Isaiah 18; Isaiah 19; Isaiah 20; Isaiah 21; Isaiah 22

1 Ah! The land of buzzing insect wings beyond the rivers of Cush 2 sends envoys by sea, in reed vessels on the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared near and far, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers. 3 All you inhabitants of the world and you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet sounds, listen! 4 For, the Lord said to me: I will quietly look out from My place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a rain cloud in harvest heat. 5 For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and the blossom becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife, and tear away and remove the branches. 6 They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills and for the wild animals of the land. The birds will spend the summer on them, and all the animals, the winter on them. 7 At that time a gift will be brought to the Lord of Hosts from a people tall and smooth-skinned, a people feared near and far, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers-to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of Hosts.
1 An oracle against Egypt: Look, the Lord rides on a swift cloud and is coming to Egypt. Egypt's idols will tremble before Him, and Egypt's heart will melt within it. 2 I will provoke Egypt against Egypt; each will fight against his brother and each against his friend, city against city, kingdom against kingdom. 3 Egypt's spirit will be disturbed within it, and I will frustrate its plans. Then they will seek idols, ghosts, spirits of the dead, and spiritists. 4 I will deliver Egypt into the hands of harsh masters, and a strong king will rule it. [This is]*The bracketed text has been added for clarity. the declaration of the Lord God of Hosts. 5 The waters of the sea will dry up, and the river will be parched and dry. 6 The channels will stink; they will dwindle, and Egypt's canals will be parched. Reed and rush will die. 7 The reeds by the Nile, by the mouth of the river, and all the cultivated areas of the Nile will wither, blow away, and vanish. 8 Then the fishermen will mourn. All those who cast hooks into the Nile will lament, and those who spread nets on the water will shrivel up. 9 Those who work with flax will be dismayed; the combers and weavers will turn pale. 10 [Egypt's] weavers will be dejected; all her wage earners will be demoralized. 11 The princes of Zoan are complete fools; Pharaoh's wisest advisers give stupid advice! How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am one of the wise, a student of eastern kings." 12 Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you and reveal what the Lord of Hosts has planned against Egypt. 13 The princes of Zoan have been fools; the princes of Memphis are deceived. Her tribal chieftains have led Egypt astray. 14 The Lord has mixed within her a spirit of confusion. [The leaders] have made Egypt stagger in all she does, as a drunkard staggers in his vomit. 15 No head or tail, palm or reed, will be able to do anything for Egypt. 16 On that day Egypt will be like women. She will tremble with fear because of the threatening hand of the Lord of Hosts when He raises it against her. 17 The land of Judah will terrify Egypt; whenever Judah is mentioned, Egypt will tremble because of what the Lord of Hosts has planned against it. 18 On that day five cities in the land of Egypt will speak the language of Canaan and swear loyalty to the Lord of Hosts. One of the cities will be called the City of the Sun. 19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the center of the land of Egypt and a pillar to the Lord near her border. 20 It will be a sign and witness to the Lord of Hosts in the land of Egypt. When they cry out to the Lord because of their oppressors, He will send them a savior and leader, and he will rescue them. 21 The Lord will make Himself known to Egypt, and Egypt will know the Lord on that day. They will offer sacrifices and offerings; they will make vows to the Lord and fulfill them. 22 The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing. Then they will return to the Lord and He will hear their prayers and heal them. 23 On that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. Assyria will go to Egypt, Egypt to Assyria, and Egypt will worship with Assyria. 24 On that day Israel will form a triple [alliance] with Egypt and Assyria-a blessing within the land. 25 The Lord of Hosts will bless them, saying, "Blessed be Egypt My people, Assyria My handiwork, and Israel My inheritance."
1 In the year that the commander-in-chief, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it- 2 during that time the Lord had spoken through Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, "Go, take off your sackcloth and remove the sandals from your feet," and he did so, going naked and barefoot- 3 the Lord said, "As My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and omen against Egypt and Cush, 4 so the king of Assyria will lead the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old alike, naked and barefoot, with bared buttocks, to Egypt's shame. 5 Those who made Cush their hope and Egypt their boast will be dismayed and ashamed. 6 And the inhabitants of this coastland will say on that day: Look, this is what has happened to those we relied on and fled to for help to rescue [us] from the king of Assyria! Now, how will we escape?"
1 An oracle against the desert by the sea: Like storms that pass over the Negev, it comes from the desert, from the land of terror. 2 A troubling vision is declared to me: "The treacherous one acts treacherously, and the destroyer destroys. Advance, Elam! Lay siege, you Medes! I will put an end to all her groaning." 3 Therefore I am filled with anguish. Pain grips me, like the pain of a woman in labor. I am too perplexed to hear, too dismayed to see. 4 My heart staggers; horror terrifies me. He has turned my last glimmer of hope into sheer terror. 5 Prepare a table, and spread out a carpet! Eat and drink! Rise up, you princes, and oil the shields! 6 For the Lord has said to me, "Go, post a lookout; let him report what he sees. 7 When he sees riders- pairs of horsemen, riders on donkeys, riders on camels- pay close attention." 8 Then the lookout reported, "Lord, I stand on the watchtower all day, and I stay at my post all night. 9 Look, riders come- horsemen in pairs." And he answered, saying, "Babylon has fallen, has fallen. All the idols of her gods have been shattered on the ground." 10 My downtrodden and threshed people, I have declared to you what I have heard from the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel. 11 An oracle against Dumah: One calls to me from Seir, "Watchman, what is [left] of the night? Watchman, what is [left] of the night?" 12 The watchman said, "Morning has come, and also night. If you want to ask, ask! Come back again." 13 An oracle against Arabia: You will camp for the night in the scrublands of the desert, you caravans of Dedanites. 14 Bring water for the thirsty. The inhabitants of the land of Tema meet the refugees with food. 15 For they have fled from swords, from the drawn sword, and from the bent bow, from the stress of battle. 16 For the Lord said this to me: "Within one year, as a hired worker counts years, all the glory of Kedar will be gone. 17 The remaining Kedarite archers will be few in number." For the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
1 An oracle against the Valley of Vision: What's the matter with you? Why have all of you gone up to the rooftops? 2 The noisy city, the jubilant town, is filled with revelry. Your dead did not die by the sword; they were not killed in battle. 3 All your rulers have fled together, captured without a bow. All your fugitives were captured together; they had fled far away. 4 Therefore I said, "Look away from me! Let me weep bitterly! Do not try to comfort me about the destruction of my dear people." 5 For the Lord God of Hosts had a day of tumult, trampling, and bewilderment in the Valley of Vision- people shouting and crying to the mountains; 6 Elam took up a quiver with chariots and horsemen, and Kir uncovered the shield. 7 Your best valleys were full of chariots, and horsemen were positioned at the gates. 8 He removed the defenses of Judah. On that day you looked to the weapons in the House of the Forest. 9 You saw that there were many breaches in [the walls of] the city of David. You collected water from the lower pool. 10 You counted the houses of Jerusalem so that you could tear them down to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the walls for the waters of the ancient pool, but you did not look to the One who made it, or consider the One who created it long ago. 12 On that day the Lord God of Hosts called for weeping, for wailing, for shaven heads, and for the wearing of sackcloth. 13 But look: joy and gladness, butchering of cattle, slaughtering of sheep, eating of meat, and drinking of wine- "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" 14 The Lord of Hosts has revealed [this] in my hearing: "This sin of yours will never be wiped out." The Lord God of Hosts has spoken. 15 The Lord God of Hosts said: "Go to Shebna, that steward who is in charge of the palace, [and say to him:] 16 What are you doing here? Who authorized you to carve out a tomb for yourself here, carving your tomb on the height and cutting a crypt for yourself out of rock? 17 Look, young man! The Lord is about to shake you violently. He will take hold of you, 18 wind you up into a ball, and sling you into a wide land. There you will die, and there your glorious chariots will be-a disgrace to the house of your lord. 19 I will remove you from your office; you will be ousted from your position. 20 "On that day I will call for my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. 21 I will clothe him with your robe and tie your sash around him. I will put your authority into his hand, and he will be like a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the House of Judah. 22 I will place the key of the House of David on his shoulder; what he opens, no one can close; what he closes, no one can open. 23 I will drive him, like a peg, into a firm place. He will be a throne of honor for his father's house. 24 They will hang on him the whole burden of his father's house: the descendants and the offshoots-all the small vessels, from bowls to every kind of jar. 25 On that day"-the declaration of the Lord of Hosts-"the peg that was driven into a firm place will give way, be cut off, and fall, and the load on it will be destroyed." Indeed, the Lord has spoken.
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