The importance of the house of Judah (Zech 10:3-10:5)

“Yahweh will make

The house of Judah

Like his proud war-horse.

Out of them,

Shall come the cornerstone.

Out of them,

Shall come the tent peg.

Out of them,

Shall come the battle bow.

Out of them,

Shall come every commander.

Together they shall be

Like warriors in battle.

They will trample the foe

In the mud of the streets.

They shall fight

Because Yahweh is with them.

They shall put to shame

The riders on horses.”

Yahweh was going to make the house of Judah his war horse.  Thus, out of them would come the cornerstones, the tent pegs, the battle bows, and the commanders.  They would be strong battle warriors, so that they would trample their foes in the muddy streets.  They would fight, because Yahweh was with them.  Thus, they would put to shame the other enemy cavalries.

The weakness of the Egyptian wise sages (Isa 19:11-19:15)

“The princes of Zoan

Are utterly foolish.

The wise counselors of Pharaoh

Give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh?

‘I am one of the sages.

I am a descendant of the ancient kings.’

Where now are your sages?

Let them tell you!

Let them make known!

What has Yahweh of hosts

Planned against Egypt?

The princes of Zoan

Have become fools.

The princes of Memphis

Are deluded.

Those who are the cornerstones

Of its tribes

Have led Egypt astray.

Yahweh has poured into them

A spirit of confusion.

They have made Egypt

Stagger in all its doings.

They are as a drunken man

Staggers around in vomit.

Neither head nor tail,

Palm branch or reed,

Will be able to do

Something for Egypt.”

Now Isaiah attacks the wise sages of Egypt since he calls them stupid. Isaiah mentions the capital cities of Egypt, Zoan in the north and Memphis in the south. The princes and the wise men in these places were giving stupid advice. These wise sages had no idea what Yahweh was planning for them since they were like deluded fools. They were supposed to be the cornerstones of their tribes, but they were really in confusion. In colorful language, Isaiah says that they were like drunkards staggering around in their own vomit. Nobody could do anything for Egypt, head, tail, palm branch, or reed. The rulers were the head and palm trees, while the tail and the reed represented the ordinary people. They were all getting foolish stupid advice from their so-called wise sages.