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Ezekiel 32:1 It happened in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of Yahweh came to me saying- About a year and a half after the destruction of Jerusalem. In that time many of the Jews left in the land had fled into Egypt, although in Jer. 44 Jeremiah had foretold their judgment there. That prophecy was probably given at about this time, and is another example of Jeremiah and Ezekiel being used by the Spirit in parallel to say the same things at the same time to different audiences of the Jews.

Ezekiel 32:2 Son of man, take up a lamentation over Pharaoh king of Egypt and tell him, You were likened to a young lion of the nations: yet you are as a monster in the seas; and you broke out with your rivers, and troubled the waters with your feet and fouled their rivers-
The Jews considered Egypt to be like a lion, a strong alternative to the Babylonian lion threatening them, But instead of being a lion, Egypt was to be revealed as a flabby water monster of the rivers who would be dragged out of them and slain. And this monster does nothing good for other rivers / peoples; he muddies their waters. The dragon was intended to remain in the Nile, where he was; any attempt by Egypt to extend influence beyond that was 'breaking out' from where God had placed Egypt, and would not prosper. And Judah should take warning from that and not look to Egypt for help against Babylon.

Ezekiel 32:3 Thus says the Lord Yahweh: I will spread out My net on you with a company of many peoples; and they shall bring you up in My net-
Egypt's judgment at the hand of a coalition of peoples clearly looks to her defeat by the Babylonians, whose army was comprised of mercenaries from many nations. These "many nations" were animals "of the whole earth" / eretz promised to Abraham (:4) who were in coalition with Babylon. The defeat in view is clearly that of the Egyptian army at Carchemish by Nebuchadnezzar. But the further desolation of Egypt itself is not recorded as having happened at the hands of the Babylonians. This was part of the prophetic scenario which didn't then happen; see on :15.

Ezekiel 32:4 I will leave you on the land, I will cast you forth on the open field and will cause all the birds of the sky to settle on you, and I will satisfy the animals of the whole earth with you-
Being cast out into the open field in the desert was exactly what happened to the infant Israel (Ez. 16:5), and she was saved from that state by Divine grace alone. The parallel is because God intended Judah to perceive that Egypt was going to share her judgment, and would not save Judah from it but rather herself experience it. And yet as God sought to save Israel from that situation in the "open field", so He sought to save Egypt if they repented.

Ezekiel 32:5 I will lay your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your height-
This is the language of the final destruction of Israel's enemies in Ez. 39:17. The connection is because the prophetic scenario here described didn't completely come about. The threatened judgments were intended to elicit repentance (see on :15), but because God foresaw that repentance would not be forthcoming, He didn't bring about the full judgments. And yet the prophetic word is to come ultimately true. This will be achieved by what I have elsewhere called 'transference'. The judgment of Egypt will be transferred to the nations of Ez. 38, several of whom are also mentioned later in this chapter 32 (Meshech, Tubal etc.) as sharing the same judgment as Egypt.

Ezekiel 32:6 I will also water with your blood the land in which you swim, even to the mountains; and the watercourses shall be full of you-
As often observed in this commentary, there is no historical evidence that the land of Egypt itself was desolated like this. See on :5.

Ezekiel 32:7 When I shall extinguish you, I will cover the sky and make its stars dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud and the moon shall not give its light-
This is language elsewhere used (notably in the Olivet prophecy, see on :9) about the last days judgment of the nations around Israel. I have explained on :5 that the judgments on Egypt didn't fully come about, but they will in essence in the last days, and the specific judgments upon her will be transferred to other entities and situations. Just as the judgments upon Tyre and her king didn't come about completely, but the language used is then reapplied in Revelation 18 to Babylon's judgments in the last days.

Ezekiel 32:8 All the bright lights of the sky will I make dark over you and set darkness on your land, says the Lord Yahweh-
Darkness upon Egypt recalls the plague of darkness. the impression given thereby is that these judgments are a lead up to another Passover deliverance- during which many repentant Egyptians identified with Israel and made the journey out of Egypt towards the promised land. And this was the Divine intention for Ezekiel's time and the restoration. See on :13.

Ezekiel 32:9 I will also trouble the hearts of many peoples-
As explained on :7, the Olivet prophecy picks up some of the language used here and applies it to the latter day judgment of Israel's enemies. In this case the connection is with Lk. 21:26.

When I shall bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries which you have not known- This simply didn't happen to the Egyptians as a result of their conflict with Babylon. There would have been historical testament to this if it had happened. The whole situation looks ahead therefore to the last days, bearing in mind the concept of transference of prophecy outlined in :5 and elsewhere.

Ezekiel 32:10 Yes, I will make many peoples amazed at you, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for you, when I shall brandish My sword before them; and they shall tremble every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of your fall-
'Trembling at the fall' of Egypt is the same phrase used about Tyre (Ez. 26:18). The similarity is in that the same hallmark of Yahweh's judgment is seen upon all who are judged by Him. They were not mere victims of random event; the Divine hand was in the fall of all in whom His wayward people had trusted. The sword God would brandish was that of Babylon (:11); they were being used by Him, and it was futile for Judah to think that Babylon and other nations could save them from this sword. The Jerusalem temple was full of the idols of various nations who were aligned with Egypt, whom Judah hoped would save them from Babylon. But these nations were to crumble once Egyptian power was destroyed by Babylon.

Ezekiel 32:11 For thus says the Lord Yahweh: The sword of the king of Babylon shall come on you-
Earlier prophecies in Ezekiel had spoken of the sword coming upon Jerusalem. Judah were to realize that their destruction by Babylon was connected with the wider judgment of Egypt and other nations.

Ezekiel 32:12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause your multitude to fall; they are all the terrible of the nations; and they shall bring to nothing the pride of Egypt, and all its multitude shall be destroyed-
All the big powers were only powerful by reason of the other nations who were under them, and whose mercenaries formed the bulk of their military strength. The collapse of support for Assyria was to be seen for Egypt too. And it was this apparent strength which was so attractive to Judah. "The terrible of the nations" is the word used for how Assyria appeared to Judah at the time of Hezekiah; but they were destroyed by just one Angel (Is. 25:3-5; 29:5, 20). And now, other nations appeared "terrible" to Assyria and had destroyed her; and the same cycle was about to happen to Egypt. Yet somehow human nature doesn't think that the inevitable cycle will reach us personally, and so Pharaoh and his supporters in Judah didn't want to see that in fact Egypt was set to follow the path of Assyria, and all apparent strength would evaporate. In the end, Yahweh would be the "terrible one" (Jer. 20:11).

Ezekiel 32:13 I will destroy also all its animals from beside many waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of animals trouble them-
This scenario didn't come about, just as the complete destruction of all persons in Judah didn't. The Nile flood lands were not abandoned, all animals weren't destroyed. But the allusion is to the earlier plagues upon Egypt which targeted their livestock (see on :8). These judgments were to be seen as a lead up to another Passover deliverance- during which many repentant Egyptians identified with Israel and made the journey out of Egypt towards the promised land. And this was the Divine intention for Ezekiel's time and the restoration.

Ezekiel 32:14 Then will I make their waters clear, and cause their rivers to run like oil, says the Lord Yahweh-
This promise of rivers of oil sounds like the blessings of the Messianic kingdom and the reward for obedience to the covenant (Dt.  32:13; 33:24). Again there is a hint that Egypt like Judah were intended to repent as a result of the Babylonian judgments, and then come into relationship with God, "to know Yahweh", and experience His blessings.

Ezekiel 32:15 When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate and waste, a land destitute of that of which it was once full, when I shall strike all those who dwell therein, then shall they know that I am Yahweh-
This didn't totally happen. Egypt was defeated militarily at Carchemish, far from the borders of Egypt; there is little evidence of desolation within Egypt and certainly not to this extent. The connection is between "When..." the desolation happens, then "they will know Yahweh", entering relationship with Him. This wasn't chosen by them, and so the desolation which could have brought that about didn't happen. God perhaps foresaw that they wouldn't repent, and so He didn't bring that desolation which could potentially have brought about their repentance.

Ezekiel 32:16 This is the lamentation with which they shall lament, with which the daughters of the nations shall lament therewith; over Egypt and over all her multitude shall they lament therewith, says the Lord Yahweh-
As noted on :16, Ezekiel was asked to do the work of the lamenting women and make this lamentation. Jeremiah's lamentations over Jerusalem had already begun (see on :1), and they were to be seen as part of a wider lamentation over the other nations to be judged at the same time as Judah. The "multitude" of Egypt, the nations of her coalition, would not save Judah. Their hope was only in Yahweh.

Ezekiel 32:17 It happened also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of Yahweh came to me, saying-
The two weeks which elapsed since :1 were perhaps to give both Judah and Egypt a chance to repent. Two weeks was perhaps a reasonable time to allow communication from Chebar in Babylon to reach Judah and Egypt.

Ezekiel 32:18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt-
This is asking Ezekiel to do the work of women, just spoken of in :16: "This solemn warning will become a funeral song. The women of the nations will sing it to mourn for Egypt and all its people" (GNB). Such challenges of gender roles are common in the Bible, thousands of years before this kind of thing was on the secular agenda.

And cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, to the lower parts of the earth, with those who go down into the pit- Here we see the power of the prophetic word. Ezekiel's word had cast down Egypt. The nations of her coalition are called her daughters because they had as it were acted in whoredom toward Jerusalem. The casting down is another connection with the casting down of Babylon spoken of in Is. 14. Absolutely all the superpowers were to come down, it was just a question of when. And instead of seeking salvation from whichever one seemed strongest, Judah were instead to throw themselves upon Yahweh their God.

Ezekiel 32:19 Whom do you pass in beauty? Go down, and be laid with the uncircumcised-
The language of unequalled beauty however is applied to Zion in Lam. 2:15; Ez. 16:14. It is also used of Tyre in Ez. 28:12,17. So we conclude that as often in the Bible, we are reading things from how they seemed to men at the time. Hence the language of demon possession in the New Testament. Therefore GNB gives: "Say to them: "Do you think you are more beautiful than anyone else?". Tyre considered herself the perfection of beauty, and so did Egypt and so did Assyria. But the true perfection of beauty from God's viewpoint was Zion.

Ezekiel 32:20 They shall fall in the midst of those who are slain by the sword, she is delivered to the sword; draw her away and all her multitudes-
The picture is of the mass execution of the Egyptian soldiers along with the foreign mercenaries who supported them, their bodies falling into a pit already filled with dead bodies, and then the corpses being dragged away.

Ezekiel 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of Sheol with those who help him. They are gone down, they lie still, even the uncircumcised, slain by the sword-
Judah were reminded that Egypt was not strong of herself;
her military might was due to "those who help him". Death was a major theme if not obsession with the Egyptians. The pyramids reveal how much of life was spent preparing for death, involving detailed claims about the journeys after death. But Ezekiel is turning all that on its head, and asking the Egyptians to accept that death is death, and they will be amongst the uncircumcised, and all go unto one place- the grave. The only way out was through relationship with Israel's God and the hope of bodily resurrection at the last day.

Ezekiel 32:22 Assyria is there and all her company; her graves are all around her; all of them slain, fallen by the sword-
The fall of Assyria has been presented as representative of Egypt's fall in Ez. 31. Assyria too once seemed indomitable, and she too had a "company" of nations who gave her strength. They would go to the same death as Egypt and her coalition. Egypt was allied with the Assyrian king Ashur-uballit II, and marched in 609 BC to his aid against the Babylonians. But Assyria like Egypt was to come to its end.

Ezekiel 32:23 Their graves are set in the uttermost parts of the pit, and her company is around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who caused terror in the land of the living-
This land of the living may refer specifically to Israel; see on :26. Throughout these prophecies of condemnation of Gentile nations, we have noted constant hints of redemption, if they wished to avail of it. "Company" translates a Hebrew word often used of the company of nations associated with Egypt or Babylon. But the promises to Abraham were that a "company" (s.w.) of nations would and could become part of Abraham's seed (Gen. 28:3; 35:11; 48:4). The "great company" who were to participate in the restoration of God's Kingdom in Israel was intended to include this great company of nations, who for now were judged (Jer. 31:8).

Ezekiel 32:24 There is Elam and all her multitude around her grave; all of them slain, fallen by the sword, who are gone down uncircumcised into the lower parts of the earth. They who caused their terror in the land of the living have now borne their shame with those who go down to the pit-
"The land of the living" may refer specifically to Israel; see on :26. For "multitude" or 'company', see on :23.

Ezekiel 32:25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude; her graves are around her; all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword; for their terror was caused in the land of the living, and they have borne their shame with those who go down to the pit. He is put in the midst of those who are slain-
The only honour for Pharaoh would be that he would be at the centre of those who were also ashamed. For the Egyptians, the afterlife was all about glory. But death was to be shame for them. These messages were intended to be taken to the Egyptians in the hope they would repent; see on Ez. 31:2. It was a hard message for them to accept, just as our teaching of conditional immortality and no immortal soul is hard for many to accept.

Ezekiel 32:26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all their multitude; their graves are around them; all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword-
These nations are mentioned in Ez. 38 as participating in the final invasion of Israel in the last days. But the allusion is to how they and the other
Scythians invaded the land in the time of Josiah, and the majority of whom then  miserably perished (Herodotus i. 106). The Ez. 38 invasion is therefore described in terms of a revival of the nations who had recently invaded and been destroyed.

For they caused their terror in the land of the living- "The land of the living" in :26,32 can too easily be skim read as meaning 'the world of the living'; and indeed it can mean just this. But the land of life is later defined in Ez. 47:7-12 as Israel. Perhaps the idea is that Egypt was a force respected in Judah, but it was to come to nothing. And if Judah had stopped looking to Egypt for help, they could have been restored as God's kingdom and indeed become the land of the living.

Ezekiel 32:27 They shall not lie with the mighty who are fallen of the uncircumcised who are gone down to Sheol with their weapons of war, and have laid their swords under their heads, and their iniquities are on their bones; for they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living-
The Egyptians liked to believe that the dead would go to the afterlife with all their favourite swords and domestic possessions; hence the pyramids were found full of such things. But the Egyptians were to have a most dishonourable burial; they would not even have the honour of the warriors of some previous uncircumcised nations, who were buried with their swords under their heads. "Their iniquities are on their bones" is hard to understand; the GNB offers "their shields over their bodies". The bones of Israel were also to be dishonourably discarded (Ez. 6:5; 24:10), but those dishonoured bones were to be resurrected and revived according to the prophecy of the dry bones in Ez. 37. The idea may be that such revival was possible for the Egyptians if before their death they repented.

Ezekiel 32:28 But you shall be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shall lie with those who are slain by the sword-
This prophecy is an intentional attack upon Egyptian views of the afterlife, whereby preservation of bones unbroken was thought to be extremely important; see on :27. They would get no special treatment, but would lie together with all the dead, with them and "in the midst of" the other nations.

Ezekiel 32:29 There is Edom, her kings and all her princes, who in their might are laid with those who are slain by the sword. They shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with those who go down to the pit-
Edom had just been rejoicing over the fall of Jerusalem (Ps. 137:7). So this is to be seen as a prophecy of the future. Perhaps Edom like the Egyptians liked to think that their practice of circumcision gave them some special status; which is what the Jews also believed. This passage is a clear expose of that position. Circumcision alone would not save; covenant relationship with Yahweh involved far more than the mere token of the covenant, just as the baptism which circumcision points forward to (Col. 2:12,13) will not alone save anyone.

Ezekiel 32:30 There are the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Sidonians, who are gone down with the slain; in the terror which they caused by their might they are put to shame. They lie uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword, and bear their shame with those who go down to the pit-
"Laid to rest" (GNB) confirms the general impression we get here in this insight into "the world of the dead". They lay at rest, dead, silent, doing nothing, and all the nationalities go to the same place and lay still and powerless together. This is quite different to the ideas beloved of the Egyptians, that death was an endless active adventure and journey, and they as the superior nation would be separate from the uncircumcised and other nationalities. Death is presented as a place of silence and unconsciousness, with no division between nationalities. This likewise contradicts the picture of death held by those who believe in the myth of an immortal soul and punishments for the soul after death.

Ezekiel 32:31 When Pharaoh sees them, he will take comfort in his hordes. Pharaoh and all his army will die violently, says the Lord Yahweh-
This is almost sarcasm; the only comfort for Pharaoh would be that he had not died alone. However there is no record of Pharaoh being killed at Carchemish, although the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle, now housed in the British Museum, claims that Nebuchadnezzar "crossed the river to go against the Egyptian army which lay in Karchemish. They fought with each other and the Egyptian army withdrew before him. He accomplished their defeat, decisively. As for the rest of the Egyptian army which had escaped from the defeat so quickly that no weapon had reached them, in the district of Hamath the Babylonian troops overtook and defeated them so that not a single man escaped to his own country". We would expect a mention of the death of Pharaoh but there is none. And the account of the battle of Carchemish in Jer. 46:3-12 doesn't mention it either. Again we see that the prophetic scenario envisaged didn't completely come about, although the essence of it will in the last days.

Ezekiel 32:32 For I have put his terror in the land of the living-
"The land of the living" in :26,32 can too easily be skim read as meaning 'the world of the living'; and indeed it can mean just this. But the land of life is later defined in Ez. 47:7-12 as Israel. Perhaps the idea is that Egypt was a force respected in Judah, but it was to come to nothing. And if Judah had stopped looking to Egypt for help, they could have been restored as God's kingdom and indeed become the land of the living.

And he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with those who are slain by the sword, even Pharaoh and all his hordes, says the Lord Yahweh- Whether or not Egyptians were circumcised is an open question, but the idea that circumcised and uncircumcised will come to the same end in death is a reminder to the Jews that their circumcision would not of itself save them. It was the token of the covenant, but they had broken that covenant.