And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.…
Nothing has left a deeper mark on the traditions of Eastern lands than the impressions of burning heat, the drying up of springs, the consequent suffering. Egypt was the "gift of the Nile," Herodotus said. Well might the presence or absence of its waters denote the pleasure or the wrath of Deity.
I. THE DESCRIPTION. The Pelusiac arm of the Nile is dried. The neglected canals, dykes, and reservoirs become stagnant, the vegetation withers. The bright oasis of the Nile will melt away into the surrounding desert. The canals, first undertaken as a necessary work of civilization and culture, become naturally neglected and choked up in time of civil war.
II. THE EFFECTS ON PEACEFUL INDUSTRY. Besides agriculture there were three main sources of Egyptian wealth: the fishing, the linen manufacture, and the cotton manufacture. There was abundance of fish in the Nile, and it was a great article of food. The combed flax was prepared for the priests' clothing and for the mummy-cloths, and the cotton for dress in general. The result is universal consternation in all ranks and classes. The wealthy classes, the "pillars" of the land, and the artisan population are alike in despair.
III. THE COINCIDENCE OF THE SPIRITUAL AND THE NATURAL WORLD. A fertile land, an industrious people, peace and plenty, the favor of God, - these are ideas that He linked together in the thought of the prophet, forming one causal chain. The displeasure of Jehovah, the effect in war, and this, again, working desolation in the face of nature and cutting at the root of industry, - these form another chain of connected representations. From the sources and springs of the mighty Nile up to the seat of thought, passion, and motion in the mightier human heart, all are in the hands of Jehovah. Alike in every occupation of the industrial and of the political and intellectual world, let us own our dependence upon him. - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the waters shall fail from the sea, and the river shall be wasted and dried up.