Isaiah – Chapter 19

The Fate of Egypt

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

Now Isaiah discusses the fate of Egypt. The idols of Egypt will tremble in fear before G-d. The Egyptians will turn on one another, man against man, city against city and district against district. The Egyptians will be without wise advice; they will turn to their idols and sorcerers. G-d will deliver Egypt into the hands of Assyria. The waters of Egypt will dry up, as will the plants that depend on them. The fishermen will mourn the loss of fish to catch, as will those who make nets. Pharaoh’s advisors will be revealed as fools, lacking credibility; they have misled their nation.

When Assyria overruns them, Egypt will lose their strength and they will fear G-d. They will recognize the G-d of Israel and be in awe of the land of Judah. There will be five cities in Egypt speaking Hebrew and worshipping G-d, one of them called the city of destruction. There will be an altar to G-d in Egypt, which the Talmud (Menachos 109b) attributes to Chonyo, the son of Shimon HaTzaddik (Simeon the Righteous). It will testify to Egypt about G-d and they will cry out to Him because of their oppressors. G-d will send them a savior, who will redeem them. The Egyptians will recognize G-d through this and serve Him with vows and sacrifices. G-d will plague Egypt but they will return to Him and He will heal them.

After Assyria’s defeat and Egypt’s redemption, there will be a highway between those two countries, which will be at peace with one another. Assyria will follow Egypt’s lead in worshipping G-d. Israel will be elevated to the status of these two prominent nations and G-d will call Egypt His people, Assyria the work of His hands and Israel His heritage.

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