Isaiah 19:3 and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their counsel; and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the necromancers…
Demoralized, their chosen attitude, the Egyptians will turn to idols, talking to the dead, and the occult in Isaiah 19:3. That is the Egyptian response and plan. God allows the Egyptians the free will to make their own way.
God in turn responds to the Egyptians and their plans. The translation of “confound” does not tell the whole story. He will “confound” or bala in the Hebrew. The idea communicated is intentional, intensive, and repeated action of swallowing their strategy. One could get the idea that the Egyptians will have many ideas and solutions to try to stop the civil war. These ideas (political, economic, religious, etc.) will be repeatedly shot down by God. The Egyptian solutions to the civil war will not succeed because God directly acts. Translated another way, the LORD will swallow or engulf their plans. Again, God allows the people to have their own ideas. Humanity’s ideas are no match for the LORD.
Isaiah 19:4 Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master, and a mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts.
God will intentionally give (piel stem verb form in Hebrew) the Egyptian people this leader. There are two adjectives that describe this leader in the verse. You can bet this leader will likely use force on the population.
Qasheh or “cruel”: This word can be defined as hard, cruel, severe, obstinate, difficult, fierce, intense, vehement, stubborn, stiff-necked, rigorous (of battle).
`Az ortranslated “mighty”: This word can be defined as strong, mighty, fierce. (Strong’s Concordance)
Will a God-given overbearing dictator likely act cruelly toward his populous? Yes. Are the people responsible for how they respond to this tyrant? Yes.
These first four verses of Isaiah 19 make one point over and over and over. God is managing the action. Yet, people have choices and actions. God does not make Egypt or us do anything. We don’t always get our way.
This is a direct quote from God Himself. God states in the language and grammar, He is in charge.