Isaiah (Ch 19-20)

The Scriptures are often shrouded in cryptic languages; as usual a prophecy of Isaiah will start with the house of Judah and Jerusalem then spread to the house of Israel and soon it includes many prophecies concerning other nations surrounding the region. Our challenge is to decrypt them, especially as it relates to the latter days, our days.

Isaiah 19

1 The burden of Egypt: Behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at His presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it. — the burden of Egypt; a prophecy in the future, very grievous one, declaring many calamities that should come upon them. The Targum says, “the burden of the cup of cursing, to make the Egyptians drink.”

— behold, the Lord rideth upon a swift cloud, coming on light clouds as His chariots, in order to pass sentence, and shall come into Egypt; and the idols of Egypt shall tremble with terror at His presence and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it, namely, for fear of the impending punishment.

“And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians; and they shall fight every one against his brother and every one against his neighbor, city against city, and kingdom against kingdom. — and the Lord will set the Egyptians against fellow Egyptians, inciting them to civil war and anarchy; and they shall fight every one against his brother and every one against his neighbor; city against city and kingdom against kingdom. 

And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof; and they shall seek the idols and the charmers, and them that have familiar spirits and the wizards. — and the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof, particularly to Osiris and Isis, to Apis, Latona and others; so that the courage of the Egyptians would, literally, “be emptied out” and God will destroy the counsel thereof, swallowing all their plans, so that the rulers would be helpless in the situation; 

— and they shall seek their idols, appealing to them for help, and to the charmers, literally, “the murmurers, or mutterers,” those who professed to be in touch with the spirit world, magicians and conjurers and to them that have familiar spirits, the spiritists of those days, and to the wizards, those actually in league with the Evil One. Then, as has always been, people who refused to accept the true God resorted to superstitious rites and to the assistance of the spirits of darkness.

And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord, and a fierce king shall rule over them,” saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts. — and the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord, the reference being either to one of their own tyrannical rulers or to the Assyrian conquerors; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord of hosts. Three Pharaohs, namely, Psammetichus, Necho, and Hophra, oppressed the Egyptians so severely that the land never recovered from their tyranny.

And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. — and the waters shall fail from the Red Sea, the waters from the Nile shall be wasted and dried up, perhaps none flow from the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam; this drying up would be a calamity for Egypt, since Egypt depended entirely upon the Nile for drinking and irrigation (see also Ezekiel 30:12 and Zechariah 10:11).

And they shall turn the rivers far away, and the brooks of defense shall be emptied and dried up; the reeds and flags shall wither. — and they shall turn the rivers far away, rather, “and the rivers shall produce a stench,” being reduced to stagnating pools; and the brooks of defense shall be emptied and dried up, that is, the canals of the Nile, especially around its delta and in the irrigation systems, would carry no more water; the reeds and flags, principally the papyrus-plants depending altogether upon the moisture of the river, shall wither.

The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks shall wither, be driven away, and be no more. — the paper-reeds by the brooks, literally, “the naked places,” the meadows on the Nile, by the mouth of the brooks, along the banks of the river, and everything sown by the brooks, the grain-fields along the very edge of the Nile, shall wither, be driven away, scattered by the wind in the form of dust, and be no more;

— since Egypt in history, had never experienced the Nile drying up, this could only been a prophecy; not just here, but perhaps the whole chapter, including “a cruel lord and a fierce king shall rule over them.”

The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast hook into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish. — the fishers shall also mourn, because they would be thrown out of a livelihood, and all they that cast angle into the Nile shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish, since the rich fisheries of the Nile or its brooks would no longer exist.

Moreover they that work in fine flax and they that weave network shall be confounded. — moreover, they that work in fine flax, fine linen cloth and yarn; and they that weave networks, white cotton cloth, shall be confounded, since neither flax nor cotton would grow, and this important industry would thus be made impossible.

10 And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish. — and they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish, literally, “and shall be her foundations ruins, all laborers for hire swamps of the soul,” that is, the upper castes of the nation would lose their power, and the poorest people of the country would give way to hopelessness and despair;

— the Syriac version says “and all they shall be humbled that make strong drink, for the drink of the soul” that is, for their upper castes to drown their sorrows.

11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools; the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh has become brutish. How say ye unto Pharaoh, “I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings”? — surely the princes of Zoan (or Tanis as the Targum says), a city of Lower Egypt, known as “the royal city of the Pharaohs, “it was then the royal city and at one time the capital of the country, who claimed “we are the sons of wise men” are fools, the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh is become brutish, the priestly counselors of the Egyptian king had lost all their wisdom;

— how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings? In spite of the fact that they boasted their descent from wise and ancient counselors, even of royalty, they were unable to offer advice in the present crisis;

12 Where are they? Where are thy wise men? And let them tell thee now, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt. — where are they? where are their wise men? And, let them tell thee now, in a certain prophecy, and let them know what the Lord of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt, and it has deep consequences;

Where are thy wise men? Where are the Egipciens? Scattered around the world now!

— today, Gypsies are known as Roma, but in Hebrew, their name is derived from the Egyptian city of Zoan, or Tanis, at one time the royal and capital of the country; and this is from Wikipedia (Romani people);

Hebrew: צוענים‎, romanized: Tzoanim. Derives either from the biblical Egyptian city of Zoan, or from the linguistic root צ־ע־נ‎, meaning “wander.”

The English term Gypsy (or Gipsy) originates from the Middle English gypcian, short for Egipcien.

Ezekiel 29:12 “and I will scatter the Egyptians among the nations and will disperse them through the countries.”

— for more, see a study commentary in Ezekiel 32.

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. — the princes of Zoan are fools in their counsels to Pharaoh; the princes of Noph, of Memphis, on the western bank of the Nile, capital of Lower Egypt, are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, led its people astray by their false claims and foolish counsel, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof, upon whom the people depended for leadership.

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. — the Lord hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst of the princes of Zoan, for the false wisdom of the leading castes acted like a spirit of intoxication; and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof;

— as a drunken man staggered in his vomit, who is so very drunk, that his head is quite giddy, and cannot walk upright, but staggers as he goes, and vomits as he staggers, and falls down, and is rolled in it as the Targum says; just like such a man were the princes and governors of the Egyptian provinces, unable to find their way out.

15 Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do. — neither shall there be any work for Egypt which the head or tail, branch or rush may do, that is, no person in Egypt, whether of the ruling or of the serving class, whether lofty or humble, will be able to do anything to stop the general destruction;

— the Targum interprets the whole of their chief men thus, “and the Egyptians shall have no king to reign, nor prince, noble, governor, or ruler.”

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 that day shall Egypt be like unto women, weak and feeble, as the Targum says; fearful and timorous, even their military force; and devoid of wisdom, even their princes and nobles: on account of the greater timidity which usually characterizes the weaker sex; 

— and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the Lord of hosts which He shakes over it, His judgements and punishments when He lifts up His rod, and holds it over a people, thus being scattered by means of the invaders of Egypt.

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. — and the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, that if the judgements of God fell so heavy on his own people, what might they expect? either because the mere mention of the name struck terror to their hearts at this time, or because Judah was now allied with Assyria against the king of Egypt;

— every one that makes mention thereof, namely, of Judah, shall be afraid in himself because of the judgement of the Lord of hosts which He hath determined against it, for they all dreaded the punishment which they felt was now inevitable.

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. — in that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, that is, the Hebrew language and accept the true, revealed religion, and swear to the Lord of hosts, pledging themselves to Him with a sacred oath; one shall be called The City of Destruction, literally, “Ir-ha-heres,” which may have been the city of the sun, or Heliopolis. The prophecy of Jeremiah 43:13, also means to point to the destruction of this or a similar city.

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. — in that day shall there be a reference is either to the establishment of the religion of Yehovah in Egypt during the Millenium with a foothold which the true religion gained in Egypt at a very early date of a new era.

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. — and it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt, so that their contemporaries could see the evidence of their worship and their descendants have this proof of their religion; 

— for they shall cry unto the Lord because of the oppressors, and He shall send them a savior, and a great one, a mighty warrior, and he shall deliver them, whose coming was a deliverance to Egypt in various ways.

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. — and the Lord shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord in that day, namely, when Yehovah would visit Egypt in judgement and cause the truth to be proclaimed to its people, and shall do sacrifice and oblation, perform the acts of true worship to the only God; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord and perform it, pledging themselves to Yehovah and His service.

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 by them and shall heal them. — and the Lord shall smite Egypt, in order to bring its people to repentance; He shall smite and heal it, for His purpose is always one of redemption; and they shall return even to the Lord, His punishment having taken the right effect, and He shall be intreated of them and shall heal them. Cf Leviticus 26:44Deuteronomy 32:36.

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. — in that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, permitting free and friendly communication, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians, proselytes and Jews from both countries meeting at Jerusalem and elsewhere for the worship of Yehovah.

24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land, — in that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, the believers of the three countries being joined by the one faith, even a blessing in the midst of the land, since blessings would go forth from them to the inhabitants of other countries all over the world;

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.” — whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt, My people, admitted to all the spiritual privileges formerly held by Israel alone, and Assyria, the work of My hands, His workmanship in the spiritual sense, and Israel, Mine inheritance, still designated thus as the actual son of the Kingdom of God and head of His family. Altogether, they set a splendid example of the spread of the true religion under the merciful direction of God during the Millenium.

Isaiah 20

1 In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him), and fought against Ashdod and took it, — in the year 711 BC that Tartan, the commander of the Assyrian armies, II Kings 18:17, came unto Ashdod, one of the cities of Philistia which had revolted against the Assyrian supremacy and fought against Ashdod, and took it,

at the same time spoke the Lord by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go, and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot.” And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. — at the same time the Lord spoke by Isaiah, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth, the loose outer garment of coarse cloth which Isaiah wore, from off thy loins and put off thy shoe from thy foot;

— and he did so, walking naked, that is, with only his tunic or shirt-like garment, and barefoot, presenting the appearance of one who bad been robbed or spoiled, stripped of his possessions, like a beggar or captive of war. The very dress of Isaiah called attention to his message of repentance.

And the Lord said, “As My servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia, — and the Lord said, As My servant Isaiah hath walked naked (not wholly naked, for that would have been very indecent and dangerous indeed; but without his upper garment) and barefoot three years, to bring home with great emphasis the lesson which the Lord wished to convey, for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia, for a portentous type against the double kingdom,

so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. — so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, as foretold by the symbolic act of Isaiah, even with their buttocks uncovered, as a sign of extreme disgrace, II Samuel 10:4-5, to the shame of Egypt.

And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation and of Egypt their glory. — and they, the inhabitants of Palestine, also the Jews, who looked to Egypt as a possible ally against Assyria, shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia, their expectation, finding themselves disappointed in their hopes of help from this quarter, and of Egypt, their glory, of whose power they had boasted and on whose strength they had relied.

And the inhabitants of this isle shall say in that day, ‘Behold, such is our expectation wherever we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And how shall we escape?’” — and the inhabitants of this isle, of the coastal country along the Mediterranean, including Philistia, Phenicia, and the kingdom of Judah, shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria, that is, such was the lot of those to whom they looked for help and deliverance from the power of Assyria; 

— and how shall we escape? The nation which they considered strong and mighty had proved itself powerless against the common enemy; how, then, could the weaker states hope to escape? It is but another instance of the folly of men in placing their trust in the power of flesh and believing that they can escape the Lord. So the Targum asks, “if the mighty could not delivered their souls, how shall we, the weak, be delivered?”

~ by Joel Huan on March 2, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 19-20)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 19 and 20 HERE~ —— […]

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