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,
The prophet goes on to predict the fall of the king of Egypt,
under the figure of an animal of prey, such as a lion or
crocodile, caught, slain, and his carcass left a prey to the
fowls and wild beasts, 1-6.
The figure is then changed; and the greatness of his fall
(described by the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars)
strikes terror into all the surrounding nations, 7-10.
The prophet adds, that the overthrow of the then reigning
Egyptian dynasty was to be effected by the instrumentality of
the king of Babylon, who should leave Egypt so desolate, that
its waters, (alluding to the metaphor used in the second
verse,) should run as pure and smooth as oil, without the foot
of man or the hoof of a beast to disturb them, 11-16.
A beautiful, nervous, and concise description of a land ruined
and left utterly desolate. In the remaining part of the chapter
the same event is pourtrayed by one of the boldest figures ever
attempted in any composition, and which at the same time is
executed with astonishing perspicuity and force. God is
introduced ordering a place in the lower regions for the king
of Egypt and his host, 17, 18.
The prophet delivers his messsage, pronounces their fate, and
commands those who buried the slain to drag him and his
multitudes to the subterraneous mansions, 19, 20.
At the tumult and commotion which this mighty work occasions,
the infernal shades are represented as roused from their
couches to learn the cause. They see and congratulate the king
of Egypt, on his arrival among them, 21.
Pharaoh being now introduced into this immense subterraneous
cavern, (see the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah, where a similar
imagery is employed,) the prophet leads him all around the
sides of the pit; shows him the gloomy mansions of former
tyrants, tells their names as he goes along; beautifully
contrasts their former pomp and destructive ambition, when they
were a terror to the surrounding states, with their present
most abject and helpless condition; declares that all these
oppressors of mankind have not only been cut off out of the
land of the living, but have gone down into the grave
uncircumcised, that is, they have died in their sins, and
therefore shall have no resurrection to eternal life; and
concludes with showing Pharaoh the place destined for him in
the midst of the uncircumcised, and of them that have been
slain by the sword, 22-32.
This prophetic ode may be considered as a finished model in
that species of writing which is appropriated to the exciting
of terror. The imagery throughout is sublime and terrible; and
no reader of sensibility and taste can accompany the prophet in
this funeral procession, and visit the mansions of Hades,
without being impressed with a degree of awe nearly approaching
NOTES ON CHAP. XXXII
Verse 1. In the twelfth year, in the twelfth month, in the first day of the month
] On Wednesday
, March 22, the twelfth
year of the
captivity of Jeconiah, A.M. 3417.
Instead of the twelfth
MSS., and eight
of De Rossi's
, read in the eleventh
This reading is supported by the Syriac
; and is confirmed by an
excellent MS. of my own, about four hundred
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.a
Verse 2. Thou art like a young lion-and thou
art as a whale in the seas
] Thou mayest be likened to two
of the fiercest animals in
the creation; to a lion, the fiercest on the land
; to a crocodile
, (see Eze 29:3
,) the fiercest in the waters
. It may, however, point out the hippopotamus
, as there
seems to be a reference to his mode of feeding
. He walks
deliberately into the water over head, and pursues his way in the
same manner; still keeping on his feet, and feeding on the plants,
&c., that grow at the bottom. Thus he fouls the water
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.
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.
And I will lay thy flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with thy height.
Verse 5. And fill the valleys with thy height.
] Some translate,
with the worms
, which should proceed from the putrefaction of his
I will also water with thy blood the land wherein thou swimmest, even
to the mountains; and the rivers shall be full of thee.b
Verse 6. The land wherein thou swimmest
] Egypt; so called,
because intersected with canals
, and overflowed
annually by the Nile
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.c
Verse 7. I will cover the heaven
] Destroy the empire
. Make the stars thereof dark
] Overwhelm all the dependent states
. I will cover the sun
] The king
himself. And the moon shall not give her light.
] The queen
may be meant,
or some state
less than the kingdom.
All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord GOD
Verse 8. And set darkness upon thy land
] As I did when a former
king refused to let my people go to the wilderness to worship me.
I will involve thee, and thy house, and thy people
, and the whole land
, in desolation and wo.
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.f
Verse 9. I will also vex the hearts
] Even the remote nations,
who had no connexion with thee, shall be amazed at the judgments
which have fallen upon thee.
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.
¶ For thus saith the Lord GOD
; The sword of the king of Babylon shall come upon thee.
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.
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.
Then will I make their waters deep, and cause their rivers to run like oil, saith the Lord GOD
Verse 14. Cause their rivers to run like oil
] Bring the whole
state into quietness, there being no longer a political hippopotamus
to foul the waters
-to disturb the peace of the
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
Verse 15. Shall be destitute of that whereof it was full
] Of corn
, and all other necessaries of life.
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
¶ 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,
Verse 17. In the twelfth year
] Two of Kennicott's
of De Rossi's
, and one
of my own, (that mentioned Eze 32:1
,) have, in the ELEVENTH year
; and so has the Syriac
, as before. This
prophecy concerns the people of Egypt
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.
Verse 18. Cast them down
] Show them that they shall be cast
down. Proclaim to them a casting down
Whom dost thou pass in beauty? go down, and be thou laid with the uncircumcised.
Verse 19. Whom dost thou pass in beauty?
] How little does it
signify, whether a mummy be well embalmed, wrapped round with rich
stuff, and beautifully painted on the outside, or not. Go down
into the tombs
, examine the niches
, and see whether one dead
carcass be preferable to another.
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.h
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.
Verse 21. Out of the midst of hell
, the catacombs,
the place of burial
. There is something here similar to Isa 14:9
where the descent of the king of Babylon to the state of the dead
there and all her company: his graves are
about him: all of them slain, fallen by the sword:
Verse 22. Asshur
] The mightiest conquerors of the earth
have gone down to the grave before thee; there they and their
soldiers lie together, all slain by the sword.
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.i
Verse 23. Whose graves are set in the sides of the pit
to the niches
in the sides of the subterranean caves or
burying-places, where the bodies are laid. These are numerous in
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.
Verse 24. There
] The Elamites, not far from the
Assyrians; others think that Persia
is meant. It was invaded by
the joint forces of Cyaxares and Nebuchadnezzar.
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
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.
Verse 26. There
is Meshech, Tubal
] See on Eze 27:13
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.j
Verse 27. Gone down to hell with their weapons of war
buried in their armour and with their weapons lying by their
sides. It was a very ancient practice, in different nations, to
bury a warrior's weapons in the same grave with himself.
Yea, thou shalt be broken in the midst of the uncircumcised, and shalt lie with them that are
slain with the sword.
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.k
Verse 29. There
] All the glory and pomp of the Idumean
kings, who also helped to oppress the Israelites, are gone down
into the grave. Their kings, princes, and all their mighty men lie
mingled with the uncircumcised
, not distinguished from the common dead
"Where they an equal honour share,
Who buried or unburied are.
Where Agamemnon knows no more
Than Irus, he condemned before.
Where fair Achilles and Thersites lie,
Equally naked, poor, and dry."
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.
Verse 30. There be the princes of the north
] The kings of Media
and Assyria, and all the Zidonians
-the kings of Tyre, Sidon
, and Damascus
. See Calmet
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
Verse 31. Pharaoh shall see them
] Pharaoh also, who said he was a god
, shall be found among the vulgar dead. And shalt be comforted
] Shall console himself, on finding that
all other proud boasters are in the same circumstances with
himself. Here is a reference to a consciousness
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
Verse 32. I have caused my terror in the land of the living
have spread dismay through Judea, the land of the living God
where the living oracles
were delivered, and where the upright live
by faith. When Pharaoh-necho came against Josiah, defeated,
and slew him at Megiddo, fear and terror were spread through all
the land of Judea; and the allusion here is probably to that
circumstance. But even he is now laid with the uncircumcised
is no more to be distinguished from the common dead.
Much of the phraseology of this chapter may be illustrated by
comparing it with Isa 14:1
&c., where see the notes, which the
intelligent reader will do well to consult.