Has anyone ever asked you, "How do you know that the Bible is true and that it is the Word of God?" Most Christians will answer something to the effect that you just have to have faith and be a believer. But our Father does not want His watchmen, His servants, to give people, especially the non-believer, weak, empty answers like that!
Remember, the very name EZEK-I-EL means "God is my strength" or "Whom God strengthens" and the Lord GOD, Adonai Yahveh, had this Book of Ezekiel written specifically to His watchmen of a certain generation, the generation that would come and serve Him (Ps. 22:30) who would understand exactly what is was that Ezekiel saw coming towards him from out of the north in the very first chapter! And it is those of the Baby Boomer generation who do know and understand exactly what it was he saw. (Refer to the Ezekiel chapter 1 studies if you don't know. It is located at Live Link to->> #8001. So how was it that God caused Ezekiel to be "strengthened", i.e. a strong servant? He caused Him to read and understand the Word of God!
Remember those briers and thorns of Zidon? They can't harm those with the Gospel Armor on (Eph. 6).Ezekiel 2:6
And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Our people are rebellious because they do not study His Word (next verse). And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
If you don't want to be rebellious then open your mouth and begin to eat what God gives you, not what man gives you through his polluted church traditions handed down from our fathers. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
Well lookie there! The food is in the book. The Bible IS the table of the Lord. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
We have been reading quite a few lamentations and woes (judgments) about nations and people in this book of Ezekiel, haven't we? They are placed there to strengthen us. And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
Again, how was it that God caused Ezekiel to be "strengthened"? He caused Him to read and understand the Word of God!Ezekiel 3:1
Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel.
And when we understand that Word of God our faith is greatly increased, because that's how a person acquires faith. So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that roll.
This is very important because God has repeatedly told Ezekiel to speak in the manner of "Thus saith the Lord God". We are to speak boldly and with authority, His authority which comes from His Word (that's strength). So our answers to questions people ask us about God and the Bible should be directly from His Word (Thus saith the Lord God) as much as possible. Christ set the example when He was asked questions. He would often say "It is written" or "Haven't you read?"Romans 10:17
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
That brings us to this study in which we are going to see judgment placed on the nation of Egypt. Some might wonder why it is that our Father is telling us all of this in the book of strengthening, Ezekiel. Can it be more obvious? It is to strengthen us. A watchmen just can't help notice how amazing these prophetic judgments are, in that they are very specific to the nations. We read them and then look at the nations and the cities today and we find that what has happened to them is EXACTLY what is written here in God's Word 2500 years ago. That surely does gives strength to a watchmen!
God had recorded at the height of Tyrus' mighty stronghold that He would destroy that city and more specifically that it would cease to exist and never be rebuilt. A good guess, you say?
Well, in this study we are going to learn that in 479 BC, God declared in writing that Egypt, a major superpower at the time of Ezekiel, would not be totally destroyed forever like Tyrus. He said He would simply reduce Egypt to a base nation and she would remain so, never again to rise to a major power.
So what do you say when someone asks you how you know the Bible is true and that it is the Word of God? Don't tell them to just believe and have faith. Then it is just "your words" against theirs. Tell them what God has done, "Thus saith the Lord God" (meaning it is written). Tell them about Egypt, about Tyrus. Or tell them, "Did you know that the specific events on the day of Christ's crucifixion were recorded in minute detail a thousand years before they happened. Really, they were. Even the gambling for Christ's clothing by the Roman soldiers and the very words that the high priest would say were recorded."
So let's eat Ezekiel chapter 29 and be strengthened by what is written so that we can be of service to Him and to our people.
This is 1 year and 2 days after the king of Babylon came against Jerusalem and 5 months and 27 days before the fall of Jerusalem. So let's see, there was 1 year, 5 months, and 29 days (about 1 1/2 years) from the time the king of Babylon came against Jerusalem to the time he entered into the city. (Oh, don't mind me. We were just doing a little watching and making some observations concerning dates.)Ezekiel 29:1
In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Why was God against Egypt and Pharaoh of Egypt? He's about to tell us. Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:
God likens Pharaoh of Egypt to a great crocodile (translated dragon here). You can read in history where Egypt had built great canals and waterways along the Nile, the river to which Egypt owed its "overflowing" fertility. So Pharaoh is singing the song of self-importance, saying, "I did it. I AM the greatest! Look what I have done. I, I, I..." Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
God says that's a "crock"!
Looks like God is going crock fishing with His Rod of correction. He's going to yank that crocodile and his smelly fish friends that cling to his scales out onto the land.Ezekiel 29:4
But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.
Imagine this big crocodile and all these fish flopping around in the open field. The birds and the beasts will look down at them and then look at each other and yell, "CHOW TIME!" And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.
The "fish" are symbolic of Pharaoh's subjects.
Whenever a nation rips off or takes advantage of God's children, that nation is not going to go unpunished. They're going to "get it" real good from our Father. This applies individually as well. When someone attacks or takes advantage of God's elect, they are going to have some major problems real soon thereafter. And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.
You see, Israel was to rely on God for their security and protection, but as you know, they looked to the earthly, the "physical", i.e. to other strong nations instead. So Israel looked to the superpower of Egypt for protection against the king of Babylon. If you recall in chapter 17, king Zedekiah of Judah, made a covenant agreement with king Nebuchaddnezzar of Babylon, that he would be loyal and subject to him. However, Zedekiah then went to Pharaoh of Egypt for protection and broke his agreement with Nebuchaddnezzar, which was the same as breaking his covenant to God in that Nebuchaddnezzar was God's servant acting as His instrument of chastisement. That is documented in Jeremiah 43:10 "And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them."
Even so, Egypt also did not come through on her promise to protect the covenant people. Pharaoh was big talker but not a big walker. The analogy in verse 6 is that Egypt was to be a strong staff for Israel to lean on, but when Israel leaned on that staff, it bent and collapsed like a reed found along the Nile. So you could say that it was because of Egypt that Jerusalem was destroyed.
When Israel reached out to Egypt for assistance, she just left Israel standing there un-girded and fully exposed. Got it?Ezekiel 29:7
When they took hold of thee by thy hand, thou didst break, and rend all their shoulder: and when they leaned upon thee, thou brakest, and madest all their loins to be at a stand.
Our Father didn't appreciate it and the rest is history, as it is recorded in prophecy.
The sword is His judgment which is His Word, the Word of God (Rev. 1:10). Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will bring a sword upon thee, and cut off man and beast out of thee.
Everything Mr. Big Talking Pharaoh said was a crock!Ezekiel 2:9
And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and waste; and they shall know that I am the LORD: because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it.
God said he would make Egypt desolate for a period of forty years all the way from Migdol, a fortress near Pelusium on the north of Suez, to the tower of Syrene (Aswan*) in the south and all the way to the border of Ethiopia. Then Egypt would be restored, but never again to her former glory. Behold, therefore I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate, from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia.
*Aswan, ancient Syrene, is the capital of Aswan Governorate on the Nile river, near lake Nasser. Under the Pharaohs, Syrene was an important city near the quarries that furnished the granite for many Egyptian temples. In modern times, in 1960, Russia came to Egypt and underwrote the major portion of the 1 billion dollar cost and supplied over 400 technicians to build the Aswan Dam, which was completed in 1968.
Forty in Biblical numerics means probation or testing, which is present every time it is used in God's Word. For example, it rained 40 days and 40 nights at the flood of Noah. Israel wandered 40 years in the wilderness. Christ was tempted 40 days. Egypt was made desolate for 40 years, etc. You should feel a little stronger knowing this from His Word. Ummm, tastes good!Ezekiel 29:11
No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years.
And so it was that Egypt would be restored, but never again to her former glory as in the days of her reign by the Hyksos, the shepherd kings. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.
 Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered:
Pathros is the Thebaid, or Upper Egypt, and is birth place of, i.e. the oldest part of Egypt as to civilization and art. And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom.
Well, take a look at the history of Egypt. Since that time the Egyptians have never been a major power with rule over the nations. These scriptures were written 2500 years ago and have come to pass exactly as they are written. You can't argue with God's prophecy (His Word). When He says, "Thus saith the Lord GOD", that's exactly how it is or will be. You have to admit, this kind of documentation of the verity of God's Word is much more credible than our opinion, isn't it? So when someone asks a question about God or His Word, give them the facts of what He has done. It is written. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.
Verse 15 took care of the problem of the house of Israel ever again relying on Egypt for her protection and her deliverance. Where do you put your trust? Will you sing a lamentation because you trusted in the wrong rock (Tyrus) or looked to man and his mighty "crock" to be your fortress, or do you sing the psalm of David?[16 ]And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, which bringeth their iniquity to remembrance, when they shall look after them: but they shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
Don't look to man or the physical and become confused (ashamed). Look to the true Rock of our strength, for in Him are we made strong (Ezekiel's).Psalm 71:1
In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.
Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.
Though this is Satan's world, the way he runs things, it is only because our Father allows it to be so, for God is still in COMPLETE control of all nations and peoples. And He has a great purpose and a great plan being worked out here below. Let's continue with, and finish, the incredible 29th chapter of the Book of EZEK-I-EL and continue to be strengthened by the scroll.
If you have a Companion Bible, on page 1105 you will find a chronological chart of the dates given in Ezekiel and a lengthy note explaining that this 27th year has no obvious connection to the 30th year given Ezekiel 1:1. There is also no hint given as to what the 30th year in Ezekiel 1:1 is reckoned from, yet it begins the very book of strengthening (EZEK-I-EL means "God is my strength"). However, here are some observations concerning the numeric significance of the numbers 30 and 27:Ezekiel 29:17
And it came to pass in the seven and twentieth year, in the first month, in the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
"THIRTY, being 3 x 10, denotes in a higher degree the perfection of Divine order, as marking the right moment. Christ was thirty years of age at the commencement of His ministry, Luke 3:23." ("Number in Scripture", E.W. Bullinger, pg. 265)The Book of Ezekiel was written for the "right moment" in the Divine order of His Plan. It was written to the "watchmen" of this final generation, to those who possess a "higher degree" of knowledge and understanding of His Word, to those servants of His who have "eaten the scroll and digested it in their bowels" (chpt. 3:1-3).
The number 27 is 3 x 3, or 3 cubed, and is the number denoting the " preaching of the gospel". (See "Number in Scripture", by E.W. Bullinger, pg. 265, and "Biblical Mathematics", by Ed Vallowe, pg. 150). We will find that in the last verse (vs. 21) of this chapter that the LORD says "in that day" He will "give you the opening of the mouth in the midst of them". The meaning of both these numbers will then become apparent to those with eyes to see.
To understand what is happening here, one must first understand that God raised up and used king Nebuchaddrezzar*, as a type of the king of Babylon to come in this final generation, to execute His judgments against both Israel and the other nations. So, just because Nebuchaddnezzar* fulfilled a negative role doesn't mean he wasn't God's servant. He most surely was, as is documented in Jeremiah 43:10: "And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them." In fact, Nebuchaddnezzar will eventually be converted and even write a chapter in God's Word, which is the beautiful prayer in chapter 4 of Daniel. Just so we know and understand, our Father will use whosoever He will in fulfilling His plan. Son of man, Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon caused his army to serve a great service against Tyrus: every head was made bald, and every shoulder was peeled: yet had he no wages, nor his army, for Tyrus, for the service that he had served against it:
The sayings in verse 18 that "every head was made bald, and every shoulder peeled" simply express the great amount of hard work and effort that Nebuchaddnezzar's soldiers exerted in the 13 years of fighting against Tyrus. Some scholars believe this is a reference to the soldiers carrying baskets of earth and stones for the siege-works and engines [catapults]. Others believe it refers to their wearing helmets and bearing arms so long. Since history shows that the soldiers did both we'll agree with both scholars. (Personally, I believe they got so frustrated they "pulled their hair out". LOL)
Note: Nebuchaddnezzar is sometimes spelled Nebuchaddrezzar with an "r" instead of an "n". However, he is one and the same person. Some names are just like that, aren't they. Kathy's often get mail addressed to Cathy. And then there are those consonant loving folks who have last names like Wzskycxwzcky. They are lucky they even get mail.
Nebuchaddnezzar spent a great amount of time and resources in his 13 years of "service against Tyre", and actually he never completely destroyed her. That would be accomplished by Alexander the Great at a later time. Therefore he never received the full "spoils" that comes from complete military victory. But remember, even though he didn't know it, Nebuchaddnezzar was actually doing service work for God. And when you work for Him, He sees to it that you get paid. That which Nebuchaddnezzar received in compensation from Tyre hardly paid the expenses for his army. No problem, God would see to it that he got paid well for his efforts. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; and he shall take her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army.
However, since Regis' "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" wouldn't appear on the scene in time to get Nebuchaddnezzar on the show as a contestant so he could easily win a million bucks (which he would have because "nebo" means "knowledge" which Nebuchadnezzar loved), God wasn't without a plan to pay His servant. Since our Father gave the judgment against Egypt that she would be reduced to a "base" nation for the rest of this flesh age, He simply gave Nebuchaddnezzar the job of "downsizing" Egypt, and in the process gave her multitudes (even of her captives) and her riches and spoils to Nebuchaddnezzar as a performance bonus for pounding Tyrus for 13 years.
This is a prime example of what is called a Win-Win situation. And when you do service for God, you always win.
"Good job, Nebuchaddnezzar. As compensation, here's a nation full of money for you."Ezekiel 29:20
I have given him the land of Egypt for his labour wherewith he served against it, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord GOD.
Remember how many times we have seen and read that history repeats itself? As Paul stated, the physical types and events of the past, happened as "ensamples" for us today upon whom the ends of the earth (age) have come.Ezekiel 29:21
In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
So the king of Babylon (Satan) will come once again in these last days, as the "destroyer", only this time the devastation and warfare will be spiritual, not of flesh and blood. And at that time, i.e. "in that day", God will cause the horn, which means "a ray (of light)" and is figurative of to bud forth. And that "power""power" will "bud forth" through the mouths of His Ezekiels, which He Himself will open in the "midst of them (the nations)". Why? Did you have you ask? It is written and we just read it: It is so that "they shall know that He is the LORD"!1 Cor. 10:11
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
You see, Ezekiel was told to go and speak to the house of Israel in the manner of "Thus saith the Lord God", i.e. with the words which God gave to him in the "scroll" which he was to eat and digest. He was sent to his own people, not to people whose language he didn't understand.
Here it is from the 3rd chapter.
This is God speaking to Ezekiel:
But it is written, i.e. "Thus saith the Lord", that before Jesus Christ returns, and while the king of Babylon (the spurious messiah) is here, all the nations (ethos) of the world are going to hear the gospel from the mouths of God's servants. Jesus Christ said so as He gave the "signs" that would occur before His second advent.Ezekiel 3:4
And He said unto me, Son of man, go, get thee unto the house of Israel, and speak with my words unto them.
 For thou art not sent to a people of a strange speech and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel;
 Not to many people of a strange speech and of an hard language, whose words thou canst not understand. Surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.
The Greek word translated "published" is "kerusso" and it actually means "heralded", i.e. "proclaimed", and the word "nations" is "ethnos", which are the ethic peoples, people with languages most "watchmen" don't speak. Got it?Mark 13:10
And the gospel must first be published among all nations.
So how are God's servants going to accomplish the task of proclaiming the gospel to the ethnic (gentile) nations of the world? Actually, they aren't. God is going to take care of that Himself, in the manner we just read in Ezekiel 29:21. Let's not lose sight of what is being said to Ezekiel. Here it is again:
The Lord GOD will open the mouths of His servants and He will speak through them.Ezekiel 29:21
In that day will I cause the horn of the house of Israel to bud forth, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
The Holy Spirit opened their mouths and spoke through them (gave them utterance)!Acts 2:2
And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Everyone, from every nation, heard God's servants speak to them in their own native language. Wow! And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
"Hey", they said, "we know these Galileans aren't scholars with PhD's and can't speak all these different foreign languages. What's going on here? What's shaken, dudes?" And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
Did you notice the nation of Egypt is represented here too? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
Were they just "gobbling" unintelligible syllables in unrecognizable languages? NO! They were speaking the wonderful works of God and everyone from every nation (and they are listed) heard those wonderful works being spoken in their own language. There is no interpreter needed when God opens your mouth and does the speaking! Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
And you see, Peter stood up and explained that what was happening on that Pentecost Day was just an EXAMPLE of what is going to happen in the LAST DAYS, during the final generation. Jesus Christ gave us more details about this proclaiming of the gospel during that time.
We just learned from Ezekiel that these will be God's "watchmen" who are delivered up and brought before kings and rulers, for His name's sake! So when these watchmen are "in the midst of them", the rulers and kings of nations, what did God say He would do? He would open their mouths with His "power" and speak so that they [the nations] would know that HE is the Lord GOD! Since Ezekiel types don't know any of these foreign languages anyway, they don't even need to bother to premeditate on what they are going to say.Luke 21:12
But before all these [final events are finished], they shall lay their hands on you, and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues, and into prisons, being brought before kings and rulers for my name's sake.
 And it shall turn to you for a testimony.
This will be awesome! Settle it therefore in your hearts, not to meditate before what ye shall answer:
 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
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