Ezekiel 29:10 MEANING

Ezekiel 29:10
(10) From the tower of Syene.--The word here translated "tower" is a proper name, Migdol, a town, mentioned in Exodus 14:2, near Suez. Syene has in the original the affix denoting towards, and the translation should therefore be, from Migdol to Syene, even unto the border of Ethiopia; in other words, "the whole length of the land." Syene was a town on the extreme southern border of Egypt, represented by the modern Assouan, which is situated near its ruins. There is a like error of translation in Ezekiel 30:6.

Verse 10. - From the tower of Syene, etc. The Authorized Version is misleading, as Syene was itself on the border of Ethiopia. Better, with the Revised Version margin, from Migdol to Syene, even to the border of Ethiopia. The Migdol (equivalent to "tower") so named is mentioned in the 'Itinerarium' of Antoninus (p. 171, edit. Wafael), and was about twelve miles from Pelusium, and thus represented the northern extremity of Egypt; as Syene, identified with the modern Assouan, represented the southern, being the last fortified town in Egypt proper. The expedition of Psammis against Ethiopia, as above, had probably given prominence to the latter fortress. So taken, the phrase corresponded to the familiar "from Dan to Beersheba" of Judges 20:1, etc.

29:1-16 Worldly, carnal minds pride themselves in their property, forgetting that whatever we have, we received it from God, and should use it for God. Why, then, do we boast? Self is the great idol which all the world worships, in contempt of God and his sovereignty. God can force men out of that in which they are most secure and easy. Such a one, and all that cleave to him, shall perish together. Thus end men's pride, presumption, and carnal security. The Lord is against those who do harm to his people, and still more against those who lead them into sin. Egypt shall be a kingdom again, but it shall be the basest of the kingdoms; it shall have little wealth and power. History shows the complete fulfilment of this prophecy. God, not only in justice, but in wisdom and goodness to us, breaks the creature-stays on which we lean, that they may be no more our confidence.Behold, therefore, I am against thee, and against thy rivers,.... Against the king of Egypt, and against his subjects, the many people he ruled over; as the Lord is against spiritual Egypt, and the head of it, and the antichristian states, signified by many waters, rivers, and fountains; see Revelation 11:8,

and I will make the land of Egypt utterly waste and desolate; partly by a civil war, and partly by a foreign enemy; especially those parts of it which were the seat of war:

from the tower of Syene even unto the border of Ethiopia; or the tower of Seveneh; according to Herodotus (i), Syene was a city of Thebais, where he was told were two mountains, which gave rise to the Nile. Pliny (k) says it was six hundred twenty five miles from Alexandria; and it is by him, as well as Strabo (l), placed under the tropic of Cancer; who both say, in the summer solstice, at noon, no shadow is cast there; to which the poet Lucan (m) refers, It is now called Essuaen; which city, as Mr. Norden (n) says, who lately travelled in those parts, is situated on the eastern shore of the Nile; and he relates that there remain still some marks of the place where the ancient city stood; as to the rest, it is so covered with earth, that there is nothing but rubbish, from which, in some places, one would judge that there were formerly magnificent buildings here. The utter destruction of which, with the rest of Egypt prophesied of, appears to have been fulfilled. This place is famous for being the place of the banishment of Juvenal the poet, where he died, being eighty years of age. The tower of Syene, Jerom says, remained to his days, and was subject to the Roman government, where are the cataracts of the Nile; and to which place, from our sea, he says, the Nile is navigable: but, according to Pliny. (o), Syene itself was on the border of Ethiopia; and so say Pausanias (p) and Solinus (q): and, according to Seneca (r), it was the extreme part of Egypt. So Josephus (s) says the south border of Egypt is Syene, which separates it from Ethiopia; and that between Pelusium (the entrance of Egypt) and Syene are two hundred and fifty miles. It lay between Egypt and Ethiopia, so that it might seem doubtful to which it belonged. It seems better therefore to take "Migdol", rendered a "tower", for the proper name of a place, as the Septuagint do; and such a place there was in Egypt, Jeremiah 44:1, a town on the Red sea, Exodus 14:2, so that the one was on the border of Egypt on one side, and the other on the other: and the words may be rendered (t), "from Migdol to Syene, even to the border of Ethiopia"; from one end of it to the other: it denotes the utter desolation of the country, from one end to the other. Unless by Cush, rendered "Ethiopia", is meant Arabia, as it often is, and is thought by some to be intended here; which was on the northern border of Egypt, as Syene was, a city in Thebais, near to Ethiopia, on the southern border of it; so that this describes Egypt from south to north; but the former account seems best.

(i) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 28. (k) Nat. Hist. l. 2. c. 73. (l) Geograph. l. 2. p. 65, 78. (m) "Umbras nusquan flectente", Syene. Pharsal. l. 2. v. 587. (n) Travels in Egypt and Nubis, vol. 1. p. 143. vol. 2. p. 97, 103. (o) Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9. (p) Arcadica, sive l. 8. p. 518. (q) Polyhistor, c. 45. (r) Apud Servium in Virgil. Aeneid. l. 6. p. 1011. (s) De Bello Jud. l. 5. c. 10. sect. 5. (t) See Prideaux's Connexion, part 1. B. 2. p. 93. So the words are rendered by Hillerus, Onomast. Sacr. p. 672. who observes, that Syene is now called by the Arabs "Asuan", from the Ethiopic word "Wasou", which signifies to terminate or finish, this being the border of Ethiopia.

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