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Barnes' Notes on the Bible
1The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,
Third prophecy Ezekiel 30:1-19 against Egypt, probably to be connected with the previous verses (compare Ezekiel 30:10 with the Ezekiel 29:17-21 note). Some consider it to belong to the earlier part of Ezekiel 29 (compare Ezekiel 29:10, Ezekiel 29:12 with Ezekiel 30:5-6).
2Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!
3For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.
The time of the pagan - The time when the pagan (Egyptians) shall be judged.
4And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.
5Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
Libya, and Lydia - Or, as in Ezekiel 27:10, Phut and Lud.
The mingled people - Foreigners, who settled in Egypt. The Saite dynasty of Egyptian kings were especially favorable to foreign immigrants. Hophra employed many of them in his armies, and in this way, according to Herodotus, lost the affections of his Egyptian subjects. See Jeremiah 25:20 note.
Chub - The word occurs here only. It was some tribe in alliance with Egypt, either of African race like Lud and Phut, or settlers like the "mingled people." A not-improbable suggestion connects it with Coptos, of which the Egyptian form was Qeb, Qebt or Qabt.
The men of the land that is in league - Rather, the children of the land of the covenant, i. e., of Israel (see Ezekiel 16:8). After the destruction of Jerusalem Jews withdrew into Egypt Jeremiah 43:7. Many of them would naturally enough be found in the Egyptian armies. This is in favor of the later date assigned to this section.
6Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.
See the marginal reference note.
7And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.
8And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.
9In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.
Careless Ethiopians - The Ethiopians, who were dwelling in fancied security Zephaniah 2:15, shall tremble at Egypt's ruin.
10Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.
11He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
12And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.
13Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.
Noph - Memphis Isaiah 19:13.
14And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.
Zoan - Tanis, a city and nome of Lower Egypt Numbers 13:22. See the marginal reference note.
No - Diospolis. See the marginal reference note.
15And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.
16And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily.
17The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity.
Aven - The same as "On" Genesis 41:45, or "Heliopolis." The word "Aven" means also "transgression" (compare Hosea 10:8). Some have thought that here too Ezekiel substituted the word "Aven" for "On" to mark the "sin" of idolatry there in full vogue.
Pi-beseth - The Bubastis of Herodotus. The hieroglyphic name is "Pe-bast," the house of Bast (the Egyptian Artemis, the cat-headed goddess). Bubastis was situated on the easternmost, the Pelusian, branch of the Delta. The road from Pelusium to Memphis lay through Bubastis and On. In the days of Herodotus Bubastis was the seat of one of the chief annual festivals of the Egyptians. The Persians took the town and razed the walls. The ruins bear the modern name Tel-Basta.
18At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
Tehaphnehes - See the marginal reference note. "break the yokes of Egypt" i. e., break the yokes imposed by Egypt, or break up the tyrannous dominion of Egypt over other lands.
19Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD.
20And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Fourth prophecy against Egypt spoken three months before the capture of Jerusalem Ezekiel 26:1, and three months after the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:1. Meantime, Pharaoh-Hophra's attempt on Jerusalem had been foiled, and the Egyptians driven back into their own country (Jeremiah 37:5 note).
21Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.
I have broken - Especially by the defeat at Carchemish.
A roller - Or, a bandage.
22Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand.
The strong - Such power as Egypt yet retained at home and abroad.
That which was broken - The power which Egypt aimed at ineffectually, the conquest of Palestine and Syria.
23And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
24And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.
25But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.
26And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD.