The word "oracle" or "burden" (Isa 13:1; 15:1; 17:1; 19:1;
21:1; 22:1; 23:1) is from the Heb "to lift up", in foreboding or expectation; it
implies something that God has planned for another. More often than not, it
speaks of a coming punishment; but at times it simply means an important event
involving a particular people. The distinction must be determined by the
context. Often, the "burden" begins with warnings of judgments to come, and then
proceeds with prophecies of something beneficial arising out of the dark times.
Zec 12 illustrates this: it begins with a "burden... for Israel... in the
siege", but then quickly speaks of a time of blessing succeeding the time of
affliction: Jerusalem inhabited again in her own place (Zec 12:6,7). The burdens
of Isaiah generally follow this same pattern, with special ref to the LD of
Gentile times and the establishment of "Israel in their own land" (Isa 14:1) and
Christ as the "ruler of the land... upon the mount of the daughter of Zion" (Isa
16:1). Also the roles of various Gentile powers, esp in relation to Israel and
God's plans for the LD, are outlined. What might first appear to be a dry and
unrewarding study becomes in reality a promise of God's deliverance for His
people (in typical prophecies) and a glorious assurance (in initial
fulfillments) that God's purpose stands firm (Isa 14:26,27).
Isa 19: Prophecy against Egypt: cp Jer 46; Eze 30;32; Joel
THE LORD RIDES ON A SWIFT CLOUD: Yahweh is often
pictured as riding upon a cloud of glory, or the wings of the storm (Deu 33:26;
Psa 68:33; Nah 1:3; Psa 18:10; 104:3). In Exo 14, the cloud of the Shekinah
Glory was leaving Egypt and going into the wilderness with His people. Now,
however, because refugees of His people were fleeing into Egypt, the Cloud was
THE IDOLS OF EGYPT TREMBLE BEFORE HIM: The idols which
had felt the divine stroke in the time of Moses (Exo 12:12; Num 33:4), and were
again be relied upon by superstitious Egyptians (cp 1Sa 5:4).
One of the resultant judgments God brings upon Egypt is civil
war and social chaos throughout the land. Herodotus describes just such a period
in Egypt soon after 700 BC. (Cp generally Eze 38:21.)
I WILL BRING THEIR PLANS TO NOTHING: Lit, "I will
swallow up", using the sw as Exo 7:12 -- when the rod became a serpent and
"swallowed up" the serpent-rods of the Egyptians.
CONSULT THE IDOLS AND THE SPIRITS OF THE DEAD, THE MEDIUMS
AND THE SPIRITISTS: Egypt was renowned for its magic arts (Exo 7:22; 8:7; cp
Jannes and Jambres in 2Ti 3:8). Such practices were forbidden by LM (Lev 19:31;
20:6,27) upon pain of death.
A CRUEL MASTER: Perhaps Cambyses, a ruler of "maniacal
savagery", per Herodotus (Tes 48:391). Other suggestions: Nebuchadnezzar, the
Persian dynasty, the Romans, the Saracens, etc. More apropos to context, sb
Sargon or Sennacherib -- although it is not known for certain that Sennacherib's
army did much damage in Egypt. However, Isa 43:3 suggests that they did. As for
the Assyrians: Sennacherib wars with Tirhakah at Libnah (2Ki 18:19), but he dies
(2Ki 19:35,37). His son Esarhaddon subdued Egypt, 675 BC. Tirhakah rebelled, but
was suppressed by Asshurbanipal, c 660 BC.
Vv 5-10: In both lit and sym languages, describes all aspects
of Egyptian life reduced to chaos.
THE WATERS OF THE RIVER: KJV has "sea", but this a term
used of Nile (cp Isa 18:2; Nah 3:8).
// Eze 30:12.
Currently: Aswan Dam and Lake Nasser?
STREAMS: The vast Nile delta.
EGYPT: Heb "matsowr" = "defence" in KJV. But very
similar to "Mitzraim", the ancient name for Egypt.
Vv 11-15: "Sustained and contemptuous exposure of the
experienced statecraft of Egypt. The political skill of that land's priests and
Pharaohs had wide reputation outside its own borders (Exo 1:10; 1Ki 4:30; Act
7:22). Yet it would all prove useless to stave off the downfall and chaos
purposed by the Lord of the hosts of angels, who in Moses' day had wrought such
havoc in that land of unmatched prosperity (Psa 78:49)" (WIsa 229).
ZOAN: Ancient city on east part of delta, built shortly
after Hebron (Num 13:22). City of Rameses (Exo 1:11), where Moses met Pharaoh
(Psa 78:12,43). Zoan was captured by Assyrians in time of Ezekiel (Eze
LET THEM SHOW YOU AND MAKE KNOWN WHAT THE LORD ALMIGHTY HAS
PLANNED AGAINST EGYPT: The same challenge had been issued in Moses' day (Deu
18:22), and would be scornfully repeated by Isaiah against the gods of Assyria
(Isa 41:22,26; 43:9; 45:21; 48:14).
MEMPHIS: Capital of lower Egypt, threatened by Jeremiah
(Jer 46:19) and Ezekiel (Eze 30:13,16). Jews fled from Nebuchadnezzar and
settled there unadvisedly (Jer 44:1).
A SPIRIT OF DIZZINESS: Cp Isa 29:9; 44:20; Eze 21:29;
1Ki 22:22. A judicial blindness imposed by God, along lines of 2Th 2:11; Mat
24:5,11; 1Ti 4:1.
THEY WILL SHUDDER WITH FEAR: As happened in the time of
Moses (Exo 7:5; 10:12)
THE LAND OF JUDAH WILL BRING TERROR TO THE EGYPTIANS:
The awe-inspiring disaster which the angel of the LORD brought on the
previously-invincible army of Sennacherib.
FIVE CITIES: There were 5 divine-royal cities, the
homes of 5 supreme gods of Egypt. Yet all will "in that day" speak the language
of the God of Israel. "It has been suggested that the 5 cities are the three
named in Jer 44:1 [Migdol, Tahpanhes and Memphis], together with Heliopolis (the
city of the sun) and Leontopolis where, centuries later, a Jewish temple was
erected for the Jewish Diaspora" (WIsa 230).
WILL SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF CANAAN: Hebrew spoken by
Jewish refugees, or Jewish captives, living in Egypt (cp Isa 11:11; 30:1,2).
(Egyptian sympathizers speak the same language.) Is this the "pure language" of
CANAAN: Why "Canaan" and not "Israel" or "Judah"?
Perhaps to recall the migration of Jacob and his family into Egypt -- for safety
THE CITY OF DESTRUCTION: Almost certainly Heliopolis
(Gen 41:45; Jer 43:13), for the Heb wd ('on') is almost identical with 'sun'...
one of Isaiah's characteristic puns. The destruction foretold here was prob
brought about by an Assyrian invasion in the time of Sennacherib.
AN ALTAR TO THE LORD IN THE HEART OF EGYPT: An altar
comparable to that erected at Jordan by the eastern tribes, not in a schismatic
spirit but to proclaim their essential oneness with their brethren in the Holy
Land proper (Jos 22:27,28). And such an altar in Egypt would proclaim that
Jehovah was "the God of the gods of Egypt" also!
(LD) An "altar" sig repentance on the part of the refugees (or
captives) in Egypt, who cry to the LORD because of their oppressors (cp Exo 3:9;
14:13), after which He will send them a "Savior"!
A MONUMENT TO THE LORD AT ITS BORDER: A pillar at the
northeast border of Egypt to proclaim a covenant unity (Gen 28:18-22) with the
Jews back home.
"The smiting of Egypt, which is vividly foretold in vv 1-10,
took place in the massive defeat of Pharaoh's army at El-tekeh, and may have
been the consequence of ill-treatment of Heb refugees. However, the overthrow of
the Assyrians at Jerusalem changed Egyptian attitudes drastically to one of
reverence for Israel's God (v 22b)" (WIsa 232).
Vv 23-25: In general, a humbling of the great powers Assyria
and Egypt, because of the great outpouring of power in Sennacherib's
destruction. But the real fulfillment of these vv belongs to the time of the
A HIGHWAY FROM EGYPT TO ASSYRIA: For the Jewish
refugees of Egypt and the Jewish captives in Assyria, to come back home. For
possible LD application, see Isa 11:16; 35:8; 40:3; Mic 7:12; Isa
THE EGYPTIANS AND ASSYRIANS WILL WORSHIP TOGETHER: And
"offer sacrifice" (sw Exo 3:12; 9:13; 10:26; 12:31).
A BLESSING ON THE EARTH: Or, "in the midst of the Land"
(KJV). Israel, being a "third" in the midst of the Eretz, suggests poss
interpretation of the "third" in Rev (Rev 8:7-12; 9:15,18; 12:4).
EGYPT MY PEOPLE: The people scattered and enslaved,
being set free to return to their homes (Lev 25:10).
ASSYRIA MY HANDIWORK: Re Jubilee, the work of GOD's
"hands", not man's (Lev 25:11).
ISRAEL MY INHERITANCE: The redemption of the Land for
every family (Lev 25:24...).