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make the rivers dry, that is, the Nile, on the overflowing of which their plenty and prosperity depended; the river of which Pharaoh boasted, and in which he put his confidence, 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 13 LORD have spoken [it.] Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause [their] images to cease out of Noph, or Memphis ; idolatry was their principal sin, and this the chief seat of it; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt, that is, a prince of the royal family; it was ruled by foreigners ever after: and I will put a fear in the 14 land of Egypt. And I will make Pathros, or Thebais, deso
late, and will set fire in Zoan, or Tanis, the metropolis in the time of Moses, and will execute judgments in No, or Thebes, 15 And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the same with Pelusium,
the strength of Egypt, or, as heathen writers call it, the key of 16 Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No. And I will set fire in Egypt Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be 17 rent asunder, and Noph [shall have] distresses daily. The
young men of Aven, Heliopolis, and of Pibeseth, Bubastu, shall fall by the sword and these [cities] shall go into captivity. 18 At Tehaphnehes, or Daphne Pelusiaca, (where the prophet Jeremiah is said to have been put to death) also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt, their oppressive yokes upon their neighbours and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her as for her, a cloud shall cover 19 her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD.
30 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first [month,] in the seventh [day] of the month, that is, four months before the destruction of Jerusalem, [that] the word of 21 the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, that is, I have determined to do it; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put 22 a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. 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 23 out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the 24 nations, and will disperse them through the countries. 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 wound25 ed [man.] 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
26 out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD. Accordingly Nebuchadnezzar smote Pharaoh Necho's army in the fourth year of Jehoiachim, and took all that pertained to him, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. See 2 Kings
HE great practical use of this chapter, is to learn from it to entertain the highest ideas of the power and dominion of the great God; to reverence and adore his influence over the greatest men; and the ease with which he uses them as his instruments, to bring about his own purposes. Egypt was the most ancient, potent, flourishing kingdom in the world; and yet in what majestic language does God speak, of breaking it in pieces, and making it for the future base and contemptible! He breaks the arms of one prince, and strengthens the arms of another, as he pleaseth: puts his sword into the hands of one prince, (what a sublime idea!) and cuts off the spirit of another. Who can stand before him when once he is angry? Who would not fear thee, O King of nations.
The prophet describes to Pharaoh the fall of the king of Nineveh, and the destruction of Egypt, under the image of a fair cedar of Lebanon, once tall and majestic, but now cut down and withered.
1 ND it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the
lem was destroyed, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the 2 word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude; Whom art thou like in thy greatness? thou thinkest no prince equal to 3 thyself, but Behold, the Assyrian [was] a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs; it overtopped the most flourishing trees, it exceeded all other king4 doms. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out all her little rivers unto all the trees of the field; he had a wide dominion, great revenues, a large trade, and sent out_colVOL. VI. O
5 onies to distant countries. Therefore his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long because of the multitude of 6 waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations; they were either dependent upon 7 him, in alliance with him, or tributary to him. Thus was he
fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches: for his 8 root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty; no 9 prince was like him for greatness, power, and magnificence. I
have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that [were] in the garden of God, all the 10 kings of the east, envied him. Therefore thus saith the Lord
GOD; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is 11 lifted up in his height; I have therefore delivered him into
the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely deal with him: I have driven him out for his wickedness.* 12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off, and have left him : upon the mountains and in all the vallies his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him like a tree cut down and withered; his provinces shall be taken away, and those un13 der his protection removed. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls
of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches, shall browze upon them and destroy them. 14 To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt themselves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water; or rather, nor any trees that drink water; the design of all was, that nations might take warning, and kings not be proud, even those that were most powerful and glorious, for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit; death hath levelled and equalled them all. The following verses are an elegant description of the terror that 15 seized the king of Assyria's allies in the day of his fall. Thus saith the Lord GOD; In the day when he went down to the grave, I caused a mourning; I covered the deep for him,
Cyaxares, king of Media, and Nabopollassar, king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar's father, took Nineveh, and destroyed the Assyrian empire about twenty three years before this, and so fulfilled the prophecy of Nahum and Zephaniah,
and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed; the waters stopped their course to lament his calamity : and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him; there was a general mourning for the fall of so great a monarch, so powerful an empire; and a gener16 al cessation of trade and navigation. I made the nations to shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all the trees that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth; other princes over whom he had triumphed, seeing that he is brought 17 as low as they, shall be comforted. See Isaiah xiv. 8-10. They also went down into hell with him unto [them that be] slain with the sword; and [they that were] his arm, his strength and his allies, [that] dwelt under his shadow in the midst of the heathen.
To whom art thou, O king of Egypt, thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, shalt die a shameful and accursed death, with [them that be] slain by the sword. This [is] Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD; this is an exact representation of their destruction.
EE how dangerous and precarious earthly greatness is. men; their minds rise with their condition; they compare themselves with others, and are ready to despise and oppress all their inferiors. But would they consider that it is God who makes them fair and great, that if they abuse their wealth and power, he can easily, and will certainly, pull them and all their multitude down it might prevent their being proud and high minded. When they fall, many fall with them: their flatterers and attendants leave them; and they generally fall unlamented. Let us not envy their condition; but make the shadow of the Almighty our confidence, and then we shall dwell safely.
2. The fall of others should be a warning to us, v. 14. that we do not trust in uncertain riches, or showy splendor. If all the advantages of a flourishing trade and a good fortune, are lost by vice and imprudence, it should teach us to guide our affairs with discretion; not to seek great things; but diligently and contentedly to pursue our proper business, and humbly wait upon God for his blessing. The death of others should be a warning
to us. The great and the good die like other men ; and lie down alike in the dust. Let the thought quicken us to be always ready, since we know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.
Contains a lamentation for the dreadful fall of Egypt.
ND it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word 2 of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou [art] as a whale in the seas, or rather, a crocodile, for a whale has no feet : and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers; hast troubled thy 3 own and the neighbouring nations. Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my net, which is large enough to enclose thee, and strong enough to se4 cure thee. Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of 5 the whole earth with thee. And I will lay thy flesh, that is, the flesh of thy soldiers that shall be slain, upon the mountains, and fill the vallies with thy height, with thy large armies, 6 whereof thou didst boast. I will also water with thy blood, with the blood of thy forces, the land wherein thou swimmest, [even] to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee. 7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, 8 and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights
of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD; figurative expressions, denoting 9 the confusion and ruin of the nation. I will also vex the hearts of many people, of those nations that are in alliance with thee, and in dependence upon thee, when I shall bring thy destruction, such a destruction as hath befallen thee among the nations, into 10 the countries which thou hast not known. Yea, I will make
many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, those who admired thy grandeur and power shall be amazed when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at [every] moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall; for who can think himself secure when Egypt is fallen?