In part 3 of Ezekiel Annotated we deal with chapters 29-32.These four chapters are mainly about Egypt. Six messages from the Lord to the King and Egypt, 29:2
The dating for these messages is as follows:
1. Eze.29:1 eleventh year, tenth month, twelfth day
2. 30:1 undated
3. 30:20 eleventh year, first month, seventh day
4. 31:1 ,, ,, third month, first day
5. 32:2 twelfth year, twelfth month, first day
6. 32:17 ,, ,, ,, ,, fifteenth day
For more information re these dates and the equivalent of the Julian Calender see SDABC vol.4, page 572
In between these 6 messages a vision regarding Nebuchadnezzar, ch.29:17 which were given in the seven and twentieth year in the first month the first day of the month. See SDABC for commentary on this date and reason why placed here in Chapter 29 of Ezekiel
We like to draw attention to the fact that what the Lord does, is to make known to the world that I am the Lord, see Eze. 29:6, 9, 16 and 30:8, 19, 25, 26 and 32:15
Finally we must also be aware of the fact, as mentioned before in part 1 & 2, that all what is written are not Ezekiel’s words, but “thus says the Lord’ or the word of the Lord came unto me”.
Eze. 29:1, 3, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20: 30:1, 2, 6, 10, 12, 13, 20, 22, 31;1, 10, 15, 18,
32:1, 3, 8, 11, 14, 16, 17, 31, 32
Thus far we have noticed the following:
a. Precise and accurate dating for the messages received by Ezekiel. This gives
confidence in the reliability of the Word of God, the Bible.
b. What is being said in these messages is to let the world know that He is God, the
Lord, I am the Lord, 9 times.
c. The Lord wants to make sure that we take the messages from His prophets not as
human but as divine, as God’s word. In these 4 chapters, 29 times it reads the word
of the Lord came unto me or thus saith the Lord .
REASONS FOR THE FALL OF EGYPT.
These messages against Egypt do speak about Egypt’s’ downfall. Reasons for this downfall are given as follows:
Eze. 29:6 they had been a staff of reed to Israel. Israel made a mistake of seeking help from Egypt. But Egypt had made a mistake by not giving proper help to Israel.
Egypt did not know that it was against God’s will that Israel sought help from Egypt.
29:16 It was Israel’s iniquity to seek help from Egypt. By punishing Egypt Israel
would not be tempted to do it again.
30:6 they were a proud people and would be brought down.
30:18 their pomp and pride in their strength would cease.
31 In this chapter Egypt is likened by the pride of Assyria, see 31:18
32 Punished because of pride about beauty and strength
In these reasons for divine punishment we do notice similarities with Tyre in Eze.28. Egypt suffered from the same self sufficiency and pride in their wealth and strength as Tyre We read also a similar description in Isa.14:12-14
The king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar also fell because of his pride, see story in Dan.4
Pride is a serious matter in the eyes of the Lord, see Prov.6:16, 17 & 16:16
Apocalyptic Babylon also shows pride, Rev.18:7
Even God’s last day church, Laodicea, has a similar problem, Rev.3:17 and in danger of being rejected, ib. 16
In Ezekiel 31 Pharaoh/Egypt is compared with Assyria, beautiful at the time of its greatness. Like Babylon in Daniel 4
In both cases tree(s) are taken as an illustration, Dan.4:11, 12; Eze.31:3-9
It is being described as being situated in Eden, vs. 9 similar to what is said of Tyre in Eze.28:13.
But as Assyria, Babylon and Tyre came to fall in ruin, so it will happen to Egypt and all who are with Egypt, 30:8
In Eze.30:4, 5 we read that pain will not only be upon Egypt but also upon her allies, even the men of the land that is in league.
According to other translations this refers to Israel, the people of the covenant, who had sought help from Egypt. LXX they of the children of my covenant (SDABC 4-681)
Sons of the covenant Translations in J.B.; NIV; Dutch; German, and in GOOD NEWS Bible it reads: even from my own people.
Israel would be punished with Egypt because it trusted in Egypt and not in the Lord.
RELATIONSHIP ISRAEL – EGYPT
Ezekiel 30:5 indicates that Israel, God’s covenant people, would also suffer with Egypt.
Let’s find out at this time in our study, what has been Israel’s relationship with Egypt? We will trace this from its beginning, starting with Abraham in Genesis 12.
Arriving from Haran in Canaan, soon after the arrival Abraham finds himself with his family and entourage in a famine stricken situation, Gen.12:10.
He moves to Egypt to find relieve. While in Egypt he gets into trouble over his wife.
He asks his wife, Sarai , that in case being asked she should tell the people that she is Abraham’s sister. Gen.12:11-20.
In Gen.26:1-5 we find Isaac in a similar situation, but the Lord tells Isaac not to go to Egypt. He is told to stay in the land where he is.
The next encounter with Egypt is through Joseph being sold as slave to Potiphar in Egypt. Gen.37:25-28; 39:1
Through this experience the Lord provides a saving situation for Israel. Joseph says to his brothers the Lord brought me here to preserve life, Gen.45:5
Jacob and his family are going to Egypt to settle in Goshen, Gen.46:34, in total 70 souls,
The relationship of Israel with Egypt becomes a very nasty one. From a saving relationship it becomes slavery, hard labour situation, Exod.1:8-11.
Now Egypt is the land of bondage and Moses is called to lead out in the great deliverance from bondage in Egypt, Exod.3 and 4.
Pharaoh is not easy to move in letting Israel go. He shows an “Atheistic” spirit, ignoring the existence of God, Exod.5:2
The Lord is determined to show who is Lord in this situation. Also He promises Israel that they will be freed from bondage and be His people as He is the Lord your God. Exod.6:6, 7
We do find here the same expression as we found nine times in Eze.29-32
In Moses’ days during the deliverance it was not only Israel who would learn to know who the Lord is, but Egypt as well, through the 10 plagues, Exod.6:7; 7:17
The Exodus experience in Israel’s history would become a frequent reminder. Over and over again Israel was to be reminded of this great deliverance; Lev.25:38, 42, 55; 26:13, 45. Deut.9:12; 13:5
Even the fourth commandment in Deut.5:6, 15 is linked to Israel’s bondage in Egypt and their deliverance through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm.
Joshua repeats the same in Joshua 24:5-7.This is followed by prophets in later years that constantly had to remind Israel of this great event of salvation from bondage. See for instance Jer.2:6; Joel 3:19; Amos 2:10; Micah 6:4; 7:15
But Israel was very forgetful, especially during the time of the Judges, Judges 2:10;
17:6 and 21:25.
In David’s time things started to settle down. But after David in Solomon’s time the relationship with Egypt took a wrong turn. Solomon married one of Pharaoh’s daughters,
1 King 3:1; 11:1, 4. Such marriages polluted the true worship of Israel. He built a house for Pharaoh’s daughter, 1Kings 7:9 this could have been a house of worship for his Egyptian wife.
In times of trouble Israel, as in the time of Hezekiah, sought support from Egypt, 2Kings18:20, 21. But they were ridiculed for doing so. Egypt was a reed to Israel, as is also said by Ezekiel in Eze.29:6
Before Judah went into exile Zedekiah tried to get help from Egypt. But Jeremiah told him by the word of the Lord that this was not going to happen, Jer.37:7 it would be in vain. Pharaoh’s army would have to return to Egypt.
Isaiah also had a major message against Egypt in chapter 19
We find in Jeremiah 42, 43, 44 & 46 strong messages against Egypt
The Lord did not and does not favour any relationship with Egypt. Not between literal Israel and literal Egypt in the past or with spiritual Israel and spiritual Egypt in the presence.
In Hosea 11:1 we read that the Lord called His son (Israel) out of Egypt. That may refer to Israel’s deliverance out of Egyptian bondage in the Exodus time.
In Matthew 2:15 it is applied to Jesus coming back from Egypt after Joseph and Mary took refuge in Egypt out of fear for Herod
It may also be made applicable to our personal call and deliverance from the land of sin of which Egypt is a symbol.
Post exilic prophets also have messages regarding Egypt. Hag.2:5 a reminder regarding the Exodus experience.
Zachariah 10:10-12 speaks about another delivery from Egypt. This could well refer to the great delivery of God’s end time people. It speaks about the drying up of the river.
We do find in Rev.16:12 the drying up of the great river Euphrates. We do not understand this as the literal river Euphrates in Iraq. But the drying up of the nations gathered together against God’s end time people, Rev.12:17; 17:14
In Zach.14,18, 19 we read about an end time punishment for Egypt and all those who do not come up or are ready for the feast of the tabernacles. This is the feast of glory, of victory, the completion of Messiah’s salvation.
We find also some reference regarding Egypt in the New Testament books. We have already mentioned Matthew 2:15 in connection with Hos.11:1
In Acts 7 Stephen reminds his hearers about the Exodus deliverance..
In Hebr.8:9 Egypt is mentioned in relation to Israel’s unfaithfulness in keeping the covenant but turning to an Egyptian style of worship, See Exodus 32.
Jude in his epistle vs. 5 reminds his readers about the Exodus and what happened to those who did not believe.
Finally we find Egypt mentioned in Rev.11:7-8. Egypt is now used as a symbol for the French revolution or according to Daniel 11:40 the king of the South (Egypt was south of Israel/Judah) comes up against the king of the North – Papacy (Assyria/Babylon was north/east of Israel/Judah)
It was the French revolution which inflicted the deadly wound (Rev.13:3) in 1798, the beginning of the time of the end. For further reference read Great Controversy, by
Ellen G.White pp. 268/9. She writes at the bottom of page 269:
“And in the land where the testimony of God’s two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of Pharaoh the licentiousness of Sodom.
This Prophecy has received a most exact and striking fulfilment in the history of France”
This historic event became the cradle of modern day atheism, evolutionism, Darwinism, communism, materialism, secularism, modernism and today post-modernism.
The direct attack on the Bible during the French revolution is continued through the historical critical method of Bible study in place of the historical grammatical method.
We, in the 21st century have our battle with modern day “Egypt” and should take note of Israel’s experience with Egypt and what the prophets of old have written about Egypt. There are lessons to learn and warnings to heed.
DIVINE PUNISHMENT FOR EGYPT
In this section of our study we will deal with punishment for Egypt in comparison with punishment for modern day “Egypt/Babylon” as stated in the Apocalypse/Revelation
Eze.29:4, 5 the beasts of the field would have a feast
Rev.19:17, 18 the fowls of the air are heaving a feast.
Eze.29:9-12 Egypt would be turned into a desolate waste land
Rev.20:1-3 the earth will be a wasteland and desolated during the millennium
Eze.29:15 Egypt shall no more rule over the nations
Rev.20:3 during the millennium Satan will not be able to deceive the nations
Eze.29:4; 30:4 her rivers shall be broken up; her foundations; her supporters.
Rev.18:8 Apocalyptic Babylon utterly burned with fire; broken up
Eze.30:6, 7, 18 the pride of her power shall come down and made desolate,
the pomp of her strength shall cease in her.
Rev.18:16, 17, 19 (17:16) Apocalyptic Babylon will be made desolate, all her wealth
shall come to ruin.
Eze.30:8 all her helpers will be destroyed
Rev.16:19; 17:16; 19:19-21 Apocalyptic Babylon’s supporters destroyed by fire.
Eze.30:12 there will be a drying up of the rivers of Egypt
Rev.16:12 there will be drying up of Babylon’s river(s). (Rev.17:15, 16)
Eze.30:21-25 in this section we have Hebrew language emphasis by way of repetition.
Four times it is repeated that the arms of strength of Egypt will be broken or
Vs.21 I have broken the arm of Pharaoh
Vs 22 I will break his arms, the strong
Vs 24 I will break Pharaoh’s arms
Vs.25 the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down
Eze.30:24, 25 here we read two times that the arms of Babylon will be strengthened, but
the strength of Egypt be hurt and he will groan as a deadly wounded man.
In Daniel 11:40-45 we read that the king of the South (Egypt) will push at the king of the
North (Apocalyptic Babylon/Papacy) but the King of the North will
retaliate with great fury, conquering many lands and Egypt will not escape. (For more detail read my study on Daniel 11:40-45 on this website).
Isaiah writes in 19:2 about Egypt and its power falling apart and that there will be infighting, Egyptians against Egyptians.
This sounds like what will happen to apocalyptic Babylon as described in Rev.17:16 and in Rev.16:19 the great city fallen apart.
In Eze.31 the greatness and downfall of Assyria is used as a mirror image or type for Pharaoh/Egypt and all his multitude, 31:18.
In a similar way literal Babylon is used as a type for the downfall of apocalyptic Babylon in the end times, as described in Rev.16-18.
It looks like that both literal Egypt and Babylon are used as types for what happens to their spiritual counterparts in end times. Apocalyptic Babylon will suffer a deadly wound Rev.13:3 and Egypt would groan under the infliction of a deadly wound, Eze.30:24
Eze.32:4 speaks again about that feast of the animals as we have seen in 29:4, 5.
Ez.32:6 informs us that the land will be plagued with blood.
Rev.16:3, 4 two of the last 7 plagues deal with blood
Eze.32:7, 8 Egypt will suffer darkness, as Egypt of old suffered darkness, Exod.10:22
Rev.16:5 Babylon the great will suffer darkness under the fifth plague in the end time.
Eze.32:10 the people will be amazed when they see what happens to Egypt
Rev.18:10 the same will happen when the Great City Babylon comes to its end.
Eze.32:11, 12 Babylon was a tool in God’s hand to punish Egypt
Dan.11:40 King of the North or Apocalyptic Babylon comes as a whirlwind against the
King of the South, the apocalyptic Egypt of the end time. Remember how
almost overnight, 70 years of communistic rule, modern day atheistic Egypt
came to an end and how the Vatican had played its role.
Nations not worshiping the Creator God are being used as an instrument
in God’s hand to fulfil His plan and purpose.
Here we end our notes comparing Ezekiel with the Apocalypse, the Revelation of Jesus Christ.
We are now ready to come to a conclusion and draw some lessons from what we have studied so far.
When Israel was delivered from Egyptian bondage they became very strategically situated. Travel routes took travelling people through their territories. They were placed as it were in the centre of the world of that time
The purpose was to fulfil what God had told Abraham, to be a blessing, Gen.12:2; 18:18
to be a light in the midst of spiritual darkness.
“The people of God are His representatives upon the earth and He
intends that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world.” (PP 134)
However this also placed them in between two archenemies of God’s truth, Babylon/Assyria to the North and Egypt to the south.
The history of Israel shows us that they often failed in being a light and witness
Abraham failed the first time he was in Egypt, Gen.12:10-20
Solomon failed, as we have seen, in taking a woman from Egypt as his wife,
1Kings 3:1; 11:1
Hezekiah failed to be a light after he was healed from his sickness, 2Kings 20.
Before being taken into captivity Judah in an act of rebellion sought help from Egypt,
which failed, Isa.36:6; Eze.29:6 Egypt was a reed to them.
There is no virtue in seeking help from those who do not worship God. Our help must come from the Lord, Psalm 121:1, 2.
Israel did not seek divine help and perished with Egypt, Eze.30:5 they were in league with Egypt against God’s will.
This part of Ezekiel is translated differently. Some say the people of the covenant as we have noticed before in this study. Or according to God’s Word translation a people from the Promised Land.
But NEB reads the people of allied lands and Berkeley the people of the lands in league with them, and in NLT with all the other allies.
From the context it seems that both translations fit the picture and gets the point across
Egypt fell down not recognising the Creator God, the Great I am who I am. Israel fell down in the end for not recognising the Messiah, my Son called out of Egypt.Hos.11:1
The interesting part is that both Egypt and Israel are still among us. Could that be as a witness and warning for our time, God’s people living among nations who do not recognise God and on the other hand do not accept Christ as He should be accepted?
As many nations were in league with Egypt in Ezekiel’s time 30:4, 5, so today a great number of people are in league with spiritual Egypt. The teachings of the French revolution are being taught and accepted world wide. Read Ed.228 & HP 313
“The worldwide dissemination of the same teachings that
led to the French Revolution – are all tending to involve
the whole world in a struggle similar to that which
Satan is using this situation in his final war against the remnant of her seed, Rev.12:17; 17:14 The remnant must stay far away from Satan’s camp and not seeking help in its mission to proclaim God’s last day saving message of Rev.14:6-12.
We should not go to modern day Babylon for help in doing the Lord’s work or to modern day Egypt and seek assistance from their camp.
The story of Israel and Egypt stands out as a clear warning for us today. The church may suffer while living in the world as Daniel and his friends suffered at times. But Daniel made up his mind not to defile himself, Dan.1:8. His friends had made up their minds not to worship the king’s image, so the members of the remnant church of today must be found to be in a similar determined state of mind
In the end the Lamb and those who follow the Lamb will be victorious, Rev.17:14
Let that be the lesson we learn from these most interesting chapters of Ezekiel.
Pastor Jan T.Knopper
Cooranbong NSW January 2007
Edited August 2013