A prophecy against Egypt and Cush
In the year that the supreme commander, sent by Sargon king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and attacked and captured it – at that time the Lord spoke through Isaiah son of Amoz. He said to him, ‘Take off the sackcloth from your body and the sandals from your feet.’ And he did so, going around stripped and barefoot.
Then the Lord said, ‘Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,[a] so the king of Assyria will lead away stripped and barefoot the Egyptian captives and Cushite exiles, young and old, with buttocks bared – to Egypt’s shame. Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be dismayed and put to shame. In that day the people who live on this coast will say, “See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! How then can we escape?”’
- Isaiah 20:3 That is, the upper Nile region; also in verse 5
A prophecy against Babylon
A prophecy against the Desert by the Sea:
Like whirlwinds sweeping through the southland,
an invader comes from the desert,
from a land of terror.
A dire vision has been shown to me:
the traitor betrays, the looter takes loot.
Elam, attack! Media, lay siege!
I will bring to an end all the groaning she caused.
At this my body is racked with pain,
pangs seize me, like those of a woman in labour;
I am staggered by what I hear,
I am bewildered by what I see.
My heart falters,
fear makes me tremble;
the twilight I longed for
has become a horror to me.
They set the tables,
they spread the rugs,
they eat, they drink!
Get up, you officers,
oil the shields!
This is what the Lord says to me:
‘Go, post a lookout
and let him report what he sees.
When he sees chariots
with teams of horses,
riders on donkeys
or riders on camels,
let him be alert,
And the lookout[a] shouted,
‘Day after day, my lord, I stand on the watchtower;
every night I stay at my post.
Look, here comes a man in a chariot
with a team of horses.
And he gives back the answer:
“Babylon has fallen, has fallen!
All the images of its gods
lie shattered on the ground!”’
My people who are crushed on the threshing-floor,
I tell you what I have heard
from the Lord Almighty,
from the God of Israel.
A prophecy against Edom
A prophecy against Dumah:[b]
Someone calls to me from Seir,
‘Watchman, what is left of the night?
Watchman, what is left of the night?’
The watchman replies,
‘Morning is coming, but also the night.
If you would ask, then ask;
and come back yet again.’
A prophecy against Arabia
A prophecy against Arabia:
You caravans of Dedanites,
who camp in the thickets of Arabia,
bring water for the thirsty;
you who live in Tema,
bring food for the fugitives.
They flee from the sword,
from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow
and from the heat of battle.
This is what the Lord says to me: ‘Within one year, as a servant bound by contract would count it, all the splendour of Kedar will come to an end. The survivors of the archers, the warriors of Kedar, will be few.’ The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.
- Isaiah 21:8 Dead Sea Scrolls and Syriac; Masoretic Text A lion
- Isaiah 21:11 Dumah, a word play on Edom, means silence or stillness.
A prophecy about Jerusalem
A prophecy against the Valley of Vision:
What troubles you now,
that you have all gone up on the roofs,
you town so full of commotion,
you city of tumult and revelry?
Your slain were not killed by the sword,
nor did they die in battle.
All your leaders have fled together;
they have been captured without using the bow.
All you who were caught were taken prisoner together,
having fled while the enemy was still far away.
Therefore I said, ‘Turn away from me;
let me weep bitterly.
Do not try to console me
over the destruction of my people.’
The Lord, the Lord Almighty, has a day
of tumult and trampling and terror
in the Valley of Vision,
a day of battering down walls
and of crying out to the mountains.
Elam takes up the quiver,
with her charioteers and horses;
Kir uncovers the shield.
Your choicest valleys are full of chariots,
and horsemen are posted at the city gates.
The Lord stripped away the defences of Judah,
and you looked in that day
to the weapons in the Palace of the Forest.
You saw that the walls of the City of David
were broken through in many places;
you stored up water
in the Lower Pool.
You counted the buildings in Jerusalem
and tore down houses to strengthen the wall.
You built a reservoir between the two walls
for the water of the Old Pool,
but you did not look to the One who made it,
or have regard for the One who planned it long ago.
The Lord, the Lord Almighty,
called you on that day
to weep and to wail,
to tear out your hair and put on sackcloth.
But see, there is joy and revelry,
slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep,
eating of meat and drinking of wine!
‘Let us eat and drink,’ you say,
‘for tomorrow we die!’
The Lord Almighty has revealed this in my hearing: ‘Till your dying day this sin will not be atoned for,’ says the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
This is what the Lord, the Lord Almighty, says:
‘Go, say to this steward,
to Shebna the palace administrator:
what are you doing here and who gave you permission
to cut out a grave for yourself here,
hewing your grave on the height
and chiselling your resting-place in the rock?
‘Beware, the Lord is about to take firm hold of you
and hurl you away, you mighty man.
He will roll you up tightly like a ball
and throw you into a large country.
There you will die
and there the chariots you were so proud of
will become a disgrace to your master’s house.
I will depose you from your office,
and you will be ousted from your position.
‘In that day I will summon my servant, Eliakim son of Hilkiah. I will clothe him with your robe and fasten your sash around him and hand your authority over to him. He will be a father to those who live in Jerusalem and to the people of Judah. I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I will drive him like a peg into a firm place; he will become a seat[a] of honour for the house of his father. All the glory of his family will hang on him: its offspring and offshoots – all its lesser vessels, from the bowls to all the jars.
‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘the peg driven into the firm place will give way; it will be sheared off and will fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut down.’ The Lord has spoken.
- Isaiah 22:23 Or throne
A prophecy against Tyre
A prophecy against Tyre:
Wail, you ships of Tarshish!
For Tyre is destroyed
and left without house or harbour.
From the land of Cyprus
word has come to them.
Be silent, you people of the island
and you merchants of Sidon,
whom the seafarers have enriched.
On the great waters
came the grain of the Shihor;
the harvest of the Nile[a] was the revenue of Tyre,
and she became the market-place of the nations.
Be ashamed, Sidon, and you fortress of the sea,
for the sea has spoken:
‘I have neither been in labour nor given birth;
I have neither reared sons nor brought up daughters.’
When word comes to Egypt,
they will be in anguish at the report from Tyre.
Cross over to Tarshish;
wail, you people of the island.
Is this your city of revelry,
the old, old city,
whose feet have taken her
to settle in far-off lands?
Who planned this against Tyre,
the bestower of crowns,
whose merchants are princes,
whose traders are renowned in the earth?
The Lord Almighty planned it,
to bring down her pride in all her splendour
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.
Till[b] your land as they do along the Nile,
for you no longer have a harbour.
The Lord has stretched out his hand over the sea
and made its kingdoms tremble.
He has given an order concerning Phoenicia
that her fortresses be destroyed.
He said, ‘No more of your revelling,
Virgin Daughter Sidon, now crushed!
‘Up, cross over to Cyprus;
even there you will find no rest.’
Look at the land of the Babylonians,[c]
this people that is now of no account!
The Assyrians have made it
a place for desert creatures;
they raised up their siege towers,
they stripped its fortresses bare
and turned it into a ruin.
Wail, you ships of Tarshish;
your fortress is destroyed!
At that time Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years, the span of a king’s life. But at the end of these seventy years, it will happen to Tyre as in the song of the prostitute:
‘Take up a harp, walk through the city,
you forgotten prostitute;
play the harp well, sing many a song,
so that you will be remembered.’
At the end of seventy years, the Lord will deal with Tyre. She will return to her lucrative prostitution and will ply her trade with all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. Yet her profit and her earnings will be set apart for the Lord; they will not be stored up or hoarded. Her profits will go to those who live before the Lord, for abundant food and fine clothes.
- Isaiah 23:3 Masoretic Text; Dead Sea Scrolls Sidon, / who cross over the sea; / your envoys 3 are on the great waters. / The grain of the Shihor, / the harvest of the Nile,
- Isaiah 23:10 Dead Sea Scrolls and some Septuagint manuscripts; Masoretic Text Go through
- Isaiah 23:13 Or Chaldeans