A message about Egypt
1 This is a message about Egypt.
Look! The Lord is coming to Egypt! He is riding quickly on a cloud and he will soon arrive! The idols of Egypt will shake with fear 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. They will fight against their neighbours. Cities and kingdoms will fight against each other. 3 The Egyptians will become afraid, so that they do not know what to do. They will ask for help from their idols. They will ask the spirits of dead people to tell them what to do. They will ask magicians to talk to those spirits on their behalf. 4 I will cause a cruel master to have power over Egypt. A powerful king will rule over its people.’
That is what the Lord God, the Lord Almighty says.
5 The water of the sea will become dry. The Nile river will also become dry and it will have no water in it. 6 The streams will have a bad smell. All the streams and rivers will slowly become dry. The reeds and the river grasses will die. 7 The plants beside the river will die, as well as the crops in the fields along the shore. Everything will become dry and the wind will blow it all away.
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. 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 sad.
11 The royal officers in Zoan are fools! Pharaoh's wise leaders tell him to do stupid things! They should not boast to Pharaoh that they are wise. They should not say that they are descendants of wise kings from long ago.
12 Pharaoh, where have your wise men gone? Call them to come! Ask them to tell you what the Lord Almighty has decided to do against Egypt.
13 The officers in Zoan are fools. The officers in Memphis have confused each other. The leaders of Egypt's clans have led their people in the wrong direction.
14 The Lord has sent among the people in Egypt a spirit that confuses them. They go the wrong way in everything that they do. They are like drunk people who have been sick. They cannot walk in a straight line.
15 Nobody in Egypt will be able to do anything. They may be Egypt's head or its tail, a palm branch or a reed. There is nothing that anyone can do.
16 At that time, the Egyptians will be weak, like women. They will shake with fear because the Lord Almighty is ready to punish them. 17 The people of Judah will frighten the Egyptians very much. If anyone says Judah's name, everyone who hears it will be afraid. They will be very afraid of the punishment that the Lord Almighty will bring to them.
18 At that time, five cities in Egypt will speak the language of Canaan. The people in those cities will promise to obey the Lord Almighty. One of the cities will have the name ‘Sun City’.
19:18The language of Canaan here means the Israelites' language, Hebrew.
19 At that time, there will be an altar in the middle of Egypt's land, where people will worship the Lord. There will also be a tall stone for the Lord at Egypt's border. 20 Those two things will be signs to tell everyone in Egypt about the Lord Almighty. Because of those signs, the Egyptians will remember that the Lord is powerful. When their enemies are cruel to them, they will call out to the Lord for help. Then he will send a strong saviour to rescue them. 21 The Lord will cause the Egyptians to know him. They will agree to serve him. They will worship the Lord with sacrifices and offerings. They will make promises to the Lord, and they will do what they have promised to do. 22 The Lord himself will punish the Egyptians. But after that, they will turn to the Lord. He will answer their prayers, and he will make them well again.
23 At that time, there will be a road from Egypt to Assyria. People from Assyria will travel to Egypt and Egyptians will travel to Assyria. Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together.
24 At that time, Israel will join Egypt and Assyria as a third important nation. They will bring blessing to the whole world. 25 The Lord Almighty will bless them all. He will say, ‘I will bless Egypt, who are now my people. I will bless Assyria, the people that I have made. And I will bless Israel, the people that I have chosen to belong to me.’