The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Prophecy of Isaias
What burden for Egypt? See where the Lord comes into Egypt, with the cloud-drift for his chariot, and all the false gods of Egypt tremble, the very heart of Egypt melts away!
Egyptians I will embroil with Egyptians; each man will turn on his neighbour, one city, one kingdom on another.
The spirit of Egypt shall fail her, and I will daze her wits, till men go about consulting oracle and diviner, wizard and soothsayer.
Tyrants for Egypt’s masters, a fierce king to rule over it; the Lord of hosts has decreed it.
Waters of the sea shall ebb, river waters be parched and dried up,
the brooks failing, the channels, with their high banks,✻ flowing in a thin stream, reed and sedge withered away.
Laid bare, yonder river-bed, from its source; fade the crops its moisture nourished, fade and dwindle to nothing.
Sad days for the fisher-folk; never a hook cast, never a net sunk, all is grief and repining.
Disappointed of their trade, the men who worked in flax, combing and weaving it so cunningly;
in those brackish swamps there are no fish-ponds a-making now.✻
Nonplussed, all the princes of Tanis; all Pharao’s wise counsellors must needs give him a fool’s answer. Where is that inheritance of learning they boast, come down from ancient kings?
What has become of thy wise men, Pharao? Let them give thee news, let them tell thee what the Lord means to do with Egypt.
No, the princes of Tanis are nonplussed; degenerate, the lords of Memphis; Egypt is deceived in her great men, that should have been the corner-stone of her commonwealth.✻
The Lord has mazed her wits; fuddled brains of drunkard had been as well advised;
head and tail, reed and stubborn branch, in Egypt’s troubled counsels avail alike.✻
Weak as a woman Egypt shall be, when that day comes, dazed and terrified, to see the Lord of hosts lift his hand so threateningly.
Upon Juda Egypt must needs look with awe; fear is in the very name of it, as they scan the future; what means the Lord of hosts now?
Cities five there shall be in the land of Egypt that talk with the speech of Chanaan, and take oaths in the name of the Lord of hosts; a city that bears the sun’s name among them.
There will be an altar set up to the Lord for all Egypt to see, and at its frontier a pillar dedicated to him,
a trophy, there, in Egypt, bringing the Lord of hosts to mind. Cry they out to him, when they suffer oppression, he will give them a saviour, a champion, to deliver them.
Thus the Lord will reveal himself to Egypt; the Egyptians, when that day comes, will acknowledge him, doing him worship with sacrifices and offerings, will make vows to the Lord and perform them.
First calamity, then healing; when they come back to the Lord, he will relent and restore.
There will be a high-road, then, between Egypt and the Assyrians; either shall visit other, and Egypt under Assyria be at peace.✻
And with these a third people shall be matched; who but Israel, source of the whole world’s happiness?
Such blessing the Lord of hosts has pronounced upon it, Blessed be my people in Egypt, and the home I have made for the Assyrian to dwell in; but Israel is the land of my choice.
The Holy Bible