18 Ah, land beyond the upper reaches of the Nile,[a] where winged sailboats glide along the river! 2 Land that sends ambassadors in fast boats down the Nile! Let swift messengers return to you, O strong and supple nation feared far and wide, a conquering, destroying nation whose land the upper Nile divides.[b] And this is the message sent to you:
3 When I raise my battle flag upon the mountain, let all the world take notice! When I blow the trumpet, listen! 4 For the Lord has told me this: Let your mighty army now advance against the land of Israel.[c] God will watch quietly from his Temple in Jerusalem—serene as on a pleasant summer day or a lovely autumn morning during harvesttime. 5 But before you have begun the attack, and while your plans are ripening like grapes, he will cut you off as though with pruning shears. He will snip the spreading tendrils. 6 Your mighty army will be left dead on the field for the mountain birds and wild animals to eat; the vultures will tear bodies all summer, and the wild animals will gnaw bones all winter. 7 But the time will come when that strong and mighty nation, a terror to all both far and near, that conquering, destroying nation whose land the rivers divide, will bring gifts to the Lord Almighty in Jerusalem, where he has placed his name.
- Isaiah 18:1 upper reaches of the Nile, literally, “land beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.” Ethiopia was the seat of the powerful 25th Egyptian Dynasty (730–660 B.C.).
- Isaiah 18:2 whose land the upper Nile divides, literally, “whose land the rivers divide.”
- Isaiah 18:4 of Israel, implied.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.