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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 [a]Sela by way of the wilderness to the mountain of the daughter of Zion.
Then, like [b]fleeing birds or scattered [c]nestlings,
The daughters of Moab will be at the fords of the Arnon.
[d]Give us advice, make a decision;
[e]Cast your shadow like night [f]at high noon;
Hide the outcasts, do not betray the fugitive.
“Let the [g]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.
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.

We have heard of the pride of Moab, an excessive pride;
Even of his arrogance, pride, and fury;
His idle boasts are [h]false.
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.
For the fields of Heshbon have [i]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.
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 [j]heart intones like a harp for Moab
And my [k]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 [l]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 [m]impotent.”

Prophecy about Damascus

17 The [n]oracle concerning Damascus.

“Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city
And will become a fallen ruin.
“The cities [o]of Aroer are forsaken;
They will be for flocks [p]to lie down in,
And there will be no one to frighten them.
“The [q]fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
And [r]sovereignty from Damascus
And the remnant of Aram;
They will be like the glory of the sons of Israel,”
Declares the Lord of hosts.

Now in that day the glory of Jacob will [s]fade,
And the fatness of his flesh will become lean.
It will be even like the [t]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.
Yet gleanings will be left in it like the [u]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.
In that day man will have regard for his Maker
And his eyes will look to the Holy One of Israel.
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 [v]Asherim and [w]incense stands.
In that day [x]their strong cities will be like [y]forsaken places in the forest,
Or like [z]branches which they abandoned before the sons of Israel;
And [aa]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.
[ab]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 [ac]Cush,
Which sends envoys by the sea,
Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters.
Go, swift messengers, to a nation [ad]tall and smooth,
To a people feared [ae]far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation
Whose land the rivers divide.
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.

For thus the Lord has told me,

“I will look [af]from My dwelling place quietly
Like dazzling heat in the [ag]sunshine,
Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For before the harvest, as soon as the bud [ah]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.
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.
At that time a gift of homage will be brought to the Lord of hosts
[ai]From a people [aj]tall and smooth,
Even from a people feared [ak]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.


  1. Isaiah 16:1 I.e. Petra in Edom
  2. Isaiah 16:2 Or fluttering
  3. Isaiah 16:2 Lit nest
  4. Isaiah 16:3 Lit Bring
  5. Isaiah 16:3 Lit Set
  6. Isaiah 16:3 Lit in the midst of the noon
  7. Isaiah 16:4 So the versions; M.T. My outcasts, as for Moab
  8. Isaiah 16:6 Lit not so
  9. Isaiah 16:8 Or languished
  10. Isaiah 16:11 Lit entrails murmur
  11. Isaiah 16:11 Lit inward part
  12. Isaiah 16:14 Lit the years of a hireling
  13. Isaiah 16:14 Lit not mighty
  14. Isaiah 17:1 Or burden of
  15. Isaiah 17:2 Gr reads forever and ever
  16. Isaiah 17:2 Lit and they will lie down
  17. Isaiah 17:3 Or fortification
  18. Isaiah 17:3 Or royal power, kingdom
  19. Isaiah 17:4 Lit become thin
  20. Isaiah 17:5 Lit gathering of the harvest, the standing grain
  21. Isaiah 17:6 Lit striking
  22. Isaiah 17:8 I.e. wooden symbols of a female deity
  23. Isaiah 17:8 Or sun pillars
  24. Isaiah 17:9 I.e. man’s
  25. Isaiah 17:9 Gr reads the deserted places of the Amorites and the Hivites which they abandoned
  26. Isaiah 17:9 Or the treetop
  27. Isaiah 17:9 Lit it
  28. Isaiah 17:14 Lit This
  29. Isaiah 18:1 Or Ethiopia
  30. Isaiah 18:2 Lit drawn out
  31. Isaiah 18:2 Lit from it and beyond
  32. Isaiah 18:4 Lit in
  33. Isaiah 18:4 Lit light
  34. Isaiah 18:5 Lit is finished
  35. Isaiah 18:7 So with some ancient versions and DSS; M.T. implies Consisting of a people
  36. Isaiah 18:7 Lit drawn out
  37. Isaiah 18:7 Lit from it and beyond
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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