Message to Ethiopia

18 Woe, land of whirring wings
Which lies beyond the rivers of [a](A)Cush,
Which sends messengers by the sea,
Even in (B)papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters.
Go, swift messengers, to a nation [b](C)tall and smooth,
To a people (D)feared [c]far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation
Whose land the rivers divide.
(E)All you who inhabit the world, and live on earth,
As soon as a flag is raised on the mountains, (F)you will see it,
And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.

For this is what the Lord has told me:

“I will quietly look [d]from My (G)dwelling place
Like dazzling heat in the [e](H)sunshine,
Like a cloud of (I)dew in the heat of harvest.”
For (J)before the harvest, as soon as the bud [f]blossoms
And the flower becomes a ripening grape,
He will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
And remove and tear away the spreading branches.
They will be left together for mountain birds (K)of prey,
And for the animals of the earth;
And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them,
And all the animals of the earth will spend harvest time on them.
At that time a gift of tribute will be brought to the Lord of armies
[g]From a (L)people [h]tall and smooth,
From a people feared [i]far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation,
Whose land the rivers divide—
To the (M)place of the name of the Lord of armies, to Mount Zion.

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 18:1 Or Ethiopia
  2. Isaiah 18:2 Lit drawn out
  3. Isaiah 18:2 Lit from it and beyond
  4. Isaiah 18:4 Lit in
  5. Isaiah 18:4 Lit light
  6. Isaiah 18:5 Lit is finished
  7. Isaiah 18:7 Some ancient versions and DSS; MT implies Consisting of a people
  8. Isaiah 18:7 Lit drawn out
  9. Isaiah 18:7 Lit from it and beyond

Message to Egypt

19 The (A)pronouncement concerning (B)Egypt:

Behold, the Lord is (C)riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt;
The (D)idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence,
And the (E)heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
“So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians;
And they will fight, (F)each against his brother and each against his neighbor,
City against city and kingdom against kingdom.
Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them;
And I will confuse their strategy,
So that (G)they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead,
And to [a]mediums and spiritists.
Furthermore, I will hand the Egyptians over to a (H)cruel master,
And a [b]mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord [c]God of armies.

(I)The waters from the sea will dry up,
And the river will be parched and dry.
The [d](J)canals will emit a stench,
The [e](K)streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up;
(L)The reeds and rushes will rot away.
The bulrushes by the (M)Nile, by the [f]edge of the Nile
And all the sown fields by the Nile
Will become dry, be driven away, and be no more.
And the (N)fishermen will grieve,
And all those who cast a [g]line into the Nile will mourn,
And those who spread nets on the waters will dwindle away.
Moreover, the manufacturers of linen made from combed flax
And the weavers of white (O)cloth will be [h]utterly dejected.
10 And [i]the (P)pillars of Egypt will be crushed;
All the hired laborers will be grieved in soul.

11 The officials of [j](Q)Zoan are mere fools;
The advice of Pharaoh’s wisest advisers has become [k]stupid.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the (R)wise, a son of ancient kings”?
12 Well then, where are your wise men?
Please let them tell you,
And let them [l]understand what the Lord of armies
Has (S)planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of [m]Zoan have turned out to be fools,
The officials of (T)Memphis are deluded;
Those who are the (U)cornerstone of her tribes
Have [n]led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has mixed within her a spirit of (V)distortion;
(W)They have led Egypt astray in all [o]that it does,
As a (X)drunken person [p]staggers in his vomit.
15 There will be no work for Egypt
(Y)Which its head or tail, its palm branch or bulrush, may do.

16 On that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in great (Z)fear because of the (AA)waving of the hand of the Lord of armies, which He is going to wave over them. 17 The land of Judah will become a cause of shame to Egypt; everyone to whom it is mentioned will be in great fear because of the (AB)plan of the Lord of armies which He is making against them.

18 On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and (AC)swearing allegiance to the Lord of armies; one will be called the City of [q]Destruction.

19 On that day there will be an (AD)altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a (AE)memorial stone to the Lord beside its border. 20 And it will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of armies in the land of Egypt; for they will cry out to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a (AF)Savior and a (AG)Champion, and He will save them. 21 So the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day. They will even worship with (AH)sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22 And the Lord will strike Egypt, striking but (AI)healing; so they will (AJ)return to the Lord, and He will respond to their pleas and heal them.

23 On that day there will be a (AK)road from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria; and the Egyptians will (AL)worship with the Assyrians.

24 On that day Israel will be the third party to Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of armies has blessed, saying, “Blessed is (AM)Egypt My people, and Assyria (AN)the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 19:3 Or ghosts and spirits
  2. Isaiah 19:4 Or fierce
  3. Isaiah 19:4 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  4. Isaiah 19:6 Lit rivers
  5. Isaiah 19:6 Or Nile branches; i.e., the delta
  6. Isaiah 19:7 Or mouth
  7. Isaiah 19:8 Lit hook
  8. Isaiah 19:9 Lit ashamed
  9. Isaiah 19:10 Lit her pillars; or her weavers
  10. Isaiah 19:11 Or Tanis
  11. Isaiah 19:11 Or brutish
  12. Isaiah 19:12 Or know
  13. Isaiah 19:13 Or Tanis
  14. Isaiah 19:13 Or have caused Egypt to stagger
  15. Isaiah 19:14 Lit its work
  16. Isaiah 19:14 Or goes astray
  17. Isaiah 19:18 Some mss and ancient versions the Sun

Prophecy about Egypt and Ethiopia

20 In the year that the [a](A)commander came to (B)Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, at that time the Lord spoke through (C)Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loosen the (D)sackcloth from your hips and take your (E)sandals off your feet.” And he did so, going (F)naked and barefoot. Then the Lord said, “Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot for three years as a (G)sign and symbol against Egypt and [b](H)Cush, so the (I)king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, (J)young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the [c]shame of Egypt. Then they will be (K)terrified and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their (L)pride. So the inhabitants of this coastland will say on that day, ‘Behold, such is our hope, where we fled (M)for help to be saved from the king of Assyria; and (N)how are we ourselves to escape?’”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 20:1 Heb Tartan
  2. Isaiah 20:3 Or Ethiopia, as in vv 4, 5
  3. Isaiah 20:4 Lit nakedness

God Commands That Babylon Be Taken

21 The (A)pronouncement concerning the [a](B)wilderness of the sea:

As (C)windstorms in the [b]Negev come in turns,
It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land.
A (D)harsh vision has been shown to me;
The (E)treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys.
Go up, (F)Elam, lay siege, Media;
I have put an end to all [c]the groaning she has caused.
For this reason my (G)loins are full of anguish;
Pains have seized me like the pains of a (H)woman in labor.
I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see.
My [d]mind reels, [e]horror overwhelms me;
The twilight I longed for has been (I)turned into trembling for me.
They (J)set the table, they [f]spread out the cloth, they eat, they drink;
“Rise up, captains, oil the shields!”

For this is what the Lord says to me:

“Go, station the lookout, have him (K)report what he sees.
When he sees [g]a (L)column of chariots, horsemen in pairs,
A train of donkeys, a train of camels,
He is to pay close attention, very close attention.”

Then [h]the lookout called,

(M)Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower,
And I am stationed every night at my guard post.
Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”
And one said, “(N)Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the (O)images of her gods [i]are shattered on the ground.”
10 My (P)downtrodden people, and my [j]afflicted of the threshing floor!
What I have heard from the Lord of armies,
The God of Israel, I make known to you.

Pronouncements about Edom and Arabia

11 The pronouncement concerning [k](Q)Edom:

One keeps calling to me from (R)Seir,
“Watchman, [l]how far gone is the night?
Watchman, [m]how far gone is the night?”
12 The watchman says,
“Morning comes but also night.
If you would inquire, inquire;
Come back again.”

13 The pronouncement about (S)Arabia:

In the thickets of Arabia you [n]must spend the night,
You caravans of (T)Dedanites.
14 Bring water [o]for the thirsty,
You inhabitants of the land of (U)Tema;
Meet the fugitive with bread.
15 For they have (V)fled from the swords,
From the drawn sword, and from the bent bow,
And from the press of battle.

16 For this is what the Lord said to me: “In a (W)year, as [p]a hired worker would count it, all the splendor of (X)Kedar will come to an end; 17 and the (Y)remainder of the number of bowmen, the warriors of the sons of Kedar, will be few; for the Lord God of Israel (Z)has spoken.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 21:1 Or sandy wastes, sea country
  2. Isaiah 21:1 I.e., South country
  3. Isaiah 21:2 Lit her groaning
  4. Isaiah 21:4 Lit heart has wandered
  5. Isaiah 21:4 Lit shuddering
  6. Isaiah 21:5 Or spread out the rugs or possibly they arranged the seating
  7. Isaiah 21:7 Or riders
  8. Isaiah 21:8 As in DSS; MT he called like a lion
  9. Isaiah 21:9 Lit he has shattered to the earth
  10. Isaiah 21:10 Lit son
  11. Isaiah 21:11 As in LXX; MT Dumah, silence
  12. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  13. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  14. Isaiah 21:13 Or will spend
  15. Isaiah 21:14 Lit to meet
  16. Isaiah 21:16 Lit the years of a hired

The Valley of Vision

22 The pronouncement concerning the (A)valley of vision:

What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the (B)housetops?
You who were full of noise,
You tumultuous town, you (C)jubilant city;
Your dead were (D)not killed with the sword,
Nor [a]did they die in battle.
(E)All your rulers have fled together,
And have been captured [b]without the bow;
All of you who were found were taken captive together,
[c]Though they had fled far away.
Therefore I say, “Look away from me,
Let me (F)weep bitterly,
Do not [d]try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
(G)For the Lord [e]God of armies has a (H)day of panic, (I)subjugation, and confusion
(J)In the valley of vision,
A breaking down of walls
And a crying [f]to the mountain.
(K)Elam picked up the quiver,
With the chariots, [g]infantry, and horsemen;
And (L)Kir uncovered the shield.
Then your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
And the horsemen took positions at the gate.
And He removed the [h]defense of Judah.
On that day you [i]depended on the weapons of the (M)house of the forest,
And you saw that the breaches
In the wall of the city of David were many;
And you (N)collected the waters of the lower pool.
10 Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem
And tore down houses to fortify the wall.
11 And you made a reservoir (O)between the two walls
For the waters of the (P)old pool.
But you did not [j]depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you [k]take into consideration Him who planned it long ago.

12 Therefore on that day the Lord [l]God of armies called you to (Q)weeping, to wailing,
To (R)shaving the head, and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is (S)joy and jubilation,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
(T)Let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the Lord of armies revealed Himself [m]to me:
“Certainly this (U)wrongdoing (V)will not be [n]forgiven you
(W)Until you die,” says the Lord [o]God of armies.

15 This is what the Lord [p]God of armies says:

“Come, go to this steward,
To (X)Shebna who is in charge of the royal household,
16 ‘What right do you have here,
And whom do you have here,
That you have (Y)cut out a tomb for yourself here,
You who cut out a tomb on the height,
You who carve a resting place for [q]yourself in the rock?
17 Behold, the Lord is about to hurl you violently, you strong man.
And He is about to grasp you firmly
18 And wrap you up tightly like a ball,
To be (Z)driven into a vast country;
There you will die,
And there your splendid chariots will be,
You shame of your master’s house!’
19 I will (AA)depose you from your office,
And [r]I will pull you down from your position.
20 Then it will come about on that day,
That I will summon My servant (AB)Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
21 And I will clothe him with your tunic
And tie your sash securely around him.
I will hand your [s]authority over to him,
And he will become a (AC)father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
22 Then I will put (AD)the key of the (AE)house of David on his shoulder;
When he opens, no one will shut,
When he shuts, no one will (AF)open.
23 I will drive him like a (AG)peg in a firm place,
And he will become a (AH)throne of glory to his father’s house.

24 So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the [t]descendants, all the least of vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25 On that day,” declares the Lord of armies, “the (AI)peg driven into a firm place will give way; it will even (AJ)break off and fall, and the load that is hanging on it will be cut off, for the (AK)Lord has spoken.”

Footnotes

  1. Isaiah 22:2 Lit dead in battle
  2. Isaiah 22:3 Lit from a bow
  3. Isaiah 22:3 As in ancient versions; MT They fled far away
  4. Isaiah 22:4 Lit insist
  5. Isaiah 22:5 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  6. Isaiah 22:5 Or against
  7. Isaiah 22:6 Lit man
  8. Isaiah 22:8 Lit covering
  9. Isaiah 22:8 Lit looked to
  10. Isaiah 22:11 Or look to, consider
  11. Isaiah 22:11 Lit see Him
  12. Isaiah 22:12 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  13. Isaiah 22:14 Lit in my ears
  14. Isaiah 22:14 Lit atoned for
  15. Isaiah 22:14 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  16. Isaiah 22:15 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  17. Isaiah 22:16 Lit himself
  18. Isaiah 22:19 As in many ancient versions; MT He
  19. Isaiah 22:21 Lit dominion
  20. Isaiah 22:24 Or perhaps, leaf