|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 17. - The land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt. In Manasseh's reign Judaea became subject to Assyria (2 Chronicles 33:11; G. Smith, 'Eponym Canon,' p. 139, 1. 13), and had to take part in the hostile expeditions, which both Esarhaddon and his son, Asshurbanipal, conducted against Egypt. Egypt had to keep her eye on Judaea continually, to see when danger was approaching her. If is not likely that Isaiah's prophecies caused the "terror" here spoken cf. Every one that maketh mention thereof shall be afraid; rather, when any one maketh mention thereof, they shall turn to him in fear. The very mention of Judaea by any one shall cause fear, because they will expect to hear that an expedition has started, or is about to start, from that country. Because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts. This is how Isaiah views the Assyrian attacks on Egypt, not how the Egyptians viewed them. The fear felt by the Egyptians was not a religious fear. They simply dreaded the Assyrian armies, and Judaea as the country from which the expeditions seemed to issue.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the land of Judah shall be a terror unto Egypt,.... Not by reason of war breaking out between them, they being in strict alliance with each other at this time; but on account of what they should hear had befallen the land of Judea, and the cities of it, by the invasion of Sennacherib's army, which had taken and laid them waste; the tidings of which being brought them a panic would seize them, fearing that they should next fall a sacrifice to them, because of their alliance with them, and nearness to them, there being only the land of the Philistines between them and Egypt; and Judea being invaded and overrun, the way was open for the Assyrian army into their country; and besides they might reflect, that if the judgments of God fell so heavy on his own people, what might they not expect? and the rather, as they had been the means of drawing them into idolatry, which had provoked the Lord to come out against them; as well as at the remembrance of the injuries they had formerly done them. Jarchi and Kimchi understand this of the fall and ruin of Sennacherib's army, at the siege of Jerusalem, the rumour of which reaching, Egypt would fill them with terror; or as fearing that the hand of the Lord, which was seen in that affair, would be next lifted up against them; which sense is not probable; the former is best. The word used for terror signifies "dancing", such as is not through joy, but fear, see Psalm 107:27,
everyone that maketh mention thereof; or calls to mind, or thinks of it, or speaks of it to others, what was done in the land of Judea by the Assyrian army:
shall be afraid in himself; that this will be their case quickly in Egypt:
because of the counsel of the Lord of hosts, which he hath determined against it; or "upon it", or "concerning it" (x); meaning either Judea, which was known by the prophets he sent unto it; or Egypt, who might conclude this from what happened to a neighbouring nation.
(x) , Sept.; "supra eum", V. L.; "super eum", Pagninus, Montanus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Judah … terror unto Egypt—not by itself: but at this time Hezekiah was the active subordinate ally of Assyria in its invasion of Egypt under Sargon. Similarly to the alliance of Judah with Assyria here is 2Ki 23:29, where Josiah takes the field against Pharaoh-nechoh of Egypt, probably as ally of Assyria against Egypt [G. V. Smith]. Vitringa explains it that Egypt in its calamities would remember that prophets of Judah had foretold them, and so Judah would be "a terror unto Egypt."
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