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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 19

Utley's You Can Understand the BibleUtley Commentary

Introduction

Isaiah 19:0

PARAGRAPH DIVISIONS OF MODERN TRANSLATIONS

NASBNKJVNRSVTEVNJB
Message to EgyptProclamation Against EgyptAgainst EgyptGod Will Punish EgyptAgainst Egypt
Isaiah 19:1-4(1-4)Isaiah 19:1(1)Isaiah 19:1-4(1-4)Isaiah 19:1-4Isaiah 19:1-4(1-4)
Isaiah 19:2-4(2-4)
Isaiah 19:5-10(5-10)Isaiah 19:5-10(5-10)Isaiah 19:5-10(5-10)Isaiah 19:5-10Isaiah 19:5-15(5-15)
Isaiah 19:11-15(11-15)Isaiah 19:11-15(11-15)Isaiah 19:11-15(11-15)Isaiah 19:11-15
Conversion of Egypt and AssyriaEgypt Will Worship the LORDThe Conversion of Egypt
Isaiah 19:16-17Isaiah 19:16-17Isaiah 19:16-17Isaiah 19:16-17Isaiah 19:16-23
Egypt, Assyria and Israel Blessed
Isaiah 19:18Isaiah 19:18Isaiah 19:18Isaiah 19:18
Isaiah 19:19-22Isaiah 19:19-22Isaiah 19:19-22Isaiah 19:19-22
Isaiah 19:23Isaiah 19:23Isaiah 19:23Isaiah 19:23-25
Isaiah 19:24-25Isaiah 19:24-25Isaiah 19:24-25Isaiah 19:24-25

READING CYCLE THREE (see “Guide to Good Bible Reading”)

FOLLOWING THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR'S INTENT AT PARAGRAPH LEVEL

This is a study guide commentary, which means that you are responsible for your own interpretation of the Bible. Each of us must walk in the light we have. You, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit are priority in interpretation. You must not relinquish this to a commentator.

Read the chapter in one sitting. Identify the subjects (reading cycle #3). Compareyour subject divisions with the five translations above. Paragraphing is not inspired, but it is the key to following the original author's intent, which is the heart of interpretation. Every paragraph has one and only one subject.

1. First paragraph

2. Second paragraph

3. Third paragraph

4. Etc.

Verses 1-4

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:1-4 1The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. 2”So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; And they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, City against city and kingdom against kingdom. 3Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them; And I will confound their strategy, So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead And to mediums and spiritists. 4Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, And a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.

Isaiah 19:1 “the Lord is riding on a swift cloud” This is metaphorical language describing YHWH as

1. controller of nature

2. director of nature's power

3. swift in His coming

See Psalms 18:10; Psalms 104:3. The phrase has Messianic connections in Daniel 7:13 and Matthew 26:64; Mark 14:62.

As with many OT phrases that describe YHWH we find that similar ones are used of pagan deities or rulers of the ANE. Riding on clouds is used of Ba'al in Ugaritic poems. As God's people encountered the hyperbolic statements/claims of the surrounding nations, she attributed them to her God, the only God, the one in whom they may truly find their fulfillment. This is true of phrases such as “King of kings and LORD of lords” and so many other popular titles of YHWH.

“and is about to come to Egypt” YHWH's presence again is both a judgment (Isaiah 19:1-15) and a salvation (Isaiah 19:16-23). It is this double meaning that runs through much of Hebrew prophecy. The literary technique known as “reversal” dominates this genre. It is like antithetical parallelism taken to a larger piece of writing (as is paradox).

Egypt will be judged to be cleansed and prepared to worship YHWH. He will come to her in deliverance as He has to Judah. YHWH's heart is directed at humans made in His image (cf. Genesis 1:26-27), not just a select group of humans (i.e., Israel). He uses Abraham's seed to accomplish a larger purpose (cf. Genesis 3:15)!

“The idols of Egypt” Egypt had many gods (Exodus 12:12; Numbers 33:4). Her idolatry and spiritism are delineated in Isaiah 19:3.

1. idols (BDB 47)

2. ghosts of the dead (BDB 31, found only here)

3. mediums (BDB 15, “necromancers,” cf. Deuteronomy 18:11)

4. spiritists (BDB 396, “wizards,” “familiar spirits,” cf. Deuteronomy 18:11)

See note at Isaiah 8:19.

The plagues of the Exodus purposefully depreciated many of the Egyptian gods for the purposes of producing faith in both Israelites and Egyptians (i.e., “mixed multitude,” cf. Exodus 12:38).

In this text the people claimed to have the power or spiritual connection (i.e., familiar spirit) to communicate with the dead (cf. Leviticus 19:31; Leviticus 20:6, Leviticus 20:27; Deuteronomy 18:11; 1 Samuel 28:8; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33:6; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 19:3). They were seeking information about and control of the future, but apart from YHWH. This is caused by

1. the fallen nature of humanity

2. self-deceived priests/prophets

3. demon activity

4. search for spiritual power over our lives and the lives of others

The last two lines of Isaiah 19:1 are parallel.

1. the idols of Egypt will tremble, BDB 631, KB 681, Qal PERFECT, cf. Isaiah 6:4; Isaiah 7:2 (twice); Isaiah 19:1; Isaiah 24:20 (twice); Isaiah 29:9; Isaiah 37:22

2. the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them, BDB 587, KB 606, Niphal IMPERFECT, cf. Isaiah 13:7; Joshua 2:11; Joshua 5:1; Joshua 7:5 (i.e., “holy war” terminology)

Isaiah 19:2 One wonders if this relates to

1. the military advance of the Nubian rulers against the native Egyptians of the Delta region

2. the conflicts between the different cities of Egypt, each with their special gods

This internal conflict between the same people and their armies is another example of “holy war” (i.e., Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20; 2 Chronicles 20:23).

“I will. . .” Isaiah is speaking directly for YHWH (Isaiah 19:2, Isaiah 19:3, Isaiah 19:4). YHWH causes

1. civil war, Isaiah 19:2

2. demoralization, Isaiah 19:3a

3. confused counsel/strategy, Isaiah 19:3b

4. reliance on false gods, Isaiah 19:3,c,d

5. the coming of a cruel master, a mighty king, Isaiah 19:4

NASB, REB“I will incite” NKJV“I will set” NRSV, TEV, NJB, LXX, PESHITTA“I will stir up”

This VERB (BDB 696 I or BDB 1127) is used twice in the Pilpel stem (Isaiah 9:11 and here). In context it seems to mean

1. stir up

2. provoke

3. incite (Ethiopian root)

The Arabic root means “to stink” (cf. NIDOTTE, vol. 3, p. 233).

Isaiah 19:3 “confound” This Hebrew root (BDB 118 I) normally means “to swallow.” Many scholars assume a second meaning for the same root, “confound” or “confuse” (BDB 118 III, cf. Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 9:15; Isaiah 28:7).

Isaiah 19:4 In context (cf. Isaiah 20:4) this could refer to (1) Assyria (cf. chap. 20) or (2) Nubian invaders (cf. chap. 18). The same terminology is used for Babylon in Jeremiah 46:26; Ezekiel 29:19. YHWH directs world empires for His purposes.

You must decide if this is typical ANE royal hyperbole, so common in the ancient world, or reality (i.e., a biblical world view). Inspired authors take the terminology of the ANE and apply it to YHWH. Its validity is a faith issue! Is the Bible a unique, inspired, self-revelation of the one true God? This is the issue! See my sermons on “Why I Trust the OT” and “Why I Trust the NT” online at www.freebiblecommentary.org in the “Biblical Interpretation Seminar” section (revised Video Seminar 2009, Lesson 3).

“I will deliver” This VERB (BDB 698, KB 755, Piel PERFECT) means “hand over to” (cf. Targums, LXX, Peshitta). The Piel appears only here. The VERB does appear in the Niphal in Genesis 8:2 and Psalms 63:11, where it means “be stopped.” The Piel connotation comes from an old Aramaic root. Therefore, there may be two separate Hebrew roots.

Verses 5-10

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:5-10 5The waters from the sea will dry up, And the river will be parched and dry. 6The canals will emit a stench, The streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up; The reeds and rushes will rot away. 7The bulrushes by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile And all the sown fields by the Nile Will become dry, be driven away, and be no more. 8And the fishermen will lament, And all those who cast a line into the Nile will mourn, And those who spread nets on the waters will pine away. 9Moreover, the manufacturers of linen made from combed flax And the weavers of white cloth will be utterly dejected. 10And the pillars of Egypt will be crushed; All the hired laborers will be grieved in soul.

Isaiah 19:5-10 This strophe describes YHWH's judgment on Egypt.

1. their abundant water from the Nile dries up.

2. with its loss the river vegetation dies.

3. with its loss irrigated crops die.

4. with its loss the fishing industry will lament and languish.

5. with the loss the clothing industry stops.

6. Egyptian society comes to a crushing, grinding stop.

7. all hired laborers will grieve.

There are three related VERBS which denote the loss of water.

1. “dry up,” BDB 677, KB 732, Niphal PERFECT, Isaiah 19:5; Isaiah 19:5; Isaiah 41:17;

2. “be parched,” BDB 351, KB 349, Qal IMPERFECT, Isaiah 19:5, Isaiah 19:6; Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 37:25; Isaiah 44:27; Isaiah 50:2; Isaiah 51:10

3. “be dry,” BDB 386, KB 384, Qal PERFECT, Isaiah 19:5; Isaiah 19:5, Isaiah 19:7; Isaiah 15:6; Isaiah 27:11; Isaiah 40:7, Isaiah 40:8, Isaiah 40:24; Isaiah 42:15 (twice); Isaiah 44:27

God's ability to control water (the only physical material that God does not audibly create in Genesis 1:0) is recurrent in the OT.

1. separated water above and water below, Genesis 1:7

2. gathered the waters so dry land could appear, Genesis 1:9-10

3. sent the flood, Genesis 7:4, Genesis 7:7

4. dried up the flood, Genesis 8:2-3

5. provided a well of water for Hagar, Genesis 21:19

6. split and restored the Sea of Reeds, Exodus 14:16, Exodus 14:27

7. purified the water at Marah, Exodus 15:22-25

8. provided water that came from rocks in the wilderness, Numbers 20:8, Numbers 20:11

9. promised agricultural abundance if covenant was obeyed, Deuteronomy 27-28

10. split the Jordan River, Joshua 3:14-17; Joshua 4:23-24

11. dried up the Nile and its tributaries, Isaiah 19:5

12. will dry up the Euphrates, Revelation 16:12

13. water flows from the new temple (Ezekiel 47:1) from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:8) and the new heavenly city, Revelation 22:1

For desert people these were truly mighty miracles and proof of God's power because water was a symbol of life itself. Remember, the Nile was viewed as one of the main deities of Egypt (as was Re, the sun god, cf. Isaiah 19:18).

Isaiah 19:6 “will emit a stench” This VERB (BDB 276 II, KB 276, Hiphil PERFECT) occurs only here. It seems to reflect an Arabic root. The abundant dead vegetation begins to rot!

Isaiah 19:9

NASB, NJB“white cloth” NKJV“fine fabric” NRSV, REB“grow pale” LXX“linen” JPSOA“chagrined”

The MT has חורי, “white cloth” (BDB 301. for Aramaic parallel see Daniel 7:9), but the parallelism fits better with חורו, “grow pale” (cf. Isaiah 29:22 and DSS of this text). There is obviously an intended play on “white” (חור, BDB 301).

Isaiah 19:10

NASB“the pillars” NKJV, JPSOA“its foundations” NRSV, TEV, NJB“its weavers”

The MT (BDB 1011, only here) has “foundation” or “stay” (of society), which would refer to the upper class leaders. “Weavers” comes from those who are looking for a balanced parallelism to “hired laborers” (DSS, Targums from Aramaic root, “weavers”) in the second line. The question is, “Is the parallelism synonymous (weavers) or antithetical (upper class and lower class)?” The Hebrew text remains ambiguous (cf. LXX and Peshitta).

Verses 11-15

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:11-15 11The princes of Zoan are mere fools; The advice of Pharaoh's wisest advisers has become stupid. How can you men say to Pharaoh, “I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”? 12Well then, where are your wise men? Please let them tell you, And let them understand what the LORD of hosts Has purposed against Egypt. 13The princes of Zoan have acted foolishly, The princes of Memphis are deluded; Those who are the cornerstone of her tribes Have led Egypt astray. 14The LORD has mixed within her a spirit of distortion; They have led Egypt astray in all that it does, As a drunken man staggers in his vomit. 15There will be no work for Egypt Which its head or tail, its palm branch or bulrush, may do.

Isaiah 19:11-15 This strophe is an elaboration of Isaiah 19:3.

1. v. 11, “the princes of Zoan” (Tanis, capital of the Delta region) are mere fools (BDB 17, used of Judah in Jeremiah 4:22)

2. v. 11, “the advice of Pharaoh's wisest advisers has become stupid” (lit. “brutish,” BDB 129 II, KB 146, Niphal PARTICIPLE, cf. Jeremiah 10:14, Jeremiah 10:21; Jeremiah 51:17)

3. v. 13, “the princes of Zoan have acted foolishly” (BDB 383, KB 381, Niphal PARTICIPLE, cf. Jeremiah 5:4; Jeremiah 50:36)

4. v. 13, “the princes of Memphis (Noph, another Egyptian capital) are deluded” (BDB 674, KB 728, Niphal PERFECT; Hiphil PERFECT used in Genesis 3:13)

5. v. 13, “have led Egypt astray” (BDB 1073, KB 1766, Hiphil PERFECT, cf. Isaiah 19:14; Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 9:16; Jeremiah 23:13, Jeremiah 23:32; Hosea 4:12; Micah 3:5)

6. v. Isaiah 19:14, “led astray. . .staggers” (same VERB as #5, here denoting drunkenness)

Isaiah 19:11 Line 4 is idiomatic for a group of wise men, similar to which Daniel was a part in Babylon. The word “son” functions as “member of a group.”

Isaiah 19:12 YHWH asks a sarcastic rhetorical question. It is furthered by two IMPERFECTS (BDB 616, KB 615, and BDB 393, KB 390) used in a JUSSIVE sense (i.e., “let them. . .”).

They claimed to be wise (Isaiah 19:11d; 1 Kings 4:30; Acts 7:22). They claimed to have plans (Isaiah 19:3b), but their wisdom and plans are negated in YHWH's purposes (Isaiah 19:12a).

Isaiah 19:13Those who are the cornerstone of her tribes” Here “cornerstone” (BDB 819) denotes leaders (cf. Judges 20:2; 1 Samuel 14:38).

Isaiah 19:14

NASB, LXX“mixed” NKJV, PESHITTA“mingled” NRSV, JB“poured” REB, NJB“infused”

The MT has the VERB “mixed” (מסך, BDB 587, KB 605, Qal PERFECT), which denotes a strong drink (cf. Isaiah 5:22). However, because of Isaiah 29:10 it is possible the VERB should be נסך (“poured out,” BDB 650, KB 703, Qal PERFECT), which is found in the DSS. In either case the point is drunkenness as a metaphor for confusion and instability.

Isaiah 19:15 The second line has two idioms which denote all levels of society (cf. Isaiah 9:14-15).

1. head - tail

2. palm - bulrush

There will be a God-sent (cf. Isaiah 19:14a) total inability! Those who claimed to be wise (cf. Isaiah 19:11d, 12a, 13c) have proven to be unwise because they trusted in (1) false gods; (2) false religionists; and (3) poor plans (cf. Isaiah 19:3)! All of Egypt's leadership (cf. Isaiah 19:11-12), civil and religious, are out of a job, as are all her laborers (cf. Isaiah 19:8-10).

Verses 16-17

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:16-17 16In that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which He is going to wave over them. 17The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the LORD of hosts which He is purposing against them.

Isaiah 19:16-17 This describes what YHWH's actions (i.e., “the waving of the hand of the LORD of hosts”) will do, His purpose (Isaiah 19:17b, BDB 420).

1. Egyptians will become like women, Isaiah 19:16

2. they will tremble, Isaiah 19:16 (BDB 353, KB 350, Qal PERFECT)

3. they will be in dread, Isaiah 19:16 (BDB 808, KB 922, Qal PERFECT)

4. Judah will become a terror to Egypt, Isaiah 19:17 (VERB, Qal perfect, NOUN, “terror,” BDB 291, but found only here)

5. they will be in dread, Isaiah 19:17 (BDB 808, KB 922, Qal IMPERFECT, see #3)

Isaiah 19:16 “the LORD of hosts” As the phrase “in that day” links these last five strophes (cf. Isaiah 19:16, Isaiah 19:18, Isaiah 19:19, Isaiah 19:23, Isaiah 19:24), so does this recurrent title for YHWH (cf. Isaiah 19:16, Isaiah 19:17, Isaiah 19:18, Isaiah 19:20, Isaiah 19:25 and LORD alone in Isaiah 19:19, Isaiah 19:20, Isaiah 19:21, Isaiah 19:22). The covenant God is very active in these wonderfully redemptive strophes for the nations!

Verse 18

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:18 18In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

Isaiah 19:18 This is a separate paragraph. It denotes a conversion from idol worship to the worship of YWHH. The “language of Canaan” would denote Hebrew (BDB 488 I). This may be an allusion to Isaiah 6:5 or even Genesis 11:1.

The phrase “swearing allegiance” (BDB 989, KB 1396, Niphal PARTICIPLE) denotes a new relationship with Judah's God (cf. Isaiah 19:19-22, Isaiah 19:23, Isaiah 19:24-25). This has always been the purpose of divine judgment!

“In that day”, see Special Topic: That Day. Notice the recurrent phrase, “in that day,” Isaiah 19:16, Isaiah 19:18, Isaiah 19:19, Isaiah 19:23, Isaiah 19:24. This points toward specific future days.

1. one of judgment and dread, Isaiah 19:16-17

2. one of conversion (Isaiah 19:18, Isaiah 19:19-22) and worldwide worship (Isaiah 19:23, Isaiah 19:24-25)

Again, a current crisis (cf. Isaiah 19:20) in the ANE reflects an eschatological event. Judgment has a redemptive purpose (cf. Isaiah 19:22). Evil, rebellion, and ignorance will not be the last word! YHWH has an eternal redemptive plan and purpose for the whole world (cf. Isaiah 19:24b).

“five cities” The reason for this specific number is uncertain. It denotes a conversion, but not a complete (i.e., half of ten, see Special Topic: Symbols and Numbers in Scripture at Isaiah 11:12) conversion. The question remains, “To whom does it refer?”

1. cities of Jewish settlers

2. cities of Egyptian deities

Because of Isaiah 19:19-22, Isaiah 19:23, Isaiah 19:24-25 I choose option #2. This context is not addressing Jews, but Egyptians.

NASB, NKJV“the City of Destruction” NRSV, TEV, NJB“the City of the Sun”

The MT's “destruction” (BDB 249) appears only here. The VERB of the same root (BDB 248) means “to throw down,” “break,” or “tear down.” It may be a play on the Egyptian city who worshiped the “Sun” god (On, Heliopolis).

1. חרס, city of the Sun (BDB 357, cf. DSS, Targums, Vulgate)

2. הרס, city of destruction

The implication is that the temples to Re (Sun god) have been torn down.

The Hebrew word “sun” has the same consonants as “ban” (BDB 356, i.e. devoted to destruction). There may be a double wordplay.

Verses 19-22

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:19-22 19In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border. 20It will become a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Champion, and He will deliver them. 21Thus the LORD will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. 22The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

Isaiah 19:19

NASB, NKJV, PESHITTA“in the midst of the land of Egypt” NRSV, NJB“in the center of the land of Egypt” REB“in the heart of Egypt” LXX“at its border”

The use of this term (BDB 1063) in Joshua 3:17; Joshua 4:3, Joshua 4:9, Joshua 4:10, Joshua 4:18 should be understood as “brink,” not “middle.” This is the origin of “by its border” in the LXX.

When does this event occur?

1. the small Jewish temple built by Jewish mercenaries on an island in the Nile (Elephantine, modern Aswan, at the first cataract of the Nile), sometime before 525 B.C.

2. the Jewish temple (modeled after the temple in Jerusalem) built at Leontopolis by Onias IV, an outcast Jewish high priest from Jerusalem, about 160 B.C. (cf. Josephus, Antiq. 12.9.7; 13.3.3)

3. an eschatological event

Isaiah 19:19-20 What a wonderful, but surprising event that a physical presence of YHWH will be established in Egypt.

Isaiah 19:20 This process is comparable to how YHWH dealt with Israel in the book of Judges. The cruel judgment of invasion and occupation (cf. Isaiah 19:4) brings repentance and faith in God and His ability and willingness to act in deliverance. Egypt has come to that spiritual moment and YHWH responds.

What a great witness this context is about the character of Israel's God. He is willing to forgive and fully accept His covenant people's enemies. He is truly the God of the nations, the Savior of the world (cf. John 3:16; Titus 1:3; Titus 2:10; Titus 3:4).

“a Savior and a Champion” In context this refers to one who will defeat the cruel master and mighty king of Isaiah 19:4, but ultimately it has Messianic implications. In Isaiah this “Savior” is YHWH Himself and no other (cf. Isaiah 43:3, Isaiah 43:11; Isaiah 45:15, Isaiah 45:21), but from the NT we know it was the Messiah acting as YHWH's representative (i.e., Isaiah 28:16; Romans 9:30-33; Romans 10:9-13; 1 Peter 2:6-10).

1. a Savior, BDB 446, KB 448, Hiphil PARTICIPLE

2. a defender, BDB 936, KB 1224, Qal PARTICIPLE

3. a deliverer, BDB 664, KB 717, Hiphil PERFECT

Isaiah 19:21 “the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord” This is a play on the Hebrew word “know” (BDB 393, KB 390), which denotes both knowledge of and personal relationship with.

SPECIAL TOPIC: KNOW (USING MOSTLY DEUTERONOMY AS A PARADIGM)

“worship” Notice the elements of worship (BDB 712, KB 773, Qal PERFECT) mentioned.

1. sacrifice, BDB 257

2. offering, BDB 585

3. vow, BDB 623, KB 674, Qal PERFECT

They will not only do the rituals of worship, but will live out (BDB 1022, KB 1532, Piel PERFECT, lit. “perform”) those rituals (i.e., vows).

Isaiah 19:22 YHWH's actions toward Egypt mimic His actions toward the covenant people.

1. He strikes them (twice, BDB 619, KB 669)

2. they cry out to Him, Isaiah 19:20

3. He heals them (twice, BDB 950, KB 1272)

4. they return to Him (BDB 996, KB 1427, this is the Hebrew term for repentance)

5. He responds to them (BDB 801 I, KB 905, Niphal PERFECT, see IMPERFECT in Genesis 25:21; 2 Chronicles 33:13; Ezra 8:23. YHWH hears and responds to repentance supplication).

Be sure to note that judgment (i.e., striking) was for the purpose of establishing (or for Israel, restoring) a relationship with YHWH.

Verse 23

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:23 23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

Isaiah 19:23 There will be a free-flowing movement between nations for the purpose of worshiping YHWH. The nations have come!

It is interesting how many times Isaiah uses the imagery of a highway.

1. a highway for the exiled Jews to return, Isaiah 11:16; Isaiah 57:14

2. a highway for Gentile worshipers to come, Isaiah 19:23

3. a highway of holiness, Isaiah 26:7; Isaiah 35:8; Isaiah 43:19; Isaiah 49:11; Isaiah 51:10

4. a Messianic highway, Isaiah 40:3; Isaiah 42:16

Verses 24-25

NASB (UPDATED) TEXT: Isaiah 19:24-25 24In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

Isaiah 19:25 These are covenant phrases now used for the hated Egyptians and Assyrians.

Compare this with Isaiah 45:14-17. What a contrast. It is so hard to hold these together (i.e., the nations loved, the nations judged). I choose Isaiah 19:22! I choose Isaiah 19:20!

Bibliographical Information
Utley. Dr. Robert. "Commentary on Isaiah 19". "Utley's You Can Understand the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ubc/isaiah-19.html. 2021.
 
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