THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Ezekiel: Effective Ministry To The Spiritually Rebellious
Part XLVIII: Lament For The Inevitable Fall Of Egypt
A. God has exalted His Word to the level of His Name, i. e., to the level of His reputation as God, Psalm 138:2b. Thus, when God makes a prediction, that prediction is as good as having already been accomplished.
B. Ezekiel 32:1-16 was a lament given on the fall of Egypt 17 years before that nation had succumbed Babylonian invasion, and it offers a great illustration of the inevitability of the fulfillment of God's prophecies:
II. Lament For The Inevitable Fall Of Egypt, Ezekiel 32:1-16.
A. God gave His prophet Ezekiel the Ezekiel 32:1-16 prophecy on March 3, 585 B. C., "two months after the news of Jerusalem's fall" had "reached the captives in Babylon (cf. 33:21)," Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1290. This news would have produced shock and gloom to these captives who for years had doubted Ezekiel's predictions that Jerusalem would indeed fall to Babylon. All of a sudden, the realization had set in that the words Ezekiel had been giving them were the true words from God Himself!
B. In line with this awakening among the Hebrew captives about Ezekiel's words, the fall of Egypt he had predicted "was now so certain that Ezekiel was told to take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt," Ibid., p. 1290-1291; Ezekiel 32:1-2a. "(A) lament, or funeral dirge, was usually delivered when one was buried," but Egypt had not yet fallen to Babylon, and would not fall for another 17 years (in 568/7 B. C.; Z. P. E. B., vol. Four, p. 396). Thus, this lament sealed the certainty of the doom of Egypt for Ezekiel's readers.
C. That lament is presented in three parts as follows, Ezekiel 32:2-16:
1. First, Egypt's fall is described in Ezekiel 32:2-8 (as follows):
a. Though Pharaoh king of Egypt was like a lion among the nations and a monster in the seas for his seeming ferocity and invulnerability, a sea monster that churned up the usually calm waters in that his actions to counter Babylon's advance thus disturbed surrounding nations, God would spread out His net with a great company of invaders, bringing him up out of the water onto the land, hurling him into the open field where he would lose his power, Ezekiel 32:2-4a; Ibid., Bible Know. Com., O. T., p. 1291.
b. There the birds and wild animals would feast on the dead carcasses of Pharaoh's once powerful army, causing even the land to be drenched with the flowing blood of the carcasses, Ezekiel 32:4b-6.
c. When God caused Pharaoh to fall, blotting him out of the book of the earthly living in his death, since he in Egyptian lore represented the light and life of Egypt, his fall would be likened to God blotting out the light of the sun, moon and stars in the heavens above the land of Egypt, leaving it in gloom, Ezek. 32:7-8.
2. Second, the reactions of the nations around Egypt is described in Ezekiel 32:9-10:
a. Egypt's complete collapse and destruction under Babylonian invasion would horrify surrounding nations who would witness this catastrophe, Ezekiel 32:9-10a.
b. These onlooking nations would fear for their own existence, realizing that if Babylon had so completely destroyed the great nation of Egypt, what might Babylon do to them, Ezekiel 32:10b.
3. Third, the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar whom God used to defeat Egypt are described in v. 11-16:
a. God predicted that He would cause the sword of the king of Babylon to come upon Egypt, to cause its multitude to fall by the mighty, ruthless Babylonian soldiers, Ezekiel 32:11-12a.
b. The pride of Egypt in her might would be obliterated with the death of her many soldiers, Ezek. 32:12b.
c. Even Egypt's cattle would be destroyed in the massive Babylonian attack so that no feet of cattle or men would muddy the waters around the Nile as Egypt would be laid bare of man and beast, Ezek. 32:13-15a.
4. God closed by saying that people would then know that He was the Lord, and that the daughters of the nations would chant this lament regarding the multitude of Egypt that had fallen, Ezekiel 32:15b-16.
Lesson: Though it was seventeen years before the event actually occurred, so certain was Egypt's prophesied fall to Babylon that God had Ezekiel produce a prophetic lament for Egypt as if she were already buried! Thus, Ezekiel's Hebrew audience that still reeled from news of Jerusalem's fall and the realization that his prophecies about that fall had been proven to be true might realize that Egypt likewise was absolutely sure to fall.
Application: (1) May we realize that God's prophecies in Scripture will certainly be fulfilled, and adjust as needed. (2) If we have made all necessary adjustments, may we expectantly hope for God's fulfillment of His Word!