Egypt’s fall started with the following prophecy:
“2 At that time Jehovah spake by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put thy shoe from off thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 And Jehovah said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia;
4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt, and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
5 And they shall be dismayed and confounded, because of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.
6 And the inhabitant of this coast-land shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and we, how shall we escape?
The Bible-writers do not tell us of the prophecy’s fulfillment. However, as we did before, cross-referencing other information tells us events happened as predicted.
You need to know about the battle of Carchemish, which I mentioned earlier to realize the prophecy’s fulfillment. It was a battle fought between the superpowers of the time: Egypt, Assyria and Babylon.
I mentioned Pharaoh Necho of Egypt was rushing to help the Assyrians against the Babylonians and King Josiah of Judah got in his way and delayed him. Even though it is not immediately clear, that small text in the Bible says a lot about the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy.
The insight God gives to know the fulfillment of Isaiah 20:2-6 is to answer a simple question. Why were the Egyptians thousands of miles away from home at war that had nothing to with them?
Before the battle of Carchemish, the Babylonians had overthrown Assyria and destroyed her capital Nineveh in 607 BC. The defeated Assyrians set up a new capital in Haran, but the Babylonians followed them and captured that city in 610 BC. In their death throes, the Assyrians finally set up their headquarters in Carchemish.
The Babylonians in relentless pursuit now closed in to finish off the enemy. Egypt for unexplained reasons set off to help Assyria against Babylon. Nacho’s reaction to help Assyria says a lot. Assyria must have defeated Egypt earlier and made her a vassal nation. In her death throes, the Assyrians must have called on Egypt to assist her and Pharaoh Necho dutifully complied.
You have to understand the Assyrians, and the Babylonians were blood relatives living side by side in Mesopotamia. Assyria's sister, or rather mother country, is Babylonia. The people of these two countries, the Babylonians and Assyrians, are ethnographically and linguistically the same race. They also shared identical religion, language, literature, and civilization.
Therefore, why would Africans, who were outsiders, meddle in the affairs of the sister nations? Necho’s action whichever way you look at it does not make sense. The only logical explanation is because Egypt was a vassal of Assyria.
But how is that possible given the fact Egypt was the regional power?
We find a similar situation when King Joram of the ten-tribe kingdom went to war to subdue the Moabites, who in the previous reign had rebelled against Israel. King Joram allied with King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Jehoshaphat in turn induced his vassal, the king of Edom, to join in the campaign against Moab. (2 Kings 3:4-27)
Pharaoh Necho by his actions was acting the same way Jehoshaphat had the king of Edom dance to his every whim and fancy. Because Egypt was the regional power and not expected to act like that, the only explanation is Egypt had somehow become a vassal of Assyria. That would be the only explanation for Necho’s strange behavior. And the only hint the Bible gives that such was the case, is the prophecy recorded at Isaiah 20:2-6. However, by applying God-given insight, we can deduce what was going on.
The Battle of Carchemish was the end of the Assyrian Empire. Egypt, by allying with Assyria, became a second rate power and caged. Babylon became the Kingpin of the world. (Jeremiah 46:1-12)
The Bible confirms Egypt’s humiliation with another terse message.
“The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.”
Kings 24:7 (New International Version, ©2010)
CONFIRMATION BY ASSYRIAN RECORDS
The Assyrians, left information that they conquered Egypt, and she indeed became a vassal of Assyria.
First to attack Egypt was Sennacherib. The same Assyrian monarch we read about earlier taunting Hezekiah and whose army an Angel from God had wiped out.
Before he could complete his war with the Egyptians, two of Sennacherib’s older sons murdered him. His youngest son Esarhaddon after defeating his father’s assassins ascended the throne and proceeded to Egypt to finish what his father had started.
The Following is Esarhaddon’s account of what took place.
To Assur, father of the gods, lover of my priesthood,
Anu, mighty and pre-eminent, who called me by name,
Bel, the exalted lord, establisher of my dynasty,
Ea, the wise, the (all-)knowing, who determines my destiny,
Sin, the shining luminary, who grants me favorable omens,
Shamash, judge of heaven and earth, who decides my decisions,
Adad, the powerful lord, who makes my armies prosper,
Marduk, sovereign lord of the Igigi and Anunnaki, who makes my kingship great
Ishtar, lady of battle and combat, who goes at my side,
The Seven, the warrior gods, who overthrow my foes,
the great gods, all of them, who determine my destriny, who grant to the king, their favorite, power (and) might.
Esarhaddon, the great king, the mighty king, king of the world, king of Assyria, viceroy of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad, king of Karduniash, all of them, king of the kings of Musur [Lower Egypt], Paturisu [Upper Egypt], and Kusi [Ethiopia]; who fears their mighty deity, exalted despot of [Assur, Shamash,] Nabu, [and Marduk], king of kings, the unsparing, who consumes the wicked, who is clothed in terror, who is fearless in battle, the great hero, who is unrelenting in the conflict, the all-powerful prince, who holds the reins of princes, the fierce hound, avenger of the father who gebot him, the king, who with the help of Assur, Shamash, Nabu, and Mardudk, the gods, his allies, walks in integrity and attains his goals. All who were not obedient to him, the princes who did not submit to him, like a reed of the brake, he has snapped and trodden them under his feet, who provides abundant offerings for the great gods, whose [thought is of] the fear of the gods and goddesses . . .
. . . [builder] of the temple of Assur, who completed its adornment, restorer of Esagila and Babylon, who carried out (every detail) of its cult, who returned the captive people of the lands out of . . . to their places; the king, the offering of whose sacrifices the great gods love, and whose priesthood [in the temples] they have established for all time; they have presented him their unsparing weapons as a royal gift; the king, whose sovereignty the lord of lords, Marduk, has made great, far above (that of) the kings of the four quarters (of the earth), who has brought all the lands in submission at his feet, who has imposed tributary and tax upon them; conqueror of his foes, destroyer of his enemies, the king, who as to his walk is a storm, and as to his deeds a raging wolf; before him is a storm-demon, behind him a downpour; the onset of his battle is powerful, he is a consuming flame, a fire that does not extinguish. Son of Sennacherib, king of the world, king of Assyria, son of Sargon, king the world, king of Assyria, viceroy of Babylon, king of Sumer and Akkad; of the eternal seed of priesthood, of the line of Bel-bani, son of Adasi, who established the kingdom of Assyria, who, at the command of Assur, Shamash, Nabu, and Marduk, the great gods, his lords, overthrew the servitude of the city of Assur (am I).
I am powerful, I am all powerful, I am a hero, I am gigantic, I am colossal, I am honored, I am magnified, I am without an equal among all kings, the chosen one of Assur, Nabu and Marduk, called by Sin, Favorite of Anu, beloved of the Queen, Ishtar, goddess of all; the unrelenting weapon, which utterly destroys the enemy's land, am I.
The king, powerful in battle and combat, destroyer of the habitations of his foes, who kills his enemies, uproots his opponents, brings into submission those who were not submissive to him, who has brought under his sway the totality of all peoples, to whom Assur, Shamash, Nabu, and Marduk, my exalted lords, whose word is not altered, predestined as my lot an unrivaled kingdom, (while) Ishtar, the Lady, lover of my priesthood, made my hands to grasp a powerful bow, a mighty lance, which brings low the faithless, caused me to attain to the desire of my heart, and brought in submission at my feet all the unsubmissive princes.
When Assur, the great lord, in order to show to the peoples the immensity of my mighty deeds, made my kingship powerful over the kings of the four quarters, and made my name great; when he caused my hands to bear a stern scepter, for the annihilation of my foes, the land sinned against Assur, they treated him with scorn, they rebelled. To rob, to plunder, to extend the border of Assyria, they (the gods) filled my hands. After Assur and the great gods, my lords, commanded me to march over distant roads, wearying mountains, and mighty sands, thirsty regions—with a trusting heart I marched in safety.
Of Tirhakah, the king of Egypt and Kush, the accursed of their great godhead, from Ishhurpri to Memphis, his royal city, a march of fifteen days, I slew his warriors in great numbers. And I attacked him five times with the point of the spear in a mortal combat. Memphis, his royal city, I besieged for half a day with mines, tunnels, assaults; I destroyed, devastated, and burned it with fire. His consort, his harem, Ushanakhuru his son, and the rest of his sons and daughters, his possessions, his treasuries, his horses, his oxen, his flocks without number, I carried away to Assyria. The root of Kush I uprooted from Egypt, and not one of them escaped to submit to me. Over the whole of Egypt I installed new kings, viceroys, governors, officials, overseers, scribes. The tribute of my sovereignty, [to be paid] yearly without fail, I imposed upon them.
I had a stele made with my name inscribed, and I caused to be written on it the glory of the valor of Assur, my lord, my mighty deeds—how I went forth and back under the protection of Assur, my lord, and the might of my conquering hand. For the gaze of all my foes, to the end of days, I set it up. Whoever destroys that stele from its place, or shall blot out my inscribed name, and shall write his name, or shall cover it with dust, or cast it into the water, or burn it in the fire, or put it in some place where it cannot be seen, may Ishtar, the Lady of War and Battle, destroy his manhood, so that he shall be like a woman, may she cause him to sit in bonds under his foes. May the future prince look upon the stele with my name inscribed, may they read it before him, may he anoint it with oil, may he pour out libations, may he magnify the name of Assur, my lord.
Translation adapted from: D. D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylon. 1926. (pages 224–27)
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