The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Ezekiel 29

Eze 29:1

Eze 29-32: Outline, re Egypt: (a) Prophecies (Eze 29); (b) Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 30:1-19); (c) Pharaoh's broken arm (Eze 30:20-26); (d) Lesson for Pharaoh (Eze 31); and (e) Lamentation (Eze 32).

Eze 29:3

YOU GREAT MONSTER: Like the king of Tyre and his people, Pharaoh and Egypt had also been guilty of pride. He had become like a great river monster (Heb "tannim", probably a crocodile of which there were many in the Nile) because he had taken credit for the Nile River, the lifeblood of the nation. Rather than giving God thanks for this resource, the king had proudly claimed responsibility for it. "This was [Pharaoh] Hophra's [Gr 'Apries'] arrogant self-image. Herodotus implied that Pharaoh Apries was so strong in his position that he felt no god could dislodge him. In his reign he sent an expedition against Cyprus, besieged and took Gaza (cf Jer 47:1) and the city of Sidon, was victorious against Tyre by sea, and considered himself master over Palestine and Phoenicia... This arrogance had also shown itself in an attempt to interrupt Babylonia's siege of Jerusalem -- an attempt thwarted by God" (EB).

See Lesson, Leviathan -- "OT History".

Eze 29:4

I WILL PUT HOOKS IN YOUR JAWS AND MAKE THE FISH OF YOUR STREAMS STICK TO YOUR SCALES. The LORD promised to remove Pharaoh and his lieutenants and subordinate princes (the lesser "fish" clinging to him) from their land, as a fisherman pulls a crocodile out of the water with hooks. Normally people caught crocodiles by placing hooks in their jaws and then dragging them onto land where they killed them. In the delta region of Egypt, the Egyptians worshipped the crocodile as a god, Sebek, which they believed protected their nation (cf Eze 32:2; Psa 74:13; Isa 27:1; 51:9). Thus God promised to destroy Pharaoh, Egypt, and the god supposedly responsible for their protection.

Eze 29:6

YOU HAVE BEEN A STAFF OF REED FOR THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL: "Friends are people who can be relied on whatever the circumstances. Friends are there to laugh with us, to cry with us, to share our company and to support us. A true friend is always there when we need him, and has our needs at heart as much as his own.

"When Israel rejected God, they considered Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to be their friend. While things were going good, he was probably a very good friend to have, but he turned out to be unreliable. He broke trust with Israel and Judah and let them down. He was described here as a staff of a reed to the house of Israel. The staff is what supports our steps when we are walking. We have to rely on it, that it will support our weight when we lean on it and put our faith in it. But the staff of Egypt was bent and splintered, letting Israel fall and causing injury.

"We all have friends that will support us in our times of need and we have friends who will break and let us down. But we must aim to be a true friend to our friends. We must be reliable and supportive just as the Lord Jesus Christ is a best friend to us" (RP).

Eze 29:11

Vv 11-13: Invasion by Nebuchadnezzar in 37th year of reign: Xd 37:5.

Eze 29:12

FORTY YEARS: That is, until the early years of Cyrus' reign.

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