Assyrian warrior of the Assyrian King Esarhaddon fighting against a Nubian warrior of the Nubian Pharaoh Taharqa in the 7th century-ad
This prophecy must in its immediate context refer to the invasion of Egypt by Esarhaddon, king of Assyria in 672 BC. The last verses of the chapter, however, with the conversion to Yahweh of Egypt and the harmony between Israel, Egypt and Assyria has simply never occurred, and therefore must remain as a future prediction. Jesus Christ Himself declared that the scripture cannot be broken, and at another time said “Heaven and Earth will pass away, but my word will never pass away.” On that basis, with the understanding that the text of Isaiah is indeed the word of God and as it is the most quoted of the Old Testament scrolls in the New Testament text, we would suggest that we stand on solid ground when we declare that if Isaiah predicted an event or a process which today, 2700 years later, has not been fulfilled, we refuse to scurry around the history books in an attempt to vindicate Isaiah and point out that something or other was the fulfillment. We have covered these kind of thoughts several times in earlier pages on this platform. Throughout my remarks of biblical prophecy, if I read anything predicted by scripture, no matter how early in the chronology of the Bible it is written, if it has not been fulfilled, I refuse to even think the prophet “overstated” a case, or that he spoke in metaphors or symbols, I am in full expectation of the prophetic fulfilment in the future.
I start with this statement simply because the last half of this chapter of Isaiah, has obviously never been anything near fulfillment anywhere in history.
Ethiopians chained and exiled by the Assyrian Conqueror Essarhaddon
Assyria were cruel and fierce as seen in Isaiah’s vision. The early part of this chapter is a prophecy – a vision – of what was to take place at a critical point of Egyptian history. It would be an important moment for the Ethiopians as well. The catastrophe here envisaged in the first half of the chapter reveals what was happening within Egypt for years prior to their defeat at the hands of Assyria. It sucked the strength out of the nation of Egypt, and they never again achieved the strength they once had as a great power in the Middle East.
The short-lived empire of Ethiopia (a minor empire when seen against Assyria, and, later, Babylon) was whittled down to almost nothing. Tirhakah did attempt to regain Egypt from the Assyrians, but that attempt actually finished him off. He died in Ethiopia while still licking his wounds for losing Egypt.
In this chapter, Isaiah saw clearly the fading away of what was once the great nation of Egypt. The story of what happened to the nation of the Pharaoh’s, according to Isaiah, is paralleled to what happened with individuals within the borders of Egypto-Ethiopia, or, Cushite-Egypt. It is a tragic story, with a happy ending.
The text reads with a tone of excitement.
Nubians paying tribute
A message about, and a prophecy that came to me against Egypt. It is a divine revelation: Look! See! Watch out! Yahweh is coming. He advances. He rides on a thick, fast cloud. He will enter Egypt, and all the idols and false gods of Egypt will tremble, shake and be moved with fear before Him. Egypt’s courage within him will melt away like hot wax in fear. (Lannon’s own translated version. Isaiah 19:1)
For all the 150 or so years that Ethiopia ruled Egypt they never gave any hassle to the weird and wonderful religions that Egyptians indulged themselves in. Egyptian religiosity was embedded in and neurotically involved with the subject of death. Assyria, however, being ultra-religiously demonic, always made it a primary action when they invaded countries to rid them of their idols, idols that were seen as the ruling gods of the nations they had conquered. Assyria seems to have belittled and made light of the Egyptian gods that seemed to do little but major on what happened on the other side of the grave. Assyrian religiosity was all about the strength, power and aggression to kill on the battlefield, and to be the mightiest killing machine that they could possibly be. They felt confident then, that the spirit of ant nation was near to be broken, when their idols and most high profile invented deities were publicly destroyed.
This was to be a catastrophe indeed. However it would be a catastrophe that would lead to relationship with God. Modern theological terminology would refer to it as a “salvific catastrophe,” or a “redemptive catastrophe.” The catastrophe that Isaiah perceived was about to overwhelm Egypt would, in the end, be declared to be the most wonderful thing that ever happened to the nation that, in Hebrew, is called Mizraim. The entire event of the death and resurrection of Egypt would be coming by the direct means of the immediate hand of God. It was to come mysteriously. It was to come quickly. It was to be the absolutely divine advance into the heart of the nationhood and the heart of Egypt. A thick and fast advent of divine power and words were to shake the land, the idols, and all the very many religious ideologies that Egypt had been marinating in for centuries. Something was to take place that would eject all the intentions of courage, bravery and aggression from the hearts of Egyptian men.
The address of the prophet is made to Egypt. But Egypt integrated and merged with Ethiopia means that one could not be impacted without the other. As with our previous thoughts on Isaiah 18, we need to note that the kingdom to which all the three chapters (18, 19, 20.) refer is the same merger of national identities, namely, the Egypto-Ethiopian kingdom, or the Cushite-Egyptian Empire, whichever way one wishes to term it. However, it is so dealt with that chapter 18 clearly refers to the ruling nation – Ethiopia, chapter 19 to the ruled society – Egypt, and chapter 20 embraces them both together in the shame of defeat by the hand of Assyria and the humiliation of exile. Those that were exiled are not recorded anywhere as having ever returned.
The reason why the prophecy occupies itself so particularly with Egypt is that firstly, no people of the earth were so closely interwoven with the history of the kingdom of God from the patriarchal time as Egypt were . Secondly, as a result of the occurrences and predictions with which Isaiah 19 and 20 is full of, Egypt became an enslaved vassal state of Assyria, while Ethiopia merely withdrew with their defeated king (Tirhakah) back to dwell south of the most southerly Egyptian border, in their embarrassed and smarting state of Ethiopia. The shame of Tirhaka would have been made much more acute inasmuch as when he was defeated by Assyria, he would have returned home without many of the sons of Ethiopia, decreasing very much his popularity in his native kingdom. This personal, literal invasion of Yahweh into Egyptian life and territory was to have severe ramifications on both Egypt and Ethiopia in their mutual immediate futures.
- The Lord says, “I will arm, stir up and provoke the Egyptians to civil strife and set them to fight against themselves. Brother will fight brother, neighbour will be against neighbour, city will be against city, and province against province. Kingdom will also be against kingdom. (Lannon’s own translated version. Isaiah 19:2)
The manner in which Assyrians bound some of their exiled prisoners.
Ah! Homemade terrorism! Social unrest of a violent kind! Ideological implosion! I see the Egyptian citizens becoming violently opposed to both Egyptian and Ethiopian neighbours. I see provinces falling out as others would seem to be receiving greater tax breaks and food supplies than some. I see cities with food-banks feeding their own domiciles rather than those of other population centres. Confusion and mayhem will dominate the nation of Egypt and across the races that dwell within its borders. Isaiah has seen it by the Spirit of God. It surely came and is well documented in the history of the nation.
However, this is not normal human inter-action, this is civil unrest activated directly by the hand of God. This is Yahweh working out his purposes. God is neither embarrassed nor afraid of people complaining about the divine modus operandi. If we knew God correctly, and understood the revelations He gives mankind through the mind of faith, we would not be so quick to raise our voices against the providence of the Almighty. He gives and He takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Egypt will go through something in its future, the ramifications of which, it will never recover from. To approach a hitherto unforeseen happy conclusion, Egypt would have to go through deep intestinal discord, national cardiac arrest and governmental hemorrhage of the brain. It was to be a kind of national death, preceding a national resurrection that it seems was to be at least two and a half millennia in Isaiah’s future.
- The Egyptians will lose heart, and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be demoralized, disturbed and emptied out. I will confuse their plans and strategy, confound their counsel and bring them to nothing and they shall panic. They will consult and plead, enquiring of their idols for wisdom and call on the spirits of the dead, the mediums and the spiritists, the charmers, the sorcerers, and the necromancers. They will seek guidance from the pits used to conjure up underworld spirits, and from the magicians.
The national morale would be broken. The Egyptian sense of self-esteem and respect would have disappeared. The demoralization, demotivation and destabilization of Egypt would be total. It will be as if the people of Egypt, from top to bottom, from kings to paupers, be they Egyptian or Ethiopian – would lose their common sense wisdom. The desperation of the nation would lead to an increase in dead and empty religiosity with their idols and spiritism coming to the fore like never before. The intelligence that is required by the professional academics in order for Egypt to make adequate plans for the future is seen by Isaiah as a liquid commodity that would be poured out and left to soak into the hot dry sand of the banks of the Nile. Necromancy and sorcery would rise in a high profile “occult revival” across the nation, making dark, spiritual, evil practices popular and normal. It will be a phenomenon, a supernatural phenomenon. The occult and necromantic religious inclinations that were fed by the Egyptian neurosis concerning death and the place of the dead would be a major force in the embracing of the social failures that are listed in these first 9 verses. The pyramids of Egypt are nothing but extra-large crypts, coffins and cemeteries. The obsession with death, though not mentioned here, was obviously a major contribution to their hitherto damnation in the eyes of the Almighty.
- “I will hand over Egypt and deliver them to the power of cruel and violent lords, a harsh and hard master. A mighty, powerful and fierce king will rule over them,” declares Adonai, Yahweh Commander in Chief of Heaven’s Armies.
Oh dear! I have read that the Egyptians suffered only a little under the hand of the twenty-fifth Nubian dynasty. The Nubian Pharaoh’s were considered occasionally cruel, yet here, Isaiah predicts that a vicious rule is to hold them down. It cannot be escaped from. The cruelty of their future masters is not even compared to Ethiopia’s way of ruling. Assyria have always been infamous throughout all the annals of history as one of the cruelest empires that the world has ever seen. Essarhaddon, the king of Assyria that finally conquered Egypt, immediately after his victory over Nubian Pharaoh Tirhaka, treated the people with extreme severity. He divided Egypt into twenty different governments and actually changed the names of many of the cities. He then ordered his twenty governors to “slay, plunder and spoil” their subjects in their rule. Nice eh? He certainly deserved the divine epithet that God gave Isaiah to speak over him as a “cruel, violent and harsh master.”
A photograph entitled, “The Ethiopian Heights.”
Plainly, Isaiah here sees the overthrow of Ethiopian led Egypt by the hateful might of Assyria. The nastiness of Assyria’s rule would lead the Egyptians to wish that Ethiopia were still masters of their nation.
- The waters of the sea will dry up and the riverbed of the Nile will fail to rise and flood the fields, and be parched and dry and disappear.
However! Worse things are on their way! As well as human problems, there will be natural catastrophes. Are such things linked, do you think? I absolutely believe that there are such links in much of the earthly phenomena we see around the world. In this particular circumstance and moment of history, the natural and the human situation are totally synchronized. Egypt depends on the cyclical rise and fall of the Nile for its economy and prosperity. They don’t get the rain, but the rain falls heavily at the sources of the Nile much more southerly than Egypt’s southern borders and it keeps the fishermen, the farmers and a bagful of related industries in business. The Nile is possibly the single greatest wealth creator in Egypt. However, in the midst of the political, social, moral and spiritual catastrophe of this crisis that Isaiah is predicting, the Nile will actually dry up. For Egypt, things could hardly get any worse than this. Such deficiency in the waters of the Nile have often been the cause of terrible famines in Egypt. The picture Isaiah paints is, almost literally, the death of Egypt.
In verse 2 we have civil strife; verse 3, delusion; Verse 4 is bondage and verse 5, shrinkage. How sad! How terrible!
- All the rivers and canals will smell very bad and emit a stench. The tributary canals of Egypt will dwindle, thin out and dry up, and the water will be gone. All the reeds, cattails, rushes and water plants will wither and rot.
This is just a replication of the collapse of Egypt as seen in the days of Joseph in the latter end of Genesis. It is also somewhat similar to the collapse of the nation of Egypt after the ten plagues that were administered by the hand of Moses immediately prior to the release of the children of Israel from Egypt. The entire river bank vegetation that, of course, need the waters of the Nile to be sustained, simply fail, collapse and rot. Hence the stench that will fill the atmosphere.
- All the bulrushes, the greenery in the meadows and the plants along the riverbanks of the Nile, at the mouth of the river, will die and blow away. There will be bare places. Every sown field and all the cultivated areas along the Nile will become parched, will blow away and be no more. Even the plants at the widest part of the river will dry up, blow away, disappear and be no more.
We are not talking of a few months with a little less water resources, and the government asking if the public would kindly use less water. We are talking of a protracted, prolonged, severe drought. As I write, we in the UK are horrified to hear of the heatwave that has hit India where literally thousands of people, long used to the hot climate there, are dying because of the intensity of the temperature. It is a catastrophic social phenomena. That kind of merciless turns of nature, precipitated by the activity of the hand of God, is what will plague Egypt in these days prior to their defeat at the hand of Assyria.
- The fishermen, all those who cast hooks and catch fish from the Nile River, will become sad and groan, lament and pine away for lack of work. They will cry. They depend on the Nile River for their food, but it will be dry.
- Those who work with combed flax, who weave it into white linen and make cloth, will all be saddened and lose hope. There will be no flax for harvesters, nor thread for weavers. They will be confounded and ashamed.
- Those who weave cloth will be dejected and broken in the purposes thereof, and those who work for money, making sluices and ponds for fish will be depressed and sick at heart.
Cush, also referred to as Nubia, also referred to as Ethiopia as it was in biblical days.
In these three verses we are given an in depth insight to the livelihood of the many millions who, hitherto, had maintained the buoyancy of the Egyptian economy, based on activities, sources and utilities of life that come from the Egyptian genius for utilizing the Nile. No Nile, no economy! No economic sustenance, no affluence, and the onset of poverty and unemployment! The nation is seen by the prophet Isaiah as being in a state of collapse on every social level. But then there is even more to cap this horror.
To briefly sum up, Egypt is to become one of the worst areas of natural catastrophe and total humanity disaster that it is possible to conceive of. All stratas of society are equally devastated, and nobody knows what to do to alleviate the human distress.
- The leaders and officials of the city of Zoan (Tanis) are nothing but fools. Pharaoh’s “wise counsellors and advisors” give bad and senseless advice. How can they say to Pharaoh that they are wise? Their best counsel to the king of Egypt is brutish, stupid and wrong. They say they are “from the old family of the kings,” or, “disciples of the ancient kings.” However they are not as smart as they think. Will they dare continue to brag about all their wise ancestors? How dare they say to Pharaoh, “I am one of the sages, one well-versed in the writings of the ancient kings?”
The nobility and aristocracy of Egypt will also suffer from a severe lack of academic and intellectual ability and insight. The people that set up the national strategies and polices of maintenance will simply lose the plot. The pseudo caste system, or the pretended class system that was embedded in the culture of Egypt was also going to be proven to be its ruination. Strictly speaking, by western terminology there were no “tribes” in Egypt, much less what we would call “castes.” But there was employment distinctions marked by very firm and unbending lines of demarcation. Herodotus gives seven of them, i.e. Priests, Soldiers, Herdsmen, Swineherds, Tradesmen, Interpreters and boatmen. Isaiah gives us more, namely agricultural labourers, fishermen, artisans and official employees. The charge Isaiah indicts the Egyptian hierarchy with may, with some justice, be stretched to those in contemporary times who are everlastingly recapping to the ears of the world, directly or circuitously, of the self-worth of their lineages; and who, because they have no corporeal quality to boast of today, are ever shrouding themselves in the glories of their dead.
All these things are to fill the Egyptian atmosphere as the Lord of hosts, Yahweh Sabbaoth, comes quickly into Egypt on the thick cloud. This is the direct hand of God at work.
- Egypt! Pharaoh! Where oh where are your wise men now? They should learn what Yahweh of Sabbaoth (The Lord of hosts, God of the angel armies) has planned for Egypt. They should be the ones to tell you what will happen to Egypt.
Isaiah speaks plainly, not sarcastically. If the wise men of Egypt had really been wise, they would have spent time seeking God to discover what God was going to do with Egypt.
- The leaders of Zoan (Tanis) have been fooled, have acted foolishly and have actually become fools. The leaders of Noph (Memphis) have believed lies, so they lead Egypt the wrong way. The cornerstones of her people and tribes have led Egypt astray and caused her to stagger.
It is the silliness and lack of wisdom of the leaders that will have caused Egypt to go dizzy and stagger. The word picture of the prophet is radically graphic. It is a picture he expands on.
- The Lord confused them and has poured into them, and in their midst, a spirit of dizziness, distortion, perversion and confusion, making them positively undiscerning so that they wander around and lead Egypt the wrong way in all their deeds, thus making Egypt stagger in all that she does. Everything they do is wrong. They are like drunkards staggering around their own puke and then rolling in their vomit.
This is a striking illustration of a comment on the coming state of Egypt. In his verbal graphics, Isaiah actually suggests that God has concocted a drink for the Egyptian race. The drink is, to draw some kind of human analogy, “spiked.” The point he is making is that this catastrophe is not just happening by a confluence of coincidences. All these blights coming together as some mammoth conjunction of tragic circumstances are coming to pass because of the direct control and unleashing of matters both natural and supernatural, human and geographical from Yahweh. He has poured down the throat of Egypt a spiked drink that will cause Egypt, comprised of both Egyptian and Ethiopian personnel at Isaiah’s point of time, to stagger and fall. The nation is drugged; drunk; in a kind of national social dementia. Like a drunken man that is reduced to losing his mind, his integrity, his wisdom and his employment, Egypt will utterly lose their way. They will be like the despised and contemptuous drunken man that has fallen in the street and is unknowingly rolling on the ground in his own vomit.
It is a practical manifestation of the truth that Amos declared when he said, “Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord has not done it?” (Amos 3:6)
- There is nothing that Egypt, Pharaoh or his leaders can do. Head or tail, palm branch or reed. The heads and the tails. The tops and the stalks of plants. The noble palm branch and the lowly reed. He that bends down, or that holds back. No one-leaders or followers, important or unimportant – will be able to do anything for Egypt. There will be no work for Egypt which its head or tail, its palm branch or bulrush, may do.
Isaiah closes his depressive run down of what was ahead for Egypt by explaining that the plug hole of catastrophe will end up at the bottom of the drain where nobody whatsoever has as much as a clue as to how resolve the situation. It is the white flag of surrender after the onslaught of catastrophe after catastrophe. They are without hope.
- At that time the Egyptians will become weaklings like frightened women. They will shudder and cower with fear at the raising and shaking of the arm, hand and fist of Yahweh Sabbaoth over Egypt to punish the people.
At verse 16 Isaiah stops writing as poetry and returns to prose. What is the issue that causes the change of style and language?
The point is that Egypt will, at some point on their descent into chaos and mob rule, realise that this is the hand of God. Their lack of understanding will not immediately lead to repentance and submission to God. The awe of being strapped to the maelstrom of divine judgement will reduce the mass of Egyptian humanity to a state of static trauma, like a rabbit that freezes when he realises that the headlights are about to kill him.
Whenever Egypt will think of Judah, they will think of their God and their knees will shake in fear. “The Lord. He is God.” Egypt will realise how Yahweh is Lord and Master over the whole earth, and they will wonder what it is that He will do next. What has caused Isaiah to change the tone and timbre of the word to Egypt?
- The land of Judah will bring fear and terror to everyone in Egypt and humiliate them. Anyone in Egypt who hears the name Judah will be fearful and terrified. This will happen because Yahweh of Sabbaoth, the Lord who commands armies (i.e. not just His own) has purposed and determined terrible things to happen against Egypt.
Suddenly, Isaiah takes a quantum leap into the deepest recesses of a future time. I say that because hitherto he has been referring to issues that, if not exactly contemporaneous with Isaiah’s immediate day, they were definitely less than half a century into his future, whereas what he now declares has not yet been fulfilled as far as anybody knows. It is, even now, still in the future. On top of that thought, Isaiah’s proverbial, “In that day” usually means he is talking of the very last days immediately prior to Christ’s Second Advent, or immediately after into the Millennium itself.
Verse 16 seems to be the hinge of this leap in time. Verse 16 is the concluding remark concerning the collapse of Egypt prior to Assyria’s conquest in 672 BC. But the last phrase of that verse is the opening gambit of Isaiah’s explanation of Egypt’s conversion, submission to God as well as the period of total harmony and brotherhood of Arab, gentile Assyria and Egypt with Israel. That is, of course, an Entente Cordiale that has just never ever, yet, happened.
- In that day and at that time there will be five cities in Egypt where people speak Hebrew, the language of Canaan. One of these cities will be named “Destruction City.” The people in these cities will promise to follow the Yahweh of Sabbaoth.
From verse 18 through to the end of the chapter, we have the results that will bring us to a very glorious and righteous ending to the states of Egypt and Assyria. Even though there may be a couple of thousand years between what has been predicted in the first half of Chapter 20, and what happens in the last eight verses, the strong inference is that what happens in verses 18 to 25 will not have happened if it was not for what happened in the early verses of the chapter.
We cannot come to any other conclusion when we read the end of Isaiah 20, other than that of Egypt’s spiritual conversion. In the plainest of language: Egypt get saved. En bloc. En masse. Matthew Henry quaintly declares, “Converting grace by changing the heart, changes the language, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Henry wrote that verse when commenting on Isaiah 20:18
When Isaiah talks of the five cities it is impossible to be clear as to whether these are cities in Egypt that are populated by Jews, or if it is five cities populated by converted Egyptians. In the days of Christ, Philo reckoned there was about a million Jews that lived in Egypt. Yet, on the basis of Isaiah’s “In that day,” I cannot see how this verse can possibly be legitimately construed as having ever been fulfilled. The Egyptian commitment to follow the Lord points to an explanation of conversion. I do not think such a phrase would be termed when discussing the Jews.
In all my research I have not yet read or heard of any idea concerning what the “City of Destruction,” or “Destruction City” means. I read lots of footnotes that the Hebrew word translated “Destruction” could mean “the sun” because it reads as a Hebraic transliteration of the word “sun.” (“Helios” and “Haheres.”) Many commentators make the same observation, but not one of them has the courage to put it in the main text of their paraphrase or translation. For that reason, I reject it as fully rational.
- In that day there will be an altar for Yahweh in the heart, the centre of Egypt. At the border of Egypt there will be an obelisk pillar of a monument to show honor to Yahweh.
Nubian Meroe Pyramids. Now geographically in the Sudan.
Yet again. Nobody knows of any historical reality of the fulfillment of verse 19. This again, suggests to this writer that we are here discussing the very last days of the end times. Christianity will be the normal framework for Egyptian worship when this verse comes to fulfillment.
- This will be a sign and a witness to show that Yahweh of Sabbaoth does amazing things when he is worshipped in the land of Egypt. Any time the people cry for help from oppressors the Lord will send help. He will send a Saviour, a leader and a great one, and defend the people to rescue them from those who hurt them.
Verse 20 seems to suggest that because of the catastrophic collapse of Egypt and the ensuing conquest by Assyria, if they had called on the name of the Lord and come to faith in the circumstances of verses 1-16, then they would have enjoyed a glorious deliverance from the hand of Assyria. Assyria did not conquer Egypt because Tirhakah and Egypt were the weaker army. They lost by the plan and purpose of God. In this distantly futuristic picture, Egypt calling of Yahweh and being delivered from all kinds of catastrophes will be the norm.
- At that time the Lord will reveal Himself and make himself known to the Egyptians, and in that day they really will know and acknowledge the Lord and His authority. They will worship and serve him and give him many sacrifices, oblations and food and grain offerings. They will vow vows to the Lord, and they will do what they promise.
In these future, possibly millennial days the masses of Egypt will walk in the revelation of the Lord. It will not be a nominal Christianity. It will be deep, spiritual and profoundly relevant to the whole life and culture of the nation.
- The Lord will punish and strike the Egyptians with a plague. He will strike them but then he will heal them. They will come back and turn to the Lord. The Lord will respond and listen to their pleading prayers and heal them.
Verse 22 brings us one of those strange interpolations of a wonderful ascent of Egypt. Just like Satan being released after the thousand year reign of Messiah, leaving the reader wondering, “Why? Why? Why?” Here we have a one liner by the prophet, having talked of an Egyptian conversion, then telling us that Egypt will be punished with a plague, followed by healing and repentance. It’s a strange one, but there it is.
- At that time there will be a highway connection from Egypt to Assyria. Then the Assyrians will go to Egypt, and the Egyptians will go to Assyria, and it will all be done freely. Egypt will work and worship God together with Assyria.
- Then Israel, Assyria, and Egypt will join together and control the land. This will be a blessing for the land and in the earth.
- The Lord All-Powerful will bless these countries. He will say, “Egypt, you are my people. Assyria, I made you. You are my handiwork. Israel, I own you. You are my inheritance, my special possession. You are all blessed!”
This is what God is moving towards throughout the process of all of history. A world where racial, tribal, historical religious and political splits and divisions are not covered over by grace and tolerance, but are veritably removed by world-wide conversion followed by a oneness of heart and spirit between nations that were hitherto vitreolically opposed to each other’s very existence. There will be some differences that will still be acknowledged, but divisions are gone. Israel will still be Israel. Egypt will still be Egypt and Assyria will still be Assyria, but unity will be a natural and deep-seated phenomenon.
Some scholars seem to think that this passage was all fulfilled for the days of the spread of the gospel in the early centuries of Christianity, but was reversed with the rise of Islam. Methinks that temporary fulfilment is no fulfilment at all. I could write a whole thesis on my reasons for that statement, but I leave it as a one liner.
In conclusion, the 25th dynasty was a line of rulers originating in the Ethiopian Kingdom of Kush who saw the land known as Napata as their spiritual homeland. They reigned in part or all of Ancient Egypt from 760 BC through to about to 672 BC. The dynasty began with Piye’s invasion of Upper Egypt and culminated in several years of both successful and unsuccessful war with the Mesopotamian based Assyrian Empire. The twenty-fifth dynasty’s reunification of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt, and Kush (Nubia/Ethiopia) created the largest Nubian empire ever, and the largest Egyptian empire since the New Kingdom. They ushered in an age of renaissance by reaffirming Ancient Egyptian religious traditions, temples, and artistic forms, while introducing some unique aspects of Kushite culture. It was during the 25th dynasty that the Nile valley saw the first widespread construction of pyramids (many still stand in what is today known as Sudan) since the Middle Kingdom. After the Assyrian kings Sargon II and Sennacherib defeated attempts by the Ethiopian kings to gain a foothold in the Levant, their successors Esarhaddon and his son Ashurbanipal invaded Egypt and defeated and drove out the Ethiopians, and that was the fulfilment of the first 15 verses of Isaiah 19.
War with Assyria resulted in the end of Ethiopian power in Northern Egypt and the conquest of Egypt by Assyria. They were succeeded by the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Pharaoh’s, initially a puppet dynasty installed by and vassals of the Assyrians. This would be the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest.