A Prophetic Vision of God’s Judgment on Egypt – Commentary on Ezekiel Chapter 30


Ezekiel chapter 30 contains a prophetic oracle declaring God’s coming judgment on Egypt and her allies. This revelation came to the prophet Ezekiel around the year 587 BC, during the time when the people of Judah were exiled in Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.

Ezekiel ministered mainly to the Jewish exiles, repeatedly warning them of Jerusalem’s impending doom because of rampant idolatry and social injustice. Now that his prophecies have come true, Ezekiel turns his attention to pronouncing judgments on some of Judah’s pagan neighbors who either participated in or gloated over Jerusalem’s downfall.

In this prophetic word, the Lord declares through Ezekiel that He will directly intervene to punish Egypt for her pride and cruelty against His people. Although Egypt had been a powerful kingdom, the sovereign God will bring her down and reduce her to a lowly state. Her wealth will be plundered, power broken, and people scattered.

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The fulfillment of this prophecy began under the Babylonian rule of Nebuchadnezzar, continued through the Persian and Greek empires, and was completed when Egypt became a Roman province in 30 BC. God’s word through Ezekiel vividly illustrates how the almighty Creator actively oversees the rise and fall of earthly kingdoms according to His perfect will.

Key Takeaways from Ezekiel Chapter 30

  • God pronounces imminent judgment on Egypt for her pride and mistreatment of God’s people. Despite her power and status, Egypt will fall under God’s righteous anger (Ezekiel 30:1-5).
  • Egypt’s wealth will be plundered, her idols destroyed, and people killed or exiled throughout the land. Great sorrow and anguish will grip the nation (Ezekiel 30:6-10).
  • God will directly intervene through the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to punish Egypt as a hired conqueror. This foreign army will loot Egypt’s riches and demolish her idols (Ezekiel 30:10-13).
  • God will also shatter Egypt’s political power and military might. There will be no city or kingdom left standing after His judgment sweeps through the land (Ezekiel 30:14-19).
  • God will break the power of Pharaoh, Egypt’s mighty king, and strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king against her. Egypt’s downfall serves God’s plans to show His people His sovereignty (Ezekiel 30:20-26).
  • Though other nations like Cush, Put, and Libya had aligned with Egypt, they too will fall by the Babylonians’ sword according to God’s decree (Ezekiel 30:1-5).
  • The day of God’s judgment on Egypt is called “a day of clouds” signifying gloom, darkness, and disaster. But ultimately, God will use it to demonstrate His supremacy over all nations (Ezekiel 30:1-3).
  • God’s judgment on Egypt serves as a warning to all proud, arrogant nations that oppose God and mistreat His people. No one can escape the Creator’s righteous wrath (Ezekiel 30:8-9).
A Prophetic Vision of God's Judgment on Egypt - Commentary on Ezekiel Chapter 30

Detailed Commentary on Ezekiel Chapter 30

1. God Declares Imminent Judgment on Egypt (Ezekiel 30:1-5)

The word of the Lord came to me again, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Wail, ‘Woe to the day!’
For the day is near, Even the day of the Lord is near; It will be a day of clouds, the time of the Gentiles.
4 The sword shall come upon Egypt, And great anguish shall be in Ethiopia, When the slain fall in Egypt, And they take away her wealth, And her foundations are broken down.

“Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all the mingled people, Chub, and the men of the lands who are allied, shall fall with them by the sword.” (Ezekiel 30:1-5 NKJV)

At the outset of this chapter, Ezekiel delivers God’s urgent warning of imminent judgment on Egypt. Though Egypt was a great regional power, the Sovereign Lord declares that her downfall and devastation are near.

God commands Ezekiel to raise a lament and pronounce “woe” upon Egypt because the fearsome “day of the Lord” draws close (v.2-3). This day of reckoning when God directly intervenes in judgment is pictured as “a day of clouds” signifying gloom, darkness, and disaster (v.3).

The ominous prophecy is that the deadly sword will soon strike Egypt, causing immense anguish and loss of life (v.4). Not only will Egypt’s wealth be plundered and foundations shattered, but her allies like Cush (Ethiopia), Put (Libya), Lud (Lydia), and Arabia will also fall by the sword (v.5).

This opening section makes it clear that Egypt’s judgment is inescapable, despite her power and defenses. When God’s appointed time arrives, even great nations are helpless before His sovereign wrath.

2. God Decrees Devastation on Egypt and Her Idols (Ezekiel 30:6-12)

‘Thus says the Lord:
“Those who uphold Egypt shall fall, And the pride of her power shall come down. From Migdol to Syene Those within her shall fall by the sword,” Says the Lord God.
7 “They shall be desolate in the midst of the desolate countries, And her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are laid waste.
8 Then they will know that I am the Lord, When I have set a fire in Egypt And all her helpers are destroyed.
9 On that day messengers shall go forth from Me in ships To make the careless Ethiopians afraid, And great anguish shall come upon them, As on the day of Egypt; For indeed it is coming!”

10 ‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also make a multitude of Egypt to cease By the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.
11 He and his people with him, the most terrible of the nations, Shall be brought to destroy the land; They shall draw their swords against Egypt, And fill the land with the slain.
12 I will make the rivers dry, And sell the land into the hand of the wicked; I will make the land waste, and all that is in it, By the hand of aliens. I, the Lord, have spoken.” (Ezekiel 30:6-12 NKJV)

Here God details the extent of judgment and devastation that awaits Egypt at His hand. Both Egypt’s military defenders and the pride of her power will collapse before the divine onslaught (v.6). Slaughter by the sword will occur from northern city Migdol to southern Syene with no part of Egypt left unscathed (v.6).

Egypt’s cities and lands will become utterly desolate, just like other devastated nations around her (v.7). These calamities will demonstrate that the Lord is the one true God as Egypt’s helpers are destroyed (v.8). Even prideful allies like Ethiopia will cower in fear and anguish when God’s wrath extends to them (v.9).

At the heart of this prophecy is God’s declaration that He will appoint King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon – called “the most terrible of nations” – as His instrument of destruction against Egypt (v.10-11). The Babylonians will loot, plunder, and raze Egyptian cities leaving corpses filling the land (v.11-12).

This section reveals how the omnipotent God can harness any person or nation, even a pagan ruler like Nebuchadnezzar, to accomplish His sovereign purposes and punish evildoers.

3. God Decrees the Destruction of Egypt’s Idols and Sources of Pride (Ezekiel 30:13)

‘Thus says the Lord God: “I will also destroy the idols, And cause the images to cease from Noph; There shall no longer be princes from the land of Egypt; I will put fear in the land of Egypt. (Ezekiel 30:13 NKJV)

Here God specifically declares the destruction of the countless idols and objects of worship that flooded Egyptian cities like Memphis (Noph). Since these idols represent false gods, the Lord will utterly demolish them to display His sole deity.

Not only will the idols perish, but God also promises to remove Egypt’s governing officials and nobility whose power made the nation proud (v.13b). The divine judgment will shatter both the spiritual and political foundations on which Egypt’s sense of security rested.

By wiping out these two pillars of national stability – idols and leaders – holy God will bring the fearsomeness of His wrath upon Egypt so the people may know He alone rules over all.

4. God Decrees the End of Egypt’s Political Power and Prominence (Ezekiel 30:14-19)

I will make Pathros desolate, Set fire to Zoan, And execute judgments in No.
15 I will pour My fury on Sin, the strength of Egypt; I will cut off the multitude of No,
16 And set a fire in Egypt; Sin shall have great pain, No shall be split open, And Noph shall be in distress daily.
17 The young men of Aven and Pi Beseth shall fall by the sword, And these cities shall go into captivity.
18 At Tehaphnehes the day shall also be darkened, When I break the yokes of Egypt there. And her arrogant strength shall cease in her; As for her, a cloud shall cover her, And her daughters shall go into captivity.
19 Thus I will execute judgments on Egypt, Then they shall know that I am the Lord.”’” (Ezekiel 30:14-19 NKJV)

In this section, God decrees the end of Egypt’s political power by destroying key cities and sources of national pride. He will pour out fury and execute vengeance on important centers like Pathros, Zoan, No, Sin, Aven, Pi Beseth, and Tehaphnehes (v.14-18a).

These cities represent Egypt’s strength, stability, and arrogance which will be shattered by God’s judgment. Sources of pride like Memphis (Noph) will endure great pain, and ruling powers overthrown (v.15-16). Young soldiers vital for national defense will be slaughtered by the sword (v.17).

Egypt’s arrogant confidence will cease as God’s dark judgment cloud covers the land. Even the succeeding generation (daughters) will go into humiliating exile rather than continue Egypt’s prosperity (v.18b).

The widespread devastation will teach the Egyptians that the Lord is the one true God who reigns over all nations and brings down the proud (v.19). This reveals God’s sovereignty in controlling the destiny of nations according to His perfect plan.

5. God Decrees the Downfall of Powerful Pharaoh and Strengthening of Babylon (Ezekiel 30:20-26)

And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, on the seventh day of the month, that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and see, it has not been bandaged for healing, nor a splint put on to bind it, to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Surely I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, both the strong one and the one that was broken; and I will make the sword fall out of his hand. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them throughout the countries. 24 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. 25 Thus I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, but the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; they shall know that I am the Lord, when I put My sword into the hand of the king of Babylon and he stretches it out against the land of Egypt. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.’” (Ezekiel 30:20-26 NKJV)

The final section reveals how God will specifically humiliate Egypt’s mighty king (Pharaoh) while strengthening Babylon’s king as part of His judgment. Pharaoh’s arms symbolize his military power which God declares He has already broken and left disabled before Babylon (v.21-22).

To complete Egypt’s humiliation, God will scatter the people into exile and place His sword into Nebuchadnezzar’s hand (v.23-24). Pharaoh will groan like a dying man before Babylon’s empowered might which serves God’s aims (v.24).

Strengthening Babylon while breaking Egypt makes God’s sovereign control vividly clear to all nations. It serves His greater purpose to defend His name and people while punishing the arrogant. In the end, Egypt will know the Lord is supreme over all rulers and nations (v.25-26).


Ezekiel 30 contains an authoritative divine prophecy declaring God’s impending judgment on Egypt and her allies because of their pride and cruelty against His people.

Despite Egypt’s power and prestige, God decrees that He will directly intervene to devastate her cities, wreck her economy, destroy her idols, remove her leaders, humble her king, and scatter her people.

This revelation serves as a warning that no nation, no matter how strong, is beyond the reach of God’s righteous anger against arrogance and injustice. Ultimately, the sovereign Lord of all rules over every earthly power and orchestrates their rise and fall to fulfill His divine purposes.

As we reflect on Ezekiel’s prophecy, may we humbly walk with the Lord, showing love, justice and mercy. Let us worship God alone, place no hope in idols, and find our true identity and security in Christ.

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