A Pronouncement against Egypt

19 A pronouncement(A) concerning Egypt:(B)

Look, the Lord rides on a swift cloud(C)
and is coming to Egypt.
Egypt’s idols will tremble before him,(D)
and Egypt will lose heart.[a](E)
I will provoke Egyptians against Egyptians;
each will fight against his brother(F)
and each against his friend,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom.(G)
Egypt’s spirit will be disturbed within it,
and I will frustrate its plans.
Then they will inquire of idols, ghosts,
mediums, and spiritists.(H)

I will hand over Egypt to harsh masters,(I)
and a strong king will rule it.
This is the declaration of the Lord God of Armies.
The water of the sea will dry up,
and the river will be parched and dry.
The channels will stink;
they will dwindle, and Egypt’s canals will be parched.
Reed and rush will wilt.
The reeds by the Nile, by the mouth of the river,
and all the cultivated areas of the Nile
will wither, blow away, and vanish.
Then the fishermen will mourn.
All those who cast hooks into the Nile will lament,
and those who spread nets on the water will give up.
Those who work with flax will be dismayed;(J)
those combing it and weaving linen will turn pale.[b]
10 Egypt’s weavers[c] will be dejected;
all her wage earners will be demoralized.
11 The princes of Zoan are complete fools;(K)
Pharaoh’s wisest advisers give stupid advice!
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one[d] of the wise,
a student of eastern[e] kings”?
12 Where then are your wise men?
Let them tell you and reveal
what the Lord of Armies has planned against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have been fools;
the princes of Memphis are deceived.(L)
Her tribal chieftains have led Egypt astray.

14 The Lord has mixed within her a spirit of confusion.
The leaders have made Egypt stagger in all she does,
as a drunkard staggers in his vomit.
15 No head or tail, palm or reed,(M)
will be able to do anything for Egypt.

Egypt Will Know the Lord

16 On that day Egypt will be like women and will tremble with fear because of the threatening hand of the Lord of Armies when he raises it against them. 17 The land of Judah will terrify Egypt; whenever Judah is mentioned, Egypt will tremble because of what the Lord of Armies has planned(N) against it.

18 On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the Lord of Armies. One of the cities will be called the City of the Sun.[f][g]

19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord near her border.(O) 20 It will be a sign and witness to the Lord of Armies in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and leader, and he will rescue them.(P) 21 The Lord will make himself known to Egypt, and Egypt will know the Lord on that day. They will offer sacrifices and offerings;(Q) they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will turn to the Lord and he will be receptive to their prayers and heal them.

23 On that day there will be a highway(R) from Egypt to Assyria. Assyria will go to Egypt, Egypt to Assyria, and Egypt will worship with Assyria.

24 On that day Israel will form a triple alliance with Egypt and Assyria—a blessing within the land. 25 The Lord of Armies will bless them, saying, “Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork,(S) and Israel my inheritance are blessed.”(T)

No Help from Cush or Egypt

20 In the year that the chief commander,(U) sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod(V) and attacked and captured it— during that time the Lord had spoken through Isaiah(W) son of Amoz, saying, “Go, take off your sackcloth[h] and remove the sandals from your feet,” and he did that, going stripped and barefoot(X) the Lord said, “As my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot three years as a sign and omen against Egypt and Cush,(Y) so the king of Assyria will lead the captives of Egypt(Z) and the exiles of Cush, young and old alike, stripped and barefoot, with bared buttocks—to Egypt’s shame. Those who made Cush their hope and Egypt their boast will be dismayed and ashamed.(AA) And the inhabitants of this coastland will say on that day, ‘Look, this is what has happened to those we relied on and fled to for help to rescue us from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?’”

A Judgment on Babylon

21 A pronouncement(AB) concerning the desert by the sea:(AC)

Like storms that pass over the Negev,
it comes from the desert, from the land of terror.
A troubling vision is declared to me:
“The treacherous one acts treacherously,(AD)
and the destroyer destroys.
Advance, Elam! Lay siege, you Medes!
I will put an end to all the groaning.”
Therefore I am[i] filled with anguish.
Pain grips me, like the pain of a woman in labor.(AE)
I am too perplexed to hear,
too dismayed to see.
My heart staggers;
horror terrifies me.
He has turned my last glimmer of hope[j]
into sheer terror.(AF)
Prepare a table,(AG) and spread out a carpet!
Eat and drink!
Rise up, you princes, and oil the shields!
For the Lord has said to me,
“Go, post a lookout;
let him report what he sees.
When he sees riders—
pairs of horsemen,
riders on donkeys,
riders on camels—
he must pay close attention.”
Then the lookout[k] reported,
“Lord, I stand on the watchtower all day,(AH)
and I stay at my post all night.
Look, riders come—
horsemen in pairs.”
And he answered, saying,
“Babylon has fallen,(AI) has fallen.
All the images of her gods
have been shattered on the ground.”(AJ)
10 My people who have been crushed
on the threshing floor,(AK)
I have declared to you
what I have heard from the Lord of Armies,
the God of Israel.

A Pronouncement against Dumah

11 A pronouncement(AL) concerning Dumah:[l](AM)

One calls to me from Seir,(AN)
“Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?”
12 The watchman said,
“Morning has come, and also night.
If you want to ask, ask!
Come back again.”

A Pronouncement against Arabia

13 A pronouncement concerning Arabia:(AO)

In the desert[m] brush
you will camp for the night,
you caravans of Dedanites.(AP)
14 Bring water for the thirsty.
The inhabitants of the land of Tema(AQ)
meet[n] the refugees with food.
15 For they have fled from swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bow that is strung,
and from the stress of battle.

16 For the Lord said this to me: “Within one year,(AR) as a hired worker counts years, all the glory of Kedar(AS) will be gone. 17 The remaining Kedarite archers will be few in number.” For the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

Footnotes

  1. 19:1 Lit Egypt’s heart will melt within it
  2. 19:9 DSS, Tg; MT reads weavers of white cloth
  3. 19:10 Or foundations
  4. 19:11 Lit a son
  5. 19:11 Lit a son of ancient
  6. 19:18 Some Hb mss, DSS, Sym, Tg, Vg, Arabic; other Hb mss read of Destruction; LXX reads of Righteousness
  7. 19:18 = the ancient Egyptian city Heliopolis
  8. 20:2 Lit off the sackcloth from your waist
  9. 21:3 Lit my waist is, or my insides are
  10. 21:4 Lit my twilight
  11. 21:8 DSS, Syr; MT reads Then a lion
  12. 21:11 Some Hb mss, LXX read Edom
  13. 21:13 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read desert at evening
  14. 21:14 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vg read meet as a command

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