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Isaiah 20-22

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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2 April 2021

From the oremus Bible Browser https://bible.oremus.org v2.5.2 2 April 2021.