One of the more intriguing themes of the Prophets is that they deliver messages to foreign nations as well as to the Israelites. Most notable, perhaps, is Yonah (Jonah), who was tasked with delivering a warning to the people of Nineveh. Yesheyahu (Isaiah), Yermiyahu (Jeremiah), and Yehezkiel (Ezekiel) all deliver prophecies against the peoples who either participated in or suffered from Chaldean imperialism. The themes are similar and the list of nations involved remarkably consistent.
Personally, I think that many of these “international” prophecies are the predecessors of modern intelligence reporting. We have here intelligent, well-connected, capable men reporting to those in power predictions of what will happen to the surrounding peoples as the Chaldeans progress. I would even argue that these analyses were intended more for government and military use than for public consumption.
Chapters 25-32 of Yehezkiel cover the following peoples and places, who are also discussed in the listed chapters of other Yesheyahu (Isaiah) and Yermiyahu (Jeremiah):
- Ammon (Yehezkiel 25): Yermiyahu 9:24-25, 25:21, 27:3, 49:1-6
- Edom (Yehezkiel 25): Yermiyahu 9:24-25, 25:21, 27:3, 49:7-22
- Moav (Yehezkiel 25): Yermiyahu 9:24-25, 25:21, 27:3
- Tyre (Yehezkiel 26:1-28:19): Yesheyahu 23 (very similar in imagery), Yermiyahu 25:22, 27:3, 47:4
- Sidon (or Zidon, depending on the translation) (Yehezkiel 28:20-24): Yesheyahu 23:4, Yermiyahu 25:22, 27:3, 47:4
- Egypt (Yehezkiel 29, 30, 32:18-23): Yesheyahu 19, 20, Yermiyahu 9:24-25, 43:10-13, 46 (44:1 and 46:14 mention Migdol, which Yehezkiel also mentions at 30:6)
- Cush (Yehezkiel 30): Yesheyahu 18, 20
- The Pharaoh (Yehezkiel 29, 31, 32:1-17): Yermiyahu 25:19, 44:30
I am not going to detail the similarities or differences in these passages. However, I think it is safe to say that Yermiyahu and Yehezkiel both had access to the works of Yesheyahu during the times they delivered their prophecies, in addition to having the Word of Hashem. These prophecies, especially taken together, are important examples of the timeliness of the prophets and the consistency of Hashem’s Word delivered through prophecy. They were accurate in their own time regarding the nations that are named. It is not necessary to assume that these names are metaphorical in nature for the prophecies to be accurate.