Jerusalem is under siege and Ezekiel remains silent as the word of the LORD comes to him concerning nations not named Judah. Today we pick up again with Tyre, and specifically her king, who has made wealth for himself by wisdom and understanding, but whose heart has become proud. The LORD describes him as anointed, even blameless in all his ways – until unrighteousness found him. “Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’” the LORD asks, “in the presence of those who kill you…?”
Listen for all the repeated phrases and themes as the LORD turns His attention to Egypt, and her Pharaoh, whom the LORD warns: “Behold, I am against you.” There is a vivid description of how the LORD will draw Pharaoh out of Egypt, onto the open field, to fall in battle. Egypt will pay for its failure to aid Israel: “When they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders…” They will pay for their arrogance: “The Nile is my own; I made it for myself.” And while the LORD will one day restore them, the LORD promises that Egypt will never again exalt itself above other nations.
Between these is a brief oracle against Sidon, Tyre’s northern neighbor. Listen to the constancy of the LORD’s purposes: Sidon will know that “I am the LORD” when he manifests His glory in their midst. Israel will know that “I am the LORD” when there is “no more brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt.”
Through it all the LORD reminds the nations around Israel – and indirectly Israel itself – of His special relationship with them. But this is a secondary purpose. Pay attention to what the LORD keeps coming back to, and remember the concluding promise to Abraham that “in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”
Our verse for this week is 2 Peter 3:9: The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
Ezekiel 28 through 30. Now let’s read it!
Ezekiel 28 - 30
28:1 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, say to the prince of Tyre, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Because your heart is proud,
and you have said, ‘I am a god,
I sit in the seat of the gods,
in the heart of the seas,’
yet you are but a man, and no god,
though you make your heart like the heart of a god—
you are indeed wiser than Daniel;
no secret is hidden from you;
by your wisdom and your understanding
you have made wealth for yourself,
and have gathered gold and silver
into your treasuries;
by your great wisdom in your trade
you have increased your wealth,
and your heart has become proud in your wealth—
therefore thus says the Lord GOD:
Because you make your heart
like the heart of a god,
therefore, behold, I will bring foreigners upon you,
the most ruthless of the nations;
and they shall draw their swords against the beauty of your wisdom
and defile your splendor.
They shall thrust you down into the pit,
and you shall die the death of the slain
in the heart of the seas.
Will you still say, ‘I am a god,’
in the presence of those who kill you,
though you are but a man, and no god,
in the hands of those who slay you?
You shall die the death of the uncircumcised
by the hand of foreigners;
for I have spoken, declares the Lord GOD.”
Moreover, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“You were the signet of perfection,
full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God;
every precious stone was your covering,
sardius, topaz, and diamond,
beryl, onyx, and jasper,
sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle;
and crafted in gold were your settings
and your engravings.
On the day that you were created
they were prepared.
You were an anointed guardian cherub.
I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God;
in the midst of the stones of fire you walked.
You were blameless in your ways
from the day you were created,
till unrighteousness was found in you.
In the abundance of your trade
you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned;
so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God,
and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub,
from the midst of the stones of fire.
Your heart was proud because of your beauty;
you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.
I cast you to the ground;
I exposed you before kings,
to feast their eyes on you.
By the multitude of your iniquities,
in the unrighteousness of your trade
you profaned your sanctuaries;
so I brought fire out from your midst;
it consumed you,
and I turned you to ashes on the earth
in the sight of all who saw you.
All who know you among the peoples
are appalled at you;
you have come to a dreadful end
and shall be no more forever.”
The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face toward Sidon, and prophesy against her and say, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, I am against you, O Sidon,
and I will manifest my glory in your midst.
And they shall know that I am the LORD
when I execute judgments in her
and manifest my holiness in her;
for I will send pestilence into her,
and blood into her streets;
and the slain shall fall in her midst,
by the sword that is against her on every side.
Then they will know that I am the LORD.
“And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD.
“Thus says the Lord GOD: When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations, then they shall dwell in their own land that I gave to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell securely in it, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards. They shall dwell securely, when I execute judgments upon all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the LORD their God.”
29:1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt; speak, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Behold, I am against you,
Pharaoh king of Egypt,
the great dragon that lies
in the midst of his streams,
that says, ‘My Nile is my own;
I made it for myself.’
I will put hooks in your jaws,
and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales;
and I will draw you up out of the midst of your streams,
with all the fish of your streams
that stick to your scales.
And I will cast you out into the wilderness,
you and all the fish of your streams;
you shall fall on the open field,
and not be brought together or gathered.
To the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens
I give you as food.
Then all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD.
“Because you have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and will cut off from you man and beast, and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste. Then they will know that I am the LORD.
“Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine, and I made it,’ therefore, behold, I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Cush. No foot of man shall pass through it, and no foot of beast shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated countries, and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them through the countries.
“For thus says the Lord GOD: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered, and I will restore the fortunes of Egypt and bring them back to the land of Pathros, the land of their origin, and there they shall be a lowly kingdom. It shall be the most lowly of the kingdoms, and never again exalt itself above the nations. And I will make them so small that they will never again rule over the nations. And it shall never again be the reliance of the house of Israel, recalling their iniquity, when they turn to them for aid. Then they will know that I am the Lord GOD.”
In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made his army labor hard against Tyre. Every head was made bald, and every shoulder was rubbed bare, yet neither he nor his army got anything from Tyre to pay for the labor that he had performed against her. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off its wealth and despoil it and plunder it; and it shall be the wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt as his payment for which he labored, because they worked for me, declares the Lord GOD.
“On that day I will cause a horn to spring up for the house of Israel, and I will open your lips among them. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
30:1 The word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, prophesy, and say, Thus says the Lord GOD:
“Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’
For the day is near,
the day of the LORD is near;
it will be a day of clouds,
a time of doom for the nations.
A sword shall come upon Egypt,
and anguish shall be in Cush,
when the slain fall in Egypt,
and her wealth is carried away,
and her foundations are torn down.
Cush, and Put, and Lud, and all Arabia, and Libya, and the people of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.
“Thus says the LORD:
Those who support Egypt shall fall,
and her proud might shall come down;
from Migdol to Syene
they shall fall within her by the sword,
declares the Lord GOD.
And they shall be desolated in the midst of desolated countries,
and their cities shall be in the midst of cities that are laid waste.
Then they will know that I am the LORD,
when I have set fire to Egypt,
and all her helpers are broken.
“On that day messengers shall go out from me in ships to terrify the unsuspecting people of Cush, and anguish shall come upon them on the day of Egypt's doom; for, behold, it comes!
“Thus says the Lord GOD:
“I will put an end to the wealth of Egypt,
by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
He and his people with him, the most ruthless of nations,
shall be brought in to destroy the land,
and they shall draw their swords against Egypt
and fill the land with the slain.
And I will dry up the Nile
and will sell the land into the hand of evildoers;
I will bring desolation upon the land and everything in it,
by the hand of foreigners;
I am the LORD; I have spoken.
“Thus says the Lord GOD:
“I will destroy the idols
and put an end to the images in Memphis;
there shall no longer be a prince from the land of Egypt;
so I will put fear in the land of Egypt.
I will make Pathros a desolation
and will set fire to Zoan
and will execute judgments on Thebes.
And I will pour out my wrath on Pelusium,
the stronghold of Egypt,
and cut off the multitude of Thebes.
And I will set fire to Egypt;
Pelusium shall be in great agony;
Thebes shall be breached,
and Memphis shall face enemies by day.
The young men of On and of Pi-beseth shall fall by the sword,
and the women shall go into captivity.
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.
Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt.
Then they will know that I am the LORD.”
In the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, the word of the LORD came to me: “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and behold, it has not been bound up, to heal it by binding it with a bandage, so that it may become strong to wield the sword. Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt and will break his arms, both the strong arm and the one that was broken, and I will make the sword fall from his hand. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and 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 the arms of Pharaoh, and he will groan before him like a man mortally wounded. I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall. Then they shall know that I am the LORD, when I put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”