|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 15. - Neither shall there be, etc. Translate, And there shall be for Egypt no work in which both the head and the tail, both the palm branch and the rush, may (conjointly) work. The general spirit of perverseness shall prevent all union of high with low, rich with poor.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Neither shall there be any work for Egypt,.... No trade or business to carry on; their rivers being dried up, there was no flax to work with, and fine linen was a principal commodity of Egypt; nor any fish to catch, or rushes to make paper of, as before observed: or it would not be in the power of their hands to deliver themselves from the Assyrians that should come against them; and that they should be deprived of wisdom and counsel, and be at their wits' end, not knowing what to do, or what step to take:
which the head or tail, branch or rush, may do: high or low, strong or weak, all ranks and orders of men shall have nothing to do; all shall be weak and dispirited, and void of counsel. By the "head" and "branch" may be meant the king and his nobles; and by the "tail" and "rush" the common people; see Isaiah 9:14. The Targum interprets the whole of their chief men thus,
"and the Egyptians shall have no king to reign, nor prince, noble, governor, or ruler.''
Jarchi explains it of the magicians, astrologers, and stargazers of Egypt, who, with all their boasted knowledge and wisdom, should not be able either to foresee or prevent the evil coming upon them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. work for Egypt—nothing which Egypt can do to extricate itself from the difficulty.
head or tail—high or low (Isa 19:11-15, and Isa 19:8-10).
branch or rush—the lofty palm branch or the humble reed (Isa 9:14, 15; 10:33, 34).
Isaiah 19:15 Parallel Commentaries
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