The example of Thebes (Nah 3:8-3:10)

“Are you better

Than Thebes?

They sat by the Nile,

With water around her.

Her rampart was a sea.

Water was her wall.

Ethiopia was her strength.

Egypt too was her strength,

Without any limit.

Put

With the Libyans

Were her helpers.

Yet Egypt became an exile.

She went into captivity.

Even her infants were

Dashed into pieces

At the head

Of every street.

Lots were cast

For her nobles.

All her dignitaries

Were bound in chains.”

The Assyrians had captured Thebes, the capital of Egypt in 663 BCE.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that the Assyrians were no better than the Egyptian capital town of Themes on the Nile River.  Even though they were on the Nile River and protected by water all around them, they still fell to these Assyrians.  All their neighbors, including the other people of Egypt, and the surrounding counties of Ethiopia and Libya, were not able to help her.  Thus, Nahum pointed out that Egypt went into exile and captivity.  Even their children and infants were dashed to pieces on the street corners.  They held a lottery for their noble men.  All the important dignitaries of the city of Thebes were bound in chains.  So too, it would be the same for Nineveh and Assyria.

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Praise for the Creator God (Am 9:5-9:6)

“Yahweh!

God of hosts!

He touches the earth,

So that it melts.

All who live in it

Mourn.

All of it rises

Like the Nile.

It sinks again,

Like the Nile of Egypt.

He builds his upper chambers

In the heavens.

He founds his vault

Upon the earth.

He calls for the waters

Of the sea.

He pours them out

Upon the surface

Of the earth.

Yahweh is his name.”

Amos has this praise of Yahweh, the Creator, the God of the heavenly hosts.  Yahweh merely touches the earth and it melts.  Everyone who lives on the earth mourns.  The earth itself rises and sinks like the Nile River in Egypt.  Yahweh has his upper chambers in heaven.  He has put a rounded vault over the earth.  Thus, he calls the waters from the sea and then pours them out on the earth.  He is none other than Yahweh.  Yahweh is his name, the continuing creator of the world.

The desolation of Egypt (Ezek 29:8-29:10)

“Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh God!

I will bring

A sword

Upon you.

I will cut off

From you

Human beings

With animals.

The land of Egypt

Shall be

A desolation

It shall be

A waste.

Then they will know

That I am Yahweh.

Because you said.

‘The Nile is mine.

I made it.’

Therefore,

I am against you.

I am against your channels.

I will make the land

Of Egypt

An utter waste,

A desolation,

From Migdol

To Syene,

As far as the border

Of Ethiopia.”

Yahweh God said that he was going to bring a sword against Pharaoh and his allies. He was going to cut them off from all human beings and animals. The land of Egypt would be a desolation and a waste. Then they would know that Yahweh was God. Because they had said that the Nile River was his and he had made it, Yahweh was going to be against the Egyptian sea dragon Pharaoh of the Nile River with all its Delta channels. He was going to make the land of Egypt an utter waste, a desolation, from the northern town of Migdol to the southern town of Syene, near the Ethiopian border.

The power of God (Ps 68:28-68:31)

“Summon your might!

O God!

Show your strength!

O God!

You have done this for us before.

Because of your temple at Jerusalem,

Kings bear gifts to you.

Rebuke the wild animals

That live among the reeds!

Rebuke the herd of bulls

With the calves of the peoples!

Trample under foot

Those who lust after tribute!

Scatter the peoples

Who delight in war!

Let bronze be

Brought from Egypt!

Let Ethiopia hasten

To stretch out its hands to God.”

As this great procession was headed to the wonderful Temple in Jerusalem, this was a wish that God show his powerful strength. God was to rebuke the wild animals along the reeds of the Nile River, an allusion to Egypt. He was to rebuke the bulls with their calves. He was to trample those people who wanted to collect tribute. He was to scatter the war mongers. The psalmist wanted bronze taken from Egypt. He also wanted Ethiopia to stretch out its hands to God.