Chapter 19

1The harsh prophecy of Egypt; Behold the Lord is riding on a light cloud and He shall come to Egypt, and the idols of Egypt shall quake from before Him and the heart of the Egyptians shall melt in their midst.   אמַשָּׂ֖א מִצְרָ֑יִם הִנֵּ֨ה יְהֹוָ֜ה רֹכֵ֨ב עַל־עָ֥ב קַל֙ וּבָ֣א מִצְרַ֔יִם וְנָע֞וּ אֱלִילֵ֚י מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ מִפָּנָ֔יו וּלְבַ֥ב מִצְרַ֖יִם יִמַּ֥ס בְּקִרְבּֽוֹ:
is riding on a light cloud: quickly to send easily and quickly the decree of His word to punish Egypt.  
and the idols of Egypt shall quake from before Him: They will have no power to save their people from the messengers of the king of Assyria. The prophet presented the retribution of Egypt in this manner, unlike the way he presented it to other nations, because they are accustomed to being punished in this manner. (Exodus 12:12) “And I will pass through the land of Egypt… and upon all the gods of Egypt [will I execute punishment],” and it is customary to frighten a person with a misfortune from which he has already suffered.  
2And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they shall war one man against his brother, and a man against his friend, a city against a city and a province against a province.   בוְסִכְסַכְתִּ֚י מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וְנִלְחֲמ֥וּ אִֽישׁ־בְּאָחִ֖יו וְאִ֣ישׁ בְּרֵעֵ֑הוּ עִ֣יר בְּעִ֔יר מַמְלָכָ֖ה בְּמַמְלָכָֽה:
And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians: The end of the verse explains its beginning: And they shall war one man against his brother.  
3And the spirit of Egypt shall empty out in its midst, and I will thwart its counsel, and they shall turn to the idols and to the sorcerers and to the necromancers and to those who divine by the jidoa bone.   גוְנָֽבְקָ֚ה רֽוּחַ־מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ בְּקִרְבּ֔וֹ וַֽעֲצָת֖וֹ אֲבַלֵּ֑עַ וְדָֽרְשׁ֚וּ אֶל־הָֽאֱלִילִים֙ וְאֶל־הָ֣אִטִּ֔ים וְאֶל־הָֽאֹב֖וֹת וְאֶל־הַיִּדְּעֹנִֽים:
And the spirit of Egypt shall empty out: Heb. וְנָבְקָה. His wisdom shall be emptied out. Comp. (infra 24:1) “Empties out (בּוֹקֵק) the land.”  
sorcerers: Heb. הָאִטִּים, one of the names of the idols.  
4And I will deliver the Egyptians into the hands of a harsh master, and a mighty king shall rule over them; so says the Master, the Lord of Hosts.   דוְסִכַּרְתִּי֙ אֶת־מִצְרַ֔יִם בְּיַ֖ד אֲדֹנִ֣ים קָשֶׁ֑ה וּמֶ֚לֶךְ עַז֙ יִמְשָׁל־בָּ֔ם נְאֻ֥ם הָֽאָד֖וֹן יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת:
And I will deliver: וְסִכַּרְתִּי, And I will deliver. Alternatively, it can be interpreted as an expression like (Gen. 8:2): “And the fountains of the deep were stopped up (וַיִּסָּכְרוּ).” I will stop him up and bind him.  
into the hands of a harsh master: Heb. אֲדֹנִים קָשֶׁה. Any expression of lordship is used in the plural, even for a singular. Comp. (ibid. 39:20) “Joseph’s master (אֲדֹנֵי);” (ibid. 16) “Until his master (אֲדֹנָיו) came.”  
and a mighty king: The king of Assyria.  
5And water from the sea shall dry up, and the river shall dry up and become arid.   הוְנִשְּׁתוּ־מַ֖יִם מֵֽהַיָּ֑ם וְנָהָ֖ר יֶֽחֱרַ֥ב וְיָבֵֽשׁ:
And water from the sea shall dry up: Heb. וְנִשְּׁתוּ, an expression like (Lam. 3:47): “The desolation (הַשְׁאֵת) and the breach.” Since the entire productivity of Egypt is due to the Nile, since no rain falls there, but the Nile rises and waters it through its man made canals, he, therefore, compares its retribution to the drying up of canals. [Some manuscripts read:] Rivers and canals.  
And water from the sea shall dry up: And the sea shall not return the Nile to its source, but the Nile will descend into it and will not ascend to water Egypt.  
and the river: This is the Nile.  
6And they shall abandon the rivers; the deep canals shall become impoverished and dried up; reeds and rushes shall be cut off.   ווְהֶֽאֶזְנִ֣יחוּ נְהָר֔וֹת דָּֽלְל֥וּ וְחָֽרְב֖וּ יְאֹרֵ֣י מָצ֑וֹר קָנֶ֥ה וָס֖וּף קָמֵֽלוּ:
And they shall abandon: When the water decreases, the mud is noticeable in it, and it becomes a mire and is abandoned.  
the deep canals: Heb. מָצוֹר יְאֹרֵי. The deep canals, like the ditches of the sieges of cities. [Rashi according to Parshandatha. Printed editions read:] In the ditches of the sieges of cities.  
reeds and rushes: that grew there because of their abundant water.  
shall be cut off: When the canals dry up, the reeds stop growing, and they dry up and fall. Jonathan renders: Shall not come up. Elsewhere (infra 33:9), he renders: “The Lebanon was dried up, cut off (קָמַל),” as ‘fell.’ I say, however, that it is an expression of cutting off, that they are cut off by themselves because of their dryness, and they fall.  
7The well-rooted plants by the stream, by the brink of the stream, and all that is planted by the stream shall dry up, be driven away, and be no more.   זעָר֥וֹת עַל־יְא֖וֹר עַל־פִּ֣י יְא֑וֹר וְכֹל֙ מִזְרַ֣ע יְא֔וֹר יִבַ֥שׁ נִדַּ֖ף וְאֵינֶֽנּוּ:
The well-rooted plants by the stream, by the brink of the stream: Heb. עָרוֹת, an expression denoting something rooted very well. Comp. (Psalms 37:35) “The wicked, terrible in power, striking roots (מִתְעָרֶה) like a green tree in its native soil.” Menachem, too, equated it in this manner in his lexicon. [Menachem, however, explains both terms as an expression of growing and of freshness.] Seeds, well-rooted by the Nile, and even on its brink, and all those planted thereby, everything shall dry up and be driven away.  
8And the fisherman shall lament and mourn, all who cast fishhooks into the stream; and those who spread nets on the surface of the water shall be cut off.   חוְאָנוּ֙ הַדַּיָּגִ֔ים וְאָ֣בְל֔וּ כָּל־מַשְׁלִיכֵ֥י בַיְא֖וֹר חַכָּ֑ה וּפֹֽרְשֵׂ֥י מִכְמֹ֛רֶת עַל־פְּנֵי־מַ֖יִם אֻמְלָֽלוּ:
And… shall lament: Heb. וְאָנוּ, an expression of lamentation and mourning.  
the fishermen: They are the Egyptians who catch fish from the Nile, which spreads and goes up into many canals made on its banks over the surface of all the land of Egypt, unlike other rivers.  
fishhooks: ajjm in O.F.  
9And those who work at flax to be combed and those who weave nets shall be ashamed.   טוּבֹ֛שׁוּ עֹֽבְדֵ֥י פִשְׁתִּ֖ים שְׂרִיק֑וֹת וְאֹֽרְגִ֖ים חוֹרָֽי:
Those who work at flax: Who sow flax by the river.  
to be combed: Flax that they comb and from which they weave fish nets, which are made with many holes.  
nets: [lit. holes.] Since the suffix is irregular, ordinarily חוֹרִים Rashi enumerates similar instances e.g.,] (Psalms 8:5) “The beasts of the field (שָׂדָי);” (Jer. 22:14) “And he will cut out for himself windows (חַלּוֹנָי).”  
10And its foundations shall be crushed, all who make dams for still ponds.   יוְהָי֥וּ שָֽׁתֹתֶ֖יהָ מְדֻכָּאִ֑ים כָּל־עֹ֥שֵׂי שֶׂ֖כֶר אַגְמֵי־נָֽפֶשׁ:
And its foundations shall be crushed, all who make dams: Eklusa in O.F., a sluice. Comp. (Gen. 8:2) “And the fountains of the deep were stopped up (וַיִּסָּכְרוּ),” for they would stop up the water that went out of the banks of the river and spread out, forming a pond of still water, standing in its place, where fish would spawn. The prophet says that the foundations of their diggings shall be crushed, and the dammed up pools that they made.  
still ponds: An expression like (Ex. 31:17): “He rested and was refreshed (וַיִּנָּפַשׁ),” for the water of the ponds rests and stands in one place. Jonathan, however, renders: Who would make the dams and gather the water, each one for himself.  
11Indeed, the princes of Zoan are fools, the wise advisors of Pharaoh have foolish counsel; how do you say to Pharaoh, "I am a son of the wise, a son of the kings of old."   יאאַךְ־אֱוִלִים֙ שָׂ֣רֵי צֹ֔עַן חַכְמֵי֙ יֹֽעֲצֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה עֵצָ֖ה נִבְעָרָ֑ה אֵיךְ תֹּֽאמְר֣וּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה בֶּן־חֲכָמִ֥ים אֲנִ֖י בֶּן־מַלְכֵי־קֶֽדֶם:
How will you say: from now on to Pharaoh, each one of you about himself, I am a son of the wise? Since he will fail because of your counsel, how will you boast before him to say, We are sons of the wise, O you who are a son of the kings of old.  
12Where then are your wise men who will tell you now, and who will know what the Lord of Hosts planned concerning Egypt?   יבאַיָּם֙ אֵפ֣וֹא חֲכָמֶ֔יךָ וְיַגִּ֥ידוּ נָ֖א לָ֑ךְ וְיֵ֣דְע֔וּ מַה־יָּעַ֛ץ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת עַל־מִצְרָֽיִם:
13The princes of Zoan have become foolish; the princes of Noph have been misled; they have misled Egypt, the cornerstone of its tribes.   יגנֽוֹאֲלוּ֙ שָׂ֣רֵי צֹ֔עַן נִשְּׁא֖וּ שָׂ֣רֵי נֹ֑ף הִתְע֥וּ אֶת־מִצְרַ֖יִם פִּנַּ֥ת שְׁבָטֶֽיהָ:
have become foolish: Heb. נוֹאֲלוּ, an expression related to אֱלִילִים, fools.  
have been misled: Heb. נָשְּׁאוּ, have been misled. Comp. (Gen. 3:13) “The snake misled me (הִשִּׁיאַנִּי) and I ate.”  
14The Lord has poured into its midst a spirit of perverseness, and they have misled Egypt in all its deeds as a drunkard strays in his vomit.   ידיְהֹוָ֛ה מָסַ֥ךְ בְּקִרְבָּ֖הּ ר֣וּחַ עִוְעִ֑ים וְהִתְע֚וּ אֶת־מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ בְּכָל־מַֽעֲשֵׂ֔הוּ כְּהִתָּע֥וֹת שִׁכּ֖וֹר בְּקִיאֽוֹ:
The Lord has poured into its midst: He mixed a drink for them in its midst, which perverted their spirit, an expression similar to (Prov. 9:2), “She mixed (מָסְכָה) her wine.” Mixing a beverage in a cask until he blends it to its proper flavor is called מֶסֶךְ.  
perverseness: Heb. עִוְעִים, the name of a malady of confusion.  
15And Egypt shall not have any deed that either the head or the tail, the branch or the rush shall do.   טווְלֹֽא־יִֽהְיֶ֥ה לְמִצְרַ֖יִם מַֽעֲשֶׂ֑ה אֲשֶׁ֧ר יַֽעֲשֶׂ֛ה רֹ֥אשׁ וְזָנָ֖ב כִּפָּ֥ה וְאַגְמֽוֹן:
that either the head or the tail, the branch or the reed shall do: These are the sorcerers and the astrologers who see in the stars that in the sky are heavenly bodies called by these names, formed in the pattern of a head and a tail, and they are placed in Aries. [Other editions read:] In Draco. Alternatively, it can be interpreted like the Targum: a head and a lower dignitary, a prince and a governor.  
16On that day, Egypt shall be like women, and it shall quake and dread the raising of the hand of the Lord of Hosts, which He shall raise over it.   טזבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֔וּא יִֽהְיֶ֥ה מִצְרַ֖יִם כַּנָּשִׁ֑ים וְחָרַ֣ד | וּפָחַ֗ד מִפְּנֵי֙ תְּנוּפַת֙ יַד־יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת אֲשֶׁר־ה֖וּא מֵנִ֥יף עָלָֽיו:
17And the land of Judah shall be to Egypt for a dread; anyone who mentions it to him, he will dread, because of the plan of the Lord of Hosts, which He is planting against him.   יזוְ֠הָיְתָה אַדְמַ֨ת יְהוּדָ֚ה לְמִצְרַ֙יִם֙ לְחָגָּ֔א כֹּל֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יַזְכִּ֥יר אֹתָ֛הּ אֵלָ֖יו יִפְחָ֑ד מִפְּנֵ֗י עֲצַת֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת אֲשֶׁר־ה֖וּא יוֹעֵ֥ץ עָלָֽיו:
And the land of Judah shall be to Egypt for a dread: When those remaining in Egypt from the captivity of Sennacherib hear of his downfall, that he will fall in the land of Judah without any physical warfare, they will know that the Divine Presence is manifest in Israel and that their Savior is mighty, and they will fear and be frightened of the land of Judah.  
a dread: Heb. לְחָגָּא, an expression of a breach and fear and fright, similar to (Psalms 107: 27): “They were frightened (יָחוֹגוּ) and wander like a drunkard,” similarly (Song 2:14), “In the cracks of (בְּחַגְוֵי) the rock.”  
because of the plan of the Lord of Hosts which he planned against him: to cause him to fall into the hands of Sennacherib, and Judah will escape from his hand.  
18On that day there shall be five cities in the land of Egypt speaking the language of Canaan and swearing to the Lord of Hosts, one of which will be called "the city of Heres."   יחבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֡וּא יִֽהְיוּ֩ חָמֵ֨שׁ עָרִ֜ים בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֗יִם מְדַבְּרוֹת֙ שְׂפַ֣ת כְּנַ֔עַן וְנִשְׁבָּע֖וֹת לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת עִ֣יר הַהֶ֔רֶס יֵֽאָמֵ֖ר לְאֶחָֽת:
On that day there shall be five cities, etc.: We learned in Seder Olam (ch. 23): Following Sennacherib’s defeat, Hezekiah stood up and released the armies he had brought with him from Egypt and from Cush in chains before Jerusalem, and they imposed upon themselves the kingdom of heaven, and returned to their place, and it is said: “On that day there shall be five cities, etc.” They went and built an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt and they would sacrifice on it to heaven, to fulfill what was said: On that day there shall be an altar to the Lord in the land of Egypt. Some of our Sages expounded it in the tractate Menahoth (109b) as referring to the altar of the temple of Onias the son of Simon the Just, who fled to Egypt and built an altar there.  
speaking the language of Canaan: like the Israelites in the land of Canaan.  
one of which will be called “the city of Heres.”: Jonathan paraphrases: The city of Beth-shemesh which is destined to be destroyed will be said to be one of them. Jonathan renders “Heres” in two ways: an expression related to (Job 9: 7) “Who says to the sun (לַחֶרֶס) and it will not shine,” [הֶרֶס and חֶרֶס being interchangeable since ‘heh’ and ‘heth’ are both gutterals,] and an expression of demolition and destruction. (Some editions add:) And whence did Jonathan derive this? From Jeremiah’s prophecy, which he prophesied in Tahpanhes (43:13): “He shall also break the monuments of Beth shemesh which is in the land of Egypt.” We learn from here that Beth-shemesh that was in the land of Egypt [and the monument] was destined to be destroyed, and the monuments mentioned there are identical with “the monument beside its border, to the Lord,” mentioned here, and it may be said that Beth-shemesh was situated in the border of Egypt on the boundary. Therefore it is stated: Beside its border.  
19On that day there shall be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a monument beside its border, to the Lord.   יטבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִֽהְיֶ֚ה מִזְבֵּ֙חַ֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֔ה בְּת֖וֹךְ אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וּמַצֵּבָ֥ה אֵֽצֶל־גְּבוּלָ֖הּ לַֽיהֹוָֽה:
20And it shall be for a sign and for a witness to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt, for they shall cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, and He shall send them a savior and a prince, and he shall save them.   כוְהָיָ֨ה לְא֥וֹת וּלְעֵ֛ד לַֽיהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם כִּֽי־יִצְעֲק֚וּ אֶל־יְהֹוָה֙ מִפְּנֵ֣י לֹֽחֲצִ֔ים וְיִשְׁלַ֥ח לָהֶ֛ם מוֹשִׁ֥יעַ וָרָ֖ב וְהִצִּילָֽם:
And it shall be: The altar shall be for a sign and for a witness between them and the Omnipresent.  
a savior and a prince: Heb. מוֹשִׁיע ַוְרָב, a savior and a prince.  
21And the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians shall know the Lord on that day, and they shall serve [with] a sacrifice and a meal offering, and they shall make vows to the Lord and they shall fulfill [them].   כאוְנוֹדַ֚ע יְהֹוָה֙ לְמִצְרַ֔יִם וְיָֽדְע֥וּ מִצְרַ֛יִם אֶת־יְהֹוָ֖ה בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֑וּא וְעָֽבְדוּ֙ זֶ֣בַח וּמִנְחָ֔ה וְנָֽדְרוּ־נֵ֥דֶר לַֽיהֹוָ֖ה וְשִׁלֵּֽמוּ:
And the Lord shall be known to the Egyptians: The strength of His might shall be recognized by them.  
22And the Lord shall plague Egypt, plaguing and healing, and they shall return to the Lord, and He shall accept their prayer and heal them.   כבוְנָגַ֧ף יְהֹוָ֛ה אֶת־מִצְרַ֖יִם נָגֹ֣ף וְרָפ֑וֹא וְשָׁ֙בוּ֙ עַד־יְהֹוָ֔ה וְנֶעְתַּ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם וּרְפָאָֽם:
And… shall plague: Heb. נָגֹף. This is an expression of smiting.  
plaguing and healing: And after the plague, He will create a cure for them.  
and He shall accept their prayer: [lit.] and He shall be reconciled with them.  
23On that day there shall be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria shall come upon Egypt, and Egypt shall come upon Assyria, and Egypt shall serve with Assyria.   כגבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא תִּֽהְיֶ֨ה מְסִלָּ֚ה מִמִּצְרַ֙יִם֙ אַשּׁ֔וּרָה וּבָ֥א אַשּׁ֥וּר בְּמִצְרַ֖יִם וּמִצְרַ֣יִם בְּאַשּׁ֑וּר וְעָֽבְד֥וּ מִצְרַ֖יִם אֶת־אַשּֽׁוּר:
there shall be a highway: And there shall be a paved road by which they will always go from Egypt to Assyria.  
and Assyria shall come upon Egypt: Jonathan renders: And the Assyrians shall wage war with the Egyptians.  
24On that day, Israel shall be a third to Egypt and to Assyria; a blessing in the midst of the land.   כדבַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֗וּא יִֽהְיֶ֚ה יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ שְׁלִ֣ישִׁיָּ֔ה לְמִצְרַ֖יִם וּלְאַשּׁ֑וּר בְּרָכָ֖ה בְּקֶ֥רֶב הָאָֽרֶץ:
Israel shall be a third to Egypt and to Assyria: for a blessing, since there was no prominent nation in the world at that time like Egypt and like Assyria, and the Jews were humble in the days of Ahaz and in the days of Hoshea the son of Elah. And the prophet states that, through the miracle that will be performed for Hezekiah, Israel’s name will be greatly magnified, and they will be as prominent as one of these kingdoms in regards to blessing and greatness.  
25Which the Lord of Hosts blessed them, saying, "Blessed is My people Egypt, and the work of My hands Assyria, and My heritage Israel."   כהאֲשֶׁ֧ר בֵּֽרֲכ֛וֹ יְהֹוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת לֵאמֹ֑ר בָּר֨וּךְ עַמִּ֜י מִצְרַ֗יִם וּמַֽעֲשֵׂ֚ה יָדַי֙ אַשּׁ֔וּר וְנַֽחֲלָתִ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל:
Which… blessed them: [lit. him,] i.e., Israel.  
Blessed is My people: Israel, whom I chose for Myself as a people when they were in Egypt.  
and the work of My hands: I showed them with the mighty deeds I performed wondrously against Assyria, and through those miracles they will repent and be as though I just made them anew, and they will be My heritage, Israel. Jonathan paraphrased this in a similar manner.