New International Reader's Version

Isaiah 19

A Prophecy Against Egypt

1Here is a prophecy against Egypt that the Lord gave me.

The Lord is coming to Egypt.
    He’s riding on a cloud that moves very fast.
The statues of the gods in Egypt tremble with fear because of him.
    The hearts of the people there melt with fear.

The Lord says, “I will stir up one Egyptian against another.
    Relatives will fight against relatives.
    Neighbors will fight against one another.
Cities will fight against cities.
    Kingdoms will fight against one another.
The people of Egypt will lose hope.
    I will keep them from doing what they plan to do.
They will ask their gods for advice.
    They will turn to the spirits of dead people for help.
They will go to people who get messages from those who have died.
    They will ask for advice from people who talk to the spirits of the dead.
I will hand the Egyptians over
    to a mean and unkind master.
A powerful king will rule over them,” announces the Lord.
    He is the Lord who rules over all.

The waters of the Nile River will dry up.
    The bottom of it will be cracked and dry.
Its canals will stink.
    And the streams of Egypt will get smaller and smaller
    until they dry up.
The tall grass that grows along the river will dry up.
    So will the plants along the banks of the Nile.
Even the planted fields along the Nile will dry up.
    Everything that grows there will blow away and disappear.
The fishermen will moan.
    All those who drop hooks into the Nile will weep.
Those who throw their nets on the water
    will become very sad.
Those who make clothes out of flax will lose hope.
    So will those who weave fine linen.
10 Those who work with cloth will be unhappy.
    And all those who work for money will be sick at heart.

11 The officials of the city of Zoan are very foolish.
    Pharaoh’s wise men give advice that doesn’t make any sense.
How can they dare to say to Pharaoh,
    “We’re among the wise men”?
How can they say to him,
    “We’re like the advisers to the kings of long ago”?

12 Pharaoh, where are your wise men now?
    Let them tell you
what the Lord who rules over all
    has planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan have become foolish.
    The leaders of Memphis have been lied to.
The most important leaders in Egypt
    have led its people astray.
14 The Lord has given them
    a spirit that makes them feel dizzy.
They make Egypt unsteady in everything it does.
    Egypt is like a person who drinks too much.
    He throws up and then walks around in the mess he’s made.
15 No one in Egypt can do anything to help them.
    Its elders and important leaders can’t help them.
Its prophets and priests can’t do anything.
    Those who rule over others can’t help.
    And those who bow down to them can’t help either.

16 In days to come, the people of Egypt will become weak. The Lord who rules over all will raise his hand against them. Then they will tremble with fear. 17 The people of Judah will bring terror to the Egyptians. Everyone in Egypt who hears the name of Judah will be terrified. That’s because of what the Lord who rules over all is planning to do to them.

18 At that time the people of five cities in Egypt will worship the Lord. He is the Lord who rules over all. They will use the Hebrew language when they worship him. They will promise to be faithful to him. One of those cities will be called the City of the Sun.

19 At that time there will be an altar to the Lord in the middle of Egypt. There will be a monument to him at its border. 20 They will remind people that the Lord who rules over all is worshiped in Egypt. The people there will cry out to the Lord. They will cry out because of those who treat them badly. He will send someone to stand up for them and save them. And he will set them free. 21 So the Lord will make himself known to the people of Egypt. At that time they will recognize that he is the Lord. They will worship him by bringing sacrifices and grain offerings to him. They will make promises to the Lord. And they will keep them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague. But then he will heal them. They will turn to the Lord. And he will answer their prayers and heal them.

23 At that time there will be a wide road from Egypt to Assyria. The people of Assyria will go to Egypt. And the people of Egypt will go to Assyria. The people of Egypt and Assyria will worship the Lord together. 24 At that time Egypt, Assyria and Israel will be a blessing to the whole earth. 25 The Lord who rules over all will bless those three nations. He will say, “Let the Egyptians be blessed. They are my people. Let the Assyrians be blessed. My hands created them. And let the Israelites be blessed. They are my very own people.”