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Ethiopia Will Be Punished

18 Downstream from Ethiopia[a]
lies the country of Egypt,
    swarming with insects.[b]
Egypt sends messengers
up the Nile River
    on ships made of reeds.[c]
Send them fast to Ethiopia,
whose people are tall
    and have smooth skin.
Their land is divided by rivers;
they are strong and brutal,
    feared all over the world.[d]

Everyone on this earth,
    listen with care!
A signal will be given
on the mountains,
    and you will hear a trumpet.
The Lord said to me,
“I will calmly look down
    from my home above—
as calmly as the sun at noon
or clouds in the heat
    of harvest season.”

Before the blossoms
    can turn into grapes,
God will cut off the sprouts
    and hack off the branches.
Ethiopians will be food
for mountain buzzards
    during the summer
and for wild animals
    during the winter.

Those Ethiopians are tall and their skin is smooth. They are feared all over the world, because they are strong and brutal. But at that time they will come from their land divided by rivers, and they will bring gifts to the Lord All-Powerful, who is worshiped on Mount Zion.

Footnotes

  1. 18.1 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  2. 18.1 insects: Or “sailing ships.”
  3. 18.2 reeds: Ancient Egypt was famous for the papyrus reeds that grew in the Nile Delta.
  4. 18.2 world: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 2.

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