כב לָכֵן כֹּה־אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֹוִה הִנְנִי אֶל־פַּרְעֹה מֶלֶךְ־מִצְרַיִם וְשָׁבַרְתִּי אֶת־זְרֹעֹתָיו אֶת־הַחֲזָקָה וְאֶת־הַנִּשְׁבָּרֶת וְהִפַּלְתִּי אֶת־הַחֶרֶב מִיָּדוֹ׃
30:22 And make the sword drop from his hand
This prophecy was stated in the spring of 587 BCE, one year before the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash. When Nebuchadnezzar first attacks Yerushalayim in 588 BCE, Pharaoh Hophra comes to assist Tzidkiyahu. However, Hophra’s armies are soundly defeated, and he retreats, leaving Yerushalayim alone against the onslaught. Yechezkel portrays Egypt as having one broken arm, unable to hold a sword to defend itself (verse 21). He then states that Babylonia will finish the conquest, breaking Egypt’s good arm as well. Indeed, after its defeat by Nebuchadnezzar, Egypt never regains its status as a superpower in the ancient world. As the prophets had predicted, relying on foreign powers for help instead of turning to God was of no benefit to Yehuda.