25. The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith, Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him:
25. Dicit Jehova exercituum, Deus Israel, Ecce ego visito super multitudinem quae ab Alexandria, et super Pharaonem, et super Aegyptum, et super deos ejus, et super reges ejus, et super Pharaonem, et super eos, qui confidunt in ipso.
The Prophet speaks again in God's name, and sets God's glory in opposition to the perverseness of his own nation; for, as it has been said, he effected but little when he threatened the Egyptians. For the Jews, believing that land to be impregnable, were secure; because they thought that the Egyptians would come to their aid, and so they believed that they were fortified against any hostile power. As then the Jews were inebriated with this false confidence, the Prophet was constrained, not only with many words to enlarge on this subject, but also to introduce God as the judge.
He then does not speak here in his own words, but says, Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, hath spoken, Behold I, etc. It was a form of speaking much more forcible than if the Prophet had repeated in his own name what God had committed to him; and yet the Jews were not moved: but still this mode of speaking was calculated to break down their obduracy. he then says, Behold, I will visit the multitude, etc. The word 'mvn, amun, is to be taken here for hmvn, emun; ', aleph, is put for h, he; though some render it |king,| but improperly: I will visit the multitude which is from Alexandria We know that this was a celebrated city of Egypt, though it had not yet this name; for Alexander was not born, who called it by his own name; but it had its old name n', na, and it was so called by the Hebrews. In after time it was called Alexandria, its name having been changed.
But there is here a statement of a part for the whole, for the Prophet included the whole of Egypt; what is general is comprehended under what is particular; for God spared not the other cities of Egypt; and it appears from the context that the prophecy extended to all parts of that land, not one angle, even the least, being excepted. But as Alexandria might have remained safe, while the other cities were destroyed, it is here especially mentioned, as though he had said, that nothing would be safe in Egypt. Behold, he says, I will visit the multitude, etc. It was a very populous city, as we gather from heathen writers; and hence it was that it was full of pride, for they thought it sufficiently safe when they had as it were a proportionate army. But the Prophet derides this vain glory, and says that the vast number of people in Alexandria would avail nothing to prevent the Chaldeans to take possession of it.
I will visit, he says, the whole people, and then Pharaoh and Egypt We now clearly see that the city named was the chief city, and that its multitude was expressly mentioned, that the Egyptians might know, that they could not escape destruction, because they had war with God, and not with men; for as long as they looked on the Chaldeans alone, they remained secure. But the Prophet awakens them from their lethargy, and says, that they were not to look on what the Chaldeans of themselves could do, for they would carry on war under the banner of God, and under his guidance would, without any difficulty, penetrate through the whole of Egypt. Hence he says, I will visit Pharaoh and Egypt
He adds, and her gods. We know that that land was very much given to superstitions, that the Egyptians had imbibed gross and shameful errors, though otherwise remarkable for their wisdom and knowledge. But God had smitten them with madness, so that they were become almost like brute beasts. Besides, as they thought that they had perfect safety in their idols, the Prophet shakes off this confidence, and declares that God would not only be the judge of men but also of the idols. For we know that men strengthen themselves against God's threatenings either by superstition or by confidence in their own strength: as long as they depend on the world, they gather from all quarters some grounds of hope; and hence it is, that they think that they will be safe though in opposition to God's will. The Prophet beats down this folly when he says, Behold, I will visit the multitude of Alexandria, and adds, I will visit the gods of Egypt. As the unbelieving, when they find earthly aids not sufficient for them, flee to God, but not in the right way, for they become vain in their foolish thoughts; hence is the reason why the Prophet threatens the idols of Egypt.
He adds, her kings. There was indeed but one king in Egypt, why then does he mention kings? This may be explained of successors; but I prefer taking |kings| here as meaning the satraps and princes, for we know that the kingdom was very opulent, that it had many equal to kings. I therefore think that the Prophet adorned the princes and satraps of Egypt with this high title; and he confirms this opinion by what immediately follows, even -- Pharaoh and those who trust in him He repeats the name of Pharaoh, and when he says that he would visit those who trust in him, I doubt not but that the Prophet points out those whom he had before designated |kings.| We now then perceive the real meaning, that though Pharaoh had many defenses, being strengthened by a great multitude of men, and had also mighty satraps, yet all this would prove fading and evanescent, when he would have to carry on war with God: and God declares here that he would be the general of the whole war guiding and directing the Chaldeans. It now follows, --