Isaiah 19:18-23

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.

Isaiah 19:18-23 Meaning and Commentary


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.

Cross References 22

  • 1. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 2. Jeremiah 44:1
  • 3. Psalms 22:27; S Psalms 63:11; Isaiah 48:1; Jeremiah 4:2; Zephaniah 3:9
  • 4. Isaiah 17:1; Isaiah 24:12; Isaiah 32:19; "fn" Jeremiah 43:13
  • 5. S Isaiah 10:20
  • 6. S Joshua 22:10
  • 7. S Psalms 68:31
  • 8. S Genesis 28:18
  • 9. S Genesis 21:30
  • 10. S Deuteronomy 28:29; S Judges 2:18; S Isaiah 25:9
  • 11. Isaiah 49:24-26
  • 12. S Isaiah 11:9; S Isaiah 43:10
  • 13. ver 19; S Genesis 27:29; S Psalms 86:9; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 60:7; Malachi 1:11
  • 14. S Numbers 30:2; S Deuteronomy 23:21
  • 15. Exodus 12:23; Hebrews 12:11
  • 16. Exodus 11:10
  • 17. Isaiah 45:14; Ezekiel 33:11; Hosea 6:1; Hosea 10:12; Hosea 12:6; Hosea 14:1; Joel 2:13
  • 18. S Deuteronomy 32:39
  • 19. S ver 16,24; Isaiah 20:6
  • 20. S Isaiah 11:16
  • 21. Micah 7:12
  • 22. S Genesis 27:29; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 66:23

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text "City of Destruction"
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.