Isaiah 19 (ESV)
An Oracle Concerning Egypt
An oracle concerning Egypt.
Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
Psalm 104:3 (NIV)
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
Egyptians had a plethora of gods! They included the pharaohs and animals such as apes, crocodiles, frogs, lizards, cows, cats …
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, each against another
and each against his neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their counsel;
and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,
and the mediums and the necromancers;
4 and I will give over the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,
declares the Lord God of hosts.
5 And the waters of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will be dry and parched,
6 and its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,
reeds and rushes will rot away.
7 There will be bare places by the Nile,
on the brink of the Nile,
and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,
will be driven away, and will be no more.
The Nile River was the key to Egypt’s agriculture and economy. For it to suffer a severe drought or lowering would have a devastating effect on the lives of Egyptians. God promises this will happen as a judgment against Egypt.
8 The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all who cast a hook in the Nile;
and they will languish
who spread nets on the water.
9 The workers in combed flax will be in despair,
and the weavers of white cotton.
Egyptian cotton is recognized as superior to other cottons. Why? The following is from an online column, Wardrobe Advice.
Egyptian cotton is hand picked, which is gentler on the fibers. When cotton is picked by machine, the fibers may be stretched or curled. Sometimes the fibers even split when removed. The picking machine simply is not as gentle as a hand. Hand picking produces fibers that are straight and whole.
Unlike cotton grown in the United States, which is primarily short staple cotton, Egyptian cotton is long staple cotton. Long staple cotton has more continuous fiber to use when converting the cotton to thread or yarn. When yarn is continuous, it is stronger. Long fiber yarn is narrower in diameter yet still stronger than other types of cotton, including short staple. Narrower yarn means that more threads can be fit into the cloth per square inch. More threads per square inch means stronger fabric that is still very lightweight and can breathe well.
Egyptian cotton is considered to be stronger, softer and more durable than other cottons. Egyptian cotton is typically more expensive, but tends to be worth it. Most consider Egyptian cotton to be the best cotton there is in the world.
10 Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed,
and all who work for pay will be grieved.
11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise,
a son of ancient kings”?
12 Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you
that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of her tribes
have made Egypt stagger.
14 The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion,
and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,
as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15 And there will be nothing for Egypt
that head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.
Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed
16 In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the Lord of hosts has purposed against them.
18 In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts.
This is the story of the amazing grace of God! Egypt, so long an enemy of God’s people, is now counted as part of God’s kingdom! And Assyria, too! “For God so loved the whole world!”
One of these will be called the City of Destruction.
19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.
There did come to be a widespread knowledge of the Lord in Egypt.
The ancient translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek language, the Septuagint, was made in Egypt in the late 3rd century BCE. In the days of Jesus, more than a million Jews lived in Egypt. In the early days of Christianity, there was a strong, vital church in Egypt for more than 600 years. Recent reports indicate the church is presently under increasing difficulties due to the change in regime.
22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
HERE is a Christian worship song sung by an Arabic-speaking musical team — “My Life Is Yours.”