Isaiah 18

A Message about Ethiopia

1. Listen, Ethiopia[a]—land of fluttering sails[b] 1 that lies at the headwaters of the Nile,

2. that sends ambassadors 2 in swift boats down the river. 2 Go, swift messengers! 2 Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people, 2 who are feared far and wide 2 for their conquests and destruction, 2 and whose land is divided by rivers.

3. All you people of the world, 3 everyone who lives on the earth— 3 when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look! 3 When I blow the ram’s horn, listen!

4. For the Lord has told me this: 4 “I will watch quietly from my dwelling place— 4 as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, 4 or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.”

5. Even before you begin your attack, 5 while your plans are ripening like grapes, 5 the Lord will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. 5 He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.

6. Your mighty army will be left dead in the fields 6 for the mountain vultures and wild animals. 6 The vultures will tear at the corpses all summer. 6 The wild animals will gnaw at the bones all winter.

7. At that time the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will receive gifts 7 from this land divided by rivers, 7 from this tall, smooth-skinned people, 7 who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction. 7 They will bring the gifts to Jerusalem,[c] 7 where the Lord of Heaven’s Armies dwells.

a. 18:1a: Hebrew Cush.
b. 18:1b: Or land of many locusts; Hebrew reads land of whirring wings.
c. 18:7: Hebrew to Mount Zion.