A prophecy against Egypt
Judgment on Pharaoh1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month on the twelfth day, the word of the Lord came to me: 2 ‘Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak to him and say: “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘“I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt,
you great monster lying among your streams.
You say, ‘The Nile belongs to me;
I made it for myself.’
4 But I will put hooks in your jaws
and make the fish of your streams stick to your scales.
I will pull you out from among your streams,
with all the fish sticking to your scales.
5 I will leave you in the desert,
you and all the fish of your streams.
You will fall on the open field
and not be gathered or picked up.
I will give you as food
to the beasts of the earth and the birds of the sky.
6 Then all who live in Egypt will know that I am the Lord. ‘“You have been a staff of reed for the people of Israel. 7 When they grasped you with their hands, you splintered and you tore open their shoulders; when they leaned on you, you broke and their backs were wrenched. ▼
▼ Syriac (see also Septuagint and Vulgate); Hebrew and you caused their backs to stand8 ‘“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will bring a sword against you and kill both man and beast. 9 Egypt will become a desolate wasteland. Then they will know that I am the Lord. ‘“Because you said, ‘The Nile is mine; I made it,’ 10 therefore I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. ▼
▼ That is, the upper Nile region11 The foot of neither man nor beast will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. 12 I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate for forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries. 13 ‘“Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: at the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered. 14 I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt, the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly kingdom. 15 It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations. 16 Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”’
Nebuchadnezzar’s reward17 In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month on the first day, the word of the Lord came to me: 18 ‘Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon drove his army in a hard campaign against Tyre; every head was rubbed bare and every shoulder made raw. Yet he and his army got no reward from the campaign he led against Tyre. 19 Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to give Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he will carry off its wealth. He will loot and plunder the land as pay for his army. 20 I have given him Egypt as a reward for his efforts because he and his army did it for me, declares the Sovereign Lord. 21 ‘On that day I will make a horn ▼
▼ Horn here symbolises strength.grow for the Israelites, and I will open your mouth among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’
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