Isaiah 19

Isaiah 19  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
We resume the “burdens” on the surrounding nations, as we read chapter 19. Egypt, that had so much to do with Israel and its history, now comes before us. Again we notice the feature so common in these prophecies: the predictions soon pass from more immediate judgments to those that will mature at the end of the age. History tells us that soon after Isaiah’s day Egypt did fall from her former high estate, and things recounted in verses 1-10 came upon them. The princes of Zoan did become fools, though in the days of Moses long before “the wisdom of Egypt” was highly regarded.
Yet in the latter part of this chapter the terms of the prophecy go beyond anything that has transpired in the past, and so look on to the end of the age. This is corroborated if we turn to the closing part of Dan. 11, where “the king of the south” represents Egypt, and we are told how Egypt will yet be overrun and plundered by “the king of the north” in the last days. In those days “the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt”, and this certainly has not taken place yet, though it may do very soon.
Out of all this discipline, which yet is to fall on the land of Egypt, some spiritual good will come. Egypt has been in the past well filled with altars to their false gods and with pillars erected in honor of their despotic kings. It is going to have an altar to the Lord in its midst and a pillar to the Lord on its border. Not many of either, you notice, but one only, for by then they will acknowledge the one true God. Though He smites them for their sins, He will heal them and send them a deliverer. At the last Egypt will know and do homage to Jehovah.
The three closing verses of this chapter are a remarkable prophecy, for Assyria— the king of the north, of Daniel 11— was the great oppressor of Israel in the days of their kingdom, just as Egypt was the oppressor in the days of their early servitude. In the last days all the enmity will be banished. An highway with free communication will extend between them, and Israel will be in the center. Egypt will be blessed as “My people”; Assyria as “the work of My hands”; Israel acknowledged as “My inheritance”. To be Jehovah’s inheritance is something greater than to be His people or His handiwork, yet all here is connected with God’s purpose for earthly blessing. What is stated does not rise to the height of Ephesians 1:1818The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, (Ephesians 1:18), or Colossians 1:1212Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: (Colossians 1:12), yet it does enhance our sense of the mercy of God as we note that finally He will act in blessing to both peoples, who have been in the past, and will yet be, Israel’s inveterate enemies.