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

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!

3 All ye inhabitants of the world, and dwellers on the earth, see ye, when he lifteth up an ensign on the mountains; and when he bloweth a trumpet, hear ye.

4 For so the LORD said unto me, I will take my rest, and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.

5 For afore the harvest, when the bud is perfect, and the sour grape is ripening in the flower, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches.

6 They shall be left together unto the fowls of the mountains, and to the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall summer upon them, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

7 In that time shall the present be brought unto the LORD of hosts of a people scattered and peeled, and from a people terrible from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the LORD of hosts, the mount Zion.

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.
    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
  • 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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Bible Trivia

Isaiah pronounces woe on a place beyond which country?
  • Israel
  • Babylon
  • Ethiopia
  • Egypt

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