18 Woe to the land of whirring wings that is beyond the rivers of Cush,[a] 2 which sends envoys by the sea,[b] in papyrus boats over the water! Go, swift messengers, to a tall, smooth-skinned nation, to a people feared far and wide, a nation that metes out[c] punishment[d] and oppresses, whose land the rivers divide.
3 All you inhabitants of the world, you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, you’ll see it. When a trumpet sounds, you’ll hear it!
4 For this is what the Lord told me: “I will remain quiet and watch in my dwelling place like dazzling heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat[e] of harvest.”
5 For before the harvest, when the season of[f] budding is over, and sour grapes ripen into mature grapes,[g] he cuts off the shoots with pruning knives, clearing away the spreading branches as he lops them off. 6 And[h] they will all be left for birds of prey that live on the mountains[i] and for wild animals.[j] Birds of prey will pass the summer feeding on them, and all the wild animals[k] will pass the winter feeding[l] on them.
7 At that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of the Heavenly Armies from[m] a tall and smooth-skinned people, from a people feared far and wide, a nation that metes out[n] punishment[o] and oppresses, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place that bears[p] the name of the Lord.[q]
Isaiah 18:1I.e. Nubia, south of Egypt (modern northern Sudan)
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