Photo credit: jay8085
The Burden of Egypt
Pucker up your Sphinx!
By Craig C. White
Isaiah 19 tells us about “the burden of Egypt” in the last days. The burden of Egypt is the trouble that God will inflict upon them for their unbelief and hostility towards Israel. The Egyptian nation hasn’t been all bad, and neither is their fate. They will suffer seriously, but they will also be restored. Egypt took in Jacob and his family in time of drought, and preserved the nation of Israel (Gen 45). Of course they later enslaved the Hebrews, and God judged them. Christianity was the majority religion in Egypt during the 4th to 6th centuries. In 1965 Egyptian president Nasser said “Our basic objective will be the destruction of Israel. The Arab people want to fight.” which led to the six day war. Egypt attacked Israel again in 1973 during the Yom Kippur war. In 1979 Egypt and Israel brokered a peace agreement, and have kept it until now. Until recently Egypt has hosted the Coptic Christians and has been at peace with Israel. But in the past few years Egypt has persecuted and killed the Coptic Christians, and has turned against Israel. Their ex-president Morsi is determined to place a Palestinian state inside the land of Israel. The events described in Isaiah 19 happen around the time of Jesus Christ’s second coming. Some of these events seem to be happening already!
Isaiah 19:1 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.
Jesus will swoop down into Egypt at his second coming. Many Christians think that Jesus will descend out of heaven and immediately stand on the mount of olives (Zec 14:4), but I think that God will first bring his son out of Egypt (Num 24:8-9)! Please read my commentary titled “Revelation Wrath Path”.
Isaiah 19:2 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.
Today we are beginning to see Egyptians fighting against Egyptians. It seems that half of all Egyptians are protesting their ex-ruler Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood as they grapple for absolute authority. The other half support the Muslim Brotherhood and are terrorizing the country. Lately Saudi Arabia has been working with the Egyptian interim government and are curtailing Muslim Brotherhood activities.
Isaiah 19:4 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.
Speaking of cruel lord; Egyptian ex-President Mohamed Morsi was Egypt’s first Islamist president. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Morsi believes in establishing an Islamic state in Egypt and also in Israel. He is trying to take complete control of the nation of Egypt. It is possible that Egypt has had its cruel lord! Morsi is being imprisoned today in an Egyptian army barracks. There have already been break out attempts made by the Muslim Brotherhood. It is possible that we haven’t seen the last of him. It is possible that President Morsi is Egypt’s cruel lord!
I expect another ruler to fulfill the position of Egypt’s fierce king. The Saudi royal family is heavily involved in the reorganization of the Egyptian government and its law. Perhaps Egypt’s fierce king will come from Saudi Arabia. I think that Egypt’s ex-President Morsi may yet make a comeback. Ultimately I think that Egypt will fall under the military might of Turkey but that is another story.
Isaiah 19:5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up. 6a And they shall turn the rivers far away; and the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up:
God will dry up the Nile River! Today Ethiopia and Sudan are beginning to use a lot more of the Nile’s water. Several foreign countries and large agricultural companies are leasing huge tracts of land to grow crops. Ethiopia has plans to build a huge hydroelectric dam. So much less water will be reaching the Egyptian shores downstream. I’m sure that this is all just coincidence.
Isaiah 19:6b 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.
Everything that grows along the Nile River will die. The Nile River supports most of the population living along it. Those folks will lose their way of making a living. Fishing in the Nile will cease. Flax will no longer grow along the Nile. Flax is used to make fine linen. The entire nation will become impoverished.
Isaiah 19:11 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.
Zoan is a city in the Nile delta. Noph is the Hebrew name for the ancient Egyptian city of Memphis. It is near Cairo today. Verses 11-14 are saying that the Egyptian leadership will make stupid decisions. Every idea that they have will result in further ruin. Today top Muslim clerics are urging the destruction of the Egyptian pyramids, Sphinx, and other non Islamist monuments. That sounds like a bad idea to me. That would eradicate tourism to Egypt forever in one day. Egypt will be left without industry or livelihood.
Isaiah 19:16 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.
Egypt will fear southern Israel, with whom they share a border. Judah is southern Israel including Jerusalem. Because of Egypt’s worsening condition, the Egyptian people will realize that the God of Israel has it in for them. Perhaps they will read Isaiah 19.
Isaiah 19:18 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.
After Egypt’s time of trouble the people will turn to the God of Israel! I don’t think that the word “savior” in verse 20 refers to Jesus. But Jesus will send another person to Egypt to deliver the people from their tyrannical leadership. I think that these events happen sometime after Jesus returns and sets up his throne in Jerusalem.
Isaiah 19:22 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.
Verse 22 summarizes Isaiah 19. Now let me summarize verse 22. Egypt will suffer seriously, but then they will be restored.
Isaiah 19:23 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.
Assyria is best represented today by northern Iraq. Guess what? This represents the land area that God originally gave to Abraham! God will keep his promise!
Gen 15:18 In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: