Isaiah 19:18
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In that day five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD Almighty. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.

New Living Translation
In that day five of Egypt's cities will follow the LORD of Heaven's Armies. They will even begin to speak Hebrew, the language of Canaan. One of these cities will be Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.

English Standard Version
In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.

New American Standard Bible
In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

King James Bible
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the LORD of Hosts. One of the cities will be called the City of the Sun.

International Standard Version
At that time, there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. One of them will be called the City of the Sun.

NET Bible
At that time five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD who commands armies. One will be called the City of the Sun.

New Heart English Bible
In that day, there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear loyalty to the LORD of hosts. One will be called the City of the Sun.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
When that day comes, five cities in Egypt will have people that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of Armies. One of the cities will be called Heliopolis.

JPS Tanakh 1917
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called The city of destruction.

New American Standard 1977
In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction.

Jubilee Bible 2000
In that day five cities in the land of Egypt shall speak the language of Canaan and swear to the LORD of the hosts; one shall be called The city of destruction.

King James 2000 Bible
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

American King James Version
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

American Standard Version
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Jehovah of hosts; one shall be called The city of destruction.

Douay-Rheims Bible
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt, speaking the language of Chanaan, and swearing by the Lord of hosts: one shall be called the city of the sun.

Darby Bible Translation
In that day shall there be five cities in the land of Egypt speaking the language of Canaan, and swearing by Jehovah of hosts: one shall be called, The city of Heres.

English Revised Version
In that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called The city of destruction.

Webster's Bible Translation
In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

World English Bible
In that day, there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan, and swear to Yahweh of Armies. One will be called "The city of destruction."

Young's Literal Translation
In that day there are five cities in the land of Egypt, Speaking the lip of Canaan, And swearing to Jehovah of Hosts, 'The city of destruction,' is said of one.
Study Bible
Blessing to Egypt, Assyria, Israel
17The land of Judah will become a terror to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the LORD of hosts which He is purposing against them. 18In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the LORD of hosts; one will be called the City of Destruction. 19In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD near its border.…
Cross References
Isaiah 45:23
"I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.

Isaiah 65:16
"Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!

Zephaniah 3:9
"For then I will give to the peoples purified lips, That all of them may call on the name of the LORD, To serve Him shoulder to shoulder.
Treasury of Scripture

In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan, and swear to the LORD of hosts; one shall be called, The city of destruction.

that day

Isaiah 19:19,21 In that day shall there be an altar to the LORD in the middle of …

Isaiah 2:11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men …

Zechariah 2:11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall …

shall five

Isaiah 11:11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his …

Isaiah 27:13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown…

Psalm 68:31 Princes shall come out of Egypt; Ethiopia shall soon stretch out …

speak

Zephaniah 3:9 For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may …

language. Heb. lip

Genesis 11:1 And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.

and swear

Isaiah 45:23,24 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, …

Deuteronomy 10:20 You shall fear the LORD your God; him shall you serve, and to him …

Nehemiah 10:29 They joined to their brothers, their nobles, and entered into a curse, …

Jeremiah 12:16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways …

destruction. Heb. Heres, or, the sun. Instead of heres, 'destruction,' which is also the reading of Aquila, Theodotion, and the Syriac, fifteen MSS. and seven editions have cheres, 'the sun;' agreeable to Symmachus, the Arabic, and Vulagte; while the Chaldee takes in both readings; and the LXX. reads 'the city of righteousness,' a name apparently contrived by the party of Onias, to give credit to his temple. As, however, heres in Arabic signifies a lion, Conrad Ikenius is of opinion that the place here mentioned is not Heliopolis, as is commonly supposed, but Leontopolis in the Heliopolitan name, as it is termed in the letter of Onias to Ptolemy. The whole passage from this verse to the end, contains a general intimation of the propagation of the knowledge of the true God in Egypt and Syria, under the successors of Alexander, and the early reception of the gospel in the same countries.

(18) In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan.--The prophecy is, it will be noticed, parallel to that affecting Ethiopia in Isaiah 18:7, and at least expresses the yearnings of the prophet's heart after the conversion of Egypt to the worship of Jehovah. Like the previous prediction, it connects itself with Psalms 87, as recording the admission of proselytes as from other countries, so also from Rahab (i.e., Egypt). The "five cities" stand either as a certain number for an uncertain (Isaiah 30:17; Isaiah 17:6; Leviticus 26:8; 1Corinthians 14:19), or possibly as the actual number of the chief or royal cities of Egypt. The "language of Canaan" is Hebrew, and the prediction is that this will become the speech of the worshippers of Jehovah in the Egyptian cities. There is to be one universal speech for the universal Church of the true Israel.

And swear to the Lord of hosts.--The oath, as in the parallel phrase of Isaiah 45:23, is one of allegiance, and implies, therefore, something like a covenant of obedience.

The city of destruction.--There is probably something like a play on the name of the Egyptian city On, the Greek Heliopolis, the City of the Sun (Heb., Ir-ha-kheres), and the word which the prophet actually uses (Ir-ha-cheres), the "city of destruction." The paronomasia, like in character to Ezekiel's transformation of On into Aven, "nothingness," or "vanity" (Ezekiel 30:17), or Hosea's of Beth-el ("house of God") into Bethaven (" house of nothingness") (Hosea 4:15), was intended to indicate the future demolition of the sun-idols, and is so interpreted in the Targum on this passage, "Bethshemesh (i.e., Heliopolis), whose future fate shall be destruction." The word for destruction is cognate with the verb used of Gideon's breaking down the image of Baal, in Judges 6:25; and in Jeremiah's prophecy (Jeremiah 43:13), "He shall break the pillars in the house of the sun," we may probably trace an allusive reference to Isaiah's language. Other meanings, such as "city of rescue," "city of protection," "city of restoration," have been suggested, but on inadequate grounds. The Vulg. gives civitas solis. The LXX. rendering, "city asedek," apparently following a different reading of the Hebrew, and giving the meaning, "city of righteousness," was probably connected historically with the erection of a Jewish temple at Leon-topolis by Onias IV., in the time of Ptolemy Philomtor, which for some two centuries shared with the Temple at Jerusalem the homage of Egyptian Jews. Onias and his followers pointed to Isaiah's words as giving a sanction to what their brethren in Palestine looked on as a rival and sacrilegious worship.

Verses 18-22. - THE TURNING OF EGYPT TO JEHOVAH. The chastisement of the Egyptians shall be followed, after a while, by a great change. Influences from Canaan shall penetrate Egypt (ver. 18), an altar shall be raised in her midst to Jehovah (ver. 19), and she herself shall cry to him for succor (ver. 20) and be delivered (ver. 20). Egypt shall even become a part of Jehovah's kingdom, shall "know him," and serve him with sacrifice and oblation (ver. 21), and perform her vows to Jehovah, and have her supplications heard by him, and be converted and healed (ver. 22). Verse 18. - In that day. Not really the day of vengeance, but that which, in the prophet's mind, is most closely connected with it - the day of restitution - whereof he has spoken perpetually (Isaiah 1:25-27; Isaiah 2:2-4; Isaiah 4:2-6; Isaiah 6:13, etc.). The two are parts of one scheme of things, and belong in the prophet's mind to one time. Shall five cities in the land of Egypt speak the language of Canaan. It is quite true, as Mr. Cheyne remarks, that the Eastern Delta was from a very early date continually more and more Semitized by an influx of settlers from Palestine, and that Egyptian literature bears strong marks of this linguistic influence. But this is scarcely what the prophet intends to speak about. He is not interested in philology. What he means is that there will be an appreciable influx into Egypt of Palestinian ideas, thoughts, and sentiments. "Five" is probably used as a "round" number. The first manifest fulfillment of the prophecy was at the foundation of Alexandria, when the Jews were encouraged to become settlers by the concession of important privileges (Josephus, 'Contr. Ap.,' 2:4), and where they ultimately became the predominant element in the population, amounting, according to Philo ('In Flaec.,' § 6), to nearly a million souls. The next great Palestinian influx was under Ptolemy YI. (Philometor), when Onias fled from Palestine with a number of his partisans, and obtained permission to erect a Jewish temple near Heliopelis. The site of this temple is probably marked by the ruins at Tel-el-Yahoudeh ('Quarterly Statement' of Palest. Expl. Fund for July, 1880, pp. 137-139). It seems to have been a center to a number of Jewish communities in the neighborhood. In this double way Jehovah became known to Egypt before Christianity. A Christian Church was early established in Alexandria, possibly by St. Mark. Swear to the Lord of hosts; i.e. "swear fidelity to him." One shall be called, The city of destruction. Some manuscripts read 'Ir-ha-Kheres, "City of the Sun," for 'Ir-ha-heres, "City of Destruction," in which case the reference would be plainly to Heliopelis, which was in the immediate neighborhood of Tel-el-Yahoudeh, and which in the Ptolemaic period may well have fallen under Jewish influence. Even if 'Ir-ha-heres stand as the true reading, the name may still have been given with allusion to Heliopolis, the prophet intending to say, "That city which was known as the City of the Sun-God shall become known as the City of Destruction of the Sun-God and of idolatrous worship generally." That Heliopolis did actually fall under Jewish influence in the Ptolemaic period appears from a remarkable passage of Polyhistor, who says of the Exodus and the passage of the Red Sea, "The Memphites say that Moses, being well acquainted with the district, watched the ebb of the tide, and so led the people across the dry bed of the sea; but they of Heliopolis affirm that the king, at the head of a vast force, and having the sacred animals also with him, pursued after the Jews, because they were carrying away with them the riches which they had borrowed from the Egyptians. Then, "they say," the voice of God commanded Moses to smite the sea with his rod, and divide it; and Moses, when he heard, touched the water with it, and so the sea parted asunder, and the host marched through on dry ground." Such an account of the Exodus would scarcely have been given by Egyptians unless they were three parts Hebraized. In that day shall five cities in the land of Egypt,.... Here opens a scene of mercy, a prophecy of good things to the Egyptians in future times; for this is not to be understood of the selfsame time, that the former calamities would come upon them; but of some time after that; and not of Egypt, spiritual or mystical, that is, Rome, or the antichristian jurisdiction, so called, Revelation 11:8 and of the five kingdoms that should revolt from it at the Reformation, as Cocceius thinks; who interprets the above prophecy of the antichristian state, and names the five kingdoms that should break off from it, and did; as Great Britain, the United States of Holland, Denmark and Norway, Swedeland, the people of Germany, and those near them, as Bohemia, Hungary, Transylvania, and Helvetia; but Egypt literally is here designed; and its five cities either intend just so many principal ones, as some think, namely, Memphis, Tanis, Alexandria, Bubastis, and Heliopolis; or rather it is a certain number for an uncertain; and to be understood either of many, as five out of six, since afterwards one is mentioned, as to be destroyed; or rather of a few, as five out of twenty thousand, for so many cities are said to have been in Egypt (y); and so this number is used in Scripture for a few; see 1 Corinthians 14:19 and the prophecy respects the conversion of them, which some think was fulfilled in some little time after; either by some Jews fleeing to Egypt when Judea was invaded, and Jerusalem besieged by Sennacherib, who making known and professing the true religion there, were the means of converting many of the Egyptians; or, as the Jews (z) think, it had its accomplishment when Sennacherib's army was destroyed, and what remained of them, consisting of Egyptians and other people, were dismissed by Hezekiah, and being used kindly by him, embraced the true religion, and carried it with them into Egypt, and there professed and propagated it; but it seems most likely to refer to later times, the times of the Gospel, when it was carried and preached in Egypt by the Evangelist Mark, and others, to the conversion of them, which is expressed in the following words:

speak the language of Canaan; the Hebrew language, which continued from the time of the confusion in the posterity of Shem, and in the family of Heber, from whom Abraham descended; which was not the language of the old Canaanites, though that was pretty near it, but what the Jews now at this time spake, who dwelt in the land of Canaan: but though this language is here referred to, and might be learned, as it is where the Gospel comes, for the sake of understanding the Scriptures in the original; yet that is not principally meant, but the religion of the Christian and converted Jews; and the sense is, that the Egyptians, hearing and embracing the Gospel, should speak the pure language of it, and make the same profession of it, and with one heart and mouth with them glorify God, and confess the Lord Jesus: and when a sinner is converted, he speaks a different language than he did before; the language of Canaan is the language of repentance towards God, faith in Christ, love to them, and all the saints; it is self-abasing, Christ exalting, and free grace magnifying language; it is the language of prayer to God for mercies wanted, and of praise and thanksgiving for mercies received, and especially for Christ, and the blessings of grace in him; it is the language of experience, and what agrees with the word of God: and in common conversation it is different from others; not swearing, or lying, or filthiness, or foolish jesting, or frothy, vain, and idle talk, are this language; but what is savoury, and for the use of edifying:

and swear to the Lord of hosts; not by him, but to him, which sometimes is put for the whole of religious worship, Deuteronomy 6:13 and signifies a bowing, a submission, and subjection to him; compare Isaiah 45:23 with Romans 14:11 it is swearing allegiance to him, owning him to be their Lord, King, and Lawgiver, and a resolution to obey him in all his commands and ordinances, see Psalm 119:106,

one shall be called the city of destruction; not one of the five cities before mentioned; because all such as believe with the heart unto righteousness, and with the mouth make confession agreeably to it, shall be saved; but the sense is, that one and all, and everyone of these cities, and all such persons in them as speak not the language of Canaan, who neither embrace the Gospel, nor become subject to Christ, shall be devoted to destruction: though there is a Keri and Cetib of these words; it is written "heres", destruction, but it is read "cheres", the sun; and there was a city in Egypt called Bethshemesh, the house of the sun, Jeremiah 43:13 and by the Greeks Heliopolis (a); and by the Latins Solis Oppidum (b); and so the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "and one shall be called the city of the sun"; that is, Heliopolis, where the sun was worshipped, and from whence it had its name; and so the words are a display of the grace of God, that in that city, which was the seat of idolatrous worship, there the sun of righteousness should arise, and there should be a number of persons in it that should profess his name. The Targum takes in both the writing and reading of this passage, and renders it,

"the city of Bethshemesh, which is to be destroyed, shall be called one of them.''

(y) Herodot. l. 2. c. 177. (z) T. Bab. Menachot fol. 109. 2. and 110. 1. Seder Olam Rabba, c. 23. p. 66. (a) Herodot. l. 1. c. 3. 7. 8. 9. 59. 63. (b) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 9. and 6. 29. 18-22. In that day, etc.—Suffering shall lead to repentance. Struck with "terror" and "afraid" (Isa 19:17) because of Jehovah's judgments, Egypt shall be converted to Him: nay, even Assyria shall join in serving Him; so that Israel, Assyria, and Egypt, once mutual foes, shall be bound together by the tie of a common faith as one people. So a similar issue from other prophecies (Isa 18:7; 23:18).

five cities—that is, several cities, as in Isa 17:6; 30:17; Ge 43:34; Le 26:8. Rather, five definite cities of Lower Egypt (Isa 19:11, 13; 30:4), which had close intercourse with the neighboring Jewish cities [Maurer]; some say, Heliopolis, Leontopolis (else Diospolis), Migdol, Daphne (Tahpanes), and Memphis.

language of Canaan—that is, of the Hebrews in Canaan, the language of revelation; figuratively for, They shall embrace the Jewish religion: so "a pure language" and conversion to God are connected in Zep 3:9; as also the first confounding and multiplication of languages was the punishment of the making of gods at Babel, other than the One God. Pentecost (Ac 2:4) was the counterpart of Babel: the separation of nations is not to hinder the unity of faith; the full realization of this is yet future (Zec 14:9; Joh 17:21). The next clause, "swear to the Lord of Hosts," agrees with this view; that is, bind themselves to Him by solemn covenant (Isa 45:23; 65:16; De 6:13).

city of destruction—Onias; "city of the sun," that is, On, or Heliopolis; he persuaded Ptolemy Philometer (149 B.C.) to let him build a temple in the prefecture (nome) of Heliopolis, on the ground that it would induce Jews to reside there, and that the very site was foretold by Isaiah six hundred years before. The reading of the Hebrew text is, however, better supported, "city of destruction"; referring to Leontopolis, the site of Onias' temple: which casts a reproach on that city because it was about to contain a temple rivalling the only sanctioned temple, that at Jerusalem. Maurer, with some manuscripts, reads "city of defense" or "deliverance"; namely, Memphis, or some such city, to which God was about to send "a saviour" (Isa 19:20), to "deliver them."19:18-25 The words, In that day, do not always refer to the passage just before. At a time which was to come, the Egyptians shall speak the holy language, the Scripture language; not only understand it, but use it. Converting grace, by changing the heart, changes the language; for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So many Jews shall come to Egypt, that they shall soon fill five cities. Where the sun was worshipped, a place infamous for idolatry, even there shall be a wonderful reformation. Christ, the great Altar, who sanctifies every gift, shall be owned, and the gospel sacrifices of prayer and praise shall be offered up. Let the broken-hearted and afflicted, whom the Lord has wounded, and thus taught to return to, and call upon him, take courage; for He will heal their souls, and turn their sorrowing supplications into joyful praises. The Gentile nations shall not only unite with each other in the gospel fold under Christ, the great Shepherd, but they shall all be united with the Jews. They shall be owned together by him; they shall all share in one and the same blessing. Meeting at the same throne of grace, and serving with each other in the same business of religion, should end all disputes, and unite the hearts of believers to each other in holy love.
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OT Prophets: Isaiah 19:18 In that day there will be five (Isa Isi Is) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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