Talks for Growing Christians
God’s Judgment against Egypt’s Allies
Lesson Number 31
- Egypt was defeated when the Lord strengthened the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
- Egypt was defeated when the Lord broke the arms of Pharaoh.
- Think through your alliances!
- Here in chapter 30 are 2 more (7 total) of the prophetic oracles of judgment against Egypt. All 7 of the oracles are dated precisely except the oracle in verses 1-19 of this chapter. Explain why this oracle is thought to be the last one written.
- Normally in the writings of the prophets, the phrase “the day of the Lord” refers to the eschatological “day” in the future when the Lord returns in judgment. Here in the context of this chapter, however, it has a different meaning. Explain the meaning here.
- In earlier chapters, it was clear that God pronounced judgment against Egypt because of her pride and her failure to come to the rescue of Judah when the Babylonians were besieging Jerusalem. Here, another reason for God’s judgment is given (v 13). What was this reason and what were some of the specific results of God’s judgment that would come to pass (vs 10-19)?
- Why were many of the countries around Egypt brought under God’s judgment (vs 3-9)?
- In His proclamation against Pharaoh, God said He would “break both of the arms” of Pharaoh. This highly figurative language of the breaking of Pharaoh’s arms most likely refers to what historical battles or invasions?
- The oracle here in verses 1-19 may have been the last oracle written, because it includes what may be a reference to the Jewish people being in Egypt, “and the men of the lands who are allied” (v 5). This phrase could be translated “people of the covenant land,” that is, the Jews. If this is the case, these Jews would be those who came to Egypt with Jeremiah after the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians in 586 BC.
- The phrase “the day of the Lord” in verse 3 is speaking in the historical context of the judgment of God about to fall upon Egypt at the hands of the Babylonians. This judgment would come within a few years of when Ezekiel gave this prophecy. In the broader context, the “day of the Lord” could be defined as any time the Lord intervenes in the affairs of nations for judgment or for blessing.
- The additional reason for God’s judgment against Egypt given here in chapter 30 was their worship of idols (idolatry), and God was to expose these idol-gods of Egypt as false gods. Many of the cities of upper and lower Egypt that were religious centers would be put to the sword and burned (vs 13-19).
- The countries around Egypt who shared in God’s judgment had allied themselves with Egypt (vs 4, 5), and had upheld and helped Egypt (vs 6, 8) in her sinful ways.
- The “breaking of the first arm” of Pharaoh may have taken place as early as 605 BC when Egypt was defeated at the historical battle of Carchemish, or it may have been Pharaoh Hophra’s more recent unsuccessful advance against the Babylonians who were surrounding Jerusalem. This encounter is detailed in Jeremiah, chapter 37. The “breaking of the second arm of Pharaoh” would come in about 569 BC when Nebuchadnezzar invaded and conquered Egypt.
- Discuss the military and/or economic alliances of nations in the world today, such as the European Union, the United Nations, NATO, and others. Would you consider that any of the nations within these alliances could likely come under God’s judgment in the future
- Make a list of those individuals, groups and organizations which you have joined or with whom you’ve made some kind of alliance. Examine them as to their loyalties, agendas, values and priorities. Be certain they are not contradictory to the admonitions of God’s Word.
- “I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon and put my sword in his hand; but I will break Pharaoh’s arms, and he will groan before him with the groanings of a mortally wounded man.” Ezekiel 30: 24