiety, to deprive it of its peace and cheerfulness. "When I bring thy fall among the nations" is equivalent to "spread the report of thy fall." Consequently there is no need for either the arbitrary alteration of שׁברך into שׂברך, which Ewald proposes, with the imaginary rendering announcement or report; nor for the marvellous assumption of Hvernick, that שׁברך describes the prisoners scattered among the heathen as the ruins of the ancient glory of Egypt, in support of which he adduces the rendering of the lxx αἰχμαλωσίαν σου, which is founded upon the change of שׁברך into שׁביך. For Ezekiel 32:10 compare Ezekiel 27:35. עופף, to cause to fly, to brandish. The sword is brandished before their face when it falls time after time upon their brother the king of Egypt, whereby they are thrown into alarm for their own lives. לרגעים, by moments equals every moment (see the comm. on Isaiah 27:3).
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