Isaiah – Chapter 19

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 19


Oracle on Egypt: See, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud on his way to Egypt; The idols of Egypt tremble before him, the hearts of the Egyptians melt within them.


I will rouse Egypt against Egypt: brother will war against brother, Neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kindgom.


The courage of the Egyptians ebbs away within them, and I will bring to nought their counsel; They shall consult idols and charmers, ghosts and spirits.


1 I will deliver Egypt into the power of a cruel master, A harsh king who shall rule over them, says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.


The waters shall be drained from the sea, the river shall shrivel and dry up;


Its streams shall become foul, and the canals of Egypt shall dwindle and dry up. Reeds and rushes shall wither away,


and bulrushes on the bank of the Nile; All the sown land along the Nile shall dry up and blow away, and be no more.


The fishermen shall mourn and lament, all who cast hook in the Nile; Those who spread their nets in the water shall pine away.


The linen-workers shall be disappointed, the combers and weavers shall turn pale;


The spinners shall be crushed, all the hired laborers shall be despondent.


2 Utter fools are the princes of Zoan! the wisest of Pharaoh’s advisers give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, «I am a disciple of wise men, of ancient kings»?


Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you and make known What the LORD of hosts has planned against Egypt.


The princes of Zoan have become fools, the princes of Memphis have been deceived. The chiefs of her tribes have led Egypt astray.


The LORD has prepared among them a spirit of dizziness, And they have made Egypt stagger in whatever she does, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit.


3 Egypt shall have no work to do for head or tail, palm branch or reed.


On that day the Egyptians shall be like women, trembling with fear, because of the LORD of hosts shaking his fist at them.


And the land of Judah shall be a terror to the Egyptians. Every time they remember Judah, they shall stand in dread because of the plan which the LORD of hosts has in mind for them.


4 On that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt speaking the language of Canaan and swearing by the LORD of hosts; one shall be called «City of the Sun.»


On that day there shall be an altar to the LORD in the land of Egypt, and a sacred pillar to the LORD near the boundary.


It shall be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt, when they cry out to the LORD against their oppressors, and he sends them a savior to defend and deliver them.


The LORD shall make himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day; they shall offer sacrifices and oblations, and fulfill the vows they make to the LORD.


Although the LORD shall smite Egypt severely, he shall heal them; they shall turn to the LORD and he shall be won over and heal them.


On that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria; the Assyrians shall enter Egypt, and the Egyptians enter Assyria, and Egypt shall serve Assyria.


On that day Israel shall be a third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land,


when the LORD of hosts blesses it: «Blessed be my people Egypt, and the work of my hands Assyria, and my inheritance, Israel.»


1 [4] Cruel master: the king of Assyria.

2 [11,13] Zoan, later known as Tanis, and Memphis (in Hebrew, Noph) were the key cities of the Nile Delta.

3 [15] Head or tail, palm branch or reed: the leaders or the people; cf ⇒ Isaiah 9:13, ⇒ 14.

4 [18] Five cities: colonies of Jews living together and speaking their languages, Hebrew and Aramaic; cf Jer 43. City of the Sun: the meaning is uncertain, but the reference seems to be to the city known later as Heliopolis.