Judgment on the King of Egypt
1 Ten years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, the Lord spoke to me on the twelfth day of the tenth month. He said:
2 Ezekiel, son of man, condemn the king of Egypt. Tell him and his people 3 that I am saying:
King of Egypt, you were like a giant crocodile lying in a river. You acted as though you owned the Nile and made it for yourself. But now I, the Lord God, am your enemy! 4 I will put a hook in your jaw and pull you out of the water, and all the fish in your river will stick to your scaly body. 5 I'll throw you and the fish into the desert, and your body will fall on the hard ground. You will be left unburied, and wild animals and birds will eat your flesh. 6 Then everyone in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.
You and your nation refused to help the people of Israel and were nothing more than a broken stick. 7 When they reached out to you for support, you broke in half, cutting their arms and making them fall.
8 So I, the Lord God, will send troops to attack you, king of Egypt. They will kill your people and livestock, 9 until your land is a barren desert. Then you will know that I have done these things.
You claimed that you made the Nile River and control it. 10 Now I am turning against you and your river. Your nation will be nothing but an empty wasteland all the way from the town of Migdol in the north to Aswan in the south, and as far as the border of Ethiopia. 11 No human or animal will even dare travel through Egypt, because no sign of life will be found there for 40 years. 12 It will be the most barren place on earth. Every city in Egypt will lie in ruins during those 40 years, and I will scatter your people throughout the nations of the world.
13 Then after those 40 years have passed, I will bring your people back from the places where I scattered them. 14 They will once again live in their homeland in southern Egypt. But they will be a weak kingdom 15 and won't ever be strong enough to rule nations, as they did in the past. 16 My own people Israel will never again depend on your nation. In fact, when the Israelites remember what happened to you Egyptians, they will realize how wrong they were to turn to you for help. Then the Israelites will know that I, the Lord God, did these things.
King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia Will Conquer Egypt
17 Twenty-seven years after King Jehoiachin and the rest of us had been led away as prisoners to Babylonia, the Lord spoke to me on the first day of the first month. He said:
18 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia has attacked the city of Tyre. He forced his soldiers to carry so many heavy loads that their heads were rubbed bald, and their shoulders were red and sore. Nebuchadnezzar and his army still could not capture the city. 19 So now I will hand over the nation of Egypt to him. He will take Egypt's valuable treasures and give them to his own troops. 20 Egypt will be his reward, because he and his army have been following my orders. I, the Lord God, have spoken.
21 Ezekiel, when Egypt is defeated, I will make the people of Israel strong, and I will give you the power to speak to them. Then they will know that I, the Lord, have done these things.