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Isaiah 18-22 (New American Standard Bible)

Isaiah 18-22

Message to Ethiopia

18 Alas, oh land of whirring wings
Which lies beyond the rivers of [a]Cush,
Which sends envoys by the sea,
Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters.
Go, swift messengers, to a nation [b]tall and smooth,
To a people feared [c]far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation
Whose land the rivers divide.
All you inhabitants of the world and dwellers on earth,
As soon as a standard is raised on the mountains, you will see it,
And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it.

For thus the Lord has told me,

“I will look [d]from My dwelling place quietly
Like dazzling heat in the [e]sunshine,
Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For before the harvest, as soon as the bud [f]blossoms
And the flower becomes a ripening grape,
Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives
And remove and cut away the spreading branches.
They will be left together for mountain birds of prey,
And for the beasts of the earth;
And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them,
And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them.
At that time a gift of homage will be brought to the Lord of hosts
[g]From a people [h]tall and smooth,
Even from a people feared [i]far and wide,
A powerful and oppressive nation,
Whose land the rivers divide—
To the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, even Mount Zion.

Message to Egypt

19 The [j]oracle concerning Egypt.

Behold, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt;
The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence,
And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
“So I will incite Egyptians against Egyptians;
And they will each fight against his brother and each against his neighbor,
City against city and kingdom against kingdom.
“Then the spirit of the Egyptians will be demoralized within them;
And I will confound their strategy,
So that they will resort to idols and ghosts of the dead
And to [k]mediums and spiritists.
“Moreover, I will deliver the Egyptians into the hand of a cruel master,
And a [l]mighty king will rule over them,” declares the Lord [m]God of hosts.

The waters from the sea will dry up,
And the river will be parched and dry.
The [n]canals will emit a stench,
The [o]streams of Egypt will thin out and dry up;
The reeds and rushes will rot away.
The bulrushes by the Nile, by the [p]edge of the Nile
And all the sown fields by the Nile
Will become dry, be driven away, and be no more.
And the fishermen will lament,
And all those who cast a [q]line into the Nile will mourn,
And those who spread nets on the waters will [r]pine away.
Moreover, the manufacturers of linen made from combed flax
And the weavers of white cloth will be [s]utterly dejected.
10 And [t]the pillars of Egypt will be crushed;
All the hired laborers will be grieved in soul.

11 The princes of [u]Zoan are mere fools;
The advice of Pharaoh’s wisest advisers has become [v]stupid.
How can you men say to Pharaoh,
“I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings”?
12 Well then, where are your wise men?
Please let them tell you,
And let them [w]understand what the Lord of hosts
Has purposed against Egypt.
13 The princes of [x]Zoan have acted foolishly,
The princes of Memphis are deluded;
Those who are the cornerstone of her tribes
Have [y]led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has mixed within her a spirit of distortion;
They have led Egypt astray in all [z]that it does,
As a drunken man [aa]staggers in his vomit.
15 There will be no work for Egypt
Which its head or tail, its palm branch or bulrush, may do.

16 In that day the Egyptians will become like women, and they will tremble and be in dread because of the waving of the hand of the Lord of hosts, which He is going to wave over them. 17 The land of Judah will become a [ab]terror to Egypt; everyone [ac]to whom it is mentioned will be in dread of it, because of the purpose of the Lord of hosts which He is purposing against them.

18 In that day five cities in the land of Egypt will be speaking the language of Canaan and swearing allegiance to the Lord of hosts; one will be called the City of [ad]Destruction.

19 In that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord near its border. 20 It will become a sign and a witness to the Lord of hosts in the land of Egypt; for they will cry to the Lord because of oppressors, and He will send them a Savior and a [ae]Champion, and He will deliver them. 21 Thus the Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day. They will even worship with sacrifice and offering, and will make a vow to the Lord and perform it. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the Lord, and He will respond to them and will heal them.

23 In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrians will come into Egypt and the Egyptians into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.

24 In 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 is Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel My inheritance.”

Prophecy about Egypt and Ethiopia

20 In the year that the [af]commander came to Ashdod, when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him and he fought against Ashdod and captured it, at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, “Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet.” And he did so, going naked and barefoot. And the Lord said, “Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a [ag]sign and token against Egypt and [ah]Cush, so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the [ai]shame of Egypt. Then they will be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their boast. So the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, ‘Behold, such is our hope, where we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria; and we, how shall we escape?’”

God Commands That Babylon Be Taken

21 The [aj]oracle concerning the [ak]wilderness of the sea.

As windstorms in the [al]Negev sweep on,
It comes from the wilderness, from a terrifying land.
A harsh vision has been shown to me;
The treacherous one still deals treacherously, and the destroyer still destroys.
Go up, Elam, lay siege, Media;
I have made an end of all [am]the groaning she has caused.
For this reason my loins are full of anguish;
Pains have seized me like the pains of a woman in labor.
I am so bewildered I cannot hear, so terrified I cannot see.
My [an]mind reels, [ao]horror overwhelms me;
The twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling.
They set the table, they [ap]spread out the cloth, they eat, they drink;
“Rise up, captains, oil the shields,”

For thus the Lord says to me,

“Go, station the lookout, let him report what he sees.
“When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
A train of donkeys, a train of camels,
Let him pay close attention, very close attention.”

Then [aq]the lookout called,

O Lord, I stand continually by day on the watchtower,
And I am stationed every night at my guard post.
“Now behold, here comes a troop of riders, horsemen in pairs.”
And one said, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
And all the images of her gods [ar]are shattered on the ground.”
10 O my threshed people, and my [as]afflicted of the threshing floor!
What I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
The God of Israel, I make known to you.

Oracles about Edom and Arabia

11 The [at]oracle concerning [au]Edom.

One keeps calling to me from Seir,
“Watchman, [av]how far gone is the night?
Watchman, [aw]how far gone is the night?”
12 The watchman says,
“Morning comes but also night.
If you would inquire, inquire;
Come back again.”

13 The [ax]oracle about Arabia.

In the thickets of Arabia you [ay]must spend the night,
O caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water [az]for the thirsty,
O inhabitants of the land of Tema,
Meet the fugitive with bread.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
From the drawn sword, and from the bent bow
And from the press of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me, “In a year, as [ba]a hired man would count it, all the splendor of Kedar will terminate; 17 and the remainder of the number of bowmen, the mighty men of the sons of Kedar, will be few; for the Lord God of Israel has spoken.”

The Valley of Vision

22 The [bb]oracle concerning the valley of vision.

What is the matter with you now, that you have all gone up to the housetops?
You who were full of noise,
You boisterous town, you exultant city;
Your slain were not slain with the sword,
Nor [bc]did they die in battle.
All your rulers have fled together,
And have been captured [bd]without the bow;
All of you who were found were taken captive together,
[be]Though they had fled far away.
Therefore I say, “Turn your eyes away from me,
Let me weep bitterly,
Do not [bf]try to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.”
For the Lord [bg]God of hosts has a day of panic, subjugation and confusion
In the valley of vision,
A breaking down of walls
And a crying [bh]to the mountain.
Elam took up the quiver
With the chariots, [bi]infantry and horsemen;
And Kir uncovered the shield.
Then your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
And the horsemen took up fixed positions at the gate.
And He removed the [bj]defense of Judah.
In that day you [bk]depended on the weapons of the house of the forest,
And you saw that the breaches
In the wall of the city of David were many;
And you collected the waters of the lower pool.
10 Then you counted the houses of Jerusalem
And tore down houses to fortify the wall.
11 And you made a reservoir between the two walls
For the waters of the old pool.
But you did not [bl]depend on Him who made it,
Nor did you [bm]take into consideration Him who planned it long ago.

12 Therefore in that day the Lord [bn]God of hosts called you to weeping, to wailing,
To shaving the head and to wearing sackcloth.
13 Instead, there is gaiety and gladness,
Killing of cattle and slaughtering of sheep,
Eating of meat and drinking of wine:
Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we may die.”
14 But the Lord of hosts revealed Himself [bo]to me,
“Surely this iniquity shall not be [bp]forgiven you
Until you die,” says the Lord [bq]God of hosts.

15 Thus says the Lord [br]God of hosts,

“Come, go to this steward,
To Shebna, who is in charge of the royal household,
16 ‘What right do you have here,
And whom do you have here,
That you have hewn a tomb for yourself here,
You who hew a tomb on the height,
You who carve a resting place for [bs]yourself in the rock?
17 ‘Behold, the Lord is about to hurl you headlong, O man.
And He is about to grasp you firmly
18 And roll you tightly like a ball,
To be cast into a vast country;
There you will die
And there your splendid chariots will be,
You shame of your master’s house.’
19 “I will depose you from your office,
And [bt]I will pull you down from your station.
20 “Then it will come about in that day,
That I will summon My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah,
21 And I will clothe him with your tunic
And tie your sash securely about him.
I will entrust him with your [bu]authority,
And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
22 “Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder,
When he opens no one will shut,
When he shuts no one will open.
23 “I will drive him like a peg in a firm place,
And he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house.

24 So they will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, offspring and [bv]issue, all the least of vessels, from bowls to all the jars. 25 In that day,” declares the Lord of hosts, “the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.”


  1. Isaiah 18:1 Or Ethiopia
  2. Isaiah 18:2 Lit drawn out
  3. Isaiah 18:2 Lit from it and beyond
  4. Isaiah 18:4 Lit in
  5. Isaiah 18:4 Lit light
  6. Isaiah 18:5 Lit is finished
  7. Isaiah 18:7 So with some ancient versions and DSS; M.T. implies Consisting of a people
  8. Isaiah 18:7 Lit drawn out
  9. Isaiah 18:7 Lit from it and beyond
  10. Isaiah 19:1 Or burden of
  11. Isaiah 19:3 Or ghosts and spirits
  12. Isaiah 19:4 Or fierce
  13. Isaiah 19:4 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  14. Isaiah 19:6 Lit rivers
  15. Isaiah 19:6 Or Nile branches; i.e. the delta
  16. Isaiah 19:7 Or mouth
  17. Isaiah 19:8 Lit hook
  18. Isaiah 19:8 Or languish
  19. Isaiah 19:9 Lit ashamed
  20. Isaiah 19:10 Lit her pillars or, her weavers
  21. Isaiah 19:11 Or Tanis
  22. Isaiah 19:11 Or brutish
  23. Isaiah 19:12 Or know
  24. Isaiah 19:13 Or Tanis
  25. Isaiah 19:13 Or have caused Egypt to stagger
  26. Isaiah 19:14 Lit its work
  27. Isaiah 19:14 Or goes astray
  28. Isaiah 19:17 Or cause of shame
  29. Isaiah 19:17 Lit who mentions it will be in dread to it
  30. Isaiah 19:18 Some ancient mss and versions read the Sun
  31. Isaiah 19:20 Lit Mighty One
  32. Isaiah 20:1 Heb Tartan
  33. Isaiah 20:3 Or wonder
  34. Isaiah 20:3 Or Ethiopia, so in vv 4, 5
  35. Isaiah 20:4 Lit nakedness
  36. Isaiah 21:1 Or burden of
  37. Isaiah 21:1 Or sandy wastes, sea country
  38. Isaiah 21:1 I.e. South country
  39. Isaiah 21:2 Lit her groaning
  40. Isaiah 21:4 Lit heart has wandered
  41. Isaiah 21:4 Lit shuddering
  42. Isaiah 21:5 Or spread out the rugs or possibly they arranged the seating
  43. Isaiah 21:8 So DSS; M.T. he called like a lion
  44. Isaiah 21:9 Lit he has shattered to the earth
  45. Isaiah 21:10 Lit son
  46. Isaiah 21:11 Or burden
  47. Isaiah 21:11 So the Gr; Heb Dumah, silence
  48. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  49. Isaiah 21:11 Lit what is the time of the night?
  50. Isaiah 21:13 Or burden
  51. Isaiah 21:13 Or will spend
  52. Isaiah 21:14 Lit to meet
  53. Isaiah 21:16 Lit the years of a hireling
  54. Isaiah 22:1 Or burden of
  55. Isaiah 22:2 Lit dead in battle
  56. Isaiah 22:3 Lit from a bow
  57. Isaiah 22:3 So with ancient versions; Heb They fled far away
  58. Isaiah 22:4 Lit insist
  59. Isaiah 22:5 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  60. Isaiah 22:5 Or against
  61. Isaiah 22:6 Lit man
  62. Isaiah 22:8 Lit screen, covering
  63. Isaiah 22:8 Or looked to, considered
  64. Isaiah 22:11 Or look to, consider
  65. Isaiah 22:11 Lit see...Him
  66. Isaiah 22:12 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  67. Isaiah 22:14 Lit in my ears
  68. Isaiah 22:14 Lit atoned for
  69. Isaiah 22:14 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  70. Isaiah 22:15 Heb YHWH, usually rendered Lord
  71. Isaiah 22:16 Lit himself
  72. Isaiah 22:19 So with many ancient versions; Heb He
  73. Isaiah 22:21 Lit rule
  74. Isaiah 22:24 Or perhaps, leaf
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New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation

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