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Thoughts on Egypt and prophecies in Isaiah 19 by Walt Kaiser

Categories Old Testament Guest Posts

Kaiserw Recently I was asked by a friend who leads a BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class to offer my thoughts on the recent activities in Egypt, and to comment specifically on Isaiah 19, which the class was studying. Here's what I told the class. What do you think?

Yes, I believe the Isaiah 19 passage  is most relevant. Verses 16 to 25 place the coming events “in that day” six times (vss 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, and 24).  Since the prophecies to the foreign nations are bounded by chapter on the first advent of Christ (Isa 7-12) and the second advent of Christ (24-27), chapters 13-23 fall between those two end pieces in position and apparently in time as well.  That is why I also stress the eschatological phrase “In that day.”

After the Civil Disaster of 19:2-4, the economic disaster of 19: 5-10 (as a result of the Aswan Project in 1970), and the Intellectual Disaster im 19:11-15, a bridge passage of vss 16-17 has the Egyptians afraid of Judah for the first time in her history, which cannot be other than the events of the six day war in 1967. 

However, the text turns to the distant future of “In that day” in vss 18-24 and gives five new works of God’s salvation and deliverance for Egypt: (1) Revival will break out in Egypt’s five cities, one being “City of the Sun,” otherwise known as Heliopolis (18), (2) a monument will be erected like our statute of Liberty to remember the great Egyptian Spiritual Revival (19) at the country’s border, (3) the nation of Egypt will be oppressed and apparently given a cruel leader, but God will replace him with a “savior,” much as he did in the book of Judges (21), (4) God will once again strike Egypt with a plague of some sort, but he will heal them as well and the Egyptians will turn to the Lord (22), (5) there will be a highway between Egypt and Iraq (Assyria) so that Iraqis, Egyptians and Israelis will worship together in that day (23) and (6) words of blessing formerly used exclusively of Israel are now used of Egypt, “My People,” and Iraq, “My Handiwork,” and Israel “My Inheritance.”

Tremendous!! So, I expect a cruel leader to come out of this revolt some time, but God will replace him with a “Deliverer” for the Egyptians.  In the meantime, Revival will break out all over Egypt with five cities experiencing unusual blessing of God – so much so that a tourist’s memorial is set up to remind all who come to that country in days to come of the great work of God in their midst.  None of this has as yet taken place, but what a day it will be when it occurs. 

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Note, just as the factions fought each other in West Pakistan vs East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) with the outcome that since 1970 15 believers are now at least 500,000 !!    Will this happen in Tunesia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen, Syria and Lebanon?  What other nations in the Arab nations will join them?   These are days in which God is moving is sure and definite ways….

Walter C. Kaiser Jr. (PhD, Brandeis University) is distinguished professor emeritus of Old Testament and president emeritus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. Dr. Kaiser has written over 40 books, including Toward an Exegetical Theology: Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching; The Messiah in the Old Testament; and The Promise-Plan of God; and coauthored An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics: The Search for Meaning. Dr. Kaiser and his wife, Marge, currently reside at Kerith Farm in Cedar Grove, Wisconsin. Dr. Kaiser’s website is www.walterckaiserjr.com.

[Note: Image of the protestor was found here. - AR for Koinonia]

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