New English Translation
20 The Lord revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it.[a] 2 At that time the Lord announced through[b] Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments[c] and barefoot. 3 Later the Lord explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated.[d] 5 Those who put their hope in Cush and took pride in Egypt will be afraid and embarrassed.[e] 6 At that time[f] those who live on this coast[g] will say, ‘Look what has happened to our source of hope to whom we fled for help, expecting to be rescued from the king of Assyria! How can we escape now?’”
- Isaiah 20:1 tn Heb “In the year the commanding general came to Ashdod, when Sargon king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and captured it.”sn This probably refers to the Assyrian campaign against Philistia in 712 or 711 b.c.
- Isaiah 20:2 tn Heb “spoke by the hand of.”
- Isaiah 20:2 tn The word used here (עָרוֹם, ʿarom) sometimes means “naked,” but here it appears to mean simply “lightly dressed,” i.e., stripped to one’s undergarments. See HALOT 883 s.v. עָרוֹם. The term also occurs in vv. 3, 4.
- Isaiah 20:4 tn Heb “lightly dressed and barefoot, and bare with respect to the buttocks, the nakedness of Egypt.”
- Isaiah 20:5 tn Heb “and they will be afraid and embarrassed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their beauty.”
- Isaiah 20:6 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).
- Isaiah 20:6 sn This probably refers to the coastal region of Philistia (cf. TEV).
New International Version
A Prophecy Against Egypt and Cush
20 In the year that the supreme commander,(A) sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod(B) and attacked and captured it— 2 at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz.(C) He said to him, “Take off the sackcloth(D) from your body and the sandals(E) from your feet.” And he did so, going around stripped(F) and barefoot.(G)
3 Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant(H) Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years,(I) as a sign(J) and portent(K) against Egypt(L) and Cush,[a](M) 4 so the king(N) of Assyria will lead away stripped(O) and barefoot the Egyptian captives(P) and Cushite(Q) exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared(R)—to Egypt’s shame.(S) 5 Those who trusted(T) in Cush(U) and boasted in Egypt(V) will be dismayed and put to shame.(W) 6 In that day(X) the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened(Y) to those we relied on,(Z) those we fled to for help(AA) and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?(AB)’”
- Isaiah 20:3 That is, the upper Nile region; also in verse 5