11:5 They shall not . . . Egypt. The Hebrew word for “not” here seems to indicate that Israel will not return to Egypt (symbolic for bondage, 8:13 note), but such a reading appears to conflict with 8:13; 9:3; and 11:11. Some render this phrase as a rhetorical question (“shall he not return?”), while others emend the Hebrew word for “not” to mean “to it.” Another reading, however, is indicated by the context of divine mercy in this passage (vv. 4, 8). Israel shall not return to Egypt (i.e., to her status before God called her as His covenant people, Deut. 4:34), but she will be punished for her sins by Assyria.
Egypt . . . Assyria. See notes 8:13; 9:3. Though deserved, the effect of this judgment is tempered in v. 11.