Isaiah 16-18 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Prophecy of Moab’s Devastation
16 Send the tribute lamb to the ruler of the land,
From Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
2 Then, like fleeing birds or scattered nestlings,
The daughters of Moab will be at the fords of the Arnon.
3 “Give us advice, make a decision;
Cast your shadow like night at high noon;
Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
4 “Let the outcasts of Moab stay with you;
Be a hiding place to them from the destroyer.”
For the extortioner has come to an end, destruction has ceased,
Oppressors have completely disappeared from the land.
5 A throne will even be established in lovingkindness,
And a judge will sit on it in faithfulness in the tent of David;
Moreover, he will seek justice
And be prompt in righteousness.
6 We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are false.
7 Therefore Moab will wail; everyone of Moab will wail.
You will moan for the raisin cakes of Kir-hareseth
As those who are utterly stricken.
8 For the fields of Heshbon have withered, the vines of Sibmah as well;
The lords of the nations have trampled down its choice clusters
Which reached as far as Jazer and wandered to the deserts;
Its tendrils spread themselves out and passed over the sea.
9 Therefore I will weep bitterly for Jazer, for the vine of Sibmah;
I will drench you with my tears, O Heshbon and Elealeh;
For the shouting over your summer fruits and your harvest has fallen away.
10 Gladness and joy are taken away from the fruitful field;
In the vineyards also there will be no cries of joy or jubilant shouting,
No treader treads out wine in the presses,
For I have made the shouting to cease.
11 Therefore my heart intones like a harp for Moab
And my inward feelings for Kir-hareseth.
12 So it will come about when Moab presents himself,
When he wearies himself upon his high place
And comes to his sanctuary to pray,
That he will not prevail.
13 This is the word which the Lord spoke earlier concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord speaks, saying, “Within three years, as a hired man would count them, the glory of Moab will be degraded along with all his great population, and his remnant will be very small and impotent.”
Prophecy about Damascus
17 The oracle concerning Damascus.
“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city
And will become a fallen ruin.
2 “The cities of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks to lie down in,
And there will be no one to frighten them.
3 “The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
And sovereignty from Damascus
And the remnant of Aram;
They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,”
Declares the Lord of hosts.
4 Now in that day the glory of Jacob will fade,
And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
5 It will be even like the reaper gathering the standing grain,
As his arm harvests the ears,
Or it will be like one gleaning ears of grain
In the valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet gleanings will be left in it like the shaking of an olive tree,
Two or three olives on the topmost bough,
Four or five on the branches of a fruitful tree,
Declares the Lord, the God of Israel.
7 In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
8 He will not have regard for the altars, the work of his hands,
Nor will he look to that which his fingers have made,
Even the Asherim and incense stands.
9 In that day their strong cities will be like forsaken places in the forest,
Or like branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
And the land will be a desolation.
10 For you have forgotten the God of your salvation
And have not remembered the rock of your refuge.
Therefore you plant delightful plants
And set them with vine slips of a strange god.
11 In the day that you plant it you carefully fence it in,
And in the morning you bring your seed to blossom;
But the harvest will be a heap
In a day of sickliness and incurable pain.
12 Alas, the uproar of many peoples
Who roar like the roaring of the seas,
And the rumbling of nations
Who rush on like the rumbling of mighty waters!
13 The nations rumble on like the rumbling of many waters,
But He will rebuke them and they will flee far away,
And be chased like chaff in the mountains before the wind,
Or like whirling dust before a gale.
14 At evening time, behold, there is terror!
Before morning they are no more.
Such will be the portion of those who plunder us
And the lot of those who pillage us.
Message to Ethiopia
18 Alas, oh land of whirring wings
Which lies beyond the rivers of Cush,
2 Which sends envoys by the sea,
Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters.
Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth,
To a people feared far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation
Whose land the rivers divide.
3 All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on earth,
As soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it,
And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.
4 For thus the Lord has told me,
“I will look from My dwelling place quietly
Like dazzling heat in the sunshine,
Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
5 For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms
And the flower becomes a ripening grape,
Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives
And remove and cut away the spreading branches.
6 They will be left together for mountain birds of prey,
And for the beasts of the earth;
And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them,
And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them.
7 At that time a gift of homage will be brought to the Lord of hosts
From a people tall and smooth,
Even from a people feared far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation,
Whose land the rivers divide—
To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even Mount Zion.