Ezek. 32:1 And it came to pass in the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
This message from the LORD to Ezekiel is dated almost two years after that of the last chapter.
Ezek. 32:2 Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say unto him, Thou art like a young lion of the nations, and thou art as a whale in the seas: and thou camest forth with thy rivers, and troubledst the waters with thy feet, and fouledst their rivers.
Again, the message is directed to Pharaoh and Egypt. The message is identified as a lamentation, a funeral dirge for Pharaoh. It would seem that the Pharaoh and maybe even the people of other nations considered him a “young lion,” a strong, fierce ruler among the nations. He is also compared to a great sea monster that causes a great disturbance in the waters and stirs up the mud when he emerges to come upon the land. In other words, he is recognized as a formidable force among the nations.
Ezek. 32:3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will therefore spread out my net over thee with a company of many people; and they shall bring thee up in my net.
Ezek. 32:4 Then will I leave thee upon the land, I will cast thee forth upon the open field, and will cause all the fowls of the heaven to remain upon thee, and I will fill the beasts of the whole earth with thee.
God is basically saying that no matter how great you (Pharaoh) or the other nations think you are, you are no match for Me. God declares His intent to capture the sea monster in His net. The picture is of a dead animal that is left upon the land for the vultures and scavenger creatures to feed on. This removal of the great sea monster from the water takes me back to my thoughts at 31:9. The wicked king will no longer be allowed to profit or be sustained by his connection with evil spiritual forces.
Ezek. 32:5 And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height.
Ezek. 32:6 I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee.
The destruction in Egypt is going to result in a lot of dead bodies pictured as filling the valleys and covering the mountains. The gory picture also includes the blood of the dead as covering the land and filling its rivers.
Ezek. 32:7 And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light.
Ezek. 32:8 All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD.
“Put thee out” is a reference to “expire or extinguish light.” That explains why the Lord uses the terminology of covering the heavens and the sun and making the stars and moon dark. There will be no light of life left in Egypt. It makes me think of the philosophical argument regarding whether there’s sound if there is no one to hear it. In this context it would be whether there is light if there is no one left to see it. Darkness is often associated with judgment in scripture.
Is. 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Is. 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Jer. 4:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
Jer. 4:28 For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.
Lam. 3:1 I am the man that hath seen affliction by the rod of his wrath.
Lam. 3:2 He hath led me, and brought me into darkness, but not into light.
Ezek. 32:9 I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known.
Ezek. 32:10 Yea, I will make many people amazed at thee, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for thee, when I shall brandish my sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of thy fall.
Point is made that the destruction of Pharaoh/Egypt will “vex the heart of many people”; vex has reference to causing sorrow and grief as well as anger in the Hebrew. The people being referenced in verse 9 are not Egypt’s allies; it is a reference to other nations of the world that were basically unaware of Egypt until this time. As the news spreads of the destruction of the mighty Egypt and its king, it will cause fear in the hearts of the kings of these nations. They will recognize that there is a mighty hand of power at work that could just as easily destroy their own nations. God’s judgment on Egypt will cause the people of other nations to fear for their own lives.
Ezek. 32:11 For thus saith the Lord GOD; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee.
Ezek. 32:12 By the swords of the mighty will I cause thy multitude to fall, the terrible of the nations, all of them: and they shall spoil the pomp of Egypt, and all the multitude thereof shall be destroyed.
This chapter is basically summarizing all that has been prophesied in God’s previous messages to Pharaoh/Egypt through Ezekiel. It’s being summarized as a funeral dirge that chronicles the events that will come to pass.
Point is made again that the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, will be the chosen instrument of God to implement His judgment against Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar is recognized as the greatest and most powerful tyrant of his day.
Ezek. 32:13 I will destroy also all the beasts thereof from beside the great waters; neither shall the foot of man trouble them any more, nor the hoofs of beasts trouble them.
Ezek. 32:14 Then will I make their waters deep, and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD.
These verses paint a word picture of completely calm waters and rivers in the land of Egypt that will no longer be troubled by the feet of cattle or men; Egypt will be desolate of both. God states His intent to make the waters run deep and smooth—like oil.
Burton Coffman sees it differently and states the following in his commentary:
"The rivers of oil here are not rivers that flow quietly like oil, but rivers which contain oil and not water; they are symbolical of the rich blessings of God." It should be noted that the great blessing to come to Egypt in future times is that they shall know that Jehovah is indeed God, and that there is none else beside him.”
That last sentence (from Coffman) is a reference to Egypt’s place of blessing in the millennial kingdom as foretold by the prophet Isaiah.
Is. 19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
Is. 19:25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
Ezek. 32:15 When I shall make the land of Egypt desolate, and the country shall be destitute of that whereof it was full, when I shall smite all them that dwell therein, then shall they know that I am the LORD.
Again, the tragic statement, “When I shall….” They are going to be made to know God as LORD, but sadly it takes a terrible act of judgment to cause the Egyptians to understand this truth.
Ezek. 32:16 This is the lamentation wherewith they shall lament her: the daughters of the nations shall lament her: they shall lament for her, even for Egypt, and for all her multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
This verse is declaring the end of the lamentation that will be voiced among the nations for Pharaoh and his land.
Ezek. 32:17 It came to pass also in the twelfth year, in the fifteenth day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
It would seem that this message from the LORD to Ezekiel came a couple of weeks after the last one.
Ezek. 32:18 Son of man, wail for the multitude of Egypt, and cast them down, even her, and the daughters of the famous nations, unto the nether parts of the earth, with them that go down into the pit.
This time the prophet is told to wail or groan for all the people of Egypt. We know the prophet is not literally going to “cast them down….” I think I would compare it in our vernacular to consigning them to hell (“the nether parts of the earth” and “the pit”). Most of those who possess great power and are feared here on earth are going to meet the same fate. Having sold their souls to the devil on earth, they will find their abode with all the wicked and eventually the devil himself for eternity.
Ezek. 32:19 Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised.
The Egyptians will find themselves in company of many over whom they exalted themselves. They will find themselves doomed to eternity with the rest of the uncircumcised (cf comments at 31:18), all those who have rejected God as LORD.
Ezek. 32:20 They shall fall in the midst of them that are slain by the sword: she is delivered to the sword: draw her and all her multitudes.
They will find themselves in the company of many others who had met their demise through the enemies’ sword—many due to specific judgment at the hand of Almighty God.
Ezek. 32:21 The strong among the mighty shall speak to him out of the midst of hell with them that help him: they are gone down, they lie uncircumcised, slain by the sword.
When the wicked of Egypt get to hell (the Hebrew term for Hades, the place of the dead), they will be met by the mighty of other wicked nations that are already there. Again, I believe the fact that they are uncircumcised is a reference to their spiritual condition.
Ezek. 32:22 Asshur is there and all her company: his graves are about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:
Ezek. 32:23 Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit, and her company is round about her grave: all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living.
The Lord now begins to give us a listing of some of the wicked nations that Egypt will be joining in death, other nations that have “fallen by the sword, which caused terror in the land of the living.” The first one mentioned is Asshur, or Assyria. I think this is significant since it was the fall of Assyria, who was certainly the dominant power on earth before her fall, that God used to emphasize the fact that Egypt would fall just as surely.
Ezek. 32:24 There is Elam and all her multitude round about her grave, all of them slain, fallen by the sword, which are gone down uncircumcised into the nether parts of the earth, which caused their terror in the land of the living; yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit.
Ezek. 32:25 They have set her a bed in the midst of the slain with all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword: though their terror was caused in the land of the living, yet have they borne their shame with them that go down to the pit: he is put in the midst of them that be slain.
Next is listed Elam, known in the past as Persia and today as Iran. Although we don’t hear as much about this nation until the defeat of Nebuchadnezzar, a word search shows that it was a mighty nation as far back as the time of Abraham.
Again, point is made that they were destroyed at the point of a sword and caused great terror in the land of the living. Now they are in a position of shame for eternity with the rest of the “uncircumcised.”
Ezek. 32:26 There is Meshech, Tubal, and all her multitude: her graves are round about him: all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword, though they caused their terror in the land of the living.
Ezek. 32:27 And they shall not lie with the mighty that are fallen of the uncircumcised, which are gone down to hell with their weapons of war: and they have laid their swords under their heads, but their iniquities shall be upon their bones, though they were the terror of the mighty in the land of the living.
Meshech and Tubal are next on the list. They represent the descendants of Japheth through his sons that settled in the northern parts probably in the area now recognized as Turkey. These people are more widely connected with the yet to come battle with Gog of Magog. Evidently, some of these descendants had already faced judgment at the hand of the LORD. According to Wikipedia, they were aligned with the Scythians in attacking Assyria around 770 BC, but were defeated by the Assyrians.
Point is made that their swords and weapons of war eventually proved useless to them all. Death is the great equalizer.
Ezek. 32:28 Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are slain with the sword.
Emphasis is made again that Egypt will be destroyed and find their eternity among the rest of the uncircumcised (of heart) many of whom had also been destroyed at the point of a sword.
Ezek. 32:29 There is Edom, her kings, and all her princes, which with their might are laid by them that were slain by the sword: they shall lie with the uncircumcised, and with them that go down to the pit.
Next on the list is Edom, the descendants of Esau. Though also a mighty people that had despised their Israeli cousins, they too met their destruction at the end of the sword and were part of the multitudes of the uncircumcised in “the pit.” JFB made a pertinent comment:
“Though Edom was circumcised, being descended from Isaac, he shall lie with the uncircumcised…”
This comment stood out to me because it emphasizes that physical circumcision is not the point—it is circumcision of the heart that is the significant issue.
Ezek. 32:30 There be the princes of the north, all of them, and all the Zidonians, which are gone down with the slain; with their terror they are ashamed of their might; and they lie uncircumcised with them that be slain by the sword, and bear their shame with them that go down to the pit.
It was interesting to note that when I looked at the Hebrew for “north,” it made reference to “dark, gloomy, hidden, lurking.” Though I know that this is a reference to the nations of the north on the compass (from the reference point of Israel), I think you can truthfully deduce that these are all nations that are under great influence from the spiritual forces of the dark. The Zidonians were representative of the Phoenicians. Again, these are all nations and their rulers whom men have considered great and powerful, yet who all were eventually conquered and will face a shameful eternity with all others who have rejected God Almighty.
Ezek. 32:31 Pharaoh shall see them, and shall be comforted over all his multitude, even Pharaoh and all his army slain by the sword, saith the Lord GOD.
Ezek. 32:32 For I have caused my terror in the land of the living: and he shall be laid in the midst of the uncircumcised with them that are slain with the sword, even Pharaoh and all his multitude, saith the Lord GOD.
The first thing that jumps out to me is the fact that Pharaoh will “see” and “be comforted” after his death. Destruction of the body does not equate to destruction of the soul. It’s hard to imagine finding comfort in “the pit,” but again the old saying, “Misery loves company,” comes to mind. Pharaoh will realize that he and his people are in the company of many who, in their lifetimes, were successful and powerful according to worldly estimation. In the afterlife, however, they have found themselves no longer powerful and no longer in a position of influence among their peers. They all form one big multitude of sinners who rejected God Almighty.