It was prophesied that world superpower Egypt was to be the basest of kingdoms and no more to have a native prince (Pharaoh) of its land.
Egypt – a formidable power of the ancient world, was comparable to the United States of America of our day. Ancient Egypt is famous for its pyramids which still stand well over 4,000 years after they were constructed as great monuments to the power the nation of Egypt once had. This nation’s great influence however has now been lost. Its great achievements lay ruined in the sand. This downfall was predicted in the Bible.
No more a prince
Way back in time, when Egypt was still in a power struggle with Babylon, the prophet Ezekiel, through the inspiration of God made this prediction:
“Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will also destroy the idols, and I will cause their images to cease out of Noph; and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt: and I will put a fear in the land of Egypt.” Ezekiel 30:13
So the Bible has made a bold claim. At the point in time when the Egyptian idols were to cease, so would also the native line of rulers.
Jason Thompson, in his book ‘A history of Egypt’, refers to this prophecy when talking about the last king of Egypt:
“The last king of the Thirteenth Dynasty, Nectanebo II (360 – 343 BC), fled south, apparently fulfilling Ezekiel’s prophecy that “there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt” because more than two thousand years would pass before Egypt was again ruled by its own people p95 & 96, ‘A history of Egypt’ by Jason Thompson
Egypt had had a 3,000 year period of almost continuous native rulers. But in BC360 that all came to an end when Alexander the Great conquered Egypt bringing it under Greek rule. From then on there were no native Egyptian rulers until very recently (1950s) and these modern rulers cannot be described as Princes, having the authority of the Pharaohs. How accurate then is the Bible prophecy!
A base Kingdom
“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.” Ezekiel 29:14-15
History tells us clearly that after the Greeks took control of Egypt it has been ruled by other nations. Only recently has it obtained independence and even now it is nowhere near as influential as it once was. It truly is a “base” nation compared to where it used to be – a world superpower.
A land desolate
Another prophecy about Egypt states
“And I will make the rivers dry, and sell the land into the hand of the wicked: and I will make the land waste, and all that is therein, by the hand of strangers: I the LORD have spoken it.” Ezekiel 30:12
So Egypt was to be eventually made waste by a foreign power. History shows this foregin power was the Mamluks and Ottomans who ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1798. They left the country to ruin from an economical point of view.
Cities laid waste
“Thus saith the LORD; They also that uphold Egypt shall fall; and the pride of her power shall come down: from the tower of Syene shall they fall in it by the sword, saith the Lord GOD. And they shall be desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate, and her cities shall be in the midst of the cities that are wasted.” Ezekiel 30:6-7
Egypt is indeed a land of ancient ruins and this shows how accurate the Bible is.
“I will … inflict punishment on Thebes. … and cut off the hordes of Thebes… Thebes will be taken by storm. ” Ezekiel 30 v 14-16 (NIV)
This prediction about Thebes was finally fulfilled in the first century BC, when it was besieged by Ptolemy Lathyrus, the grandfather of Cleopatra. For three years it held out against the besiegers.
Future prophecies about Egypt
In Daniel 11 and Isaiah 19 there are some latter day prophecies which outline a great confederacy of nations which will invade from the north. Daniel tells us that this northern confederacy will come down through Israel into Egypt and then afterward we read in Ezekiel 38 they are “turned back” and go to Israel to destroy the Jews and to take a spoil.
The fate of Egypt and Israel is therefore closely linked in Bible prophecy. The interesting thing about these future prophecies for the Bible student, is that the Bible reveals that the outcome of this great war will be the return of Jesus to save the nation of Israel and to establish God’s Kingdom upon the earth.