Read 237.) Ezekiel 25:1 thru 17, 29:1 thru 16, and 30:1 thru 31:18. Ezekiel and Jeremiah were contemporaries. Jeremiah was left to prophesy unto Judah and Jerusalem. Ezekiel had been taken away with the captives from Judah by Nebuchadnezzar back to Babylon. Time clues put his ministry as beginning 593 BC. We were reading in Ezekiel recently, but the last three readings, we’ve been back to Jeremiah in Jerusalem, and it’s 587. Beginning with chapter 25, Ezekiel, by the Spirit of God, castigates Ammon, Moab, Edom and Philistia. These nation states surrounded Judah. Ammon and Moab were to the east, the other side of the Jordan. Edom was to the south, and Philistia to the west and south, on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Because these cheered the Babylonian destruction of Judah and Jerusalem, they were being told that they were also going to get theirs, too!
Chapter 25 opens against Ammon. These people, whose origin is recounted in Genesis 19, are no more, as the text said they would be. Ditto Moab, in verses 8 thru 11. Edom, to the south and east, below Ammon and Moab, would be destroyed as well. The chapter closes against the Philistines, who dwelt on the coast, to the south and west of Judah. Gone; they’re all gone, just as Ezekiel had prophesied.
Chapter 29, the first 16 verses, gives us a time clue of 587, and coming right up on 586. It opens against Egypt. The promise had been that those who blessed Israel, God would bless… and those who were a curse to Israel, the Lord would curse. With verses 6 and 7, we learn that Egypt, while promising to be a blessing to Israel, was a curse. And, now, they were due for theirs! But, somewhat like Israel, herself, Egypt would be permitted to come back; and she remains to this day, but not in great splendor as before.
Chapters 30 and 31 take up another lengthier condemnation against Egypt. The time clues in 30:20 and 31:1 tells us we are into 586. With 30:1-9, word clues suggest that this prophesied destruction is fully realized in the coming Tribulation of the end times. After this passage, it is surely of this time of 586, when Babylon took all the region. Chapter 31 speaks to Egypt, to remind it of what Babylon did to Assyria, when it finally fell to Babylon in 605. It took a decade for Assyria to fall to its rival.
We are rapidly coming to the end of the 4th Prophecy of ancient Israel, that of her prophesied unfaithfulness against the Lord. It commenced at Judges 2:10, and about 1400 BC. The Lord has endured her faithlessness and disobedience for 800 years! In all that time, He shows that He is gracious, merciful and long-suffering; but also, that He is faithful to His own promises. And, though He may tarry long, it is only to show that He gives a people every opportunity to turn unto Him in repentance, that He might not have to destroy them. Was there ever a day when you turned to the Lord in repentance and humility? It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell