Against the Ethiopians (Zeph 2:12-2:12)

“You also!

O Ethiopians!

Shall be killed

By my sword!”

Yahweh, via Zephaniah, called out the Ethiopians or the Egyptians.  Yahweh was going to kill them with his own sword.

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The assembly at Samaria (Am 3:9-3:11)

“Proclaim to the strongholds

In Ashdod!

Proclaim to the strongholds

In the land of Egypt!

Say!

‘Assemble yourselves

On Mount Samaria!

See what great tumults

Are within her!

See what oppressions

Are within her midst!’

‘They do not know

How to do right.’

Says Yahweh.

‘They store up violence

In their strongholds.

They store up robbery

In their strongholds.’

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

‘An adversary

Shall surround the land.

He shall strip you

Of your defense.

Your strongholds

Shall be plundered.’”

Amos wanted the enemies of Samaria, the Philistines and the Egyptians, to gather at Mount Samaria to see what was going on there. There was a great uproar and oppression there. Yahweh said that they did not know how to do what was right. They stored up violence and robbery in their fortresses. Thus, Yahweh said that an adversary was going to surround their land, strip them of their defenses, and plunder their fortresses.

They have turned against God (Hos 7:14-7:16)

“They do not cry to me

From the heart.

But they wail

Upon their beds.

They gash themselves

For grain,

For wine.

They rebel against me.

I trained them.

I strengthened

Their arms.

Yet they devise evil

Against me.

They turn to Baal,

A useless unprofitable god.

They have become

Like a defective bow.

Their officials

Shall fall

By the sword,

Because of the rage

Of their tongues.

So much for babbling

In the land of Egypt.”

The Israelites were not crying out to Yahweh from their hearts. Instead they were weeping and wailing in their own beds. They gashed themselves that had been forbidden by the law of Moses, hoping for grain and wine. They had rebelled against Yahweh. Yet it was Yahweh who had trained them and strengthened their arms. However, they continually devised evil against Yahweh, turning to the useless Baal gods. They had become defective bows that could not shoot arrows. Thus, their officials would fall by the sword. Their raging tongues sent them babbling to the Egyptians.

The king of Babylon will attack Egypt (Ezek 30:10-30:12)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘I will put an end

To the hordes

Of Egypt,

By the hand

Of King Nebuchadnezzar

Of Babylon.

He,

With his people

With him,

The most terrible

Of the nations,

Shall be brought in

To destroy the land.

They shall draw

Their swords

Against Egypt.

They shall fill

The land with the slain.

I will dry up

the channels

Of the Nile.

I will sell

The land into the hand

Of evildoers.

I will bring desolation

Upon the land

With everything in it,

By the hand

Of foreigners.’

I,

Yahweh,

Have spoken.”

Yahweh, via Ezekiel, said that he was going to put an end to Egypt, through the hand of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the most terrible of all the nations. This king was coming to destroy the land with drawn swords against the Egyptians so that he would fill the land with dead bodies. Yahweh was going to dry up the river channels of the Nile also. Then Yahweh was somehow going to sell the land to some evildoers, whoever they were. Yahweh, with the hand of foreigners, was going to bring desolation to the land of Egypt with everything in it. Yahweh had clearly spoken.

The restoration of a smaller Egypt (Ezek 29:13-29:16)

“Thus says Yahweh God!

‘At the end of forty years,

I will gather

The Egyptians

From the people

Among whom

They were scattered.

I will restore

The fortunes of Egypt.

I will bring them back

To the land of Pathros,

The land of their origin.

There they shall be

A lowly kingdom.

It shall be the lowliest

Of the kingdoms.

It shall never again

Exalt itself

Above the nations.

I will make them

So small

That they will never again

Rule over the nations.

The Egyptians shall never again

Be the reliance

Of the house of Israel.

They will recall

Their iniquity,

When they turned

To them

For aid.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh God!’”

Yahweh told Ezekiel that at end of forty years, he would gather the Egyptians from wherever they were scattered. He was going to restore the fortunes of Egypt. He was going to bring them back to Pathros, the southern part of Egypt near Thebes, where they originally came from. However, this would be a low kingdom that would not exalt itself among the various nations. They would be so small that they would never again rule over other countries. Israel would not rely on Egypt again. They would recall their iniquity when they turned to them for aid. They would all know that Yahweh was God.

The Assyrian conquerors (Ezek 23:8-23:10)

“She did not give up
Her prostitution activities.
She had practiced them
Since her days
In Egypt.
In her youth,
Men had lain
With her.
They had fondled
Her virgin bosom.
They had poured out
Their lust
Upon her.
Therefore I delivered her
Into the hands
Of her lovers,
Into the hands
Of the Assyrians.
She had lusted
After them.
These Assyrians
Uncovered her nakedness.
They seized her sons.
They seized her daughters.
They killed her
With the sword.
Judgment was executed
Upon her.
She became a byword
Among women.”
Yahweh, via Ezekiel, told the story of Samaria, Oholah. She had practiced prostitution since her youth, when she had played the whore with Egypt. She slept and had sex with the Egyptians. She let them fondle her virgin breasts, so that they poured out their lust on her. Thus Yahweh decided to deliver Oholah into the hand of her Assyrian lovers, since she had lusted after them. Thus Assyria uncovered her nakedness. Then they seized her sons and daughters. Finally, they killed her with the sword, as judgment was executed upon her. She became a byword among women. This is obviously an allusion to the end of the northern kingdom of Israel at Samaria in 724, when the Assyrian King Shalmaneser V conquered and took over northern Israel. Thus the kingdom of Israel at Samaria came to an end.

Prostitution with the Assyrians (Ezek 16:28-16:28)

“You played the whore  

With the Assyrians.

Because you were insatiable.

You played the prostitute

With them.

Still you were not satisfied.”

Yahweh said that they prostituted themselves with the Assyrians, their neighbors to the north. In fact, Yahweh said that they were insatiable. They could not get enough of the Assyrians, who were the natural enemies of the Egyptians. They were never satisfied. They always wanted more Assyrians gods in Jerusalem.