19:1 Here is a message about Egypt:
Look, the Lord rides on a swift-moving cloud
and approaches Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him;
the Egyptians lose their courage. 1
brothers will fight with each other,
as will neighbors,
cities, and kingdoms. 3
and I will confuse their strategy. 5
They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead,
from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians. 6
19:4 I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master;
a powerful king will rule over them,”
says the sovereign master, 7 the Lord who commands armies.
19:5 The water of the sea will be dried up,
and the river will dry up and be empty. 8
the streams of Egypt will trickle and then dry up;
the bulrushes and reeds will decay,
All the cultivated land near the river
will turn to dust and be blown away. 12
19:8 The fishermen will mourn and lament,
all those who cast a fishhook into the river,
and those who spread out a net on the water’s surface will grieve. 13
19:9 Those who make clothes from combed flax will be embarrassed;
those who weave will turn pale. 14
all the hired workers will be depressed. 17
Pharaoh’s wise advisers give stupid advice.
How dare you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the sages,
one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?” 19
Let them tell you, let them find out
what the Lord who commands armies has planned for Egypt.
19:13 The officials of Zoan are fools,
the officials of Memphis 21 are misled;
the rulers 22 of her tribes lead Egypt astray.
they lead Egypt astray in all she does,
so that she is like a drunk sliding around in his own vomit. 24
19:15 Egypt will not be able to do a thing,
head or tail, shoots and stalk. 25
19:16 At that time 26 the Egyptians 27 will be like women. 28 They will tremble and fear because the Lord who commands armies brandishes his fist against them. 29 19:17 The land of Judah will humiliate Egypt. Everyone who hears about Judah will be afraid because of what the Lord who commands armies is planning to do to them. 30
19:18 At that time five cities 31 in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord who commands armies. One will be called the City of the Sun. 32 19:19 At that time there will be an altar for the Lord in the middle of the land of Egypt, as well as a sacred pillar 33 dedicated to the Lord at its border. 19:20 It 34 will become a visual reminder in the land of Egypt of 35 the Lord who commands armies. When they cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a deliverer and defender 36 who will rescue them. 19:21 The Lord will reveal himself to the Egyptians, and they 37 will acknowledge the Lord’s authority 38 at that time. 39 They will present sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 19:22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and then healing them. They will turn to the Lord and he will listen to their prayers 40 and heal them.
19:23 At that time there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will visit Egypt, and the Egyptians will visit Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 41 19:24 At that time Israel will be the third member of the group, along with Egypt and Assyria, and will be a recipient of blessing 42 in the earth. 43 19:25 The Lord who commands armies will pronounce a blessing over the earth, saying, 44 “Blessed be my people, Egypt, and the work of my hands, Assyria, and my special possession, 45 Israel!”
[19:2] 3 tn Heb “and they will fight, a man against his brother, and a man against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.” Civil strife will extend all the way from the domestic level to the provincial arena.
[19:3] 6 tn Heb “they will inquire of the idols and of the spirits of the dead and of the ritual pits and of the magicians.” Hebrew אוֹב (’ov, “ritual pit”) refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. See the note on “incantations” in 8:19.
[19:6] 10 tn The verb form appears as a Hiphil in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa; the form in MT may be a so-called “mixed form,” reflecting the Hebrew Hiphil stem and the functionally corresponding Aramaic Aphel stem. See HALOT 276 s.v. I זנח.
[19:9] 14 tn BDB 301 s.v. חוֹרִי suggests the meaning “white stuff” for חוֹרִי (khori); the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa has חָוֵרוּ (khaveru), probably a Qal perfect, third plural form of חוּר, (khur, “be white, pale”). See HALOT 299 s.v. I חור. The latter reading is assumed in the translation above.
[19:10] 15 tn Some interpret שָׁתֹתֶיהָ (shatoteha) as “her foundations,” i.e., leaders, nobles. See BDB 1011 s.v. שָׁת. Others, on the basis of alleged cognates in Akkadian and Coptic, repoint the form שְׁתִיתֶיהָ (shÿtiteha) and translate “her weavers.” See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:370.
[19:11] 19 tn Heb “A son of wise men am I, a son of ancient kings.” The term בֶּן (ben, “son of”) could refer to literal descent, but many understand the word, at least in the first line, in its idiomatic sense of “member [of a guild].” See HALOT 138 s.v. בֶּן and J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:371. If this is the case, then one can take the word in a figurative sense in the second line as well, the “son of ancient kings” being one devoted to their memory as preserved in their literature.
[19:15] 25 tn Heb “And there will not be for Egypt a deed, which head and tail, shoot and stalk can do.” In 9:14-15 the phrase “head or tail” refers to leaders and prophets, respectively. This interpretation makes good sense in this context, where both leaders and advisers (probably including prophets and diviners) are mentioned (vv. 11-14). Here, as in 9:14, “shoots and stalk” picture a reed, which symbolizes the leadership of the nation in its entirety.
[19:16] 29 tn Heb “and he will tremble and be afraid because of the brandishing of the hand of the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts], which he brandishes against him.” Since according to the imagery here the Lord’s “hand” is raised as a weapon against the Egyptians, the term “fist” has been used in the translation.
[19:17] 30 tn Heb “and the land of Judah will become [a source of] shame to Egypt, everyone to whom one mentions it [i.e., the land of Judah] will fear because of the plan of the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] which he is planning against him.”
[19:18] 32 tc The Hebrew text has עִיר הַהֶרֶס (’ir haheres, “City of Destruction”; cf. NASB, NIV) but this does not fit the positive emphasis of vv. 18-22. The Qumran scroll 1QIsaa and some medieval Hebrew
[19:20] 34 tn The masculine noun מִזְבֵּחַ (mizbbeakh, “altar”) in v. 19 is probably the subject of the masculine singular verb הָיָה (hayah) rather than the feminine noun מַצֵּבָה (matsevah, “sacred pillar”), also in v. 19.
[19:23] 41 tn The text could be translated, “and Egypt will serve Assyria” (cf. NAB), but subjugation of one nation to the other does not seem to be a theme in vv. 23-25. Rather the nations are viewed as equals before the Lord (v. 25). Therefore it is better to take אֶת (’et) in v. 23b as a preposition, “together with,” rather than the accusative sign. The names of the two countries are understood to refer by metonymy to their respective inhabitants.
[19:25] 44 tn Heb “which the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts] will bless [it], saying.” The third masculine singular suffix on the form בֵּרֲכוֹ (berakho) should probably be emended to a third feminine singular suffix בֵּרֲכָהּ (berakhah), for its antecedent would appear to be the feminine noun אֶרֶץ (’erets, “earth”) at the end of v. 24.