Isaiah 19

Listen to Isaiah 19

An Oracle Concerning Egypt

1 An 1oracle concerning 2Egypt. Behold, the LORD 3 is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and 4the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will 5melt within them.
2 And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, 6and 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[a] their 7counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and 8the mediums and the necromancers;
4 and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of 9a 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.
8 The 10fishermen 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 11combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.
10 Those who are the 12pillars of the land will be crushed, and all who 13work for pay will be grieved.
11 The princes of 14Zoan 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 15wise men? Let them tell you that they might know what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13 The princes of 16Zoan have become fools, and the princes of 17Memphis are deluded; those who are the 18cornerstones of her tribes have made Egypt stagger.
14 The LORD has mingled within her 19a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, 20as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15 And there will be nothing for Egypt that 21head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

16 In that day the Egyptians will be 22like women, and 23tremble 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 24In that day there will be 25five cities in the land of Egypt that 26speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.[b]
19 In that day there will be an 27altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a 28pillar to the LORD at its border.
20 29It 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, 30he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them.
21 31And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day 32and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them.
22 33And 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 34In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, 35and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, 36a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt 37my people, and Assyria 38the work of my hands, and 39Israel my inheritance."

Isaiah 19 Commentary

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.

Cross References 39

  • 1. See Isaiah 13:1
  • 2. [Joel 3:19]; See Jeremiah 46:13-26; Ezekiel 29:1 - 31:2; Ezekiel 31:18 - 32:32
  • 3. Psalms 18:10, 11; Psalms 104:3; [Matthew 26:64; Revelation 1:7]
  • 4. Exodus 12:12; [1 Samuel 5:3; Jeremiah 43:12; Jeremiah 50:2]
  • 5. Isaiah 13:7; See Joshua 2:11
  • 6. [Judges 7:22]
  • 7. ver. 11
  • 8. Isaiah 8:19
  • 9. Isaiah 20:4; Jeremiah 46:26; Ezekiel 29:19
  • 10. [Numbers 11:5]
  • 11. [Ezekiel 27:7]
  • 12. [Galatians 2:9]
  • 13. Jeremiah 46:21
  • 14. Isaiah 30:4; Numbers 13:22; Psalms 78:43
  • 15. 1 Kings 4:30; Acts 7:22
  • 16. [See ver. 11 above]
  • 17. Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 44:1; Jeremiah 46:14, 19; Ezekiel 30:13, 16
  • 18. [Zechariah 10:4]
  • 19. [1 Kings 22:22]
  • 20. [Isaiah 24:20; Isaiah 29:9]
  • 21. Isaiah 9:14
  • 22. Jeremiah 50:37; Jeremiah 51:30; Nahum 3:13
  • 23. Isaiah 10:32
  • 24. ver. 21
  • 25. [Isaiah 30:17; 2 Kings 7:13]
  • 26. [Zephaniah 3:9]
  • 27. [2 Kings 5:17]
  • 28. [Genesis 28:18]
  • 29. [See ver. 19 above]
  • 30. [Obadiah 21]
  • 31. [ver. 25]
  • 32. Zechariah 14:16-18; [Isaiah 2:2]
  • 33. Jeremiah 46:25, 26
  • 34. Isaiah 11:16
  • 35. [ver. 18, 21; Zephaniah 3:9]
  • 36. [Genesis 12:2, 3]
  • 37. [Hosea 2:23]
  • 38. Isaiah 29:23
  • 39. Deuteronomy 32:9

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Or I will swallow up
  • [b]. Dead Sea Scroll and some other manuscripts City of the Sun

Chapter Summary


This chapter contains prophecies of various calamities that should come upon Egypt in a short time, and of the conversion of many of them to Christ in Gospel times. The calamities are many; the Lord's coming unto them, which their gods cannot prevent, nor stand before, nor save them, and at which the hearts of the Egyptians are dispirited, Isa 19:1 civil wars among themselves, Isa 19:2 want of counsel, which sends them to idols and wizards, but in vain, Isa 19:3 subjection to a cruel lord, Isa 19:4 drying up of their rivers and waters, so that the paper reeds wither, and fishes die; and hence no business for fishermen, nor for workers in flax, or weavers of nets, Isa 19:5-10,15 the stupidity of their princes and wise counsellors, given up by the Lord to a perverse spirit, so that they concerted wrong measures, and deceived the people, Isa 19:11-14 a general consternation among them, because of the hand and counsel of the Lord; and because of the Lord's people, the Jews, who were a terror to them, Isa 19:16,17 and then follows the prophecy of their conversion in later times, which is signified by their speaking the language of Canaan, and swearing to the Lord, Isa 19:18 by their erecting an altar, and a pillar to the Lord, which should be a sign and witness to him; and by their crying to him, and his sending them a Saviour, and a great one, Isa 19:19,20 by his being known unto them, by their offering sacrifice to him, and by his smiting and healing them Isa 19:21,22 and the chapter is concluded with a prophecy of that harmony, and agreement, and fellowship, that shall be between Jew and Gentile, between Egypt, Assyria, and Israel; and that the blessing of God should be upon them all, Isa 19:23-25.

Isaiah 19 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.