Ezekiel 32
Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures

1And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first 2[day] of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying: Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and say to him: Young lion of the heathen peoples thou didst imagine thyself [thou didst compare thyself to such an one], and thou [wast] as the dragon in the sea [in the seas], and brakest forth in thy streams, and didst trouble the water with thy feet, and didst trample their streams! 3Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, And I spread forth My net over thee in the 4assembly of many peoples, and they pull thee up in My draw-net. And I set thee free into the land [push thee away thither], upon the plains of the field will I sling thee; and I make all the birds of heaven to sit down on thee, and let the 5living creatures of the whole earth satisfy themselves with thee. And I give thy 6flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy high heap [thy height]. And I cause the land of thy overflowing to drink out of thy blood, even to the mountains: 7and the hollows shall be full of thee. And I cover [veil], while I extinguish thee, the heaven, and darken its stars; the sun will I cover with a cloud, and the 8moon will not make her light to shine. All luminaries of light in the heaven, I will make them dark over thee; and I give darkness upon thy land: sentence of 9the Lord Jehovah. And I vex the heart of many peoples, when I bring thy breach [destruction] among the heathen peoples, to lands which thou knowest not. 10And I make many peoples astonished over thee, and their kings shall shudder shudderings over thee, when I brandish My sword before their face; and they tremble every moment, each one for his soul [life], on the day of thy downfall. 11For thus saith the Lord Jehovah: The sword of the king of Babylon will come to thee. 12By the swords of heroes will I make thy tumult to fall; the violent of the heathen [are] they all, and they lay waste the pride of Egypt, and all its 13tumult is destroyed. And I extirpate all the beasts thereof from many [the great] waters, and foot of man shall not trouble them any more, nor shall the hoofs of beasts trouble them. 14Then will I make their waters to sink, and make their 15streams go as the oil: sentence of the Lord Jehovah. When I give [to] desolation the land of Egypt, and the land is wasted away from its fulness, when I 16smite all that dwell in it, then they know that I am Jehovah. This is lamentation, and as lamentation they intone it, the daughters of the heathen peoples will intone it as a lamentation; upon Egypt and upon all its tumult shall they intone it as a lamentation: sentence of the Lord Jehovah. And 17it came to pass in the twelfth year, on the fifteenth [day] of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying: 18Son of man, wail for the tumult of Egypt, and cast it down, it and [as] the daughters of the glorious heathen peoples, to the land of the depths, with those that go down to the pit. 19Whom dost thou surpass in being lovely? Go 20down, and lie with the uncircumcised! In the midst of those pierced through with the sword shall they fall; sword is given; they drag it [Egypt] and all its 21tumults away. The strong of the heroes from the midst of hell [sheol] shall speak of [to] him with his helpers: they go down, they lie, the uncircumcised, pierced 22through with the sword! There is Asshur and his whole company; round about 23him his [their] graves; they all pierced through, fallen by the sword: Whose graves were [are] given in the innermost of the pit, and his company was [is] round about his grave; they all pierced through, fallen by the sword, who gave 24terror in the land of the living. There [is] Elam and all his tumult round about his grave: they all pierced through, fallen by the sword, who are gone down, uncircumcised, to the land of depths, who gave their terror in the land of the 25living, and henceforth bear their shame with them that go down to the pit. Amid the pierced through they gave him a couch with all his tumult; round about him his graves; they all uncircumcised, pierced through with the sword; for their terror was given [spread] in the land of the living, and they henceforth bear their shame with those that go down to the pit; among the pierced through is he 26given [laid]. There [is] Meshech, Tubal, and all his tumult; round about him his [their] graves; they all uncircumcised, pierced through with the sword; for they 27gave their terror in the land of the living. And they do not [they shall not] henceforth lie with the heroes, the fallen of the uncircumcised, who went down to hell in [with] their weapons of war; and they gave their swords under their heads, and their iniquities were upon their bones, for terror of heroes [were they] in the land of 28the living. And [also] thou among the uncircumcised, thou shalt be broken, and 29shalt lie with the pierced through by the sword. There [is] Edom, his kings and all his princes, who have been given in [with, in spite of] their strength with the pierced through by the sword; they lie henceforth with the uncircumcised, and 30with those that go down to the pit. There are the princes of the North, they all and all the Zidonians, who went down with the pierced through, in their terror [the terror before them] from their strength [proceeding from their strength] come to shame; and they lie henceforth uncircumcised with the pierced through by the sword, and bear from this time onwards their shame with those that go down to the 31pit. Them will Pharaoh see, and will comfort himself over all his tumult; pierced 32through are Pharaoh and all his host: sentence of the Lord Jehovah. For I gave his terror [that which is before him] in the land of the living, and Pharaoh and all his tumult is laid [now] among the uncircumcised with the pierced through by the sword: sentence of the Lord Jehovah.

Ezekiel 32:1. Sept.: ... μια τ. μηνος—(Anoth. read.: בעשתי עשרה, undecimo anno.)

Ezekiel 32:2. … Λεοντι … ὁμοιωθης … κ. ὲκερατιζες τοις ποταμοις … τ. ποταμους σου. Vulg.: Leoni assimilatus es et draconi … et ventilabas cornu in—(Other readings: ותרפמ and בנהרתַיִך.)

Ezekiel 32:3. ... και ἀνκξω σε ἐν τ.ἀγκιστρω̣ μου; so too the Vulg.

Ezekiel 32:4. ... Πεδια πλησθησεται σου—(Anoth. read.: כל חיה הארץ, Syr.)

Ezekiel 32:5. ... ἀπο τ.αἱματος σου τασαν γην Vulg.: … colles tuos sanie tua. Anoth. read.: רמותיךְ, excelsa tua; רמתיךּ, projectionibus tuis (Targ.), v. vermibus tuis (Syr.).

Ezekiel 32:6. ... ποτισθησετκι ἡ γη ἀπο τ. χωρηματον σου κ. ἀπο τ. πληθους σου … φκραγγας ἐμπλησω κ̓πο σου. Vulg.: fœtore sanguinis tui

Ezekiel 32:8. Vulg.: mœrere faciam super te

Ezekiel 32:9. Sept.: ... ἡνιχα ἀν … αἰχμαλωσιαν σου … εἰς γην ἡν—Vlug.: irritabo contritionem tuam

Ezekiel 32:10. Sept.: ... προσδεχομενοι την πτωσιν αὐτων ἀφʼ ἡμερας πτωσεως σου.

Ezekiel 32:12. ἐν μαχαιραις γιγαντων, κ. καταβαλω τ.ἰσχυν σου Λοιμοι ἀπο ἐθνων—

Ezekiel 32:14. Οὑτως τοτε ἡσυχασει—Vulg.: Tunc púrissimas reddams … adducam

Ezekiel 32:15. cum dedero … deseretur autem—(Anoth. read.: ומשמה in Hophal.)

Ezekiel 32:17. Anoth. read.: בעשתי עשרה, Syr. and interlined Bible. Sept.: ... ἐν τ. πρωτω̣ μηνι

Ezekiel 32:18. Sept.: ... κκι καταβιβασουσιν αὐτης τας θυγατερας τκ ἐθνς νεκρας εἰς το βαθος τ. γης προς τους … (Ezekiel 32:19:Εν μεσω̣ τραυματιων μακαιρα πεσουνται μετʼ αὐτου,κ. κοιμηθησεται πασα ἡ ἰσκυς. κ. ἐρουσιν σοι οἱγιγαντες Ἐν βαθει βοθρου γινου τινος χρειττων εἱ; κ. καταβηθι κ. κοιμηθητι. Vulg.: gentium robustarum ad terram ultimam (Other read.: והורידו, and אל ארץ תחתית, and אל יורדי, Sept.)

Ezekiel 32:19. ʼΕξ ὑδατων εὑπρεπους χαταβηθι, κ. κοιμηθητι μετα

Ezekiel 32:20. πεσουνται μετʼαὐτου, κ. κοιμηθησεται πασα ἡ ἰσχυς αὐτου. (Other read.: המונה.)

Ezekiel 32:21. Sept.: ... σοι οἱ γιγαντες. ʼΕν βαθει βοθρον γινου,τινος χρειττων ει; Καταβηθι κ.κοιμηθητι μετα—Vlug.: qui cum auxiliatoribus ejus descenderunt et dormierunt

Ezekiel 32:22. … συναγωγη αὐτου, πχντες τραυματιαι ἐχει ἐδοθησαν ἡ ταφη αὐτων ἐν βαθει βαθρου χ ἐγενηθη ἡ συνχγωγη αὐτου περιχυχλω̣ τ. μνηατος αὐτου,παντες

Ezekiel 32:23. οἱ ἐδωχαν τ. ταφχς αὐτης ἐν μηροις λαχχου

Ezekiel 32:25. The words כי־נתן׳ are not represented in the Sept.

Ezekiel 32:26. Sept.: ʼΕχει ἐδοθησαν … κ. Θοβελ … περιχυχλω τ. μνηματος αὐτου, παντες τραυματιαι αὐτου, παντες ἀπεριτμητοι τραυματιαι ἀπο μαχαιρας, οἱ δεδωχοτες—Vulg,; … interfectique et cadentes gladio

Ezekiel 32:27. Και ἐχοιμηθχσαν μετα τ. γιγαντων … ἀπ’ αἰονος, οι … ὁτι ἐξεφοβησαν γιγαντας—Vulg.: … et incircumcisis—(Anoth. read.: עונם, Syr.)

Ezekiel 32:29. Sept.: κ. οἱ βασιλεις αὐτης κ … οἱ ἁρχοντες Ἀσσουρ οἱ δοντες τ. ἰσχυν αὐτων εἰς τρκυμα μαχαιρας, κὐτοι ἐκοιμηθησαν μετα τραυματιων μαχαιρας, ἐκοιμηθησαν μετα—

Ezekiel 32:30. παντες στρατηγοι "Ασσουρ, οἱ … τραυματιαι σον τ. φοβω̣ χὑτων χ. τ. ἰσχυι αὐτων—Vulg.: … et universi venatores, qui … paventes et in … confusi—(Anoth. read.: וכל צדונים, Chald., Syr.; or they read סרנֵי, satraps. Instead of אשר, Sept. read אשור.)

Ezekiel 32:31. Vulg.: Vidit eos et consolatus est

Ezekiel 32:32. Quia dedi terrorem meum … et dormivit


Ezekiel 32:1–16. The Lamentation over Pharaoh.

Hitzig justly finds the date, as also the place of this section, quite correctly given. He likewise abides, for the more exact determination of the time, by the Hebrew text of Ezekiel 32:1; while the old translations read, some the tenth, others the eleventh year, some the tenth, others the twelfth month. It was twenty-one months after Ezekiel 31:1, almost two months after that the prophet had received intimation of the destruction of Jerusalem; and to this time also belongs the flight of the remnant of Judah to Egypt, which was prohibited through the mouth of Jeremiah. [SCHMIEDER: “The first of these two death-songs (Ezekiel 32:1–16, 17–32) is dated on the day of the new moon, the second on the day of the full moon.” Hengst.: “The occasion of this lamentation was probably the circulation of the Lamentations of Jeremiah among the exiles. Ezekiel delights generally to follow that prophet as his leader. The double lamentation-song of this chapter accompanies, by way of consolation, the lamentation-songs among the people of God.”]

Ezekiel 32:2. Comp. Ezekiel 19:1.—As Ezekiel 27:2 upon Tyre, and Ezekiel 28:12 upon the prince of Tyre, so here it is first upon Pharaoh, and afterwards, Ezekiel 32:17 sq., upon Egypt.—The designation as young lion (Ezekiel 19:2) of the heathen nations (meaning of them not in the sense of being among them, but in that of showing himself to be such toward them), כְּפִיר גּוֹיִם, as in Ezekiel 31:11 אל גוים, an antithetical reference, very fitly applies to the personality of Hophra. The youthful, rapacious, conquest-loving spirit of this prince may have been characterized.—נִדְמֵיָת, Niph. (from דמה), “to make one’s self like” (the subjective of Pharaoh’s to the objective of Jehovah’s, Ezekiel 31:2, 18).—אֶל dropt, perhaps, on account of the immediately preceding אֵלָיו, or to be construed accusatively; anyhow, perfectly plain as to the meaning, since כַּתנים immediately follows. That Pharaoh could not be found “like a lion and also a dragon,” as Hitzig alleges, has this only as a ground of offence, that it overlooks the distinction, the contrast, between the two resemblances. As a young lion Pharaoh is conscious of what belonged to him out of himself, whereas the other image rather represents the customary, perhaps also the limits to be kept by the Pharaohs of Egypt. (“With the third Ramses,” says Duncker, “Egypt had ceased to be the first power of the old world. About the same time, when the warlike ambition of Assyria began to display itself, Egypt returned to a peaceful mode of life, and remained quiet within its old natural boundaries.”) PHILIPPSON: “Pharaoh, who belonged only to Egypt as crocodile, would also as a lion seize upon other lands.” So also Raschi. [Hitzig translates נדמית: “thou art a dead man” (COCCEIUS); HENGST.: “thou art undone; נדמה never means: to be made like, always: to be silent, undone.” According to him, Ezekiel 32:2 is a short outline which must be afterwards filled up.]—The representation generally is not that of the glory of the fallen king (KEIL), and the image of the dragon in particular will not explain that of the lion (HENGST.); though it is right to say that the bearing of Pharaoh is meant to be set forth, only not so properly among the peoples as in his own relation. For in the sea is neither the sea of the peoples (Hengst.), nor to be taken along with what precedes = on land and in water (ROSENM.), but a reproduction of the Nile-situation (Ezekiel 29:3, “in the midst of his streams”) corresponding to the self-elation implied in the “young lion of the heathen,” as (comp. Isa. 19:5) in Homer the Nile is called ὠκεανος, and the native designation speaks of the white, blue seas. The counter-position (וְאַתָּה) is this: To the heathen nations thou wouldst show thyself as a young lion, and thine own people thou didst destroy, didst ruin—as is presently brought out in the prophet’s delineation. To the יַמִּים correspond the נַהֲרוֹת ;וַתָּגַח. from גּוֹחַ (גִּיחַ?), is, according to Kimchi, the Kal; who, however, allows it also as Hiphil, which Fürst takes to be the form, wishing, however, to understand it transitively: “and broughtest forth thy waters through thy streams;” but of Hiphil, as of Kal, is only the intransitive signification known. [Hitzig, who holds that the breaking forth of the crocodile is not meant to be expressed, would fain make it: “thou causest thy streams, namely, out of thy nostrils, to break forth;” but the streams and בְּ are against him, and he hence reads with Ewald: נְחִרתיך, who translates: “since thou art as the crocodile in the waters, and with thy nostrils dost splutter (Job 41:20).” Hengst. cites, for the mischief which Pharaoh did among the nations, the North American crocodiles (“thou brakest forth with thy rivers”)—how, while breathing with the most frightful noise, they spurt forth streams of smoke and water, like a torrent in a hurricane, through their jaws and blowholes.] The sense, however, is much simpler: while in Ezekiel 29:3, Pharaoh, the great dragon, lies in the midst of his streams at his ease, he is now represented as breaking forth in the same (“thine,” as he there pretends); that is, not precisely with his hosts, but in this, his national-Egyptian pride of power, rising up, elevating himself—which elevation of Pharaoh (as indicated by Jerome, Vulg., and Sept.) troubled the waters of Egypt (דלח, comp. Ezekiel 32:13), while he with his feet trampled their streams or caused a muddy jumbling. [SCHMIEDER: “With his restless ambition for war he stirred up the slumbering passions (the mire) among his peoples.”] Very good PHILIPPSON: “brought his people into agitation, guilt, and danger;” while the heterogeneous intermingling of the figure of the dragon with that of the lion, and in consequence thereof the explanation with reference to the nations, occasions misunderstanding and needless attempts at interpretation—as when Ewald, who is followed by Hävernick, speaks of the crocodile foully wallowing with mouth and feet in the fresh waters and life-sources of the nations—as troubling all that was pure.

Ezekiel 32:3. See Ezekiel 12:13, 17:20.—בִּקְהַל׳, on comparison with Ezekiel 23:24, can scarcely be understood of mere spectators, since they pull up, therefore, as helpers, associates, servants, carry the matter into effect. The peoples punish the sin of Pharaoh committed on his own people. Under the many we may think of the Chaldean army as composed of many races (Dereser), or also of the diverse peoples that followed the Chaldeans in making war upon Egypt.—Comp. Ezekiel 26:5, 14, 29:4. In Siam, people often spread nets upon the river to catch the crocodile. Comp. ÆLIAN, Var. Hist. 10:21.

Ezekiel 32:4. Comp. Ezekiel 29:5.—בָאָרֶץ, land, in contrast to the water; while in Ezekiel 29 it is the “wilderness.”—טוּל, “to throw down,” Hiphil, strengthens נָטַשׁ, as בָאָרֶץ is pictured out by עַל פְּנֵי׳, “on the plains (face) of the field.”—Ezekiel 31:13. It is acutely remarked by Bunsen, that in the description, as it passes over into the monstrous, the prophet comes to do with the matter, touches less upon the image.

Ezekiel 32:5. As the guilt, so the punishment takes place within the land, which is represented by mountains and valleys (Ezekiel 31:12). Pharaoh is laid there as to his flesh, together with his warriors.—רָמוּת, Gesen. from רוּם, “a high heap of corpses.” Hengst.: “with thy height,” in contrast to the valleys as low ground, “with the proud corpse.” It were better to read רִמָּתֶךָ, from רִמָּה, collective, “worms.” Hitzig thinks of the blood which should flow down from the mountains into the valleys. Others take it, after the plural reading, of the hosts of which Pharaoh was proud, their corpses; Raschi, from רמה, “to throw away:” thy thrown away, that is: thy fallen.

Ezekiel 32:6. Here צָפָה (from צוּף, “to overflow,” “to inundate”) with אֶרֶץ is not “the land of thy swimming” (GESEN.), in which thou as crocodile hast swimmed, but Egypt—only not as HENGST.: “the land which thou formerly didst overflow with thy rivers.” At least Ezekiel 32:2 cannot be adduced for this sense, except in so far as the Nile, which Pharaoh in Ezekiel 29 had in a manner claimed for himself, overflows Egypt, and thereby provides the ground of prosperity and strength to Pharaoh. That God “causes the land to drink” (Gen. 2:10) is placed over against the boasted overflowing of it through Pharaoh’s Nile; besides, however, the closer determination of the meaning by “out of (with) thy blood” (Ex. 7:17 sq.), which Hitzig explains as a gloss of רָמוּתֶךָ in Ezekiel 32:5. (Keil takes צָפָה as the “outflowing,” and construes הִשְׁקֵּיתִי with two objects, so that מִדָּמְךָ announces whence the outflowing comes, and wherein it consists. SCHMIEDER: “Pharaoh’s life-juice, which flows with his blood from his wounds, the most precious, most peculiar possessions of his home-power.” HÄV.: “I saturate the earth with thy current, on occasion of thy blood covering the mountains.” HITZIG: “the soil of the earth with thy outflow.” Kimchi takes צפה as a fem. part.: “thy land over which the waters swam.” Others: the land which from thee was overflowed, namely, by thy blood. Attention has been called by Kimchi also to צָפָה, “to spy out”—the land of thy spying out—so that the high places thereof might be meant.)—Even to the mountains signifies: to as far as the overflowing of the Nile usually extends.

Ezekiel 32:7 (Ezekiel 30:18). The covering of the heaven, in its symbolic character, fitly enough regarded as analogous to the judgment-day of God (Ezekiel 30:3; Joel 2:4), need not, however, be conceived of from this point of view, but may remind us of Ex. 10:21 sq., while still it is expressly thought of in connection with Pharaoh’s extinction, who in his glory must not be contemplated merely as a bright shining light (HENGST.), but, according to the Egyptian style of thought, as the light of the world for his subjects, beaming forth upon the land and imparting prosperity and blessing (comp. at Ezekiel 29:6a, 30:17; see also Duncker, i. p. 150). It is unnecessary, therefore, for Hitzig to fall back upon Dereser, who, under the expression: “when thou art extinguished,” makes the constellation of a dragon follow here upon the image of a sea-dragon, as then the zodiac might be of Egyptian origin. Keil regards Ezekiel as leaning upon Isa. 14:12; but the discourse is not at all of Pharaoh as a star of the first magnitude (DERESER), but with his extinction the heaven (the heaven, namely, of Egypt), the higher, the governing supremacy and glory, one may say, is veiled, which in what follows is more nearly defined and expressed. Comp. Ezekiel 31:15. The heaven comes into consideration as to its stars, and as such are specified (in place of all) sun and moon, which, again, appear in Ezekiel 32:8 as מְאוֹרִים,—the sun, with כָּסָה pointing back to כִּסֵּיתִי; the moon, with negative reproduction of the הִקְדַּרְתִי. That with what is said, mourning, condolence should be expressed (as at Ezekiel 31:15), does not lie in the words; and just on that account Ezekiel 32:9, 10 do not give, as Hitzig would have it, the import of the figurative speech here in Ezekiel 32:7, 8. Finally, neither kingdoms, nor peoples, nor individual men of distinction are indicated by the stars.

Ezekiel 32:8. Gen. 1:14.—עָלֶיךָ, agreeably to Ezekiel 32:7 (בְכַבּוֹתְךָ): on account of thee, or as upon thy land.—All the luminaries resume the “stars” in Ezekiel 32:7; אַקְדִירֵם repeats הִקְדַּרְתִי there, and the darkness, sq., combines what is said of sun and moon together in the effect. Through “thy land” light falls upon the “land of thy overflowing,” in Ezekiel 32:6.

Ezekiel 32:9. The vexing of the heart is to be understood according to Ezekiel 32:10. Sorrow; not sympathy, but, in consideration of themselves, and of that which might still also be done to them, grief. It is not hard words only which vex us, but there are also hard fates which cause us vexation, especially the more we would live and would let live. שֵׁבֶר (and with Segol twice), probably: the report (but not necessarily to be read, as Ewald, with an Aramaic signification, שׂברך)of the destruction; that such a world-power was broken could not but cause many heart-breakings in the world. The addition: which thou knowest not, however, points to more than simple knowledge, namely, to persons who become acquainted with that of which they had hitherto been entirely ignorant, regions utterly unknown to them. (Targum of Jonathan: those broken through the war; HÄV., with a reference to the Sept.: the prisoners, who, as ruins of the old glory of Egypt, are themselves the heralds of the misfortune among the nations.) Comp. Ezekiel 30:9.

Ezekiel 32:10. See Ezekiel 27:35, 28:19.—שָׂער, so that the hair stands on end.—עוֹפֵף, Pilel from עוּף, to make to fly. The sword, while they see how it flies to and fro over Pharaoh, is swung before their face, that they may with shuddering take a warning from it to themselves.—On וְחָרְדוּ לִרְגָעִים, comp. Ezekiel 26:16.—Ezekiel 31:16.

Ezekiel 32:11. Since Jehovah’s sword which is brandished is that of the king of Babylon, the coming of this king can now be fitly spoken of. תְּבוֹאֶךָ for תָּבוֹא לְךָ. Comp. also. Ezekiel 30:10. There is a similar break in the discourse.

Ezekiel 32:12. Comp. on Ezekiel 31:2, 12, 28:7.—כֻּלָּם, in their collective character; עָריצֵי, from עָרַץ, properly: spreading terror.—On אֶת־גְּאוֹן׳ Hitzig remarks: “not that of which Egypt is proud, but what is proud in Egypt, what raises itself up, pushes into the height.” Comp. Ezekiel 30:6, 18.

Ezekiel 32:13. The extirpation of the beasts is explained by Schmieder figuratively of the potentates of Egypt, beside the crocodile Pharaoh, who stir up the population. As to the reality, Hitzig thinks of the grassy banks of the Nile, whither large herds of cattle were driven to get drink and to pasture (Gen. 47:6, 41:2 sq.; Ex. 9:3). Rosenm. brings also to remembrance the Egyptian horse - training. The beasts, however, appear rather as embellishment, for the Nile with its waters forms the chief feature, as it also had led the inhabitants of the land of Egypt at an early period from shepherd life to agriculture, and had consequently given rise to the prosperity of the country. The desolation of the greatness and glory of Egypt, the annihilation of all its tumult (Ezekiel 32:12), is represented by the extirpation of the beasts; in which the not unintentionally repeated לֹא תִדְלָחֵם, in the transition to the רַבִּיס מַיִם, points back with a certain irony to מיס׳ וַתִּדְלַח־ in Ezekiel 32:2, while such a ruinous result for the land through the punishment of Pharaoh is rendered still more remarkable. The not any more does not import that it should no more at all happen, but only in comparison with the earlier—no more in such a sense, that the earlier ascendency of power should again have place. Foreign dominion, inflicting mischief, causing man and beast to disappear (Ezekiel 32:12), should bring to a stand the native pernicious rule of Pharaoh. [According to the interpretation of others, it is to be understood with respect to other nations—as HENGST.: “in part also of the seductive glitter of Egypt”—of the ambitious military expeditious of Pharaoh (COCC., GROTIUS), or generally of the pushing character of Egypt as a worldly power (KEIL).]

Ezekiel 32:14. אז, when this takes place. What follows is explained by Hitzig to mean, that the Nile’s fulness of water, which hitherto had overflowed the land and made it fruitful, should no longer have any aim (Ezekiel 30:12); KLIEFOTH: that God Himself would change the nature of these streams. But this would imply too much, while the words—though not to be understood as Hävernick thinks, who applies Ezekiel 32:13 improperly to troubling through hostile armies—would still express nothing more than the reference back to Ezekiel 32:2 already indicated in Ezekiel 32:13; namely thus: that instead of “the breaking forth in thy streams” there, now a depression takes place, their waters sink, that is, those waters which in the former state of prosperity man and beast troubled, but which in particular Pharaoh’s haughtiness rendered turbid; i.e., the well-being of Egypt, as this is represented by its Nile, is now gone, and shall no longer give occasion for abuse. The position of Egypt as to power must henceforth be of another description. וְנַהֲרוֹתָם (Ezekiel 32:2), “their,” of the “waters,” which through Pharaoh go in a confused manner—כַּשֶּׁמֶן, HITZIG: flowing softly and slowly, keeping within the prescribed path. The latter does not lie in the comparison, after the manner of oil; and that they do not as hitherto rush forth in impetuous volumes of water is not the contrast; although the citation in Hitzig from Isa. 8:6 corresponds, for, as with Asshur there, so was the case here with Pharaoh. Hengst. rightly: that the comparison with oil has respect to the soft flowing. Comp. Ezekiel 29:14. There needs only the sentence of the Lord, and then the proud waves subside, and that which fancies itself so high becomes low. (Now, inasmuch as such a state can be taken as a contrast to the ruin of Ezekiel 32:13, some modern expositors, after the example of earlier ones, have found a promise here in relation to other peoples; TARGUM, GROTIUS: that they should be left in peace; HÄV., KEIL: that for Egypt a time of divine blessing shall follow, the Nile shall flow with oil; Ewald even: “then first might the Messianic times come also upon Egypt, where the waterfloods should no longer be desolating and troubled, by reason, namely, of the true knowledge to which the chastisement conducts.”)

Ezekiel 32:15. Here is combined together, through a double parallel, בְְּ the divine judgment and its result,—the giving up of the land of Egypt to desolation, and the realization of what this implied instead of its former fulness (Ezekiel 12:19).—Rosenm., Hengst., translate וּנְשַׁמָּה: “and the land wasted.” It might also mean: when I give, etc., then the land is wasted.—The killing of all the inhabitants, and the knowing of Jehovah. According to Hitzig, בְּהַכּוֹתִי must be subordinated to the declaration.

Ezekiel 32:16. Comp. Ezekiel 19:14. The lamentation (Ezekiel 32:2) comes here to a close. Its female singers, as this was laid upon women (Jer. 9:16 [17]), will be the heathen nations themselves represented as such (daughters), or the mourning women of those nations mentioned in Ezekiel 32:9. So certain is the matter.

Ezekiel 32:17–32. Dirge upon Egypt.

Ezekiel 32:17. The indication of the month is wanting here; according to Hitzig and others, from oversight. Comp. on Ezekiel 26:1. Hengst, and many derive it from Ezekiel 32:1, therefore the twelfth month, so that what here follows falls only fourteen days later. It is the last word upon Egypt, save one after the conquest of Jerusalem, for Ezekiel 29:17 sq. is absolutely the last; consequently a conclusion with respect to Egypt, and indeed in the manner of a d’outre tombe.

Ezekiel 32:18. Here we have a נְהִי, distinguished from the קִינָה going before, in particular, through its character (“gloomy, sorrowful grave-song,” EWALD), and its six windings, its strophe-form.—What is meant by the tumult has been already said in Ezekiel 32:15, 16: it is those who dwelt in Egypt, and are now slain. Besides, in what follows there is a leaning on Ezekiel 31:16 sq.—To wail over any one after the manner of our section is as much as to throw him down with the word. By such a juxtaposition, also, we prevent a false explanation of the נְהֵה, confounding the prophet with hired howling women, after the manner of Egyptian funerals, when as such even the daughters of mighty nations should figure. (EWALD: while the same are let down; as a grave-song, therefore, at the interment. HÄV.: identity of the divine will with the prophetic announcement.)—The fem. אוֹתָהּ does not resume again the regular masc. הָמוֹן, nor is it shown from the question in Ezekiel 32:19 that we are to take it as אַתָּה (HITZIG, EWALD); but it is very simple, grammatically correct, and logical,—an impressive ranking of Egypt, as a land, beside the daughters, etc. What Hitzig says to the contrary is not worthy of consideration. Egypt, as the party referred to, is the more natural, as it also was what in the preceding context determined the המון.—The daughters of the glorious heathen peoples must, according to Dereser, Ewald, Hitzig, be those meant in Ezekiel 32:16—a view that will scarcely commend itself; according to Rosenm.: the populations subject to the Egyptians, or in league with them—of whom there has been no discourse here; according to most: those specified in Ezekiel 32:22 sq. If these last are already in Sheol, as in reality is the case, then is וּבְנוֹת׳ to be understood as if it stood thus: like those, etc., who have gone down conformably to the prophetic word. The process must in no way, as Hengst. expresses himself, be repeated anew; for, according to Ezekiel 32:21 sq., the parties concerned speak out of hell to the Egyptians, therefore are not sent down with these “as it were a second time.” The representation on occasion of the throwing down, which plainly has respect to Egypt, includes those already thrown down (“the daughters,” etc.) in order to render the certainty of the fate of Egypt the more indubitable by patent facts, with which also the immediately following question in Ezekiel 32:19 accords. The designation of the peoples as daughters is the more appropriate, as adornment and attractiveness, splendour and grace, would shine forth in them. For the rest, comp. at Ezekiel 26:20, 31:14.

Ezekiel 32:19. The question with which our dirge begins—to supply לֵאמֹר or נְהֵה is superfluous, the address is more energetic without such an addition—is spoken either to the tumult of Egypt (Ezekiel 32:18), or to Pharaoh and all his tumult (Ezekiel 32:32). The נָעַם, “to be lovely,” is indeed conceded, but it is held from the first to be a vain conceit that it was beyond any other, namely, the glorious heathen peoples, more lovely, therefore, than one of them. Ewald translates: “before whom wert thou more prosperous?” Which would not be so suitable as his allusion to the meaning of “uncircumcised” for Egyptians, and even also for Tyrians (Ezekiel 31:18, 28:10). (Hitzig declares himself in favour of the Sept. on the weakest grounds.)—Hence, as they, so also thou, “go down”—in which remembrance is made of the “cast down” of the prophet in Ezekiel 32:18, as also of those “going down” with whom Egypt must go down. Besides, comp. Ezekiel 28:10, 31:18.

Ezekiel 32:20. Of the sword it was already spoken, Ezekiel 32:11. They who should fall are the Egyptians, Pharaoh and his tumult. Targum Jon. takes נִתָּנָה as אוֹתָהּ of Egypt, but understands that it is given up to the sword.—מָשְׁכוּ, either 3 pret. or imperat. for מִשְׁכּוּ. Of whom it speaks or to whom it is addressed is clear from חֶרֶב נִתּ׳; they are those to whom the sword is already given. And since they must fall, must fall in the midst of the pierced through, the seizing and dragging away is not to be regarded as of evil-doers to the judgment-seat; but if the death-blow is to be considered, and if there is a carrying out of the falling among the pierced through, still, there remains as that to which they are to be dragged, indirectly as well as directly, if not precisely, Sheol, at least the grave.

Ezekiel 32:21. To the question above corresponds the speaking below. What they speak is not said, and confessedly with דָּבַר does not need to be said. If לוֹ is “to him,” as Hengst. thinks, then the speaking is as much as: they greet him (Häv., with malignant welcome) as a colleague (comp. Isa. 14:10, 11); and “his helpers” is to be viewed as connected with “to him”—together with his helpers. Rosenm. connects “his helpers” with “the strong of the heroes,” so that also his helpers address him. If לוֹ is to be translated “of him,” then the discourse takes place with the helpers, who, besides, are the parties that remained to the last with him—ch. 30:8, 5 sq.—גִבּוֹים אֵלֵי—comp. Ezekiel 31:11—which Gesen. renders: “the strongest of the heroes.” Ewald calls to remembrance in how high consideration a quiet natural death stood, with a correspondingly quiet burial, accompanied by the proper solemnities.—The words: “they go down,” etc., might serve less as a closer description of the strong heroes (HENGST.), than as a ground for their being in the midst of Sheol. But if they are taken as the address of the strong heroes, for which also the tone of the words speaks, treating scornfully the Egyptians like other heathens, then “the uncircumcised” must be applied to the Egyptians; and it will hence be understood that they fall in the midst of the uncircumcised (their helpers), appear like these. By Ezekiel 32:19 we are not obliged to take the speakers from hell as the uncircumcised. In Ezekiel 32:22 follows their mention by name. Asshur, primarily on account of the comparison in Ezekiel 31, but especially on account of its so great, still recent experience, which also gave occasion to the beginning of the Chaldean ascendency, ever in Ezekiel appearing as the foil of the other, and, finally, on this more general account, from its importance as compared with the other nations to be named, opens the dark muster-roll.—In respect to gender, the kingdom, which is feminine, interchanges with the king, masculine, because in point of fact the one runs into the other.—The ruler, or his grave, is surrounded by the graves which might be called his, because they are those of members of his people; or קִבְרֹתָיו refers to קָהֵל. This will import: Asshur is only a field of graves, and thereby indicate that the sword which threatens Egypt has already fallen upon it.

Ezekiel 32:23. In order, however, to bridge still more completely the contrast between this hereafter and the preceding here, the graves of Asshur (אֲשֶׁר, perhaps a play upon אַשּׁוּר; anyhow, not: because) are still more particularly characterized. רְַכָתַיִם, dual, the two divergent sides, therefore the extreme part, here by means of בּוֹר determined to be the innermost—the point, namely, to which the pit turns off with its two walls. (GESEN.: the hindermost, farthest.) As much as: buried in the deepest place.—The graves are in Sheol; the latter, therefore, comprehensive of the former. The distinction is a fluctuating one.—Again אֲשֶׁר, certainly a play of words.—נָתְנוּ, antithesis to נִתְּנוּ, for that which was given to them, that which they previously had given! The land of the living, as at Ezekiel 26:20, contrast to their deepest graves.

Ezekiel 32:24. Elam appears in the earliest times among the inhabited countries lying on the farther side of the Tigris, to the east of Babylonia—a Semitic people, nearly related to the Assyrians. On this account alone it might here be made to follow immediately after Asshur; comp. Gen. 10:22, 14:1 sq. From the commencement warlike, ambitious of conquest, the Elamites continued to the last true to this character. Strabo makes mention of their expeditions against Susiana and Babylonia. Originally settled in the valleys between the Zagrus range and the mountains which bound the Assyrian plains on the east, they are mentioned along with other marauding tribes. The Assyrians subdued Elam, so that its dreaded bowmen (Jer. 49:35) figure in the Assyrian army (Isa. 22:6). This explains Elam’s position immediately after Asshur. And agreeably to such a relation to Asshur, the utterance concerning Elam is almost, entirely similar.—The designation “their terror” makes it more expressive: the terror before them. With such a past their future laden with shame contrasts quite as expressively, just as the description: “those that go down to the pit,” stands related to: “in the land of the depths.”

Ezekiel 32:25. The “couch in the midst of the pierced-through” is an ignominious one, because implying their conquest, their fall by the sword. And after all the tumult this idle lying now!—נָתְנוּ, the subject undetermined; or if any one is to be thought of, then Asshur lies not less near than Nebuchadnezzar, by whom Hengst. maintains that Elam was vanquished (comp. at Ezekiel 8:16, 30:5).—בְּבָל׳, in company with.—Round about the king (him) the graves of Elam (הָ as in לָהּ previously).—For, wild lovers of the sword, a terror to the living, their end consequently becomes associated with terror, their state in death takes the form of like to like.—נִתּן against נִתַּן. Elam himself now, not: his couch. He is laid by the sword with the dead, while formerly the terror before him and his would not be allayed among the living.

Ezekiel 32:26. For similar reasons, probably, as in the case of Elam, the Moschi and Tibareni now follow—comp. at Ezekiel 27:13—linked as by a hyphen into one power. According to Hitzig, these represent the Scythians, whose numbers had recently been much reduced. Ewald takes the Chaldeans to be meant by the Scythians (!); Keil, here as in Ezekiel 38, understands by them a northern power, that should succumb, and here prophetically represented as having already succumbed.—The description as formerly, only כִּי־נָתְנוּ׳ instead of previously כִּי־נִתַּן׳, which Hitzig refers to God. The ground of procedure here turns more expressly on the guilt of the parties.

Ezekiel 32:27. Corresponding to such a presentation of the matter is ולֹא׳, which by many expositors is taken for a question indicated merely by the tone, as often in lively discourse: “and should they not,” etc.; that is, they especially could expect no better fate, among whom the significant custom prevailed of burying their fallen warriors with their slaughter-weapons, so that guilt and punishment are still combined together in the grave! (HENGST.: to the dead is ascribed what took place by their order, since they, like the race of Cain, placed therein their honour, saw in the murder of their brother a piece of bravery.) Others take it differently, as indicating that they were not to participate in the honour of resting with those for whom, because they had fallen gloriously, their armour was deposited in the grave. With the interrogatory mode of explanation the affirmative rendering of the Sept. seems to agree; but the other mode has this decidedly in its favour, that manifestly there is meant to be expressed, only in a different way, what was expressed in Ezekiel 32:23 respecting Asshur by the humiliating words: “whose graves were given in the innermost of the pit,” and in Ezekiel 32:24, 25 regarding Elam, through the repeated: “and they bear their shame ”—namely, that they are the conquered, pierced through by the sword, ignominiously fallen under the victor’s hand, as was always again declared. With this agrees the mention of the heroes (comp. Ezekiel 32:12, 21), in particular the latter passage, where these in a manner boast themselves over the Egyptians. The meaning therefore is: that their hereafter is not that of heroes, though these also have fallen from among the uncircumcised, and hence were likewise guilty.—אֲשֶׁר׳, therefore not the Moschi and Tibareni, as Hengst. thinks, “they who,” etc., but a description of the “heroes.”—בִּכְלֵי, in their weapons of war, in armour of defence, and offence, that is, as conquerors of whom one can win no triumph, such as is done by those who carry forth in triumph the equipments of the vanquished.—And they gave, etc., as much as: “and men gave”; the survivors honoured their heroes after such a manner.—And their iniquities were, etc., is undoubtedly a continuation of the immediately preceding context, since to the marks of honour and judgment given on the part of men, there is very fitly added the judgment of God,—that “their iniquities were upon their bones,” or “came upon their bones,” though their swords were no longer on but under them, as also is presently said. To suppose, with Keil, that there is here a continuation to יִשְׁכְּבוּ will scarcely do, as they were not to lie down with the heroes, nor could they be named “terror of heroes.” Hengst. translates: “heroes of terror.” Ewald, with a threatening reference to the Chaldeans: “because the terror of tyrants reigns in the land,” etc. (?). Häv. makes Gen. 6:4, 10:9 sq. swim before the eyes of the prophet. Hitzig accepts simpliciter the translation of the Sept. But it may be regarded as a question whether Ezekiel did not think of the mode of burial among the Scythian princes, which has been similarly described by Herodotus.

Ezekiel 32:28. An address to Egypt (HITZIG: the tumult of Egypt); but certainly without an underlying word of threatening to the Chaldean king, as Ewald supposes. (HENGST.: “thou art broken and liest down,” etc.)—תִשָּׁבַר for תִשָּׁבֵר Ezekiel 32:29. שָׁמָּה either = שָׁם, as a sort of variation, or “thither,” which Häv. takes prophetically (“in like manner belong”) of such as it stands before. Hengst. on the other hand, as he makes Meshech and Tubal to have been probably conquered with the Assyrians, supposes that the Chaldean storm had swept over Edom immediately after the downfall of Judah, certainly as to the beginning only.—The kings, who were elective, are distinguished from all his princes (comp. Gen. 36:15 sq., 40 sq., 31 sq.), the tribal heads or chiefs of the greater race-stems, who according to Keil probably chose the kings.—בִגְבוּרָתָם, “corporeal strength,” “bravery;” very suitable where “heroes” had just been spoken of. We might understand: in proof and trial of the same, or: notwithstanding it. Hitzig points to the olden time (Num. 20:14 sq.; Gen. 36:35), and the wars with David.

Ezekiel 32:30. נָסִיךְ, from נָםךְ, to pour out, scarcely to be understood as = anoint, hence: “anointed,” as מָשִׁיחַ, but, according to a derived signification: to inaugurate, or to place forth, the former in the sacrificial libation (drink-offering), the latter through a casting of metal.—The princes of the north, who are conjoined with כָל־צִדֹנִי, a collective singular, are thereby, according to Hävernick, more exactly defined as the many rulers of the biblical Aram (Damascenes, Syrians). In Jer. 25:26 we have: “all the kings of the north, near and afar off.” Comp. Ezekiel 28:20 sq. The Zidonians, therefore, may have already fallen. Tyre is not mentioned, so (Hengst. thinks) it still stood, although the siege had commenced. The mention of the Zidonians appears obviously designed to suggest that by “the north” is meant not the high far north, but that in relation to Palestine, therefore distinguishing them from Meshech and Tubal, formerly noticed. Perhaps also the significant number of seven must be made out for the peoples.—In their terror, etc., merely as much as, notwithstanding the terror before them, which their strength produced.—בּוֹשִׁים, so that they bear their shame (Ezekiel 32:24, 25).

Ezekiel 32:31. There is now the express application to Pharaoh. Hitzig gives וְנִחַם עַל׳: “and will make himself be sorry for all his host,” namely, that those in Ezekiel 32:27–30 still have on their clothing and equipment, as contrasted with those who had gone down with himself naked !! HENGST.: “he sighs.” It is here the case of Ezekiel 31:16. Hav. thinks it is spoken ironically.

Ezekiel 32:32. The reason assigned has respect to the overthrow of the military force of Pharaoh, in so far as he could inspire terror only after God’s will. He was not by reason of his own power an object of dread for a time on earth, but through the operation of God’s providence, which made use of him as its instrument. In conclusion Kliefoth remarks very well: “People are wont to visit the pyramids of Egypt or its catacombs for the purpose merely of seeing that the glory of the Pharaohs is one that has its abode in Sheol; even to the new Ptolemaic Egypt, the old Egyptian existence was a complete riddle, a thing forgotten and incapable of being understood.”

And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Lange, John Peter - Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical

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