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Isaiah 19 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Egypt Will Be Punished

19 This is a message about Egypt:

The Lord comes to Egypt,
    riding swiftly on a cloud.
The people are weak from fear.
Their idols tremble
    as he approaches and says,
“I will punish Egypt
    with civil war—
neighbors, cities, and kingdoms
    will fight each other.

“Egypt will be discouraged
    when I confuse their plans.
They will try to get advice
    from their idols,
from the spirits of the dead,
    and from fortunetellers.
I will put the Egyptians
under the power of a cruel,
    heartless king.
I, the Lord All-Powerful,
    have promised this.”

Trouble along the Nile

The Nile River will dry up
    and become parched land.
Its streams will stink,
    Egypt will have no water,
and the reeds and tall grass
    will dry up.
Fields along the Nile
will be completely barren;
    every plant will disappear.

Those who fish in the Nile
will be discouraged
    and mourn.
None of the cloth makers[a]
will know what to do,
    and they will turn pale.[b]
10 Weavers will be confused;
paid workers will cry and mourn.

Egypt’s Helpless Leaders

11 The king’s officials in Zoan[c]
are foolish themselves
    and give stupid advice.
How can they say to him,
    “We are very wise,
and our families go back
    to kings of long ago?”
12 Where are those wise men now?
    If they can, let them say
what the Lord All-Powerful
    intends for Egypt.

13 The royal officials in Zoan
and in Memphis
    are foolish and deceived.
The leaders in every state
have given bad advice
    to the nation.
14 The Lord has confused Egypt;
its leaders have made it stagger
    and vomit like a drunkard.
15 No one in Egypt can do a thing,
    no matter who they are.

16 When the Lord All-Powerful punishes Egypt with his mighty arm, the Egyptians will become terribly weak and will tremble with fear. 17 They will be so terrified of Judah that they will be frightened by the very mention of its name. This will happen because of what the Lord All-Powerful is planning against Egypt.

The Lord Will Bless Egypt, Assyria, and Israel

18 The time is coming when Hebrew will be spoken in five Egyptian cities, and their people will become followers of the Lord. One of these cities will be called City of the Sun.[d]

19 In the heart of Egypt an altar will be set up for the Lord; at its border a shrine will be built to honor him. 20 These will remind the Egyptians that the Lord All-Powerful is with them. And when they are in trouble and ask for help, he will send someone to rescue them from their enemies. 21 The Lord will show the Egyptians who he is, and they will know and worship the Lord. They will bring him sacrifices and offerings, and they will keep their promises to him. 22 After the Lord has punished Egypt, the people will turn to him. Then he will answer their prayers, and the Egyptians will be healed.

23 At that time a good road will run from Egypt to Assyria. The Egyptians and the Assyrians will travel back and forth from Egypt to Assyria, and they will worship together. 24 Israel will join with these two countries. They will be a blessing to everyone on earth, 25 then the Lord All-Powerful will bless them by saying,

“The Egyptians are my people.
I created the Assyrians
    and chose the Israelites.”

Footnotes:

  1. 19.9 cloth makers: Cloth was made from several kinds of plants that grew in the fields along the Nile.
  2. 19.9 turn pale: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  3. 19.11 Zoan: The city of Tanis in the Nile delta.
  4. 19.18 City of the Sun: Some manuscripts of the Standard Hebrew Text, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and one ancient translation; most manuscripts of the Standard Hebrew Text have “City of Destruction.” This probably refers to Heliopolis which means “City of the Sun” (see Jeremiah 43.13).

Isaiah 19 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Egypt

19 A prophecy against Egypt:

See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud
    and is coming to Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him,
    and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.

“I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian—
    brother will fight against brother,
    neighbor against neighbor,
    city against city,
    kingdom against kingdom.
The Egyptians will lose heart,
    and I will bring their plans to nothing;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,
    the mediums and the spiritists.
I will hand the Egyptians over
    to the power of a cruel master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,”
    declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.

The waters of the river will dry up,
    and the riverbed will be parched and dry.
The canals will stink;
    the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.
The reeds and rushes will wither,
    also the plants along the Nile,
    at the mouth of the river.
Every sown field along the Nile
    will become parched, will blow away and be no more.
The fishermen will groan and lament,
    all who cast hooks into the Nile;
those who throw nets on the water
    will pine away.
Those who work with combed flax will despair,
    the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.
10 The workers in cloth will be dejected,
    and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.

11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
    the wise counselors of Pharaoh give senseless advice.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
    “I am one of the wise men,
    a disciple of the ancient kings”?

12 Where are your wise men now?
    Let them show you and make known
what the Lord Almighty
    has planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan have become fools,
    the leaders of Memphis are deceived;
the cornerstones of her peoples
    have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has poured into them
    a spirit of dizziness;
they make Egypt stagger in all that she does,
    as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.
15 There is nothing Egypt can do—
    head or tail, palm branch or reed.

16 In that day the Egyptians will become weaklings. They will shudder with fear at the uplifted hand that the Lord Almighty raises against them. 17 And the land of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom Judah is mentioned will be terrified, because of what the Lord Almighty is planning against them.

18 In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.[a]

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the Lord at its border. 20 It will be a sign and witness to the Lord Almighty in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and he will rescue them. 21 So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they will acknowledge the Lord. They will worship with sacrifices and grain offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and keep them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague; he will strike them and heal them. They will turn to the Lord, and he will respond to their pleas and heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. 24 In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing[b] on the earth. 25 The Lord Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 19:18 Some manuscripts of the Masoretic Text, Dead Sea Scrolls, Symmachus and Vulgate; most manuscripts of the Masoretic Text City of Destruction
  2. Isaiah 19:24 Or Assyria, whose names will be used in blessings (see Gen. 48:20); or Assyria, who will be seen by others as blessed
New International Version (NIV)

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