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Compare Translations for Isaiah 19:3

Isaiah 19:3 ASV
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of it; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek unto the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 BBE
And the spirit of Egypt will be troubled in her, and I will make her decisions without effect: and they will be turning to the false gods, and to those who make hollow sounds, and to those who have control of spirits, and to those who are wise in secret arts.
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Isaiah 19:3 CEB
Egypt's spirit will fail from within; I will frustrate their plans. They will consult the idols and spirits and ghosts and fortune-tellers.
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Isaiah 19:3 CJB
The courage of Egypt will ebb away within it, I will reduce its counsel to confusion. They will consult idols and mediums, ghosts and spirits.
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Isaiah 19:3 RHE
And the spirit of Egypt shall be broken in the bowels thereof, and I will cast down their counsel: and they shall consult their idols, and their diviners, and their wizards, and soothsayers.
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Isaiah 19:3 ESV
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;
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Isaiah 19:3 GW
The Egyptians will lose courage. I will unravel their plans. They will turn to idols, ghosts, mediums, and fortunetellers.
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Isaiah 19:3 GNT
I am going to frustrate the plans of the Egyptians and destroy their morale. They will ask their idols to help them, and they will go and consult mediums and ask the spirits of the dead for advice.
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Isaiah 19:3 HNV
The spirit of Mitzrayim shall fail in the midst of it; and I will destroy the counsel of it: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to those who have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 CSB
Egypt's spirit will be disturbed within it, and I will frustrate its plans. Then they will seek idols, ghosts, spirits of the dead, and spiritists.
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Isaiah 19:3 KJV
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 LEB
And the spirit of {the Egyptians} will be disturbed in his midst, and I will {confuse} his plans, and they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, and the ghosts and the spiritists.
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Isaiah 19:3 NAS
"Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists.
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Isaiah 19:3 NCV
The Egyptians will be afraid, and I will ruin their plans. They will ask advice from their idols and spirits of the dead, from their mediums and fortune-tellers."
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Isaiah 19:3 NIRV
The people of Egypt will lose hope. I will keep them from doing what they plan to do. They will ask their gods for advice. They will turn to the spirits of dead people for help. They will go to people who get messages from those who have died. They will ask for advice from people who talk to the spirits of the dead.
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Isaiah 19:3 NIV
The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.
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Isaiah 19:3 NKJV
The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, And they will consult the idols and the charmers, The mediums and the sorcerers.
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Isaiah 19:3 NLT
The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will confuse their plans. They will plead with their idols for wisdom. They will call on spirits, mediums, and psychics to show them which way to turn.
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Isaiah 19:3 NRS
the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;
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Isaiah 19:3 RSV
and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans; and they will consult the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the wizards;
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Isaiah 19:3 DBY
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of it, and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek unto the idols and unto the conjurers, and unto the necromancers, and unto the soothsayers.
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Isaiah 19:3 MSG
I'll knock the wind out of the Egyptians. They won't know coming from going. They'll go to their god-idols for answers; they'll conjure ghosts and hold sŽances, desperate for answers.
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Isaiah 19:3 WBT
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of her, and I will destroy her counsel: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 TMB
And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek the idols and the charmers, and them that have familiar spirits and the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 TNIV
The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will bring their plans to nothing; they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists.
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Isaiah 19:3 WEB
The spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of it; and I will destroy the counsel of it: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to those who have familiar spirits, and to the wizards.
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Isaiah 19:3 WYC
And the spirit of Egypt shall be broken in the entrails thereof, and I shall cast down the counsel thereof; and they shall ask their simulacra (and they shall ask their idols), and their false diviners, and their men that have unclean spirits speaking in the womb, and their diviners by sacrifices made on altars to fiends.
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Isaiah 19:3 YLT
And emptied out hath been in its midst the spirit of Egypt. And its counsel I swallow up, And they have sought unto the idols, And unto the charmers, And unto those having familiar spirits, And unto the wizards.
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Isaiah 19 Commentary - Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible (Concise)

Chapter 19

Judgments upon Egypt. (1-17) Its deliverance, and the conversion of the people. (18-25)

Verses 1-17 God shall come into Egypt with his judgments. He will raise up the causes of their destruction from among themselves. When ungodly men escape danger, they are apt to think themselves secure; but evil pursues sinners, and will speedily overtake them, except they repent. The Egyptians will be given over into the hand of one who shall rule them with rigour, as was shortly after fulfilled. The Egyptians were renowned for wisdom and science; yet the Lord would give them up to their own perverse schemes, and to quarrel, till their land would be brought by their contests to become an object of contempt and pity. He renders sinners afraid of those whom they have despised and oppressed; and the Lord of hosts will make the workers of iniquity a terror to themselves, and to each other; and every object around a terror to them.

Verses 18-25 The words, "In that day," do not always refer to the passage just before. At a time which was to come, the Egyptians shall speak the holy language, the Scripture language; not only understand it, but use it. Converting grace, by changing the heart, changes the language; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So many Jews shall come to Egypt, that they shall soon fill five cities. Where the sun was worshipped, a place infamous for idolatry, even there shall be a wonderful reformation. Christ, the great Altar, who sanctifies every gift, shall be owned, and the gospel sacrifices of prayer and praise shall be offered up. Let the broken-hearted and afflicted, whom the Lord has wounded, and thus taught to return to, and call upon him, take courage; for He will heal their souls, and turn their sorrowing supplications into joyful praises. The Gentile nations shall not only unite with each other in the gospel fold under Christ, the great Shepherd, but they shall all be united with the Jews. They shall be owned together by him; they shall all share in one and the same blessing. Meeting at the same throne of grace, and serving with each other in the same business of religion, should end all disputes, and unite the hearts of believers to each other in holy love.

Isaiah 19 Commentary - Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible


Isaiah 19:1-25 .

The nineteenth and twentieth chapters are connected, but with an interval between. Egypt had been held by an Ethiopian dynasty, Sabacho, Sevechus, or Sabacho II, and Tirhakah, for forty or fifty years. Sevechus (called So, the ally of Hoshea, 2 Kings 17:4 ), retired from Lower Egypt on account of the resistance of the priests; and perhaps also, as the Assyrians threatened Lower Egypt. On his withdrawal, Sethos, one of the priestly caste, became supreme, having Tanis ("Zoan") or else Memphis as his capital, 718 B.C.; while the Ethiopians retained Upper Egypt, with Thebes as its capital, under Tirhakah. A third native dynasty was at Sais, in the west of Lower Egypt; to this at a later period belonged Psammetichus, the first who admitted Greeks into Egypt and its armies; he was one of the dodecarchy, a number of petty kings between whom Egypt was divided, and by aid of foreign auxiliaries overcame the rest, 670 B.C. To the divisions at this last time, GESENIUS refers Isaiah 19:2 ; and Psammetichus, Isaiah 19:4 , "a cruel lord." The dissensions of the ruling castes are certainly referred to. But the time referred to is much earlier than that of Psammetichus. In Isaiah 19:1 , the invasion of Egypt is represented as caused by "the Lord"; and in Isaiah 19:17 , "Judah" is spoken of as "a terror to Egypt," which it could hardly have been by itself. Probably, therefore, the Assyrian invasion of Egypt under Sargon, when Judah was the ally of Assyria, and Hezekiah had not yet refused tribute as he did in the beginning of Sennacherib's reign, is meant. That Assyria was in Isaiah's mind appears from the way in which it is joined with Israel and Egypt in the worship of Jehovah ( Isaiah 19:24 Isaiah 19:25 ). Thus the dissensions referred to ( Isaiah 19:2 ) allude to the time of the withdrawal of the Ethiopians from Lower Egypt, probably not without a struggle, especially between 722-715 B.C., answering to 718 B.C., when Sethos usurped the throne and entered on the contest with the military caste, by the aid of the town populations: when the Saitic dynasty was another cause of division. Sargon's reign was between 722-715 B.C. answering to 718 B.C., when Sethos usurped his throne [G. V. SMITH].

upon . . . cloud--( Psalms 104:3 , 18:10 ).
come into Egypt--to inflict vengeance. "Egypt," in Hebrew, Misraim, plural form, to express the two regions of Egypt. BUNSEN observes, The title of their kings runs thus: "Lord of Upper and lower Egypt."
idols--the bull, crocodile, &c. The idols poetically are said to be "moved" with fear at the presence of one mightier than even they were supposed to be ( Exodus 12:12 , Jeremiah 43:12 ).

2. set--stir up. GESENIUS translates, "arm."
Egyptians against the Egyptians--Lower against Upper: and Saitic against both. (See Isaiah 3:10 ). NEWTON refers it to the civil wars between Apries and Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion; also between Tachos, Nectanebus, and the Mendesians, just before Ochus subdued Egypt.
kingdom against kingdom--The Septuagint has "nome against nome"; Egypt was divided into forty-two nomes or districts.

3. spirit--wisdom, for which Egypt was famed ( Isaiah 31:2 , 1 Kings 4:30 , Acts 7:22 ); answering to "counsel" in the parallel clause.
fail--literally, "be poured out," that is, be made void ( Jeremiah 19:7 ). They shall "seek" help from sources that can afford none, "charmers," &c. ( Isaiah 8:19 ).
charmers--literally, "those making a faint sound"; the soothsayers imitated the faint sound which was attributed to the spirits of the dead

4. cruel lord--"Sargon," in Hebrew it is lords; but plural is often used to express greatness, where, one alone is meant ( Genesis 39:2 ). The parallel word "king" (singular) proves it. NEWTON makes the general reference to be to Nebuchadnezzar, and a particular reference to Cambyses, son of Cyrus (who killed the Egyptian god, Apis), and Ochus, Persian conquerors of Egypt, noted for their "fierce cruelty." GESENIUS refers it to Psammetichus, who had brought into Egypt Greek and other foreign mercenaries to subdue the other eleven princes of the dodecarchy.

5. the sea--the Nile. Physical calamities, it is observed in history, often accompany political convulsions ( Ezekiel 30:12 ). The Nile shall "fail" to rise to its wonted height, the result of which will be barrenness and famine. Its "waters" at the time of the overflow resemble "a sea" [PLINY, Natural History, 85.11]; and it is still called El-Bahr," "the sea," by the Egyptians ( Isaiah 18:2 , Jeremiah 51:36 ). A public record is kept at Cairo of the daily rise of the water at the proper time of overflow, namely, August: if it rises to a less height than twelve cubits, it will not overflow the land, and famine must be the result. So, also, when it rises higher than sixteen; for the waters are not drained off in time sufficient to sow the seed.

6. they shall turn the rivers--rather, "the streams shall become putrid"; that is, the artificial streams made for irrigation shall become stagnant and offensive when the waters fail [MAURER]. HORSLEY, with the Septuagint, translates, "And waters from the sea shall be drunk"; by the failure of the river water they shall be reduced to sea water.
brooks of defence--rather, "canals of Egypt"; "canals," literally, "Niles," Nile canals, the plural of the Egyptian term for the great river. The same Hebrew word, Matzor, whence comes Mitzraim, expresses Egypt, and a place of "defense." HORSLEY, as English Version translates it, "embanked canals,"
reeds . . . flags--the papyrus. "Reed and rush"; utter withering.

7. paper-reeds--rather, pastures, literally, "places naked" of wood, and famed for rich herbage, on the banks of the Nile [GESENIUS]. Compare Genesis 13:10 , Deuteronomy 11:10 . HORSLEY translates, "nakedness upon the river," descriptive of the appearance of a river when its bottom is bare and its banks stripped of verdure by long drought: so Vulgate.
the brooks--the river.
mouth--rather, "the source" [Vulgate]. "Even close to the river's side vegetation shall be so withered as to be scattered in the shape of powder by the wind" (English Version, "driven away") [HORSLEY].

8. fishers--The Nile was famed for fish ( Numbers 11:5 ); many would be thrown out of employment by the failure of fishes.
angle--a hook. Used in the "brooks" or canals, as the "net" was in "the waters" of the river itself.

9. fine flax--GESENIUS, for "fine," translates, "combed"; fine "linen" was worn by the rich only ( Luke 16:19 ). Egypt was famous for it ( Exodus 9:31 , 1 Kings 10:28 , Proverbs 7:16 , Ezekiel 27:7 ). The processes of its manufacture are represented on the Egyptian tombs. Israel learned the art in Egypt ( Exodus 26:36 ). The cloth now found on the mummies was linen, as is shown by the microscope. WILKINSON mentions linen from Egypt which has five hundred forty (or two hundred seventy double) threads in one inch in the warp; whereas some modern cambric has but a hundred sixty [BARNES].
networks--rather, white cloth ( Esther 1:6 , 8:16 ).

10. in the purposes--rather, "the foundations," that is, "the nobles shall be broken" or brought low: so Isaiah 3:1 , Psalms 11:3 ; compare Isaiah 19:13 , "Their weaving-frames" [HORSLEY]. "Dykes" call a prince "a pillar of the people" [MAURER]. "Their weaving-frames" [HORSLEY]. "Dykes" [BARNES].
all that make sluices, &c.--"makers of dams," made to confine the waters which overflow from the Nile in artificial fishponds [HORSLEY]. "Makers of gain," that is, the common people who have to earn their livelihood, as opposed to the "nobles" previously [MAURER].

11. Zoan--The Greeks called it Tanis, a city of Lower Egypt, east of the Tanitic arms of the Nile, now San; it was one the Egyptian towns nearest to Palestine ( Numbers 13:22 ), the scene of Moses' miracles ( Psalms 78:12 Psalms 78:43 ). It, or else Memphis, was the capital under Sethos.
I am . . . son of the wise . . . kings--Ye have no advice to suggest to Pharaoh in the crisis, notwithstanding that ye boast of descent from wise and royal ancestors. The priests were the usual "counsellors" of the Egyptian king. He was generally chosen from the priestly caste, or, if from the warrior caste, he was admitted into the sacred order, and was called a priest. The priests are, therefore, meant by the expression, "son of the wise, and of ancient kings"; this was their favorite boast (HERODOTUS, 2.141; compare Amos 7:14 , Acts 23:6 , Philippians 3:5 ). "Pharaoh" was the common name of all the kings: Sethos, probably, is here meant.

12. let them know--that is, How is it that, with all their boast of knowing the future [DIODORUS,1.81], they do not know what Jehovah of hosts . . .

13. Noph--called also Moph; Greek, Memphis ( Hosea 9:6 ); on the western bank of the Nile, capital of Lower Egypt, second only to Thebes in all Egypt: residence of the kings, until the Ptolemies removed to Alexandria; the word means the "port of the good" [PLUTARCH]. The military caste probably ruled in it: "they also are deceived," in fancying their country secure from Assyrian invasion.
stay of . . . tribes--rather, "corner-stone of her castes" [MAURER], that is, the princes, the two ruling castes, the priests and the warriors: image from a building which rests mainly on its corner-stones Isaiah 28:16 , Psalms 118:22 , Numbers 24:17 , Margin; Judges 20:2 , 1 Samuel 14:28 , Margin; Zechariah 10:4 ).

14. err in every work thereof--referring to the anarchy arising from their internal feuds. HORSLEY translates, "with respect to all His (God's) work"; they misinterpreted God's dealings at every step. "Mingled" contains the same image as "drunken"; as one mixes spices with wine to make it intoxicating ( Isaiah 5:22 , Proverbs 9:2 Proverbs 9:5 ), so Jehovah has poured among them a spirit of giddiness, so that they are as helpless as a "drunken man."

15. work for Egypt--nothing which Egypt can do to extricate itself from the difficulty.
head or tail--high or low ( Isaiah 19:11-15 , and Isaiah 19:8-10 ).
branch or rush--the lofty palm branch or the humble reed ( Isaiah 9:14 Isaiah 9:15 , Isaiah 10:33 Isaiah 10:34 ).

16. like . . . women--timid and helpless ( Jeremiah 51:30 , Nahum 3:13 ).
shaking of . . . hand--His judgments by means of the invaders ( Isaiah 10:5 Isaiah 10:32 , 11:15 ).

17. Judah . . . terror unto Egypt--not by itself: but at this time Hezekiah was the active subordinate ally of Assyria in its invasion of Egypt under Sargon. Similarly to the alliance of Judah with Assyria here is 2 Kings 23:29 , where Josiah takes the field against Pharaoh-nechoh of Egypt, probably as ally of Assyria against Egypt [G. V. SMITH]. VITRINGA explains it that Egypt in its calamities would remember that prophets of Judah had foretold them, and so Judah would be "a terror unto Egypt."
thereof--of Judah.

18-22. In that day, &c.--Suffering shall lead to repentance. Struck with "terror" and "afraid" ( Isaiah 19:17 ) because of Jehovah's judgments, Egypt shall be converted to Him: nay, even Assyria shall join in serving Him; so that Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, once mutual foes, shall be bound together by the tie of a common faith as one people. So a similar issue from other prophecies ( Isaiah 18:7 , 23:18 ).
five cities--that is, several cities, as in Isaiah 17:6 , 30:17 , Genesis 43:34 , Leviticus 26:8 . Rather, five definite cities of Lower Egypt ( Isaiah 19:11 Isaiah 19:13 , Isaiah 30:4 ), which had close intercourse with the neighboring Jewish cities [MAURER]; some say, Heliopolis, Leontopolis (else Diospolis), Migdol, Daphne (Tahpanes), and Memphis.
language of Canaan--that is, of the Hebrews in Canaan, the language of revelation; figuratively for, They shall embrace the Jewish religion: so "a pure language" and conversion to God are connected in Zephaniah 3:9 ; as also the first confounding and multiplication of languages was the punishment of the making of gods at Babel, other than the One God. Pentecost ( Acts 2:4 ) was the counterpart of Babel: the separation of nations is not to hinder the unity of faith; the full realization of this is yet future ( Zechariah 14:9 , John 17:21 ). The next clause, "swear to the Lord of Hosts," agrees with this view; that is, bind themselves to Him by solemn covenant ( Isaiah 45:23 , 65:16 , Deuteronomy 6:13 ).
city of destruction--Onias; "city of the sun," that is, On, or Heliopolis; he persuaded Ptolemy Philometer (149 B.C). to let him build a temple in the prefecture (nome) of Heliopolis, on the ground that it would induce Jews to reside there, and that the very site was foretold by Isaiah six hundred years before. The reading of the Hebrew text is, however, better supported, "city of destruction"; referring to Leontopolis, the site of Onias' temple: which casts a reproach on that city because it was about to contain a temple rivalling the only sanctioned temple, that at Jerusalem. MAURER, with some manuscripts, reads "city of defense" or "deliverance"; namely, Memphis, or some such city, to which God was about to send "a saviour" ( Isaiah 19:20 ), to "deliver them."

19. altar--not for sacrifice, but as the "pillar" for memorial and worship ( Joshua 22:22-26 ). Isaiah does not contemplate a temple in Egypt: for the only legal temple wat at Jerusalem; but, like the patriarchs, they shall have altars in various places.
pillar--such as Jacob reared ( Genesis 28:18 , 35:14 ); it was a common practice in Egypt to raise obelisks commemorating divine and great events.
at the border--of Egypt and Judah, to proclaim to both countries the common faith. This passage shows how the Holy Spirit raised Isaiah above a narrow-minded nationality to a charity anticipatory of gospel catholicity.

20. it--the altar and pillar.
a sign--(of the fulfilment of prophecy) to their contemporaries.
a witness--to their descendants.
unto the Lord--no longer, to their idols, but to Jehovah.
for they shall cry--or, "a sign . . . that they cried, . . . and He sent to them a saviour"; probably, Alexander the Great (so "a great one"), whom the Egyptians welcomed as a deliverer (Greek, Soter, a title of the Ptolemies) out of the hands of the Persians, who under Cambyses had been their "oppressors." At Alexandria, called from him, the Old Testament was translated into Greek for the Greek-speaking Jews, who in large numbers dwelt in Egypt under the Ptolemies, his successors. Messiah is the antitype ultimately intended (compare Acts 2:10 , "Egypt").

21. oblation--unbloody.

22. return--for heathen sin and idolatry are an apostasy from primitive truth.
heal--as described ( Isaiah 19:18-20 ).

23. highway--free communication, resting on the highest basis, the common faith of both ( Isaiah 19:18 , Isaiah 11:16 ). Assyria and Egypt were joined under Alexander as parts of his empire: Jews and proselytes from both met at the feasts of Jerusalem. A type of gospel times to come.
serve with--serve Jehovah with the Assyrians. So "serve" is used absolutely ( Job 36:11 ).

24. third--The three shall be joined as one nation.
blessing--the source of blessings to other nations, and the object of their benedictions.
in the midst of the land--rather, "earth" ( Micah 5:7 ). Judah is designed to be the grand center of the whole earth ( Jeremiah 3:17 ).

25. Whom--rather, "Which," namely, "the land," or "earth," that is, the people of it [MAURER].
my people--the peculiar designation of Israel, the elect people, here applied to Egypt to express its entire admission to religious privileges ( Romans 9:24-26 , 1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:10 ).
work of my hands--spiritually ( Hosea 2:23 , Ephesians 2:10 ).