Ezekiel 32

Lamentation over Pharaoh and Egypt

In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, on the first of the month,
This would be March 3, 585 b.c.
the word of the Lord came to me:
“Son of man, sing a lament for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him:

“‘You were like a lion
The lion was a figure of royalty (Ezek 19:1–9).
among the nations,
but you are a monster in the seas;
you thrash about in your streams,
stir up the water with your feet,
and muddy your
The Hebrew reads “their streams”; the LXX reads “your streams.”
streams.
“‘This is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘I will throw my net over you
The expression “throw my net” is common in Ezekiel (12:13; 17:20; 19:8).
in the assembly of many peoples;
and they will haul you up in my dragnet.
I will leave you on the ground,
I will fling you on the open field,
I will allow
Or “cause.”
all the birds of the sky to settle
Heb “live.”
on you,
and I will permit
Or “cause.”
all the wild animals
Heb “the beasts of the field,” referring to wild as opposed to domesticated animals.
to gorge themselves on you.
I will put your flesh on the mountains,
and fill the valleys with your maggot-infested carcass.
The Hebrew text is difficult here, apparently meaning “your height.” Following Symmachus and the Syriac, it is preferable to emend the text to read “your maggots.” See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:203.

I will drench the land with the flow
of your blood up to the mountains,
and the ravines will be full of your blood.
Heb “from you.”

When I extinguish you, I will cover the sky;
I will darken its stars.
I will cover the sun with a cloud,
and the moon will not shine.
Heb “will not shine its light.” For similar features of cosmic eschatology, see Joel 2:10; 4:15; Amos 5:18–20; Zeph 1:5.

I will darken all the lights in the sky over you,
and I will darken your land,
declares the sovereign Lord.
I will disturb
Heb “I will provoke the heart of.”
many peoples,
when I bring about your destruction among the nations,
among countries you do not know.
10  I will shock many peoples with you,
and their kings will shiver with horror because of you.
When I brandish my sword before them,
every moment each one will tremble for his life, on the day of your fall.
11  “‘For this is what the sovereign Lord says:

“‘The sword of the king of Babylon
The king of Babylon referred to here was Nebuchadnezzar (Ezek 21:19).
will attack
Heb “approach.”
you.
12  By the swords of the mighty warriors I will cause your hordes to fall –
all of them are the most terrifying among the nations.
They will devastate the pride of Egypt,
and all its hordes will be destroyed.
13  I will destroy all its cattle beside the plentiful waters;
and no human foot will disturb
Heb “muddy.”
the waters
Heb “them,” that is, the waters mentioned in the previous line. The translation clarifies the referent.
again,
nor will the hooves of cattle disturb them.
14  Then I will make their waters calm,
Heb “sink,” that is, to settle and become clear, not muddied.

and will make their streams flow like olive oil, declares the sovereign Lord.
15  When I turn the land of Egypt into desolation
and the land is destitute of everything that fills it,
when I strike all those who live in it,
then they will know that I am the Lord.’
16  This is a lament; they will chant it.
The daughters of the nations will chant it.
They will chant it over Egypt and over all her hordes,
declares the sovereign Lord.”
17  In the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month,
March 17, 585 b.c. The LXX adds “first month.”
the word of the Lord came to me:
18 “Son of man, wail
The Hebrew verb is used as a response to death (Jer 9:17–19; Amos 5:16).
over the horde of Egypt. Bring it down;
Through this prophetic lament given by God himself, the prophet activates the judgment described therein. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:217, and L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:136–37.
bring
Heb “Bring him down, her and the daughters of the powerful nations, to the earth below.” The verb “bring down” appears in the Hebrew text only once. Because the verb takes several objects here, the repetition of the verb in the translation improves the English style.
her
This apparently refers to personified Egypt.
and the daughters of powerful nations down to the lower parts of the earth, along with those who descend to the pit.
19 Say to them,
The LXX places this verse after v. 21.
The words “say to them” are added in the translation for clarity to indicate the shift in addressee from the prophet to Egypt.
‘Whom do you surpass in beauty?
Heb “pleasantness.”
Go down and be laid to rest with the uncircumcised!’
20 They will fall among those killed by the sword. The sword is drawn; they carry her and all her hordes away. 21 The bravest of the warriors will speak to him from the midst of Sheol along with his allies, saying: ‘The uncircumcised have come down; they lie still, killed by the sword.’

22  “Assyria is there with all her assembly around her grave,
Heb “around him his graves.” The masculine pronominal suffixes are problematic; the expression is best emended to correspond to the phrase “around her grave” in v. 23. See D. I. Block, Ezekiel (NICOT), 2:219.
all of them struck down by the sword.
Heb “all of them slain, the ones felled by the sword.” See as well vv. 23–24.
23 Their
Heb “whose.”
graves are located in the remote slopes of the pit.
The only other occurrence of the phrase “remote slopes of the pit” is in Isa 14:15.
Her assembly is around her grave, all of them struck down by the sword, those who spread terror in the land of the living.

24  “Elam is there with all her hordes around her grave; all of them struck down by the sword. They went down uncircumcised to the lower parts of the earth, those who spread terror in the land of the living. Now they will bear their shame with those who descend to the pit. 25 Among the dead they have made a bed for her, along with all her hordes around her grave.
Heb “around him her graves,” but the expression is best emended to read “around her grave” (see vv. 23–24).
All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword, for their terror had spread in the land of the living. They bear their shame along with those who descend to the pit; they are placed among the dead.

26  “Meshech-Tubal is there, along with all her hordes around her grave.
Heb “around him her graves,” but the expression is best emended to read “around her grave” (see vv. 23–24).
All of them are uncircumcised, killed by the sword, for they spread their terror in the land of the living.
27 They do not lie with the fallen warriors of ancient times,
Heb “of the uncircumcised.” The LXX reads, probably correctly, “from of old” rather than “of the uncircumcised.” The phrases are very similar in spelling. The warriors of Meshech-Tubal are described as uncircumcised, so it would be odd for them to not be buried with the uncircumcised. Verse 28 specifically says that they would lie with the uncircumcised.
who went down to Sheol with their weapons of war, having their swords placed under their heads and their shields on their bones,
Heb “and their iniquities were over their bones.” The meaning of this statement is unclear; in light of the parallelism (see “swords”) it is preferable to emend “their iniquities” to “their swords.” See L. C. Allen, Ezekiel (WBC), 2:135.
when the terror of these warriors was in the land of the living.

28  “But as for you, in the midst of the uncircumcised you will be broken, and you will lie with those killed by the sword.

29  “Edom is there with her kings and all her princes. Despite their might they are laid with those killed by the sword; they lie with the uncircumcised and those who descend to the pit.

30  “All the leaders of the north are there, along with all the Sidonians; despite their might they have gone down in shameful terror with the dead. They lie uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, and bear their shame with those who descend to the pit.

31  “Pharaoh will see them and be consoled over all his hordes who were killed by the sword, Pharaoh and all his army, declares the sovereign Lord. 32 Indeed, I terrified him in the land of the living, yet he will lie in the midst of the uncircumcised with those killed by the sword, Pharaoh and all his hordes, declares the sovereign Lord.”

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