God defeated Egypt during the days of Moses, and He promises future judgement through foreign oppressors. These warnings are similar to the warnings from other oracles by Isaiah. What strikes me is the hopeful imagery of Assyria, Egypt, and Israel united in worship of the true God (Isaiah 19:16-25). This will not come until after Egypt faces hardship due their trust in false gods (see Isaiah 20). God’s beautiful promise offers good news to Egypt; the very nation that represented oppression to Israel for hundreds of years will be the recipients of God’s great peace and reconciliation.
At this time of year, the radio plays songs about how the beginning of peace is to rid ourselves of the notion of God (consider John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas”). The Biblical writers are unblushing in their insistence that the only one who can bring such peace is YHWH, the “Lord of Hosts”. Additionally, we now know that the one who ensures the “Egyptians will know the Lord” is the same one who brings peace to the earth (Luke 2:14). God’s peace has come to the nations. May we extend that peace to others this Advent season.