Yeshayahu Nineteen: Egypt

“The harsh prophecy of Egypt; Behold the Lord is riding on a light cloud and He shall come to Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall quake from before Him and the heart of the Egyptians shall melt in their midst (Isaiah 19:1).” It’s currently chol hamoed Pesach, so it’s particularly interesting to read about Egypt, only days following us retelling the story of the Exodus at the seders. Now, unrelated to the plagues that hit Egypt at that time, we have another prophecy of destruction. Egypt will be devoid of spirit. The people will turn to idols and sorcerers, and the land will become dry and infertile. “And the fisherman shall lament and mourn, all who cast off fishhooks into the stream; and those who spread nets on the surface of the water shall be cut off (Isaiah 19:8).” The physicality of the land of Egypt will be ruined, but so will the spirits of the people, and by extension, the land.

“And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt, for they shall cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, and He shall send them a savior and a prince, and he shall save them (Isaiah 19:20).” At this point, when Egypt is sent its savior, the Egyptian people will finally know and recognize God. It’s only then that Egypt will finally be healed. Even though the relationship is fraught with negativity, the relationship between God and the Egyptians is an ongoing one, and it’s interesting to see that it didn’t end when the Israelites left.

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