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Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20

Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20

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Published by William Hamblin
Isaiah's oracle against Egypt, and its prophecies of the establishment of a temple of the Lord in Egypt.
Isaiah's oracle against Egypt, and its prophecies of the establishment of a temple of the Lord in Egypt.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: William Hamblin on Oct 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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William J. HamblinContinuing the oracles against thenations, the next three chapters of Isaiahfocus on Egypt. To understand these chaptersone must remember that Egypt had beenconquered by the Nubians (Egypt south of Aswan and northern Sudan), and was thusruled by a foreign, though Egyptianizeddynasty from 760-656 BCE. Thus, in thesechapters Isaiah conflates Egyptians and whatthe KJV calls Ethiopians; the Hebrew termfor these people is Cush (
). In his mixedreferences to Egyptians and Ethiopians, Isaiahrefers to the Egyptian state ruled by Nubian/Kushite pharaohs.Broadly speaking, the Egyptianoracles are similar in theme to those againstthe other nations: Prophecies of disaster areinterspersed with glimmers of hope. Yahwehagain raises his war-banner (
) (18:3) togather armies against Egypt. Their idols andgods cannot save them (19:1-3) fromimpending devastation, civil war, naturaldisasters, drought and famine. In the end, theAssyrians will conquer Egypt (20:4; as theydid from 674-666 BCE). The Egyptians are
Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20 1Monday, October 4, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalemhttp://hamblinofjerusalem.blogspot.com/
Oracles Against the Nations
Oracle against Egypt
Temples to Yahweh inEgypt
Isaiah’s sign of theimpending enslavement of Egypt to Assyria.
Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20
William J. Hamblin
mocked for seeking prophecies and guidancefrom their gods and idols, and for divinationand necromancy to forestall their doom(19:1-3). In contrast to the true oracles of Yahweh, these false oracles can only bringthem “a spirit of confusion” (19:14).On the other hand, there is a hopeful prophetic vision for Egypt’s future as well.“At that time gifts will be brought to Yahwehof the Armies [from Egypt] ... to the place of the name of the Yahweh of Armies on MountZion” (18:7). The “place of the name of Yahweh” (
y MEv MwøqVm
em yahw
), a technical epithet for the temple.
is on MountZion (18:7), which inIsaiah is generallyanother epithet for thetemple.
 But therelationship betweenEgypt and Yahweh will become much more thanmerely occasional tributesent to the temple.According to Isaiah,Yahweh will become thegod of Egypt (19:18-25,ESV).18 In that day there will be five cities inthe land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORDof hosts. One of these will be called the Cityof the Sun.
 19 In that day there will be an
to theLORD in the midst of the land of Egypt,and a
to the LORD at its border. 20 Itwill be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt. When they [theEgyptians] cry to the LORD because of 
Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20 2Monday, October 4, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalemhttp://hamblinofjerusalem.blogspot.com/
Ex 20:24, Dt 12:5, 12:11, 12:21, 14:23, 16:2, 16:6, 16:11, 26:2; 1 Kg 5:5, 8:20, 8:29, 8:43; 2Chr 6:20, 6:26, Neh 1:9, Jer 7:14.
Mount Zion is the Temple Mount, not Jerusalem as a whole as can be seen in Isa 10:32 and24:23
Probably Heliopolis; its ruins can still be seen in the northeastern suburbs of Cairo. Itcontained the great temple to the supreme Egyptian sun-god Ammon-Re; thus Isaiah is heresaying Yahweh will be worshipped in place of the Egyptian high-god.
oppressors, he will send them a savior anddefender, and deliver them. 21 And theLORD will make himself known to theEgyptians, and the Egyptians will
know theLORD
in that day and
worship withsacrifice and offering
, and
they will makevows
to the LORD and perform them. 22And the LORD will strike Egypt, strikingand healing, and they will return to theLORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.23 In that day there will be a highwayfrom Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria willcome into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria,and
the Egyptians will worship with theAssyrians
.24 In that day Israel will be the thirdwith Egypt and Assyria,
a blessing in themidst of the earth
, 25 whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed beEgypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.”This fascinating passage describes theestablishment of Israelite temples in Egypt.An altar to Yahweh will exist in the center of Egypt, and a pillar on its border, therebydefining all the land of Egypt as sacred toYahweh. Some see this as an allusion to theJewish temple at Leontopolis which was builtaround 170 BCE. The pillar (
) at the border may be an allusion tothe Jewish temple built at Elephantine Islandon the southern border of Egypt around 525BCE. It is interesting in this regard that,though the Patriarchs and Moses erected
Temple Themes in Isaiah 18-20 3Monday, October 4, 2010
Hamblin of Jerusalemhttp://hamblinofjerusalem.blogspot.com/

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