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Monday, November 23 2015

Ezekiel 30: Man's Way Of Choosing Friends And Enemies

"Pharaoh Nechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim ... Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh"

Although they each established their sovereign territory (which is the definition of "country") at opposite ends of the Fertile Crescent (see also Israel's Journeys Along The Fertile Crescent), the people (the definition of "nation," from nativity, which means birth) of Egypt and Babylon originated from a common ancestor (see Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq). As such, they knew each other through times of peace, and when they each took their turn as the "superpower" of the "world," through times of war.

Their object-lesson extends beyond merely being careful in choosing one's enemies (e.g. the western nations were swift to go to war against the dictators in militarily-weak Iraq and Afghanistan, but dared not do so with the very same kind of dictators in militarily-strong North Korea and Iran), but also being very careful in choosing one's "friends" because, figuratively speaking, a little hole can sink a very big ship.

Like most imperial powers of today, the ancient imperial powers defended their "allies" for the simple reason that they regarded the territories of their allies to be their own - their "friends" were regarded as their subjects. An example, from when Egypt went to war to defend Israel from Assyria, while subjecting their "ally" Israel to Egyptian rule through Egyptian-appointed stooge kings and taxation - the definition of vassal ("A person holding a fief; a person who owes allegiance and service to a feudal lord").

Pharaoh

"23:29 In his days Pharaohnechoh king of Egypt went up against the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates: and king Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddo, when he had seen him. (2 Kings 23:29 KJV)

"23:34 And Pharaohnechoh made Eliakim the son of Josiah king in the room of Josiah his father, and turned his name to Jehoiakim, and took Jehoahaz away: and he came to Egypt, and died there. 23:35 And Jehoiakim gave the silver and the gold to Pharaoh; but he taxed the land to give the money according to the commandment of Pharaoh: he exacted the silver and the gold of the people of the land, of every one according to his taxation, to give it unto Pharaohnechoh." (2 Kings 23:34-35 KJV)

So it was when Babylon threatened the Kingdom of Judah - that Egypt regarded as their property. While what Egypt did was typical of empires, ancient or present-day, their fatal political and military error was their failure to heed the warning from the LORD that the Babylonians were the appointed agents of the LORD's wrath against Judah after they had made themselves corrupt (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon?). The result was that Egypt was also destroyed, along with Judah, not merely by the Babylonians, but by the LORD (see The Reeds Of The Nile).

"30:1 The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying,

30:2 Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! 30:3 For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen. 30:4 And the sword shall come upon Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt, and they shall take away her multitude, and her foundations shall be broken down.

30:5 Ethiopia, and Libya, and Lydia, and all the mingled people, and Chub, and the men of the land that is in league, shall fall with them by the sword.

30:6 Thus saith the LORD;

They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. 30:7 And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted. 30:8 And they shall know that I am the LORD, when I have set a fire in Egypt, and when all her helpers shall be destroyed.

30:9 In that day shall messengers go forth from me in ships to make the careless Ethiopians afraid, and great pain shall come upon them, as in the day of Egypt: for, lo, it cometh.

30:10 Thus saith the Lord GOD;

I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon. 30:11 He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain. 30:12 And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.

30:13 Thus saith the Lord GOD;

I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt. 30:14 And I will make Pathros desolate, and will set fire in Zoan, and will execute judgments in No. 30:15 And I will pour my fury upon Sin, the strength of Egypt; and I will cut off the multitude of No. 30:16 And I will set fire in Egypt: Sin shall have great pain, and No shall be rent asunder, and Noph shall have distresses daily. 30:17 The young men of Aven and of Pibeseth shall fall by the sword: and these cities shall go into captivity. 30:18 At Tehaphnehes also the day shall be darkened, when I shall break there the yokes of Egypt: and the pomp of her strength shall cease in her: as for her, a cloud shall cover her, and her daughters shall go into captivity. 30:19 Thus will I execute judgments in Egypt: and they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 30:1-19 KJV)

Egypt continued as a major nation of the region, as it remains so today, but it never again held its imperial "superpower" throne. It was an error that was repeated by every imperial power that followed, from Babylon itself, and the Assyrians before them, to Persia, Greece and Rome.

"30:20 And it came to pass in the eleventh year, in the first month, in the seventh day of the month, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

30:21 Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh king of Egypt; and, lo, it shall not be bound up to be healed, to put a roller to bind it, to make it strong to hold the sword. 30:22 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and will break his arms, the strong, and that which was broken; and I will cause the sword to fall out of his hand. 30:23 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries.

30:24 And I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and put my sword in his hand: but I will break Pharaoh's arms, and he shall groan before him with the groanings of a deadly wounded man.

30:25 But I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, and the arms of Pharaoh shall fall down; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall put my sword into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall stretch it out upon the land of Egypt. 30:26 And I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and disperse them among the countries; and they shall know that I am the LORD." (Ezekiel 30:20-26 KJV)

Fact Finder: How many countries existed on Earth in the beginning? How many countries will exist on Earth forever after the Messiah's return?
See The First And Last Nation


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This Day In History, November 23

912: Otto I ("Otto the Great") was born. As German king, he was the Holy Roman emperor from 962 to 973 (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).

1174: Saladin captured Damascus. During the peak of his power, Saladin led the Muslim nations against the Church of Rome's European "Crusaders" (see The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).

The Muslim World

1248: Seville surrendered to Ferdinand III of Castile after a two-year siege.

1510: Ottoman armies (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) sacked Kutaisi (today in European Georgia).

1531: In Switzerland, the Peace of Kappel was signed, ending the second civil war and ensuring Roman Catholic areas were recognized as part of the Swiss Confederation.

1616: Prospero Alpini died at age 63. The physician and botanist is credited with the introducing of coffee and bananas to Europe.

1654: French mathematician Blaise Pascal, 31, underwent a profound religious conversion. He abandoned science, stating that "the Christian religion obliges us to live only for God, and to have no other aim than Him."

1890: Princess Wilhelmina became Queen of the Netherlands at the age of 10 upon the death of her father William III. Her mother, Queen Emma, acted as regent until 1898.

1924: Edwin Hubble's discovery that the Andromeda Galaxy, which had been believed to be merely a nebula within our galaxy (known as the "Milky Way"), is actually another galaxy, and that the Milky Way is only one of a vast number of galaxies in the universe, was first published.

1936: The U.S. abandoned the U.S. embassy in Madrid, Spain because of the civil war there.

1947: Officials at Jerusalem's Hebrew University first learned of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Originating sometime between 200 BCD and 70 AD, they had been found the previous year by two Bedouin boys in a cave near Qumran (listen also to our Sermon The Dead Sea Scrolls).

1959: General Charles de Gaulle, President of France, declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a European Union: "Europe, "from the Atlantic to the Urals."

1979: Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Earl Mountbatten, cousin of Queen Elizabeth.

1980: A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Eboli in southern Italy, killing 2,735 people and injuring at least 7,500. It was Europe's most severe earthquake since 1915.

1985: 58 people were killed when Egyptian commandos stormed a hijacked Egyptair airliner in Malta.

2005: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia, thereby becoming the first woman to lead an African country.


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