Isaiah 19:5-7 (NASB) 5 The waters from the sea will dry up, And the river will be parched and dry. 6 The canals will emit a stench, The streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up; The reeds and rushes will rot away. 7 The bulrushes by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile And all the sown fields by the Nile Will become dry, be driven away, and be no more.
The fall of Egypt — Isaiah 19 foretells of the event. How close are we to the fulfillment of Isaiah 19? Recent news on Ethiopia’s plans to construct its Grand Renaissance Dam might provide a hint of near-term fulfillment of Isaiah 19. From National Geographic, Daily News, September 27, 2013, we read:
“Ethiopia is killing us,” taxi driver Ahmed Hossam said, as he picked his way through Cairo’s notoriously traffic-clogged streets. “If they build this dam, there will be no Nile. If there’s no Nile, then there’s no Egypt.”
What was the taxi driver speaking of? From another National Geographic, Daily News article we read:
In addition to Egypt’s latest political turmoil, its government is extremely worried about Ethiopia’s newest dam on the headwaters of the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile is the leading source of water for the north-flowing Nile. Fears in Egypt and the Sudan are that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will radically reduce the Nile’s flow.
According to Britannica Online,
The Nile River is the father of African rivers and the longest river in the world. It rises south of the Equator and flows northward through northeastern Africa to drain into the Mediterranean Sea. It has a length of about 4,132 miles (6,650 kilometres) and drains an area estimated at 1,293,000 square miles (3,349,000 square kilometres). Its basin includes parts of Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and the cultivated part of Egypt.
The Nile River has served as the life-blood of ancient Egypt for over 5000 years. “About 450BC, a Greek historian named Herodotus called Egypt the “Gift of the Nile” because the Egyptian civilization depended on the resources of the great river.” Without the Nile River there would be no Egypt. To the east and west of the Nile is desert. The waters of the Nile have served as the means whereby civilizations have gathered along its banks — even to the days before the great pharaohs of Egypt. The natural flow of the Nile is from north to south. Thus, the waters that eventually make the way to Egypt must first pass through the regions of south-eastern Africa before emptying in the Mediterranean Sea. “In the spring, the snow on the mountains of East Africa melts, sending a torrent of water that overflows the banks of the Nile and floods the river valley. The rushing river picks up bits of soil and plant life called silt. As the annual flood recedes, a strip of black soil emerges every year along the banks of the Nile. The silt is rich in nutrients, and it provides the people of Egypt with two or three crops every year.” This has made the Nile Valley ideal for farming since ancient times. However, in 1970 the Egyptians constructed the Aswan Dam in southern Egypt to provide water for irrigation, to generate electricity, and to control the flood waters of the Nile. No longer does the Nile overflow its banks since the Aswan Dam controls the flow of water, and no longer are the fertile areas along the Nile the source of natural nutrients.
Times are changing for the Peoples of the Nile River – both Egypt and countries dependent upon the Nile such as Ethiopia. As pointed out, the Nile River is a north-flowing river. It originates deep in south-eastern Africa and is fed by two rivers, the Blue Nile and the White Nile before the two tributaries join in Sudan. According to one report, “86% of the Nile River’s water actually originates from Ethiopia.” If you were living in Egypt and Ethiopia was planning on building a dam that could effectively turn the spigot off for 86% of the water resources of the Nile River would that concern you? Here are just a few quotes from recent news reports:
In April of this year Bradley Hope of The National reported that construction had begun [on Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam] and that the massive project “could destabilize Egypt in a way that would make the last year of political upheaval look minuscule.” Read more
“It would lead to political, economic and social instability,” Mohamed Nasr El Din Allam, Egypt’s minister of water and irrigation until early last year, told Hope. “Millions of people would go hungry. There would be water shortages everywhere. It’s huge.” Read more
The only country that is not cooperating is Ethiopia. We are continuing to talk to them, using the diplomatic approach. Yes, we are discussing military cooperation with Sudan. … If it comes to a crisis, we will send a jet to bomb the dam and come back in one day, simple as that. Or we can send our special forces in to block/sabotage the dam…Look back to an operation Egypt did in the mid-late 1970s, I think 1976, when Ethiopia was trying to build a large dam. We blew up the equipment while it was traveling by sea to Ethiopia. Read more
The threat to Egypt of Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam is real — according to Egyptian sources. Of course, if one looks at the Dam from the perspective of Ethiopia, the reverse is found. To Ethiopia, there is no danger to Egypt — only benefits to Ethiopia who for all its history has forfeited most of its rights to the Nile River to its adversary to the north, Egypt.
What does this have to do with the fall of Egypt in fulfillment of Isaiah 19? Isaiah 19:5-7 NASB describes a drying up of the Nile that is so catastrophic that the resulting ecological disaster cannot be described as the result of extraordinary drought or flooding along the Nile. The prophecy describes a “stench,” a “rotting of reeds and rushes,” the drying of bulrushes, streams. The “sown fields by the Nile” will become dry, be driven away, and be no more.” Isaiah 19:7 NASB. That description does not sound like what happens when the Aswan Dam (Egypt’s dam) is opened or closed for managing the water flow of the Nile; rather, the use of another dam, perhaps the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam that provides 86% of Egypt’s Nile River water resources, as a weapon against Egypt. Ethiopia or some other country has diverted the Nile River resources away from Egypt. That was relatively impossible before the completion of man-made dams; but once man takes control of what God has created, we know what happens. The curse of sin claims another victim. Sin gives us over to the choices we have made. According to Isaiah 19, the curse of sin has claimed Egypt. The Nile, the instrument of life throughout the history of this ancient nation, has become an instrument that brings about her death. The good news is that death has lost her sting. Even Egypt’s death will ultimately be used by God to bring about her life. Isaiah 19:22-25 NASB.
Jesus come quickly.