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An Oracle concerning Egypt


An oracle concerning Egypt.


See, the L ord is riding on a swift cloud

and comes to Egypt;

the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,

and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.


I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,

and they will fight, one against the other,

neighbor against neighbor,

city against city, kingdom against kingdom;


the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,

and I will confound their plans;

they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead

and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;


I will deliver the Egyptians

into the hand of a hard master;

a fierce king will rule over them,

says the Sovereign, the L ord of hosts.



The waters of the Nile will be dried up,

and the river will be parched and dry;


its canals will become foul,

and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up,

reeds and rushes will rot away.


There will be bare places by the Nile,

on the brink of the Nile;

and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up,

be driven away, and be no more.


Those who fish will mourn;

all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,

and those who spread nets on the water will languish.


The workers in flax will be in despair,

and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.


Its weavers will be dismayed,

and all who work for wages will be grieved.



The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;

the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh,

“I am one of the sages,

a descendant of ancient kings”?


Where now are your sages?

Let them tell you and make known

what the L ord of hosts has planned against Egypt.


The princes of Zoan have become fools,

and the princes of Memphis are deluded;

those who are the cornerstones of its tribes

have led Egypt astray.


The L ord has poured into them

a spirit of confusion;

and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings

as a drunkard staggers around in vomit.


Neither head nor tail, palm branch or reed,

will be able to do anything for Egypt.


16 On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the L ord of hosts raises against them. 17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the L ord of hosts is planning against them.

Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed

18 On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the L ord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.

19 On that day there will be an altar to the L ord in the center of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the L ord at its border. 20It will be a sign and a witness to the L ord of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the L ord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior, and will defend and deliver them. 21The L ord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the L ord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the L ord and perform them. 22The L ord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the L ord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.

23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the L ord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.”


14. The Lord hath mingled a spirit of perverseness. Because it was a thing unexpected and incredible that the leaders of a sagacious and prudent nation would destroy the country by their stupidity, the Prophet therefore ascribes it to the judgment of God, that the Jews may not shut their eyes against an example so striking and remarkable, as irreligious men usually attribute the judgments of God to chance when anything new or unexpected has happened. The expression is metaphorical, as if one were to mix wine in a cup, that the Lord thus intoxicates the wise men of this world so that they are stunned and amazed, and can neither think nor act aright. The consequence is, that they deceive Egypt, because, first, they were themselves deceived. That the Egyptians suffer themselves to be imposed on, and cannot guard against the deception, is the judgment of the Lord.

And yet Isaiah does not represent God to be the Author of this folly in such a manner that the Egyptians could impute blame to him, but we ought to view the matter in this light: “Men have in themselves no understanding or judgment, for whence comes wisdom but from the Spirit of God, who is the only fountain of light, understanding, and truth? Now, if the Lord withhold his Spirit from us, what right have we to dispute with him? He is under no obligations to us, and all that he bestows is actually a free gift.” Yet when he strikes the minds of men with a spirit of giddiness, he does it always for good reasons, though they are sometimes concealed from us. But very frequently he punishes with blindness those wicked men who have risen up against him, as happened to those Egyptians who, puffed up with a conviction of their wisdom, swelled with pride and despised all other men. It is therefore superfluous to dispute here about predestination, for the Lord punishes them for open vice; and, accordingly, when God blinds men or gives them over to a reprobate mind, (Romans 1:28,) he cannot be accused of cruelty; for it is the just punishment of their wickedness and licentiousness, and he who acts justly in punishing transgressions cannot be called the Author of sin.

Let us now attend to the manner of punishing. He delivers them up to Satan to be punished; for he it is, strictly speaking, that mingles the spirit of giddiness and perverseness; but as he does nothing but by the command of God, it is therefore said that God does what Satan does. The statement commonly made, that it is done by God’s permission, is an excessively frivolous evasion; for the Prophet has expressed more than this, namely, that this punishment was inflicted by God, because he is a righteous judge. God therefore acts by means of Satan, as a judge by means of an executioner, and inflicts righteous punishment on those who have offended him. Thus in the book of Kings we read that Satan presented himself before God, and asked leave to deceive Ahab’s prophets; and having obtained it, he then obeyed the command of God, for he could have done nothing by himself. It is unnecessary to produce a multitude of quotations in a matter so obvious.

And they have misled Egypt in all her work. When he adds that her counsellors deceived her, he points out a second judgment of God; for it might have happened that the princes were deprived of understanding, and resembled drunkards, and yet the common people continued to possess some judgment; but here he says, that the impostors obtained also the power of leading astray so as to deceive the people. This is a two-fold vengeance of God, both on them that lead astray, and on those who are led astray by them.

As a drunken man staggereth in his vomit. By a vomit He means shameful drunkenness. This is added (πρὸς αὔξησιν) by way of amplification, in order to shew that they were not ordinary drunkards, who have still some understanding left, but that they resembled swine.

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