Isaiah 18-22

18Ah, land of whirring wings beyond the rivers of Ethiopia, 2sending ambassadors by the Nile in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide. 3All you inhabitants of the world, you who live on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, listen! 4For thus the Lord said to me: I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest. 5For before the harvest, when the blossom is over and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he will hew away. 6They shall all be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the animals of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the animals of the earth will winter on them. 7At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.

19An 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. 2I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, one against the other, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom; 3the 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; 4I 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. 5The waters of the Nile will be dried up, and the river will be parched and dry; 6its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away. 7There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile; and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up, be driven away, and be no more. 8Those who fish will mourn; all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament, and those who spread nets on the water will languish. 9The workers in flax will be in despair, and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale. 10Its weavers will be dismayed, and all who work for wages will be grieved. 11The princes of Zoan are utterly 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”? 12Where now are your sages? Let them tell you and make known what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt. 13The 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. 14The Lord has poured into them a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings as a drunkard staggers around in vomit. 15Neither head nor tail, palm branch or reed, will be able to do anything for Egypt. 16On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them. 17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.

18On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun. 19On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20It 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. 21The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them. 23On 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 worship with the Assyrians. 24On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.”

20In 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— 2at 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. 3Then 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 Ethiopia, 4so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. 5And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6In 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?’”

21The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a terrible land. 2A 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. 3Therefore 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. 4My mind reels, horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling. 5They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Rise up, commanders, oil the shield! 6For thus the Lord said to me: “Go, post a lookout, let him announce what he sees. 7When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on donkeys, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently.” 8Then the watcher called out: “Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed throughout the night. 9Look, 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.” 10O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11The oracle concerning Dumah. One is calling to me from Seir, “Sentinel, what of the night? Sentinel, what of the night?” 12The sentinel says: “Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again.”

13The oracle concerning the desert plain. In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge, O caravans of Dedanites. 14Bring water to the thirsty, meet the fugitive with bread, O inhabitants of the land of Tema. 15For they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the stress of battle. 16For 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; 17and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

22The oracle concerning the valley of vision. What do you mean that you have gone up, all of you, to the housetops, 2you that are full of shoutings, tumultuous city, exultant town? Your slain are not slain by the sword, nor are they dead in battle. 3Your rulers have all fled together; they were captured without the use of a bow. All of you who were found were captured, though they had fled far away. 4Therefore I said: Look away from me, let me weep bitter tears; do not try to comfort me for the destruction of my beloved people. 5For the Lord God of hosts has a day of tumult and trampling and confusion in the valley of vision, a battering down of walls and a cry for help to the mountains. 6Elam bore the quiver with chariots and cavalry, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7Your choicest valleys were full of chariots, and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.

8He has taken away the covering of Judah. On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, 9and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago. 12In that day the Lord God of hosts called to weeping and mourning, to baldness and putting on sackcloth; 13but instead there was joy and festivity, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 14The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears: Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die, says the Lord God of hosts.

15Thus says the Lord God of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: 16What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17The Lord is about to hurl you away violently, my fellow. He will seize firm hold on you, 18whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master’s house! 19I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post. 20On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honor to his ancestral house. 24And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.

From the oremus Bible Browser http://bible.oremus.org v2.2.8 14 July 2018.


New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org