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make the rivers dry, that is, the Nile, on the overflowing of which their plenty and prosperity depended ; the river of which Pharaoh boasted, and in which he put his confidence, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked : and I will make the land
waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers : I the 13 Lord have spoken sit.] Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will
also destroy the idols, and I will cause (their) images to cease out of Noph, or Memphis ; idolatry was their principal sin, and this the chief seat of it ; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt, that is, a prince of the royal family ; it was ruled by foreigners ever after : and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt. And I will make Pathros, or Thebais, desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, or Tanis, the metropolis in the
time of Moses, and will execute judgments in No, or Thebes, 15 And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the same with Pelusium,
the strength of Egypt, or, as heathen writers call it, the key of 16 Egypt ; and I will cut off the multitude of No. And I will set
fire in Egypt : Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be 17 rent asunder, and Noph (shall have] distresses daily. The
young men of Aven, Heliopolis, and of Pibeseth, Bubastu, shall
fall by the sword : and these [cities) shall go into captivity. . 18 At Tehaphnehes, or Daphna Pelusiacæ, (where the propher
Jeremiah is said to have been put to death) also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt, their oppressive yokes upon their neighbours : and the pomp of her
strength shall cease in her : as for her, a cloud shall cover 19 her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. Thus will I
execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I [am]
the LORD. 30 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first
[month,] in the seventh [day] of the month, that is, four
months before the destruction of Jerusalem, [that] the word of 21 the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have broken
the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt, that is, I have determined
to do it ; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put 22 a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. There
fore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I [am] against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and
that which was broken ; and I will cause the sword to fall 23 out of his hand. And I will scatter the Egyptians among the 24 nations, and will disperse them through the countries. And
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
shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wound25 ed (man.) But I will strengthen the arms of the king of
Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down ; and they shall know that I [am] the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it
26 out upon the land of Egypt. And I will scatter the Egyp
tians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I (am) the LORD. Accordingly Nebuchadnezzar smote Pharaoh Necho's army in the fourth year of Jehoiachim, and took all that pertained to him, from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates. See 2 Kings xxiv. 7.
T HE great practical use of this chapter, is to learn from it
1 to entertain the highest ideas of the power and dominion of the great God; to reverence and adore his influence over the greatest men ; and the ease with which he uses them as his instruments, to bring about his own purposes. Egypt was the most ancient, potent, flourishing kingdom in the world ; and yet in what majestic language does God speak, of breaking it in pieces, and making it for the future base and contemptible ! He breaks the arms of one prince, and strengthens the arms of another, as he pleaseth : puts his sword into the hands of one prince, (what a sublime idea !) and cuts off the spirit of another. Who can stand before him when once he is angry? Who would not fear thee, O King of nations.
The prophet describes to Pharaoh the fall of the king of Nineveh,
and the destruction of Egypt, under the image of a fair cedar of Lebanon, once tall and majestic, but now cut down and withered.
1 A ND it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the
1 tbird [month,] that is, about a month before Jerusa. lem was destroyed, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the 2 word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak
unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, and to his multitude ; Whom
art thou like in thy greatness ? thou thinkest no prince equal 10 3 thyself, but Behold, the Assyrian (was) a cedar in Lebanon
with fair branches, and with a shadowing shroud, and of an high stature ; and his top was among the thick boughs ; it overtupped the most flourishing trees, it exceeded all other kingdoms. The waters made him great, the deep set him up on high with her rivers running round about his plants, and sent out all her little rivers unto all the trees of the field ; he had a wide dominion, great revenues, a large trade, and sent out colVol. VI.
- 5 onies to distant countries. Therefore his height was exalted
above all the trees of the field, and his boughs were multiplied,
and his branches became long because of the multitude of 6 waters, when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made
their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the field bring forth their young, and under his shad
ow dwelt all great nations ; they were either dependent upon 7 him, in alliance with him, or tributary to him. Thus was he
fair in his greatness, in the length of his branches : for his 8 root was by great waters. The cedars in the garden of God
could not hide him : the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chesnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree
in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty ; no 9 prince was like him for greatness, power, and magnificence. I
have made him fair by the multitude of his branches : so that
all the trees of Eden, that were] in the garden of God, all the 10 kings of the east, envied him. Therefore thus saith the Lord
God; Because thou hast lifted up thyself in height, and he
hath shot up his top among the thick boughs, and his heart is 11 lifted up in his height ; I have therefore delivered him into
the hand of the mighty one of the heathen; he shall surely
deal with him : I have driven him out for his wickedness. * 12 And strangers, the terrible of the nations, have cut him off,
and have left him : upon the mountains and in all the vallies his branches are fallen, and his boughs are broken by all the rivers of the land ; and all the people of the earth are gone down from his shadow, and have left him like a tree cut down
and withered ; his provinces shall be taken away, and those un. 13 der his protection removed. Upon his ruin shall all the fowls
of the heaven remain, and all the beasts of the field shall be
upon his branches, shall browze upon them and destroy them. 14 To the end that none of all the trees by the waters exalt them
selves for their height, neither shoot up their top among the thick boughs, neither their trees stand up in their height, all that drink water ; or rather, nor any trees that drink water ; the design of all was, that nations might take warning, and kings not be proud, even those that were most powerful and glorious, for they are all delivered unto death, to the nether parts of the earth, in the midst of the children of men, with them that go down to the pit ; death hath levelled and equalled them all.
The following verses are an elegant description of the terror that 15 seized the king of Assyria's allies in the day of his fall. Thus
saith the Lord God; In the day when he went down to the grave, I caused a mourning ; I covered the deep for him,
• Cyaxares, king of Media, and Nalopollassar, king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar's father, took Nineveh, and destroyed the Assyrian empire about i wenty three years before this, and so fulfilled the prophecy of Nahum and Zephaniah.
and I restrained the floods thereof, and the great waters were stayed ; the waters stopped their course to lament his calamiiy : and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him ; there was a general mourning for the
fall of so great a monarch, 80 powerful an empire; and a gener. 16 al cessation of trade and navigation. I made the nations to
shake at the sound of his fall, when I cast him down to hell with them that descend into the pit : and all the trees of Eden, the choice and best of Lebanon, all the trees that drink water, shall be comforted in the nether parts of the earth ; other
princes over whom he had triumphed, seeing that he is brought 17 as low as they, shall be comforted. See Isaiah xiv. 8-10. They
also went down into hell with him unto [them that be] slain with the sword ; and (they that were] his arm, his strength and his allies, (that) dwelt under his shadow in the midst of
the heathen. 18 To whom art thou, O king of Egypt, thus like in glory and
in greatness among the trees of Eden ? yet shalt thou be brought down with the trees of Eden unto the nether parts of the earth : thou shalt lie in the midst of the uncircumcised, shalt die a shameful and accursed death, with (them that bel slain by the sword. This (is) Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord God; this is an exact representation of their destruction,
1. CEE how dangerous and precarious earthly greatness is.
w It is dangerous, because it is apt to lift up the hearts of men ; their minds rise with their condition ; they compare themselves with others, and are ready to despise and oppress all their inferiors. But would they consider that it is God who makes them fair and great, that if they abuse their wealth and power, he can easily, and will certainly, pull them and all their multitude down : it might prevent their being proud and high minded. When they fall, many fall with them : their flatterers and attendants leave them; and they generally fall unlamented. Let us not envy their condition ; but make the shad. ow of the Almighty our confidence, and then we shall dwell safely.
2. The fall of others should be a warning to us, v. 14. that we do not trust in uncertain riches, or showy splendor. If all the advantages of a flourishing trade and a good fortune, are lost by vice and imprudence, it should teach us to guide our affairs with discretion ; not to seck great things ; but diligently and con, tentedly to pursue our proper business, and humbly wait upon God for his blessing. The death of others should be a warning
to us. The great and the good die like other men ; and lie down alike in the dust. Let the thought quicken us to be always ready, since we know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of man cometh.
1 A ND it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth
(1 month, in the first [day] of the month, [that] the word 2 of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, take up a
lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou (art) as a whale in the seas, or rather, a crocodile, for a whale has no feet: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the wa. ters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers ; hast troubled thy own and the neighbouring nations. Thus saith the Lord God ; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people ; and they shall bring thee up in my net,
which is large enough to enclose thee, and strong enough to se. my cure thee. Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast
thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of
the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of 5 the whole earth with thee. And I will lay thy flesh, that is,
the flesh of thy soldiers that shall be slain, upon the mountains,
and fill the vallies with thy height, with thy large armies, 6 whereof thou didst boast. I will also water with thy blood,
with the blood of thy forces, the land wherein thou swimmest,
[even] to the mountains ; and the rivers shall be full of thee. 7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and
make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, 8 and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights
of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon
thy land, saith the Lord God; figurative expressions, denoting 9 the confusion and ruin of the nation. I will also vex the hearts
of many people, of those nations that are in alliance with thee, and in dependence upon thee, when I shall bring thy destruction,
such a destruction as hath befallen thee among the nations, into 10 the countries which thou hast not known. Yea, I will make
many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, those who admired thy grandeur and power shall be amazed when I shall brandish my sword before them ; and they shall tremble at (every) moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall; for who can think himself secure when Egypt is fallen?