December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 On the twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year, 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 Say this to him: Thus says the Lord GOD: See! I am coming at you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, Great crouching monster amidst your Niles: Who say, "The Niles are mine; it is I who made them!"
- I will put hooks in your jaws and make the fish of your Niles stick to your scales, then draw you up from the midst of your Niles along with all the fish of your Niles sticking to your scales.
- I will cast you into the desert, you and all the fish of your Niles; You shall fall upon the open field, you shall not be taken up or buried; To the beasts of the earth and the birds of the air I give you as food,
- That all who dwell in Egypt may know that I am the LORD. Because you have been a reed staff for the house of Israel:
- When they held you in hand, you splintered, throwing every shoulder out of joint; When they leaned on you, you broke, bringing each one of them down headlong;
- therefore thus says the Lord GOD: See! I will bring the sword against you, and cut off from you both man and beast.
- The land of Egypt shall become a desolate waste; thus they shall know that I am the LORD. Because you said, "The Niles are mine; it is I who made them,"
- 4 therefore see! I am coming at you and against your Niles; I will make the land of Egypt a waste and a desolation from Migdol to Syene, and even to the frontier of Ethiopia.
- No foot of man or beast shall pass through it; they shall not pass through it, and it will be uninhabited for forty years.
- I will make the land of Egypt the most desolate of lands, and its cities shall be the most deserted of cities for forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and strew them over foreign lands.
- Yet thus says the Lord GOD: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they are scattered,
- 5 and I will restore Egypt's fortune, bringing them back to the land of Pathros, the land of their origin, where it will be the lowliest
- of kingdoms, never more to set itself above the nations. I will make them few, that they may not dominate the nations.
- No longer shall they be for the house of Israel to trust in, but the living reminder of its guilt for having turned to follow after them. Thus they shall know that I am the LORD.
- 6 On the first day of the first month in the twenty-seventh year, the word of the LORD came to me:
- 7 Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, has led his army in an exhausting campaign against Tyre. Their heads became bald and their shoulders were galled; but neither he nor his army received any wages from Tyre for the campaign he led against it.
- Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: I am now giving the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. He shall carry off its riches, plundering and pillaging it for the wages of his soldiers, who did it for me;
- as payment for his toil I have given him the land of Egypt, says the Lord GOD.
- On that day I will make a horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will cause you to speak out in their midst; thus they shall know that I am the LORD.
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1  The twelfth day of the tenth month in the tenth year: January 7, 587 B.C. The siege of Jerusalem had begun a year earlier; cf Ezekiel 24:1.
2  Egypt was allied with Judah against the Chaldeans.
3  Niles: the many rivulets of the Nile as it branches out into the Delta.
4  From Migdol to Syene: from the northern to the southern extremity of Egypt. Syene is the modern Assuan.
5  Pathros, the land of their origin: upper Egypt, that is, southern Egypt, where the Egyptians were thought to have originated; Isaiah 11:11; Jeremiah 44:1, 15.
6  The first day of the first month in the twenty-seventh year: April 26, 571 B.C. This is the latest date attached to any prophecy in Ezekiel.
7 [18-19] The fulfillment of Ezekiel's prophecy against Tyre (Ezekial 26-28) was a thirteen-year siege of the city by Nebuchadnezzar (587-574 B.C.). Tyre seems to have been taken, but its resources were exhausted and the booty was small. Therefore Ezekiel now prophesies that Nebuchadnezzar will collect his wages as God's instrument in the punishment of Tyre, by plundering Egypt.
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