Ezekiel 29:1–21

Read the passage.

The prophecies against Egypt were given to Ezekiel in 587 b.c., roughly a year after the siege of Jerusalem (and a few months before he prophesied against Tyre, in fact). Egypt had long been one of the superpowers of the ancient world, exerting great influence over its neighbors for a long time. But the Lord decrees that the time for that has ended.

The Pharaohs of Egypt had long likened themselves as gods to their people, blessing the Nile River in order for it to bring abundance to the land. The Lord compares Pharaoh to a great dragon that has its domain in the river but one that also boasts that it created it. For this arrogance, the Lord will pull him up out of the river like a fish on a hook and then toss him to the land. There he will perish and become food for the carrion birds and beasts.

In addition to Pharaoh trying to put himself in God’s place, the Egyptians in general are also punished for betraying God’s people. Israel had gone to Egypt (instead of the Lord) for aid against Babylon, but Egypt was not able to give the support they needed. Because of this harm that was done against His people, the Lord brings desolation upon Egypt. From north to south, Egypt will be made desolate, emptied of its people. Man and beast of Egypt will be scattered abroad, the superpower broken. However eventually the Lord gathers the Egyptians together again to form a nation, but not as great as it once was. Never again will any other nation be subject to them, nor will Israel be tempted to rely upon them.

Sixteen years later, Ezekiel is granted the knowledge of who will carry out this prophecy against Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon had spent that whole time besieging Tyre, but any plunder he had gotten from it was not worth the cost of fielding his army for that long. Therefore the Lord will give him success against Egypt as he turns his attention further south. The loot and plunder he gets from Egypt will be enough to pay for his campaign against Tyre.

Finally, Israel is offered hope. On the day Nebuchadnezzar conquers Egypt, Israel’s power will begin to rise and Ezekiel will prophesy to them again.

The greatest of superpowers is as nothing before You. Nations rise and fall at Your command.

420 Words