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Isaiah 18-22

An Oracle concerning Ethiopia

18Ah, land of whirring wings
   beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,*
2 sending ambassadors by the Nile
   in vessels of papyrus on the waters!
Go, you swift messengers,
   to a nation tall and smooth,
to a people feared near and far,
   a nation mighty and conquering,
   whose land the rivers divide.


3 All you inhabitants of the world,
   you who live on the earth,
when a signal is raised on the mountains, look!
   When a trumpet is blown, listen!
4 For thus the Lord said to me:
I will quietly look from my dwelling
   like clear heat in sunshine,
   like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.
5 For before the harvest, when the blossom is over
   and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning-hooks,
   and the spreading branches he will hew away.
6 They shall all be left
   to the birds of prey of the mountains
   and to the animals of the earth.
And the birds of prey will summer on them,
   and all the animals of the earth will winter on them.

At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord of hosts from* a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of hosts.

An Oracle concerning Egypt

19An oracle concerning Egypt.


See, the Lord is riding on a swift cloud
   and comes to Egypt;
the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence,
   and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2 I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians,
   and they will fight, one against the other,
   neighbour against neighbour,
   city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3 the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out,
   and I will confound their plans;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead
   and the ghosts and the familiar spirits;
4 I will deliver the Egyptians
   into the hand of a hard master;
a fierce king will rule over them,
   says the Sovereign, the Lord of hosts.


5 The waters of the Nile will be dried up,
   and the river will be parched and dry;
6 its canals will become foul,
   and the branches of Egypt’s Nile will diminish and dry up;
   reeds and rushes will rot away.
7 There will be bare places by the Nile,
   on the brink of the Nile;
and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up,
   be driven away, and be no more.
8 Those who fish will mourn;
   all who cast hooks in the Nile will lament,
   and those who spread nets on the water will languish.
9 The workers in flax will be in despair,
   and the carders and those at the loom will grow pale.
10 Its weavers will be dismayed,
   and all who work for wages will be grieved.


11 The princes of Zoan are utterly foolish;
   the wise counsellors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
   ‘I am one of the sages,
   a descendant of ancient kings’?
12 Where now are your sages?
   Let them tell you and make known
   what the Lord of hosts has planned against Egypt.
13 The princes of Zoan have become fools,
   and the princes of Memphis are deluded;
those who are the cornerstones of its tribes
   have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has poured into them*
   a spirit of confusion;
and they have made Egypt stagger in all its doings
   as a drunkard staggers around in vomit.
15 Neither head nor tail, palm branch nor reed,
   will be able to do anything for Egypt.

16 On that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand that the Lord of hosts raises against them. 17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; everyone to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the plan that the Lord of hosts is planning against them.

Egypt, Assyria, and Israel Blessed

18 On that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt that speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the Lord of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.

19 On that day there will be an altar to the Lord in the centre of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the Lord at its border. 20It 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, he will send them a saviour, and will defend and deliver them. 21The Lord will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the Lord on that day, and will worship with sacrifice and burnt-offering, and they will make vows to the Lord and perform them. 22The Lord will strike Egypt, striking and healing; they will return to the Lord, and he will listen to their supplications and heal them.

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

24 On that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, 25whom the Lord of hosts has blessed, saying, ‘Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.’

Isaiah Dramatizes the Conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia

20In the year that the commander-in-chief, who was sent by King Sargon of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it— 2at that time the Lord had spoken to Isaiah son of Amoz, saying, ‘Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take your sandals off your feet’, and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot. 3Then the Lord said, ‘Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,* 4so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians as captives and the Ethiopians* as exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt. 5And they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia* their hope and of Egypt their boast. 6On that day the inhabitants of this coastland will say, “See, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?”

Oracles concerning Babylon, Edom, and Arabia

21The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea.


As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on,
   it comes from the desert,
   from a terrible land.
2 A stern vision is told to me;
   the betrayer betrays,
   and the destroyer destroys.
Go up, O Elam,
   lay siege, O Media;
all the sighing she has caused
   I bring to an end.
3 Therefore my loins are filled with anguish;
   pangs have seized me,
   like the pangs of a woman in labour;
I am bowed down so that I cannot hear,
   I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
4 My mind reels, horror has appalled me;
   the twilight I longed for
   has been turned for me into trembling.
5 They prepare the table,
   they spread the rugs,
   they eat, they drink.
Rise up, commanders,
   oil the shield!
6 For thus the Lord said to me:
‘Go, post a lookout,
   let him announce what he sees.
7 When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs,
   riders on donkeys, riders on camels,
let him listen diligently,
   very diligently.’
8 Then the watcher* called out:
‘Upon a watch-tower I stand, O Lord,
   continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
   throughout the night.
9 Look, there they come, riders,
   horsemen in pairs!’
Then he responded,
   ‘Fallen, fallen is Babylon;
and all the images of her gods
   lie shattered on the ground.’
10 O my threshed and winnowed one,
   what I have heard from the Lord of hosts,
   the God of Israel, I announce to you.


11 The oracle concerning Dumah.


One is calling to me from Seir,
   ‘Sentinel, what of the night?
   Sentinel, what of the night?’
12 The sentinel says:
‘Morning comes, and also the night.
   If you will inquire, inquire;
   come back again.’


13 The oracle concerning the desert plain.


In the scrub of the desert plain you will lodge,
   O caravans of Dedanites.
14 Bring water to the thirsty,
   meet the fugitive with bread,
   O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15 For they have fled from the swords,
   from the drawn sword,
from the bent bow,
   and from the stress of battle.

16 For thus the Lord said to me: Within a year, according to the years of a hired worker, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end; 17and the remaining bows of Kedar’s warriors will be few; for the Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken.

A Warning of the Destruction of Jerusalem

22The oracle concerning the valley of vision.


What do you mean that you have gone up,
   all of you, to the housetops,
2 you that are full of shoutings,
   tumultuous city, exultant town?
Your slain are not slain by the sword,
   nor are they dead in battle.
3 Your rulers have all fled together;
   they were captured without the use of a bow.*
All of you who were found were captured,
   though they had fled far away.*
4 Therefore I said:
Look away from me,
   let me weep bitter tears;
do not try to comfort me
   for the destruction of my beloved people.


5 For the Lord God of hosts has a day
   of tumult and trampling and confusion
   in the valley of vision,
a battering down of walls
   and a cry for help to the mountains.
6 Elam bore the quiver
   with chariots and cavalry,*
   and Kir uncovered the shield.
7 Your choicest valleys were full of chariots,
   and the cavalry took their stand at the gates.
8 He has taken away the covering of Judah.

On that day you looked to the weapons of the House of the Forest, 9and you saw that there were many breaches in the city of David, and you collected the waters of the lower pool. 10You counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or have regard for him who planned it long ago.


12 On that day the Lord God of hosts
   called to weeping and mourning,
   to baldness and putting on sackcloth;
13 but instead there was joy and festivity,
   killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
   eating meat and drinking wine.
‘Let us eat and drink,
   for tomorrow we die.’
14 The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
Surely this iniquity will not be forgiven you until you die,
   says the Lord God of hosts.

Denunciation of Self-Seeking Officials

15 Thus says the Lord God of hosts: Come, go to this steward, to Shebna, who is master of the household, and say to him: 16What right do you have here? Who are your relatives here, that you have cut out a tomb here for yourself, cutting a tomb on the height, and carving a habitation for yourself in the rock? 17The Lord is about to hurl you away violently, my man. He will seize firm hold of you, 18whirl you round and round, and throw you like a ball into a wide land; there you shall die, and there your splendid chariots shall lie, O you disgrace to your master’s house! 19I will thrust you from your office, and you will be pulled down from your post.

20 On that day I will call my servant Eliakim son of Hilkiah, 21and will clothe him with your robe and bind your sash on him. I will commit your authority to his hand, and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. 22I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David; he shall open, and no one shall shut; he shall shut, and no one shall open. 23I will fasten him like a peg in a secure place, and he will become a throne of honour to his ancestral house. 24And they will hang on him the whole weight of his ancestral house, the offspring and issue, every small vessel, from the cups to all the flagons. 25On that day, says the Lord of hosts, the peg that was fastened in a secure place will give way; it will be cut down and fall, and the load that was on it will perish, for the Lord has spoken.

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Psalm 113

God the Helper of the Needy


1 Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
   praise the name of the Lord.


2 Blessed be the name of the Lord
   from this time on and for evermore.
3 From the rising of the sun to its setting
   the name of the Lord is to be praised.
4 The Lord is high above all nations,
   and his glory above the heavens.


5 Who is like the Lord our God,
   who is seated on high,
6 who looks far down
   on the heavens and the earth?
7 He raises the poor from the dust,
   and lifts the needy from the ash heap,
8 to make them sit with princes,
   with the princes of his people.
9 He gives the barren woman a home,
   making her the joyous mother of children.
Praise the Lord!

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29 April 2019

From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.1 29 April 2019.