There are many examples in Scripture where God addresses individual nations. The prophet warn Russia, Turkey, Iran and others in Ezekiel 38-39. Damascus, Syria has a destructive date with destiny in Isaiah 17, Amos 1, and Jeremiah 49. Ancient Nineveh or modern-day Mosul, Iraq is warned in Nahum. Amos 1warns modern day Lebanon. The Gaza Strip is informed of judgment in Ezekiel 25. Prophecy against Iran is noted in Jeremiah 49. And the list goes on and on and on…
The focus here is the destiny of the nation Egypt. A significant prophecy regarding the future of Egypt is located in Isaiah 19. Like every other nation, Egypt is predestined in their journey through history. God knows the collective choices they will make. God knows literally and figuratively where their road leads. The prophet Isaiah lays out the course of Egypt prior to the coming of the Messiah.
Isaiah 19:1 The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; the idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
The first observation is that the LORD directly intervenes. God is the one pressing these events. The Hebrew word for “oracle” is massa’. Simply stated, it means a burden or load. This same word, massa’, was also the name of Ishmael’s son (Genesis 25:14). Ishmael’s name means burden. Ishmael’s mother Hagar is Egyptian (Genesis 16:1). Prophetically speaking, Hagar’s offspring were destined to carry a burden.
The LORD is coming quickly on a swift cloud. The Hebrew word for “cloud” is `ab. What is not stated in the translation is the type of cloud. It is a dark, thick cloud. The introduction states this is going to be swift, quick, and ominous. It reminds me of a supercell thunderstorm you can see rolling in on the plains.
Isaiah 19:2 “So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians; and they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor, city against city and kingdom against kingdom…”
This is how God is going to bring the nation of Egypt together and return them to the LORD or Yahweh. God is going to bring about circumstances that will knit them as a unified country and be His people.
The first thing to happen is an Egyptian civil war. God says He will “incite” or cakak in the Hebrew. This word is also translated as “cover” per Strong’s Concordance. This is the same term used repeatedly in reference to the angels’ wings of the Ark of the Covenant. Their wings “covered” or cakak the Ark.
Exodus 25:20 The cherubim shall have their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings and facing one another; the faces of the cherubim are to be turned toward the mercy seat.
See also: Exodus 37:9, 1 Kings 8:7, 1 Chronicles 28:18b.
Figuratively, cakak can be seen as protection, hedge in, or join together.
Will the people choose to fight each other? Yes, the Egyptian people will opt to fight against one another throughout the country. But Egypt will be watched and protected by Yahweh or the LORD. The idea is to intensively, purposely weave together the Egyptians against each other repeatedly.
God is in control regardless of our actions. He can overcome our repeated bad decisions.