Ezekiel 30
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures

1And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, 2Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Howl! alas 3for the day! For near is the day, and [indeed] near is the day of Jehovah, a day of cloud; a time of the heathen nations shall it be. 4And the sword comes into Egypt, and there is anguish in Cush at the fall of the pierced-through in Egypt; and they take 5his tumult, and his foundations are pulled down. Cush, and Phut, and Lud, and all the strange people, and Kub, and the sons of the covenant-land, 6shall fall with them by the sword. Thus saith Jehovah, And they that uphold Egypt fall; and the pride of his strength comes down: from Migdol to Syene shall they fall in him by the sword, sentence of the Lord Jehovah. 7And they shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate lands, and his cities 8shall be in the midst of the wasted cities. And they know that I am Jehovah, when I give a fire in Egypt, and all his helpers shall be shattered. 9In that day shall messengers go forth from before Me in ships, to frighten Cush the secure, and there is anguish among them, as in the day of Egypt; for, behold, it comes. 10Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, And I make the tumult of Egypt to cease through the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. 11He and his people with him, the violent of the heathen, are brought to destroy the land, and they draw their swords upon Egypt, and fill the land with the 12pierced-through. And I give [make] the streams for drought, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked, and lay the land and its fulness waste by the hand of strangers: I, Jehovah, have spoken. 13Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, And I destroy the foul idols, and make the idols to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince out of the land of Egypt: and I give fear in the 14land of Egypt. And I make Pathros desolate, and give fire in Zoan, and do 15judgment in [on] No. And I pour out My fury upon Sin, the stronghold of 16Egypt; and cut off the tumult of No. And I give fire in Egypt: Sin shall writhe [for pain], and No shall be for conquest [broken], and Noph—besiegers 17[have] by day. The young men of Aven and Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword, 18and they [these cities] shall go into captivity. And in Tehaphnehes the day shall be dark, in that [when] I break there the yokes of Egypt, and the pride of its strength ceases in it: a cloud shall cover it, and its daughters shall go 19into captivity. And I do judgment in Egypt, and they know that I am Jehovah.

20     And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [month], on the seventh of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, 21Son of man, the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, I have broken; and, behold, it is not bound up, that one might apply healings [means of healing], that one might lay on a fillet to bind it, that it may become strong, that it may take hold of the sword. 22Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I [come] on Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and I break his arms, the strong and the broken, and make 23the sword fall out of his hand. And I scatter Egypt among the heathen, and 24disperse them in the lands. And I strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and give My sword into his hand, and shatter the army of Pharaoh, 25and he groans the groans of the pierced-through before him. And [yea] I take firm hold of [hold strong] the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall; and they know that I am Jehovah, in that I give My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he stretches it out against 26the land of Egypt. And I scatter Egypt among the heathen, and disperse them in the lands; and they know that I am Jehovah.

Ezekiel 30:2. Sept.: ... … ὠ ὠ ἠ ἡμερα, (3) ὁτι—Vulg.: … væ, væ diei!

Ezekiel 30:4. … και πεσουνται … το πληθος αὐτης κ. συμπεσειται τα

Ezekiel 30:5. Sept.: Περσαι κ. Κρητες κ. Δυδοι κ. Διβυες κ. παντες οἱ ἐτιμικτοι ἐπʼ αὐτην … διαθηκς μου ἐν αὐτη μαχαιρᾳ— Vulg.: Aethiopia et Libya et Lydi et omne reliquum vulgus(Another read: וכנוב; Arab: Nubienses.)

Ezekiel 30:6. Vulg.: superbia imperii ejus: a turre Syenes

Ezekiel 30:9. ... ἀγγελοι σπευδοντες ἀφανισαι … ἐν τῃ ἡμερᾳ— (Another read.: ביום, Syr., Ar., Targ., Vulg.)

Ezekiel 30:11. αὐτου κ. του λαου αὐτου. Δοιμοι ἀπο ἐθνων—Vulg.: … fortissimi

Ezekiel 30:13. … κ. καταπαυσω μεγιστανας ἀπο Μεμφεως κ. ἀρκοντας Τανεως ἐκ γης Αἰγυπ. κ. οὐκ ἐσονται οὐκετι

Ezekiel 30:14. Sept.: ... ἐκδικησιν ἐν Διοσπολει Vulg.: … in Alexandria.

Ezekiel 30:15. … ἐπι Σαϊν … το πληθος Μεμφεως … Pelusium … multitudinem Alexandriæ. (Another read: מעון )

Ezekiel 30:16. Συηνη … κ. ἐν Διοσπολει ἐκρηγμα κ. διαχυθησεται ὑδατα Vulg.: … quasi parturiens dolebit Pelusium et Alexandria erit dissipata et in Memphis angustiæ quotidianæ.

Ezekiel 30:17. … ̔Ηλιουπολεως … κ. αἱ γυναικες … et ipsæ captivæ

Ezekiel 30:18. …ἐν Ταφναις … τα σκηπτρα Αιγ

Ezekiel 30:21. Vulg.: … non est obvolutum ut restitueretur ei sanitas

Ezekiel 30:22. Sept.: ... κ. τους τεταμενους κ. τ.συντριβομενους—

Ezekiel 30:24. ... και ἐπαξει αὐτην ἐπ̓ Αἰγ.κ. προνομευσει την τρονονην αὐτης κ. σκυλευσει τα σκυλα αὐτπς.

Ezekiel 30:26. ... ἐπιγνωσονται παντες οἱ Αι̇γυπτιοι


Ezekiel 30:1–19. The Day of Judgment.

As this section is without any chronological preface, this may be understood if it justifies its place by the fit position of its contents. Thus the day in Ezekiel 30:2 appears as the time of the heathen nations in Ezekiel 30:3; hence it is quite suitable as an appendix to the outline of the prophecy taken as a whole (Ezekiel 29:1 sq.). So, too, the sword coming upon Egypt (Ezekiel 30:4) is more definitely indicated in Ezekiel 30:10 sq., as through the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, and so Ezekiel 30:20 sq. is prepared for. Not that “the naked thought expressed in the introduction to the prophecy (Ezekiel 29:17–21), of the great catastrophe hanging over Egypt, assumes flesh and blood in the main body of the prophecy (Ezekiel 30:1–19),” as Hengst. expresses himself; but the prophecy upon Egypt in Ezekiel 29:1–16, primarily coloured by its reference to Israel, is now again coloured by the respect had to the heathen, in particular to the Egyptian covenant-associates.

Ezekiel 30:2. Howl, Isa. 13:6 (ילל, to sound). The sound is expressed by הָהּ,—like אְַחַהּ (Ezekiel 4:14), especially with ליום,—in the word-sound. The day, therefore the time, when that takes place which is contained in Ezekiel 30:4 sq., gives the reference (ל) of the mournful howl. The persons addressed will presently become plain.

Ezekiel 30:3. Why they were called to howling had its ground in the nearness (Ezekiel 7:7), which, however, has no chronological determination, except in the very near approach of the day. This is primarily designated as ליהוהיום, i.e. the one proper to the Lord, His day in particular, not only determined, fixed by Him; also not that alone which comes from Him; but, as the standing formula: “And they know that I am Jehovah,” readily suggests, the day of the manifestation of Jehovah. It is, as the comparison with Obad. 15, Joel 1:15, Isa. 13:6–9, Zeph. 1:7, 14, shows, the becoming manifest in judgment. (KLIEF.: judgment, punishment, slaughter-day.) With this also agrees the designation of it as “a day of cloud;” comp. Ezekiel 1:4. The symbolical import is obvious, since, when the clear light of day comes to be veiled, there is a threatening of storm (Ezekiel 30:18, Ezekiel 34:12; Joel 1:15, 2:2; Zeph. 1:15); therefore one has to think of the wrath of God, and, in consequence thereof, a calamity which will break forth. Accordingly, עת גוים יהיה (without article) is self-determined, as meaning the time when heathen nations—they, consequently, are the parties addressed in Ezekiel 30:2, spoken of generally as contradistinguished merely from Israel, but more definitely indicated in what follows—shall experience their judgment; not precisely “their end” (as Hitzig), but Jehovah’s manifestation in the judgment of wrath pregnant with calamity to them. Comp. besides, Ezekiel 22:3; Isa. 2:12. [Not “identical with the day of Egypt, Ezekiel 30:9,” as Hengst. thinks, however similar, for the heathen were not simply the Egyptians. But still less, with Vatabl., Münst., and others, are we to think of the Chaldeans as executors of the judgment.]

Ezekiel 30:4. The way and manner of the predicted judgment is here represented: the sword comes; and the heathen peoples, who are addressed in Ezekiel 30:2, are now named, viz. Egypt, in which war or bloody uproar so frightfully raged, that in Ethiopia the impression made by it was חלחלה, the corporeal state of convulsive writhing, for: anguish, terror, and woe. Nah. 2:11 [10]; Isa. 21:3.—Upon כוש, see the Lexicons.—HITZIG: חלל alludes to חלחלה.—The subject to: and they take, is naturally: the enemies, considered indefinitely.—המונה, see at Ezekiel 29:19. HENGST.: “this is here the prosperity of Egypt bringing with it active life.”—יסדות, the foundations, figuratively of the state as a house, not to be understood literally of the Egyptian chief cities. The figure, however, must not be limited (as שָׁתוֹת in Isa. 19:10) to the higher classes, who bear immediately the state-building; nor must it (as Hitzig) be understood of the mercenaries, who only support Egypt (Ezekiel 30:5, 6), and could hardly be represented as the foundations of its existence as a state. The representation must undoubtedly be (as well remarked by Hupfeld on Ps. 11:3) of that which bears the civic society and holds it up—ordinances and laws; so that, if formerly it was the well-being of Egypt which was concerned, it is now the being, the very existence of it.

Ezekiel 30:5. Ethiopia, as already at Ezekiel 30:4, instar omnium, named as the neighbour and political associate of Egypt, opens the array of Egypt’s supporters (Ezekiel 30:6). Upon Phut and Lud, see at Ezekiel 27:10.—ערב is: “joining-in,” “mixing,” “immigration,” therefore: strange people; scarcely (as the Syrian translates) could “all Arabia” be meant. Ex. 12:38; 1 Kings 10:15; Jer. 25:20, 24:1, 37; Neh. 13:3. Häv. distinguishes these from the covenant-associates of Egypt. But what else could Cush be?—Kub, only here, is by some regarded as written instead of לוב, which Ewald reads, though he translates Nubia; while Kliefoth thinks of the Lubim in Nah. 3:9, 2 Chron. 16:8, the Libyægyptii of the ancients; or taken instead of נוב, so Gesenius and the Arab. translation, “Nubians;” and Hitzig also supposes לוב to have been the older Heb. form for Nubia (?);—by others it has been understood (HÄV.) of a people Kufa frequently occurring on the monuments of Egypt—according to Wilkinson, an important Asiatic people lying farther north than Palestine, with long hair, richly clothed, and with parti-coloured sandals; the tribute which they are represented as bringing bespeaks not a little of wealth, civilisation, and skill. Hengst. combines Kub with Ezekiel 27:10, and makes it correspond to the Persians, who had entered in consequence of the coalition into the service of Tyre, and whose appearance here cannot be thought strange; everywhere where there was a struggle against the tyrants, mercenaries were to be found of this powerful aspiring people. The name was a domestic one—“Kufa” in old Persian = mountain; the particular region, as appears to Hitzig, to be sought in Kohistan.—The sons of the covenant-land are understood by Jerome, Theodoret, the Sept., the Arab, trans., also by Hitzig, of the Jews who had taken refuge in Egypt (Jer. 42–44.); the covenant-land (with the article), that promised to Abraham and his seed according to God’s covenant, is Canaan. The Syriac translation, on the other hand, points to the associates in the league, which the expression certainly does not clearly justify. Hence Hengst., understanding by the covenant-land Cush, makes the beginning turn hack to the close; while Schmieder, with whom Kliefoth agrees, conjectures a tract of land unknown to us, but near to Egypt, and in a state of league with it (!).

Ezekiel 30:6. ונפלו סמכי׳, either as Ewald: “there fall Egypt’s supporters” or, after it has been said in Ezekiel 30:5 that the anguish in Cush shall become a falling with Egypt, there is in Ezekiel 30:6 a more comprehensive general statement: as well as, etc. [HENGST.: “a new break, new touches to be given to the picture.”] Comp. Ps. 37:17, 54:6 [4]. When the one party falls, the other sees itself necessitated to go down from its self-conscious height. On pride, etc., see at Ezekiel 24:21; comp. besides, Ezekiel 29:10. They who shall fall in him, or it, are those who would support it. Too far removed are the idols and princes of Ezekiel 30:13, which are brought in by Schmieder as the supporters; also the fortified cities in Ezekiel 30:15, and the warriors in Ezekiel 30:17.

Ezekiel 30:7. Comp. Ezekiel 29:12. Where Egypt is the principal subject, there can be no question of its being so also here.

Ezekiel 30:8. The practical knowledge of experience is made in the fire, which Jehovah causes in Egypt, that is, at the breaking forth of His anger, with which also most fitly suits: and they shall be shattered, etc., so that they must know the judgment of God to be upon them. According to others, the war-fire; according to the Chald. paraph., a people violent as fire; according to Cocceius, it must mean the consuming, desolating result of the war.—All the helpers of Egypt are those who give support in Ezekiel 30:6, both those who are named (Ezekiel 30:5), and those who are not named.

Ezekiel 30:9. With manifest allusion to Isa. 18, messengers in ships are made to announce to Ethiopia the fate of Egypt. (In Isa. it is papyrus-skiffs, which people were wont to roll together when they passed the cataracts of the Nile, and then open out again. The צי here, from צוה, to set up, according to Häv. certainly with reference to the existing sea-force of Egypt: warships, which suits neither with fugitives nor with messengers.) The business-mart and commerce on the boundaries of Upper Egypt and Ethiopia readily provide the image of such messengers at command,—represented as going forth from before Jehovah sitting in judgment upon Egypt,—so that one does not need to think either of the Chaldeans, or of Egyptian messengers formally sent by the Egyptians, or of Egyptian fugitives.—Since there is חלחלה בכוש, according to Ezekiel 30:4, so this is only explained here by להחריד את־כ׳; hence also והיתה חלחלה is repeated; therefore not a joyful message, as in Isa. 18. with reference to Assyria.—כיום, either, a definite fixing of time (Isa. 23:5), as also ביום is read, but which would plainly be a repetition of ביום ההוא; or, better perhaps, with Häv., pointing to that old period of punishment in the history of Egypt which filled neighbouring regions with dread of Jehovah (Ex. 15:14 sq.).—Ezekiel 7:5, 6, 10, 21:12. The coming is that which had been threatened, to be supplied from the context.

Ezekiel 30:10. Comp. Ezekiel 26:13.—Ezekiel 29:19.—The tumult comprehends as well the dense population characteristic of Egypt, as the moving of goods and chattels hither and thither. KLIEFOTH; “the turmoil of the people in the possession and enjoyment of their goods.”—The hand of the Judge. His instrument and executioner, is to be Nebuchadnezzar (comp. at Ezekiel 26:7).

Ezekiel 30:11. Ezekiel 28:7.—23.42. HENGST.: “they come not of themselves, but the Almighty brings them, hence they are irresistible,” etc.—The destruction of the land by the sword is more nearly given, since it is represented as being filled with the slain. Comp. Ezekiel 12:14, 11:6.

Ezekiel 30:12. Ezekiel 25:5, 29:10, 3. The destruction of its prosperity, since its natural springs and the land become the property of others, like a slave that has been sold by his master. HITZIG: “God assists the instruments of His will, taking an immediate part in the work of destruction, and, at the same time, displacing a hindrance to their advance and a bulwark of the Egyptians.”—Since רעים is parallel with זרים, the wicked can only be interpreted from the feeling of the Egyptians, and in accordance with the hurtful action of the strangers, as רעע is to beat down, to destroy. The general wickedness of mankind (Matt. 7:11) lies here as far out of the way as a special application to the Chaldeans, as being also not better than the Egyptians. Comp. however, Ezekiel 7:24, 28:7.

Ezekiel 30:13. A carrying out of the judgment by special traits, which for Egypt especially are characteristic. Thus, as regards the גלולים (see at Ezekiel 6:4), the אלילים (chiming with the “nothings”), Lev. 19:4, 26:1, and often (1 Cor. 8:4), so that there is no need for supplying from Isa. 19:1; they are neither the images of the gods, nor the worshippers of them (as the Chald. paraph.): it is simply the idol-gods.—From Noph (מנף, sometimes also מֹף), that is, from Memphis; to-day, unimportant ruins on the western side of the Nile. The name in Plutarch is explained as ὁρμον ἀγαθων, and as ταφον ̓ Οσιρδος; in hieroglyphics, “Mam-Phtah” that is, the place of Vulcan. The lower valley of the river honoured as the highest god Phtah (fire-god), the oldest and first of the gods, according to Manetho, ruling 9000 years before the others, as he is named in the inscriptions: “the father of the fathers of the gods,” “the heavenly ruler,” “the lord of the gracious countenance,” “the king of both worlds,” “the lord (the father) of truth.” As god of the beginning, he has the form of a naked child, of a dwarf; at other times wrapped round mummy-like, standing by a rod, with a flagellum and mace and the Nilometer in his hand. As he was called Tatamen (the former), as world-creator, so he commonly has before him an egg upon a potter’s wheel (“the weaver of the beginnings moving the egg of the sun and moon”). The Egyptian scarabæus (beetle) was sacred to him, which was sometimes shown upon his shoulders in the place of a head. His great sanctuary at Memphis, which was said to have been as old as Egypt itself, was adorned and extended by the Pharaohs down to the overthrow of the kingdom. Cambyses, when admitted into this temple, exhibited his disdain toward the image of the god.—Since Memphis was at the same time the old royal city, the transition from the service of idols to the נָשִׂיא was natural, especially as the connection of the gods and kings is genuinely Egyptian. Comp. on Ezekiel 29. The history of Egypt is that of its gods, and the names and deeds of its kings, as they are painted upon the walls of its temples.—That there was to be no more a native prince is not necessarily said, with מאר׳, but only that as prince there should no more be one like the old Pharaohs and the Egyptian gods, out of Egypt, as contradistinguished from other lands, whose princely power would, as hitherto has been the case, obtain legitimation. Therewith also agrees the fear, which seems to point to a foreign ascendency that was to carry it over all.

Ezekiel 30:14. From Lower to Upper Egypt, the description gives prominence especially to the mother-land (see on Ezekiel 29:14), the brrth-land of the people.—Comp. Ezekiel 30:8.—Zoan, however, is, again, in Lower Egypt, the old Tanis, on the branch of the Nile which bears that name (“Dschane,” Egyptian: low ground),—a chief city, Num. 13:22; Ps. 78:12, 43.—Ezekiel 5:10.—No (נא) leads back to Upper Egypt; when fully read No-Amon, it is Thebes (Vulg., anticipating, Alexandria), the very ancient Upper Egyptian chief city, with the Greeks Diospolis. (“Noh,” Egyp.: surveyor’s chain; hence: inheritance; therefore: seat of Amon—see GESEN. Lex.) In the Upper land there reigned as divinity Amun (Amen), probably = “the concealed,” the reigning god in the height, whose colour is blue on the monuments. He was for Upper Egypt what Phtah was for Lower Egypt. He is represented as standing, or sitting enthroned, with two high feathers upon his kingly head-dress. According to Manetho, the union of Egypt under a great dominion was effected by Menes from This, below Thebes, therefore proceeding from the Upper land—although this state-life had its centre in Memphis, in the Lower land; and during its flourishing period, another dominion, the territory of which stretched beyond the cataracts of Syene, had been founded at Thebes. Princes of Thebes afterwards ruled over all Egypt, took their seat at Memphis, and the kings of Egypt were now called “Lords of both Lands” in the inscriptions. Upon the monuments the red higher crown is that of Upper Egypt, the lower white one that of Lower Egypt. So that the prophetic representation takes into view the whole of Egypt, repeats Thebes for Upper Egypt, yet knows, at the same time, to mention names mostly from the more extensive, as well as more important and more powerful, Lower country.

Ezekiel 30:15. Ezekiel 14:19, 21:36 [31], 9:8, 7:8.—סִין, the “mud-city,” Pelusium (πηλος), a border city on the east, in a swampy region, which the sea now overflows. Egypt, according to Strabo, was here difficult to be attacked, and Suidas designates Pelusium the key of Egypt for ingress and egress.—מָעוֹן, ch.24:25.—וְהִכרַתּי Ezekiel 29:8.—אֶת־הֵַמוֹן נֹא (Ezekiel 30:10), comp. Ezekiel 30:14. An allusion undoubtedly to Amon, whence No derived its surname (Jer. 46:25). Amon is incapable of preserving to the city its Hamon (tumult), HENGST. The mention of the multitude of people in No Hitzig finds to be suitable, since the population of the Thebaid crowded principally into the farextending chief city. (Comp. Iliad, ix. 381 sq.)

Ezekiel 30:16, Ezekiel 30:8, 14.—Instead of: תָּחִיל, the Qeri has:תָּחוּל, from חול, whence חַלְחָלָה in vers.4, 9.—The repeated mention of Sin, No, and Noph gives emphasis to the boundaries, Upper and Lower Egypt.—תִּבָּקע = תהיה להבקע, in Ezekiel 26:10.—צָרֵי יוֹמָם is clear so far, as צור is plainly to be understood of a pressing, closing in siege; on the other hand, יומם may signify by day, as in the well-known juxtaposition with ולילה, but also what this juxtaposition paraphrastically expresses, namely: always, unceasingly, therefore: daily = כל־יום, or “the day over”, also “the whole day long” = כל־היום (comp. Ps. 13:3 [2]). [Michlal Zophi interprets: “and against Noph come the enemies of day,” that is, openly, not as thieves of the night. Similarly Hitzig: “enemies will be in broad daylight,” meaning that it will be filled by them. KLIEFOTH: of the enemy not fearing an open assault. Also Hengst., who, from Jer. 15:8 and Zeph. 2:4, understands it of a state of deep humiliation, in which the enemy disdains, in the consciousness of his absolute superiority, to surprise by night (Obad. 5). “Enemies (besiegers) by day, a concise expression for: such an one as has to deal with enemies by day.”]—It might be also an affecting exclamation. [Abendana (after Job 3:5) = their day will be distress (VULG.). The Chaldee paraphrase: enemies compass her daily. Peculiar are the renderings of the Sept. and of the Arabic, which understand it of a breaking down of the Nile dams, and a rushing in of the waters; the Syriac: “will give way into fragments.” EWALD: Memphis will be for perpetual rust (צְדִי)! HÄV.: Memphis shall become a constant splitting, that is, shall be for ever shattered; it shall now be, in a manner, called צרי יומם, in allusion to the local name of Memphis, מצור!]

Ezekiel 30:17. בַּחְוּרֵי, the choice young men of war (Mark 14:51); rightly HITZIG: the garrison warrior-caste), as contradistinguished from the inhabitants.—Aven (אָוֶן), the purpose in the change of the name אֹן ,אוֹן, must, according to Hengst., point to the cause of the divine judgments which were coming on it (comp. Hos. 4:15, 10:5). Aven is nothingness, vanity, with respect to the worship of idols. [HENGST.: “vileness”, that people serve the creature more than the Creator.] It was the Greek Heliopolis, Jer. 43:13, “House of the Sun;” Kopt. On; Egyptian, Anu,—a city in Lower Egypt on the east bank of the Nile, and was from of old the proper seat of the Egyptian sun-worship; a centre of idolatry, with a numerous learned priesthood; the principal city in this respect, and that where Plato and Herodotus received instruction; mentioned in Gen. 41:45, 50. Now there are only some ruins beside a village, with an obelisk seventy feet high of red granite. Here, in a famous temple, was Ra, the god of the solar disc, worshipped (“the father of the gods”), the second ruler of the world. His symbol was the sun’s disc borne by two wings; the beasts sacred to him were the sparrow-hawk, the light-coloured bull, and the cat. From Ra, their original and type, the Pharaohs derived their power over Egypt, as “sons of Ra”, the name given to them. See, besides, in Duncker, 1. p. 39 sq.—Pi-beseth, only here; at present existing merely as ruins; Kopt.: Poubast, “the cat,” on account of the goddess Pacht (Basht, Pascht), commonly represented with a cat’s head, who was worshipped at Bubastis, in Lower Egypt, on the Pelusian branch of the Nile. (She was also named “the Mistress of Memphis,” and also “Mother.”) To her joyous service, according to Herodotus, was devoted the most pleasant of Egyptian temples. At her festival, to which men and women came in boats from all places, amid song, playing of flutes, clapping of hands, and striking of rattles, more wine was drunk than in all the rest of the year.—If the guardians, the protectors of the sanctuaries, fall by the sword, then also by the same must the gods themselves fall. Herodotus designates the Bubastic Nome as the region where especially resided the Calastrians, that is, the young recruits of the army. Comp. also Ezekiel 30:5, 6, Ezekiel 6:11, 12. The וְהֵנָּה are not the women (SEPT.), but the cities named, their inhabitants (comp. Ezekiel 30:18); see also Ezekiel 12:11.

Ezekiel 30:18. Not far from Sin comes the border city (toward Syria) תְּחַפְנְחֵם, Tehaphnehes, in Jeremiah (63:9) תַּחְפַּנְחֵם, Tahpanhes, where, as we there learn, was a royal palace, Daphnoi (Taphne); the name, according to Jablonski, Egyptian: Taphe-eneh, as much as, Land’s End.—חשך היום, HENGST.: “the day spares, withholds as a miser.” Therefore, from חָשַׂך, which in substance, however, is the same as: darkens itself; from חָשַׁך, to be darkened. There, for those of Israel who had fled thither (Jer. 43:7 sq., 44:1 sq.), the pre-intimations of the day of judgment begin (Kl.); or generally: there changes the prosperity and splendour of Egypt; according to others: there will be mourning. HÄV.: “here had Jeremiah spoken his powerful word of threatening against Egypt; here, through the settling down of the Jews at that time, the idea of Egyptian oppression toward Israel springs up afresh; and hence a calling to remembrance of Lev. 26:13.” Hengst. compares with “the breaking of the yokes of Egypt” Ezekiel 29:15 and 30:13, “no prince,” etc.; the yoke formerly lying upon Israel, latterly also upon other nations, was now to be for ever broken.—שָׁם refers to the border-place, with which the land opens, and with the broken land “the yokes” which Egypt had imposed, consequently its dominion (comp. Ezekiel 30:21, 22, 24), should be broken. (UMBR.: “All order and discipline shall be dissolved in the ruled and strongly-curbed land: an end shall be made to its old renown and pride.”)—בָּהּ, like גְּאוֹן עֻוָּהּ, is to be understood of the whole land. [Cocceius thinks of the death of the king with reference to the king’s seat at Taphne (Jer. 63:9). Rosenm. reads מַטּוֹת, also Ewald and the Sept.; while Hitzig supposes to be meant, not the spears indeed (Hab. 3:14; 2 Sam. 18:14), but the supporting staffs, Ezekiel 30:6, which in Ezekiel 30:8 are also represented as going to be broken.]—היא, not Daphnai, but Egypt, on which account it precedes emphatically; as also her daughters, namely, the cities, could only be referred to Egypt; if referred to Daphnai, too much would be said for it (Ezekiel 16:27, 31, 46, 26:6).—עָנָן (Ezekiel 30:3). The Chaldee Paraphrast makes the cloud mean the host of the king of Babylon.

Ezekiel 30:19 concludes with Egypt generally.

Ezekiel 30:14.

Ezekiel 30:20–26. Pharaoh and the King of Babylon.

Ezekiel 30:20. As to the time, almost a quarter of a year later than Ezekiel 29:1 sq.; KLIEFOTH: “in the second year of the siege of Jerusalem,” as is clear also from Ezekiel 30:21, after that Hophra had been defeated by the Chaldeans (Jer. 37:5, 7). (That Ezekiel 29. should contain no notice or allusion to the attempt of Pharaoh to bring help to Jerusalem, etc., may be controverted from what is said there in Ezekiel 30:6.) HENGST.: about three months later followed the conquest of Jerusalem (Jer. 39:2). As at Ezekiel 29, so also here, the look of the exiled toward Egypt is to be turned back from it.

Ezekiel 30:21. זְרוֹעַ is certainly for the most part the forearm, as here also the expression “to hold the sword” proves, and so help, too, assistance, is expressed by it; so that, with Häv., Ewald, and others, one might think of the Egyptian attempt for the relief of Jerusalem: on the other hand, however, Hengst. is right when he explains the breaking of the arm of Pharaoh of a “great overthrow,” such as was only to be found in the well-known disaster at Carchemish, seventeen years before our prophecy, as this battle, in fact, destroyed the power of Pharaoh to make war, struck his might with a blow (comp. Jer. 46.); while what respects the retreat of the Egyptians from Jerusalem, which became a matter of necessity to them, is nowhere reported. So that, as Hitzig in particular recognises, from the manifest contrariety of Ezekiel 30:22, which announces the future, שברתי is a full preterite, and presupposes a longer interval in connection with the indication of time in Ezekiel 30:20 than could be the case with that retreat before Nebuchadnezzar, if this should have to be thought of generally as a thing already accomplished. Hengst. remarks: “After it (i.e., the retreat of the Egyptians from Carchemish) our prophecy would have been unnecessary; it must have been delivered at a time when, humanly speaking, there was hope from the Egyptians.”—וְהִנֵּה, having respect to the existing state of Egypt since the battle of Carchemish, introduces the following description, in which “the binding” forms the principal statement on which the infinitives are dependent. Bound up is the first, the most immediate thing which has to be done after wounding, and the intention or aim thereof is to apply the means of healing (cures); in particular, since the chief means consist in the band which holds together the broken parts, that a bandage be applied (לחבשה resumes חבשה again) so that the arm be strengthened, and, as the consequence, be again rendered capable of “taking hold of the sword.”

Ezekiel 30:22. Therefore refers to the foregoing principal announcement, that Pharaoh’s might is broken without the prospect of restoration, and accordingly what is farther impending can only be a complete overthrow; and this is introduced by הנני, a parallel to Ezekiel 30:21, and then summarily pronounced (זרעתיו).—The strong (החזקה, with a reference to לחזקה in Ezekiel 30:21) signifies: what still existed unbroken as to power in Egypt, particularly in the land itself; the broken (Ezekiel 30:21), that which must still be broken, with allusion to the shattering at Carchemish; especially the impotent attempt to turn aside to the help of Jerusalem, which must therefore be thought of as still in immediate prospect. [Cocc. explains the two arms of Hophra, and the small Egyptian kingdom which followed. They have been also explained of the supremacy over Syria and that over Egypt.]—The might, power, and dominion of Pharaoh are to become incapable of attack and resistance.

Ezekiel 30:23. Comp. Ezekiel 30:26, Ezekiel 29:12, 22:15.

Ezekiel 30:24. וְחִוַּקְתִי, Piel (strengthening; anyhow, still another חזק than is to be supposed in the לחזקה of Ezekiel 30:21), for the sword also is not that which has fallen out of the hand of Pharaoh, but Jehovah’s, whence the following explains itself, and at the same time what is said in Ezekiel 30:22.—לְפָנָיו, before the king of Babylon, who and his arms, here and in Ezekiel 30:25 placed in opposition to Pharaoh and his arms, are the antithesis which forms the substance of this section.

Ezekiel 30:25. וְהַחְַזַקְתִי, Hiphil, for distinction in respect to the Piel in Ezekiel 30:24, which, on account of the failings, יָד, is explained by Hitzig, not through “seizing,” but with a reference to Ex. 17:11, 12, and by way of contrast to תִּפֹּלְנָה through “holding upright,” “holding above,” so that he retains the upper hand. But the slight difference between “holding strong” and “strengthening,” endowing with power, is of itself enough. Hengst. compares Gen. 49:24, in respect that the arms of the king of Egypt, left to his own impotence, sank down powerless.—Since the arms of both are named, the words: and they know, etc., may easily be referred thereto, but principally to the king of Babylon; yet also to the land of Egypt, against which the sword of judgment in the hand of that king was stretched out. אותָהּ may be referred to יד, also to חרב.

Ezekiel 30:26. Repetition of Ezekiel 30:23 at the close.

The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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