Words about Egypt
1 This is a message about Egypt.
Look! The Lord will come to Egypt. He will ride on a cloud that moves quickly. The idols of Egypt will be afraid when he comes. All the people in Egypt will be very afraid.
2 ‘I will cause Egypt's people to fight against each other. People will fight against their own family, and against their neighbours. A city will fight against another city, and a kingdom will fight against another kingdom.
3 I will make the Egyptians become afraid. I will confuse their plans. So they will ask for help from their idols. And they will ask for help from the spirits of dead people, and from people who speak to those spirits. They will ask magicians to help them.
4 And I will let a cruel master get power over Egypt. And a powerful king will rule over its people.’ That is what the Lord, the Lord of Many Armies says.
5 And the waters of the sea will become dry. And the river will have no water and so it will become dry.
6 And the canals will have less water and they will have a bad smell. And the streams of Egypt will become dry. The reeds and the other plants that grow by the river will die.
7 And the plants at the side of the river Nile will die. And the plants near where the river goes into the sea will die. Everything that people plant by the river will become dry. The wind will blow it away and there will be nothing there.
8 The people who catch fish in the Nile river will be very sad. Yes, everyone who throws a hook into the river will cry. And the people who throw nets into the river will not catch any fish.
9 The people who make linen cloth will not know what to do. There will be no flax for them to use.
10 They will be very upset. All the people who work to get money will be very sad.
11 The leaders of Zoan are really fools! The best people in Pharaoh's government say that he must do silly things! You cannot say to Pharaoh, ‘I am a son of a man who knows nearly everything. I am a son of someone who was king a long time ago.’
12 Pharaoh, you have very clever men. Perhaps they know what the Lord of Many Armies will do against Egypt. Cause them to tell you now what they know.
13 The leaders in Zoan have made themselves into fools. The leaders of Noph have confused each other. The leaders of those groups of people have caused Egypt to choose wrongly.
19:13Noph is another name for the city called Memphis.
14 The Lord has sent among the people in Egypt a spirit that confuses them. In everything that they do they choose wrongly. They choose wrongly like a drunk who is being sick.
15 There is nothing that anybody in Egypt can do. They may be like a head or like a tail, a branch on a palm tree or a reed. There is nothing that they can do.
16 In that day the people in Egypt will be afraid, like women. They will be afraid when the Lord of Many Armies uses his power against them. 17 The name of the country called Judah will frighten the people in Egypt very much. When people say the name Judah, they will be afraid of the Lord of Many Armies. They will be afraid of his plans to punish them.
18 In that day, five cities in the country called Egypt will speak the language of Canaan. The people in them will promise to obey the Lord of Many Armies. One of the towns will be called Sun City.
19 In that day, there will be an altar to the Lord in the middle of the country called Egypt. Also, there will be a tall stone to the Lord at the edge of Egypt. 20 Those two things will be like notices to tell everyone in Egypt about the Lord of Many Armies. The people in Egypt will pray to the Lord because other people are cruel to them. Then, this is what he will do. He will send someone to make them safe. And he will send a judge who will remove the danger from them. 21 And the Lord will know the people in Egypt. And also, the people in Egypt will know the Lord in that day. And they will worship the Lord and they will offer gifts to him. They will promise the Lord that they will do things. And they will do what they have promised to do. 22 And the Lord will send to Egypt a plague and he really will hurt them. But then he will make them well again. And then they will return to the Lord. And he will answer their prayers and he will make them well.
23 In that day there will be a road from Egypt to Assyria. People from Assyria will go to Egypt and people from Egypt will go to Assyria. People from Egypt and Assyria will worship together.
24 In that day, Israel will be the third country with Egypt and Assyria. Good things will happen in the middle of the country. 25 The Lord of Many Armies will do good things for them. He will say, ‘I will do good things for my people Egypt, and for Assyria, which I have made. And I will do good things for Israel that I have chosen.’