Isaiah 19:21
And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do sacrifice and oblation; yes, they shall vow a vow to the LORD, and perform it.
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(21) The Egyptians shall know the Lord . . .—Here also we note what we may venture to call the catholicity of Isaiah’s mind. The highest of all blessings, the knowledge of God as He is (John 17:3), was not to be the exclusive inheritance of Israel, but was to be shared even by the nation whom she had reason to regard as her hereditary enemy.

Sacrifice and oblation.—The two words describe respectively the slain victims and the meat, or rather, meal, offerings of the Law. Did the prophet, we ask, think of such sacrifices as literally offered in Egypt, or did he look beyond the symbol to the thing symbolised? The builders of the temple at Leontopolis took the former view. Those who have entered into the mind and spirit of Isaiah will be inclined, perhaps, to take the latter. A literal fulfilment has been found in the fact that Ptolemy Euergetes (B.C. 244) came to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices in the Temple.

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.And the Lord shall be known to Egypt - Shall be worshipped and honored by the Jews who shall dwell there, and by those who shall be proselyted to their religion.

And the Egyptians shall know the Lord - That many of the Egyptians would be converted to the Jewish religion there can be no doubt. This was the result in all countries where the Jews had a residence (compare the notes at Acts 2:9-11).

And shall do sacrifice - Shall offer sacrifices to Yahweh. They would naturally go to Jerusalem as often as practicable, and unite with the Jews there, in the customary rites of their religion.

And oblations - The word מנחה minichāh 'oblation,' denotes any offering that is not a "bloody" sacrifice - a thank-offering; an offering of incense, flour, grain, etc. (see the notes at Isaiah 1:13) The sense is, that they should be true worshippers of God.

They shall vow a vow ... - They shall be sincere and true worshippers of God. The large numbers of the Jews that dwelt there; the fact that many of them doubtless were sincere; the circumstances recorded Acts 2:9-11, that Jews were in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost; and the fact that the true religion was carried to Egypt, and the Christian religion established there, all show how fully this prediction was fulfilled.

21. oblation—unbloody. Shall know the Lord; shall acknowledge, and love, and serve him; for words of knowledge in Scripture commonly include affection and practice, as hath been often observed.

Shall do sacrifice and oblation; shall worship God spiritually; which yet is signified by typical phrases, as it is Malachi 1:11, and in many other places.

And perform it; they shall not only profess and promise piety, but shall seriously and diligently practise it. And the Lord shall be known to Egypt,.... The means of knowing him would be granted them; which were partly through the Bible being translated into the Greek language, at the request of Ptolemy king of Egypt, which was then understood in that country, and this was a considerable time before the coming of Christ; and chiefly through the Gospel being brought hither by the Evangelist Mark, and others, whereby many of them were brought to a spiritual, experimental, and evangelical knowledge of Christ:

and the Egyptians shall know the Lord; own and acknowledge him, profess faith in him, hope of happiness by him, love of him, and subjection to him, his Gospel and ordinances:

and shall do sacrifice and oblation; not such sacrifice and oblation as were enjoined by the ceremonial law, since those would be now abrogated; but the spiritual sacrifices of prayer, praise, and good works, and of the presentation of themselves, as a holy, living, and acceptable sacrifice to God, their reasonable service: under these ceremonial rites is signified the whole spiritual worship of the New Testament:

yea, they shall vow a vow unto the Lord, and perform it; lay themselves under obligation to serve the Lord, and act according to it; see Ecclesiastes 5:4 and this is to be understood not of legal vows, as that of the Nazarite, or any other, but of the spiritual one of praise and thanksgiving; see Psalm 50:14.

And the LORD shall be known to Egypt, and the Egyptians shall know the LORD in that day, and shall do {x} sacrifice and oblation; yea, they shall vow a vow to the LORD, and perform it.

(x) By these ceremonies he comprehends the spiritual service under Christ.

21. shall be known] Rather: shall make himself known, as R.V. marg.

sacrifice and oblation] animal and vegetable offerings, see on Isaiah 1:11; Isaiah 1:13.Verse 21. - The Lord shall be known; rather, shall make himself known, as in Ezekiel 20:5, 9; by answering prayer, by spiritual influences, and the like. The Egyptians shall know the Lord (comp. Jeremiah 31:34, "They shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest"). And shall do sacrifice and oblation; rather, shall serve with sacrifice and oblation. The bulk of the Jews settled in Egypt, together with their Egyptian proselytes, went up year by year to worship Jehovah at Jerusalem, and make offerings to him there (see Zechariah 14:16-19). Christian Egypt worshipped God with sacrifice and oblation in the same sense as the rest of the Church (Malachi 1:11). In Isaiah 19:14 and Isaiah 19:15 this state of confusion is more minutely described: "Jehovah hath poured a spirit of giddiness into the heart of Egypt, so that they have led Egypt astray in all its doing, as a drunken man wandereth about in his vomit. And there does not occur of Egypt any work, which worked, of head and tail, palm-branch and rush." The spirit which God pours out (as it also said elsewhere) is not only a spirit of salvation, but also a spirit of judgment. The judicial, penal result which He produces is here called עועים, which is formed from עועו (root עו, to curve), and is either contracted from עועוים, or points back to a supposed singular עועה (vid., Ewald, 158, b). The suffix in b'kribâh points to Egypt. The divine spirit of judgment makes use of the imaginary wisdom of the priestly caste, and thereby plunges the people, as it were, into the giddiness of intoxication. The prophet employs the hiphil התעה to denote the carefully considered actions of the leaders of the nation, and the niphal נתעה to denote the constrained actions of a drunken man, who has lost all self-control. The nation has been so perverted by false counsels and hopes, that it lies there like a drunken man in his own vomit, and gropes and rolls about, without being able to find any way of escape. "No work that worked," i.e., that averted trouble (עשׂה is as emphatic as in Daniel 8:24), was successfully carried out by any one, either by the leaders of the nation or by the common people and their flatterers, either by the upper classes or by the mob.
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