A Lament Over Egypt

1 The word of the Lord came to me: 2 Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘Wail, “Alas, the day is here!1
3 For the day is near,
the day of the Lord is near;
it will be a day of storm clouds,2
it will be a time of judgment3 for the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt
and panic will overtake Ethiopia
when the slain fall in Egypt
and they carry away her wealth
and dismantle her foundations.

5 Ethiopia, Put, Lud, all the foreigners,4 Libya, and the people5 of the covenant land6 will die by the sword along with them.

6‘This is what the Lord says:
Egypt’s supporters will fall;
her confident pride will crumble.7
From Migdol to Syene8 they will die by the sword within her,
declares the sovereign Lord.
7 They will be desolate among desolate lands,
and their cities will be among ruined cities.
8 They will know that I am the Lord
when I ignite a fire in Egypt
and all her allies are defeated.9

9 On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten overly confident Ethiopia; panic will overtake them on the day of Egypt’s doom;10 for beware – it is coming!

10‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
I will put an end to the hordes of Egypt,
by the hand of King Nebuchadrezzar11 of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him,
the most terrifying of the nations,12
will be brought there to destroy the land.
They will draw their swords against Egypt,
and fill the land with corpses.
12 I will dry up the waterways
and hand the land over to13 evil men.
I will make the land and everything in it desolate by the hand of foreigners.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:
I will destroy the idols,
and put an end to the gods of Memphis.
There will no longer be a prince from the land of Egypt;
so I will make the land of Egypt fearful.14
14 I will desolate Pathros,
I will ignite a fire in Zoan,
and I will execute judgments on Thebes.
15 I will pour out my anger upon Pelusium,15
the stronghold of Egypt;
I will cut off16 the hordes of Thebes.
16 I will ignite a fire in Egypt;
Syene17 will writhe in agony,
Thebes will be broken down,
and Memphis will face enemies every day.
17 The young men of On and of Pi-beseth18 will die by the sword;
and the cities will go19 into captivity.
18 In Tahpanhes the day will be dark20
when I break the yoke of Egypt there.
Her confident pride will cease within her;
a cloud will cover her, and her daughters will go into captivity.
19 I will execute judgments on Egypt.
Then they will know that I am the Lord.’

20 In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month,21 the word of the Lord came to me: 21 Son of man, I have broken the arm22 of Pharaoh king of Egypt.23 Look, it has not been bandaged for healing or set with a dressing so that it might become strong enough to grasp a sword. 22 Therefore this is what the sovereign Lord says: Look,24 I am against25 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and I will break his arms, the strong arm and the broken one, and I will make the sword drop from his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among foreign countries. 24 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and I will place my sword in his hand, but I will break the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan like the fatally wounded before the king of Babylon.26 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh will fall limp. Then they will know that I am the Lord when I place my sword in the hand of the king of Babylon and he extends it against the land of Egypt. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among foreign countries. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

130:2tn Heb “Alas for the day.” 230:3tn Heb “a day of clouds.” The expression occurs also in Joel 2:2 and Zeph 1:15; it recalls the appearance of God at Mount Sinai (Exod 19:9, 16, 18). 330:3tn Heb “a time.” The words “of judgment” have been added in the translation for clarification (see the following verses). 430:5tn The same expression appears in Exod 12:38; Jer 25:20; 50:37; Neh 13:3. It may refer to foreign mercenaries serving in the armies of the nations listed here. 530:5tn Heb “sons.” 630:5tn The expression “sons of the covenant land” possibly refers to Jews living in Egypt (Jer 44). 730:6tn Heb “come down.” 830:6sn Syene is known as Aswan today. 930:8tn Heb “all who aid her are broken.” 1030:9tn Heb “in the day of Egypt.” The word “doom” has been added in the translation to clarify the nature of this day. 1130:10tn Heb “Nebuchadrezzar” is a variant and more correct spelling of Nebuchadnezzar, as the Babylonian name Nabu-kudurri-usur has an “r” rather than an “n.” 1230:11tn The Babylonians were known for their cruelty (2 Kgs 25:7). 1330:12tn Heb “and I will sell the land into the hand of.” 1430:13tn Heb “I will put fear in the land of Egypt.” 1530:15tn Heb “Sin” (so KJV, NASB), a city commonly identified with Pelusium, a fortress on Egypt’s northeastern frontier. 1630:15tn Or “kill.” 1730:16tc The LXX reads “Syene,” which is Aswan in the south. The MT reads Sin, which has already been mentioned in v. 15. 1830:17sn On and Pi-beseth are generally identified with the Egyptian cities of Heliopolis and Bubastis. 1930:17tn Heb “they will go.” The pronoun and verb are feminine plural, indicating that the cities just mentioned are the antecedent of the pronoun and the subject of the verb. The translation makes this clear by stating the subject as “the cities.” 2030:18sn In Zeph 1:15 darkness is associated with the day of the Lord. 2130:20tn April 29, 587 b.c. 2230:21sn The expression “breaking the arm” indicates the removal of power (Ps 10:15; 37:17; Job 38:15; Jer 48:25). 2330:21sn This may refer to the event recorded in Jer 37:5. 2430:22tn The word h!nn@h indicates becoming aware of something and has been translated here as a verb. 2530:22tn Or “I challenge you.” The phrase “I am against you” may be a formula for challenging someone to combat or a duel. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 1:201-2, and P. Humbert, “Die Herausforderungsformel ‘h!nn#n' ?l?K>,’” ZAW 45 (1933): 101-8. 2630:24tn Heb “him”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.