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1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the riuers of Ethiopia:

2 That sendeth ambassadours by the sea, euen in vessels of bulrushes vpon the waters, saying; Goe yee swift messengers to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto, a nation meted out and troden downe; whose land the riuers haue spoiled.

3 All yee inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see yee, when hee lifteth vp an ensigne on the mountaines; and when he bloweth a trumpet, heare yee.

4 For so the Lord sayd vnto me: I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a cleare heate vpon herbes, and like a cloud of dew in the heate of haruest.

5 For afore the haruest when the bud is perfect, and the sowre grape is ripening in the flowre; hee shall both cut off the sprigges with pruning hookes, and take away and cut downe the branches.

6 They shalbe left together vnto the foules of the mountaines, and to the beasts of the earth: and the foules shall summer vpon them, and all the beastes of the earth shall winter vpon them.

7 In that time shall the present be brought vnto the Lord of hostes, of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and troden vnder foote, whose land the riuers haue spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hostes, the mount Zion.

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Commentary for Isaiah 18

God's care for his people; and the increase of the church.

- This chapter is one of the most obscure in Scripture, though more of it probably was understood by those for whose use it was first intended, than by us now. Swift messengers are sent by water to a nation marked by Providence, and measured out, trodden under foot. God's people are trampled on; but whoever thinks to swallow them up, finds they are cast down, yet not deserted, not destroyed. All the dwellers on earth must watch the motions of the Divine Providence, and wait upon the directions of the Divine will. God gives assurance to his prophet, and by him to be given to his people. Zion is his rest for ever, and he will look after it. He will suit to their case the comforts and refreshments he provides for them; they will be acceptable, because seasonable. He will reckon with his and their enemies; and as God's people are protected at all seasons of the year, so their enemies are exposed at all seasons. A tribute of praise should be brought to God from all this. What is offered to God, must be offered in the way he has appointed; and we may expect him to meet us where he records his name. Thus shall the nations of the earth be convinced that Jehovah is the God, and Israel is his people, and shall unite in presenting spiritual sacrifices to his glory. Happy are those who take warning by his judgment on others, and hasten to join him and his people. Whatever land or people may be intended, we are here taught not to think that God takes no care of his church, and has no respect to the affairs of men, because he permits the wicked to triumph for a season. He has wise reasons for so doing, which we cannot now understand, but which will appear at the great day of his coming, when he will bring every work into judgment, and reward every man according to his works.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Isaiah 18

  • Linda
    Now, if we narrow our lens, Isiah is probably talking about the great salt lake, bka the Dead Sea, which is bordered by Jordan, Israel and the West Bank; and the Wadi Arabah area, which was repeatedly flood by the Mediterranean Sea. But he is not talking about any part of Africa, as some has suggested. He said across the sea from Ethiopia.
  • Linda
    It's not any part of Africa, as some suggest. It's says across the sea. Africa has no seas running through it. The seas are the Mediterranean Sea, Aegean and Black Sea. You have to rule out the Red Sea, because Asia, too, is resource rich. That means it's Europe. As history tells us, much of Europe had precious little. That's one of the reasons why they left it. Some argue the main reason.
  • MOSES
    check the ancient maps of the ancient world and you will know the real part of Africa reffered to in this verse as Ethiopia.
  • George W Kinerson

    ethiopia being fringe of civilization in Isaiah's time. Isaiah was talking about a nation beyond civilization, beyond an ocean, beyond an ocean doesn't fit any nation in Africa. Isaiah used the word Ethiopia explaining beyond civilization and then adds beyond a sea. A strong people from their beginning, and whole world sees and hears everything they do, surely could be America.
  • Titus mutua
    its well to share the word
  • Ray
    Syria capitivity. Scattered the tribes across the caucasus mountains to europe, america, canada Scattered and peeled. Divided by rivers

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