New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
An Oracle concerning Egypt
19 An oracle concerning Egypt.
See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
and comes to Egypt;
the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.(A)
2 I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
and they will fight, one against the other,
neighbor against neighbor,
city against city, kingdom against kingdom;(B)
3 the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
and I will confound their plans;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead
and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;(C)
4 I will deliver the Egyptians
into the hand of a hard master;
a fierce king will rule over them,
says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts.(D)
5 The waters of the Nile will be dried up,
and the river will be parched and dry;(E)
6 its canals will become foul,
and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up.
Reeds and rushes will rot away,(F)
7 the reeds beside the Nile;[a]
all that is sown by the Nile will dry up,
be driven away, and be no more.
8 Those who fish will mourn;
all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,
and those who spread nets on the water will languish.
9 The workers in flax will be in despair,
and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.
10 Its weavers will be dismayed,
and all who work for wages will be grieved.(G)
11 Clearly the princes of Zoan are foolish;
the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
“I am one of the sages,
a descendant of ancient kings”?(H)
12 Where now are your sages?
Let them tell you and make known
what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt.(I)
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of its tribes
have led Egypt astray.(J)
14 The Lord has poured into them[b]
a spirit of confusion;
and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings
as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.(K)
15 Neither head nor tail, palm branch or reed,
will be able to do anything for Egypt.
16 On that day the Egyptians will be like women and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them.(L) 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror[c] to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.(M)
Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed
19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord at its border.(O) 20 It will be a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the Lord because of oppressors, he will send them a savior and will defend and deliver them.(P) 21 The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day and will serve with sacrifice and offerings, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them.(Q) 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing, so that they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.(R)
23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will serve with the Assyrians.(S)
24 On that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people and Assyria the work of my hands and Israel my heritage.”(T)
Isaiah Dramatizes the Conquest of Egypt and Cush
20 In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it(U)— 2 at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet,” and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot.(V) 3 Then the Lord said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,(W) 4 so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Cushites as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.(X) 5 And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast.(Y) 6 On that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, ‘See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?’ ”(Z)
Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia
21 The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.
As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
it comes from the desert,
from a terrible land.(AA)
2 A stern vision is told to me;
the betrayer betrays,
and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam;
lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
I bring to an end.(AB)
3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
pangs have seized me
like the pangs of a woman in labor;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear;
I am dismayed so that I cannot see.(AC)
4 My mind reels; horror has appalled me;
the twilight I longed for
has been turned for me into trembling.(AD)
5 They prepare the table;
they spread the rugs;
they eat; they drink.
Rise up, commanders;
oil the shield!(AE)
6 For thus the Lord said to me:
“Go, post a lookout;
let him announce what he sees.
7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him watch closely,
8 Then the watcher[e] called out:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
throughout the night.(AG)
9 Look, there they come, riders,
horsemen in pairs!”
Then he responded,
“Fallen, fallen is Babylon,
and all the images of her gods
lie shattered on the ground.”(AH)
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
the God of Israel, I announce to you.(AI)
11 The oracle concerning Dumah.
One is calling to me from Seir,
“Sentinel, what of the night?
Sentinel, what of the night?”(AJ)
12 The sentinel says:
“Morning comes and also the night.
If you will inquire, inquire;
come back again.”
13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.
In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,
O caravans of Dedanites.(AK)
14 Bring water to the thirsty,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema;
meet the fugitive with bread.(AL)
15 For they have fled from the swords,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
and from the stress of battle.(AM)
16 For thus the Lord said to me: “Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end,(AN) 17 and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few, for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.”(AO)