Egypt in Bible Prophecy



John Hoole - February 20, 2011



In our ongoing current study of Ezekiel 38 & 39, along with the unrest that has occurred in Egypt, I have decided to address the potential effect one may have on the other.  We have not finished identifying all the players of the invasion into Israel.  But it will become apparent that Egypt is not included in the list of names.


I have mentioned in recent weeks that the book of Ezekiel can be segmented into several sections.  The first half of the book is speaking about God's intentions regarding Israel and Jerusalem.  The Israelites had sinned and judgment was coming.  The siege of Jerusalem is mentioned in chapter 4.  The next chapter (5) speaks of the aftermath of the siege.  God addresses their idolatry, and in chapters 10 & 11, the glory of God is removed from them.  This continues through chapter 24.


Beginning in chapter 25, and continuing through chapter 32, the prophet Ezekiel speaks of God's judgment to the neighbors of Israel.


         •  Ammon                   25:1-7                      Northern Jordan

         •  Moab                      25:8:11                    Central Jordan

         •  Edom                      25:12-14                  Southern Jordan

         •  Philistia                    25:15-17                  Gasa Strip

         •  Tyre                        26:1 - 28:19              Lebanon

         •  Sidon                      28:20-26                   Lebanon

         •  Egypt                      29:1 - 32:32


If you know your biblical geography, you will notice that each of these seven are immediate neighbors of Israel.


When we get to the next section of Ezekiel, of which Chapters 38 & 39 are a part, the prophet mentions countries and tribal groups, none of which are immediate neighbors of Israel.  I may speak about why Israel's immediate neighbors possibly are not included in Ezekiel 38 & 39.  And when we get to that topic, you may have already noticed one immediate neighbor that is not mentioned in any of these accounts.


But today I want to talk about Egypt.  Next to Israel, Egypt is probably the most mentioned country in the Bible.  Although the Israelites are the chosen people of God, the truth remains that God loves people in every nation.  And that includes the people of Egypt.


As a Christian, I am interested in what happens in Egypt.  I do think that the Bible will help us understand part of what is happening in that nation right now.  There are approximately 250 verses in the Old Testament that, at the time they were given, were prophecies of events yet to take place in Egypt.  This point alone makes Egypt an important place in Bible prophecy.


What will be the result of the nearly three weeks of upheaval in Egypt and witnessed by the world.  Hosni Mubarak is said to have cancer, and will turn 83 on May 4, 2011.  Many expected his son Gamal Mubarak to be his replacement, however, Gamal and his family have reportedly fled to the U.K. for safety.  Hosni Mubarak has left Cairo, and moved to Sharm el-Sheikh, a resort area at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula.  The current leaders in Egypt are the military.  The head of the military is a personal and close friend of Mubarak.  What part will the Muslim Brotherhood have in setting up a new government?  We do not yet know.


There are five major passages that deal with Egypt in prophecy:


                   •  Isaiah 11:15-16

                   •  Isaiah 19:1-25

                   •  Jeremiah 46:2-28

                   •  Ezekiel, chapters 29 - 32

                   •  Daniel 11:40-43


These passages describe three main periods in Egypt's prophetic history.


         1.      Egypt during the age in which we now live.


         2.      Egypt in the Tribulation.


         3.      Egypt in the Millennial reign of Christ.


In this short article, we will not look at all the biblical passages dealing with Egypt.  But I would like to address some of them.  As I read the Bible and what it says about Egypt, it is stated there, and corroborated by ancient historical records, that Egypt was at the height of her power for more than a thousand years.  Between three and four thousand years ago, she was one of the strongest kingdoms on earth.


Egypt during our present era


Earlier, I mentioned that the book of Ezekiel can be divided into 5 or 6 sections.  And I said that Egypt is mentioned in chapters 29 through 32.     Let's look at a portion of this prophecy.  Early in chapter 29, God tells Ezekiel to write of a judgment to come against Egypt.  In verses 10 & 11, the prophet says Egypt will become a wasteland for 40 years.  Later, in verse 18, we are told God will use the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to accomplish this.  Let read, starting at verse 12.


Ezekiel 29:12-16 NIV


12     I will make the land of Egypt desolate among devastated lands, and her cities will lie desolate forty years among ruined cities. And I will disperse the Egyptians among the nations and scatter them through the countries.

13     "'Yet this is what the Sovereign Lord says: At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the nations where they were scattered.

14     I will bring them back from captivity and return them to Upper Egypt, the land of their ancestry. There they will be a lowly kingdom.

15     It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations. I will make it so weak that it will never again rule over the nations.

16     Egypt will no longer be a source of confidence for the people of Israel but will be a reminder of their sin in turning to her for help. Then they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.'"


After the forty years of desolation, God will bring back the Egyptians (vss. 13 & 14).  But please note verse 15"It will be the lowliest of kingdoms and will never again exalt itself above the other nations."  The King James reads: "the basest of kingdoms."


This prophecy is very clear.  The prophet Ezekiel does not use any ambiguous terms here.  And for more than 2,500 years, Egypt has never been over another kingdom.  In all of human history, Egypt rose early to come to a position of eminence.  Why should it not happen again?  This prophecy has stood the test of time for some 2,500 years.  No matter who ends up controlling Egypt today, she will always remain a base kingdom.


After King Nebuchadnezzar's overthrow of Egypt, this land was subsequently conquered by the Persians, then Greece, Rome, the Saracens, the Mamlukes, the Turks, and the British, until 1922.  This is a country with a population of 80 million, but has little power.


Dr. Joe Fuiten, pastor of Cedar Park Assembly of God Church in Bothell, WA, in a recent article, said:


"There have been those who have tried to restore the power of Egypt most notably President Abdul Nasser. He rose to power with the army behind him. In his presidency, he envisioned Egypt as the center of three circles. Those three circles were the Arab circle, the Muslim circle, and the African circle. He did briefly establish a United Arab Republic with Syria but it soon fell apart."


Everything went wrong and the Arabs ended up fighting among themselves instead of uniting to form a mighty nation with Egypt at its head - as was Nassar's dream.  The finger of God was in these events and in spite of Russian aid to Nassar, and later American aid to Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, Egypt remains a "base kingdom" whose common people (the fellahin) have the lowest standard of living in the Middle East.


I have been to Egypt once, and have seen the historical monument of their great day.  Millions of tourists every year visit Egypt to see the days of her greatness.  I have visited the Sphinx nearby the pyramids of Giza and have visited the Valley of the Kings.  I have walked through the enormous structures in Luxor and Karnak.  They speak of an era long past when Egypt was greater than most kingdoms.  But, not today.


Ezekiel, writing some 585 years before Christ, lived at a time when Egypt was still strong.  Except by the power and wisdom of God, he would have had no idea of Egypt steep decline.


Another passage about Egypt worth reading and studying is found in Isaiah 19.  Is God finished with His judgment of Egypt?  This Passage tells us that it is not yet finished, but does inform us that a day is yet to come when her judgment is completed.  Here, we read that God is not only a God of justice, but also a God of grace.


The first three verses might sound somewhat like what happened in Tahrir Square in Cairo recently.  I am not, however, saying this passage is being fulfilled in Egypt today.


Isaiah 19:1-3 NIV       


1       An oracle (NKJV = a burden) concerning Egypt: See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.

2       "I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian —  brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.

3       The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists (NKJV = sorcerers).


Isaiah then describes how the rivers in Egypt will turn foul and dry up.  We don't know when this will happen, but it is definitely future.  And we don't know specifically the cause of the rivers running dry.  Is it because God has stopped the rainfall needed to fill the river beds?  Or does it have something to do with the closing of the Aswan Dam on the Nile, some 450 miles upstream from (south of) Cairo.  While we may not know how and when, we do know that God will keep His word.  This will literally happen.


As Isaiah continues to write, he describes the effects of these judgments upon Egypt through verse 16.  But, beginning in verse 17, Isaiah describes a day when Egypt will turn to God.


Isaiah 19:19-22 NIV


19     In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the Lord at its border.

20     It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.

21     So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them.

22     The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.


This is most definitely speaking about the time when Christ comes back to earth to reign for 1,000 years.  Egypt will receive God blessings.  He will not only judge them, but will also heal them.


Isaiah 19:23-25 NIV


23     In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.

24     In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth.

25     The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance."


Maybe God's blessing on Egypt and Assyria (Iraq) is because they are not participants of the battle against Israel by Russia, Iran  and others.