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A Prophecy regarding Cush

18 Ah, the land of whirring wings,[a]

    that is beyond the rivers of Cush,[b]
sending their messengers by the way of the Nile
    in papyrus vessels gliding on the water!
    Go, you swift messengers,
    to a tall, smooth-skinned people[c] feared far and wide,
    to a mighty conquering nation whose land the rivers divide.[d]
Everyone everywhere, all who dwell on the earth,
    when a signal flag is raised on the mountain, take notice!
    When the shofar is blown, listen!
Here is what the Lord Yahweh said to me:
    “I will rest calm and confident[e] as I look from my dwelling place,[f]
    serene as on a pleasant summer day[g]
    or a cool, refreshing cloud[h] in the heat of harvest.”
Before the harvest, when the bud is ripening
    and the flower finishes, he will take his pruning hooks
    and cut off the shoots and remove them.
They will all be left for the birds of prey on the mountains
    and for the wild animals to devour.
    Birds will eat them throughout the summer,
    and the animals will gnaw on the bones of the fallen all winter.[i]
At that time, a tall, smooth-skinned people will bring gifts of tribute[j]
    to the Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies.
    They are a people feared far and wide,
    a mighty conquering nation whose land the rivers divide.
    They will bring their gifts to Mount Zion,
    the place of the name of the Lord Yahweh,
    Commander of Angel Armies.


  1. Isaiah 18:1 Or “locusts.”
  2. Isaiah 18:1 The Hebrew word kuwsh (Ethiopia, or modern-day Sudan) means “burned” or “darkened.”
  3. Isaiah 18:2 The meaning of this Hebrew clause is uncertain.
  4. Isaiah 18:2 That is, the Upper Nile region. The land is divided by the White Nile and the Blue Nile rivers.
  5. Isaiah 18:4 See Isa. 57:20; 62:1; Heb. 3–4.
  6. Isaiah 18:4 The body of Christ is now his dwelling place (Eph. 2:19-22).
  7. Isaiah 18:4 The meaning of this Hebrew clause is uncertain.
  8. Isaiah 18:4 See Isa. 19:1; 25:5; 44:22; 60:8.
  9. Isaiah 18:6 Scripture often mention birds of prey and wild animals as symbols of demonic powers.
  10. Isaiah 18:7 See Ps. 68:28-29; 76:11; Matt. 2:11.

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