Ezekiel now shifts his emphasis from Tyre and Zion, Phoenician Cities (who were destroyed by king Nebuchadnezzar because of their sins) to the vast land of Egypt. One of the two world powers of the Prophet’s day, the other being Babylon.
Ezekiel actually gives seven sermons against Egypt, seven!
The first includes Ezekiel chapter 29, verses 1-16. And it is FULL of interesting material. (The Bible is such an amazing Book, folks!)
But what has Pharaoh, supreme leader in Egypt, done? To so provoke God’s Wrath against him and his people? At least two specific sins are listed, best I can tell.
“Speak (Ezekiel), and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” Verse 3 of Ezekiel 29. God here compares Pharaoh to a great “dragon!” The word (“tanniyn”) means “sea monster, whale, serpent,” at least these are the ways it is translated in our King James Bibles. Plus the 21 times it is rendered “dragon.” (No doubt a “type” of the devil, satan!)
But watch what the King has said, speaking of the Nile River, the very lifeline of Egypt: “My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” Virtually he’s claiming to be God, to be the Creator! To be owner of the Land!
It’s the despicable (in God’s Eyes especially) sin of PRIDE again!
But look what God is going to do to this smart-aleck “Crocodile” … “But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.” Wow, God has gone “fishing!” The “fish” dying everywhere represent the many inhabitants of Egypt.
The immediately another “charge” is brought from God, lodged against Egypt. They had “lied” to Israel, to Judah! The word picture is thus: Israel had “relied” on Egypt, as an ally and for protection. (Something God did not want her to do! God wanted His people to rely on Him, Him alone!)
But Egypt had proved an unreliable ally! A walking stick which broke as soon as Israel put her weight against it! Here’s the text: “And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed (that “cane,” that “walking stick”) to the house of Israel. When they (Israel) took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break (became unfaithful, did not keep her commitment), and rend all their shoulder (broke Israel’s shoulder): and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins (body parts) to be at a stand (to shake). Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.” Verses 6-8.
Israel should NOT have been leaning on Egypt. But Egypt will nonetheless be judged for her lies and unfaithfulness and the breaking of a treaty, a pact!
So… soon God brought Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon against Egypt and made … “the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene (north) even unto the border of Ethiopia (south). No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.” Verses 10-12, judgment for sure!
Then just this, concluding Ezekiel’s message, sermon: “Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; at the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: and I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.” Verses 13-15 of our chapter. In other words, Egypt will never again be a major world power! That verb “diminish” literally means “to make small.” (Nebuchadnezzar ruled over Egypt with an iron hand for forty years! So say the history books, too!)
Then emaciated Egypt … “It shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel!” God alone will some day be her Confidence!
Oh, folks, how god longs for our loyalty, trust, love!
And He is worthy to receive them all!
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
We have seen God ruling the nations today. “I (the Lord) said unto the fools, Deal not foolishly: and to the wicked, Lift not up the horn (your own power). Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Psalm 75:5-7, it’s the truth!