forty years

Ezekiel 29:11

29:11 forty years. No forty-year period of such complete desolation in Egypt has been confirmed, although this was the length of time between Nebuchadnezzar’s defeat of Pharaoh and Egypt’s later deliverance when Cyrus and the Persians conquered Babylon. Very little is known for certain about the Egyptian history of this period, but it is known that the Egyptian monarchs, like other monarchs of antiquity, commonly boasted inordinately of the victories and passed over their defeats as lightly as possible. That is, even if the prophecies in these verses were fulfilled literally, Egyptian historians may not have acknowledged it for reasons of national pride. We can be confident that, when and if Egypt’s true and full history is ever discovered, these prophecies will be found to have been fulfilled as written.

One alternate possibility is that a forty-year period of complete desolation is still future, in the early years of the coming kingdom age. The desolations of the tribulation period may leave certain areas completely uninhabitable for a time, as the lands are gradually being healed and fruitful again.

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