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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 19

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-17



This chapter contains threats of judgment and promises of blessing upon Egypt. To whatever extent the promised blessings may have already been fulfilled, the ultimate submission of Egypt under the yoke of Jehovah, and the impartation of His blessings, await the actual second coming of Christ and the establishment of His kingdom on the earth.


1. Jehovah Himself is pictured as coming from heaven – riding upon a swift cloud, and hastening to the judgment of Egypt, (Verse 1-4).

a. At the presence of the Lord the Egyptians will see how untrustworthy their idols really are (Verse 1; comp. Exodus 12:12; Jeremiah 43:12; Jeremiah 44:8), and "the heart of Egypt" will be melted - utterly demoralized, (comp. Isaiah 13:7; Joshua 2:11).

b. The Lord will stir up a civil war in Egypt - setting Egypt against Egypt, (Verse 2; comp. Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20; 2 Chronicles 20:23).

c. The "spirit of Egypt", whereby she has been such a powerful people, will be emptied out; lacking counsel,. because the Lord has destroyed the wisdom of their wise men (Verse 11-14), they will seek counsel from: idols, charmers, familiar spirits and wizards, (Verse 3; Isaiah 8:19; 1 Chronicles 10:13).

d. Jehovah, who rules over all (Psalms 103:19; Daniel 4:17), will deliver Egypt into the hands of a cruel lord, so that they will be ruled by a fierce king - the Assyrian! (Verse 4; Isaiah 20:4; comp. Jeremiah 46:26; Ezekiel 29:19).

2. They are also threatened with physical calamity, (Verse 5-10).

a. Divine judgment is upon the waters of Egypt; the rivers and streams thereof will become dry and foul, (Verse 5-6a; Isaiah 37:25; Isaiah 50:2; Ezekiel 30:12).

b. All produce, dependent upon the rivers, will cease, (Verse 6b-7; comp. Isaiah 15:6).

c. Lamentation and mourning are heard from the fishermen who depended on the Nile for their livelihood, (Verse 8; comp. Ezekiel 47:10).

d. Those who work with fine flax, and the weavers of white cloth, will be confounded, (Verse 9; Proverbs 7:16; Ezekiel 27:7).

e. The very "pillars" and "foundations" (chief leaders, comp. Psalms 11:3) of Egypt shall so crumble that those who work for hire (building dams and ponds for fish) will be grieved in their souls, (Verse 10).

3. The wretchedness of Egypt is graphically portrayed in verses 11-17.

a. The wisdom of their wise men is changed into folly, and the courage of her brave warriors is supplanted by cowardice because the Lord has mingled a "spirit of perverseness" in the midst of her, (Verse 11-14; comp. 1 Kings 4:29-30; Isaiah 9:16).

b. Industry is suspended throughout the land, (Verse 15; comp. Isaiah 9:14-15).

c. Egypt is likened unto a trembling woman because the outstretched hand of the Lord is shaking over her, (Verse 16).

d. The land of Judah (allied with Assyria) will, in that day, become a terror to Egypt because Jehovah is her God and it is evident that His purposes will stand, (Verse 17; Isaiah 14:24).

Verses 18-25


1. In a far-reaching prophecy Isaiah sees Egypt acknowledging the true God because of His marvelous works, (Verse 18-21; see on Isaiah 11:15-16; Isaiah 27:12; Micah 7:15).

a. An altar and a pillar will be erected in Egypt as a "sign and witness" to the Lord of hosts, (Verse 19-20a). It is possible that "altar" and "pillar" are simply used as symbols of devotion, (cf. Joshua 22:26-27; Leviticus 26:1; Deuteronomy 12:5; Deuteronomy 16:22).

b. When they call on the Lord he Will send a mighty Savior to deliver them, (Verse 20b; Isaiah 43:3; Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:15; Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 49:25).

c. The Lord will, in that day, so reveal Himself to the Egyptians that they may know, worship and serve Him with their whole hearts, (Verse 21; Isaiah 56:7; Isaiah 60:7; Zechariah 14:16-18; Malachi 1:11).

2. There is coming a day in which Egypt, Assyria and Israel will be joined in an intimate and joyful union for the service of Jehovah; and they will exult in the glorious blessedness of His favor, (Verse 22-25; Isaiah 27:13).

a. The vision of Isaiah is as broad as his loving and caring heart.

b. The love of the Most High embraces Gentile nations in its broad outreach, (Verse 23-25; Isaiah 45:22).

c. Had Israel learned this lesson (and shared the heart-care of the almighty) from the beginning, her history would have been much different (Psalms 81:13-16); her humiliation unnecessary.

d. For Egypt there is to be a glorious future, but NOT JUST YET! as will appear in the next chapter.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 19". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/isaiah-19.html. 1985.
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