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December 7

Ezekiel 29; Jude 1:14-25

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Ezekiel 29:1-6] The Pharaoh in Egypt at that time was Hophra who reigned from 589 to 570 BC. His promises of assistance prompted Judah to break with Babylon. Both Egypt and her leader were singled out for judgment.

Ezekiel compares Pharaoh to a great monster in Egypt's streams. "Monster" (tannim, a variant spelling of tannin) described reptiles, from large snakes (Ex. 7:9-10) to giant sea monsters (Gen. 1:21). It probably included crocodiles. This word was also used in Semitic mythology to describe the chaos-monster who was destroyed when the world was created. Possibly Ezekiel had both ideas in mind. Reptiles in the Nile (especially crocodiles) symbolized Egypt's strength and ferocity. Egyptians believed that Pharaoh could conquer the chaos-monster; but here, ironically, God called Pharaoh the monster! Pharaoh was considered a god; therefore he thought of himself as having created the Nile (cf. Ezek. 29:9). Pharaoh, however, would soon learn he was no match for the true Creator-God. God said He would drag Egypt away from her place of protection in the Nile and leave her in the desert. This depicts God's subduing the crocodile (or the mythological "god" who lived in the water) and dragging him to a barren place where he would soon perish. God would defeat Egypt despite her great strength.

John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), p. 1285.

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