|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:1-17 God shall come into Egypt with his judgments. He will raise up the causes of their destruction from among themselves. When ungodly men escape danger, they are apt to think themselves secure; but evil pursues sinners, and will speedily overtake them, except they repent. The Egyptians will be given over into the hand of one who shall rule them with rigour, as was shortly after fulfilled. The Egyptians were renowned for wisdom and science; yet the Lord would give them up to their own perverse schemes, and to quarrel, till their land would be brought by their contests to become an object of contempt and pity. He renders sinners afraid of those whom they have despised and oppressed; and the Lord of hosts will make the workers of iniquity a terror to themselves, and to each other; and every object around a terror to them.
Verse 13. - The princes of Noph. There are no grounds for changing "Noph" into "Moph." "Noph" is probably "Napata," known as "Nap" in the hieroglyphic inscriptions - the original capital of the Ethiopian kings, and, when Memphis had become their capital, still probably regarded as the second city of the empire. The "princes of Noph" would be Tirhakah's counselors. They have also, etc. Translate, Even they have led Egypt astray, who are the corner-stone of her tribes. Strictly speaking, there were no "tribes" in Egypt, much less "castes," but only classes, marked out by strong lines of demarcation the one from the other. Herodotus gives seven of them (2. 164) - priests, soldiers, herdsmen, swineherds, tradesmen, interpreters, and boatmen. But there were several others also, e.g., agricultural laborers, fishermen, artisans, official employee, etc.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The princes of Zoan are become fools,.... Or infatuated, in their counsels to Pharaoh, and by giving heed to the magicians and diviners; See Gill on Isaiah 19:11,
the princes of Noph are deceived; called Moph, in Hosea 9:6 where our translation renders it Memphis; and so do the Septuagint and Vulgate Latin versions here; the Arabic version has it Menphis; the Syriac version Mophis; and the Targum Mephes; the city of Memphis is no doubt intended, which was the chief of the first of the nomes or provinces of Egypt, from whence it was called Memphites: it was the metropolis of upper Egypt, and the seat of their kings and princes; it was built by their first king Menes (t), or Mizraim, and had in it the famous temple of Vulcan; it continues to this day, and goes by the name of Alkair, or Grand Cairo:
they have also seduced Egypt; the princes of the above places, being deceived themselves by the diviners and astrologers, deceived the common people that inhabited the nomes and provinces where they dwelt; it being usual with such to follow their superiors in principle and practice:
even they that are the stay of the tribes thereof; or, "who are the corner of its tribes" (u); meaning the nomes or provinces of Egypt, especially the Tanitic and Memphitic nomes, whose provinces are mentioned; these are called tribes by the prophet, in the language of the Jews, which land were divided into tribes, as the land of Egypt was divided into nomes; and about this time it was divided into twelve kingdoms, as Israel was into twelve tribes: now, the princes of these tribes and kingdoms, who should have been as cornerstones, to which civil magistrates are compared, see Psalm 118:22 the stay and support of the people, and should have kept them right, these led them wrong, into mistakes and errors.
(t) Ib. (Herodot. l. 2.) c. 99. (u) "angulus vel tribuum ejus"; so some in Vatablus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. Noph—called also Moph; Greek, Memphis (Ho 9:6); on the western bank of the Nile, capital of Lower Egypt, second only to Thebes in all Egypt: residence of the kings, until the Ptolemies removed to Alexandria; the word means the "port of the good" [Plutarch]. The military caste probably ruled in it: "they also are deceived," in fancying their country secure from Assyrian invasion.
stay of … tribes—rather, "corner-stone of her castes" [Maurer], that is, the princes, the two ruling castes, the priests and the warriors: image from a building which rests mainly on its corner-stones (see on Isa 19:10; Isa 28:16; Ps 118:22; Nu 24:17, Margin; Jud 20:2; 1Sa 14:28, Margin; Zec 10:4).
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