Eze 32:1-32. Two Elegies
over Pharaoh, One Delivered on the First Day (Eze 32:1), THE Other on
the Fifteenth Day of the Same Month, the Twelfth of the Twelfth
1. The twelfth year from the carrying away of
Jehoiachin; Jerusalem was by this time overthrown, and Amasis was
beginning his revolt against Pharaoh-hophra.
2. Pharaoh—"Phra" in Burmah, signifies
the king, high priest, and idol.
whale—rather, any monster of the
waters; here, the crocodile of the Nile. Pharaoh is as a lion on dry
land, a crocodile in the waters; that is, an object of terror
camest forth with thy rivers—"breakest
forth" [Fairbairn]. The antithesis of
"seas" and "rivers" favors Grotius
rendering, "Thou camest forth from the sea into the rivers";
that is, from thy own empire into other states. However, English
Version is favored by the "thy": thou camest forth with thy
rivers (that is, with thy forces) and with thy feet didst fall
irrecoverably; so Israel, once desolate, troubles the waters (that is,
3. with a company of many people—namely,
the Chaldeans (Eze 29:3, 4; Ho 7:12).
my net—for they are My instrument.
4. leave thee upon the land—as a fish
drawn out of the water loses all its strength, so Pharaoh (in Eze 32:3, compared to a water monster)
shall be (Eze 29:5).
5. thy height—thy hugeness [Fairbairn]. The great heap of corpses of thy forces,
on which thou pridest thyself. "Height" may refer to mental
elevation, as well as bodily [Vatablus].
6. land wherein thou swimmest—Egypt: the
land watered by the Nile, the the source of its fertility, wherein thou
swimmest (carrying on the image of the crocodile, that is, wherein thou
dost exercise thy wanton power at will). Irony. The land shall still
afford seas to swim in, but they shall be seas of blood. Alluding to
the plague (Ex 7:19; Re 8:8). Havernick translates, "I will water the land with
what flows from thee, even thy blood, reaching to the
mountains": "with thy blood overflowing even to the mountains."
Perhaps this is better.
7. put thee out—extinguish thy light
18:5). Pharaoh is represented
as a bright star, at the extinguishing of whose light in the political
sky the whole heavenly host is shrouded in sympathetic darkness. Here,
too, as in Eze 32:6,
there is an allusion to the supernatural darkness sent formerly (Ex
10:21-23). The heavenly
bodies are often made images of earthly dynasties (Isa 13:10; Mt
9. thy destruction—that is, tidings of
thy destruction (literally, "thy breakage") carried by captive and
dispersed Egyptians "among the nations" [Grotius]; or, thy broken people, resembling
one great fracture, the ruins of what they had been [Fairbairn].
10. brandish my sword before
them—literally, "in their faces," or sight.
13. (See on Eze
29:11). The picture is ideally true, not to be interpreted by the
letter. The political ascendency of Egypt was to cease with the
Chaldean conquest [Fairbairn].
Henceforth Pharaoh must figuratively no longer trouble the waters by
man or beast, that is, no longer was he to flood other peoples with
his overwhelming forces.
14. make their waters deep—rather, "make
… to subside"; literally, "sink" [Fairbairn].
like oil—emblem of quietness.
No longer shall they descend violently on other countries as the
overflowing Nile, but shall be still and sluggish in political
16. As in Eze 19:14. This is a prophetical lamentation; yet
so it shall come to pass [Grotius].
17. The second lamentation for Pharaoh. This
funeral dirge in imagination accompanies him to the unseen world. Egypt
personified in its political head is ideally represented as undergoing
the change by death to which man is liable. Expressing that Egypt's
supremacy is no more, a thing of the past, never to be again.
the month—the twelfth month (Eze 32:1); fourteen days after the former
18. cast them down—that is, predict that
they shall be cast down (so Jer 1:10). The prophet's word was God's, and
carried with it its own fulfilment.
daughters of … nations—that is,
the nations with their peoples. Egypt is to share the fate of other
ancient nations once famous, now consigned to oblivion: Elam (Eze 32:24), Meshech, &c. (Eze 32:26), Edom (Eze 32:29), Zidon (Eze 32:30).
19. Whom dost thou pass in
beauty?—Beautiful as thou art, thou art not more so than
other nations, which nevertheless have perished.
go down, &c.—to the nether world,
where all "beauty" is speedily marred.
20. she is delivered to the
sword—namely, by God.
draw her—as if addressing her
executioners: drag her forth to death.
21. (Eze 31:16). Ezekiel has before his eyes Isa 14:9, &c.
shall speak to him—with "him" join
"with them that help him"; shall speak to him and his helpers
with a taunting welcome, as now one of themselves.
22. her … his—The abrupt change of
gender is, because Ezekiel has in view at one time the kingdom
(feminine), at another the monarch. "Asshur," or Assyria, is
placed first in punishment, as being first in guilt.
23. in the sides of the pit—Sepulchres
in the East were caves hollowed out of the rock, and the bodies were
laid in niches formed at the sides. Maurer needlessly departs from the ordinary meaning,
and translates, "extremities" (compare Isa 14:13, 15).
which caused terror—They, who alive
were a terror to others, are now, in the nether world, themselves a
terrible object to behold.
24. Elam—placed next, as having been an
auxiliary to Assyria. Its territory lay in Persia. In Abraham's time an
independent kingdom (Ge 14:1).
Famous for its bowmen (Isa 22:6).
borne their shame—the just retribution
of their lawless pride. Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Jer
25. a bed—a sepulchral niche.
all … slain by … sword,
&c.—(Eze 32:21, 23, 24). The very monotony of the phraseology
gives to the dirge an awe-inspiring effect.
26. Meshech, Tubal—northern nations: the
Moschi and Tibareni, between the Black and Caspian Seas. Herodotus [3.94], mentions them as a subjugated
people, tributaries to Darius Hystaspes (see Eze 27:13).
27. they shall not lie with the
mighty—that is, they shall not have separate tombs such as
mighty conquerors have: but shall all be heaped together in one pit, as
is the case with the vanquished [Grotius]. Havernick
reads it interrogatively, "Shall they not lie with the mighty that are
fallen?" But English Version is supported by the parallel (Isa 14:18,
19), to which Ezekiel refers,
and which represents them as not lying as mighty kings lie in a
grave, but cast out of one, as a carcass trodden under foot.
with … weapons of war—alluding
to the custom of burying warriors with their arms (1 Maccabees
13:29). Though honored by the laying of "their swords under their
heads," yet the punishment of "their iniquities shall be upon their
bones." Their swords shall thus attest their shame, not their glory
26:52), being the instruments
of their violence, the penalty of which they are paying.
28. Yea, thou—Thou, too, Egypt, like
them, shalt lie as one vanquished.
29. princes—Edom was not only governed
by kings, but by subordinate "princes" or "dukes" (Ge 36:40).
with their might—notwithstanding their
might, they shall be brought down (Isa 34:5, 10-17; Jer
lie with the uncircumcised—Though Edom
was circumcised, being descended from Isaac, he shall lie with the
uncircumcised; much more shall Egypt, who had no hereditary right to
30. princes of the north—Syria, which is
still called by the Arabs the north; or the Tyrians, north of
Palestine, conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (Eze 26:1-28:26), [Grotius].
Zidonians—who shared the fate of Tyre
with their terror they are ashamed of their
might—that is, notwithstanding the terror which they inspired
in their contemporaries. "Might" is connected by Maurer thus, "Notwithstanding the terror which
resulted from their might."
31. comforted—with the melancholy
satisfaction of not being alone, but of having other kingdoms
companions in his downfall. This shall be his only comfort—a very
32. my terror—the Margin or
Keri. The Hebrew text or Chetib is "his
terror," which gives good sense (Eze 32:25, 30). "My terror" implies that God
puts His terror on Pharaoh's multitude, as they put "their
terror" on others, for example, under Pharaoh-necho on Judea. As "the
land of the living" was the scene of "their terror," so it shall be
God's; especially in Judea, He will display His glory to the terror of
Israel's foes (Eze 26:20).
In Israel's case the judgment is temporary, ending in their future
restoration under Messiah. In the case of the world kingdoms which
flourished for a time, they fall to rise no more.