The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Ezechiel
And in the twelfth year, on the first day of the twelfth month, word came to me from the Lord:
Son of man, sing a dirge for Pharao, the king of Egypt, that counts for a lion among the nations: Monster thou art of the depths, holding up thy head in those rivers of thine, trampling them under foot, till their waters run foul!
This doom the Lord God pronounces: A net-work I have of many peoples that I will cast over thee, a seine that will bring thee presently ashore.
High on the beach I will leave thee aground, for all the birds to perch on thee, all the beasts to take their fill of thee;
flesh of thine shall strew the mountains, with blood of thine the gullies shall overflow,
reeking blood that drenches hill and chokes valley with its stream.
Thy light when I quench, muffled the skies shall be, the stars dim, the sun beclouded, and the moon shall refuse her light;
no luminary in heaven but shall go mourning for thee, and in that land of thine, the Lord God says, all shall be darkness.
Here shall be a challenge to many nations, in lands thou still knowest not, when I tell them the story of thy downfall;
peoples a many there shall be that gape in bewilderment, kings that tremble and quake at the story of thee. My sword they shall see flashing before their eyes, and each for his own life shall tremble in the day of thy fall.
Sword of the king of Babylon shall reach thee, the Lord God says;
tried warriors thy thronging multitudes shall cut down, pitiless hordes that shall harry the pride of Egypt, scatter her wealth.
The very beasts that roam beside your full stream I will destroy; never foot of man, hoof of beast shall sully it thenceforward;
clear those waters shall be as never they were, smooth as oil the river’s flow, the Lord God says;
all Egypt, now, shall be desolate, all its busy life shall be still, when I smite the men that dwell in it, and teach them to recognize my power.
Make dole, then; here is good cause; Egypt shall have the world for her mourner, none but shall mourn for Egypt and her lost greatness, says the Lord God.
And in the twelfth year, on the fifteenth day of the month, this:
Son of man, a dirge now for the common folk of Egypt; sing Egypt to her grave, and with her those other proud nations that must go down into the dark:
Measure not thy beauty against another’s; to thy grave get thee, and with the uncircumcised take thy rest.
The sword carries off all alike; once loose it, she and all her multitudes must perish.
From the tomb they greet the newcomer, those great warriors, men of the uncircumcised races, allies once, that now lie there, slain in battle.✻
Here is the Assyrian king with all his muster-roll; how their graves ring him about, dead warriors all!
Down there in the dark, his grave and theirs around him, dead now in battle, that once daunted the hearts of the living!
Here are the Elamites, too, lying about their king, men uncircumcised that made themselves feared in life, and now lie in the pit beneath with all those others, stripped and shamed as they were left on the battle-field;
(here he lies, with his men about him for monument, once so feared; stripped and shamed they lie, Elamites uncircumcised, there in the dark, there amongst the slain).✻
Uncircumcised, too, the king of Mosoch and Thubal, with all his retinue buried around him, dead now and feared no longer;
shall they not sleep on there with the slain warriors, with the uncircumcised, still armed, swords beneath their heads; their corpses lawless yet, and feared no longer?✻
Thy place too, the place of thy slain warriors, is with the uncircumcised in their ruin.
King and chief of the Edomites✻ lie slain among the uncircumcised, there in the dark;
so do all the kings of the north, and the Sidonians, dismayed now and trusting no more in their own valour, stripped and shamed.
Well may Pharao and his men be comforted by that sight over the multitude of their slain, the Lord God says.
He too, in this living world, wielded my terrors; he too lies there, the Lord God says, slain in battle, with the uncircumcised about him.
The Holy Bible