The desolation of Egypt. (1-16) Also a promise of mercy to Israel. (17-21)
Verses 1-16 Worldly, carnal minds pride themselves in their property, forgetting that whatever we have, we received it from God, and should use it for God. Why, then, do we boast? Self is the great idol which all the world worships, in contempt of God and his sovereignty. God can force men out of that in which they are most secure and easy. Such a one, and all that cleave to him, shall perish together. Thus end men's pride, presumption, and carnal security. The Lord is against those who do harm to his people, and still more against those who lead them into sin. Egypt shall be a kingdom again, but it shall be the basest of the kingdoms; it shall have little wealth and power. History shows the complete fulfilment of this prophecy. God, not only in justice, but in wisdom and goodness to us, breaks the creature-stays on which we lean, that they may be no more our confidence.
Verses 17-21 The besiegers of Tyre obtained little plunder. But when God employs ambitious or covetous men, he will recompense them according to the desires of their hearts; for every man shall have his reward. God had mercy in store for the house of Israel soon after. The history of nations best explains ancient prophecies. All events fulfil the Scriptures. Thus, in the deepest scenes of adversity, the Lord sows the seed of our future prosperity. Happy are those who desire his favour, grace, and image; they will delight in his service, and not covet any earthly recompence; and the blessings they have chosen shall be sure to them for ever.
This chapter contains a prophecy against Pharaoh king of Egypt; and of the destruction of the land of Egypt; and of the restoration of it after a certain time. The time of prophecy is noted, Eze 29:1, the order to prophesy against Pharaoh, who is described as a large fish, lying in his rivers, and boasting of them, Eze 29:2,3, his destruction and the manner of it, Eze 29:4,5, the reason of it, his treachery to the Jews, Eze 29:6,7, hence the whole land of Egypt is threatened with desolation, from one end to the other, so as to be uninhabited by man or beast for the space of forty years, Eze 29:8-14, but shall not arrive to their former glory as a kingdom, nor be any more the confidence of the house of Israel, Eze 29:15,16, then follows a prophecy seventeen years after this, showing the reason why Egypt was given to the king of Babylon, Eze 29:17-20, and the chapter is closed with a promise of happiness to Israel, Eze 29:21.