|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1-6 The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia. - Isaiah was a sign to the people by his unusual dress, when he walked abroad. He commonly wore sackcloth as a prophet, to show himself mortified to the world. He was to loose this from his loins; to wear no upper garments, and to go barefooted. This sign was to signify, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians should be led away captives by the king of Assyria, thus stripped. The world will often deem believers foolish, when singular in obedience to God. But the Lord will support his servants under the most trying effects of their obedience; and what they are called upon to suffer for his sake, commonly is light, compared with what numbers groan under from year to year from sin. Those who make any creature their expectation and glory, and so put it in the place of God, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of it. But disappointment in creature-confidences, instead of driving us to despair, should drive us to God, and our expectation shall not be in vain. The same lesson is in force now; and where shall we look for aid in the hour of necessity, but to the Lord our Righteousness, 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.
Verse 5. - They shall be afraid and ashamed. Those who have resorted to Egypt and Ethiopia for aid shall be "ashamed" of their folly in doing so, and "afraid" of its consequences (see the last clause of ver. 6).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they shall be afraid and ashamed,.... That is, those that trusted and depended upon the Egyptians and Ethiopians, particularly the Jews after mentioned, shall be "afraid" that it will be their turn next, that they also shall be taken and carried captive; and they shall be "ashamed" that they have put their trust and confidence in those nations, and not in the Lord:
of Ethiopia their expectation; from whom they expected assistance and protection, particularly when Tirhakah king of Ethiopia went out against the king of Assyria, that he would have been a match for him, and have overcome him, and so have freed them from such a powerful enemy:
and of Egypt their glory; who was their ally, and a very potent one, and in whom they gloried; but now should be ashamed, when both those people on whom they relied were carried captive.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. they—the Philistine allies of Egypt who trusted in it for help against Assyria. A warning to the party among the Jews, who, though Judah was then the subordinate ally of Assyria, were looking to Egypt as a preferable ally (Isa 30:7). Ethiopia was their "expectation"; for Palestine had not yet obtained, but hoped for alliance with it. Egypt was their "glory," that is, boast (Isa 13:19); for the alliance with it was completed.
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