Words Of Truth

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).



An Overview Of The Old Testament

Part 237 – The Burden Of Egypt (Isaiah 19:1-25)

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1. When God brought judgment on the Egyptians, what did their idols do for them?

Nothing, they were moved: “The burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it” (Isaiah 19:1).


·     The Lord on a swift cloud (Deuteronomy 33:26).

·     The idols moved (Jeremiah 43:8-13 and Jeremiah 46:25-26) as in the past (Exodus 12:12).

·     The heart of the Egyptians melted for this is what happens to the enemies of God (Joshua 2:1-11, Joshua 5:1, and Isaiah 13:6-9).

·     Why this burden?  At least at one point, for what Egypt did to Judah (Joel 3:19).


2. During God’s judgment on them, were the Egyptians going to find help from within Egypt?

No, in fact they were divided against themselves: “(2) And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.  (3) And the spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst thereof; and I will destroy the counsel thereof: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards” (Isaiah 19:2-3).


·     The Lord sends division amongst His enemies (Ezekiel 38:21; cf. Matthew 12:25).

·     This means swords against fellow [brother; companion’ (Judges 7:19-23).

·     At this stage, they’re turning to idols, charmers, etc. instead of to God, which is certainly foolish (Leviticus 19:31, Isaiah 8:19, and Isaiah 44:25).


3. What kind of king was the Lord going to have rule over the Egyptians?

Cruel and fierce: “And the Egyptians will I give over into the hand of a cruel lord; and a fierce king shall rule over them, saith the Lord, the LORD of hosts” (Isaiah 19:4).


·     Could have multiple applications here (Isaiah 20:1-4 and Ezekiel 29:19).


4. What was going to happen to Egypt’s natural resources of food, defense, and trade?

They would fail: “(5) And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.  (6) And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.  (7) The paper reeds by the brooks, by the mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no more.  (8) The fishers also shall mourn, and all they that cast angle into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.  (9) Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.  (10) And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish” (Isaiah 19:5-10).


·     Ezekiel 30:8-13 and Zechariah 14:12-19.

·     God knows how to exact vengeance (Nahum 1:1-4).

·     Egypt had many natural resources (Numbers 11:4-5, I Kings 10:28, and Proverbs 7:16), so this is a significant punishment.

·     God was going to upset what the Egyptians purposed (Psalms 33:10 and Isaiah 44:25; cf. Jeremiah 49:20).


5. Were the Egyptians going to be able to look to their wise men for help?

No: “(11) Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?  (12) Where are they? where are thy wise men? and let them tell thee now, and let them know what the LORD of hosts hath purposed upon Egypt.  (13) The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof” (Isaiah 19:11-13).


·     Job 5:12-13, Isaiah 29:14, Jeremiah 10:14, and I Corinthians 1:19-29.

·     Evil men seduce the ignorant being deceived even themselves (II Timothy 3:13).


6. What did the Lord mingle in the midst of Egypt that caused all to err and not be able to work?

A perverse spirit: “(14) The LORD hath mingled a perverse spirit in the midst thereof: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work thereof, as a drunken man staggereth in his vomit.  (15) Neither shall there be any work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do” (Isaiah 19:14-15).


·     God can and has sent false spirits (I Kings 22:1-24).

·     The reason is not to deceive the innocent (Isaiah 66:4 and II Thessalonians 2:10-12).

·     To stagger like a drunk (Job 12:24-25 and Isaiah 29:9-10).


7. Did God promise fear to the Egyptians?

Yes: “(16) In that day shall Egypt be like unto women: and it shall be afraid and fear because of the shaking of the hand of the LORD of hosts, which he shaketh over it.  (17) And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt, every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it” (Isaiah 19:16-17).


·     The image of a woman and fear (cf. Jeremiah 50:37) could have multiple applications.

o  Jeremiah 30:5-7.

o  Jeremiah 51:30; cf. I Corinthians 16:13.

·     When God was with Judah, they were to be feared (II Chronicles 17:10).


8. Would this judgment from God upon Egypt cause any to turn to Him?

Yes: “(18) In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.  (19) In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar at the border thereof to the LORD.  (20) And it shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry unto the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.  (21) And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow unto the LORD, and perform it.  (22) And the LORD shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the LORD, and he shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them” (Isaiah 19:18-22).


·     Throughout the Old Testament the world observed what God did (Psalms 98:2-3).

·     When God judged, all turned toward Him (Zephaniah 2:11).


9. What three nations did God plan on uniting after His humbling of Egypt?

Egypt, Assyria, and Israel: “(23) In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.  (24) In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: (25) Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance” (Isaiah 19:23-25).


·     Isaiah 27:13; cf. Zechariah 2:10-11 and Zechariah 8:20-23.







Index Of Old Testament Studies


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