Ezekiel Chapter 30
Ezekiel 30:1 “The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,”
Every time we see this statement, it means there has been a break from the previous prophecy, and a new prophecy begins.
In this oracle (that runs from verses 1-19), is the one of the seven that is undated and is a general prediction that Egypt and all of her allies would be destroyed.
Ezekiel 30:2 “Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day!”
Woe is speaking to the wicked. Woe is expressing grief. God tells Ezekiel to tell the people that judgment is coming upon them.
One of the best examples of a woe (is in Revelation):
Revelation 8:13 “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!”
“Woe” is speaking a judgment of God upon man.
Ezekiel 30:3 “For the day [is] near, even the day of the LORD [is] near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.”
The “day of the LORD” is speaking of a day of divine judgment from God. The day of chastisement from God is always a cloudy day. It seems the sun will never shine again. God has judged His precious Israel, now it is the time to judge the heathen. The day of the LORD is a day when the power of Almighty God over the affairs of man is evident.
This is a common expression for God’s judgment, especially His future judgment. God’s judgment “day” for Egypt embraces a near fulfillment in Babylon’s 586-87 invasion as well as the distant day of the Lord in the future tribulation period when God calls all nations to judgment.
Ezekiel 30:4 “And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.”
We do know that Nebuchadnezzar came against Egypt shortly after this was spoken. It was, however, not a total destruction as much of this speaks of. The attack was a limited attack. There was a battle, and Egypt did suffer loss from Nebuchadnezzar. They were spoiled of their wealth.
Some did die by the sword, but I believe this is speaking also of a coming day, when this great calamity will take over Egypt. We must remember in this, that Egypt is a type of the world. It is a type of the lost heathen world. The heathen world will not always be able to stand against God. God will tear down its foundation. Egypt is the personification of evil.
Ezekiel 30:5 “Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.”
In (chapter 27), we studied about “the men of war” (in verses 10-11). Countries who had provided mercenary soldiers for the Phoenician army to defend Tyre.
“Chub” is an unidentified nation, along with the “mingled people” and “men of the lands.” These also may have been mercenaries in Egypt’s army, like the previous ones in this verse.
Ezekiel 30:6 “Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.”
From the tower of Syene may be retranslated “from Migdol to Syene” or Aswan. These two locations represented the northern and southern boundaries of Egypt. It is a way of saying that the entire country would fall.
Ezekiel 30:7 “And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries [that are] desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities [that are] wasted.”
This speaks of complete judgment of God on the evil in this land, and all others. This is speaking of widespread desolation at the hand of God. This type of desolation is taking place in much of the world today. Christianity has suffered greatly in the African nations, because of the Muslim religion.
Ezekiel 30:8 “And they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and [when] all her helpers shall be destroyed.”
All Egypt’s alliances and their arms will be useless in the day of God’s judgment.
When the LORD moves, everyone will know it. This could very well be speaking of the fire of God sweeping through these lands in an act of converting some of the people to Christianity. All worldliness will be gone. Everyone will know this is from God.
Ezekiel 30:9 “In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.”
Apparently, the Egyptians will flee the horrors to Ethiopia and increase that nation’s fear of its own inevitable judgment.
This speaks of carelessness in general, and in carelessness of Ethiopia in specific. When they hear of what has happened to Egypt, they will fear greatly. Could these messengers, possibly be missionaries that God sent to Ethiopia to warn them?
Ezekiel 30:10-11 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon.” “He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.”
The prophecy of the destruction of Egypt is very full. Those who take their lot with God’s enemies shall be with them in punishment. Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon and his army shall be instruments of this destruction. God often makes one wicked man a scourge to another. No place in the land of Egypt shall escape the fury of the Chaldeans. The Lord is known by the judgments he executes.
Ezekiel 30:12 “And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken [it].”
We are not told when this will come to pass, just that it will. The way we know for sure that it will, is because God has spoken it. This type of overwhelming judgment from God would bring terror to the heart of the entire world.
Everybody that I know, myself included, who has been a student of prophecy, has thought that the nineteenth chapter of Isaiah wasn’t going to come to pass until the final war that closed this age, the war (described in Ezekiel chapter 38-39). But it has sneaked up on us and happened in a way that none of us anticipated. It isn’t from warfare at all, but from what was intended as a most peaceful happening.
For example Ezekiel warns:
Ezekiel 29:10-11 “Behold, 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. No foot of man shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.”
We know this didn’t happen to Egypt proper, and the description here isn’t that of Egypt proper. The tower of Syene is at Aswan, the southern border of Egypt itself, from there to Ethiopia. This is clearly the Sudan, as we call it today, or ancient Nubia.
It no doubt refers to conditions following the defeat of this twenty-fifth dynasty. This was either by the Assyrians under Esarhaddon (about 670 B.C.), or possibly by the Persians under Cambyses (in 525 B.C.), or under Xerxes (in 483 B.C.). There are some other prophecies that refer to a later, greater event that has never been fulfilled. (Isaiah chapter 19), is entirely devoted to this prophecy.
Ezekiel 30:13 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause [their] images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.”
Even to this day, there is a “prince” in Egypt. There is even unto this day, idol worship in Egypt. Noph is the Hebrew name of the city Memphis, which was the capital of Lower Egypt. There was an attack on this area of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and these things did happen in this area. These verses have two prophesies however, meaning more to come.
Ezekiel 30:14 “And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No.”
Pathros is where the Jews had settled, when they ran from Israel. This area was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar, and was destroyed. Zoan is the same sight as Avaris and Tanis. It was during the reign of Alexander the great, that Zoan was destroyed. “No” was a very large city with 100 gates. The most prominent false worship here was of false god Ammon.
Ezekiel 30:15 “And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No.”
Sin was a city in Egypt. Its Greek name is Pelusium. This was a key city at the tip of the Nile’s eastern arm near the Mediterranean Sea. It was the strength of Egypt, because it was a fort that invading armies must defeat, before coming into Egypt. Sometimes, the invading army would be turned back at this point.
Since “No” and “Sin” were at opposite borders of Egypt and so many cities are named, the passage speaks of judgment of the entire land.
Ezekiel 30:16 “And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph [shall have] distresses daily.’
It appears, that most of the sieges took quite a long time and that each day, there would be a new terror.
Ezekiel 30:17 “The young men of Aven and of Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword: and these [cities] shall go into captivity.”
The word “Aven” means nothingness. It was an idol city. They worshipped the sun.
Pi-beseth was the house of the goddess Bast. They worshipped the false goddess Dianna. This city was on the Northeast branch of the Nile where cats were mummified in honor of the cat headed goddess, Ugastet.
We can easily see why these two should perish.
Ezekiel 30:18 “At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.”
This city, named after the Egyptian queen, was a residence of the pharaohs.
The king of Babylon does take this city. This same thing is mentioned in the writings of Jeremiah (in the 43rd chapter verses 8 through 10).
Ezekiel 30:19 “Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
Just as God had proved to the Egyptians, in the time of Moses who He is, He proves it again here.
Ezekiel 30:20 “And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [month], in the seventh [day] of the month, [that] the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,”
We see a new prophecy beginning here (this eleventh year is 587 B.C.).
Ezekiel 30:21 Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword.
God figuratively depicted His act of taking power from Egypt through Nebuchadnezzar, resulting in defeat and dispersion. The defeat of Egypt by Babylon is explained here (in verses 21-26), from the divine prospective: God gave Pharaoh into the hands of the Babylonians.
Ezekiel 30:22 “Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand.”
The arm of Pharaoh shows his power. This is just saying, he has lost his power to protect his own people. He will be rendered helpless to fight back. It is God who has broken his arms of strength. That power will not come back.
“Break his arms”: Both the defeat of Pharaoh Hophra and the earlier defeat of Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish are in view.
Ezekiel 30:23 “And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.”
It is God who raises one nation, and brings another down. It is God that allowed Satan to have some power over the earth. It was God the Son who defeated Satan on the cross. This scattering here, is like the scattering of Israel.
Ezekiel 30:24 “And 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 shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded [man].”
The most important thing to realize in this would be that God strengthens whom He will, and He weakens whom He will. It is God’s creation to do with as He wishes. God has struck the Pharaoh of Egypt (world), helpless.
Ezekiel 30:25 “But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt.”
This power, or this sword, does not belong to the king of Babylon. The sword belongs to God. The king of Babylon is following God’s directions. Again, this judgment comes from God.
Ezekiel 30:26 “And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.”
The Egyptians had been actually fighting against God. This speaks of God dispersing them, so they will know that He is the LORD. His prophecy will be fulfilled, whether for then or now, because He is the LORD. Unfortunately, people often don’t learn that until judgment falls.
I would like to state one more time that a prophet is not limited to speaking of the near future with his prophecies. He speaks the message God gives him.
God does not think of time in the same way you and I do. A thousand years is but a short time to him, sometimes He calls it a day.
2 Peter 3:8 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
Some of these prophecies have never been fulfilled, so we know that they are for the future. It is not our position to question any Scripture. We know that every Word in the Bible is true. We may not know exactly when it will happen, but we know it will happen.
Ezekiel Chapter 30 Questions
1. What in verse 2, is Ezekiel told to do?
2. Who is woe speaking to?
3. “Woe” is expressing _______.
4. Where do we read, in Revelation, about woe, woe, woe?
5. Woe is speaking of ___________ of God upon man.
6. What is “day of the LORD” speaking of?
7. The day of ____________ from God is always a cloudy day.
8. What is the time frame of this prophecy?
9. Who came against Egypt, shortly after Ezekiel spoke this?
10. What time does the author believe this is speaking of?
11. We must remember Egypt is a type of the __________.
12. Egypt is the personification of _______.
13. Could verse 5 be speaking of a much later time?
14. What does “Syene” mean?
15. What does the number seven symbolize?
16. What is the Spiritual Sword?
17. Verse 7 speaks of widespread desolation at the hand of ______.
18. Christianity has suffered greatly in the African nations, because of the _____ religion.
19. Could the messengers of verse 9 be missionaries?
20. How do we know for sure, that all these prophesies will be fulfilled?
21. What is another name for Noph?
22. When was Zoan destroyed?
23. How many gates did No have?
24. Sin was a city in __________.
25. Why was it the strength of Egypt?
26. ____ fort is able to hold back the judgment of God.
27. What does the word “Aven” mean?
28. What false god was worshipped here?
29. What had God done to Pharaoh to make him helpless?
30. What is the meaning of this?
31. Who defeated Satan?
32. Who does the power of the sword really belong to?
33. Who were the Egyptians actually fighting against?
34. We know all of God’s prophecies through His prophets come true, what do we not know?