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Bible Commentaries

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Ezekiel 30

 

 

Verses 2-4

Ezekiel 30:2-4. Thus saith the Lord, Howl ye, &c. — The prophet addresses the inhabitants of Egypt. Wo worth the day — Ah! the day: alas! what sad times are approaching. Even the day of the Lord — The time of God’s vengeance, wherein he will manifest his sore displeasure against Egypt and its allies; a cloudy day — A day that shall be dismal with calamities. Times of trouble have often this appellation. It shall be the time of the heathen — Wherein they shall be punished. Great pain shall be upon Ethiopia — Great trouble and distress; when the slain shall fall in Egypt — By the sword of the Chaldeans; and they shall take away her multitude — Shall carry multitudes of them captive to Babylon; and her foundations shall be broken down — Her strong forts and citadels; or her government, laws, and all the supports and defences of her commonwealth.


Verse 5

Ezekiel 30:5. Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia — The names in Hebrew are Cush, Phut, and Lud, which are mentioned together as the Egyptian allies, Jeremiah 46:9. Cush probably signifies Ethiopia here, being joined with Phut and Lud, which were nations of Africa. And all the mingled people — All their mercenary soldiers, consisting of various nations. If we distinguish these from the men of the land, mentioned afterward, they may mean that mixture of Carians, Ionians, and other nations lying upon the Mediterranean sea, which Apries got together to encounter Amasis, who, together with him, were destroyed. And Chub — The Cubii are mentioned by Ptolemy as a people of Mareotis, a province of Egypt. There is no mention of this people anywhere else in the Scriptures. According to Michaelis, the ancient geographers have a mercantile town, Kubee, on the Indian sea, under the eighth degree of north latitude.


Verses 6-9

Ezekiel 30:6-9. They also that uphold Egypt shall fall — By this seems to be meant the governors of the several provinces, those who are called the stay of the tribes thereof, Isaiah 19:13; that is, of the several Nomi, or districts of Egypt. From the tower of Syene shall they fall — This should rather be rendered, from Migdol to Syene. See note on Ezekiel 29:10. When I have set a fire in Egypt — When I shall have kindled up the flame of war in Egypt. God’s judgments are often compared to fire: see the margin. And when all her helpers shall be destroyed — All her allies and auxiliaries. In that day shall messengers, &c. — Houbigant translates this verse, In that day shall swift messengers go forth from me, who shall terrify the secure Ethiopian; and he shall have great fears concerning the day of Egypt, because it shall be nigh. He observes, that as the messengers are said to be “sent to Cush, or Ethiopia, if the Arabians be meant, they were not to be gone by ships: if the Ethiopians, properly so called, to the south of Egypt, it was not proper for messengers to be sent to them in ships, because the navigation was against the stream, and could not be so quick as it ought upon an approaching calamity.” Bishop Newcome, however, adopts our translation of the first clause, observing, that to send messengers up the Nile in ships was, if not so swift, yet a more secure way of communicating intelligence in a time of general commotion, than to send them by land. The Egyptians and Ethiopians being confederates, the ill news of the conquest of Egypt could not but greatly affect the Ethiopians.


Verses 10-12

Ezekiel 30:10-12. I will make the multitude of Egypt to cease — I will diminish the number of its inhabitants. I will make the rivers dry — The fertility of Egypt depending on the rise and overflowing of the Nile, the meaning of the metaphor is, I will destroy the plenty, prosperity, and strength of Egypt. And sell the land into the hand of the wicked — Namely, the haughty and cruel Babylonians. To sell, signifies here to deliver up, as men do goods which they sell. Compare Deuteronomy 32:30; 2:14; and 4:9.


Verse 13

Ezekiel 30:13. I will also destroy the idols — Idolatry being one of the principal things for which God visits the infidel nations, he would take particular vengeance upon the idols, thereby showing how much he is superior to them in power. Cambysis, the successor of Cyrus, destroyed the idols of Egypt. I will cause their images to cease out of Noph — Noph, or Memphis, was one of the principal cities of Egypt, a seat of their kings, where their sepulchres stood, one of which is still remaining. It is often mentioned in Scripture. In Hosea it is called Moph, and by many at this day Menoph. This place was famous for the worship of Apis and Osiris, whereupon the prophet, in a particular manner, denounces destruction to the idolatry of that place. And there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt — This undoubtedly refers to the future government of Egypt by foreigners, or to the general destruction of the Egyptian princes by Nebuchadnezzar and Amasis. All men know, says Josephus against Appion, 50. 2. sec. 11, οτι περσων και μετεκεινους, ηγουμενων της ασιας ΄ακεδονων, αιγυπτοι μεν εδουλευον, ανδραποδων ουδεν διαφεροντες, “That the Egyptians were subject to the Persians, differing nothing from slaves, and after them to the Macedonians, who ruled over Asia.” See the note on Ezekiel 29:15. And I will put a fear in Egypt —

I will make the Egyptians faint-hearted, and not able to defend themselves.


Verse 14-15

Ezekiel 30:14-15. I will make Pathros desolate — That is, Thebais; and will set fire in Zoan — Or, Tanis, one of the ancient cities in Egypt, and the metropolis of the kingdom in Moses’s time: see Psalms 78:12; Psalms 78:43. I will execute judgments in No — Called the multitude of No, or Hamon-no, in the next verse, and probably the same with the city Thebes, famous for its hundred gates: see the note on Jeremiah 46:25. I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt — It is generally agreed that Sin is the same with Pelusium, one of the seven mouths of the Nile, which was commonly called the key of Egypt, as Suidas observes, and therefore was strongly fortified, that no enemy might gain admittance.


Verse 17-18

Ezekiel 30:17-18. The young men of Aven, &c. — Aven is the same with On, mentioned Genesis 41:45, in aftertimes called Heliopolis, as the margin here explains it, because of a temple or image there dedicated to the sun: see notes on Isaiah 19:18; Jeremiah 43:13. The word is so translated both here and Genesis 41:45, by the LXX., who were very well acquainted with Egypt and all the principal places of it. And they translate Phibeseth, Bubastum. At Tehaphnehes — Elsewhere written Tahpanhes, supposed to be the same place which was afterward called Daphnæ Pelusiacæ; the day shall be darkened — By this expression is signified its being involved in great calamity; for the day, or light, in the Scripture language, is put for prosperity: therefore the day being darkened signifies a state of adversity.


Verses 20-26

Ezekiel 30:20-26. It came to pass in the eleventh year, &c. — It seems this prophecy was delivered soon after the Egyptian army had marched out of Egypt to relieve Jerusalem when besieged by Nebuchadnezzar, but had returned without effecting any thing, (see notes on Jeremiah 37:5; Jeremiah 37:7,) and some months before that city was taken, that is, more than sixteen years before the preceding prophecies. I have broken the arm of Pharaoh I have begun to break, or will break, Pharaoh’s strength, so that he shall not be able to recover his former power. Calmet’s interpretation is, “I will break Pharaoh by the revolt of his subjects, by the war which Amasis shall bring upon him, and afterward by that of Nebuchadnezzar; and this in the space of fourteen or fifteen years.” It is usual for the prophets to speak of a thing future as if it was already accomplished. It shall not be bound up to be healed — His calamity shall be so far from being lessened, that it shall increase more and more every day. And will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken — Or, rather, the firm one, as well as the broken, or infirm one. The king of Babylon had before dispossessed the king of Egypt of all his new conquests, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates, 2 Kings 24:7. So that this part of his strength was already taken away, and never to be recovered; and now God threatens to destroy the remainder of his power, namely, the kingdom of Egypt itself. And I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand — He shall have no more strength to defend himself than a man hath to use his sword when his arm is broken. And he shall groan with the groanings of a deadly-wounded man — His strength and power shall fail, and he shall groan with anguish as a man who is dying of his wounds. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations — See note on Ezekiel 29:12-13.

 


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Bibliography Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Ezekiel 30:4". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/ezekiel-30.html. 1857.

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