Isaiah 19
Egypt will be punished
1This is a message about Egypt:#Jr 46.2-26; Ez 29.1—32.32.
The LORD comes to Egypt,
riding swiftly on a cloud.
The people are weak from fear.
Their idols tremble
as he approaches and says,
2“I will punish Egypt
with civil war—
neighbours, cities, and kingdoms
will fight each other.
3“Egypt will be discouraged
when I confuse their plans.
They will try to get advice
from their idols,
from the spirits of the dead,
and from fortune-tellers.
4I will put the Egyptians
under the power of a cruel,
heartless king.
I, the LORD All-Powerful,
have promised this.”
Trouble along the Nile
5The River Nile will dry up
and become parched land.
6Its streams will stink,
Egypt will have no water,
and the reeds and tall grass
will dry up.
7Fields along the Nile
will be completely barren;
every plant will disappear.
8Those who fish in the Nile
will be discouraged
and mourn.
9None of the cloth makers#19.9 cloth makers: Cloth was made from several kinds of plants that grew in the fields along the Nile.
will know what to do,
and they will turn pale.#19.9 turn pale: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
10Weavers will be confused;
paid workers will cry and mourn.
Egypt's helpless leaders
11The king's officials in Zoan#19.11 Zoan: The city of Tanis in the Nile delta.
are foolish themselves
and give stupid advice.
How can they say to him,
“We are very wise,
and our families go back
to kings of long ago”?
12Where are those wise men now?
If they can, let them say
what the LORD All-Powerful
intends for Egypt.
13The royal officials in Zoan
and in Memphis
are foolish and deceived.
The leaders in every state
have given bad advice
to the nation.
14The LORD has confused Egypt;
its leaders have made it stagger
and vomit like a drunkard.
15No one in Egypt can do a thing,
no matter who they are.
16When the LORD All-Powerful punishes Egypt with his mighty arm, the Egyptians will become terribly weak and will tremble with fear. 17They will be so terrified of Judah that they will be frightened by the very mention of its name. This will happen because of what the LORD All-Powerful is planning against Egypt.
The LORD will bless Egypt, Assyria, and Israel
18The time is coming when Hebrew will be spoken in five Egyptian cities, and their people will become followers of the LORD. One of these cities will be called City of the Sun.#19.18 City of the Sun: Some manuscripts of the Standard Hebrew Text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and one ancient translation; most manuscripts of the Standard Hebrew Text have “City of Destruction”. This probably refers to Heliopolis which means “City of the Sun” (see Jeremiah 43.13).
19In the heart of Egypt an altar will be set up for the LORD; at its border a shrine will be built to honour him. 20These will remind the Egyptians that the LORD All-Powerful is with them. And when they are in trouble and ask for help, he will send someone to rescue them from their enemies. 21The LORD will show the Egyptians who he is, and they will know and worship the LORD. They will bring him sacrifices and offerings, and they will keep their promises to him. 22After the LORD has punished Egypt, the people will turn to him. Then he will answer their prayers, and the Egyptians will be healed.
23At that time a good road will run from Egypt to Assyria. The Egyptians and the Assyrians will travel back and forth from Egypt to Assyria, and they will worship together. 24Israel will join with these two countries. They will be a blessing to everyone on earth, 25then the LORD All-Powerful will bless them by saying,
“The Egyptians are my people.
I created the Assyrians
and chose the Israelites.”