Prophecy against Egypt
1 On the twelfth day of the tenth month of the tenth year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 2 “Mortal man,” he said, “denounce the king of Egypt. Tell him how he and all the land of Egypt will be punished. 3 Say that this is what the Sovereign Lord is telling the king of Egypt: I am your enemy, you monster crocodile, lying in the river. You say that the Nile is yours and that you made it. 4 I am going to put a hook through your jaw and make the fish in your river stick fast to you. Then I will pull you up out of the Nile, with all the fish sticking to you. 5 I will throw you and all those fish into the desert. Your body will fall on the ground and be left unburied. I will give it to the birds and animals for food. 6 Then all the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord.”
The Lord says, “The Israelites relied on you Egyptians for support, but you were no better than a weak stick. 7 When they leaned on you, you broke, pierced their armpits, and made them wrench their backs. 8 Now then, I, the Sovereign Lord, am telling you that I will have troops attack you with swords, and they will kill your people and your animals. 9 Egypt will become an empty wasteland. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
“Because you said that the Nile is yours and you made it, 10 I am your enemy and the enemy of your Nile. I will make all of Egypt an empty wasteland, from the city of Migdol in the north to the city of Aswan in the south, all the way to the Ethiopian border. 11 No human being or animal will walk through it. For forty years nothing will live there. 12 I will make Egypt the most desolate country in the world. For forty years the cities of Egypt will lie in ruins, ruins worse than those of any other city. I will make the Egyptians refugees. They will flee to every country and live among other peoples.”
13 The Sovereign Lord says, “After forty years I will bring the Egyptians back from the nations where I have scattered them, 14 and I will let them live in southern Egypt, their original home. There they will be a weak kingdom, 15 the weakest kingdom of all, and they will never again rule other nations. I will make them so unimportant that they will not be able to bend any other nation to their will. 16 Israel will never again depend on them for help. Egypt's fate will remind Israel how wrong it was to rely on them. Then Israel will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
King Nebuchadnezzar Will Conquer Egypt
17 On the first day of the first month of the twenty-seventh year of our exile, the Lord spoke to me. 18 “Mortal man,” he said, “King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia launched an attack on Tyre. He made his soldiers carry such heavy loads that their heads were rubbed bald and their shoulders were worn raw, but neither the king nor his army got anything for all their trouble. 19 So now this is what I, the Sovereign Lord, am saying: I am giving the land of Egypt to King Nebuchadnezzar. He will loot and plunder it and carry off all the wealth of Egypt as his army's pay. 20 I am giving him Egypt in payment for his services, because his army was working for me. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken.
21 “When that happens, I will make the people of Israel strong and let you, Ezekiel, speak out where everyone can hear you, so that they will know that I am the Lord.”