Isaiah 19 – “The Fate of Egypt”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Egypt will be purged of its idols, afflicted with drought, and ruled by a tyrant. Its people will turn to God and serve him along with the Assyrians and Israelites.

II. Photo
The Nile will run dry: “The fishermen shall lament; All who cast lines in the Nile shall mourn, And those who spread nets on the water shall languish.” (v. 8 )

III. Important Verses
2-4:  “I will incite Egyptian against Egyptian: They shall war with each other, Every man with his fellow, City with city And kingdom with kingdom. Egypt shall be drained of spirit, And I will confound its plans; So they will consult the idols and the shades And the ghosts and the familiar spirits. And I will place the Egyptians At the mercy of a harsh master, And a ruthless king shall rule them” — declares the Sovereign, the LORD of Hosts.
6-7: Channels turn foul as they ebb, And Egypt’s canals run dry. Reed and rush shall decay, And the Nile papyrus by the Nile-side And everything sown by the Nile Shall wither, blow away, and vanish.
16: In that day, the Egyptians shall be like women, trembling and terrified because the LORD of Hosts will raise His hand against them.
18: In that day, there shall be several towns in the land of Egypt speaking the language of Canaan and swearing loyalty to the LORD of Hosts; one shall be called Town of Heres.
19-20: In that day, there shall be an altar to the LORD inside the land of Egypt and a pillar to the LORD at its border. They shall serve as a symbol and reminder of the LORD of Hosts in the land of Egypt, so that when [the Egyptians] cry out to the LORD against oppressors, He will send them a savior and champion to deliver them.
23-25: In that day, there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians shall join with the Egyptians and Egyptians with the Assyrians, and then the Egyptians together with the Assyrians shall serve [the LORD]. In that day, Israel shall be a third partner with Egypt and Assyria as a blessing on earth; for the LORD of Hosts will bless them, saying, “Blessed be My people Egypt, My handiwork Assyria, and My very own Israel.”

IV. Outline

1a. Introduction: The Egypt pronouncement
1b. The idols of Egypt will fall before God
2-4. Oracle
    2. Civil war
    3. Turning to magic
    4. A harsh ruler
5-10. Drought
11-15. Egypt’s sages have misled her
16. Egyptian fear
17. Judah will cause trouble for Egypt
18. A Canaanite presence in Egypt
19-22. The Egyptians will turn to God, set up pillars for him, and serve him
23-24. Egypt, Assyria, and Israel will serve God

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from