Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Eze 30:1-26. Continuation of the Prophecies against Egypt.
Two distinct messages: (1) At Eze 30:1-19, a repetition of Eze 29:1-16, with fuller details of lifelike distinctness. The date is probably not long after that mentioned in Eze 29:17, on the eve of Nebuchadnezzar's march against Egypt after subjugating Tyre. (2) A vision relating directly to Pharaoh and the overthrow of his kingdom; communicated at an earlier date, the seventh of the first month of the eleventh year. Not a year after the date in Eze 29:1, and three months before the taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!
2. Woe worth the day!—that is, Alas for the day!
For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.
3. the time of the heathen—namely, for taking vengeance on them. The judgment on Egypt is the beginning of a world-wide judgment on all the heathen enemies of God (Joe 1:15; 2:1, 2; 3:1-21; Ob 15).
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.
4. pain—literally, "pangs with trembling as of a woman in childbirth."
Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
5. the mingled people—the mercenary troops of Egypt from various lands, mostly from the interior of Africa (compare Eze 27:10; Jer 25:20, 24; 46:9, 21).
Chub—the people named Kufa on the monuments [Havernick], a people considerably north of Palestine [Wilkinson]; Coba or Chobat, a city of Mauritania [Maurer].
men of the land that is in league—too definite an expression to mean merely, "men in league" with Egypt; rather, "sons of the land of the covenant," that is, the Jews who migrated to Egypt and carried Jeremiah with them (Jer 42:1-44:30). Even they shall not escape (Jer 42:22; 44:14).
Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.
6. from the tower of Syene—(see on Eze 29:10).
And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.
7. in the midst of … countries … desolate—Egypt shall fare no better than they (Eze 29:10).
And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.
In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.
9. messengers … in ships to … Ethiopians—(Isa 18:1, 2). The cataracts interposing between them and Egypt should not save them. Egyptians "fleeing from before Me" in My execution of judgment, as "messengers" in "skiffs" ("vessels of bulrushes," Isa 18:2) shall go up the Nile as far as navigable, to announce the advance of the Chaldeans.
as in the day of Egypt—The day of Ethiopia's "pain" shall come shortly, as Egypt's day came.
Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.
10. the multitude—the large population.
He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.
12. rivers—the artificial canals made from the Nile for irrigation. The drying up of these would cause scarcity of grain, and so prepare the way for the invaders (Isa 19:5-10).
Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
13. Noph—Memphis, the capital of Middle Egypt, and the stronghold of "idols." Though no record exists of Nebuchadnezzar's "destroying" these, we know from Herodotus and others, that Cambyses took Pelusium, the key of Egypt, by placing before his army dogs, cats, &c., all held sacred in Egypt, so that no Egyptian would use any weapon against them. He slew Apis, the sacred ox, and burnt other idols of Egypt.
no more a prince—referring to the anarchy that prevailed in the civil wars between Apries and Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion. There shall no more be a prince of the land of Egypt, ruling the whole country; or, no independent prince.
And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.
14. Pathros—Upper Egypt, with "No" or Thebes its capital (famed for its stupendous buildings, of which grand ruins remain), in antithesis to Zoan or Tanis, a chief city in Lower Egypt, within the Delta.
And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.
15. Sin—that is, Pelusium, the frontier fortress on the northeast, therefore called "the strength (that is, the key) of Egypt." It stands in antithesis to No or Thebes at the opposite end of Egypt; that is, I will afflict Egypt from one end to the other.
And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.
16. distresses daily—Maurer translates, "enemies during the day," that is, open enemies who do not wait for the covert of night to make their attacks (compare Jer 6:4; 15:8). However, the Hebrew, though rarely, is sometimes rendered (see Ps 13:2) as in English Version.
The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity.
17. Aven—meaning "vanity" or "iniquity": applied, by a slight change of the Hebrew name, to On or Heliopolis, in allusion to its idolatry. Here stood the temple of the sun, whence it was called in Hebrew, Beth-shemesh (Jer 43:13). The Egyptian hieroglyphics call it, Re Athom, the sun, the father of the gods, being impersonate in Athom or Adam, the father of mankind.
Pi-beseth—that is, Bubastis, in Lower Egypt, near the Pelusiac branch of the Nile: notorious for the worship of the goddess of the same name (Coptic, Pasht), the granite stones of whose temple still attest its former magnificence.
these cities—rather, as the Septuagint, "the women," namely, of Aven and Pi-beseth, in antithesis to "the young men." So in Eze 30:18, "daughters shall go into captivity" [Maurer].
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
18. Tehaphnehes—called from the queen of Egypt mentioned in 1Ki 11:19. The same as Daphne, near Pelusium, a royal residence of the Pharaohs (Jer 43:7, 9). Called Hanes (Isa 30:4).
break … the yokes of Egypt—that is, the tyrannical supremacy which she exercised over other nations. Compare "bands of their yoke" (Eze 34:7).
a cloud—namely, of calamity.
Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
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,
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.
Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.
21. broken … arm of Pharaoh—(Ps 37:17; Jer 48:25). Referring to the defeat which Pharaoh-hophra sustained from the Chaldeans, when trying to raise the siege of Jerusalem (Jer 37:5, 7); and previous to the deprivation of Pharaoh-necho of all his conquests from the river of Egypt to the Euphrates (2Ki 24:7; Jer 46:2); also to the Egyptian disaster in Cyrene.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand.
22. arms—Not only the "one arm" broken already (Eze 30:21) was not to be healed, but the other two should be broken. Not a corporal wound, but a breaking of the power of Pharaoh is intended.
cause … sword to fall out of … hand—deprive him of the resources of making war.
And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.
But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.
And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD.