EZEKIEL 30:1-9  


Chapter 30:1-9
The subject of this section moves away from the contemporary prophecies against
Egypt that begin at verse 29:1, and continue at verse 30:10 through chapter 32.

Here, the focus is on THE DAY OF THE LORD and judgment on “the nations that are located south of Jerusalem. This predicts the GENERAL defeat of these nations, but more specific details are provided in Daniel 11:42-43.

Ezek. 30:1-3
Verse 1-2a,
“The word of the LORD came again to me saying.
Son of man, prophesy and say.”

This was probably received in the same year as the “word” of chapter 29:1-16, which was 588 BCE (3537 AH). This chapter predicts great judgment on Egypt through Nebuchadnezzar (verse 19).

The section, 29:17-21, was given 16 years later in 571 BCE (3554 AH) to announce the fulfillment of the prophecies. It was placed here in Ezekiel’s scroll in order to confirm the fulfillment before recording the additional prophecies about the fall of
Egypt. It is written in prose and is therefore naturally separate from 30:1-8, which is written in poetry.
At verse 9, there is a return to prose to close out the section.
Then at 30:10-19, the style returns to poetry to change the focus back to the contemporary invasion of
Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and gives the details through verse 19.

Chapter 30:20-26 returns to prose and introduces a new “word”, that is given to Ezekiel a year later, in the first month of 588 BCE (3538 AH), but it continues with the same prophetic message.

Then chapters 31-32 continue with predicted judgment on Egypt.

Chapter 31 was given in the third month of 587 BCE, and chapter 32 was given in the 12th month of 586 BCE (3539 AH).

This shows that chapter 30 is a continuation of chapter 29:1-16, and that 29:17-21 was given much later and simply placed here when written.

It shows the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecies of judgment that were given about 17 years earlier. It also places the judgment on Egypt in about 572-71 BCE shortly after Neb’s 13 year siege of Tyre.

The Pharaoh in view is Hophra (known by the Greeks as Apries) who reigned from 588 to 569 BCE, at which time he was dethroned and strangled by his son, Amasis II. Nebuchadnezzar invaded Egypt a few years before that in about 772 BCE after failing to acquire material provisions from his invasion on Tyre (Ezek. 29:17-20). At that time Egypt’s influence over the nations ended and it became subservient to Babylon and never recovered. Even though it regained some of its freedom under Persia (about 40 years later (Ezek 29:10-14), it still continued to decline throughout the years, and never regained its once high and powerful position among the nations of the world, “and it will be a lowly kingdom” (V. 29:14).


Verses 2b-4 are written in poetry to give the details of the prophecy.
Verse 5 reverts to prose to emphatically focus on the nations involved.

Verses 6-8 return to poetry to give more details.
And verse 9, reverts to prose to summarize the judgment and close the section.
Then in verses 10-19, the focus shifts back to the contemporary invasion of
Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, and gives the details in poetry.

Verse 2b-3
‘Thus says the Lord GOD,
Wail, ‘Alas for the day!’
“For the day is near,
Even the day of the LORD is near;
It will be a day of clouds,
A time {of doom} for the nations.”

This clearly identifies the military maneuvers in view to take place DURING the Day of the LORD. It is “a time for the nations,” but the specific focus is on the Southern alliance associated with Gog.

As most commentators rightly observe, the term, “day of the LORD,” should be kept in an end-times context whenever it occurs.

The mention of "clouds" is used to symbolize great trouble. It does not mean that there will literally be DARKNESS from the clouds.

Zephaniah gives a similar description to show the nature of the day of the Lord.

Near is the great day of the LORD,
Near and coming very quickly;
Listen, the day of the LORD!
In it the warrior cries out bitterly.
A day of wrath is that day,
A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and desolation,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A Day of clouds and thick darkness,
A day of trumpet and battle cry,
Against the fortified cities
And the high corner towers.

The darkness mentioned here does not refer to the initial spectacular signs in the sun, moon and stars, but to the general NATURE of the day of the Lord, as at Joel 2:1-2. Once again, it seems to be more symbolic than a reference to actual physical darkness.

Likewise the prophet Amos described the day of the Lord in this manner.
Amos 5:18-20
Alas, you who are longing for the day of the LORD,
For what purpose will the day of the LORD be to you?
It will be darkness and not light;
As when a man flees from a lion,
And a bear meets him,
Or goes home, leans his hand against the wall,
And a snake bites him.
Will not the day of the LORD be darkness instead of light,
Even gloom with no brightness in it?

As the people of the land listened to the prophets message (Joel to the Southern kingdom, and Amos to the Northern kingdom), they were warned of severe national discipline. But along with that warning was the promise of deliverance and blessing. The national discipline would come at the hands of Assyria first, and later by Babylon. But the term THE DAY OF THE LORD had specific application to the “end times,” with only a very passive application to the contemporary judgments that would come upon the land. And as the people listened to the promise of blessing, they applied it to themselves “across the board” without recognizing the error of their ways or the displeasure of Yahweh that was expressed toward them. Accordingly, they thought that the arrival of the DAY OF THE LORD would be a time of great light and blessing for all of them.  Amos rebukes that attitude and calls the people to accountability for their consistent failure. He thus exhorts them to “seek Me that you may live (Amos 5:4), and to “seek good and not evil, that you may live” (Amos 5:14). And “perhaps Yahweh God of the armies might be gracious to the remnant of Joseph” (verse 15).

But they fail to respond and Amos must alert them to the truth that in their condition of spiritual rebellion, the DAY OF THE LORD will NOT be a day of blessing, but of darkness and gloom.

Similarly in Joel

JOEL 2:1-2
Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the LORD is coming
Surely it is near,
A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.”

The mention of darkness COULD refer to the initial brief and spectacular signs in the sun, moon and stars, as will be mentioned by Joel at verses 30-31.
However, it could also be referring to the general NATURE of the day-of-the-Lord time period. The IMAGE of darkness and clouds could be symbolic of the TROUBLE rather than actual physical darkness.

See Topic: DAY OF THE LORD - summary

Ezekiel 30:4
“And a sword will come upon
And anguish will be in
When the slain fall in
They take away her wealth,
And her foundations are torn down.”

This is exactly what is seen at Daniel 11:42-43.
“Then he will stretch out his hand against {other} countries, and the
land of Egypt will not escape. But he will gain control over the hidden treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; and Libyans and Ethiopians {will follow} at his heels.”

The King of the west (the beast of Revelation 13) drives the King of the south out of
Palestine back into his own land and continues against the other countries involved. He defeats Egypt in her own land and then proceeds to enter into Libya and Ethiopia. These two countries are identified at Ezekiel 38:5, as being in alliance with the king of the North. This specific maneuver is described at Ezekiel 30:1-9.

Libya and Ethiopia are identified at Ezekiel 38:5, as being in alliance with the king of the North. The movement of the king of the West into these areas as per Daniel 11:43, is described here at Ezekiel 30:1-9.

11:43, “and Libyans and Ethiopians {will follow} at his heels.”

After neutralizing Egypt, the king of the West continues into the other North African nations that have pushed against him.

Ezekiel 30:5
Ethiopia, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Libya, and the people of the land that is in league will fall with them by the sword.”

These are in league one with another, as members of the Southern alliance but are also allied with the king of the North.

It seems that the power of the King of the west will be challenged by these other nations. This will happen when the West’s ability to control and distribute PROMISED material resources is hampered by the day-of-the-Lord judgments that will begin with the trumpets of Revelation 8-9.

The king of the West is allowed to use its superior weaponry and military might to achieve the victory over this Southern alliance.

Ezekiel 30:6
‘Thus says the LORD,
Indeed, those who support
Egypt will fall,
And the pride of her power will come down;
From Migdol {to} Syene
They will fall within her by the sword,”
Declares the Lord GOD.

Migdol is in
Northern Egypt and Syene is in the South.

Ezekiel 30:7-8
“And they will be desolate
In the midst of the desolated lands;
And her cities will be
In the midst of the devastated cities.
“And they will know that I am the LORD,
When I set a fire in
And all her helpers are broken.

Ezekiel 30:9 reverts to prose to summarize and to show the end of the section.

“On that day messengers will go forth from Me in ships to frighten secure Ethiopia; and anguish will be on them as on the day of Egypt; for, behold, it comes!”

This indicates the divine permission for the king of the West to defend itself and push beyond Egypt to the other nations involved. Usually, any mention of ships in these military scenarios, has reference to the Western nations.

Verses 10-19 revert to prophecy of judgment on Egypt in Ezekiel’s time.

And then verses 20-26 return to prose and introduce a new “word”, that is given to Ezekiel one year later in 587 BCE (3538 AH).

From here, Ezekiel does not return to any “end-times” issues until chapter 34:11ff when he speaks about the re-gathering of the scattered sheep of Israel that will eventually lead to the fulfillment of God’s kingdom promises given to Israel.



Questions and comments are always welcome

Return to BIBLE FRAGRANCES index



©Ron Wallace, http://www.biblefragrances.com. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it,
but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's consent.


Home | Recent Additions | Studies | Commentary


Prophecy | Articles | Topical | About Us