Never a World Power Again
1-6In the tenth year, in the tenth month, on the twelfth day, God's Message came to me: "Son of man, confront Pharaoh king of Egypt. Preach against him and all the Egyptians. Tell him,
'God, the Master, says:
"'Watch yourself, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
I'm dead set against you,
You lumbering old dragon,
lolling and flaccid in the Nile,
Saying, "It's my Nile.
I made it. It's mine."
I'll set hooks in your jaw;
I'll make the fish of the Nile stick to your scales.
I'll pull you out of the Nile,
with all the fish stuck to your scales.
Then I'll drag you out into the desert,
you and all the Nile fish sticking to your scales.
You'll lie there in the open, rotting in the sun,
meat to the wild animals and carrion birds.
Everybody living in Egypt
will realize that I am God.
6-9"'Because you've been a flimsy reed crutch to Israel so that when they gripped you, you splintered and cut their hand, and when they leaned on you, you broke and sent them sprawling—Message of God, the Master—I'll bring war against you, do away with people and animals alike, and turn the country into an empty desert so they'll realize that I am God.
9-11"'Because you said, "It's my Nile. I made it. It's all mine," therefore I am against you and your rivers. I'll reduce Egypt to an empty, desolate wasteland all the way from Migdol in the north to Syene and the border of Ethiopia in the south. Not a human will be seen in it, nor will an animal move through it. It'll be just empty desert, empty for forty years.
12"'I'll make Egypt the most desolate of all desolations. For forty years I'll make her cities the most wasted of all wasted cities. I'll scatter Egyptians to the four winds, send them off every which way into exile.
13-16"'But,' says God, the Master, 'that's not the end of it. After the forty years, I'll gather up the Egyptians from all the places where they've been scattered. I'll put things back together again for Egypt. I'll bring her back to Pathros where she got her start long ago. There she'll start over again from scratch. She'll take her place at the bottom of the ladder and there she'll stay, never to climb that ladder again, never to be a world power again. Never again will Israel be tempted to rely on Egypt. All she'll be to Israel is a reminder of old sin. Then Egypt will realize that I am God, the Master.'"
17-18In the twenty-seventh year, in the first month, on the first day of the month, God's Message came to me: "Son of man, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, has worn out his army against Tyre. They've worked their fingers to the bone and have nothing to show for it.
19-20"Therefore, God, the Master, says, 'I'm giving Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He'll haul away its wealth, pick the place clean. He'll pay his army with Egyptian plunder. He's been working for me all these years without pay. This is his pay: Egypt. Decree of God, the Master.
21"'And then I'll stir up fresh hope in Israel—the dawn of deliverance!— and I'll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they'll realize that I am God.'"