|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 2. - I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians. The disintegration of Egypt commenced about B.C. 760-750, towards the close of the twenty-second dynasty. About B.C. 735 a struggle began between Plan-khi, King of Upper Egypt, and Tafnekhf, King of Sais and Memphis, in which the other princes took different sides. Ten or twelve years later there was a struggle between Bocchoris and Sabaeo. From this time onwards, until Psamatik I. reestablished the unity of Egypt (about B.C. 650), the country was always more or less divided, and on the occurrence of any crisis the princes were apt to make war one up, n another. Kingdom against kingdom. During the period of disintegration, the title of" king" was assumed by most of the potty princes, though they were little more than chiefs of cities (see 'Records of the Past,' vol. 2. p. 100; G. Smith, 'History of Asshur-bani-pal,' pp. 20-22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And I will set the Egyptians against the Egyptians,.... Or mingle and confound them together; in which confusion they should fall upon and destroy one another, as the Midianites did: the phrase is expressive of rebellions and civil wars, as the following words explain it; and which show, that the calamities of Egypt should be brought upon them, not by means of a foreign invasion, but by internal quarrels, and other means, which the Lord would in judgment send among them:
and they shall fight everyone against his brother, and everyone against his neighbour; and destroy one another:
city against city; of which there were great numbers in Egypt; in the times of Amasis, it is said (s), there were twenty thousand:
and kingdom against kingdom; for though Egypt was but originally one kingdom, yet upon the death of Sethon, one of its kings, who had been a priest of Vulcan, there being no successor, twelve of the nobility started up, and set up themselves as kings, and divided the kingdom into twelve parts (t), and reigned in confederacy, for the space of fifteen years; when, falling out among themselves, they excluded Psammiticus, one of the twelve, from any share of government; who gathering an army together, fought with and conquered the other eleven, and seized the whole kingdom to himself, and who seems afterwards regarded in this prophecy; all this happened in the times of Manasseh king of Judah, and so in or quickly after Isaiah's time: though some understand this of the civil wars between Apries and Amasis, in the times of Nebuchadnezzar. The Septuagint version renders the phrase here, "nome against nome"; for the whole land of Egypt, by Sesostris, one of its kings, was divided into thirty six (u) nomes, districts, or provinces, whose names are given by Herodotus (w), Pliny (x), and others; for so the words of that version should be rendered, and not as they are by the Latin interpreter, and in the Arabic version, which follows it, "law upon law".
(s) Herodot. l. 2. c. 177. (t) Ib. c. 147. (u) There were ten of them in Thebais, the same number in Delta, and sixteen between them. (w) Euterpe, sive l. 2. c. 164, 165, 166. (x) Nat. Hist. I. 5. c. 9. Ptolem. Geograph. l. 4. c. 4. Strabo Geogr. l. 17. P. 541.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. set—stir up. Gesenius translates, "arm."
Egyptians against the Egyptians—Lower against Upper: and Saitic against both. (See Isa 3:10). Newton refers it to the civil wars between Apries and Amasis at the time of Nebuchadnezzar's invasion; also between Tachos, Nectanebus, and the Mendesians, just before Ochus subdued Egypt.
kingdom against kingdom—The Septuagint has "nome against nome"; Egypt was divided into forty-two nomes or districts.
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