Isaiah 19:3

3 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.

Isaiah 19:3 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 19:3

And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof,
&c.] Meaning not the spirit of valour and courage, that is expressed before, but of wisdom, prudence, and understanding; the wisdom of Egypt, in which Moses is said to be brought up, ( Acts 7:22 ) was famous all the world over; hither men of learning, as the ancient philosophers, Pythagoras, Plato, and others, travelled, to improve in knowledge, and gain a larger acquaintance with things human and divine; it was the mother and mistress of the liberal arts and sciences; but now what was before like a river full of water, was about to be "emptied", and drained dry, as the word F25 used signifies: and I will destroy the counsels thereof;
or "swallow [them] up" {z}, so that they shall be no more seen, or take effect: this explains what is before meant by the spirit of Egypt, and which is further enlarged on, and illustrated in ( Isaiah 19:11-13 ) , and they shall seek to the idols;
with which the land abounded, particularly to Osiris and Isis, to Apis, Latona, and others: and to the charmers;
that used incantations and spells; magicians and conjurers, that whispered and muttered; for the word used has the signification of speaking in a slow and drawling manner. The Targum renders it "witches"; but Jarchi takes it to be the name of an idol: and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards;
(See Gill on Isaiah 8:19).


FOOTNOTES:

F25 (hqbn) "evacuabitur", Pagninus, Montanus, Piscator, Cocceius.
F26 (elba) "deglutiam", Montanus; "absorpsero", Junius & Tremellius; "absorbebo", Piscator.

Isaiah 19:3 In-Context

1 A Message concerning Egypt: Watch this! God riding on a fast-moving cloud, moving in on Egypt! The god-idols of Egypt shudder and shake, Egyptians paralyzed by panic.
2 God says, "I'll make Egyptian fight Egyptian, brother fight brother, neighbor fight neighbor, City fight city, kingdom fight kingdom - anarchy and chaos and killing!
3 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.
4 But I'll turn the Egyptians over to a tyrant most cruel. I'll put them under the rule of a mean, merciless king." Decree of the Master, God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
5 The River Nile will dry up, the riverbed baked dry in the sun.