“Weep and wail
for that day,
3 for the terrible day is almost here—
the day of the Lord!
It is a day of clouds and gloom,
a day of despair for the nations.
4 A sword will come against Egypt,
and those who are slaughtered will cover the ground.
Its wealth will be carried away
and its foundations destroyed.
The land of Ethiopiaa will be ravished.
5 Ethiopia, Libya, Lydia, all Arabia,b
and all their other allies
will be destroyed in that war.
6 “For this is what the Lord says:
All of Egypt’s allies will fall,
and the pride of her power will end.
From Migdol to Aswanc
they will be slaughtered by the sword,
says the Sovereign Lord.
7 Egypt will be desolate,
surrounded by desolate nations,
and its cities will be in ruins,
surrounded by other ruined cities.
8 And the people of Egypt will know that I am the Lord
when I have set Egypt on fire
and destroyed all their allies.
9 At that time I will send swift messengers in ships
to terrify the complacent Ethiopians.
Great panic will come upon them
on that day of Egypt’s certain destruction.
Watch for it!
It is sure to come!
10 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
By the power of King Nebuchadnezzard of Babylon,
I will destroy the hordes of Egypt.
11 He and his armies—the most ruthless of all—
will be sent to demolish the land.
They will make war against Egypt
until slaughtered Egyptians cover the ground.
12 I will dry up the Nile River
and sell the land to wicked men.
I will destroy the land of Egypt and everything in it
by the hands of foreigners.
I, the Lord, have spoken!
13 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
I will smash the idolse of Egypt
and the images at Memphis.f
There will be no rulers left in Egypt;
terror will sweep the land.
14 I will destroy southern Egypt,g
set fire to Zoan,
and bring judgment against Thebes.h
15 I will pour out my fury on Pelusium,i
the strongest fortress of Egypt,
and I will stamp out
the hordes of Thebes.
16 Yes, I will set fire to all Egypt!
Pelusium will be racked with pain;
Thebes will be torn apart;
Memphis will live in constant terror.
17 The young men of Heliopolis and Bubastisj will die in battle,
and the womenk will be taken away as slaves.
18 When I come to break the proud strength of Egypt,
it will be a dark day for Tahpanhes, too.
A dark cloud will cover Tahpanhes,
and its daughters will be led away as captives.
19 And so I will greatly punish Egypt,
and they will know that I am the Lord.”
20 On April 29,l during the eleventh year of King Jehoiachin’s captivity, this message came to me from the Lord: 21 “Son of man, I have broken the arm of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. His arm has not been put in a cast so that it may heal. Neither has it been bound up with a splint to make it strong enough to hold a sword. 22 Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am the enemy of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt! I will break both of his arms—the good arm along with the broken one—and I will make his sword clatter to the ground. 23 I will scatter the Egyptians to many lands throughout the world. 24 I will strengthen the arms of Babylon’s king and put my sword in his hand. But I will break the arms of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he will lie there mortally wounded, groaning in pain. 25 I will strengthen the arms of the king of Babylon, while the arms of Pharaoh fall useless to his sides. And when I put my sword in the hand of Babylon’s king and he brings it against the land of Egypt, Egypt will know that I am the Lord. 26 I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, dispersing them throughout the earth. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”
a. 30:4 Hebrew Cush; similarly in 30:9.
b. 30:5 Hebrew Cush, Put, Lud, all Arabia, Cub. Cub is otherwise unknown and may be another spelling for Lub (Libya).
c. 30:6 Hebrew to Syene.
d. 30:10 Hebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar.
e. 30:13a The Hebrew term (literally round things) probably alludes to dung.
f. 30:13b Hebrew Noph; also in 30:16.
g. 30:14a Hebrew Pathros.
h. 30:14b Hebrew No; also in 30:15, 16.
i. 30:15 Hebrew Sin; also in 30:16.
j. 30:17a Hebrew of Awen and Pi-beseth.
k. 30:17b Or and her cities.
l. 30:20 Hebrew On the seventh day of the first month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on April 29, 587 b.c.; also see note on 1:1.