Isaiah 19 along with the more ‘famous’ prophecy in Isaiah 17 (Damascus destroyed) are two prophecies that have not yet come to fruition. Isaiah 17’s oracle regarding the city of Damascus (Syria) being razed to the ground with not one inhabitant hasn’t come to pass yet because Damascus is the longest continuously lived-in city in the world- about 5500 or 6000 years. Isaiah 19’s companion prophecy about the future of Egypt also has not come to pass-yet, though some parts of it have come to pass once already. Coffman’s Commentary on the Old Testament explains the double fulfillment concept like this:
“THE BURDEN OF EGYPT”
“This well organized chapter naturally divides into two sections. The first (Isaiah 19:1-15) falls into three stanzas or strophes: (a) strophe 1 (Isaiah 19:1-4) prophesies the overthrow of Egypt through strife and their suffering under a cruel ruler; (b) strophe 2 (Isaiah 19:5-10) prophesies the drying up of the Nile and the total collapse of Egypt’s economy; (c) strophe 3 (Isaiah 19:11-15) foretells the incompetence of Egypt’s vaunted wise men. The total picture that emerges in these fifteen verses is that of the total ruin of Egypt. “We may see in this section of the oracle Isaiah’s determination to persuade the court of Judah not to embark on any alliance with Egypt against Assyria.”
“The second division of the chapter (Isaiah 19:16-25) is Messianic and is composed of five sub-paragraphs, each of them beginning with the words “in that day.” The paragraphs begin in Isaiah 19:16,18,19,23,24. Although the prophecies of this section could refer to historical events prior to Christianity, to the extent that this might be true, we believe that the great thrust of the passage is Messianic and that whatever fulfillments might have come in pre-Christian times such fulfillments were typical of the far more perfect fulfillments in Christ and the age of the Gospel. For example the return of Judah from captivity is far more adequately fulfilled in the acceptance of Christ by the “righteous remnant” of Israel and their release from the captivity of sin.”
Isaiah 19 is not a long chapter, I recommend you read it.
In any case, with the usual attention to Turkey, Syria, Israel, Russia, and Iran in prophecy, I wanted to bring some attention back to Egypt in prophecy. The LORD has a plan for the Egyptians, it is a glorious plan, too! Though it will be dark for the Egyptians for a while, they are one of three nations specifically mentioned to be receiving a blessing in the Millennium! Here is what the LORD says,
“In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” (Isaiah 19:24-25).
Isn’t it fantastic that Egypt, terrible Pharaoh-ruled Egypt who oppressed the Israelites, are going to be blessed? Perhaps it is because that nation was chosen to harbor the savior Babe when the family fled Herod’s plans to kill the Jesus and all the children. Don’t count Egypt out just yet. They will be front and center of prophetic plans from our LORD!
Meanwhile, back to today, there is a part of the Egypt prophecy that I’d like to look at in view of some news.
“And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, each against another and each against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;” (Isaiah 19:2)
Egypt has had a long history of strife, external and internal. One Arab Spring or one dictator falling doesn’t mean imminent fulfillment, but it is confirmatory of the character of the people throughout history, as described in the bible. With that caveat, here is the news,
“Egyptian Cabinet member caught on hot mic discussing war with enemies Israel and America“
“Just last month, Secretary of State John Kerry quietly sent Egypt an additional $1.3 billion, even though Egypt has failed to live up to democracy standards. That largesse didn’t stop a prominent Egyptian politician from talking about Egypt’s “enemy” the United States in what some pundits are classifying as a classic and embarrassing “hot mic” moment. President Mohammed Morsi gathered a group of politicians last week who thought they were speaking privately at a parliamentary meeting. But as seen in an Egyptian television video of the meeting — excerpts of which were later translated by the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI) — they were actually on live television, cringingly discussing secret ways to stop Ethiopia’s Nile River dam project which threatens water flowing to Egypt.”
“Before being told he was on television, Hussein described the U.S. as an enemy:
I’m very fond of battles. With the enemies, of course – with America and Israel, but this battle must be waged with maximum judiciousness and calm. Even though this is a secret meeting, we must all take an oath not to leak anything to the media, unless it is done officially by sister Pakinam [el-Sharkawy, a Morsi aide]. We need an official plan for popular national security, even if we…”
“The viewer sees him being handed a note, which presumably points out that his words are not confined to the room. Hussein laughs, then continues with the anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric: “Okay… Fine… The principles behind what I’m saying are not really secret… Our war is with America and Israel, not with Ethiopia. Therefore, engaging in a war… This is my opinion…”
Another part of the Isaiah 19 prophecy involves one of the world’s great rivers, the Nile. The ‘secret
meeting’ the Cabinet held to discuss their mutual enemy (America/Israel) was over the contentious issue of the Ethiopian Dam which Egypt feels would staunch the flow of precious water into their country. The prophecy says, Isaiah 19:5-10,
“And the waters of the sea will be dried up, and the river will be dry and parched, and its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away. There will be bare places by the Nile,on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched, will be driven away, and will be no more. The fishermen will mourn and lament, all who cast a hook in the Nile; and they will languish who spread nets on the water. The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton. Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed, and all who work for pay will be grieved.”
That is specific. Its fulfillment will be devastating, because a great many millions of people depend on the river for income, as you can see in the prophecy. It was true when it was written around 700 BC and it is true today. When that prophecy comes to pass, it will mean total economic devastation for Egypt.
I’ve been watching a development which I’ve written about once, and that is the new dam that some claim will dry up the Nile River. It is variously known as the Grand Millennium Dam and the Renaissance Dam. I’d written,
“One thing that may hurry this disaster along is the dam that Ethiopia is building. We read above that the headwaters were only discovered a century ago and they are in Ethiopia. Ethiopia (and other nations) are tired of Egypt dominating the River. The Ethiopians are building a huge dam so they, too, can control the waters.”
In November of 2012 we read, Egypt, Ethiopia Tiff Over Nile Dam Continues
And seven months later to this very day the tiff is escalating into a full-blown war room plan to stop the dam. Egypt is serious about their water, and they have to be. See what Morsi’s cabinet member said in that same meeting, with Morsi present and in attendance
“I say to the Egyptian people: Nobody can turn off your water supply – unless they want to turn the Egyptians into the world’s most extremist people. Imagine what this people would do if its water were turned off – what all 80 million of us would do to Israel and America if our water were turned off,” Hussein concluded.”
Ethiopia shrugged off Egypt’s threats over the dam. “Mohamed Morsi, promised to “defend each drop of Nile water with our blood” and other senior Egyptian politicians called for the dam’s destruction.” Ethiopia should not be too hasty to shrug off those threats, the serous intentions of which were revealed in the hot mic gaffe.
Barry Rubin at GLORIA wrote, “The televising of a meeting held by President Muhammad Morsi allowed listeners to hear plans for military attacks on Ethiopia because of a dam that country is building on the Nile in order to generate electricity. Participants didn’t know the meeting was being aired on live state television. Egyptian leaders discussed covert operations to destroy the dam or giving covert support to rebel groups.”
|Source Commons Wikipedia
Forbes speculated on the practical ways Egypt might carry out their threat. “As Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said June 9 following Ethiopia’s refusal to halt construction of the dam and ahead of his trip to Addis Ababa to discuss the project, Egypt will not give up a “single drop of water from the Nile.” “No Nile, no Egypt,” he said.”
Forbes’s speculation included Egypt convincing N. Sudan to allow them bomber landing privileges so that Egypt could bomb the dam … a bombing Morsi alluded to in the hot mic gaffe The Blaze, MEMRI, and Barry Rubin reported on.
Today the Egyptian Parliament ratified a new Nile sharing agreement. “Ethiopia’s parliament on Thursday ratified an accord that replaces colonial-era deals that awarded Egypt and Sudan the majority of the world’s longest river.” The article goes on to say that the agreement for water sharing will include five other Nile River countries: “Ethiopia, and Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi”.
South Sudan is said to be getting on board with the pact, but not North Sudan. So perhaps North Sudan will cooperate with Egypt after all as Forbes speculated, and the dam will be history soon. Or not, but the prophecy says the Nile will be dried up. How that happens is anybody’s guess, but right now the dam is the front runner contender.
When Morsi’s people say, “No Nile, no Egypt” they are right. Not because they are so wise, but because the bible is. Isaiah 19 depicts a very dark time for Egypt. Their main artery of the Nile River dries up and their economy totally collapses. Whether that time is imminently in front of our eyes or is still in the future is unknown to us.
One thing is for sure, it will happen. My advice is to keep watching the news of this tiff over this dam.
One last note.
Morsi held a secret meeting and talked of the war against Israel. This echoes the Psalm 83 language, verses 3-4a
“They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against your treasured ones. They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation;”
Our glorious God will not let that happen. And even though they vainly plot against His people now, He will hold His nation Israel in His hand and personally protect Israel. And alongside Israel in the Millennium He will raise up Assyria and Egypt, and bless them. God is surely loving and forgiving! Egypt will think so too, they will worship Him!
“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. 20It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21And the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.”
“23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.”
“24In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”
According to prophecy the Nile River will dry up