Isaiah 11:15
(15) The tongue . . .--Better, as in Joshua 15:2; Joshua 15:5; Joshua 18:19, the "bay" or "gulf." The "Egyptian sea" is the Gulf of Suez, and the prophet pictures to himself another marvel like the passage of the Red Sea in Exodus 14:22. The "river," on the other hand, is the word Commonly used for the Euphrates (Genesis 31:21; Joshua 24:2), and that meaning is assigned to it here by most commentators, who refer to Isaiah 44:27 as a parallel. In Isaiah 19:5, however, it is found, as here, in parallelism with the "sea" of Egypt, and as it there refers to the Nile, that meaning may well be accepted here. The prophet describes, in language which almost excludes the thought of a merely literal fulfilment, a renewal of wonders transcending those of the Exodus, and it was natural that his description should bear the local colouring of the region. He contemplates a return from Egypt as much as from Assyria (Isaiah 11:11). On this view the words that follow, "will smite it in the seven streams," refer naturally enough to the seven mouths that enclose and intersect the Delta of the Nile. On the other view, the words may be interpreted as meaning literally, "I will smite it [Euphrates] into seven streams," and figuratively, "I will reduce the power of Assyria [or Babylon, as an Assyrian city] to insignificance."

Verse 15. - The Lord shall utterly destroy; rather, shall lay under a curse (Aquila, ἀναθεματίσει). The tongue of the Egyptian sea. Either the Gulf of Suez or that of Akabah. God shall do away with those obstacles which keep the nations apart and prevent ready intercourse. Both gulfs are thought to have extended anciently considerably further inland than they do at present. With his mighty wind; rather, with the might of his breath (in fortitudine spiritus sui, Vulgate). Shall he shake his hand. A gesture of menace (comp. Isaiah 10:32). Over the river. "The river" (hun-unbar) is, as usually, the Euphrates, the great river of Western Asia. And smite it in the seven streams; rather, and smite it into seven streams; i.e. divide its waters among seven channels, so that it may be readily forded, and cease to be a barrier. Dry-shod; literally, in their shoes; i.e. without taking them off;

11:10-16 When the gospel should be publicly preached, the Gentiles would seek Christ Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, and find rest of soul. When God's time is come for the deliverance of his people, mountains of opposition shall become plains before him. God can soon turn gloomy days into glorious ones. And while we expect the Lord to gather his ancient people, and bring them home to his church, also to bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, when all will be united in holy love, let us tread the highway of holiness he has made for his redeemed. Let us wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, looking to him to prepare our way through death, that river which separates this world from the eternal world.And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea,.... Which Kimchi and Abarbinel interpret of the Egyptian river Sichor, or the Nile; others of a bay of the Egyptian sea, so called because in the form of a tongue; the destroying of it designs the drying of it up, so that people might pass over it dry shod; the allusion is to the drying up of the Red Sea, when the Israelites came out of Egypt, and passed through it, as on dry land; and it intends the destruction of Egypt itself, not literally by the Romans, in the times of Augustus Caesar, as Jerom thinks, who interprets the "strong wind", in the following clause, of them; but figuratively, the destruction of Rome, which is spiritually called Egypt, Revelation 11:8 and the utter destruction of it, by an anathema, and with a curse, from the Lord himself; as the word here used signifies; and which will take place upon the battle at Armageddon, Revelation 16:16 which has its name from the word in the text:

and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river; in allusion to Moses's stretching out his hand over the Red sea, and the Lord's causing it to go back with a strong east wind, Exodus 14:21. Some understand this of the river Nile as before, and that because of what follows; but Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the river Euphrates, which is commonly understood in Scripture when "the river", without any explication, is made mention of; and so the Targum,

"and the Lord shall dry up the tongue of the Egyptian sea, and shall lift up the stroke of his strength upon Euphrates, by the word of his prophets;''

and this designs the destruction of the Turks, or the Ottoman empire, which is signified by the drying up of the river Euphrates, Revelation 16:12 where it is thought by some there is an allusion to the words here:

and shall smite it in the seven streams; which have made some think the river Nile is meant, because that had its seven streams, or gates, as Juvenal calls (o) them, or mouths, by which the sea issued into it; which are called (p) the Canopic or Heracleotic, the Bolbitine or Bolbitic, the Sebennitic, the Phatnitic, the Mendesian, the Tanitic or Saitic, and the Pelusian or Bubastic, from the cities Canopus and Heracleum, Bolbitine, Sebennytus, Phatnus, Mendes, Tanis or Sais, Pelusium, and Bubastus, built on the shore of these entrances; but it may be observed, that the river Euphrates was drained by seven ditches or rivulets by Cyrus, when Babylon was taken, by which means his soldiers entered the city dry shod, to which the allusion may be here; and it may denote the entire destruction of the Turkish empire, in all its branches; for "seven", as Kimchi observes, may signify a multitude, even the many kingdoms, people, and nations, under that jurisdiction:

and make men go over dryshod; or "with shoes", with them on, there being no need to pluck them off, the river and its streams being dried up; by the "men" are, meant the "kings of the east", of which See Gill on Revelation 16:12 all these phrases denote the removal of all impediments out of the way of God's people in those parts, in coming over to the Christian religion, and their embracing and professing that.

(o) Satyr. 13. (p) Vid. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 5. c. 10.

Isaiah 11:14
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