19. O thou daughter dwelling in Egypt, furnish thyself to go into captivity: for Noph shall be waste and desolate without an inhabitant.
19. Vasa migrationis fac (vel, para) tibi habitatrix Aegypti; quia Noph (id est, Memphis,) in solitudinem erit, et vastabitur, ut non sit habitator.
The Prophet exults over the Egyptians, in order that he might more and more confirm his doctrine; for we have said, and experience teaches the same, that the unbelieving are but little moved when God summons them to his tribunal, and gives evidence of his vengeance; for they remain stupid, except their torpor is by force shaken from them. This is the reason why the Prophet sharply assails the wicked, even that they might awake from their drowsiness.
Hence he says, Take to thee the furniture of transmigration, that is, prepare for thyself garments and other things for the purpose of removing. The Egyptians, having a fruitful land, remained quietly in their own country, and led, as it were, a sedentary life. Now the Prophet intimates that they were to move elsewhere; and he bids them to prepare for a long journey, or a long peregrination: Make to thee, then, furniture for transmigration; for Memphis shall be reduced to solitude, and laid waste without an inhabitant
He mentions Memphis again, which, as we have said, was a very celebrated city and a royal residence. He says that it would be laid waste, and yet we know that the Pyramids there were reckoned among the wonders of the world. The city was populous, and had many advantages. The Prophet dooms it to desolation. If, then, such solitude awaited the most celebrated city, what was to become of the smaller towns? what was to become of the villages? We now, then, see what was the purpose of the Prophet, even to shew, that when Nebuchadnezzar made an irruption into Egypt, all things would be under his power, so that he would, at his pleasure, seize on, plunder, and lay waste the whole land. It now follows, --