When did the prophecy of Ezekiel 29 take place?
“I (the Lord) will make the land of Egypt desolate in the midst of the countries that are desolate; and among the cities that are laid waste, her cities shall be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them throughout the countries” (Ezekiel 29:12).
From the Bible record we can only assume it happened shortly after Ezekiel said Nebuchadnezzar was given Egypt as compensation for his attack on Tyre. And secular chronology agrees. An ancient clay tablet now residing in the British Museum, known as the Nebuchadnezzar Inscription, talks about Nebuchadnezzar‘s action against Egypt in his 37th year. That would be two years after Ezekiel said Egypt would be given to Babylon by Jehovah.
Ezekiel makes his prophecy in 590 BCE, and Nebuchadnezzar’s 37th year is two years later in 588 BCE when he attacks Egypt. We can assume the Nebuchadnezzar Inscription is correct on this point, because it agrees with our Biblical chronology. So, Egypt’s 40-year desolation begins in that year.
If we count 40 years, we come to the year 548 BCE as the end of Egypt’s desolation, when Jehovah would “bring back the captive group of the Egyptians” for them to become a “lowly kingdom.”
Secular chronology also records that the last Babylonian King Nabonidus held an alliance against the Persians with Amasis II, the King of Egypt, in addition to the Lydian Empire. So, far from being a competing world power, Egypt is now a “lowly Kingdom” just as the Bible said.
In His service,