My son and I are in the midst of reading a book about Egypt, so having this prophecy against Egypt just kinda fits. :) We've been brought to awareness how vast Egypt was and how poorly she treated Egypt. We know this from the bible, but sometimes reading it in a story just brings those facts more to life, gives an awareness not previously seen.
The prophecy is in particular against the Pharaoh but also against the whole of Egypt.
God is very direct with the people, telling them that
Pharaoh king of Egypt,
the great dragon that lies
in the midst of his streams,
that says, ‘My Nile is my own;
I made it for myself.’
It's that nasty pride creeping in you know... that "I did this", without considering who REALLY made it.
So God will treat them like the fish of the Nile, hooking them up and dragging them out. He will cast them out into the wilderness where they will be scattered by the beasts of the field, not able to be gathered up again.
you and all the fish of your streams;
you shall fall on the open field,
and not be brought together or gathered.
To the beasts of the earth and to the birds of the heavens
I give you as food.
For the same reason as always. God wants them to know that HE is the Lord.
Israel leaned on Egypt for help and Egypt mistreated her. “Because you have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel, 7 when they grasped you with the hand, you broke and tore all their shoulders; and when they leaned on you, you broke and made all their loins to shake.
Therefore the Lord will bring troubles to Egypt, the sword will come against her. Behold, I will bring a sword upon you, and will cut off from you man and beast, 9 and the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste.
Egypt will KNOW that God is the LORD.
Their pride in the Nile is their destruction. They forgot who made the Nile. God's anger at them in great for he will make them a wasteland for 40 years and scatter her peoples. behold, I am against you and against your streams, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from Migdol to Syene, as far as the border of Cush. 11 No foot of man shall pass through it, and no foot of beast shall pass through it; it shall be uninhabited forty years. 12 And I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated countries, and her cities shall be a desolation forty years among cities that are laid waste. I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them through the countries.
But at the end of those 40 years, the people of Egypt shall again be gathered up. Egypt will have her fortunes restored and she shall be the lowliest of peoples and never rule over other nations again. Israel will NEVER be able to rely on her again. And Israel to shall know that God is the LORD.
And it shall never again be the reliance of the house of Israel, recalling their iniquity, when they turn to them for aid. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.
I have to admit..I thought that was cool. Even in the midst of his anger against Egypt God didn't forget his people. Part of his chastisement of Egypt is his goal that his own people learn and remember that HE IS GOD. Only he is the LORD.
God was very clear. What Nebuchadnezzar did was work for him. I have given him the land of Egypt as his payment for which he labored, because they worked for me, declares the Lord God. In essence, Egypt and her wealth was his reward for a job well done.
I have to admit, I don't quite understand this last line. It sounds like a word of promise, like a word that would point to Christ.... this "horn" that will spring up. Because of this horn Israel will know that God is the Lord.
21 “On that day I will cause a horn to spring up for the house of Israel, and I will open your lips among them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
Wasn't this an interesting passage? I certainly thought so.
God's focus is on helping people realize who he is.
Egypt is corrected for hurting his people.
God's tool was rewarded.
And a promise given. A horn will spring up in Israel.
Just interesting. :) Discipline. Protection. Promise. I like it.