By Mike Taylor
Prophecies concerning Egypt in these last days right out of our headlines: “The burden against Egypt. Behold, the LORD rides on a swift cloud, and will come into Egypt; the idols of Egypt will totter at His presence, and the heart of Egypt will melt in its midst. “I will set Egyptians against Egyptians; everyone will fight against his brother, and everyone against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. The spirit of Egypt will fail in its midst; I will destroy their counsel, and they will consult the idols and the charmers, the mediums and the sorcerers. And the Egyptians I will give into the hand of a cruel master, and a fierce king will rule over them,” says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
We see calamity and death arising out of Egypt, playing on our news broadcast every night. The scenes are most troubling, as civil unrest is developing between groups loyal to the President of Egypt (or Pharaoh) Hosni Mubarak. And it is spreading. How will this play out? People are beginning to notice a similarity between what is happening and this prophecy that Isaiah spoke of in his days in chapter 19. As God brought judgment on Egypt for their idolatry in ancient times, Isaiah speaks of another time when judgment will be brought down on Egypt.
In ancient times, there was no land known to man, that was Egypt in their idolatry and filthy practices. They revered and worshiped everything that was a creature instead of the creator. They worshiped cats, dogs, crocodiles, apes, frogs, and celestial objects, such as the moon and the sun. Everything abominable was venerated by them. They were so idolatrous in their lifestyle that God brought them to their knees, as a nation.
The Lord moved in a swift cloud to humble one of the greatest powers in ancient times that lay to the south of Israel. Israel had different phases of relationships with Egypt. In one way, they were an aggressor nation, as many wars were fought against invaders from Egypt. In many instances, Egypt had been the enemy of Israel, and at times Egypt had been a refuge for Israel during the time of their brother Joseph that called his family of Jacob his father, to live in Egypt and escape the famine that came upon all the land. Sometimes Egypt offered a tempting but ungodly alliance to Israel. In this chapter, the LORD presents both a prophecy against Egypt. I did a search online of the plagues of Egypt that were brought up the people because of their idolatry. The story has a definite lesson as God passed judgment on the people and their worship of false gods that were not gods.
“During the time of the Exodus, when God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, God brought down all their idols that they worshiped as is mentioned in the opening verses of this chapter. At the time of the Exodus, when the Pharaoh of Egypt would not release the children of Israel from their captivity, the LORD also made the idols of Egypt to totter at His presence. He directed each of the plagues against a particular idol of Egypt. He knocked over the god Khnum, the guardian of the Nile, the god Hapi, the spirit of the Nile, and the god Osiris (who had the Nile as his bloodstream), when the waters were turned to blood. He knocked over the goddess Heqt, the frog-goddess of fertility, with the plague of frogs. He knocked over the goddess Hathor, a cow-like mother goddess, with the plague on livestock. He knocked over the god Imhotep, the god of medicine, with the plague of boils. He knocked over the god Nut, the sky goddess, with the plague of hail. He knocked over the whole system of Egyptian worship of their gods with loathsome lice and swarms of insects. He knocked over the god Seth, thought to be the protector of crops, with the plague of locusts. He knocked over the god Ra, thought to be the sun god, with the plague of darkness. He knocked over Osiris, the Egyptian god thought to be the giver of life, and the supposed deity of Pharaoh himself, with the plague against the firstborn. God made all the idols of Egypt to totter at His presence before, and Isaiah tells us He will do it again!” (David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible).
Verse two speaks of a time of civil war coming upon the land of Egypt. You read this passage and it jumps out at you like the headlines of our newspapers. Egypt is in the midst of being torn apart. Brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor is being fought in the streets because of frustration over the political climate that prevails in Egypt. Looking at scripture, this is an indirect result prepared by God for a godless society that is overcome with a religion of false gods, and praying to the moon god, Allah. Their gods will be brought low, as it was in ancient times, so it will be done today in the last gasps of mankind’s rule on this earth.
19:3 of Isaiah, “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.”
Egypt was known for their wise men and their counsels as was noted in 1 Kings 4:30, but they were not able to cope with the coming judgment of the Lord. Egypt was devastated with plague after plague that destroyed their economy and their way of life.
We see what is going on right now in Egypt. They look for counsel from the United Nations, the United States, and from factions within their godless regime. Still unrest and bloodshed continues to mount and it may only get worse, before it gets any better. Tourism was a bulk of their economy. Their ancient treasures that included King Tut’s treasures and other Egyptian pharaohs were what drew many tourists to the country and spend money in their local economy. Now their museums have been ransacked, set on fire, or destroyed. Tourism has all but ceased in the land of the Pharaohs and any foreigner is fleeing for their lives and their heads.
19:4 of Isaiah “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.”
Who shall eventually win to rule over the land? Who or what will fill the void left by the departing president of Egypt? President Mubarak was no saint when it came to ruling his people he reigned over, but he may turn out to be the lesser of two evils when this finally shakes out. The Muslin Brotherhood is a terrorist group that has been banned from politics for decades in Egypt, now it is reported that they are fomenting the unrest and violence, along with Hamas from Gaza to topple the government and shape it into their vision of a land ruled by Shariah Law. By giving the people over to an oppressive regime change, this will be God’s hand in judgment against these people.
Isaiah 19:5 And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.
19:6 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.
19:7 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.
19:8 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.
We are reminded of the modern technology that brought wealth into their land, and to the world….The Suez Canal. If that lane of maritime traffic is destroyed, or blocked, then their economy and that of the rest of the world will take a terrible economic blow and its dependence on one commodity…OIL!! How will the Nile be affected? God only knows; as we watch the events unfold. Will it be cursed, as it was in the days of Moses and the Exodus? Industries in Egypt will be struck if it is so:
19:9 Moreover they that work in fine flax, and they that weave networks, shall be confounded.
19:10 And they shall be broken in the purposes thereof, all that make sluices and ponds for fish.
This is judgment on the source of their sustaining life, the river Nile. Agriculture, fishing, and industrial factories that require water will be affected along the banks of the Nile. Let’s not fail to mention the interruption of raw materials for any type of production if the Suez Canal is blocked, or destroyed. The affliction of the Nile and the Suez Canal would affect every portion of their lives, as it was in the ancient days, so it would be in these modern times. We will keep watch as this story unfolds concerning this part of scripture.
19:11 Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counselors of Pharaoh is become brutish: how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
19:12 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.
Here, the LORD reminds us of what true wisdom is. It is knowing what the LORD of hosts has purposed. True wisdom isn’t knowing all kind of facts and plans and strategies. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Proverbs 9:10).
19:13 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.
19:14 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.
Egypt in its vain glory will consult with fools of the political arena, Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, anti-Mubarak forces, and international bodies such as the United Nations and their proxies, even the United States. Instead of seeking the wisdom of the Lord, they seek after their own wisdom, to their own destruction. They seek Allah, and Allah will be silent. This false god will be silent, as he does not speak, hear or see and will be proven to be false. I believe this is just the beginning of the unrest that will envelop the entire Middle East. We have seen it in Tunisia, spreading now to Egypt, then onto Jordan, Syria, even into Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula. Israel is understandably worried, as the treaties that have been honored that has kept the peace between the Arab leader, Egypt and Israel is in jeopardy of being voided. The smell of war is in the nostrils of the Arabs that hate Israel and its being orchestrated by an unseen Divine Hand that is bringing followers of Allah ripe to righteous judgment.
We have had lessons concerning the coming war prophesied in Psalm 83. This may well be the shaping of that coalition that surrounds the tiny state of Israel that will embolden this Arab confederacy to strike once again this hated half brother and cousin of theirs, of the land of their forefathers, Israel. They will attempt to wipe Israel off the map, at the prodding of the most evil empire in the Middle East, Iran or ancient Persia.
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’.
People send me emails of the video taken of the mobs that are tearing Egypt apart and shows a very interesting vision of a greenish looking rider on a pale horse. Is it a reflection of the camera off of the fire in the background? Did the camera man inadvertently capture a spirit of death that is in the midst of the people of Egypt? Undeniably, there is death and suffering being brought to bear on the mobs and protestors that have taken to the streets of this Arab nation. Is it a spiritual being, or an illusion? I’ll not predict or say for sure what the image is, but I know some people’s minds are on what is coming at lightening speed upon the face of the earth. I do know, that death and suffering is visiting once again, a nation filled with paganism and idolatry. Is judgment coming and beginning in Egypt?
19:17 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.
With one wave of His mighty right arm, God will instill fear and trembling in the people for their sins. We get a hint of what is coming on Egypt and the rest of the Middle East when we read verse 17 above. Egypt will be in terror of Judah. Now that’s a switch. Egypt has fought two wars in modern times of 1967, and 1973 and was soundly defeated by Israel and God being with them and fighting for them. Since then, there has been an uneasy peace treaty, but that may be coming to a swift end. When Psalm 83 unfolds, the hand of the Lord will wave over the land of Egypt and strike fear and terror into the hearts of the people who dare come against His chosen people, and His land. Israel is prophesied to destroy this confederation and take their land, even unto Egypt.
The LORD prophesies a day when Judah will be mightier than Egypt, and the land of Judah will be a terror to Egypt. As we all know, Israel has vast superior military to that of Egypt, as it’s nuclear arsenal may be it’s only option in that coming war. It’s referred to as the Samson option. What is the Sampson option? When you are surrounded and outnumbered, you take steps that you would not ordinarily take in any other situation but due to the imminence of your sudden destruction. I can see Israel taking out all the stops and unleashing a devastating response to insurmountable odds that could spell their extinction if this action were not taken. Two swift nuclear strikes would bring the Middle East to its knees. One is prophesied to be on Damascus, and laying it waste and it never being inhabited again. Could another one be on Cairo or Heliopolis? Or pick any city in the greater Middle East, but a logical one, would be the strongest nation of the Arab world, Egypt.
The last verses of this chapter speak of a coming day, when Egypt will turn to the Lord in repentance.
Isaiah 18-20, ‘In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear by the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction. In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border. And it will be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a Mighty One, and He will deliver them. Then the LORD will be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day, and will make sacrifice and offering; yes, they will make a vow to the LORD and perform it. And the LORD will strike Egypt, He will strike and heal it; they will return to the LORD, and He will be entreated by them and heal them.”
A better translation of the phrase City of Destruction may be, City of the Sun, which was a well known Egyptian city known as previously mentioned, Heliopolis. It is where the President of Egypt has his palace and quarters. History shows that after the Maccabean revolt, that “In the time of the Maccabees, the high priest Onias IV was forced to flee to Egypt, and there he built a temple that was similar to the one in Jerusalem. Some commentators relate the ‘altar’ of verse 19 to this structure.” (Wolf) This may relate to the City of the Sun prophecy, because the temple Onias IV built was in the province of Heliopolis.
19:21 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.
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.
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.
19:24 In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
19:25 Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.
Israel will be one of three with Egypt and Assyria: God promises the day will come when there will be peace between Israel, Egypt, and Assyria. There will be trade and travel between the three nations (a highway from Egypt to Assyria). In that day, the LORD will bless all three nations. But that is for a future time, in the Kingdom of God and His 1000 year reign.
“The altar and sacrifice described most likely are fulfilled during the Millennium, when sacrifice will be allowed as a memorial of Jesus’ great work, but never as atonement.”For just as restored Israel will bring blood sacrifices unto the Lord to keep in remembrance of the all-sufficient blood sacrifice of Christ, so this may also take place in Egypt on that memorable day.” (Bultema)”
“But transpiring before the return of the Lord, five cities in Egypt will be more known as being linked to the Lord than to Egypt after the war victory is won by Jehovah for Israel in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but because of their coming oppression, the people will cry out to the Lord because of them and God will send them a Savior. These five cities will be inhabited by more Jewish people that will flow into Egypt and live there and set up a Temple worship and build an altar unto the Lord besides the Temple in Jerusalem as they did prior in history, but during this time of great oppression, it speaks of the coming Tribulation as Israel and it’s people will be tried as silver refined, as though by fire. It speaks of a time when our Savior and Lord will come again to set up His millennial Kingdom and rule for a 1000 years and Israel will be fully restored to its position of being an example unto all the nations as a priestly nation.
This time in Egypt is possibly the preface to the coming war of Psalm 83. It will unite the Arabs in a coalition with one theme, to destroy Israel. If this sets the ball rolling, we are entering into prophecy that leads to Ezekiel’s war in chapter 38 and 39 of his prophetic book. As we all know and have studied, when this war starts, the church is not to be found, as it has been divinely removed from our place on earth and the Tribulation is but a heartbeat away from being upon the remnant of mankind. As a witness to these events and the knowledge that our time here on earth is drawing down to a soon departure of this ship called “The Church”…a convicted and receptive mind and heart will respond to the invitation of the Holy Spirit to get your ticket for passage and get on board, as this ship is about to leave port. Belief on Jesus as the Only Begotten Son of God is that ticket.