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Isaiah 18 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Ethiopia Will Be Punished

18 Downstream from Ethiopia[a]
lies the country of Egypt,
    swarming with insects.[b]
Egypt sends messengers
up the Nile River
    on ships made of reeds.[c]
Send them fast to Ethiopia,
whose people are tall
    and have smooth skin.
Their land is divided by rivers;
they are strong and brutal,
    feared all over the world.[d]

Everyone on this earth,
    listen with care!
A signal will be given
on the mountains,
    and you will hear a trumpet.
The Lord said to me,
“I will calmly look down
    from my home above—
as calmly as the sun at noon
or clouds in the heat
    of harvest season.”

Before the blossoms
    can turn into grapes,
God will cut off the sprouts
    and hack off the branches.
Ethiopians will be food
for mountain buzzards
    during the summer
and for wild animals
    during the winter.

Those Ethiopians are tall and their skin is smooth. They are feared all over the world, because they are strong and brutal. But at that time they will come from their land divided by rivers, and they will bring gifts to the Lord All-Powerful, who is worshiped on Mount Zion.

Footnotes:

  1. 18.1 Ethiopia: See the note at 11.11.
  2. 18.1 insects: Or “sailing ships.”
  3. 18.2 reeds: Ancient Egypt was famous for the papyrus reeds that grew in the Nile Delta.
  4. 18.2 world: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text of verse 2.

Isaiah 18 New International Version (NIV)

A Prophecy Against Cush

18 Woe to the land of whirring wings[a]
    along the rivers of Cush,[b]
which sends envoys by sea
    in papyrus boats over the water.

Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
    to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
    whose land is divided by rivers.

All you people of the world,
    you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
    you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
    you will hear it.
This is what the Lord says to me:
    “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
    like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”
For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
    and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
    and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
    and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
    the wild animals all winter.

At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty

from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
    from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
    whose land is divided by rivers

the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty.

Footnotes:

  1. Isaiah 18:1 Or of locusts
  2. Isaiah 18:1 That is, the upper Nile region
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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