Isaiah Chapter 19 Continued
Isaiah 19:13 “The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, [even they that are] the stay of the tribes thereof.”
Noph is an ancient Memphis which was the capital of northern Egypt at one time. This city had leaders who were in a state of confusion regarding a true perspective on Egypt’s crisis.
“The stay of the tribes” were the cornerstones. If the cornerstones of a society suffer from delusion, they can do nothing else than delude the people they lead.
When the blind lead the blind, they both fall in the ditch.
Isaiah 19:14 “The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken [man] staggereth in his vomit.”
In the lesson just prior to this one, we learned that the Egyptians had been worshipping false gods. They even practiced sorcery and witchcraft. We see that part of their punishment God brought upon them was a perverse spirit. This spirit was one that brought confusion among the leaders.
Since their mind was controlled by this perverse spirit, they could not make good clear decisions, and everything they put their hand to failed. They were so confused; they were staggering as a drunken man would stagger.
The Lord had caused dizziness that resulted in a complete loss of productivity when the invaders came.
Isaiah 19:15 “Neither shall there be [any] work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do.”
This is just saying they could profit from nothing they did. Everyone is pulling in his own direction. Not anyone is working in union with anyone else. I want to stop and remind you, Egypt in the symbolic sense, means the unconverted world.
Our world is in just such a state of confusion today. The only true unity that any of us have is in Jesus Christ our Savior and LORD.
From (verse 16 to the end of this chapter), turning from Egypt’s destitution just described (in verses 1-15), the prophet proceeds to describe Egypt’s eventual turning to the true God, “in that day” (verse 16), referring to the time of the millennial rule of Christ. These features have not been true of Egypt yet.
Isaiah 19:16 “In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.”
In this particular instance, being “like unto women” means they have become weak. Their hearts are failing them for fear of things God is bringing upon the earth. When God shakes the earth, it is time to be afraid, because who is able to win against God, no one?
God’s judgment will immobilize mighty Egypt to the point that the nation realizes it is defenseless and helpless.
The shaking taking place then, and the wrath that is to come on the earth, is very similar. The only thing that would have stopped the shaking was repenting and turning to God.
Isaiah 19:17 “And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.”
Egypt had come into confrontation once before against Judah and their God. I am sure that they were aware of the terrible plagues God had brought on Egypt to get the Pharaoh to release His people. They are not so much afraid of Judah, as they are of Judah’s God.
The LORD of hosts has taken counsel against Egypt in behalf of Judah. When Judah attacks Egypt, it is God really using Judah. This is what brings the fear.
Instead of Judah fearing Egypt, the reverse will be true. God’s great power on behalf of Israel will cause this to happen. Such will occur at Christ’s second advent.
Isaiah 19:18 “In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.”
“Five cities”: Humanly speaking, the chances of even one Egyptian city turning to the Lord were remote, but divinely speaking, there will be five times that many.
Language of Canaan: Egypt is to speak the language of Judah. Not only are they to fear Judah, (verse 17), they are also to convert to Judah’s form of worship.
“Swear to the Lord of hosts”: Egypt will “in that day” turn to God in a dramatic way. This prophecy anticipates the personal reign of the Davidic King on earth.
“City of destruction”: More likely this was the “City of the Sun,” i.e., Heliopolis, which was the home of the Egyptian sun god (see Beth-shemesh”; Jer. 43:12-13).
We see in this, that certain parts of Egypt will have begun to believe in the God of Judah. This says that at least five cities have begun speaking the language of Canaan. This does not just mean they are speaking Hebrew, but means they have accepted the God of the Hebrews.
We see from this that before Christ came to the earth as Savior and Lord, there was a group who were worshipping Jehovah in Egypt. We do know from history that a Christian church was begun in Alexandria, probably established by Mark.
It seems that one of the cities that turned to the worship of Jehovah had been an evil city (city of destruction), where they had worshipped the sun god. They have been converted, and now place their faith in the One True God.
“Swear by the LORD of hosts”, just means they have placed their trust and faith in Him.
Isaiah 19:19 “In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.”
“Altar … pillar”: These speak figuratively of Egypt’s conversion to the Lord “in that day” of the Messiah’s reign on earth (Genesis 28:22).
We do know that there will be a place set aside to meet with God. There are many who connect this with the great pyramid. I will not make that assumption here.
We do not need facts to lead us to the Lord. He will accept simple faith, and nothing else. I believe we would be in error to look to a pyramid to give us answers from God.
I have said many times that I believe the reason we have never been able (in the masses), to see Noah’s ark with our natural eyes, is the fact that God does not want us to come to Him because of being convinced in our mind by things we see with our natural eye. He wants us to come to Him with faith in our heart.
John 20:29 “Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed [are] they that have not seen, and [yet] have believed.”
Isaiah 19:20 “And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a savior, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.”
“Savior” God is to act on behalf of Egypt as He did earlier in delivering Israel (Judges 2:18; 3:9, 15; 6:7-9; 10:11-12).
In my opinion, this is not speaking of physical Egypt alone. Jesus Christ is the Savior. He came to save all mankind. There are signs that do verify things of Christ. Jesus said it was wrong to base what we believe on signs alone.
Luke 11:29 “And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonah the prophet.”
The sign in the verse above, however, is not God giving them a sign, but them giving Him a sign. Their recognition of God is a sign to God they are no longer heathen, but seeking the One True God. Now God has a people even in Egypt.
Isaiah 19:21 “And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform [it].”
We see from this that, the Lord became recognized by some Egyptians. In the physical, there were Egyptian Jews who went to the temple in Jerusalem to worship. These converts have taken their belief in God so seriously that they do not take vows casually. They make sure that they keep their vows to Him.
The future kingdom will be a time when everyone will know the Lord, because the New Covenant will dominate, (Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8:11; Isa. 11:9; Hab. 2:14).
Isaiah 19:22 “And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal [it]: and they shall return [even] to the LORD, and he shall be entreated of them, and shall heal them.”
This is saying that God reached down with His right hand, and touched Egypt, and healed them. “Smite”, in this instance is not a blow, but a touch. Smiting can, also, be like a father correcting a child which causes them to come to Him in a fuller sense.
Just as a parent disciplines a child for purposes of betterment, so the Lord has dealt and would deal with Egypt, (Hos. 6:1).
Isaiah 19:23 “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.”
“Highway out of Egypt to Assyria”: The two great warring nations of Israel’s time are to reach a lasting peace with each other during “that day” of Christ’s reign (27:13; 2:2-4).
This is saying that, the Assyrians will worship with the Egyptians. There will not be barriers between these two nations anymore. It is so strange, but those of us who have decided to follow Jesus have no barriers between brothers and sisters of other nationalities.
Christians do not see black and white people; they see their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Isaiah 19:24 “In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, [even] a blessing in the midst of the land:”
“A blessing in the midst of the land”: Israel “in that day” will become what God intended her to be, a blessing to the rest of the world.
These 3 have been enemies in the past. They will come together in a common faith. Their belief in God makes them one. The blessing, of course, comes from God. They will be blessing each other also, in the fact that there is no more war.
Isaiah 19:25 “Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed [be] Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.”
“My people … the work of my hands”: Elsewhere scripture uses these epithets to speak only of Israel. In the future kingdom, Israel is to be God’s instrument for drawing other nations into His fold.
Egypt had a great deal to do with the Scriptures being translated from Hebrew into Greek. Their Zeal for God was great. Great works for God are never overlooked by Him. They will be blessed greatly. Egypt has always been a place of refuge for God’s people, as well.
Two times that quickly come to mind, are when Jesus was brought by Mary and Joseph there when He was a baby to keep Herod from killing Him. The other time was when Joseph was sold into slavery and rose to second in command in Egypt. That will bring them great blessings, as well.
The believers in Assyria kept idolatry from overcoming the land. They kept alive the belief in the One True God. Israel was God’s chosen people from the beginning. He had saved them from great trouble in Egypt, and brought them to the land God had promised Abraham.
They had been given the law of God by Moses on their way to the Promised Land. They actually gave us the Old Testament. They kept wonderful records which have helped us know of the past. They belong to God. They are His inheritance.
Isaiah Chapter 19 Continued Questions
- The princes of _________ have become fools.
- The princes of _________ are deceived.
- What country is Noph of?
- What does “stay of the tribes” mean?
- The LORD hath mingled a _________ ________ in the midst thereof.
- What happened to everything they tried to do?
- Why could they not accomplish what they tried to do?
- What made them “like unto women”?
- What, from verse 16, is comparable to the wrath that is to come?
- Who will be a terror to Egypt?
- Who is Egypt really afraid of?
- How many cities, in that day, shall speak the language of Canaan?
- Certain parts of Egypt had begun to believe in what?
- What does “swear by the Lord” mean?
- Verse 19 says there was an altar to the Lord where?
- What do some people believe the pillar, in verse 19, is?
- Why does the author believe the masses have not seen Noah’s ark?
- Who is the Savior in verse 20?
- What is the sign in verse 20?
- How seriously had these Egyptian Jews taken God?
- What is “smite” in verse 22?
- What is verse 23 saying about Egypt and Syria?
- What great thing did the Egyptians do?
- Who were two Bible characters who found refuge in Egypt?
- What did the believers in Assyria do?
- _________ was God’s chosen people.