Ezekiel 32:32
For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the middle of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, said the Lord GOD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
32:17-32 Divers nations are mentioned as gone down to the grave before Egypt, who are ready to give her a scornful reception; these nations had been lately ruined and wasted. But though Judah and Jerusalem were about this time ruined and laid waste, yet they are not mentioned here. Though they suffered the same affliction, and by the same hand, yet the kind design for which they were afflicted, and the mercy God reserved for them, altered its nature. It was not to them a going down to the pit, as it was to the heathen. Pharaoh shall see, and be comforted; but the comfort wicked ones have after death, is poor comfort, not real, but only in fancy. The view this prophecy gives of ruined states shows something of this present world, and the empire of death in it. Come and see the calamitous state of human life. As if men did not die fast enough, they are ingenious at finding out ways to destroy one another. Also of the other world; though the destruction of nations as such, seems chiefly intended, here is plain allusion to the everlasting ruin of impenitent sinners. How are men deceived by Satan! What are the objects they pursue through scenes of bloodshed, and their many sins? Surely man disquiets himself in vain, whether he pursues wealth, fame, power, or pleasure. The hour cometh, when all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of Christ, and shall come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation.My terror - Better "his terror," the terror caused by him.

The land of the living - The land of God's people. It was Yahweh who caused Pharaoh to be terrible to His people, and now, when the time is come, Pharaoh is fallen, and he is laid etc.

32. my terror—the Margin or Keri. The Hebrew text or Chetib is "his terror," which gives good sense (Eze 32:25, 30). "My terror" implies that God puts His terror on Pharaoh's multitude, as they put "their terror" on others, for example, under Pharaoh-necho on Judea. As "the land of the living" was the scene of "their terror," so it shall be God's; especially in Judea, He will display His glory to the terror of Israel's foes (Eze 26:20). In Israel's case the judgment is temporary, ending in their future restoration under Messiah. In the case of the world kingdoms which flourished for a time, they fall to rise no more. It is God that speaketh, who had punished former tyrants and by a retaliation, that the world might see his just judgments. They were a terror to the world by their cruel oppression, and continued violence, by their covetousness ambition, and pride; and God hath made them a terror his just severities in their punishments. And so, saith God will I do with Pharaoh;

he shall be laid; that is, Pharaoh-hophra shall suffer as they did; since he sinned as thye, he made himself like them by choice of their vices, I will make him like them by like miseries and just recompences and these shall be to his subjects as well as to himself. Hophra, who was strangled, and likely cast out without burial; to Amasis, who was taken out of his tomb and burnt to ashes: so unlike the condition of the dead, which usually is rest to the body, was their condition after death, who in life made it unlike, and imagined it was above, the condition of mortal men. For I have caused my terror in the land of the living,.... Or, "his terror" (f); there is a double reading. The Keri or marginal reading, which we follow has it "my terror" (g); but the Cetib or writing is his terror; and so read the Septuagint. Syriac, and Arabic versions; both may be taken, and the sense be, I have caused or suffered him, Pharaoh king of Egypt, to be a terror to the nations about him, particularly to the land of Israel, which the Targum expressly mentions as the land of the living; and now I will terrify him who has terrified others:

and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with those that are slain with the sword; shall have a common burial with other Heathen nations; even with such, who, in a way of judgment, have perished by the sword of their victorious enemies, as he will:

even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God; the king of Egypt, his subjects, and his soldiers, as numerous as they are; and thus ends this doleful ditty, and funeral dirge or lamentation, composed, taken up, and sung for Pharaoh as ordered, thereby to assure him of his certain destruction.

(f) "terrorem ejus", Grotius; "consternationem ejus", Starckius. (g) "terrorem meum", Pagninus, Munster, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Polanus.

For I have caused my {u} terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.

(u) I will make the Egyptians afraid of me, as they caused others to fear them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
32. I have caused my terror] So Heb. marg., Heb. text, his terror, as all the versions except Vulg. Throughout the passage “to cause terror” is uniformly employed of the conduct of the various nations when on the stage of history. If used of Jehovah here it would be intended to express a vivid contrast—it is he who ultimately puts his terror on the world when he interposes to overthrow these tyrannical and violent nations; cf. Isaiah 8:13. This somewhat sensational antithesis is not natural, and does not harmonise with the next clause. If his terror be read, the power of Pharaoh and the terror he caused would be attributed to Jehovah. But this is an idea out of harmony with the whole representation, which ascribes the supremacy of the peoples named to their own violence or to the gifts of nature. It is just the point insisted on in all these chapters on the nations that their power was a self-exaltation and rebellion against Jehovah, and for this they perish by the sword and are doomed to eternal dishonour. It seems almost imperative to retain his terror, and alter the verb to the 3rd pers.—for he caused his terror … therefore he shall be laid, &c. So probably Targ., which paraphrases as in Ezekiel 32:23-26. Similarly Jer. in his Comm. on Ezek.; and so in copies of the Lat.The Felling of this Cedar, or the Overthrow of Asshur on Account of Its Pride

Ezekiel 31:10. Therefore thus said the Lord Jehovah, Because thou didst exalt thyself in height, and he stretched his top to the midst of the clouds, and his heart exalted itself in its height, Ezekiel 31:11. I will give him into the hand of the prince of the nations; he shall deal with him: for his wickedness I rejected him. Ezekiel 31:12. And strangers cut him down, violent ones of the nations, and cast him away: upon the mountains and in all the valleys his shoots fell, and his boughs were broken in pieces into all the deep places of the earth; and all the nations of the earth withdrew from his shadow, and let him lie. Ezekiel 31:13. Upon his fallen trunk all the birds of the heaven settle, and all the beasts of the field are over his branches: Ezekiel 31:14. That no trees by the water may exalt themselves on account of their height, or stretch their top to the midst of the clouds, and no water-drinkers stand upon themselves in their exaltation: for they are all given up to death into hell, in the midst of the children of men, to those that go into the grave. - In the description of the cause of the overthrow of Asshur which commences with יען אשׁר, the figurative language changes in the third clause into the literal fact, the towering of the cedar being interpreted as signifying the lifting up of the heart in his height, - that is to say, in his pride. In the first clause the tree itself is addressed; but in the clauses which follow, it is spoken of in the third person. The direct address in the first clause is to be explained from the vivid manner in which the fact presented itself. The divine sentence in Ezekiel 31:10 and Ezekiel 31:11 is not directed against Pharaoh, but against the Assyrian, who is depicted as a stately cedar; whilst the address in Ezekiel 31:10, and the imperfect (future) in Ezekiel 31:11, are both to be accounted for from the fact that the fall of Asshur is related in the form in which it was denounced on the part of Jehovah upon that imperial kingdom. The perfect אמר is therefore a preterite here: the Lord said...for His part: because Asshur has exalted itself in the pride of its greatness, I give it up. The form ואתנהוּ is not to be changed into ואתנהוּ, but is defended against critical caprice by the imperfect יעשׂה which follows. That the penal sentence of God is not to be regarded as being first uttered in the time then present, but belongs to the past, - and therefore the words merely communicate what God had already spoken, - is clearly shown by the preterites commencing with גּרשׁתּיהוּ, the historical tenses ויּכרתהוּ and ויּטּשׁהוּ, and the preterite נפלוּ, which must not be turned into futures in violation of grammar. גּבהּ בּקומה does not mean, to be high in its height, which would be a tautology; but to exalt itself (be proud) in, or on account of, its height. And in the same way is רוּם also affirmed of the heart, in the sense of exultation from pride. For the fact itself, compare Isaiah 10:5. אל גּוים does not mean God, but a powerful one of the nations, i.e., Nebuchadnezzar. אל is a simple appellative from אוּל, the strong one; and is neither a name of God nor a defective form for איל, the construct state of איל, a ram. For this defective form is only met with once in the case of איל, a ram, namely, in Job 42:8, where we have the plural אלים, and nowhere else; whereas, in the case of אל, אלים, in the sense of a strong one, the scriptio plena very frequently alternates with the defectiva. Compare, for example, Job 42:8, where both readings occur just as in this instance, where many MSS have איל (vid., de Rossi, variae lectt. ad h. l.); also Exodus 15:15 and Ezekiel 17:13, אילי, compared with אלי in Ezekiel 32:21, after the analogy of נירי, 2 Samuel 22:29, and גּירים, 2 Chronicles 2:16. עשׂו is not a relative clause, "who should treat him ill," nor is the w relat. omitted on account of the preceding עשׂו, as Hitzig imagines; but it is an independent sentence, and יעשׂה is a forcible expression for the imperative: he will deal with him, equivalent to, "let him deal with him." עשׂה ל, to do anything to a person, used here as it frequently is in an evil sense; compare Psalm 56:5. בּרשׁעו-or כּרשׁעו, which Norzi and Abarbanel (in de Rossi, variae lectt. ad. h. l.) uphold as the reading of many of the more exact manuscripts and editions - belongs to גּרשׁתּיהוּ: for, or according to, his wickedness, I rejected him.

In Ezekiel 31:12 the figure of the tree is resumed; and the extinction of the Assyrian empire is described as the cutting down of the proud cedar. זרים עריצי גּוים as in Ezekiel 28:7 and Ezekiel 30:11-12. ויּטּשׁהוּ: they cast him away and let him lie, as in Ezekiel 29:5; Ezekiel 32:4; so that in the first sentence the idea of casting away predominates, and in the second that of letting lie. By the casting away, the tree became so shattered to atoms that its boughs and branches fell upon the mountains and on the low ground and valleys of the earth, and the nations which had sat under its shadow withdrew. ויּרדוּ (they descended) is to be explained from the idea that the three had grown upon a high mountain (namely Lebanon); and Hitzig is mistaken in his conjecture that ויּרדוּ was the original reading, as נדד, to fly, is not an appropriate expression for עמּים. On the falling of the tree, the birds which had made their nests in its branches naturally flew away. If, then, in Ezekiel 31:13, birds and beasts are said to settle upon the fallen trunk, as several of the commentators have correctly observed, the description is based upon the idea of a corpse, a מפּלת (Judges 14:8), around which both birds and beasts of prey gather together to tear it in pieces (cf. Ezekiel 32:4 and Isaiah 18:6). היה אל, to come towards or over any one, to be above it. The thought expressed is, that many nations took advantage of the fall of Asshur and rose into new life upon its ruins. - Ezekiel 31:14. This fate was prepared for Asshur in order that henceforth no tree should grow up to the sky any more, i.e., that no powerful one of this earth (no king or prince) should strive after superhuman greatness and might. למען אשׁר is dependent upon גּרשׁתּיהוּ in Ezekiel 31:11; for Ezekiel 31:12 and Ezekiel 31:13 are simply a further expansion of the thought expressed in that word. עצי מים are trees growing near the water, and therefore nourished by water. For 'לא , see Ezekiel 31:10. The words 'ולא יעמדוּ are difficult. As אליהם, with Tzere under א, to which the Masora calls attention, cannot be the preposition אל with the suffix, many have taken אליהם to be a noun, in the sense of fortes, principes, or terebinthi (vid., Isaiah 61:3), and have rendered the clause either ut non perstent terebinthi eorum in altitudine sua, omnes (ceterae arbores) bibentes aquam (Vatabl., Starck, Maurer, and Kliefoth), or, that their princes may not lift themselves up in their pride, all the drinkers of water (Hvernick). But both renderings founder on the simple fact that they leave the suffix הם in אליהם either unnoticed or unexplained. As only the trees of the water have been spoken of previously, the suffix must be taken as referring to them. But the water-trees have neither terebinths nor princes; on the contrary, these are what they must either be, or signify. Terebinths, or princes of the water-trees, would be senseless ideas. Ewald has therefore taken אליהם as the object, and rendered it thus: "and (that) no water-drinkers may contend with their gods in their pride." He has not proved, however, but has simply asserted, that עמד is to endure equals to contend (!). The only remaining course is to follow the lxx, Targum, and many commentators, and to take אליהם as a pronoun, and point it אליהם. עמד אל: to station oneself against, or upon equals עמד על (Ezekiel 33:26), in the sense of resting, or relying upon anything. The suffix is to be taken in a reflective sense, as in Ezekiel 34:2, etc. (vid., Ewald, 314c), and precedes the noun to which it refers, as in Proverbs 14:20 for example. בּגבהם, as in Ezekiel 31:10, referring to pride. כּל־שׁתי מים, the subject of the sentence, is really synonymous with כּל־עצי מים, except that the figure of the tree falls into the background behind the fact portrayed. The rendering of the Berleburg Bible is very good: "and no trees abounding in water stand upon themselves (rely upon themselves) on account of their height." The water-drinkers are princes of this earth who have attained to great power through rich resources. "As a tree grows through the moisture of water, so men are accustomed to become proud through their abundance, not reflecting that these waters have been supplied to them by God" (Starck). The reason for this warning against proud self-exaltation is given in Ezekiel 31:14 in the general statement, that all the proud great ones of this earth are delivered up to death. כּלּם, all of them, the water-drinkers or water-trees already named, by whom kings, earthly potentates, are intended. ארץ תּחתּית equals ארץ תּח (Ezekiel 26:20). בּתוך בּני אדם: in the midst of the children of men, i.e., like all other men. "Thus the prophet teaches that princes must die as well as the people, that death and decomposition are common to both. Hence he takes all ground of proud boasting away" (Starck).

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