Monday, January 31, 2011

The Punishment of Egypt in the End of Days

Due to recent events in Egypt, I thought I'd mention some of the End of Days prophecies about Egypt.  While it is debatable whether or not they apply to recent events, I hope to expand this list further in the coming days.
  • Yehezkel 29-32 talks about the punishment that will happen to Egypt, but it seems to refer to the lashing it will be getting from Nevuchadnetzar.  This seems to be the consensus among most of the commentaries.  However, Abravanel, in the beginning of Chapter 30, says that while part of the prophecy does indeed refer to Nevuchadnetzar's thrashing of Par'oh Necho, other parts refer to Egypt in the End of Days.  Also of note is what Abravanel says in Chapter 32:
    והוא מה שבארתי במעין הי"א מספר מעיני הישועה...
    שעשיתי בפי׳ ספר דניאל והוא שקודם הגאולה אשר
    קווינוה(?) עתידים הנוצרים בני אדום אשר בארצות המערב
    ורומי ואיטליא ללכת לכבוש את ירושלים ואת כל א״י
    שהוא כולו היום ממלכות מצרים וילכדו את ארץ מצרים
    ראשונה ויחריבו את מצרים ויהרגו המון רב ועם עצום
    ...בקרבה וכן יכבשו הרבה מארץ ישראל
    ...and that is what I explained in Ma'ayan 11 from the book "Mayenei Hayeshua" that I did in explaining the Book of Daniel. And that is that before the Redemption that we hope for, the Christians - sons of Edom who are in the Western lands - and Romi and Italy - will in the future capture Yerushalayim and all of Eretz Yisrael, which is today the kingdom of Egypt. And they will capture the land of Egypt first, and they will destroy Egypt and they will kill a great and powerful multitude inside it, and similarly, they will capture much of Eretz Yisrael...
    The rest of what the Abravanel says is very interesting too.
  • Among those chapters that deal with Egypt, we have the following verse (29:21):
    בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, אַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּלְךָ אֶתֵּן פִּתְחוֹן-פֶּה, בְּתוֹכָם; וְיָדְעוּ, כִּי-אֲנִי יְהוָה.
    In that day will I cause a horn to shoot up unto the house of Israel, and I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them; and they shall know that I am the LORD.
    All the commentaries grapple with this on its connection to the prophecies about Egypt, but pretty much all of them explain this to mean some salvation that happened around the time of end of Galut Bavel. However, this is not universal. Abravanel again says that this is an example of a verse that has to do with the Final Redemption.  Avuderaham uses this verse as the prooftext for the blessing of את צמח דוד עבדך מהרה תצמיח וקרנו תרום בישועתך, which is clearly referring to the Final Redemption.

    Additionally, this verse is used in a very famous gemara, which became even more famous lately:
    אמר רבי חנינא
    אין בן דוד בא עד שיתבקש דג לחולה ולא
    ימצא שנאמר
    אז אשקיע מימיהם ונהרותם
    ביום ההוא
    כשמן אוליך וכתב (בתריה)
    אצמיח קרן לבית ישראל 
    Ribbi Hanina said: [Mashiah] Ben David will not come until a fish will be sought for a sick person and it will not be found, as it says "Then will I make their waters to settle, and cause their rivers to run like oil" and it says (afterwards) "In that day will I cause a horn to shoot up unto the house of Israel".
    The Maharsha asks that the second verse is not after the first verse and not even close to it. He answers that we know that all kinds of fish were exiled from Israel when the Jewish people went into exile, but after the downfall of Egypt in the End of Days, there will be no fish for the sick people in Egypt as they will have all swum to Israel.
  • Yoel 4:19:
    מִצְרַיִם, לִשְׁמָמָה תִהְיֶה, וֶאֱדוֹם, לְמִדְבַּר שְׁמָמָה תִּהְיֶה; מֵחֲמַס בְּנֵי יְהוּדָה, אֲשֶׁר-שָׁפְכוּ דָם-נָקִיא בְּאַרְצָם
    Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land.
    The Radak says that Egypt here refers to all of Yishmael, but it says Egypt since Yishmael's wife and mother were both Egyptian.
  • The gemara Sota 9a:
    והאמר רבא שלשה כוסות האמורות במצרים
    למה אחת ששתת בימי משה ואחת ששתת
    בימי פרעה נכה ואחת שעתידה לשתות עם
    ...but doesn't Rava say: the 3 cups that were said regarding Egypt [in the dream of the head butler - Rashi] - what do they symbolize? One that it drank [i.e. got punished for] during the days of Moshe, one that it drank during the days of Par'oh Necho, and one that it will drink in the future together with its friends [during the days of Mashiah - Rashi].
  • Update: In the comments, Tomer Devorah reminds me that Yeshaya Chapter 19 is also talking about Egypt's downfall. As with the prophecy in Yehezkel, the vast majority of commentaries say that the prophecy is for that period, but again, the Abravanel says that it refers to the Final Redemption.
  • Especially interesting is how he interprets verses 2-4 of the chapter.
  • Update #2: I totally missed a famous one - Zecharia 14:18-19:
    וְאִם-מִשְׁפַּחַת מִצְרַיִם לֹא-תַעֲלֶה וְלֹא בָאָה, וְלֹא עֲלֵיהֶם; תִּהְיֶה הַמַּגֵּפָה, אֲשֶׁר יִגֹּף יְהוָה אֶת-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא יַעֲלוּ, לָחֹג אֶת-חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת
    זֹאת תִּהְיֶה, חַטַּאת מִצְרָיִם; וְחַטַּאת, כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא יַעֲלוּ, לָחֹג אֶת-חַג הַסֻּכּוֹת.
    And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, they shall have no overflow; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the nations that go not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that go not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
  • Update #3: I didn't realize that the Malbim interprets Yehezkel 32:17 until the end of the Perek as talking about the End of Days.
  • Daniel 11:42:
       וְיִשְׁלַח יָדוֹ, בַּאֲרָצוֹת; וְאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, לֹא תִהְיֶה לִפְלֵיטָה.
    He shall stretch forth his hand also upon the countries; and the land of Egypt shall not escape.
    See also Ibn Ezra on 11:40 and on 12:11


At Mon Jan 31, 03:23:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just curious, I seem to recall that when Bush came to Israel (I believe the last time) that R’Eliyahsiv handed him a note saying “Be careful about Egypt”. Do you recall this?

At Mon Jan 31, 04:53:00 AM 2011, Blogger Devash said...

You should include Yeshayahu 19 which I referenced here yesterday.

At Mon Jan 31, 12:00:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

Anonymous, I don't recall this.

Devash, thanks - I updated the post.

At Mon Jan 31, 12:03:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...

FYI, interesting article here (in Hebrew).

At Mon Jan 31, 02:27:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Neshama said...

"- will in the future capture Yerushalayim and all of Eretz Yisrael, which is today the kingdom of Egypt. And they will capture the land of Egypt first, and they will destroy Egypt and they will kill a great and powerful multitude inside it, and similarly, " ..."they will capture much of Eretz Yisrael..."

1. I don't quite understand the last line from the above quote in your post.

2. How can this be? "Eretz Yisrael ... Which is the kingdom of Egypt"?

Can you explain maybe?

At Mon Jan 31, 04:32:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Berebi said...

It seems very unlikely that Edom will capture the land of Egypt or Eretz Yisrael. Today Edom is bankrupt. The United States and Europe cannot afford to fight another war with Egypt or with Israel. Edom has retreated from Iraq and Edom has annnounced that it will start to pull out of Afghanistan in July 2011. The United States has been crippled by 14 trillion dollars of debt and Europe is crumbling. Their downfall is right around the corner.
As Rav Ben Artzi has stated, the Shechina has left the Galout, and now it has settled in Eretz Yisrael which is the safest place on earth. We can already tell that Abravanel's negative prophecy will not be realized.

At Mon Jan 31, 06:09:00 PM 2011, Blogger yaak said...


1) The gemara says: אמר רב: אין בן דוד בא עד שתתפשט המלכות על ישראל תשעה חדשים
Rav said: Ben David will only come when the kingdom [of Edom] will spread over Israel for 9 months.

2)It was in Abravanel's time. He was probably referring to the Mamluks.

At Tue Feb 01, 03:04:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Abe said...

Yaak, Which would seem to mean that Edom might refer to the Arabs.

At Tue Feb 01, 05:04:00 AM 2011, Anonymous Berebi said...

Dafka the holy Zohar Torah portion of Va'era page 32a disagrees with the Gemara quoted above and states that Israel will not be conquered by Edom at the End of Days:
In the future the children of Yishmael will stir great wars in the world. And the children of Edom [the West] will gather against them, and make war with them, one on the sea, and one on the land, and one by Jerusalem; and each one will prevail over the other but the Holy land will not fall to the hands of Edom. At the same time, a nation from the end of the world will be awakened against wicked Rome.(Rome here is said to refer to the spiritual center of western civilization) and it will make war against her for three months, and many nations will gather there, and they will fall by her hand, until all the children of Edom will gather against her from all corners of the earth. And then G-d will awaken Himself against them, as it says, "a sacrificial slaughter for the Lord in Batzra", and it says, "to shake the corners of the Land". And after this, the children of Yishmael will be finished from the world. And all the supernal powers of the nations will be broken, and no power will remain above except for the power of Israel alone.

At Tue Feb 01, 07:07:00 PM 2011, Anonymous Abe said...

Nu, So the Arabs can be both Edom and Yishmael. After all Amalek comes from Yishmael.

At Thu Feb 03, 02:13:00 PM 2011, Blogger joshwaxman said...

here is an interesting thing about the civil war. according to this, it is not a civil war at all, but military dressed up as Mubaruch supporters.



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