Thank you for your excellent question. Ezekiel 29 and 30 are a prophecy against Egypt that the Lord gave to Ezekiel. The chapters are too lengthy to copy here, but they are very interesting reading and very instructive. It is very solemn in Ezekiel 29:3,10 where the Lord says, “I am against thee,” when speaking about Pharaoh and Egypt. Let us stop here and consider: is the Lord AGAINST YOU? We read in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” When you stand before the Lord someday, will you be like those in Matthew 7:22-23? The Lord tells us in those verses, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I NEVER KNEW YOU: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” I beg you, dear reader, if you have not yet done so, agree with God that you are a sinner and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior. Then you will be able to confidently say, “The LORD is FOR ME; I will not fear” (Psalm 118:6, NASB).

The reason for the judgment on Egypt is given in Ezekiel 29:3 & 9. Pharaoh had said, “My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” In claiming to have made the Nile River, Pharaoh was claiming to be God. This is offensive to the one true God. This is why we read eight times in Ezekiel 29 and 30 that Pharaoh and the Egyptians “shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 29:6,9,16,21 and Ezekiel 30:8,19,25,26). Pharaoh is not God, and the Lord was going to judge him for claiming to be God. The Egyptians were not guiltless either. We read in Ezekiel 30:13, “Thus saith the Lord God; I will also destroy their idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph.”

The length of Egypt’s judgment is given in Ezekiel 29:11-15 as being 40 years. These verses state, “No foot of man shall pass through it, nor foot of beast shall pass through it, neither shall it be inhabited forty years. And I will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities among the cities that are laid waste shall be desolate forty years: and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations, and will disperse them through the countries. Yet thus saith the Lord GOD; At the end of forty years will I gather the Egyptians from the people whither they were scattered: And I will bring again the captivity of Egypt, and will cause them to return into the land of Pathros, into the land of their habitation; and they shall be there a base kingdom. It shall be the basest of the kingdoms; neither shall it exalt itself any more above the nations: for I will diminish them, that they shall no more rule over the nations.” After 40 years of being scattered “among the nations,” the Lord would bring them back to Egypt but as a less powerful nation. Notice how these verses link with Ezekiel 30:26, which says: “When I scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the lands, then they will know that I am the LORD” (NASB).

God’s instrument of judgment is plainly stated as being Nebuchadnezzar. We read in Ezekiel 29:19-20, “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will give the land of Egypt to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. And he will carry off her wealth and capture her spoil and seize her plunder; and it will be wages for his army. I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor which he performed, because they acted for Me,” declares the Lord GOD” (NASB). We also read in Ezekiel 30:10-11, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also make the multitude of Egypt to cease by the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. He and his people with him, the terrible of the nations, shall be brought to destroy the land: and they shall draw their swords against Egypt, and fill the land with the slain.”

We read in Ezekiel 30:3, “For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.” The day of the LORD speaks in Scripture of times when God personally intervenes in this world to accomplish an aspect of His plan. The future day of the Lord will begin after the Rapture and occur during the Tribulation and Millennium. However, there are times in Scripture, such as this verse, when it mentions the day of the Lord when only talking about events happening at that time. This was a time when God personally intervened to accomplish His purpose of judging Egypt. Another example of this is Joel 1:15-20 when the day of the Lord is mentioned, but it is only speaking in those verses about God’s judgment of a famine in the land of Israel. Later in Joel the future day of the Lord is described, but not in Joel 1:15-20.

Therefore, Ezekiel 30:26 refers to an event that has already been fulfilled. Certainly, any mention of the day of the Lord should remind us about the future judgment that will come on the whole world. May we be faithful to share the gospel and urge them to “flee from the wrath to come” (Matthew 3:7).  (DJ)  (518.2)