Isaiah 19:5

5 The River Nile will dry up, the riverbed baked dry in the sun.

Isaiah 19:5 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 19:5

And the waters shall fail from the sea
Which Kimchi understands figuratively of the destruction of the Egyptians by the king of Assyria, compared to the drying up of the waters of the Nile; and others think that the failure of their trade by sea is meant, which brought great revenues into the kingdom: but, by what follows, it seems best to take the words in a literal sense, of the waters of the river Nile, which being dried up, as in the next clause, could not empty themselves into the sea, as they used, and therefore very properly may be said to fail from it; nay, the Nile itself may be called a sea, it being so large a confluence of water: and the river shall be wasted and dried up;
that is, the river Nile, which was not only very useful for their trade and navigation, but the fruitfulness of the country depended upon it; for the want of rain, in the land of Egypt, was supplied by the overflow of this river, at certain times, which brought and left such a slime upon the earth, as made it exceeding fertile; now the drying up of this river was either occasioned by some great drought, which God in judgment sent; or by the practices of some of their princes with this river, by which it was greatly impaired, and its usefulness diminished.

Isaiah 19:5 In-Context

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.
6 The canals will become stagnant and stink, every stream touching the Nile dry up. River vegetation will rot away
7 the banks of the Nile-baked clay, The riverbed hard and smooth, river grasses dried up and gone with the wind.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved.