Judah was living during perilous times. Kings sought alliances with neighboring kings as defense against other invading kings. Ethiopia and Egypt had depended upon their gods to lead them through their wars. Isaiah pronounced a woe against Ethiopia, a land that would be cut down like green grapes before the time of harvest.
The message from God to Egypt was also a warning of dire consequences for their dependence upon idol gods. They would become involved in civil strife among themselves and would fall into the hands of a “fierce king” who would rule over them. Egypt received very limited amounts of rainfall and depended upon the Nile River for their needs. Isaiah stated that those waters would be dried up. There were those of Judah who had advised that they ally themselves with Egypt for aid against Assyria. Instead, Egypt would need Judah to help them. Isaiah prophesied that there would be a time when Egypt would turn to God and be at peace with their neighbors. “Blessed is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”
Egypt’s immediate future was bleak. They would undergo a period of severe oppression. The Lord stated through Isaiah that the people would be led naked and barefoot into Assyrian captivity.