Isaiah 18:2

“That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

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.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

Which sends envoys by the sea, Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, To a people feared far and wide, A powerful and oppressive nation Whose land the rivers divide.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

that sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of papyrus upon the waters, `saying', Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people terrible from their beginning onward, a nation that meteth out and treadeth down, whose land the rivers divide!
- American Standard Version (1901)

Which sends its representatives by the sea, even in ships of papyrus on the waters. Go back quickly, O representatives, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people causing fear through all their history; a strong nation, crushing down its haters, whose land is cut through by rivers.
- Basic English Bible

that sendest ambassadors over the sea, and in vessels of papyrus upon the waters, [saying,] Go, swift messengers, to a nation scattered and ravaged, to a people terrible from their existence and thenceforth; to a nation of continued waiting and of treading down, whose land the rivers have spoiled!
- Darby Bible

That sendeth embassadors by the sea, even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters, saying, Go, ye swift messengers to a nation scattered and peeled, to a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation measured by line and trodden down, whose land the rivers have laid waste.
- Webster's Bible

that sends ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of papyrus on the waters, saying, "Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people awesome from their beginning onward, a nation that measures out and treads down, whose land the rivers divide!"
- World English Bible

That is sending by sea ambassadors, Even with implements of reed on the face of the waters, -- Go, ye light messengers, Unto a nation drawn out and peeled, Unto a people fearful from its beginning and onwards, A nation meeting out by line, and treading down, Whose land floods have spoiled.
- Youngs Literal Bible

That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of papyrus upon the waters! Go, ye swift messengers, to a nation tall and of glossy skin, to a people terrible from their beginning onward; a nation that is sturdy and treadeth down, whose land the rivers divide!
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Isaiah 18:2


18:2 Sendeth - That at this time are sending ambassadors, to strengthen themselves with alliances. Bulrushes - Both the Egyptians and Ethiopians, used boats of rushes or reeds, which were more convenient for them than those of wood, because they were both cheaper and swifter, and lighter for carriage from place to place. These seem to be the words of the prophet, who having pronounced a woe against the land hitherto described, here continues his speech, and gives a commission from God to these messengers, to go to this nation scattered, &c. Then he calls to all nations to be witnesses of the message sent, ver.#3|, and then the message follows in the succeeding verses. Messengers - Whom I have appointed for this work, and tell them what I am about to do with them. Scattered - Not by banishment but in their habitations. Which agrees well to the Ethiopians, for the manner of their habitation, which is more scattered than that of other people. Peeled - Having their hair plucked off. This is metaphorically used in scripture, for some great calamity, whereby men are stripped of all their comforts. And this title may be given to them prophetically, to signify their approaching destruction. Terrible - Such were the Egyptians, and Ethiopians, as appears both from sacred and profane histories. Meted - Meted out as it were with lines to destruction. Trodden - By Divine sentence, and to be trodden down by their enemies. The rivers - Which may be understood of the Assyrians or Babylonians breaking in upon them like a river, and destroying their land and people.


Discussion for Isaiah 18

  • 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
  • David Nyok
    I think Isaiah was meaning South Sudan not America as some people think it is America that Isaiah.18,talk about,truly America is the super power but it is not what Isaiah talk about,let think spiritually.
  • Sammy G Kirika
    The land is Kenya which is south of source of River Nile and with Mount Kenya which the Queen of Sheba told King Solomon that her empire extended to.The God of High Mountains and Forests is the real Heavenly Father who our ancestors prayed to, rendered acceptable sacrifices and who the world knew were worshiping true God who answered their prayers immediately after their worship.
  • David
    This chapter refers to America. The people scattered and peeled are Iraq. The ensign in the mountains is referring to mt. Rushmore. God is telling us to watch this nation and look at how wicked it I'd here today.
  • Greg Volk for verse 1
    Does Isaiah 18:1 refer to America?

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