Message to Egypt
19 The [mournful, inspired] oracle ([a]a burden to be carried) concerning Egypt:
Listen carefully, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt;
The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence,
And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
“So I will provoke Egyptians against Egyptians;
And they will fight, each one against his brother and each one against his neighbor,
City against city, kingdom against kingdom.
“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will become exhausted within them and emptied out;
And I will confuse their strategy,
So that they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,
And mediums and soothsayers.
“And I will hand over the Egyptians to a hard and cruel master,
And a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord God of hosts.
The waters from the sea will dry up,
And the river will be parched and dry.
The canals will become foul-smelling,
The streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up,
The reeds and the rushes will rot away.
The meadows by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile,
And all the sown fields of the Nile
Will become dry, be blown away, and be no more.
The fishermen will lament (cry out in grief),
And all those who cast a hook into the Nile will mourn,
And those who spread nets upon the waters will languish.
Moreover, those who make linen from combed flax
And those who weave white cloth will be ashamed.
[Those who are] the pillars and foundations of Egypt will be crushed;
And all those who work for wages will be grieved in soul.
The princes of [b]Zoan are complete fools;
The counsel of the Pharaoh’s wisest advisors has become stupid.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings?”
Where then are your wise men?
Please let them tell you,
And let them understand what the Lord of hosts
Has purposed against Egypt [if they can].
The princes of Zoan have acted like fools,
The princes of Memphis are deluded [and entertain false hope];
Those who are the cornerstone of her tribes
Have led Egypt astray.
The Lord has mixed a spirit of distortion within her;
Her leaders have caused Egypt to stagger in all that she does,
As a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
There will be no work for Egypt
Which head or tail, [high] palm branch or [low] bulrush, may do.
16 In that day the Egyptians will become like [helpless] women, and they will tremble and be frightened because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them. 17 The land of Judah [Assyria’s ally] will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the Lord of hosts which He is planning against Egypt.
18 In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of [the Hebrews of] Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One [of them] will be called the City of [c]Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a memorial stone to the Lord near its border. 20 It will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior, a [Great] Defender, and He will rescue them.(A) 21 And so the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know [heed, honor, and cherish] the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifices [of animals] and offerings [of produce]; they will make a vow to the Lord and fulfill it. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing it; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria; and the Egyptians will worship and serve [the Lord] with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and with Assyria [in a Messianic league], a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My heritage.”
- Isaiah 19:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to proclaim.
- Isaiah 19:11 Or Tanis, an ancient capital of the Pharaohs.
- Isaiah 19:18 A number of manuscripts read sun, so that the name is taken to be Heliopolis.