Bible Question:

Has the prophecy in Ezekiel 29 already been fulfilled or is it yet to come? Some skeptics have claimed that it is a failed prophecy because it suggests that Egypt will have no inhabitants for 40 years. That has never happened.

Bible Answer:

What follows provides strong evidence that the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:1-16 about Egypt has been fulfilled. But first, the reader should be warned that critics of the Bible are critics because they have rejected the Bible. They are not objective searchers for the truth. History has proven that the critic criticizes the Bible and when archaeologists discover evidence that proves the Bible was and is correct, the critic digs up another criticism that we are supposed to believe is valid. The cycle never ends because they are unbelievers looking for support of their unbelief. They refuse to believe objective data that supports the Bible and the existence of God. What follows is compelling and strong evidence that the prophecy about Egypt in Ezekiel 29:1-16 was fulfilled.

Ezekiel 29 prophecy about Egypt

Prophecy of Ezekiel 29:8-16

The book of Ezekiel is unique among the Old Testament books because the various prophecies are dated. Those dates reveal that the prophecies were given by God to Ezekiel about 593 B.C. to 571 B.C. Within this time frame, Ezekiel 29:1-16 prophesies the defeat of the Egyptian dynasty in 565/564 B.C. Here are verses 8-9.

Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will bring upon you a sword and I will cut off from you man and beast. The land of Egypt will become a desolation and waste. Then they will know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 29:8-9 (NASB)

Then in verses 12-13 we read,

“So I will make the land of Egypt a desolation in the midst of desolated lands. And her cities, in the midst of cities that are laid waste, will be desolate forty years; and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and disperse them among the lands.” For thus says the Lord GOD, “At the end of forty years I will gather the Egyptians from the peoples among whom they were scattered.” Ezekiel 29:12-13 (NASB)

That is the prophecy of Ezekiel 29 about the Egyptian empire in the sixth century B.C. Now we discover the evidence that shows it was fulfilled.

Fulfillment of Ezekiel 29:8-12

In the introduction. to Volume 1 of “Displaced Dynasties Series,” the author, Jim Reilly, demonstrates that the prophecy of Ezekiel 29:1-16 was fulfilled. The opening paragraphs of his series provides an overview of the series. He states,

The first volume in the Displaced Dynasties series was motivated by a single consideration. Almost seven chapters in the Hebrew Bible, exclusively contained in the writings of the biblical prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah, describe an invasion of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, dated with some precision around the year 565 B.C. According to these two eyewitnesses the devastation inflicted on Egypt was catastrophic. Every temple in the country (with one exception) was demolished. Most of the population of Egypt was slaughtered or taken captive. Only a small remnant survived. For years Egypt was left without a resident pharaoh. Temple worship ceased. The devastation lasted for forty years, though from extra biblical sources we can determine that sporadic restoration activity was underway during the final two decades, following the 543 B.C. takeover of the country by Cyrus the Great. This rebuilding intensified under Cambyses, following his 525 B.C. expedition to Egypt, and into the reign of Darius I.

There is but a single problem with this history. According to Egyptologists it never happened. The denial is based on an Egyptian timeline which places Manetho’s 26th (Saite) dynasty in the time frame 664-525 B.C., leaving no room either for a twenty year interregnum or for an 18 year rule by the Persians prior to 525 B.C. Amasis (570-526 B.C.), the penultimate Saite dynasty king, ruled throughout the critical forty year period.

But the historians are wrong. The fault lies in the Egyptian chronology on which the traditional history is based. That chronology, throughout the relevant period, is in error by 121 years! Saite dynasty dates need to be lowered by that amount, moving the dynasty to a position overlapping the first Persian domination of Egypt.[1]

Also, the author states that Herodotus is the primary historian that Egyptologists have trusted in the development of their timeline of Egyptian 6th century history. That is an important point.

Then in “Chapter 1: Nebuchadnezzar’s Wars “ of the series the author proposes with a tremendous number of historical statements from Manetho, Herodotus, Flavius Josephus, and archaeological data that the Babylonian Army decimated Egypt in 564 B.C. In 525 B.C. Egypt began to return, and the Egyptian exile ended. The author writes,

How long did the devastation last? Jeremiah says only that Egypt would recover. Ezekiel sets specific limits.

I will make the land of Egypt a ruin and a desolate waste from Migdol to Aswan, as far as the border of Cush. No foot of man or animal will pass through it; no one will live there for forty years. 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. (Ezek. 29: 10-12)

The desolation that followed the invasion of Egypt was of long duration – a forty-year hiatus in the normal political life of the nation. There was for Egypt, as there was for Judah, an exile, which left the land bleak and barren. For Judah the exile ended by degrees with a succession of returns of exiled Jews under Cyrus and his Persian successors. We assume that the Egyptian exile, as understood by Ezekiel, ended with the 525 B.C. arrival in Egypt of Cambyses, son and successor of Cyrus.[1]

The author points out that the Babylonian invasion of Egypt ended the reign of independent Egyptian pharaohs. In the future, the pharaohs would rule under the control of foreign powers. He said,

The Babylonian invasion of 586 B.C. put an end to the institution of kingship in Israel. The 564 B.C. invasion of Egypt likewise ended the reign of independent Egyptian pharaohs. Ezekiel is clear and concise: “there will no longer be a prince in Egypt” (Ezek. 30:13b). For several decades Egypt would be without a resident pharaoh, while the land languished in ruins. When kingship returned the Egyptian pharaoh would be subservient to foreign rulers. [3]

In “Chapter 2: A Saite /Persian Dynasty” the author states at the beginning,

Convincing eyewitness testimony argues that Egypt was left a desolate, sparsely populated wasteland in the wake of the 564 B.C. invasion of the country by Nebuchadnezzar. Compelling circumstantial evidence argues that the invasion did not occur at all, or that, if it did take place, it was confined to the north-eastern Delta and left no break in the pharaonic tradition. Were the prophets mistaken? Or have the monuments been misinterpreted? Can the conflict be resolved by the simple expedient of moving Amasis and the dynastic succession of which he is part, to a new place in history? [4]

Then the author demonstrates that Egypt was defeated and transformed in 654 B.C. and the nation began to be restored in 525 B.C., but not to its former elegance. This provides significant support for the fulfillment of Ezekiel 29:1-16.


Has the prophecy in Ezekiel 29:11-12 about Egypt already been fulfilled? The supporting evidence is strong and compelling that it has.



1. Jim Reilly, Volume 1 – Nebuchadnezzar & the Egyptian Exile.” Displaced Dynasties.” p. 1. (
2. Jim Reilly. “Chapter 1: Nebuchadnezzar’s Wars.” Volume 1: Nebuchadnezzar’s Wars. Displaced Dynasties.” p. 21-22. (
3. Ibid. p 22.
4. Ibid.. “Chapter 2: A Saite /Persian Dynasty.” Volume 1: Nebuchadnezzar’s Wars. Displaced Dynasties.” p. 1 . (

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