1This is a prophecy about Egypt:
Look! Adonai is riding a swift cloud,
on his way to Egypt.
Before him Egypt’s idols tremble,
Egypt’s courage melts within them.
2“I will incite Egypt against Egypt,
brother will fight against brother,
friend against friend, city against city,
kingdom against kingdom.
3The courage of Egypt will ebb away within it,
I will reduce its counsel to confusion.
They will consult idols and mediums,
ghosts and spirits.
4I will hand over the Egyptians to a cruel master.
A harsh king will rule them,”
says the Lord, Adonai-Tzva’ot.
5The water will ebb from the sea,
the river will be drained dry.
6The rivers will become foul,
the canals of Egypt’s Nile will dwindle and dry up,
the reeds and rushes will wither.
7The river-plants on the banks of the Nile
and everything sown near the Nile
will dry up, blow away and be no more.
8Fishermen too will lament,
all who cast hooks in the Nile will mourn,
those who spread nets on the water lose heart.
9The linen-workers will be in despair,
along with the weavers of white cotton;
10the spinners will be crushed,
the hired workers dejected.
11The princes of Tzo‘an are utter fools,
Pharaoh’s wisest counselors give stupid advice.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I’m a sage, descended from kings of old.”
12Where are they, then, those sages of yours?
Let them tell you, so all can know
what Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned against Egypt!
13The princes of Tzo‘an have been fooled,
the princes of Nof have been duped,
Egypt’s clan chiefs have led her astray.
14Adonai has mixed up their minds
with a spirit that distorts judgment,
so they make Egypt stagger in whatever she does,
like a drunk staggering in his vomit.
15Nobody in Egypt
will find work to do —
neither head nor tail,
neither [tall] palm frond nor [lowly] reed.
16On that day Egypt will be like women trembling with fear, because Adonai-Tzva’ot is shaking his fist at them. 17Just mentioning the land of Y’hudah to the Egyptians will throw them into panic; they will be afraid because of what Adonai-Tzva’ot has planned for them.
18On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Kena‘an and swear loyalty to Adonai-Tzva’ot; one of them will be called the City of Destruction.*
19On that day there will be an altar to Adonai in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a standing-stone for Adonai at its border. 20It will be a sign and witness to Adonai-Tzva’ot in the land of Egypt; so that when they cry out to Adonai for help because of the oppressors, he will send them a savior to defend and rescue them.
21Adonai will make himself known to Egypt;
on that day, the Egyptians will know Adonai.
They will worship him with sacrifices and offerings,
they will make vows to Adonai and keep them.
22Yet Adonai will strike Egypt, both striking and healing,
so they will return to Adonai.
He will listen to their prayers,
and he will heal them.
23On that day there will be a highway
from Egypt to Ashur.
Ashur will come to Egypt and Egypt to Ashur,
and Egypt will worship with Ashur.
24On that day Isra’el will be a third partner
with Egypt and Ashur, a blessing here on earth;
25for Adonai-Tzva’ot has blessed him:
“Blessed be Egypt my people,
Ashur the work of my hands
and Isra’el my heritage.”