There are seven prophecies in chapters 29-32, all dealing with Egypt.
Egypt to Be Desolate
Verse 1 – In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 2 – “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt.
Egypt had great treasures, a flourishing civilization, and world-renowned military power. Unfortunately, it was also evil, egotistical, idolatrous and it treated slaves cruelly. They are about to receive what is due.
Verse 3 – “Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, who has said, ‘My River is my own; I have made it myself.’
“My River” – My kingdom, power, riches, and forces, all the strength and glory of Egypt.
Verse 4 – But I will put hooks in your jaws, and cause the fish of your rivers to stick to your scales; I will bring you up out of the midst of your rivers, and all the fish in your rivers will stick to your scales.
Verse 5 – I will leave you in the wilderness you and all the fish of your rivers; you shall fall on the open field; you shall not be picked up or gathered. I have given you as food to the beast of the field and to the birds of the heavens.
Verse 6 – “Then 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.
“Staff of reed” – an inefficient and faithless ally. The Egyptians had made a half-hearted attempt to assist the Jews when Nebuchadnezzar came against Jerusalem, but when he turned on the Egyptians, they turned and ran. In other words – God corrects His own, but if you come against His children, you are against Him.
Verse 7 – When they took hold of you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins shake.”
Verse 8 – ‘Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Surely I will bring a sword upon you and cut off from you man and beast.
Verse 9 – “And the land of Egypt shall become desolate and waste; then they will know that I am the Lord, because he said, ‘The River is mine, and I have made it.’
Verse 10 – “Indeed, therefore, I am against you and against your rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Ethiopia.
The Nile was Egypt’s pride and joy, life-giving river cutting through the middle of the desert. We do the same thing when we take all credit for a career, houses we build, or any success of building anything. Statements like this are prideful. Too many times, we take for granted what God has done in and through us. We couldn’t even draw a breath unless God permitted it. God gives the talent; the wisdom; and the opportunities, to accomplish what we do and have, and we should never forget it.
Verse 11 – “Neither foot of man shall pass through it nor foot of beast pass through it, and it shall be uninhabited forty years.
Verse 12 – “I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate; and among the cities that are laid waste, her cities shall be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and despise them throughout the countries.”
Verse 13 – ‘Yet, thus says the Lord God’ “At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered.
Verse 14 – “I will bring back the captives of Egypt and cause them to return to the land of Pathros, to the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom.
Verse 15 – “It shall be the lowest of kingdoms; it shall never again exalt itself above the nations, for I will diminish them so that they will not rule over nations anymore.
Verse 16 – “No longer shall it be the confidence of the house of Israel, but will remind them of their iniquity when they tuned to follow them. Then they shall know that I am the Lord God.” ‘ ”
Verse 17 – And it came to pass in the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, that the word of the Lord came tome, saying,
Verse 18 – “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon caused his army to labor strenuously against Tyre; every head was made bald, and every shoulder rubbed raw; yet neither he nor his army received wages from Tyre, for the labor which expended on it.
Verse 19 – “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; he shall take away her wealth, carry off her spoil, and remove her pillage; and that will be the wages for his army.
Verse 20 – ‘I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor, because they worked for Me, says the Lord God.
Verse 21 – ‘In that day I will cause the horn of the house of Israel to spring forth, and I will open your mouth to speak in their midst. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”
Nebuchadnezzar had finally conquered Tyre after a 15 year siege (586-571 B.C.). He then went south and conquered Egypt. Ezekiel placed this prophesy here to describe who would bring punishment to Egypt. God used Nebuchadnezzar, an evil man, as His instrument of judgment on Tyre, Judah, and Egypt, which were evil nations themselves. When Babylon didn’t recognize God’s favor, He judged them too!