Verse 1 – The word of the Lord came to me again, saying,
Verse 2 – “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Wail, ‘Woe to the day!’
Verse 3 – For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near, it will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
A day of trouble – clouds. The time when God will reckon with the heathens – Gentiles.
Verse 4 – The sword shall come upon Egypt, and great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain fall in Egypt, and they take away her wealth, and her foundations are broken down.
Verse 5 – “Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword.”
Verse 6 – ‘Thus says the Lord; “Those who uphold Egypt shall fall, and the pride of her power shall come down. From Migdol to Syene those within her shall fall by the sword,” says the Lord God.
Verse 7 – “They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste.
Verse 8 – Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I set a fire in Egypt and all her helpers are destroyed.
Verse 9 – On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great anguish shall come upon them, as on the day of Egypt; for indeed it is coming!”
Messengers go forth from me in ships – ships can ascend the Nile up to Syene or Essuan, by the cataracts; and when Nebuchadnezzar’s vessels went up, they struck terror into the Ethiopians. They are represented here as the “messenger of God.”
Verse 10 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also make a multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
Verse 11 – He and his people with him, the most terrible of nations, shall be brought to destroy the land; they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.
Verse 12 – I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked; I will make the land waste, and all that is in it, by the hand of aliens. I the Lord, have spoken.”
The Nile has many canals and when it was time for the Nile to overflow, it watered the land. But God said He would dry it up so that would cause famine and death.
Verse 13 – ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also destroy the idols, and cause the images to cease from Noph; (Noph – Memphis, now Grand Cairo) there shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt; I will put fear in the land of Egypt.
Verse 14 – I will make Pathros desolate, set fire to Zoan, and execute judgments in No.
Verse 15 – I will cut off the multitude of No (a populous city located at one of the mouths of the Nile),
Verse 16 – and set a fire in Egypt; sin shall have great pain, No shall be split open, and Noph shall be in distress daily.
Verse 17 – The young men of Aven and PiBeseth shall fall by the sword, and these cities shall go into captivity.
Verse 18 – At Tehaphnehes the day shall also be darkened, when I break the yokes of Egypt there. And her arrogant strength shall cease in her; as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.
Verse 19 – Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt, then they shall know that I am the Lord.” ‘ ”
Verse 20 – And it shall come to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
Verse 21 – “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and see, it has not been bandaged for healing, nor a splint put on it to bind it, to make it strong enough to hold a sword.
This message came in 587 B.C. while Jerusalem was under attack from Babylon. Judah had rebelled against Babylon and made an alliance with Egypt in spite of God’s warnings (Jeremiah 2:36, 37). The Egyptians turned and ran when Nebuchadnezzar’s army turned on them. This defeat was what Ezekiel meant when he said that God had broken the arm of Pharaoh.
Verse 22 – “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, both the strong one and the one that was broken; and I will make the sword fall out of his hand.
Verse 23 – ‘I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them throughout the countries.
Verse 24 – ‘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 will groan before him with groanings of a mortally wounded man.
Verse 25 – ‘Thus I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt.
Verse 26 – ‘I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations an disperse them throughout the countries. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’ ”
God destroyed Egypt’s military superiority and gave it to Babylon. Many times, we don’t see right away the purpose of God letting a nation rise to power and then calling judgment on it. We don’t have to understand everything in order to be obedient. Our God is sovereign and is in charge of everything. We should never forget that any nation that comes against Israel, He will destroy! Zechariah 14:12 – And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.