Ezekiel 30:18
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
At Tehaphnehes the day shall be dark, when I break there the yoke bars of Egypt, and her proud might shall come to an end in her; she shall be covered by a cloud, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

King James Bible
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

American Standard Version
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall withdraw itself, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt, and the pride of her power shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And in Taphnis the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the sceptres of Egypt, and the pride of her power shall cease in her: a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall be led into captivity.

English Revised Version
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall withdraw itself, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt, and the pride of her power shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

Webster's Bible Translation
At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity.

Ezekiel 30:18 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

The Judgment upon Pharaoh and His People and Land

Because Pharaoh looks upon himself as the creator of his kingdom and of his might, he is to be destroyed with his men of war (Ezekiel 29:2-5). In order that Israel may no longer put its trust in the fragile power of Egypt, the sword shall cut off from Egypt both man and beast, the land shall be turned into a barren wilderness, and the people shall be scattered over the lands (Ezekiel 29:5-12). But after the expiration of the time appointed for its punishment, both people and land shall be restored, though only to remain an insignificant kingdom (Ezekiel 29:13-16). - According to Ezekiel 29:1, this prophecy belongs to the tenth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin; and as we may see by comparing it with the other oracles against Egypt of which the dates are given, it was the first word of God uttered by Ezekiel concerning this imperial kingdom. The contents also harmonize with this, inasmuch as the threat which it contains merely announces in general terms the overthrow of the might of Egypt and its king, without naming the instrument employed to execute the judgment, and at the same time the future condition of Egypt is also disclosed.

Ezekiel 29:1-12

Destruction of the might of Pharaoh, and devastation of Egypt

Ezekiel 29:1. In the tenth year, in the tenth (month), on the twelfth of the month, the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Ezekiel 29:2. Son of man, direct thy face against Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. Ezekiel 29:3. Speak and say, Thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I will deal with thee, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, thou great dragon which lieth in its rivers, which saith, "Mine is the river, and I have made it for myself." Ezekiel 29:4. I will put a ring into thy jaws, and cause the fishes of thy rivers to hang upon thy scales, and draw thee out of thy rivers, and all the fishes of thy rivers which hang upon thy scales; Ezekiel 29:5. And will cast thee into the desert, thee and all the fishes of thy rivers; upon the surface of the field wilt thou fall, thou wilt not be lifted up nor gathered together; I give thee for food to the beasts of the earth and the birds of the heaven. Ezekiel 29:6. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall learn that I am Jehovah. Because it is a reed-staff to the house of Israel, - Ezekiel 29:7. When they grasp thee by thy branches, thou crackest and tearest open all their shoulder; and when they lean upon thee, thou breakest and causest all their loins to shake, - Ezekiel 29:8. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah, Behold, I bring upon thee the sword, and will cut off from thee man and beast; Ezekiel 29:9. And the land of Egypt will become a waste and desolation, and they shall learn that I am Jehovah. Because he saith: "The river is mine, and I have made it," Ezekiel 29:10. Therefore, behold, I will deal with thee and thy rivers, and will make the land of Egypt into barren waste desolations from Migdol to Syene, even to the border of Cush. Ezekiel 29:11. The foot of man will not pass through it, and the foot of beast will not pass through it, and it will not be inhabited for forty years. Ezekiel 29:12. I make the land of Egypt a waste in the midst of devastated lands, and its cities shall be waste among desolate cities forty years; and I scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them in the lands. - The date given, viz., "in the tenth year," is defended even by Hitzig as more correct than the reading of the lxx, ἐν τῷ ἔτει τῷ δωδεκάτω; and he supposes the Alexandrian reading to have originated in the fact that the last date mentioned in Ezekiel 26:1 had already brought down the account to the eleventh year. - Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, against whom the threat is first directed, is called "the great dragon" in Ezekiel 29:3. תּנּים (here and Ezekiel 32:2) is equivalent to תּנּין, literally, the lengthened animal, the snake; here, the water-snake, the crocodile, the standing symbol of Egypt in the prophets (cf. Isaiah 51:9; Isaiah 27:1; Psalm 74:13), which is here transferred to Pharaoh, as the ruler of Egypt and representative of its power. By יארים we are to understand the arms and canals of the Nile (vid., Isaiah 7:18). The predicate, "lying in the midst of his rivers," points at once to the proud security in his own power to which Pharaoh gave himself up. As the crocodile lies quietly in the waters of the Nile, as though he were lord of the river; so did Pharaoh regard himself as the omnipotent lord of Egypt. His words affirm this: "the river is mine, I have made it for myself." The suffix attached to עשׂיתני stands in the place of לי, as Ezekiel 29:9, where the suffix is wanting, clearly shows. There is an incorrectness in this use of the suffix, which evidently passed into the language of literature from the popular phraseology (cf. Ewald, 315b). The rendering of the Vulgate, ego feci memetipsum, is false. יארי is the expression used by him as a king who regards the land and its rivers as his own property; in connection with which we must bear in mind that Egypt is indebted to the Nile not only for its greatness, but for its actual existence. In this respect Pharaoh says emphatically לי, it is mine, it belongs to me, because he regards himself as the creator. The words, "I have made it for myself," simply explain the reason for the expression לי, and affirm more than "I have put myself in possession of this through my own power, or have acquired its blessings for myself" (Hvernick); or, "I have put it into its present condition by constructing canals, dams, sluices, and buildings by the river-side" (Hitzig). Pharaoh calls himself the creator of the Nile, because he regards himself as the creator of the greatness of Egypt. This pride, in which he forgets God and attributes divine power to himself, is the cause of his sin, for which he will be overthrown by God. God will draw the crocodile Pharaoh out of his Nile with hooks, and cast him upon the dry land, where he and the fishes that have been drawn out along with him upon his scales will not be gathered up, but devoured by the wild beasts and birds of prey. The figure is derived from the manner in which even in ancient times the crocodile was caught with large hooks of a peculiar construction (compare Herod. ii. 70, and the testimonies of travellers in Oedmann's Vermischten Sammlungen, III pp. 6ff., and Jomard in the Dscription de l'Egypte, 1 Peter 27). The form חחיים with a double Yod is a copyist's error, probably occasioned by the double Yod occurring after ח in בּלחייך, which follows. A dual form for חחים is unsuitable, and is not used anywhere else even by Ezekiel (cf. Ezekiel 19:4, Ezekiel 19:9, and more especially Ezekiel 38:4).

The fishes which hang upon the scales of the monster, and are drawn along with it out of the Nile, are the inhabitants of Egypt, for the Nile represents the land. The casting of the beast into the wilderness, where it putrefies and is devoured by the beasts and birds of prey, must not be interpreted in the insipid manner proposed by Hitzig, namely, that Pharaoh would advance with his army into the desert of Arabia and be defeated there. The wilderness is the dry and barren land, in which animals that inhabit the water must perish; and the thought is simply that the monster will be cast upon the desert land, where it will finally become the food of the beasts of prey.

In Ezekiel 29:6 the construction is a subject of dispute, inasmuch as many of the commentators follow the Hebrew division of the verse, taking the second hemistich 'יען היותם וגו as dependent upon the first half of the verse, for which it assigns the reason, and then interpreting Ezekiel 29:7 as a further development of Ezekiel 29:6, and commencing a new period with Ezekiel 29:8 (Hitzig, Kliefoth, and others). But it is decidedly wrong to connect together the two halves of the sixth verse, if only for the simple reason that the formula וידעוּ כּי אני יהוה, which occurs so frequently elsewhere in Ezekiel, invariably closes a train of thought, and is never followed by the addition of a further reason. Moreover, a sentence commencing with יען is just as invariably followed by an apodosis introduced by לכן, of which we have an example just below in Ezekiel 29:9 and Ezekiel 29:10. For both these reasons it is absolutely necessary that we should regard 'יען ה as the beginning of a protasis, the apodosis to which commences with לכן in Ezekiel 29:8. The correctness of this construction is established beyond all doubt by the fact that from Ezekiel 29:6 onwards it is no longer Pharaoh who is spoken of, as in Ezekiel 29:3-5, but Egypt; so that יען introduces a new train of thought. But Ezekiel 29:7 is clearly shown, both by the contents and the form, to be an explanatory intermediate clause inserted as a parenthesis. And inasmuch as the protasis is removed in consequence to some distance from its apodosis, Ezekiel has introduced the formula "thus saith the Lord Jehovah" at the commencement of the apodosis, for the purpose of giving additional emphasis to the announcement of the punishment. Ezekiel 29:7 cannot in any case be regarded as the protasis, the apodosis to which commences with the לכן in Ezekiel 29:8, and Hvernick maintains. The suffix attached to היותם, to which Hitzig takes exception, because he has misunderstood the construction, and which he would conjecture away, refers to מצרים as a land or kingdom. Because the kingdom of Egypt was a reed-staff to the house of Israel (a figure drawn from the physical character of the banks of the Nile, with its thick growth of tall, thick rushes, and recalling to mind Isaiah 36:6), the Lord would bring the sword upon it and cut off from it both man and beast. But before this apodosis the figure of the reed-staff is more clearly defined: "when they (the Israelites) take thee by thy branches, thou breakest," etc. This explanation is not to be taken as referring to any particular facts either of the past or future, but indicates the deceptive nature of Egypt as the standing characteristic of that kingdom. At the same time, to give greater vivacity to the description, the words concerning Egypt are changed into a direct address to the Egyptians, i.e., not to Pharaoh, but to the Egyptian people regarded as a single individual. The expression בכפך causes some difficulty, since the ordinary meaning of כּף (hand) is apparently unsuitable, inasmuch as the verb תּרוץ, from רצץ, to break or crack (not to break in pieces, i.e., to break quite through), clearly shows that the figure if the reed is still continued. The Keri בּכּף is a bad emendation, based upon the rendering "to grasp with the hand," which is grammatically inadmissible. תּפשׂ with ב does not mean to grasp with something, but to seize upon something, to take hold of a person (Isaiah 3:6; Deuteronomy 9:17), so that בכפך can only be an explanatory apposition to בּך. The meaning grip, or grasp of the hand, is also unsuitable and cannot be sustained, as the plural כּפּות alone is used in this sense in Sol 5:5. The only meaning appropriate to the figure is that of branches, which is sustained, so far as the language is concerned, by the use of the plural כּפּות for palm-branches in Leviticus 23:40, and of the singular כּפּה for the collection of branches in Job 15:32, and Isaiah 9:13; Isaiah 19:15; and this is apparently in perfect harmony with natural facts, since the tall reed of the Nile, more especially the papyrus, is furnished with hollow, sword-shaped leaves at the lower part of the talk. When it cracks, the reed-staff pierces the shoulder of the man who has grasped it, and tears it; and if a man lean upon it, it breaks in pieces and causes all the loins to tremble. העמיד cannot mean to cause to stand, or to set upright, still less render stiff and rigid. The latter meaning cannot be established from the usage of the language, and would be unsuitable here. For if a stick on which a man leans should break and penetrate his loins, it would inflict such injury upon them as to cause him to fall, and not to remain stiff and rigid. העמד cannot have any other meaning than that of המעד, to cause to tremble or relax, as in Psalm 69:24, to shake the firmness of the loins, so that the power to stand is impaired.

In the apodosis the thought of the land gives place to that of the people; hence the use of the feminine suffixes עליך and ממּך in the place of the masculine suffixes בּך and עליך in Ezekiel 29:7. Man and beast shall be cut off, and the land made into a desert waste by the sword, i.e., by war. This is carried out still further in Ezekiel 29:9-12; and once again in the protasis 9b (cf. Ezekiel 29:3) the inordinate pride of the king is placed in the foreground as the reason for the devastation of his land and kingdom. The Lord will make of Egypt the most desolate wilderness. חרבות is intensified into a superlative by the double genitive חרב שׁממה, desolation of the wilderness. Throughout its whole extent from Migdol, i.e., Magdolo, according to the Itiner. Anton. p. 171 (ed. Wessel), twelve Roman miles from Pelusium; in the Coptic Meshtol, Egyptian Màktr (Brugsch, Geogr. Inschr. I pp. 261f.), the most northerly place in Egypt. סונה, to Syene (for the construction see Ezekiel 30:6 and Ezekiel 21:3), Συήνη, Sun in the inscriptions, according to Brugsch (Geogr. Inschr. I. p. 155), probably the profane designation of the place (Coptic Souan), the most southerly border town of Egypt in the direction of Cush, i.e., Ethiopia, on the eastern bank of the Nile, some ruins of which are still to be seen in the modern Assvan (Assuan, Arab. aswa equals n), which is situated to the north-east of them (vid., Brugsch, Reiseber. aus. Aegypten, p. 247, and Leyrer in Herzog's Encyclopaedia). The additional clause, "and to the border of Cush," does not give a fresh terminal point, still further advanced, but simply defines with still greater clearness the boundary toward the south, viz., to Syene, where Egypt terminates and Ethiopia beings. In Ezekiel 29:11 the desolation is more fully depicted. לא תשׁב, it will not dwell, poetical for "be inhabited," as in Joel 4 (3):20, Isaiah 13:20, etc. This devastation shall last for forty years, and so long shall the people of Egypt be scattered among the nations. But after the expiration of that time they shall be gathered together again (Ezekiel 29:13). The number forty is neither a round number (Hitzig) nor a very long time (Ewald), but is a symbolical term denoting a period appointed by God for punishment and penitence (see the comm. on Ezekiel 4:6), which is not to be understood in a chronological sense, or capable of being calculated.

Ezekiel 30:18 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Tehaphenes

Jeremiah 2:16 Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of your head.

Tahapanes

Jeremiah 43:7-9 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes...

Jeremiah 46:14 Declare you in Egypt, and publish in Migdol, and publish in Noph and in Tahpanhes: say you, Stand fast, and prepare you...

Tahpanhes
the day

Exodus 10:15 For they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land...

Isaiah 5:30 And in that day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea: and if one look to the land, behold darkness and sorrow...

Isaiah 9:19 Through the wrath of the LORD of hosts is the land darkened, and the people shall be as the fuel of the fire...

Isaiah 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth...

Joel 3:15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.

Matthew 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light...

darkened. or, restrained
I shall break

Ezekiel 29:15 It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them...

Isaiah 9:4 For you have broken the yoke of his burden, and the staff of his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, as in the day of Midian.

Isaiah 10:27 And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off your shoulder, and his yoke from off your neck...

Isaiah 14:25 That I will break the Assyrian in my land, and on my mountains tread him under foot: then shall his yoke depart from off them...

the pomp

Ezekiel 31:18 To whom are you thus like in glory and in greatness among the trees of Eden?...

Ezekiel 32:18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations...

Isaiah 14:11 Your pomp is brought down to the grave, and the noise of your viols: the worm is spread under you, and the worms cover you.

Jeremiah 46:20-26 Egypt is like a very fair heifer, but destruction comes; it comes out of the north...

a cloud

Ezekiel 30:3 For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

Isaiah 19:1 The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt...

Cross References
Leviticus 26:13
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves. And I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect.

Isaiah 10:27
And in that day his burden will depart from your shoulder, and his yoke from your neck; and the yoke will be broken because of the fat."

Jeremiah 27:2
Thus the LORD said to me: "Make yourself straps and yoke-bars, and put them on your neck.

Jeremiah 28:10
Then the prophet Hananiah took the yoke-bars from the neck of Jeremiah the prophet and broke them.

Jeremiah 28:13
"Go, tell Hananiah, 'Thus says the LORD: You have broken wooden bars, but you have made in their place bars of iron.

Jeremiah 30:8
"And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him.

Jeremiah 43:8
Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah in Tahpanhes:

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