Isaiah 19:24
In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
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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.In that day shall Israel be the third - That is, the three shall be united as one people. Instead of being rival, hostile, and contending kingdoms, they shall be united and friendly; and instead of having different and jarring religions, they shall all worship the same God. The prophecy rather refers to the spread of the true religion, and the worship of the true God, than to a political or civil alliance.

Even a blessing - It shall be a source of blessing, because from Judea the true religion would extend into the other lands.

In the midst of the land - That is, "the united land" - composed of the three nations now joined in alliance. Judea was situated in the "midst" of this united land, or occupied a central position between the two. It was also true that it occupied a central position in regard to the whole earth, and that from it, as a radiating point, the true religion was disseminated throughout all nations.

24. third—The three shall be joined as one nation.

blessing—the source of blessings to other nations, and the object of their benedictions.

in the midst of the land—rather, "earth" (Mic 5:7). Judah is designed to be the grand center of the whole earth (Jer 3:17).

The third; the third party, to wit, in that sacred league, whereby all of them oblige themselves to God.

With Egypt and with Assyria: these people are named because they were the most obstinate and malicious enemies to God’s church, and therefore in a special manner accursed by God; but they are here put synecdochically for all the Gentiles.

Even a blessing: this is peculiar to Israel, who is not only a third party, as the others are, but is the most eminent and blessed of the three, as being the fountain, or rather the conduit-pipe, by which the blessing is conveyed to the other two, because Christ was to be born of them, and the gospel church and ordinances were first established among them, and from them derived to the Gentiles.

In the midst of the land; or, of the earth; which may be added, to imply that God’s blessing should be conveyed from and by Israel, not only to the Egyptians and the Assyrians, but to all the nations of the earth, in the midst of which the land of Israel might well be said to lie. Or, of that land of which I am here speaking; or, the singular number being put for the plural, of those lands, Egypt and Assyria, between which Israel lay.

In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria,.... There shall be a triple alliance between them; Jew and Gentile shall be made one, the middle wall of partition being broken down; yea, Israel, or the Jews, shall be the third, or the Mediator between them both, or the means of uniting the Gentiles together, since the Gospel of peace was to go out from them, as it did. Perhaps there may be an allusion to the situation of the land of Israel between Egypt and Assyria:

even a blessing in the midst of the land; or of the earth, the whole world, being the means of conveying the blessings of grace to the several nations of the world; the Messiah, in whom all nations are blessed, descending from them, and the Gospel being sent out from them unto all nations, which publishes the blessings of grace by Christ, and is the means both of the knowledge, application, and possession of them.

In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land:
24. shall Israel be the third]—member of the Messianic League. For land read earth as R.V.

Verse 24. - In that day shall Israel be the third; rather, a third. Not third in rank, for ver. 25 shows that she would retain a pre-eminence, but the common intermediary, brining the other two together. A blessing in the midst of the land; rather, in the midst of the earth. Judaean monotheism, upheld by God's people in Palestine, Egypt, and Mesopotamia, would be a blessing, not only to those three countries, but to the world at large. So, and still more, would Christianity. Isaiah 19:24Thus is the way prepared for the highest point of all, which the prophet foretells in Isaiah 19:24, Isaiah 19:25 : "In that day will Israel be the third part to Egypt and Asshur, a blessing in the midst of the earth, since Jehovah of hosts blesseth them thus: Blessed be thou, my people Egypt; and thou Asshur, the work of my hands; and thou Israel, mine inheritance." Israel is added to the covenant between Egypt and Asshur, so that it becomes a tripartite covenant in which Israel forms the "third part" (sheilshiyyâh, tertia pars, like ‛ası̄ryyâh, decima pars, in Isaiah 6:13). Israel has now reached the great end of its calling - to be a blessing in "the midst of the earth" (b'kereb hâ'âretz, in the whole circuit of the earth), all nations being here represented by Egypt and Assyria. Hitherto it had been only to the disadvantage of Israel to be situated between Egypt and Assyria. The history of the Ephraimitish kingdom, as well as that of Judah, clearly proves this. If Israel relied upon Egypt, it deceived itself, and was deceived; and if it relied on Assyria, it only became the slave of Assyria, and had Egypt for a foe. Thus Israel was in a most painful vise between the two great powers of the earth, the western and the eastern powers. But how will all this be altered now! Egypt and Assyria become one in Jehovah, and Israel the third in the covenant. Israel is lo longer the only nation of God, the creation of God, the heir of God; but all this applies to Egypt and Assyria now, as well as to Israel. To give full expression to this, Israel's three titles of honour are mixed together, and each of the three nations receives one of the choice names - nachali, "my inheritance," being reserved for Israel, as pointing back to its earliest history. This essential equalization of the heathen nations and Israel is no degradation to the latter. For although from this time forward there is to be no essential difference between the nations in their relation to God, it is still the God of Israel who obtains this universal recognition, and the nation of Israel that has become, according to the promise, the medium of blessing to the world.

Thus has the second half of the prophecy ascended step by step from salvation to salvation, as the first descended step by step from judgment to judgment. The culminating point in Isaiah 19:25 answers to the lowest point in Isaiah 19:15. Every step in the ascending half is indicated by the expression "in that day." Six times do we find this sign-post to the future within the limits of Isaiah 19:16-25. This expression is almost as characteristic of Isaiah as the corresponding expression, "Behold, the days come" (hinneh yâm bâ'im), is of Jeremiah (compare, for example, Isaiah 7:18-25). And it is more particularly in the promising or Messianic portions of the prophecy that it is so favourite an introduction (Isaiah 11:10-11; Isaiah 12:1; compare Zech). Nevertheless, the genuineness of Isaiah 19:16-25 has recently been called in question, more especially by Hitzig. Sometimes this passage has not been found fanatical enough to have emanated from Isaiah, i.e., too free from hatred towards the heathen; whereas, on the other hand, Knobel adduces evidence that the prophet was no fanatic at all. Sometimes it is too fanatical; in reply to which we observe, that there never was a prophet of God in the world who did not appear to a "sound human understanding" to be beside himself, since, even assuming that this human understanding be sound, it is only within the four sides of its own peculiar province that it is so. Again, in Isaiah 19:18, Isaiah 19:19, a prophecy has been discovered which is too special to be Isaiah's, in opposition to which Knobel proves that it is not so special as is supposed. But it is quite special enough; and this can never astonish any one who can discern in the prophecy a revelation of the future communicated by God, whereas in itself it neither proves nor disproves the authorship of Isaiah. So far as the other arguments adduced against the genuineness are concerned, they have been answered exhaustively by Caspari, in a paper which he contributed on the subject to the Lutherische Zeitschrift, 1841, 3. Hvernick, in his Introduction, has not been able to do anything better than appropriate the arguments adduced by Caspari. And we will not repeat for a third time what has been said twice already. The two halves of the prophecy are like the two wings of a bird. And it is only through its second half that the prophecy becomes the significant centre of the Ethiopic and Egyptian trilogy. For chapter 19 predicts the saving effect that will be produced upon Egypt by the destruction of Assyria. And Isaiah 19:23. announces what will become of Assyria. Assyria will also pass through judgment to salvation. This eschatological conclusion to chapter 19, in which Egypt and Assyria are raised above themselves into representatives of the two halves of the heathen world, is the golden clasp which connects chapters 19 and Isaiah 20:1-6. We now turn to this third portion of the trilogy, which bears the same relation to chapter 19 as Isaiah 16:13-14 to Isaiah 15-16:12.

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