Isaiah 20

An Oracle Concerning Cush

18  Ah, land of owhirring wings

that is beyond the rivers of pCush,1

which qsends ambassadors by the sea,

in vessels of papyrus on the waters!

Go, you swift messengers,

to a nation rtall and smooth,

to a people feared near and far,

a nation smighty and conquering,

whose land the rivers divide.

All you inhabitants of the world,

you who dwell on the earth,

when ta signal is raised on the mountains, look!

When a trumpet is blown, hear!

For thus the Lord said to me:

I will quietly look ufrom my dwelling

like clear heat in sunshine,

like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

vFor before the harvest, when the blossom is over,

and the flower becomes a ripening grape,

he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks,

and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.

vThey shall all of them be left

to the birds of prey of the mountains

and to the beasts of the earth.

And the birds of prey will summer on them,

and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them.

wAt that time tribute will be brought to the Lord of hosts

from a people xtall and smooth,

from a people feared near and far,

a nation mighty and conquering,

whose land the rivers divide,

to yMount Zion, the place of the zname of the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle Concerning Egypt

19 An aoracle concerning bEgypt.

Behold, the Lord cis riding on a swift cloud

and comes to Egypt;

and dthe idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,

and the heart of the Egyptians will emelt within them.

And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,

fand they will fight, each against another

and each against his neighbor,

city against city, kingdom against kingdom;

and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,

and I will confound1 their gcounsel;

and they will inquire of the idols and the sorcerers,

and hthe mediums and the necromancers;

and I will give over the Egyptians

into the hand of ia hard master,

and a fierce king will rule over them,

declares the Lord God of hosts.

And the waters of the sea will be dried up,

and the river will be dry and parched,

and its canals will become foul,

and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up,

reeds and rushes will rot away.

There will be bare places by the Nile,

on the brink of the Nile,

and all that is sown by the Nile will be parched,

will be driven away, and will be no more.

The jfishermen will mourn and lament,

all who cast a hook in the Nile;

and they will languish

who spread nets on the water.

The workers in kcombed flax will be in despair,

and the weavers of white cotton.

10  Those who are the lpillars of the land will be crushed,

and all who mwork for pay will be grieved.

11  The princes of nZoan are utterly foolish;

the wisest counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.

How can you say to Pharaoh,

I am a son of the wise,

a son of ancient kings?

12  Where then are your owise men?

Let them tell you

that they might know what the Lord of hosts has purposed against Egypt.

13  The princes of nZoan have become fools,

and the princes of pMemphis are deluded;

those who are the qcornerstones of her tribes

have made Egypt stagger.

14  The Lord has mingled within her ra spirit of confusion,

and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds,

sas a drunken man staggers in his vomit.

15  And there will be nothing for Egypt

that thead or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.

Egypt, Assyria, Israel Blessed

16 In that day the Egyptians will be ulike women, and vtremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts shakes over them. 17 And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians. Everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose that the Lord of hosts has purposed against them.

18 wIn that day there will be xfive cities in the land of Egypt that yspeak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of Destruction.2

19 In that day there will be an zaltar to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a apillar to the Lord at its border. 20 aIt 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, bhe will send them a savior and defender, and deliver them. 21 cAnd the Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the Lord in that day dand worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22 eAnd the Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them.

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

24 In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, ha blessing in the midst of the earth, 25 whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, Blessed be Egypt imy people, and Assyria jthe work of my hands, and kIsrael my inheritance.

A Sign Against Egypt and Cush

20 In the year that lthe commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to mAshdod and fought against it and captured it at that time the Lord spoke by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go, and loose the sackcloth from your waist and take off your sandals from your feet, and he did so, walking nnaked and barefoot.

Then the Lord said, As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years oas a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,1 so shall the pking of Assyria lead away the Egyptian captives and the Cushite exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, the nakedness of Egypt. qThen they shall be dismayed and ashamed because of Cush their hope and of Egypt their boast. And the inhabitants of rthis coastland will say in that day, Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and sto whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?

Fallen, Fallen Is Babylon

21 The toracle concerning the wilderness of uthe sea.

vAs whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,

it comes from the wilderness,

from a terrible land.

A stern vision is told to me;

wthe traitor betrays,

and the destroyer destroys.

Go up, O xElam;

lay siege, O yMedia;

all the zsighing she has caused

I bring to an end.

Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;

apangs 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.

My heart staggers; horror has appalled me;

bthe twilight I longed for

has been turned for me into trembling.

cThey prepare the table,

they spread the rugs,1

they eat, they drink.

Arise, O princes;

doil the shield!

For thus the Lord said to me:

Go, set a watchman;

let him announce what he sees.

When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,

riders on donkeys, riders on camels,

let him listen diligently,

very diligently.

Then he who saw cried out:2

eUpon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,

continually by day,

and at my post I am stationed

whole nights.

And behold, here come riders,

horsemen in pairs!

fAnd he answered,

gFallen, fallen is Babylon;

hand all the carved images of her gods

he has shattered to the ground.

10  O imy threshed and winnowed one,

what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,

the God of Israel, I announce to you.

11 The joracle concerning kDumah.

One is calling to me from lSeir,

Watchman, what time of the night?

Watchman, what time of the night?

12  The watchman says:

Morning comes, and also mthe night.

If you will inquire, ninquire;

come back again.

13 The ooracle concerning pArabia.

In the thickets in pArabia you will lodge,

O qcaravans of pDedanites.

14  To the thirsty bring water;

meet the fugitive with bread,

O inhabitants of the land of rTema.

15  For they have fled from the swords,

from the drawn sword,

from the bent bow,

and from the press of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me, Within a year, saccording to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of tKedar will come to an end. 17 And the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of tKedar will be few, ufor the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem

22 The voracle concerning wthe valley of vision.

What do you mean that you have gone up,

all of you, to the housetops,

you who are full of shoutings,

tumultuous city, xexultant town?

Your slain are ynot slain with the sword

or dead in battle.

zAll your leaders have fled together;

without the bow they were captured.

All of you who were found were captured,

though they had fled far away.

Therefore I said:

Look away from me;

alet me weep bitter tears;

do not labor to comfort me

concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.

bFor the Lord God of hosts has ca day

of tumult and dtrampling and econfusion

in wthe valley of vision,

a battering down of walls

and a shouting to the mountains.

And fElam bore the quiver

with chariots and horsemen,

and gKir uncovered the shield.

Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,

and the horsemen took their stand at the gates.

He has taken away hthe covering of Judah.

In that day you looked to ithe weapons of the House of the Forest, and you saw that jthe breaches of the city of David were many. kYou collected the waters of the lower pool, 10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 kYou made a reservoir between lthe two walls for the water of mthe old pool. But nyou did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.

12  In that day othe Lord God of hosts

called for weeping and mourning,

for pbaldness and qwearing sackcloth;

13  and behold, joy and gladness,

killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,

eating flesh and drinking wine.

rLet us eat and drink,

for tomorrow we die.

14  The Lord of hosts shas revealed himself in my ears:

Surely tthis iniquity will not be atoned for you uuntil you die,

says the Lord God of hosts.

15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts, Come, go to this steward, to vShebna, who is over the household, and say to him: 16 What have you to do here, and whom have you here, wthat you have cut out here a tomb for yourself, you xwho cut out a tomb on the height and carve a dwelling for yourself in the rock? 17 Behold, the Lord will hurl you away violently, O you strong man. yHe will seize firm hold on you 18 and whirl you around and around, and throw you like a ball into a wide land. There you shall die, and there shall be zyour glorious chariots, you shame of your master's house. 19 aI will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your station. 20 In that day I will call my servant bEliakim the son of Hilkiah, 21 and bI will clothe him with your robe, and will bind your sash on him, and will commit your authority to his hand. And he shall be ca father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22 And I will place don his shoulder ethe key of the house of David. fHe shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. 23 And I will fasten him glike a peg in a secure place, and he will become ha throne of honor to his father's house. 24 And they will hang on him the whole honor of his father's house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, gthe peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way, and it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will be cut off, for the Lord has spoken.