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A Prophecy About Egypt (ch. 19:1 - 25)


Note the word "oracle' in verse 1.  As I've said earlier in this commentary, I prefer the KJV's wording instead.  The KJV uses the word "burden" instead.  I like the word "burden" because both the messages of these prophecies are a burden to the one who speaks them and a burden to those to whom they are directed.


Like Damascus in chapter 17, Egypt here in 2013 is in the news almost every day with the conflict between Egyptians.  What you read in the first few verses here sound very much like what is happening today.  


Some background history is important here.  In the day Isaiah was writing this prophecy, the southern Kingdom of Israel, that's Judah, had an alliance with Egypt. The Northern Kingdom of Israel, that's Ephraim, had an alliance with Syria.  After Isaiah wrote this prophecy Egypt went through a civil war.  Later on it was reunited. Originally, Egypt was monotheistic but over the centuries she became polytheistic. 


Verse 1 tells us that the Lord God would swiftly come into Egypt on a cloud.  This speaks of God's judgment on Egypt.


Note in verse 1 that because of the Lord's appearance into Egypt the idols of Egypt will tremble.  Now idols of stone, clay, or rock, can't really tremble.  They may fall off their mounts.  They make crack and crumble, but they don't tremble as a human would tremble. However, the demons, the fallen angels who allied with satan can tremble.  This might well be what is spoken of here. 


We also see that the hearts of the Egyptians will melt in fear by the things that God brings on them.  This is always the case when God brings severe judgment to any nation.


Verse 2 speaks of Egyptians fighting against each other.  This speaks of civil war.  This sounds very much like what is happening in Egypt today in 2013.  Whether this verse is speaking of 2013 or not can't be certain from this verse.  Egypt has suffered civil wars in the past and has been reunited as I stated earlier.  The thing to note here is that one way in which God can judge a nation is by causing a civil war. 


Verse 3 says that "the Egyptians will lose heart".  They will lose any sense of being able to survive on their own, so, they will consult the occult.  This obviously would have been the case for Egyptians in Old Testament times.  It's not so much the case now.  That being said, some might suggest that Islam, a false god religion might fit into this verse.  Many Egyptians consult Allah, which in a Biblical sense, is a demonic god.


Before we go on we'll look at a bit of recent history.  During the 1960's Egypt built what they've called the Aswan Dam on the Nile River at Aswan, Egypt.  It was built to control water flow, prevent flooding, to provide irrigation for crops, and hydro electricity for Egyptians. I point out this bit of history because some have suggested that the construction of the Aswan Dam, that has been considered by many a mistake, has caused the ecological problems which we see set forth in verses 5 through 10.  That being said, in my thinking verse 4 seems to give the reasons for the ecological problems of verses 5 through 10, and that's the invasion of another country into Egypt.


Note the place name "Zoan" in verse 11.  Zoan was the capital city of Egypt from 1070 A. D. to 665 A. D..  It was located along the Nile River in the north east corner of Egypt.


The rest of verse 11 speaks to the foolishness of the so-called wise men of Zoan, the leaders of Egypt, including the Pharaoh.  The Bible views all world governments in opposition to God, thus they are seen as foolish, and, it seems from prophecy that the closer we get to the end of this age, the more foolish our world leaders become.


I believe verse 12 is somewhat sarcastic when it says "let them", them meaning the leaders of Egypt "show you", meaning Isaiah, "What the Lord has in store for Egypt".  Of course they can't show the prophet any such thing.  They are foolish. 


Note Memphis in verse 13.  It is mentioned because it once was the capital of Egypt.  It became the capital in 2676 B. C. centuries before Zoan became the capital.  It's located on the west side of the Nile River , just south of present day Cairo. Memphis too has been foolish.  She has led Egyptians astray two thousand years earlier.


In verses 14 and 15 we see that God gives the leaders of Egypt, and maybe all Egyptians, a "spirit of dizziness".  They're like drunks stumbling around in the dark.  They have no direction for their nation.  They're prey to their enemy. 


If you look at present day Egypt right now, here in 2013, there clearly is a spirit of dizziness permeating the nation.  The government has now been unstable for two plus years.  There is fighting in the streets.  Chaos is fast becoming the norm.


Verse 16 tells us that the Egyptians will be terrified at the judgment the Lord is putting on them.  They'll be like shuddering women.  This terminology might not be socially correct today, but such language was the social norm back in Isaiah's day.  We should realize, though God judges nations and the nations tremble at His judgment, they seldom understand that what they are going through is actually from God.  They don't understand that military losses are part of the plan for their nation.


Speaking of military losses, verse 17 tells us why Egypt trembles with fear.  It is because of Judah.  Remember, Judah was the Southern Kingdom of Israel.  When the prophets speak of Judah , we understand that to be present day Israel.  It thus appears that Israel is about ready to attack Egypt.


It appears from verse 18 that Israel will conquer 5 particular cities in Egypt.  The prophet says that these cities will swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty.  I'm not exactly sure what his means.  It might be possible that the Egyptian residence will swear allegiance to the Jewish God.  This doesn't mean they adopt a godly way of life.  It might mean they're forced to swear allegiance.  Or, it might be possible that it's the new residences of these cities, that is, Israelis, who swear allegiance to their God. 


The city of destruction here is probably in reference to the Egyptian city named "On", meaning, "they city of the sun".


Verse 19 tells us that in that day, that is, the day when Israel conquers  Egypt there will be an altar, a monument to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, on her border.  To understand the words "heart of Egypt and on the border", which makes little sense, we should know that Egypt was often divided into North Egypt and South Egypt, and where the border between north and south is, is the present day heart of Egypt.


Some suggest that the Great Pyramid of Egypt that is located where Isaiah is speaking of might well be turned into a monument to God Almighty.


In verses 20 and 21 we see that Egypt undergoes a major revival.  They will worship the Lord God of Israel.  The text states that the Lord will send them a saviour. At least in the NIV, the word "saviour" is not capitalized.  I'm not sure what or who this speaks of.


In verse 22 we note that the Egyptians turn to God because He will strike them with a plague.  This reminds me of the plagues God struck Egypt with in the days of Moses.  The end result of this judgment, along with the attack of the Israelis is that Egypt will turn to the God of the Jews. Obviously this has not happened, so this must still be in the future.


I believe verses 23 to 25 have to speak to the thousand year rule of Christ on earth.  It speaks of a highway running from  Egypt to Assyria.  Assyria would be present day Iraq.  If you understand the geography, as the text states, this highway must go right through the heart of Israel. 


Isaiah says that both Assyria and Egypt will worship the Lord God Almighty.  Egyptians are seen as God's people.  Assyrians are seen as God's handiwork.  Israel is seen as God's inheritance, something promised to Abraham long ago. 


So we have three nations, three geographical areas, all given to the Lord God.  If you look at the land mass of these nations, it comes close to that which God promised Abraham, who God also said would be the father of many nations. This might just be the fulfillment of God's promise to Abraham.  I can't say that for sure.  I simply say it might be.



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