Isaiah 20 (Egypt & Ethiopia)
Given the content of Isaiah 19 (it being a comprehensive prophecy concerning Egypt with fulfillments in history and futurity), one might think the burden of prophecy to Egypt is relieved. Yet, speaking to Egypt, we behold another thread of prophecy woven into the tapestry of divine foretelling. On this occasion, however, the timing is precisely identified and the fulfillment is verbalized with numerical exactness. Of course, the LORD doesn’t want the readers to be confused on the timeliness of the prophecies heretofore given, thus He directs the eyes of the interpreters with some exact coordinates on this occasion. This prophecy was revealed on time, according to Isaiah 20:1, and demonstrated throughout time, according to Isaiah 20:2, and at last it was fulfilled in time, according to Isaiah 20:3-6.
Observably, the plot of Egypt’s future thickens. However, on this occasion the LORD includes Egypt and Ethiopia together as shared recipients of the same historically fulfilled divine judgment. Effectively, this is God’s judgment of Egypt and Ethiopia through Assyria (“So shall the King of Assyria…” – Isa. 20:4). Oversimplicity proves calamitous while ascending the lofty slopes of Biblical Prophecy, here observable in the placement of this text. For, even though this prophecy follows after Isaiah 19, it is fulfilled at an earlier date in history and it is only single-sensed and historical. Marvelously, this is the most complicated way to communicate the simplest prophecy of Egypt’s future. My reader, “Doth this offend you?” It shouldn’t. God is pleased to have it so for good reason (Matt. 11:25). Overall, the LORD means to direct the eyes of all readers to Isaiah’s historically transcendent end-time burden fulfilled in the , .