And the sword shall come upon Egypt
The sword of the Chaldeans shall come upon the Egyptians, by which they should be cut off; it having a commission from the Lord for that purpose: and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in
Ethiopia being a neighbouring nation to Egypt, shall be in a panic when it shall hear of the sword of the Chaldeans being in Egypt, and of the ravages made by it, of the multitudes slain with it; fearing it will be their turn next to fall into the same hands, and in the same manner; and the rather, not only as they were neighbours, but allies: and they shall take away her multitude;
that is, the Chaldeans shall carry captive vast numbers of the Egyptians; such as fell not by the sword should not escape the hand of the enemy, but be taken and carried into other lands. Egypt was a very populous country; according to Agrippa's speech in Josephus F6, there were in it 7,500,000 persons from Ethiopia to Alexandria, besides the inhabitants of the latter, as might be gathered from the tribute each person paid; hence they are compared to the trees of a forest that cannot be searched, and to grasshoppers innumerable, ( Jeremiah 46:23 ) , but now their numbers should be lesser: and her foundations shall be broken down;
either in a literal sense, the foundations of the cities, towers, and fortified places in Egypt, should be undermined and destroyed, and consequently the buildings on them must sink and fall; or in a figurative sense, her king, princes, magistrates, laws, and government, which are the support of a state, should be removed, and be of no more service.