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Chapters 5 and 6
Chapters 13 and 14
Chapters 18 and 19
Chapters 20 and 21
Chapters 22 and 23
Chapters 26 to 28
Chapters 29 to 32
Chapters 38 and 39
Chapters 40 to 43
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
The judgment of Egypt and the fall of Assyria
Ezekiel 29-32 contain the judgment of Egypt. Egypt sought, in the self-will of man, to take the place which God had in fact given to Nebuchadnezzar. All must submit. The mighty empire of Asshur had already fallen. Pharaoh, whatever his pretensions and his ambition might be, was no better. We see this judgment of the Assyrian, the chief of all the nations as to his power, in Ezekiel 31:10-11; where the "mighty one of the heathen" is distinctly brought out — falling before this decree of God. Pharaoh would be consoled by seeing all the great ones of the earth overthrown like himself. Already fallen like the uncircumcised (that is, like people who were not owned of God, nor consequently upheld by Him), all must give place to this new power in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. That which characterised Egypt was the pride of nature, which would follow its own will, and owned no God (chap. 29:9). Such a principle shall no longer be the confidence of God's people (v. 16). Egypt should have her place, but should no longer rule. The judgment of Egypt should be the occasion of Israel's blessing. This reaches to the end. In the destruction of the Assyrian, God had shewn that He would not allow a nation to exalt itself in this manner. The will of man in Pharaoh did not alter His judgment. In Nebuchadnezzar, as we have seen, a new principle was introduced by God Himself into the world.
Observe that in Ezekiel 32:27 Meshech and Tubal are distinguished from the rest of the nations.
The importance and extent of the prophecy as to Egypt
This prophecy concerning Egypt has particular importance. It is composed of three distinct prophecies. The first (Ezek. 29, 30) is subdivided; the second, chapter 31; the third, chapter 32. But this last extends to the end of chapter 39, and embraces several subjects in connection with the fate of Israel in the last days. Observe that Ezekiel 29:17-21 is a prophecy of a very different date, introduced here on account of its relation to that which precedes it in the same chapter. Ezekiel 30:20-26 is also a distinct prophecy as to its date.
The judgments summarized: their result in Israel's re-establishment
Until Ezekiel 25 we principally found moral arguments with respect to the state of Israel; from thence to the end of chapter 32 it is rather the execution of the judgment. But the prophecy that announces this execution is remarkable in more than one respect. Nebuchadnezzar is looked at as executing the judgment of God, whose servant he is for the purpose of doing so on Jerusalem, now become pre-eminently the seat of iniquity although the sanctuary of God. At the same time God sets His land free, by these very judgments from all the nations that wrongfully possessed it. He brings to nought the haughty power of man in which Israel had trusted, that is, Egypt, which shall never rise again as a ruling nation. But it was the day of all nations. The result of these judgments, whether on rebellious Jerusalem or on the nations, should be at the same time the re-establishment of Israel according to promise and by the power of God in grace. The snares which had led them into evil were taken away (see Ezek. 26:16-21; Ezek. 27:34-36). Thus, although these events have had their historical accomplishment by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the ways of God in view of the re-establishment of Israel have been manifested, as far as regards the judgments to be executed — judgment, through which all the nations, as well as Israel, who was their centre, disappear from the scene as nations. The Spirit, while recounting the execution of the judgments that were to fall on Asshur, Elam, and Meshech, gives details of those that had invaded the land or been snares to Israel. So that the prophetic recital of these very judgments contains in itself the assured hope granted to Israel by the efficacious grace of the Lord. I cannot doubt that all this prophecy of judgment relates — in a perspective brought nigh by the energy of the Spirit — to the events of the last days, which will be the complete fulfilment of these purposes and intentions of God.
In Ezekiel 30:3, we see that it is universal.*
I have already quoted the passages which shew that for Israel it is the deliverance from their former snares. The pretensions of man are overthrown (Ezek. 29:3-9), the spirit of dominion (Ezek. 31:10-14). The nothingness of the glory of man is shewn at the end of chapter 31, and of each judgment of chapter 32. We have already seen that the fate of Meshech is mentioned separately, perhaps in view of that which will happen to it in the last days, and which is announced farther on (Ezek. 39:5).
The object of Jehovah's judgments
It is important to remark one point in this series of prophecies,
which commences with the judgment of Jerusalem, the centre of the
former system of nations. They are executed with the object of making
them all know Jehovah: only in Israel's case there is, besides this,
the understanding and the special verification of prophecy. See
It will be remarked that, in Ezekiel 35:12 when Edom is again judged, it is only said, "Thou shalt know that I Jehovah have heard all thy blasphemies." But in verses 4, 9, it is said of Edom, "Thou shalt know" or "Ye shall know that I am Jehovah." So that this knowledge of Jehovah is by the judgment itself, not by any resulting spiritual knowledge of Him; for, when all the earth shall rejoice, Edom shall be made desolate. It will be through judgment that all the nations shall know that Jehovah is God. But when the judgment has been executed and all the earth shall rejoice in blessing, Edom will have only judgment. Compare Obadiah. Edom undergoes judgment by means of the mighty among the nations, but Israel himself shall strike the final blow. We may see the two means of making Jehovah known in the case of Israel (Ezek. 24:24-27; 28:26; 34:27; 36:11). In the other cases it is by judgment.
Commercial glory and governmental pride of power absolutely judged
We have yet to observe that in the case of Tyre, commercial glory, and in the case of Egypt, governmental pride founded on power, are absolutely judged, cast down and destroyed without remedy (Ezek. 26:21; 27:36; 31:18). Compare Ezekiel 32:32. This has been literally fulfilled with respect to the continental Tyre, and the Egypt of the Pharaohs. We have seen a total destruction of Edom announced by Jehovah. That which characterised Edom was its implacable hatred to the people of God.
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