The Book of Ezekiel
This chapter, plus the next four, will be centered around Egypt and her downfall for forty years, purposely planned and executed by our Father.
Israel, the house of Israel to be precise, depending on Egypt, they would go to the Pharaoh to seek military help rather than depending on our Father to make them triumphant during a war. That irked our Father pretty much every time they did it. Punishment would be forthcoming.
Israel would rather depend on their own army or the army of some other MAN rather than listening to the Lord God and believing Him when He says that HE will make sure that they have the victory over their aggressors.
Ezekiel 29:1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
In the tenth year would be the tenth year of the reign of Zedekiah and the captivity of Jeconiah.
In the tenth month. The month would be the Jewish month of Tebet, covering the latter part of December and the first part of January.
In the twelfth day of the month. The twelfth day would be a Monday.
Ezekiel 29:2 Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:
The title “Pharaoh” does not mean a specific pharaoh or king but is applied as a general term for any leader of Egypt.
Ezekiel 29:3 Speak, 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.
I am against thee. He’s angry with them.
The great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers. Since there are no dragons in real life it must refer to another animal.
✡ Dragon_ OT:8577 tanniyn (tan-neen'); or tanniym (Ezekiel 29:3) (tan-neem'); intensive from the same as OT:8565; a marine or land monster, i.e. sea-serpent or jackal:
✡ Root Word_ OT:8565 tan (tan); from an unused root probably meaning to elongate; a monster (as preternaturally formed), i.e. a sea-serpent (or other huge marine animals); also a jackal (or other hideous land animals):
Or other huge marine animals would definitely mean a crocodile. This creature is the emblem of Egypt and is found in the Nile and all of its tributaries.
In the midst of his rivers. The word rivers, being plural, means all seven tributaries that tie into the Nile River before it empties out into the Mediterranean Sea and the canals that were hand-dug by the Egyptians to enhance irrigation.
The name of this particular Pharaoh is Pharaoh-hophra.
My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. Hophra saw himself as a kind of god because he received great reverence from his own people and the nations around them.
Yes, it’s true that Egypt dug canals to bring the water of the Nile closer to their growing areas so that they didn’t have to depend on rain for irrigation but it was FATHER that made the water that flowed, not Hophra. No man can do that.
Don’t overlook the fact that it is Father that is referring to Egypt and Pharaoh-hophra as a crocodile. It’s an analogy.
Ezekiel 29:4 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.
Let’s look at this word hooks…
✡ Hooks_ OT:2397 chach (khawkh); once (Ezekiel 29:4) chachiy (khakh-ee'); from the same as OT:2336; a ring for the nose (or lips):
When looking at Assyrian sculptures, you will see that prisoners had a ring put through their upper lip with a cord tied to it so that the king could lead them around with it. Father is saying that HE will put a ring in Pharaoh's nose and lead HIM around. His chest won't be puffed out too much after that.
The fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales. These fish represent the people of Egypt but as the fish in the Nile that attached themselves to the croc, also died when the crocodile was lifted by his ring and taken out of the river, they died as well.
Ezekiel 29:5 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.
The analogy from our Father continues…
Thee and all the fish of thy rivers. Pharaoh and all his people. It has to be all the people because He is talking to the nation of Egypt.
Father is going to give them over, put them in the desert, and let other nations conquer her.
Ezekiel 29:6 And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the Lord, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.
A staff of reed to the house of Israel. What does that mean? Israel went to Egypt and was convinced by the Pharaoh that he would stand by them when they went against Assyria, but it failed to materialize.
Things would have turned out differently if they had put their trust in our Father.
What is a staff? You could call it a walking stick. What is a reed? A part of a plant, it’s a hollow stick found nearby a swamp, most times and it’s quite fragile. Now, if you use a reed as a walking stick, what’s going to happen? It’s going to break when you put your weight on it.
That’s the analogy that Father is using here, that Egypt broke when Israel depended on her. She didn’t do what she promised.
Ezekiel 29:7 When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand.
When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break. When Israel leaned on Egypt she broke.
What is this rend?
✡ Rend_OT:1234 baqa` (baw-kah'); a primitive root; to cleave; generally, to rend, break, rip or open:
Egypt’s shoulder went limp, it was broken. Couldn’t use that arm to support anything.
And madest all their loins to be at a stand. That means that when Israel found out that they had no support from Egypt their hearts fell, and they began to shake with fear, they became weak in the knees. Their support was gone, and it took the wind out of them.
Had they depended on our Father that would have NEVER happened.
✡ Stand_OT:5976 `amad (aw-mad'); for OT:4571; to shake:
They had no confidence in themselves. Have you ever been in a situation like that, to where something you depended on greatly, suddenly disappeared? Your knees became weak, it felt like your stomach had just bunched up into a knot, and maybe sweat popped out on your forehead and you felt nauseous?
It’s a feeling of dread and it’s not pleasant and your mind races to replace that new-found understanding with something positive to make you feel better.
How would they have felt had they leaned on our Father? A whole lot better because they knew, from past experience, that if He said that they would have the victory over the enemy, they would get exactly that.
Ezekiel 29:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord God;
He’s talking to ALL of Egypt.
Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.
The word man, here, is interesting because it means Adam….
✡ Man_ OT:120 'adam (aw-dawm'); from OT:119; ruddy i.e. a human being (an individual or the species, mankind, etc.):
The Egyptian peoples would not raise sheep, but they bought sheep already slaughtered from the Shepherd Kings who lived in the south part of Egypt. They were of the tribe of Judah.
In verse 19 we will see Father use the army of Nebuchadnezzar to go against Egypt and in the process, some Egyptian revolters’ got their hands on Pharaoh-hophra and strangled him to death.
Ezekiel 29:9 And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the Lord: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.
Father is quoting from verse 3, the words that Hophra had stated. His arrogance claiming that HE had made the river Nile when in fact he only added ditches to it for irrigation. Father doesn’t like it when some MAN puts his name on His work.
Ezekiel 29:10 Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
And against thy rivers. Father continues to use the analogy of rivers to represent the Egyptian peoples.
From the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. That means the entire country and all the way to Africa.
The tower of Syene is Migdol, a fortress near Pelusium, on the north of the Suez and to Syene to the farthest south.
Ezekiel 29:11 No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
Forty years is one generation. The number 40 in Scripture means trials, testing, and probation. Think of the 40 years of wandering in the desert until that generation of doubters died off. Forty is also connected with affliction and judgment.
The time between Nebuchadnezzar’s overthrow and the deliverance by Cyrus was about that length of time. And rather than a totally literal span of time when man and beast actually were taken from this country, it means that Father’s words portray a state of social and political degradation.
In the literal sense, there was probably no commerce at all, no goods being bought or traded.
Ezekiel 29:12 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.
In that area they were.
Ezekiel 29:13 Yet thus saith the Lord God; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:
It’s not a permanent situation.
Ezekiel 29:14 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.
To return into the land of Pathros. Where the southern kingdom is located…
Ezekiel 29:15 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.
Because Egypt thought that it was so great Father will make sure that they never again have a reason to thump their chest and He will make them a base nation. They will not rule over any other nation ever again.
What does basest mean?
✡ Basest_ OT:8217 shaphal (shaw-fawl'); from OT:8213; depressed, literally or figuratively:
✡ Root Word_ OT:8213 shaphel (shaw-fale'); a primitive root; to depress or sink (expec. figuratively, to humiliate, intransitive or transitive):
And if you look at the history of Egypt they never became a world power and let’s look at what has happened in recent years with Egypt…
The Suez Canal was built and then closed for eight years. The Russians came in and decided to build a dam on the Nile River, the Aswan Dam, and it effectively stopped the spring floods from going upstream to the delta area and natural fertilization was stopped.
And have you ever wondered why Egypt never had the natural resources of black gold? Oil? While every other country around them had massive amounts? Was that due to our Father keeping it a “base” nation?
Ezekiel 29:16 And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord God.
Israel will never again look to Egypt for military or economic help because Egypt won’t be able to help them again anyway.
Ezekiel 29:17 And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
In the seven and twentieth year. Of Jeconiah’s captivity. And because Nebuchadnezzar will be the subject of the next few verses, it was in his 35th year of reigning that he took Tyre and now Father will bring him against Egypt.
In the first month. The month would be Nisan, the latter part of March and the first part of April.
In the first day of the month. That day would have been a Tuesday.
Ezekiel 29:18 Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled. Nebuchadnezzar’s army besieged Tyre for 13 years and because it took so long, the soldier’s lost their hair from wearing their helmets so long and the skin on their shoulders was rubbed off by carrying material on their shoulders.
Yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus. Just before the island was conquered, they took their gold and silver and other precious material and sent it by ship to another island so when Nebuchadnezzar’s army scaled the wall, there was no booty to be taken and his army was completely broke from 13 years of war.
Ezekiel 29:19 Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.
But, by taking Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar could replenish his supplies, his army, and pay them.
Ezekiel 29:20 I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God.
A good lesson to be learned here, a look into how our Father deals with His creation. He used Nebuchadnezzar and his army to bring down Tyre and he went broke doing it. He then sent him against Egypt, to bring them down, and received a lot of spoil for his efforts.
Both Tyre and Egypt had displeased our Father and in Egypt’s case it was the house of Israel that caused it, in part, and He sent ‘ole Neb to bring Supreme justice to them and in the process, ‘ole Neb went broke and then became prosperous once again. And don’t forget that after the 40 years Egypt will also become prosperous again.
Ezekiel 29:21 In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the Lord. KJV
Horn always means power and that power will come out from the midst of the house of Israel and Ezekiel will open his mouth and prophesy exactly what our Father tells him to say.
Don’t overlook the fact that Tyre, which means rock, is another name for Satan, Satan’s rock, but the rock that we should rest our hopes and fears on is the Lord Jesus Christ. HE is OUR rock.
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__4 March 2019__