1 This message came to me concerning Egypt: Look! The LORD is advancing against Egypt, riding on a swift cloud. The idols of Egypt tremble. The hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.
2 "I will make the Egyptians fight against each other--brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, province against province.
3 The Egyptians will lose heart, and I will confuse their plans. They will plead with their idols for wisdom. They will call on spirits, mediums, and psychics to show them which way to turn.
4 I will hand Egypt over to a hard, cruel master, to a fierce king," says the Lord, the LORD Almighty.
5 The waters of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields. The riverbed will be parched and dry.
6 The canals of the Nile will dry up, and the streams of Egypt will become foul with rotting reeds and rushes.
7 All the greenery along the riverbank will wither and blow away. All the crops will dry up, and everything will die.
8 The fishermen will weep for lack of work. Those who fish with hooks and those who use nets will all be unemployed.
9 The weavers will have no flax or cotton, for the crops will fail.
10 The weavers and all the workers will be sick at heart.
11 What fools are the counselors of Zoan! Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is stupid and wrong. Will they still boast of their wisdom? Will they dare tell Pharaoh about their long line of wise ancestors?
12 What has happened to your wise counselors, Pharaoh? If they are so wise, let them tell you what the LORD Almighty is going to do to Egypt.
13 The wise men from Zoan are fools, and those from Memphis* are deluded. The leaders of Egypt have ruined the land with their foolish counsel.1
14 The LORD has sent a spirit of foolishness on them, so all their suggestions are wrong. They cause the land of Egypt to stagger like a sick drunkard.
15 Nobody in Egypt, whether rich or poor, important or unknown, can offer any help.
16 In that day the Egyptians will be as weak as women. They will cower in fear beneath the upraised fist of the LORD Almighty.
17 Just to speak the name of Israel will strike deep terror in their hearts, for the LORD Almighty has laid out his plans against them.
18 In that day five of Egypt's cities will follow the LORD Almighty. They will even begin to speak the Hebrew language.* One of these will be Heliopolis, the City of the Sun.2
19 In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and there will be a monument to the LORD at its border.
20 It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD Almighty in the land of Egypt. When the people cry to the LORD for help against those who oppress them, he will send them a savior who will rescue them.
21 In that day the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians. Yes, they will know the LORD and will give their sacrifices and offerings to him. They will make promises to the LORD and keep them.
22 The LORD will strike Egypt in a way that will bring healing. For the Egyptians will turn to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas and heal them.
23 In that day Egypt and Assyria will be connected by a highway. The Egyptians and Assyrians will move freely between their lands, and they will worship the same God.
24 And Israel will be their ally. The three will be together, and Israel will be a blessing to them.
25 For the LORD Almighty will say, "Blessed be Egypt, my people. Blessed be Assyria, the land I have made. Blessed be Israel, my special possession!"
Read Isaiah 20