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Isaiah 19-23 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Egypt Will Be Punished

This is the divine revelation about Egypt.

The Lord is riding on a fast-moving cloud and is coming to Egypt.
    Egypt’s idols will tremble in his presence.
    Egypt’s courage will fail.

“I will turn one Egyptian against another.
They will fight—
    brother against brother,
    neighbor against neighbor,
    city against city,
    kingdom against kingdom.
The Egyptians will lose courage.
    I will unravel their plans.
They will turn to idols, ghosts,
    mediums, and fortunetellers.
I will hand over the Egyptians to a harsh master.
    A strong king will rule them,”
        declares the Almighty Lord of Armies.

The water in the Nile River will be dried up,[a]
    and the river will be dry and empty.
The canals will stink.
    Egypt’s streams will be emptied and dried up.
    The reeds and cattails will wither.
    The rushes by the Nile, by the edge of the Nile,
        and all the fields planted beside the Nile
            will dry up, be blown away, and disappear.
Fishermen will cry.
    All who cast their lines into the Nile will mourn.
        Those who spread their nets on the water will sigh.
Linenworkers and weavers will be ashamed.
10 Egypt’s weavers will be crushed.
    Those who work for money will be distressed.

11 The leaders of Zoan are nothing but fools.
The wisest of Pharaoh’s counselors gives stupid advice.
    How can you tell Pharaoh,
        “I’m a descendant of wise men,
            a descendant of ancient kings”?
12     Where are your wise men now?
        Let them tell you.
            Let them explain what the Lord of Armies
                is planning against Egypt.
13 The leaders of Zoan are acting foolishly.
The leaders of Memphis are led astray.
The leaders who are the cornerstones of its tribes mislead the Egyptians.
14 The Lord mixes up their minds.
    So they lead the Egyptians astray
        like a drunk who staggers in his vomit.
15 No one—leaders or followers, important or unimportant—
    can do anything for Egypt.

16 At that time Egyptians will act like women. They will tremble and be terrified because the Lord of Armies will shake his fist at them. 17 The land of Judah will terrify the Egyptians. Whenever they are reminded of Judah, they will be terrified of it because of what the Lord of Armies is planning against it.

18 When that day comes, five cities in Egypt will have people that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of Armies. One of the cities will be called Heliopolis.[b]

19 When that day comes, an altar for the Lord will be in the middle of Egypt, and a stone marker for the Lord will be near its border. 20 These objects will be a sign and a witness that the Lord of Armies is in Egypt. When the people cry to the Lord because of those who oppress them, he will send a savior and defender to rescue them. 21 So the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians. The Egyptians will know the Lord when that day comes. They will worship with sacrifices and food offerings. They will make vows to the Lord and carry them out. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt with a plague. When he strikes them, he will also heal them. Then they will come back to the Lord. And he will respond to their prayers and heal them.

23 When that day comes, a highway will run from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will come to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. 24 When that day comes, Israel will be one-third of God’s people, along with Egypt and Assyria. They will be a blessing on the earth. 25 The Lord of Armies will bless them, saying, “My people Egypt, the work of my hands Assyria, and my possession Israel are blessed.”

Those Who Were Allied with Egypt Will Be Ashamed

20 In the year when King Sargon of Assyria sent his commander-in-chief to fight against Ashdod, he captured it. At that time the Lord told Isaiah, son of Amoz, “Take off the sackcloth that you are wearing, and take off your sandals!” Isaiah did this and walked around barefoot and naked.

Then the Lord said, “My servant Isaiah has gone barefoot and naked for three years as a sign and as an omen to Egypt and Sudan. The king of Assyria will lead away both the young and the old—captives from Egypt and exiles from Sudan. They will be barefoot and naked. Their buttocks will be exposed in order to disgrace Egypt. Then the people will be shattered and ashamed because Sudan was their hope and Egypt was their beauty. When that day comes, those who live on this coastland will say, ‘Look at what has happened to our hope. We ran to Egypt for help to be rescued from the king of Assyria. How can we escape?’”

Babylon Has Fallen

This is the divine revelation about the desert by the sea.

Like a storm sweeping through the Negev,
    an invader will come from the desert,
        from a terrifying land.
I was shown a harsh vision.
    The traitor betrays.
    The destroyer destroys.
        Go to war, Elam!
        Surround them, Media!
I will put an end to all the groaning.
That is why my body is full of trembling.
Pain grips me like the pain of childbirth.
    I’m disturbed by what I hear.
    I’m terrified by what I see.
    I’m confused.
    I’m shaking with terror.
The twilight hours I longed for make me tremble.
Set the table.
    Spread the rugs by the table.
        Eat. Drink.
Get up, you leaders!
Prepare your shields for battle!

This is what the Lord says to me:

Post a watchman.
    Have him report whatever he sees.
He will see chariots, pairs of horsemen,
    riders on donkeys, and riders on camels.
        Let him watch carefully, very carefully.
The watchman[c] called,
    “Sir, I stand on the watchtower every day.
        Every night, I stand guard at my post.
            Look! Here come chariots and horsemen in pairs.”
Then he said,
    “Babylon has fallen! It has fallen!
        All the idols they worship lie shattered on the ground.”

10 You, my people, have been threshed and winnowed.[d]
    I make known to you what I heard from the Lord of Armies,
        the God of Israel.

Someone Calling from Seir

11 This is the divine revelation about Dumah.[e]

Someone is calling to me from Seir,
    “Watchman, how much of the night is left?
    Watchman, how much of the night is left?”
12 The watchman answers,
    “Morning is coming, and night will come again.
        If you need to ask, come back and ask.”

Arabia Will Be Punished

13 This is the divine revelation about Arabia.

    You caravan of travelers from the people of Dedan
        will spend the night in the forest of Arabia.
14 Bring water for the thirsty,
    you inhabitants of the land of Tema.
Bring food to the fugitives.
15 They flee from swords,
    from swords ready to kill,
        from bows ready to shoot,
            and from the thick of battle.

16 This is what the Lord says to me: All of Kedar’s honor will be gone in another year. I will count it like workers count the years left on their contracts. [f] 17 The remaining number of archers, Kedar’s mighty archers, will be few. The Lord God of Israel has spoken.

Judah Will Be Punished

22 This is the divine revelation about the valley of Vision.

What’s the matter with you?
Why do all of you go up on the roofs?
    You are a city filled with shouting,
        a town filled with noise and excitement.
    Your people weren’t killed with swords.
    Your dead didn’t die in battle.
All your leaders fled together
    and were captured without their bows and arrows.
All those who were found were taken prisoner
    before any of them could get far away.
That is why I say,
    “Turn away from me
        so that I can cry bitterly.
    Don’t try to comfort me
        because of the destruction brought on my people.”

The Almighty Lord of Armies has chosen a special day.
    It will be a day of confusion and trampling
        in the valley of Vision,
            a day of tearing down walls and crying for help
                in the mountains.
Elam takes its quiver of arrows,
    manned chariots, and horsemen.
Kir uncovers its shields.
    Then your fertile valleys will be filled with chariots,
        and horsemen will stand ready in front of the gate.
    On that day the Lord will remove the defenses of Judah.

You will look for weapons in the House of the Forest.[g]
You will see how many places in David’s wall are broken.
You will store water in the Lower Pool.
10 You will count the houses in Jerusalem.
You will tear down those houses in order to fortify the walls.
11 You will build a reservoir between the two walls
    to hold the water of the Old Pool.
        You didn’t look to Jerusalem’s maker.
        You didn’t see the one who formed it long ago.
12 On that day the Almighty Lord of Armies
    will call for crying and for mourning,
        for shaving your heads and for wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, you will rejoice, celebrate,
    slaughter cattle, and butcher sheep.
You will eat meat, drink wine, and say,
    “Let’s eat and drink because tomorrow we’re going to die.”

14 The Lord of Armies revealed this to me: “Certainly, this wrong will not be forgiven even when you die,” says the Almighty Lord of Armies.

Shebna’s Position Will Be Given to Eliakim

15 This is what the Almighty Lord of Armies says:

Go to Shebna, the man in charge of the palace, and say to him,
16     “What are you doing here?
        What right do you have to dig a tomb for yourself?
        What right do you have to cut it out in a prominent place?
        What right do you have to carve out
            a resting place for yourself in the rock?
17 Look, mighty man!
    The Lord will throw you out.
        He will grab you.
18         He will wrap you up tightly like a turban.
        He will throw you far away into another land.
            There you will die.
            There your splendid chariots will remain.
            There you will become a disgrace to your master’s household.

19 “I will remove you from your office
    and do away with your position.
20 When that day comes, I will call my servant Eliakim, son of Hilkiah.
21 I will dress him in your linen robe
    and fasten it with your belt.
I will give him your authority,
    and he will be like a father to those who live in Jerusalem
        and to the nation of Judah.
22 I will place the key of the house of David around his neck.
    What he opens no one will shut.
    What he shuts no one will open.
23 I will fasten him firmly in place like a peg,
    and he will be a source of honor for his father’s household.
24 They will hang on him the whole weight of his father’s household,
    descendants and offspring and all the little utensils,
        from bowls to jars of every kind.”

25 The Lord of Armies declares,

“On that day the peg which I firmly fastened in place will be removed.
    It will be cut off and will fall,
        and everything hanging on it will be destroyed.”

The Lord has spoken.

Tyre Will Be Punished

This is the divine revelation about Tyre.

Cry loudly, you ships of Tarshish!
    Your port at Tyre is destroyed.
        Word has come to the ships from Cyprus.
Be silent, you inhabitants of the coastland, you merchants from Sidon.
    Your messengers have crossed the sea.
The grain of Shihor is on the Mediterranean.
    The harvest of the Nile River is brought to Tyre.
        Tyre became the marketplace for the nations.

Be ashamed, Sidon, because the stronghold by the sea has spoken,
    “I’ve never been in labor or given birth.
        I’ve raised no sons.
        I’ve brought up no daughters.”
When the news reaches Egypt,
    the Egyptians will shudder over the news about Tyre.

Travel to Tarshish!
Cry loudly, you inhabitants of the seacoast!
Is this your bustling city founded in the distant past?
Is this the city that sent its people to settle in distant lands?
Who planned such a thing against Tyre, the city that produced kings?
    Its merchants are princes.
        Its traders are among the honored people of the world.
The Lord of Armies planned this
    in order to dishonor all arrogant people
        and to humiliate all the honored people of the world.
10 Travel through your country like the Nile, people of Tarshish.
    You no longer have a harbor.
11 The Lord has stretched his hand over the sea to shake kingdoms.
    He has commanded that Canaan’s fortifications be destroyed.
12 He says, “You will no longer be joyful,
    my dear abused people Sidon.”
Get up, and travel to Cyprus.
    Even there you will find no rest.
13 Look at the land of the Babylonians.
    These people will be gone.
Assyria gave this land to the desert animals.
    Assyria set up battle towers,
        stripped palaces bare,
            and turned these places into ruins.

14 Cry loudly, you ships of Tarshish, because your fortress will be destroyed. 15 When that day comes, Tyre will be forgotten for 70 years, the lifetime of one king. At the end of the 70 years, Tyre will be like the prostitute in this song:

16 “Take your lyre.
    Go around in the city, you forgotten prostitute.
Make sweet music.
    Sing many songs so that you’ll be remembered.”

17 At the end of 70 years the Lord will come to help Tyre. Then she will go back to earning money as a prostitute. She will become a prostitute for all the world’s kingdoms. 18 Her profits and her earnings will be turned over to the Lord for his holy purpose. It won’t be stored or hoarded. Her merchandise will belong to those who live in the presence of the Lord so that they will have plenty of food and expensive clothing.


  1. Isaiah 19:5 Or “Then the water of the sea will be dried up.”
  2. Isaiah 19:18 Dead Sea Scrolls, some Hebrew manuscripts, Greek, Targum, Latin, Egyptian; Masoretic Text “City of Destruction.”
  3. Isaiah 21:8 Syriac, Dead Sea Scrolls; Masoretic Text, Targum “lion”; Greek “Uriah.”
  4. Isaiah 21:10 Threshing is the process of beating stalks to separate them from the grain. Winnowing is the process of separating husks from grain.
  5. Isaiah 21:11 The exact location of Dumah is unknown.
  6. Isaiah 21:17 Hebrew meaning of this sentence uncertain.
  7. Isaiah 22:8 “The House of the Forest” is a storehouse for weapons and other items. It was built by Solomon as part of the temple complex.
GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Copyright © 1995 by God's Word to the Nations. Used by permission of God's Word Mission Society.

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