XXX The steps by which Nebuchadrezzar would destroy Egypt, ver. 1-19. A repetition of a former prophecy against it, ver. 20-26.
Verse 2. Ye - Inhabitants of Egypt.
Verse 3. A cloudy day - So times of trouble are called. Of the heathen - The time when God will reckon with the Heathens.
Verse 4. Ethiopia - The neighbour and ally to Egypt. Take away - Into miserable captivity. Her foundations - Their government, laws, and strong holds.
Verse 5. Lydia - Not the Asiatic, but the Africans placed between some part of Cyrene and Egypt. The mingled people - The hired soldiers from all parts, a confused mixture of nations. And Chub - The inhabitants of the inmost Libya; perhaps they may be the Nubians at this day. The men - All the allies of Egypt. With them - With the Egyptians.
Verse 6. Upheld - Those that favour and help her. The pride - The glory of all her strength.
Verse 7. They - All those before mentioned.
Verse 8. Destroyed - The fire that consumes nations is of God's kindling: and when he setsfire to a kingdom, all they that go about to quench the fire, shall be consumed by it.
Verse 9. Messengers - Such as having escaped the sword, shall tell the news. From me - By my permission and providence. In ship's - Messengers by ships might carry the news to both the Ethiopian, Asian, and African, by the Red-sea. As in the day - During the mighty havock made by the Chaldeans. It - A like storm.
Verse 11. His people - His own subjects, not hired soldiers.
Verse 12. The rivers dry - Probably the Chaldeans diverted them, and so their fortified towns wanted one great defense. Sell - Give it up entirely.
Verse 13. Noph - Memphis, now Grand Cairo, the chief city of the country. A prince - Either an Egyptian born, or independent, and over all Egypt. A fear - Consternation and cowardice.
Verse 14. In Zoan - Zoan shall be burnt down to ashes. In No - A great and populous city situate on one of the mouths of the Nile.
Verse 15. Sin - Pelusium, which was the key of Egypt, and therefore always well fortified, and strongly garrisoned.
Verse 16. Shall be rent - Her walls, and towers, and fortresses broken through by the violence of engines, and by the assaults of the soldiers.
Verse 17. Young men - 'Tis probable these might be a body of valiant youths, collected out of these ten cities. Aven - Bethshemesh, or Heliopolis, an idolatrous city, in which was a stately temple of the sun: an hundred and fifty furlongs, that is six miles and three quarters in compass. Phibeseth - Bubastus, sometimes called Hoephestus, not far from Aven.
Verse 18. Tehaphnehes - A great and goodly city of Egypt; Tachapanes, Tachpanes, Tahapanes, Tahpanes, Chanes, and Hanes, are names given it, and this from a queen of Egypt of that name in Solomon's time. It stood not far from Sin, or Pelusium. Darkened - A night shall come upon it. Break - I shall break the kingdom of Egypt, that it no more oppress with yokes, that is, burdens. Her daughters - Her towns and villages.
Verse 20. The eleventh year - Of Jeconiah's captivity, three months and two days before Jerusalem was taken, about the time that the Egyptians attempted to raise the siege of Jerusalem.
Verse 21. Have broken - Partly by the victory of the Chaldeans over Pharaoh-necho, partly by the victory of the Cyreneans over Pharaoh-hophra. The sword - None can heal the wounds that God gives but himself. They whom he disables, cannot again hold the sword.
Verse 22. His arms - Both his arms. The strong - That part of his kingdom which remains entire. Broken - That which was shattered before.
Verse 25. Will strengthen - As Judges on the bench like Pilate, so generals in the field, like Nebuchadrezzar, have no power but what is given them from above.