The burden of Egypt;
&c.] Or a prophecy concerning Egypt, as the Arabic version; a very grievous one, declaring many calamities that should come upon them. The Targum is,
``the burden of the cup of cursing, to make the Egyptians drink.''
The people of the Jews reposed great confidence in the Egyptians their allies; wherefore, in order to break this confidence, it was necessary they should be acquainted with the destruction that was coming upon them, which is the design of this prophecy. Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud
or a "light" one F17
denoting the speed with which he came, he would come quickly, light clouds move swiftly; the suddenness and unexpectedness of his coming, clouds being rarely seen in Egypt, where was no rain; and the irresistible power with which he would come, for who or what can stop the clouds of heaven? not anything on earth, not armies, nor castles, and fortified places. The Lord is represented as riding in great state and majesty, as a general at the head of his army against his enemies; or as a judge going to try and condemn criminals; he rides upon the heavens, walks on the wings of the wind, and the clouds are his chariot, ( Psalms 68:4 Psalms 68:33
) ( 104:3
) so Christ is represented as coming in the clouds of heaven, and as sitting on a white cloud, when he shall come to judge the world, ( Revelation 1:7
) ( 14:14
) though these words are not to be understood of that coming of his; and much less of his first coming in the flesh, to which they are weakly applied by Jerom and others; who, by the light cloud, understand the Virgin Mary, as the Christians of Syria; or the human nature of Christ, as Salmero, who relates, that upon Christ's flight into Egypt, and entering into Heliopolis, and the temple there, in which were as many idols as days of the year, they all fell, and so this prophecy was fulfilled F18
but of the Lord's coming to inflict punishment on the Egyptians; so the Targum,
``and, behold, the Lord shall be revealed in the cloud of his glory, to take vengeance on the Egyptians:'' and shall come into Egypt
not by Sennacherib king of Assyria, and his army, whom he should send to invade it, and enter into it, as some think; but rather by Cambyses and Ochus, kings of Persia; though it seems that what is here foretold should be done, was done, not by means of any foreign power, but by the Lord himself, who did by his own power and providence, or suffer to be done, what was done: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence
or tremble before him; these were many, the chief of them were Osiris and Isis, Apis, Serapis, Vulcan, Bubastis; some were living creatures, as cats, dogs, oxen, sheep who might move and tremble, in a literal sense; and some were images, "made with hands", as the Septuagint here render the word; and which, as the Targum paraphrases it, should "be broken"; the sense is, that they could none of them save the Egyptians, or deliver them out of their distresses: and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it
like wax before the fire; even the most courageous among them, their soldiers, their army, with their officers and generals; which were the heart of the people, and their defence, and who used to fight for them, and protect them, but now would be dispirited.
F17 (lq be le) "super nubem levem", V. L. Pagninus
F18 Vid. Hackspan. Not. Philolog. in S. Scrip. par. 584.