On his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be on his branches:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Upon his ruin shall all the fowls.—There is no inconsistency between this and the previous verse. At the fall all nations and people rush away, to avoid becoming involved in the catastrophe; but as soon as the giant cedar is prostrate, they gather upon its trunk and branches to fatten upon its ruin.His ruin; his broken state.
All the fowls, which built and breed there, shall now despise the tree, and triumph over it.
All the beasts; the same in another emblem, as Ezekiel 31:6. Beasts, fowls, people, and nations, that were sheltered under the shadow of this tree, shall all, as is their custom, get from under it, and with the first insult and trample upon the body, boughs, and branches, fowls get on it, and both pick and defile, beasts rustle through it, and browse on the broken branches.
"upon the fall of his slain all the fowls of heaven have dwelt, and upon the carcasses of his army all the beasts of the field have rested.''Upon his ruin shall all the fowls of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be upon his branches:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. his ruin] i.e. his fallen trunk and branches, ch. Ezekiel 32:4, Ezekiel 39:17; Isaiah 18:6.Verse 13. - Upon his ruin. The prophet, as it were, corrects his imagery. The birds and beasts are still there, but instead of dwelling in the boughs, they (vultures and owls, jackals and hyenas) hover and creep as over the carcass of the dead, decaying trunk. Ezekiel 30:1. And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 30:2. Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Howl ye! Woe to the day! Ezekiel 30:3. For the day is near, the day of Jehovah near, a day of cloud, the time of the heathen will it be. Ezekiel 30:4. And the sword will come upon Egypt, and there will be pangs in Ethiopia, when the slain fall in Egypt, and they take her possessions, and her foundations are destroyed. Ezekiel 30:5. Ethiopians and Libyans and Lydians, and all the rabble, and Chub, and the sons of the covenant land, will fall by the sword with them. - In the announcement of the judgment in Ezekiel 30:2 and Ezekiel 30:3, Ezekiel rests upon Joel 1:13, Joel 1:15, and Joel 2:2, where the designation already applied to the judgment upon the heathen world by Obadiah, viz., "the day of Jehovah" (Obadiah 1:15), is followed by such a picture of the nearness and terrible nature of that day, that even Isaiah (Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9) and Zephaniah (Zephaniah 1:7, Zephaniah 1:14) appropriate the words of Joel. Ezekiel also does the same, with this exception, that he uses ההּ instead of אההּ, and adds to the force of the expression by the repetition of קרוב יום. In Ezekiel 30:3, the words from יום ענן to יהיה are not to be taken together as forming one sentence, "a day of cloud will the time of the nations be" (De Wette), because the idea of a "time of the nations" has not been mentioned before, so as to prepare the way for a description of its real nature here. יום ענן and עת גּוים contain two co-ordinate affirmations concerning the day of Jehovah. It will be a day of cloud, i.e., of great calamity (as in Joel 2:2), and a time of the heathen, i.e., when heathen (גּוים without the article) are judged, when their might is to be shattered (cf. Isaiah 13:22). This day is coming upon Egypt, which is to succumb to the sword. Ethiopia will be so terrified at this, that it will writhe convulsively with anguish (חלחלה, as in Nahum 2:11 and Isaiah 21:3). לקח המנהּ signifies the plundering and removal of the possessions of the land, like נשׂא המנהּ in Ezekiel 29:19. The subject to לקחוּ is indefinite, "they," i.e., the enemy. The foundations of Egypt, which are to be destroyed, are not the foundations of its buildings, but may be understood in a figurative sense as relating to persons, after the analogy of Isaiah 19:10; but the notion that Cush, Phut, etc. (Ezekiel 30:9), i.e., the mercenary troops obtained from those places, which are called the props of Egypt in Ezekiel 30:6, are intended, as Hitzig assumes, is not only extremely improbable, but decidedly erroneous. The announcement in Ezekiel 30:6, that Cush, Phut, etc., are to fall by the sword along with the Egyptians (אתּם), is sufficient of itself to show that these tribes, even if they were auxiliaries or mercenaries of Egypt, did not constitute the foundations of the Egyptian state and kingdom; but that, on the contrary, Egypt possessed a military force composed of native troops, which was simply strengthened by auxiliaries and allies. We there interpret יסדותיה, after the analogy of Psalm 11:3 and Psalm 82:5, as referring to the real foundations of the state, the regulations and institutions on which the stability and prosperity of the kingdom rest.
The neighbouring, friendly, and allied peoples will also be smitten by the judgment together with the Egyptians. Cush, i.e., the Ethiopians, Phut and Lud, i.e., the Libyans and African Lydians (see the comm. on Ezekiel 27:10), are mentioned here primarily as auxiliaries of Egypt, because, according to Jeremiah 46:9, they served in Necho's army. By כּל־הערב, the whole of the mixed crowd (see the comm. on 1 Kings 10:15 - πάντες οἱ ἐπίμικτοι, lxx), we are then to understand the mercenary soldiers in the Egyptian army, which were obtained from different nations (chiefly Greeks, Ionians, and Carians, οἱ επίκουροι, as they are called by Herodotus, iii. 4, etc.). In addition to these, כּוּב ,eseht (ἁπ λεγ.) is also mentioned. Hvernick connects this name with the people of Kufa, so frequently met with on the Egyptian monuments. But, according to Wilkinson (Manners, etc., I 1, pp. 361ff.), they inhabited a portion of Asia farther north even than Palestine; and he ranks them (p. 379) among the enemies of Egypt. Hitzig therefore imagines that Kufa is probably to be found in Kohistan, a district of Media, from which, however, the Egyptians can hardly have obtained mercenary troops. And so long as nothing certain can be gathered from the advancing Egyptological researches with regard to the name Cub, the conjecture that כּוּב is a mis-spelling for לוּב is not to be absolutely set aside, the more especially as this conjecture is naturally suggested by the לוּבים of Nahum 3:9 and 2 Chronicles 16:8, and the form לוּב by the side of לוּבים is analogous to לוּד by the side of לוּדים in Jeremiah 46:9, whilst the Liby-Aegyptii of the ancients, who are to be understood by the term לוּבים (see the comm. on Genesis 10:13), would be quite in keeping here. On the other hand, the conjecture offered by Gesenius (Thes. p. 664), viz., נוּב, Nubia, has but a very weak support in the Arabic translator; and the supposition that לוּב may have been the earlier Hebrew form for Nubia (Hitzig), is destitute of any solid foundation. Maurer suggests Cob, a city (municipium) of Mauretania, in the Itiner. Anton. p. 17, ed. Wessel. - The following expression, "sons of the covenant land," is also obscure. Hitzig has correctly observed, that it cannot be synonymous with בּעלי , their allies. But we certainly cannot admit that the covenant land (made definite by the article) is Canaan, the Holy Land (Hitzig and Kliefoth); although Jerome writes without reserve, de filiis terrae foederis, i.e., de populo Judaeorum; and the lxx in their translation, καὶ τῶν υιῶν τῆς διαθήκης μου, undoubtedly thought of the Jews, who fled to Egypt, according to Theodoret's exposition, along with Jeremiah after the destruction of Jerusalem and the murder of the governor Gedaliah, for fear of the vengeance of the Chaldeans (Jeremiah 42-43, and 44). For the application of the expression "land of the covenant" to the Holy Land is never met with either in the Old or New Testament, and cannot be inferred, as Hitzig supposes, from Psalm 74:20 and Daniel 11:28, or supported in any way from either the epithet "the land of promise" in Hebrews 11:9, or from Acts 3:25, where Peter calls the Jews "the children of the prophets and of the covenant." We therefore agree with Schmieder in regarding ארץ as signifying a definite region, though one unknown to us, in the vicinity of Egypt, which was inhabited by a tribe that was independent of the Egyptians, yet bound to render help in time of war.
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