The Geneva Bible Translation Notes, , at sacred-texts.com
isa 19:1The (a) burden of Egypt. Behold, the LORD (b) rideth upon a swift cloud, and shall come into Egypt: and the idols of Egypt shall be moved at his presence, and the heart of Egypt shall melt in the midst of it.
(a) Read (Isa 13:7).
(b) Because the Egyptians trusted in the defence of their country, in the multitude of their idols and in the valiantness of their men the Lord shows that he will come over all their munitions in a swift cloud, and that their idols will tremble at his coming and that men's hearts will faint.
isa 19:2And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians: and they shall (c) fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, [and] kingdom against kingdom.
(c) As he caused the Ammonites, Moabites and Idumeans to kill one another, when they came to destroy the Church of God, (Ch2 20:22; Isa 49:26).
isa 19:3And the (d) spirit of Egypt shall fail in the midst of her; and I will destroy her counsel: and they shall seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to the mediums, and to the wizards.
(d) Meaning, their policy and wisdom.
isa 19:5And the waters shall (e) fail from the sea, and the rivers shall be wasted and dried up.
(e) He shows that the sea and their great river Nile by which they thought themselves most sure, would not be able to defend them but that he would send the Assyrians among them, that would keep them under as slaves.
isa 19:6And they shall turn the (f) rivers far away; [and] the brooks of defence shall be emptied and dried up: the reeds and flags shall wither.
(f) For the Nile ran into the sea by seven streams, as though they were many rivers.
isa 19:7The paper reeds by the brooks, by the (g) mouth of the brooks, and every thing sown by the brooks, shall wither, be driven away, and be no [more].
(g) The Hebrew word is mouth, by which they mean the spring out of which the water gushes as out of a mouth.
isa 19:8The fishermen also shall (h) mourn, and all they that cast hook into the brooks shall lament, and they that spread nets upon the waters shall languish.
(h) The Scriptures describe the destruction of a country by the taking away of the conveniences of it, as by vines, flesh, fish and such other things by which countries are enriched.
isa 19:11Surely the princes of (i) Zoan [are] fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become senseless: how say ye to Pharaoh, I (k) [am] the son of the wise, the son of ancient kings?
(i) Called also Tanes, a famous city on the Nile.
(k) He notes the flatterers of Pharaoh: who persuaded the king that he was wise and noble, and that his house was ancient and so he flatters himself, saying I am wise.
isa 19:13The princes of Zoan are become fools, the princes of (l) Noph are deceived; they have also seduced Egypt, [even they that are] the (m) support of its tribes.
(l) Or Memphis, Alexandria, and now called the great Cairo.
(m) The principal upholders of it are the main cause of their destruction.
isa 19:14The LORD hath mingled a (n) perverse spirit in the midst of it: and they have caused Egypt to err in every work of it, as a drunken [man] staggereth in his vomit.
(n) For the spirit of wisdom he has made them drunken and giddy with the spirit of error.
isa 19:15Neither shall there be [any] work for Egypt, which the head or tail, branch or rush, may (o) perform.
(o) Neither the great or the small, the strong or the weak.
isa 19:17And the land of Judah shall be a terror (p) to Egypt, every one that maketh mention of it shall be afraid in himself, because of the counsel of the LORD of hosts, which he hath determined against it.
(p) Considering that through their opportunity the Jews did not make God their defence but put their trust in them, and were therefore now punished, they will fear least the same light on them.
isa 19:18In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt (q) speak the language of Canaan, and (r) swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of (s) destruction.
(q) Will make one confession of faith with the people of God, by the speech of Canaan, meaning the language in which God was then served.
(r) Will renounce their superstitions and protest to serve God correctly.
(s) Meaning of six cities, five would serve God, and the sixth would remain in their wickedness: and so there would be but one lost.
isa 19:19In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and (t) a pillar at its border to the LORD.
(t) There will be evident signs and tokens, that God's religion is there: which manner of speech is taken of the patriarchs and ancient time, when God has not as yet appointed the place, and full manner how he would be worshipped.
isa 19:20And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt: for they shall cry to the LORD because of the oppressors, and he shall send them (u) a saviour, and a great one, and he shall deliver them.
(u) This declares that this prophecy would be accomplished in the time of Christ.
isa 19:21And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do (x) sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow to the LORD, and perform [it].
(x) By these ceremonies he comprehends the spiritual service under Christ.
isa 19:23In that day shall there be a highway from (y) Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians.
(y) By these two nations, which were then chief enemies of the Church, he shows that the Gentiles and the Jews would be joined together in one faith and religion, and would all be one fold under Christ their shepherd.