Isaiah 19
God’s Message to Egypt
1A message#19:1 message Or “burden.” about Egypt: Look, the Lord is coming on a fast cloud. He will enter Egypt, and all the false gods of Egypt will shake with fear. Egypt’s courage will melt away like hot wax.
2The Lord says, “I will cause the Egyptians to fight against themselves. Men will fight their brothers. Neighbors will be against neighbors. Cities will be against cities. Kingdoms will be against kingdoms.#19:2 Kingdoms will be against kingdoms Or “States will be against states.” This means Egyptians will fight other Egyptians. 3The Egyptians will be afraid and confused. They will ask their false gods and wise men what they should do. They will ask their wizards and magicians, but I will ruin their plans.” 4The Lord GOD All-Powerful says, “I will give Egypt to a hard master. A powerful king will rule over the people.”
5The water in the Nile River will dry up and disappear. 6All the rivers will smell very bad.#19:6 smell very bad In Hebrew this is like a name for the Nile River. The canals in Egypt will be dry, and the water will be gone. All the water plants will rot. 7All the plants along the riverbanks will die and blow away. Even the plants at the widest part of the river will dry up, blow away, and disappear.
8The fishermen, all those who catch fish from the Nile River, will become sad and they will cry. They depend on the Nile River for their food, but it will be dry. 9Those who make cloth from flax, who weave it into linen, will all be sad. 10Those who weave cloth will be broken, and those who work for money will be depressed.
11The leaders of the city of Zoan#19:11 Zoan A city in Egypt. Also in verse 13. are fools. Pharaoh’s “wise advisors” give bad advice. They say they are wise. They say they are from the old family of the kings, but they are not as smart as they think. 12Egypt, where are your wise men? They should learn what the Lord All-Powerful has planned for Egypt. They should be the ones to tell you what will happen.
13The leaders of Zoan have been fooled. The leaders of Noph#19:13 Noph Or “Memphis,” a city in Egypt. have believed lies, so they lead Egypt the wrong way. 14The Lord confused them, so they wander around and lead Egypt the wrong way. Everything they do is wrong. They are like drunks rolling in their vomit. 15There is nothing the leaders can do. (They are “the heads and the tails.” They are “the tops and the stalks of plants.”#19:15 the heads and … stalks of plants See Isa. 9:14-15.)
16At that time the Egyptians will be like frightened women. They will be afraid of the Lord All-Powerful, because he will raise his arm to punish the people. 17The land of Judah brings fear to everyone in Egypt. Anyone in Egypt who hears the name Judah will be afraid. This will happen because the Lord All-Powerful has planned terrible things to happen to Egypt. 18At that time there will be five cities in Egypt where people speak Hebrew.#19:18 Hebrew Literally, “the language of Canaan.” One of these cities will be named “Destruction City.”#19:18 Destruction City This is a wordplay on the name meaning “Sun City,” which is also called On or Heliopolis. The people in these cities will promise to follow the Lord All-Powerful.
19At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of Egypt. At the border of Egypt there will be a monument to show honor to the Lord. 20This will be a sign to show that the Lord All-Powerful does amazing things. Any time the people cry for help from the Lord, he will send help. He will send someone to save and defend the people—to rescue the people from those who hurt them.
21At that time the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and they really will know the Lord. They will serve him and give him many sacrifices. They will make promises#19:21 promises A special kind of promise to God. See Lev. 22:18-24. to the Lord, and they will do what they promise. 22The Lord will punish the Egyptians, but then he will heal them, and they will come back to him. The Lord will listen to their prayers and heal them.
23At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. Then the Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians will go to Assyria. Egypt will work with Assyria.#19:23 Egypt will work with Assyria Or “Egypt will serve Assyria.” 24Then Israel, Assyria, and Egypt will join together and control the land. This will be a blessing for the land. 25The Lord All-Powerful will bless these countries. He will say, “Egypt, you are my people. Assyria, I made you. Israel, I own you. You are all blessed!”
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