Isaiah 19

The barbarous usage which the enemies of God have given His people, even of long ago,
will be remembered against them and they will be paid in their own coin.
Let not the bold be secure, for God can easily cut off their spirit and bring their land to nothing.

1 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.

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.

4 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 19:24-25—Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.

​   It is very wonderful to find such expressions in the mouth of a Jew. It shows what an effect that coal of fire had produced on the lips of Isaiah. It had led him to know something of the love of God which overleaps the barriers of nationality and caste, and gives itself to all who humbly seek after Him.
   We have here the foreshadowing of an age, yet to be revealed, when the long discipline of God’s dealings with men shall be consummated in their conversion to God. What a radiant prospect is thus suggested to us, when the most inveterate enemies of God’s Church shall be received into her borders and regarded with the favor that God shows to his people! Who, standing amid the terrors of the plagues, could ever have supposed that Egypt would be addressed as “my people”? Who could have thought that Assyria, the tyrant persecutor, would ever be called “the work of my hands”? Yet these are the trophies and triumphs of Divine grace. Our Shepherd has many sheep, which are not of the Jewish fold: these also He must bring; and there shall be one flock, one Shepherd. Never despair of any, for God’s grace abounds over mountains.
   But Israel is always his inheritance. There he finds rest and home, for the Lord’s portion is his people. Oh to know the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints! The soil of our life is poor and thin, the aspect bad, the stones many; but He who chose us will yet vindicate Himself, and if He has to empty heaven of its wealth He will do it rather than fail of his eternal purpose. Naaman asked for two mules’ burdens of earth; but Christ can spare more than that, and will, to make the soil of a godly character. —Our Daily Homily