Thus saith the Lord God, I will also destroy the idols
With which Egypt abounded, making an idol of all sorts of creatures, rational and irrational, animate and inanimate, and in which they trusted; wherefore these being destroyed, they had nothing to put their confidence in: I will cause their images to cease out of Noph;
called Moph, ( Hosea 9:6 ) and which we there rightly render Memphis, as many versions do here, and was very famous for idolatry: here stood the temple of Serapis, and the temple of other idols; here Isis and Osiris were worshipped; and it was in Jerom's time, as he says, the metropolis of the Egyptian superstition. It was built by Menes F19, the Mizraim of the Scriptures, the first king of Egypt; though Diodorus Siculus F20 makes Uchoreus to be the founder of it. Some interpreters take this city to be the same with what is now called Alkair, or Grand Cairo; or, however, that this is built upon the same spot, or near the same place that was, in which I have followed them on ( Isaiah 19:13 ) ( Jeremiah 2:16 ) whereas Cairo stands right over against old Memphis, the Nile being between them, on the east side of it, and Memphis on the west; as is clear from Herodotus F21, and from the charts of Dr. Shaw, and Mr. Norden; and who observe, that some take the place of it to have been where a village now stands, Dr. Shaw calls Geza, and Mr. Norden Gize: and there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt;
that is, a native of that country; or that should rule over the whole of it, and in that grandeur the kings of Egypt had before; or, however, not dwell in Memphis, which was the seat of the kings of Egypt, but now should be so no more: when Egypt was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, it was under the Babylonians; and then under the Persians; and then under the Greeks; and afterwards under the Romans; since under the Saracens and Mamalucks; and now in the hands of the Turks; so that it never recovered its former glory; and indeed, after Nectanebus was driven out of it by Ochus, king of Persia, it never after had a king: and I will put a fear in all the land of Egypt;
a panic in all the inhabitants of it; as soon as they shall hear of the king of Babylon entering into it, their courage, bravery, and fortitude, shall at once leave them, and they shall be dispirited, and have no heart to defend themselves, and oppose the enemy.
F19 Herodot, Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 99.
F20 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 46.
F21 Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 99.