Ezekiel 29 -- 32
The prophecy concerning Egypt came to Ezekiel about a year after the siege of Jerusalem began. He foretold the doom of Pharaoh as a ruler and of the ruin of Egypt as a prestigious nation: Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh King of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. . . . because they have been a staff of reed to the House of Israel. . . . I will bring a sword upon you, and cut off man and beast out of you. And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord. . . . neither shall it be inhabited forty years (Ezekiel 29:2,6,8-9,11).
Egypt, the land of ancient might and mystery, was no longer to be one of the great powers of the world. But it would not be left totally desolate, as would the island city of Tyre; nor would it be completely destroyed, as Babylon would be. Ezekiel also foretold: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians . . . and will cause them to return . . . and they shall be there a base (lowly) kingdom. . . . Neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall never again rule over the nations (29:13-15). After 40 years of dispersion under Babylonian rule, its people returned, but Egypt has remained a base nation over the centuries. It stands as a witness to the supreme authority of God over all of His creation.
At the time of the Exodus, the ten plagues, including the death of their firstborn, forced the Egyptians to acknowledge that their own gods were powerless against the One True God. This should have taught Egypt, as well as Israel, to reject their idols and worship the God of Creation.
At the end of the twelfth year of the Israelites' exile, Ezekiel again foretold the downfall of Egypt: Thus says the Lord God; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon you. . . . they shall spoil (ruin) the pomp (pride) of Egypt, and all the multitude shall be destroyed. . . . then shall they know that I am the Lord (32:11-12,15) -- meaning the Sovereign Ruler of the universe whose Word can, without hesitation, be totally relied upon. This happened just weeks after the news reached the exiles in Tel-Abib that Jerusalem had been destroyed by the Babylonians. The Israelites must have also been deeply discouraged to hear of the coming destruction of Egypt, since they had relied so heavily on Egyptian support. However, for the faithful few, the news confirmed the absolute accuracy of every detail of Ezekiel's prophecy.
The purpose of all prophecy concerning judgment upon Israel, Judah, Tyre, Sidon, Egypt, and other nations is to force them to realize that I am the Lord. This phrase, stressing the supremacy of God and the absolute accuracy and importance of His Word, is mentioned more than 60 times in this one book alone.
However, a future time of redemption and restoration was also foretold: In that day I will cause the Horn of the House of Israel to bud forth (29:21; Psalms 92:10). The horn is a symbol of power and strength (I Samuel 2:10). Israel's time of defeat was to be succeeded by one of restoration. The people of God have a future destiny of glory with Him. As prophesied, God will, in His time, restore His people with Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah King.
The beginning of Jesus Christ's earthly life was humble. But, on His return, He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords with glory and power such as the world has never seen. He will come in flaming fire taking vengeance on (all) them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . When He shall come to be glorified in His saints (II Thessalonians 1:8-10).
Through the prophets by the Word of the Lord (Ezekiel 29:1). God, who at sundry times . . . spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, Has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things (Heb. 1:1-2).
29:6 staff of reed means false support; 29:7 be at a stand means gave way under them; 29:18 peeled means rubbed bare; 30:2 Woe worth the day means wail, alas, a day (of terror) is coming; 30:9 careless means complacent; 30:12 waste means desolate; 30:21 roller means splint; 31:3 a shadowing shroud means forest shade; 31:14 nether parts means lower parts of the earth; 32:9 vex means trouble, dismay; 32:14 deep means settle or become clear.
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Memory Verse for the Week: