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A Prophecy concerning Egypt and Cush

20 In the year that the Assyrian king Sargon[a] sent his supreme commander to attack Ashdod, he came and captured it.[b] At that time the Lord Yahweh said to Isaiah, the son of Amoz, “Take off your clothes[c] and sandals.” Isaiah did as he was told and walked about naked and barefoot.[d]

Then the Lord Yahweh said, “Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years[e] as a prophetic sign and a wonder as a warning of what is coming to Egypt and Cush, so will the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt and Cush, both young and old. They will be stripped and barefoot, with buttocks bared, to publicly humiliate Egypt. And those who put their hope in ‘glorious Cush’ and ‘mighty Egypt,’ will be shattered and totally ashamed.”

When that day comes, those who live on the coastal region of Philistia will say, “Oh no! If this is what happened to those we hoped would come and rescue us from the Assyrian king, what chance do we have of escape?”


  1. Isaiah 20:1 Sargon means “sun prince.” He was the father of Sennacherib.
  2. Isaiah 20:1 Ashdod means “stronghold, fortress,” or “oppressor.”
  3. Isaiah 20:2 Or “sackcloth,” a coarse, durable fabric used mainly to make sacks for carrying goods on the backs of animals but sometimes worn during fasts or by prophets.
  4. Isaiah 20:2 This is the only symbolic action recorded about Isaiah. He became a walking parable. Scholars are divided over whether Isaiah was completely or partially nude. See 2 Sam. 6:20; Mic. 1:8.
  5. Isaiah 20:3 Isaiah’s three-year ministry of walking about in loincloth is a type of the ministry of Jesus, who did as he was told by his Father (John 5:19).

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