Isaiah 19

A Prophecy Against Egypt

1 A prophecy against Egypt: See, the LORD rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. The idols of Egypt tremble before him, and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.
2 “I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian— brother will fight against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.
3 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.
4 I will hand the Egyptians over to the power of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
5 The waters of the river will dry up, and the riverbed will be parched and dry.
6 The canals will stink; the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up. The reeds and rushes will wither,
7 also the plants along the Nile, at the mouth of the river. Every sown field along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more.
8 The fishermen will groan and lament, all who cast hooks into the Nile; those who throw nets on the water will pine away.
9 Those who work with combed flax will despair, the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.
10 The workers in cloth will be dejected, and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice. How can you say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the wise men, a disciple of the ancient kings”?
12 Where are your wise men now? Let them show you and make known what the LORD Almighty has planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan have become fools, the leaders of Memphis are deceived; the cornerstones of her peoples have led Egypt astray.
14 The LORD has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she does, as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.
15 There is nothing Egypt can do— head or tail, palm branch or reed.
16 In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the LORD Almighty raises against them.
17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the LORD Almighty is planning against them.
18 In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.[a]
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border.
20 It will be a sign and witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the LORD because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them.
21 So the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the LORD. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the LORD and keep them.
22 The LORD will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the LORD, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.
23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.
24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing[b] on the earth.
25 The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel 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 72

  • 1. Isaiah 13:1; Jeremiah 43:12
  • 2. Isaiah 20:3; Joel 3:19
  • 3. S Exodus 12:12; S Jeremiah 44:3
  • 4. S Deuteronomy 10:14; S 2 Samuel 22:10; Psalms 18:10; Psalms 104:3; S Revelation 1:7
  • 5. S Joshua 2:11
  • 6. S Judges 7:22; S Judges 12:4; Matthew 10:21,36
  • 7. S 2 Chronicles 15:6; 2 Chronicles 20:23; Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8; Luke 21:10
  • 8. Psalms 18:45
  • 9. ver 11; S Job 5:12
  • 10. 1 Chronicles 10:13
  • 11. S Leviticus 19:31; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 47:13; Daniel 2:2,10; Daniel 3:8; Daniel 5:7
  • 12. Isaiah 20:4; Jeremiah 46:26; Ezekiel 29:19; Ezekiel 32:11
  • 13. Isaiah 44:27; Isaiah 50:2; Jeremiah 50:38; Jeremiah 51:36
  • 14. S 2 Samuel 14:14
  • 15. Exodus 7:18
  • 16. Isaiah 37:25; Ezekiel 30:12
  • 17. S Genesis 41:2; S Job 8:11
  • 18. Isaiah 15:6
  • 19. Numbers 11:5
  • 20. Deuteronomy 29:23; Isaiah 23:3
  • 21. Zechariah 10:11
  • 22. Numbers 11:5; Ezekiel 47:10
  • 23. Amos 4:2; Habakkuk 1:15
  • 24. S Joshua 2:6
  • 25. Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 16:10; Ezekiel 27:7
  • 26. S Numbers 13:22
  • 27. S Genesis 41:37
  • 28. S ver 3
  • 29. S 1 Kings 4:30; Acts 7:22
  • 30. 1 Corinthians 1:20
  • 31. S Isaiah 14:24; Romans 9:17
  • 32. S Numbers 13:22
  • 33. Jeremiah 2:16; Jeremiah 44:1; Jeremiah 46:14,19; Ezekiel 30:13,16; Hosea 9:6
  • 34. S Psalms 118:22
  • 35. S Proverbs 12:8; Matthew 17:17
  • 36. S Psalms 107:27
  • 37. S Isaiah 9:14
  • 38. Isaiah 2:17; Isaiah 11:10
  • 39. Jeremiah 50:37; Jeremiah 51:30; Nahum 3:13
  • 40. S Deuteronomy 2:25; Hebrews 10:31
  • 41. S Isaiah 11:15
  • 42. S Genesis 35:5
  • 43. S Isaiah 14:24
  • 44. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 45. Jeremiah 44:1
  • 46. Psalms 22:27; S Psalms 63:11; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 4:2; Zephaniah 3:9
  • 47. Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 24:12; Isaiah 32:19; "fn" Jeremiah 43:13
  • 48. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 49. S Joshua 22:10
  • 50. S Psalms 68:31
  • 51. S Genesis 28:18
  • 52. S Genesis 21:30
  • 53. S Deuteronomy 28:29; S Judges 2:18; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 54. Isaiah 49:24-26
  • 55. S Isaiah 11:9; S Isaiah 43:10
  • 56. ver 19; S Genesis 27:29; S Psalms 86:9; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 60:7; Malachi 1:11
  • 57. S Numbers 30:2; S Deuteronomy 23:21
  • 58. Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 12:11
  • 59. Exodus 11:10
  • 60. Isaiah 45:14; Ezekiel 33:11; Hosea 6:1; Hosea 10:12; Hosea 12:6; Hosea 14:1; Joel 2:13
  • 61. S Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 62. S ver 16,24; Isaiah 20:6
  • 63. S Isaiah 11:16
  • 64. Micah 7:12
  • 65. S Genesis 27:29; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 66:23
  • 66. S ver 23
  • 67. S Isaiah 11:11
  • 68. S Genesis 12:2
  • 69. S Genesis 12:3; Ephesians 2:11-14
  • 70. Psalms 87:4; S Psalms 100:3
  • 71. Isaiah 29:23; Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 45:11; Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 64:8; Ephesians 2:10
  • 72. S Exodus 34:9; Jeremiah 30:22; Hosea 2:23

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text "City of Destruction"
  • [b]. Or "Assyria, whose names will be used in blessings" (see Gen. 48:20); or "Assyria, who will be seen by others as blessed"

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

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