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The Visions and Oracles of the Prophet Ezekiel (19)

Biblical Research Monthly, January 1947 thru September 1950 — by Dr. David L. Cooper

Installments:

      1. Some Preliminary Observations
      2. The Call and Commission of Ezekiel
      3. The Beginnings of Ezekiel's Ministry
      4. The Final Collapse of Judah Under the Babylonian Siege
      5. Jehovah's Withdrawal from the City and it's Downfall
      6. The Flight and Capture of the King Symbolically Represented and Warning Against a Wrong Attitude Concerning Prophecy
      7. Prophecy and Idolatry
      8. Israel, the Burnt Vine and the Unfaithful Wife
      9. The Riddle of the Two Great Eagles and the Messianic Reign of Christ
      10. God's Reply to the Proverb, “The Fathers have Eaten Sour Grapes, and the Children's Teeth are Set on Edge”
      11. The Young Lions and the Rods of Judah
      12. Israel's Past and Future Experiences
      13. The Sword of Jehovah
      14. Sinful Jerusalem and Her Punishment
      15. The Lewdness of Oholah and Oholibah
      16. The Boiling Caldron
      17. Oracles Concerning Ammon, Moab, Edom, and Philistia
      18. The Oracle Concerning Tyre
      19. The Oracles Concerning Egypt
      20. The Watchman on the Wall (Chapter 33)
      21. The Untrue Shepherds of Israel
      22. The Flock of Jehovah and its Shepherd
      23. The Judgment upon Edom
      24. The Curse Removed from the Land of Israel
      25. Israel's Restoration to the Land of the Fathers and Her Conversion
      26. The Vision of the Valley of Dry Bones
      27. The Scattered Nation of Israel Reunited under King Messiah
      28. The Overthrow of the Russian Forces that Invade Palestine (Chapter 38)
      29. The Overthrow of the Antichrist's Forces Invade Palestine (Chapter 39)
      30. The Millennial Jerusalem
      31. The Millennial Temple
      32. The Prince and the Glorified Millennial Temple
      33. The Land of Israel in the Millennium

The Oracles Concerning Egypt (Part One)

In Ezekiel, chapters 29-32 we have this prophet's message concerning Egypt. But in the present study we shall note the outstanding events found in chapters 29 and 30, leaving the last two chapters for our next study.

In the ancient world Babylon, Assyria, and Egypt were the three outstanding powers. From times immemorial down to the latter part of the Hebrew monarchy Egypt was a tower of strength to those who were allied with her, but a deadly and an awful foe for those who were enemies. In the Tigris-Euphrates Valley Babylonia, the cradle of ancient civilization, was the mistress of Western Asia. The old Babylonian Empire, however, went down under the rising might of the Assyrian kingdom. This new power, therefore, became the dominant one in the East and was a constant foe against Egypt. Finally, however, in the seventh century before the Common Era, Assyria went down and was buried under the sands of time. The neo-Babylonian Empire was brought back to life by Nabopolasser, the father of Nebuchadnezzar. Under his son, Nebuchadnezzar, however, Babylon spread as a mighty bay-tree and became the dominant factor again in Western Asia. It even overran Egypt and devastated the country, as we shall presently see. But the time for the setting of the sun of even the neo-Babylonian Empire came. The occasion of her downfall historically was the rise of the mighty Medo-Persian Empire, which conquered Babylon and incorporated it within the borders of its rising power.

Pharaoh, The Great Sea Monster

In Ezekiel 29:1-7 Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt is represented as a great sea monster that was wallowing in the Nile River, which was his sea. The prophet represents him as saying, “My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” The thought of representing a kingdom or its ruler under the symbolism of a great sea monster or land animal is not uncommon in the Scriptures. For instance, in Isaiah 27:1 we have this language: “In that day Jehovah with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan the swift serpent, and leviathan the crooked serpent; and he will slay the monster that is in the sea.” By the best of commentators the powers of Assyria, Babylonia, and Egypt are spoken of under the symbolism of “leviathan the swift serpent [Assyria],” “leviathan the crooked serpent [Babylon]” and “the monster that is in the sea [Egypt].” In all probability the adjective swift modifying “leviathan” is an echo of the fact that the Tigris River, upon which Ninevah, the capital of Assyria, was located, was a very swift stream. Well could it symbolize the direct, rapid and decisive action of this nation. The adjective crooked modifying “leviathan” is also probably an echo of the fact that Babylon, the capital of the Babylonian Empire, was located upon the Euphrates River which was very crooked and rather sluggish in its movement. Pharaoh, king of Egypt, is doubtless referred to as “the monster that is in the sea.” This language becomes apparent when one recognizes that the Nile River in ancient times — before the building of such dams as the one at Aswan which controls the flood waters of the Nile — flooded the valley below and made it have the appearance of an inland sea.

In view of Isaiah's use of such symbolism as we have seen, it is not strange that Ezekiel, whose ministry fell about one hundred years after that of Isaiah's, should use the same, comparing the ruler of Egypt to a great sea monster that wallowed in his river.

At the same time we must remember that Job spoke of Satan under the symbolism of the great sea monster which was the beginning of the works of God and of leviathan the great monster who is “king over all the sons of pride.” Why then should these great animals and sea monsters be used as symbols both of the fallen, anointed cherub — Satan, or the devil — and at the same time of great empires or kingdoms? The answer to this question seems to be this: Civil governments are largely patterned after the government of Satan originally in the Eden of God and are yet very largely under his influence and domination. Thus the same symbol can at one time signify Satan, the prince of the powers of the air, and at the same time those visible kingdoms which are under his domination and control, and through which he works.

This double usage of the symbolism of great sea monsters and wild beasts is in keeping with God's methods in the use of symbols. For instance, beasts in the seventh chapter of Daniel are used to represent both the rulers of great kingdoms and at the same time the governments over which they presided (see Daniel 7:17,23).

In the passage under consideration, Ezekiel 29:1-7, God foretells that He will pull Pharaoh, the great sea monster, out of his river, will cast him out into the desert, and will give him to be food for the animals, for the beasts of the field. This prophecy was fulfilled in God's providentially causing Pharaoh to leave his country and to go on an expedition against some enemy, who conquers him.

The Punishment of Egypt

In Ezekiel 29:8-16 we see a prediction concerning the punishment that God will bring upon Egypt for her sins. Pride always goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. Thus the Lord declared: “And the land of Egypt shall be a desolation and a waste; and they shall know that I am Jehovah. Because he hath said, The river is mine, and I have made it; 10 therefore, behold, I am against thee, and against thy rivers, and I will make the land of Egypt an utter waste and desolation, from the tower of Seveneh even unto the border of Ethiopia” (29:9,10). The welfare of a nation is always wrapped up in the type of ruler whom God sets over a kingdom. A survey of history shows that this is true. God providentially always brings to the throne of a kingdom the type of ruler which the people desire. This statement being true, God is just in punishing the nation for the attitude of their ruler. Here this Egyptian Pharaoh, in claiming that the river was his, and that he would do as he pleased, was simply giving expression to the spirit of the people of his age. God was therefore righteous and just in punishing the nation for the spirit which their ruler manifested — for in punishing him He was punishing them for their shortcomings and sins.

We can see the same thing in the situation that developed in Germany during the hey-day of the Hitlerite regime. The people of the nation, as a rule, were ripe for just such a man as Hitler. He was simply the visible expression of the people. Hence the Lord providentially brought him to the kingdom for that time in order that He might punish the nation for its spirit of arrogance and self-sufficiency. The same thing was true of France at the time of the French Revolution and in the Napoleonic Era. Napoleon was but the outward expression of the spirit of his people. God had to deal with its ruler and with the nation upon the basis of the merits of the case.

Unfortunately, it seems that the spirit of the majority of the American people at the present day has found its expression in the type of government that has been and is being administered in our beloved capital. From the reports over the radio and in the papers it appears that the communistic element, that has permeated every strata of American society, has infiltrated into key positions of our government. If these reports be correct, the one who has spiritual discernment can see the handwriting on the wall. God pity us in America if this diagnosis of the situation be correct!

After threatening the king of Egypt with punishment, Ezekiel foretold a period of desolation of forty years during which the people of Egypt would be taken into captivity. But at the expiration of this period God promised that He would gather back the natives to their own homeland. Egyptian history as well as that of other nations during the latter part of the neo-Babylonian Empire and that of Medo-Persia, is very dark, since we have very little evidence coming from that era. Hence archaeology has been able to supply us with very little information concerning this period of time.

According to verse 15 the Lord declared that Egypt, after this period of forty years of exile, would be “the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it any more lift itself up above the nations: and I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations. And it shall be no more the confidence of the house of Israel, bringing iniquity to remembrance, when they turn to look after them: and they shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah” (vss. 15,16). The destruction of the might and power of Egypt was accomplished by the Babylonians. Egypt was therefore thrown down from the high pinnacle on which it had stood from times immemorial. It became, even after its restoration following the forty-year period of desolation, the basest of the kingdoms of the world. It has remained in this condition through the centuries to the present day and will continue this way. When one thinks of the debasing of Egypt, he is reminded of the great Spanish nation that was the dominant power in Western Europe up until the destruction of its armada. From that catastrophic blow she never recovered. She sank down from her high position of prominence to a very inferior place and has remained on that level among the nations of the world to the present day. She probably will continue in this way.

God A Good Paymaster

In Ezekiel 29:17-20 we have an oracle that was given in the twenty-seventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity. And yet it is inserted in this oracle that was given in the tenth year of this same era. (Let us remember that Ezekiel dates his oracles according to the captivity of Jehoiachin, with whom he personally was carried captive to Babylon. Thus his dating was natural and was the outgrowth of the circumstances in which the prophet found himself.) But why should this oracle, which was spoken seventeen years later, be injected into the record at this point? The answer is at hand. Prior to this time Nebuchadnezzar had, by the providence of God, been brought against Tyre and had fought against it. According to the scanty data which has been brought to light, Nebuchadnezzar, though he fought against Tyre for 13 years, was never able to conquer that strong fortress. He therefore:

... had no wages, nor his army, from Tyre, for the service that he had served against it. Therefore thus saith the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will give the land of Egypt unto Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and he shall carry off her multitude, and take her spoil, and take her prey; and it shall be the wages for his army. 20 I have given him the land of Egypt as his recompense for which he served, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord Jehovah.” (Ezekiel 29:18-20)

God rules throughout the universe and overrules among the nations. He uses one nation and its rulers against another people and its king, when He can in righteousness do this. All of His works are done in justice. By His omnipotence, then, He controls the movements of the nations and their actions.

He is a good paymaster and always recompenses those who serve Him in the carrying-out of His plans and purposes. The case in hand is an excellent illustration of this principle. Again by looking at Isaiah 45:1-7 we see that God used Cyrus, king of Persia, in advancing His plans and purposes for the nation of Israel. At that time He paid Cyrus for his services very abundantly. But in the case of Nebuchadnezzar the Lord waited a number of years. We can be certain that He paid the debt with interest. Egypt became ripe for judgment. When she thus filled up her cup of iniquity, God opened up the way for Nebuchadnezzar to go there and punish her and allowed him to get his pay from the spoils of Egypt.

The Lord saves people by His grace — that is, those who accept the Lord Jesus Christ and the ample provision for salvation for time and eternity. Thus we are saved by grace through faith. But the Lord pays His children for every particle of service which they render for Him. Even if one gives only a cup of water in the name of a disciple to the least of His disciples, he shall in no wise lose his reward. It pays to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. By serving Him and others in His name, we keep on laying up our treasures in heaven — the thing which our Lord Jesus urges us to do.

The Promise of The Messiah

In that day will I cause a horn to bud forth unto the house of Israel, and I will give the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am Jehovah.” (Ezekiel 29:21)

In symbolic language a horn always signifies a king or power in the abstract sense. The horn referred to here, which is to bud forth unto the house of Israel, is evidently the King of Israel, the Messiah, who is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

The phrase, In that day, has a technical meaning in many instances on the lips of the prophets. It, when thus used, always looks forward to the time at the end of this age and the introduction of the great millennial kingdom. In this case the prophet is talking about the time when this horn of David will arise and take the government of the world in His hands and will reign from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The Judgment Upon Egypt in The Day of Jehovah

Blended with those of The Time of Babylon

The prophets gave their utterances and frequently blended descriptions of events and things separated by vast stretches of time. This principle is known as the double fulfillment of prophecy, or the Law of Double Reference. It has been illustrated by mountain ranges which are seen from a distance. In the foreground appear the lower mountains and towering about them in the far distance are seen higher ones. From the standpoint of the observer he can only see mountains in the distance. In describing what he sees, he may speak of the lower and nearer range and blend that imperceptibly with his description of the peaks of the more distant mountains. Again, he may speak of the higher peaks in the distance and then begin to describe the foothills, or nearer ones. This is an excellent example illustrative of what the prophet does in chapter 30:1-9. In the first of this chapter, without a doubt, we see that Ezekiel looked out into the far distant future — to the end of this age, which concludes with what is known by the prophets as “the day of Jehovah.” A study of this time which is called “the day of Jehovah” shows us that this is a period of seven years during which God pours out His judgments upon a God-defying world. At that time the civilization of the world will be wrecked. It will culminate with the personal bodily return of the Lord Jesus Christ to earth, at which time He will lift the curse and will introduce a new order. He will establish a reign of righteousness upon the earth and the glory of God will encircle the earth as the waters cover the sea.

But in verses 6-19 the prophet, figuratively speaking, lowered his eyes and stopped looking at the distant scene of the day of Jehovah and focused his gaze upon the time nearer him, when the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar would come against Egypt and would carry out the prophecy that He had made in chapter 29. Mention is made in verse 13 of God's causing the images at Memphis to cease. This ancient capital of Egypt was just south of Cairo. God wiped out the very existence of it and even the location of that ancient mighty metropolis was lost to the world until archaeologists dug and finally unearthed its ruins. The ancient city of Thebes is mentioned in verse 16 under the name of No. The ruins of this capital of the Middle Kingdom are among the wonders of the world today. An examination of the prophecies concerning No and a visit to the site of this ancient Egyptian capital shows that the prophet spoke accurately and literally in this prediction.

Pharaoh Impotent in the Face of Nebuchadnezzar

In verses 20-26 we have another oracle which was spoken of in the eleventh year of Jehoiachin's captivity, but in the tenth year of Zedekiah. Of course this oracle was spoken in the midst of the conflict between the armies of Nebuchadnezzar besieging Jerusalem and those of Zedekiah defending it. In verse 21 the Lord spoke of His having broken the arm of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and of its not having been bound up and healed. This seems to refer to some defeat that Pharaoh had suffered recently. It is altogether possible that this may refer to Pharaoh-Hophra and his advancing to the aid of the Jews, as is recorded in Jeremiah 37:5. The Egyptian armies advanced toward Jerusalem. The besieging Chaldean army raised the siege and departed. As to where they went or what they did, the record is silent. Some think that possibly there was a pitched battle between the Egyptian and Chaldean forces and that the Egyptians were thrown back in defeat. In view of the lack of evidence we must refrain from making any decision on this point. It is clear, however, that the Egyptian king had suffered recently a defeat from which he had not recovered. One of his arms therefore is represented as having been wounded and as not having been healed.

In the verses under consideration God pictures the struggle between the Babylonian forces that would fight against Egypt and the Egyptian forces that would defend it. In this representation He speaks of it as a contest, or a duel, between Nebuchadnezzar and Pharaoh. At the time of the fight Pharaoh has one strong arm and one wounded one. On the other hand, Nebuchadnezzar has two strong arms. God places His sword in the hands of Nebuchadnezzar and strengthens him for his duel with Pharaoh. Needless to Say, Pharaoh is conquered, As a result of this sweeping victory for Nebuchadnezzar, the Egyptians are scattered among the nations. As has been said above, the history is very meager and it is impossible for us to gather any definite data concerning the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.


The Oracles Concerning Egypt (Part Two)

In last month's study we investigated chapters 29 and 30 of Ezekiel. These chapters contain an oracle that was spoken in the tenth year of Jehoiachin's captivity, with a shorter one spoken later but incorporated in the body of this general prediction. The message contained in chapter 31 was delivered in the eleventh year and the two contained in chapter 32 were received in the twelfth year of this same era. These four chapters (29-32) constitute the longest oracles concerning any nation other than Israel to be found in the entire Book of God. The reader should study Isaiah, chapter 19, and Jeremiah, chapter 46, in connection with this oracle found in Ezekiel.

The Oracle Given in The Eleventh Year of Jehoiachin's Captivity

In verses 1-9 we have an oracle concerning the Assyrian national tree. In this paragraph the Lord spoke to the prophet and told him to deliver a message to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his multitude, and to ask them: “Whom art thou like in thy greatness?” Without waiting for an answer, the Lord called Pharaoh's attention to the fact that the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches, with a forest like shade, and of high stature. Its top was among the thick boughs. Of course, the prophet, in thus speaking of the great Assyrian Empire, was comparing it to a massive cedar tree of Lebanon. It was situated upon the Tigris with its capital, Nineveh, located immediately upon that river. Like a tree that is on the bank of a stream, and that has plenty of moisture, Nineveh and the Assyrian Empire were most favorably located and could and did grow into one of the most powerful kingdoms of antiquity. In such a massive political tree the birds of the heavens could lodge and make their nests. All other trees in the garden of God are represented as looking with envious eyes upon this great Assyrian monarch of the forest.

The Lord's comparing the nation to this mighty towering, strong cedar was His representation of the attitude of, not only the sovereign of Assyria, but also of the people constituting the Empire. Pride always goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall. This statement is the expression of an unchangeable law that is operative always and in every place. The Lord therefore pronounced judgment upon this great Assyrian tree, stating that it had been delivered into the hands of the mighty one of the nations who had dealt with it. The reason especially for this judgment was wickedness. The tree is represented as having fallen to the ground and the branches as having been broken off. Upon this prostrate tree the birds, of the heavens and the beasts of the field are represented as coming and lodging. The Lord brought this summary Judgment upon Assyria in order to teach the other nations not to exalt themselves too much lest a similar fate should overtake them.

In verses 15-17 the Lord spoke to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and pointed out to him that the judgment which came upon Assyria was sent because of the wickedness of this nation. Historically, Nineveh succumbed to the titanic strokes of judgment dealt her by her adversaries. This occurred in the year 612 B.C. of the accepted chronology. This oracle spoken in the eleventh year of Jehoiachin was in reality the tenth year of Zedekiah, the last King of Judah. Judah fell in the year 586 B.C. Thus this oracle was spoken in 587 B.C. The Lord in it now called Pharaoh's attention to the fact that, when the Assyrian tree was thrown to the ground, its leader and the men of the nation made their descent into Sheol. There of course was great mourning at the catastrophe which had befallen this mighty empire. In a most graphic and pictorial manner the Lord represented Himself as having caused deep mourning to be observed at the downfall of Assyria: “I covered the deep for him, and I restrained the rivers thereof; and the great waters were stayed; and I caused Lebanon to mourn for him, and all the trees of the field fainted for him.”

Just as a heavy tree, when it falls to the ground, causes the earth to shake in the immediate vicinity, thus God represents the fall of Nineveh as causing great consternation and terror to the nations, round about.

When Assyria went down, all of the leaders of the nation descended into Sheol. Prior to the death of Christ all people upon death went to Sheol. The righteous, or rather those who trust God, were put in one apartment, whereas those who did not trust God and did not know Him in a personal manner were sent to another apartment. These two places were separated by an impassable gulf as we learn in Luke, chapter 16. Since the death of Christ, however, the saved upon death go immediately into the presence of God, whereas the lost will still descend into Sheol and will remain there until the end of the Millennial Age, at which time they will be brought forth before the great white throne judgment and will be sent to their eternal destiny of woe.

Having thus pictured the greatness of the Assyrian Empire that had only recently succumbed to the attacks, of the enemy, the Lord warned Pharaoh and Egypt to consider their fate as a message to them to turn from their haughtiness and pride unto the true an the living God. Hence, after having described the downfall of Assyria, the prophet declared pointedly: “This is Pharaoh and all his multitude” (Ezekiel 31:18). Though he had spoken of Assyria under the term of this fallen cedar tree, it is clear from the context and from the quotation just given that the Lord meant by this language that Egypt would suffer the same fate as Assyria had.

The descent of the great heads of the Assyrian Empire and of the Egyptian Kingdom down into Sheol and their becoming weak and impotent like all the rest of the dead reminds one of the prophecy of Isaiah, chapter 14, which foretells the descent of the last emperor of the world, the Antichrist, whom the Lord Jesus will slay by the brightness of His coming and His radiant glory, The reader should turn to this passage and study Isaiah 14:3-27.

Oracles Given in the Twelfth Year of Jehoiachin

The oracles contained in chapter 32 were spoken in the twelfth year of Jehoiachin's captivity. The first one, found in verses 1-16, is spoken of as a lamentation which the prophet was to take up against Pharaoh, king of Egypt. In this funeral dirge the prophet speaks of Pharaoh's having been compared to a young lion of the nations, but now he thinks of him as a great monster in the sea which is taken in the net, and which is brought up out of his waters. When either Ezekiel or any of the other prophets compared Egypt to a lion, is not here revealed. However, we may be certain that he was compared to such. In this passage, however, he is thought of as a great monster in the rivers, possibly a great hippopotamus. The net is thrown over him by the nations and he is caught. He is thus brought up out of his waters and is pulled out upon the dry land. Then he becomes food for the birds of the heavens and for the beasts of the earth. The fulfillment of this figurative language doubtless occurred when Pharaoh was caused to leave his country and go into another land on a military campaign. Then he was beaten and his shattered army was cast forth into the desert. Naturally, when the bodies of men or beasts are lying on the open field, the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the earth come and devour the same. Pharaoh-Necho had, in the fourth year of Jehoiachin, gone up out of his land to Carchemish on the Euphrates where he had suffered a disastrous defeat; but this event was past history when Ezekiel uttered his prophecy. This prediction evidently refers to some event which proved a disastrous blow to Egypt after the fall of Judah. The history of Egypt at this time is rather meager, and our conception of the times is very faulty and limited. At the fall of Egypt in fulfillment of this prophecy the Lord declared that He would cause great mourning:

And when I shall extinguish thee, I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord Jehovah. I will also vex the hearts of many peoples, when I shall bring thy destruction among the nations, into the countries which thou hast not known. 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.” (Ezekiel 32:7-10)

It is altogether possible that this language may be figurative and may be similar to that which is found in 31:15,16. At the same time it is altogether possible, and I say probable, that this is yet to be fulfilled in the future. Egypt is still the basest kingdom of all the nations — as God said (29:15). Egypt may come to the front some time in the future, but of course she will never become what she was in the past. If this prophecy has not been fulfilled, it will yet be fulfilled in the Tribulation. This period, called the Tribulation, or the tame of Jacob's trouble, will be a day when there will be supernatural events seen throughout the material universe. Prior to the bursting forth of the Tribulation there will be signs in the heavens above and upon the earth beneath; there will be a black-out of the sun; the moon will become as blood; and there will be vapor and pillars of smoke and the like in the heavens and upon the earth (Joel 2:28-32). Zephaniah tells us that, in that day, there will be clouds and thick darkness. John in Revelation informs us that these supernatural signs will occur before the Tribulation and at different intervals during it. Our Lord in Matthew 24:29-31 announced that these very signs that precede the Tribulation will follow it immediately, at which time He himself will return from heaven in glory and great power. In view of these various prophecies it is altogether possible that the prediction in Ezekiel, chapter 32, will find its complete and literal fulfillment in the time of the Tribulation.

In verses 11-16 the Lord speaks of using the sword of Babylon against Egypt. To what does this refer? We know from history and also from prophecy that Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar went against Egypt and conquered it. It is altogether possible therefore that this block of Scripture may have had its fulfillment in the subjugation of Egypt by Babylon. At the same time this may yet find its full and complete fulfillment in the end of the age when Babylon becomes a world power, as she is destined to be according to prophecies found in Isaiah, chapters 13 and 14; Jeremiah, chapters 50 and 51; and Revelation, chapter 18.

In verses 17-32 we have a glimpse into Sheol which, as we have already seen, is in the center of the earth. As a person looks through the lens of this prophecy down into the nether parts of the earth, he sees that weird place as a mighty graveyard. One portion of it is given to Assyria and her hosts; at the same time another, to Elam and its hosts. From other verses we see that there will be those of Meshech and Tubal (possibly Russia, Moscow, and Tobolsk) in another place. Likewise the Edomites will be in their particular spot. Thus it is with Pharaoh and his hosts. Of course, all nations who have ever lived, and who have gone out of this world unprepared to meet God, are down there now and will continue to be until the close of the great Millennial Age.

We see the expression, “... all of them uncircumcised, slain by the sword ...” Circumcision in the true sense of the term was the seal of faith in God and of acceptance with Him. The uncircumcised in the language of this passage are the lost. It is a fearful thing to pass through this life without having been reconciled to God. May God help everyone reading this message to turn to Him in simple faith and accept the salvation offered by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Next: The Watchman on the Wall (Chapter 33)

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