(32 verses, 4:00 to read)
What I am about to READ
The Lord speaks of the destruction of Egypt, as well as other nations.
MARK and LEARN
- vs. 1 “twelfth year…twelfth month” – March 3, 585 BC
- 2-8: Using poetic verse, Ezekiel foretells the utter destruction of Egypt. The graphic imagery of flowing blood and of human carcasses thrown about are certainly images of impending and utter doom, but when God uses such words, he does not do so needlessly. They are meant to instill a spirit of repentance.
- 9-16: The fall of Egypt will cause other nations to tremble with fear. Egypt had been so mighty and influential. This shows that no earthly power can withstand the purposes of the Lord God.
- vs. 11: The tool which the Lord will use to destroy Egypt is named here as Babylon, the vast empire to the east in present day Iraq. As the Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem the year before, so they will also destroy Egypt according to the word of the Lord.
- 17-31: This is a truly fascinating section. Its subject matter reads like something out of Dante. Here the “world below” is shown to be filled with all nations, regardless of their earthly might or prominence. The “world below” here is meant simply as the realm of the dead, or the grave, sometimes called Shaol in the Hebrew scriptures. This is not “Hell” necessarily, though it can have that connotation. All peoples will go down to death, though for those who have hope in the Lord, their eternal fate is much different. The rich man and Lazarus both die (see Luke 19:16-31). All nations will go down into death and suffer the same earthly fate.
- vs. 19: …Go down and rest with the uncircumcised.” The Egyptians, like the Israelites, practiced circumcision. The notion that mighty Egypt would go to the same place as the “unclean” would be a great shock for the people of Pharaoh.
- The great nations of Assyria, Elam, Meshech-Tubal, Edom, and the “peoples of the north” inclucing the Sidonians are all found in the “world below.” These were great rivals and powers during Ezekiel’s time. When Pharaoh sees all these nations succumb to the same fate in the world below, he and his people will receive a kind of backward “comfort” (vs. 31) that he has company in his misery. He, like all nations, thought they may have thought much of themselves in life all come under the same judgement.
These nations were filled with pride and false worship. Yet we too are prone to pride and to rely on other things other than the Lord God and his promises in Jesus. All men must die, but our Lord Jesus has died and risen that no man need die eternally. God keep us firm in his promises of forgiveness of our sins and hope for the day of judgement.
Pr. Brandon Ross
Faith Ev. Lutheran Church