-The front end of this chapter predates the material in chapter 28 by a little bit as Ezekiel gets a word from the LORD to speak over the coming doom and destruction of Egypt and its Pharaoh, which would occur during the time of Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. Egypt had trusted in her position of power, wealth, and natural resources. Egypt thought that the Nile was her’s and not God’s, made by her own power (Ezekiel 29:3, 9). Therefore, the LORD will lay them waste as a kingdom putting hooks in their jaws (cultural term for conquest), bringing them out of their country, abandoning them to the desert wilderness, and making them fall in the open field with a violent scattering (Ezekiel 29:4-5). This will be done for the purpose of God becoming KNOWN as LORD by the inhabitants of Egypt (Ezekiel 29:6, 9). God was upset with them for not keeping their commitments to His people in Israel and running away in expediency when times got tough from their neighbor to the north (Ezekiel 29:6-7). Therefore, the LORD will cause the sword of the enemy come upon them leaving them weak, desolated, and wasted. For 40 years they would languish among the nations in a dispersion, and then they were prophesied over that they would never again rise to prominence among the nations. They would be a lowly kingdom, and never again would they be the confidence of Israel so that all would KNOW that the LORD is God (Ezekiel 29:8-16).
-Further, and a very distant time into the future of some 17 years, God speaks again concerning Egypt through Ezekiel in Babylon. This word had to do with the Father’s blessing upon Nebuchadnezzar to gain wealth and wages for his army in Egypt. Whereas he not become rich by his conquest of Tyre by this time, he would profit greatly from his invasion and conquest of Egypt. Babylon would “carry off wealth, capture her spoil, and seize her plunder.” This army had acted for God in their domination and fulfilled His prophetic word (Ezekiel 29:17-20).
-The final sentence gives us important prophecy, “On that day I will make a Horn sprout for the house of Israel, and I will open your mouth (literally- nathan pithchown peh “give you an opening of the mouth,” i.e. astonishment) in their midst. Then they will KNOW (emphasis mine) that I am the LORD (Ezekiel 29:21).” This is more than likely a Messianic note of future hope for Israel and a call to receive His redemption for the people of Egypt.
-*Application* Pride is again a real problem in our coming to the LORD. We must admit that He is the ruler of all, He is the one who gives us our abilities and resources, and He is the one who ordains the opportunities for greatness. Instead of claiming our own prominence like the Egyptians had done, we need to acknowledge where the true credit belongs in our accomplishments, which is God’s grace and power. All glory goes to Him. There is also a hint of steadfastness in this passage to which we should pay attention. Egypt had run out on their commitments when things went south. We need to stick to our allies through thick and thin being faithful all the way.
Verse to Memorize: Ezekiel 29:16