A prophecy against Egypt
1 The Lord spoke to me. It was the twelfth day of the tenth month of the tenth year.
2 ‘Son of man,’ he said. ‘Turn against Pharaoh, the king of Egypt. You must prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak to him and say: The Lord God says this:
I am against you, Pharaoh, king of Egypt.
You are like the great wild animal that lies in your streams.
You say, “The River Nile is mine; I made it for myself.”
4 But I will catch you like a fish.
I will catch your mouth with a piece of bent metal.
I will pull you out of your streams.
Little fish will hang on the points of your skin.
5 I will leave you and your little fish in the desert.
You will lie on the ground.
And nobody will pick you up.
I will give you as food to the wild animals and birds.
6 Then all the people in Egypt will know that I am the Lord.
Israel's people thought that you would help them. 7 But your help was like a thin stick. It broke. And it tore their shoulders when they held it. And it hurt their backs when they put weight on it.’
8 So this is what the Lord God of Israel says, ‘I will bring men with swords to kill your men and their animals. 9 I will make Egypt become a desert where nobody lives. Then they will know that I am the Lord.
I am against you because you said, “The River Nile is mine. I made it.”
10 I am against you and your streams. I will destroy the country called Egypt. I will destroy it from Migdol to Aswan, as far as Cush. I will make it a desert where nobody lives. 11 No men or animals will walk there and nobody will live there for 40 years. 12 It will become a desert among desert lands. Its broken cities will be empty for 40 years. I will push the Egyptians out to other lands. They will go to many other countries.’
13 But this is what the Lord God says, ‘I will bring back the Egyptians from the lands where I sent them. I will do this after the 40 years. 14 I will bring them back from their prisons. I will bring them to Pathros, the country of their fathers. There they will not be important. 15 Their king will be the least important of all kings. People will never again think that Egypt is important. I will make it so weak that it can never rule over other nations. 16 Egypt's people will no longer be able to help Israel. But they will make Israel's people remember their sin. Their sin was to ask Egypt for help. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.’
17 The Lord spoke to me in the 27th year. It was the first day of the first month. 18 ‘Son of man,’ he said. ‘Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon fought to win the city called Tyre. His soldiers carried such great weights that their skin broke. And it bled. But they did not find there any things of value to pay for their work.’
19 So this is what the Lord God, says: ‘I will give Egypt to the king of Babylon. He will take away all its valuable things. He will go through the country to find things to give to his soldiers. 20 I will do this to pay him. He and his army did what I wanted. So I will pay him,’ says the Lord God.
21 ‘When that happens, I will make Israel's people strong. Then I will open your mouth to speak to them. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’