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Isaiah 19:1-4

Context
The Lord Will Judge Egypt

19:1 Here is a message about Egypt:

Look, the Lord rides on a swift-moving cloud

and approaches Egypt.

The idols of Egypt tremble before him;

the Egyptians lose their courage. 1 

19:2 “I will provoke civil strife in Egypt, 2 

brothers will fight with each other,

as will neighbors,

cities, and kingdoms. 3 

19:3 The Egyptians will panic, 4 

and I will confuse their strategy. 5 

They will seek guidance from the idols and from the spirits of the dead,

from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians. 6 

19:4 I will hand Egypt over to a harsh master;

a powerful king will rule over them,”

says the sovereign master, 7  the Lord who commands armies.

1 tn Heb “and the heart of Egypt melts within it.”

2 tn Heb I will provoke Egypt against Egypt” (NAB similar).

3 tn Heb “and they will fight, a man against his brother, and a man against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom.” Civil strife will extend all the way from the domestic level to the provincial arena.

4 tn Heb “and the spirit of Egypt will be laid waste in its midst.”

5 tn The verb בָּלַע (bala’, “confuse”) is a homonym of the more common בָּלַע (bala’, “swallow”); see HALOT 135 s.v. I בלע.

6 tn Heb “they will inquire of the idols and of the spirits of the dead and of the ritual pits and of the magicians.” Hebrew אוֹב (’ov, “ritual pit”) refers to a pit used by a magician to conjure up underworld spirits. See the note on “incantations” in 8:19.

7 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).



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