1. As we begin this chapter, who is being prophesied against?
All of Egypt: “(1) In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt” (Ezekiel 29:1-2).
- If this is the tenth year in the tenth month of the same subject. This text predates the past few chapters we have just finished (Ezekiel 26:1). I say IF it is the same subject for a reason. In Ezekiel there are at least a couple of accounting of years that are not the same (Ezekiel 1:2; 33:21; 40:1).
- God was against this Pharaoh (Ezekiel 30:22).
- Ezekiel, as with other times, was to set his face against Pharaoh and Egypt (Ezekiel 6:2, Ezekiel 13:17, Ezekiel 20:46, Ezekiel 25:2, etc.).
- As we will see at the end of this chapter, God was going to deliver them into the hands of Nebuchadrezzar (Ezekiel 29:17-20; cf. Jeremiah 46:25-26).
2. What did Pharaoh, king of Egypt, claim as his own?
The river: “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself” (Ezekiel 29:3).
- Pharaoh saw himself as a great dragon who owned his river. Dumb thinking (Psalms 78:43-44 and Isaiah 44:24-28).
3. As the Lord uses language like a fisherman, what was He going to do with His catch?
Thrown in the wilderness for meat to the beasts of the field: “(4) But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. (5) And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven” (Ezekiel 29:4-5).
- The arrogant Egyptians were going to hooked by the Lord as God has shown He is certainly capable of (II Kings 19:20; II Kings 19:27-28 and Amos 4:1-2).
- We will see this language again (Ezekiel 38:1-4).
- There is a particular statement that the Israelites would [should] have known because it was in their Psalms regarding casting out this dragon, great fish as meat to the beasts of the field (Psalms 74:12-14).
4. Why was the Lord showing the inhabitants of Egypt that He is the Lord?
Since Israel relied on them and found them to be unreliable: “(6) And 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. (7) When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand” (Ezekiel 29:6-7).
- Israel had a long history of erringly turning to Egypt for help, rather than unto the Lord (II Kings 18:21, Isaiah 30:1-7, Isaiah 31:1-3, Isaiah 36:6, and Jeremiah 37:5-10).
5. How long was Egypt going to see desolation?
Forty years: “(8) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee. (9) And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it. (10) Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia. (11) No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. (12) And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. (13) Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: (14) And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom” (Ezekiel 29:8-14).
- The sword (Deuteronomy 32:41).
- Desolation that proves He is the Lord (Ezekiel 7:27).
- 40 years of desolation is a long time, but not as long as the 70 Judah faced (Jeremiah 25:11-12).
- They would then be restored (Isaiah 19:22).
- As a base kingdom (Isaiah 2:11-12; 5:15-16).
6. After desolation, was Egypt going to rise again as a world power?
No: “(15) It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. (16) And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 29:15-16).
- Zechariah 10:10-12
- Israel would not be looking to them again (Jeremiah 2:36-37; Jeremiah 37:5-7).
7. Who was rewarded the land of Egypt?
Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon: “(17) And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (18) Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it: (19) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. (20) I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD” (Ezekiel 29:17-20).
- This is jumping nearly 17 years ahead from where we started the chapter (Ezekiel 29:1; Ezekiel 29:17).
- Nebuchadrezzar took Tyrus, but it did not stop there (Jeremiah 25:9, Jeremiah 27:1-8, Jeremiah 28:14, and Daniel 2:37-38).
8. When Egypt was given as a spoil, what was going to happen with the house of Israel?
“In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 29:21).
- God is said to have exalted the horn of His people (Psalms 148:14).
- Then would Israel bud forth (Isaiah 27:6).
- Ezekiel’s mouth would open in the midst of them (Ezekiel 3:26; Ezekiel 24:27).