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Isaiah 21:16


21:16 For this is what the sovereign master 1  has told me: “Within exactly one year 2  all the splendor of Kedar will come to an end.

Isaiah 18:1-7

The Lord Will Judge a Distant Land in the South

18:1 The land of buzzing wings is as good as dead, 3 

the one beyond the rivers of Cush,

18:2 that sends messengers by sea,

who glide over the water’s surface in boats made of papyrus.

Go, you swift messengers,

to a nation of tall, smooth-skinned people, 4 

to a people that are feared far and wide, 5 

to a nation strong and victorious, 6 

whose land rivers divide. 7 

18:3 All you who live in the world,

who reside on the earth,

you will see a signal flag raised on the mountains;

you will hear a trumpet being blown.

18:4 For this is what the Lord has told me:

“I will wait 8  and watch from my place,

like scorching heat produced by the sunlight, 9 

like a cloud of mist 10  in the heat 11  of harvest.” 12 

18:5 For before the harvest, when the bud has sprouted,

and the ripening fruit appears, 13 

he will cut off the unproductive shoots 14  with pruning knives;

he will prune the tendrils. 15 

18:6 They will all be left 16  for the birds of the hills

and the wild animals; 17 

the birds will eat them during the summer,

and all the wild animals will eat them during the winter.

18:7 At that time

tribute will be brought to the Lord who commands armies,

by a people that are tall and smooth-skinned,

a people that are feared far and wide,

a nation strong and victorious,

whose land rivers divide. 18 

The tribute 19  will be brought to the place where the Lord who commands armies has chosen to reside, on Mount Zion. 20 

Isaiah 20:1-6


20:1 The Lord revealed the following message during the year in which King Sargon of Assyria sent his commanding general to Ashdod, and he fought against it and captured it. 21  20:2 At that time the Lord announced through 22  Isaiah son of Amoz: “Go, remove the sackcloth from your waist and take your sandals off your feet.” He did as instructed and walked around in undergarments 23  and barefoot. 20:3 Later the Lord explained, “In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush, 20:4 so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, both young and old. They will be in undergarments and barefoot, with the buttocks exposed; the Egyptians will be publicly humiliated. 24  20:5 Those who put their hope in Cush and took pride in Egypt will be afraid and embarrassed. 25  20:6 At that time 26  those who live on this coast 27  will say, ‘Look what has happened to our source of hope to whom we fled for help, expecting to be rescued from the king of Assyria! How can we escape now?’”

Isaiah 33:1-24

The Lord Will Restore Zion

33:1 The destroyer is as good as dead, 28 

you who have not been destroyed!

The deceitful one is as good as dead, 29 

the one whom others have not deceived!

When you are through destroying, you will be destroyed;

when you finish 30  deceiving, others will deceive you!

33:2 Lord, be merciful to us! We wait for you.

Give us strength each morning! 31 

Deliver us when distress comes. 32 

33:3 The nations run away when they hear a loud noise; 33 

the nations scatter when you spring into action! 34 

33:4 Your plunder 35  disappears as if locusts were eating it; 36 

they swarm over it like locusts! 37 

33:5 The Lord is exalted, 38 

indeed, 39  he lives in heaven; 40 

he fills Zion with justice and fairness.

33:6 He is your constant source of stability; 41 

he abundantly provides safety and great wisdom; 42 

he gives all this to those who fear him. 43 

33:7 Look, ambassadors 44  cry out in the streets;

messengers sent to make peace 45  weep bitterly.

33:8 Highways are empty, 46 

there are no travelers. 47 

Treaties are broken, 48 

witnesses are despised, 49 

human life is treated with disrespect. 50 

33:9 The land 51  dries up 52  and withers away;

the forest of Lebanon shrivels up 53  and decays.

Sharon 54  is like the desert; 55 

Bashan and Carmel 56  are parched. 57 

33:10 “Now I will rise up,” says the Lord.

“Now I will exalt myself;

now I will magnify myself. 58 

33:11 You conceive straw, 59 

you give birth to chaff;

your breath is a fire that destroys you. 60 

33:12 The nations will be burned to ashes; 61 

like thorn bushes that have been cut down, they will be set on fire.

33:13 You who are far away, listen to what I have done!

You who are close by, recognize my strength!”

33:14 Sinners are afraid in Zion;

panic 62  grips the godless. 63 

They say, 64  ‘Who among us can coexist with destructive fire?

Who among us can coexist with unquenchable 65  fire?’

33:15 The one who lives 66  uprightly 67 

and speaks honestly;

the one who refuses to profit from oppressive measures

and rejects a bribe; 68 

the one who does not plot violent crimes 69 

and does not seek to harm others 70 

33:16 This is the person who will live in a secure place; 71 

he will find safety in the rocky, mountain strongholds; 72 

he will have food

and a constant supply of water.

33:17 You will see a king in his splendor; 73 

you will see a wide land. 74 

33:18 Your mind will recall the terror you experienced, 75 

and you will ask yourselves, 76  “Where is the scribe?

Where is the one who weighs the money?

Where is the one who counts the towers?” 77 

33:19 You will no longer see a defiant 78  people

whose language you do not comprehend, 79 

whose derisive speech you do not understand. 80 

33:20 Look at Zion, the city where we hold religious festivals!

You 81  will see Jerusalem, 82 

a peaceful settlement,

a tent that stays put; 83 

its stakes will never be pulled up;

none of its ropes will snap in two.

33:21 Instead the Lord will rule there as our mighty king. 84 

Rivers and wide streams will flow through it; 85 

no war galley will enter; 86 

no large ships will sail through. 87 

33:22 For the Lord, our ruler,

the Lord, our commander,

the Lord, our king –

he will deliver us.

33:23 Though at this time your ropes are slack, 88 

the mast is not secured, 89 

and the sail 90  is not unfurled,

at that time you will divide up a great quantity of loot; 91 

even the lame will drag off plunder. 92 

33:24 No resident of Zion 93  will say, “I am ill”;

the people who live there will have their sin forgiven.

1 tn The Hebrew term translated “sovereign master” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

2 tn Heb “in still a year, like the years of a hired worker.” See the note at 16:14.

3 tn Heb “Woe [to] the land of buzzing wings.” On הוֹי (hoy, “woe, ah”) see the note on the first phrase of 1:4.

sn The significance of the qualifying phrase “buzzing wings” is uncertain. Some suggest that the designation points to Cush as a land with many insects. Another possibility is that it refers to the swiftness with which this land’s messengers travel (v. 2a); they move over the sea as swiftly as an insect flies through the air. For a discussion of the options, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:359-60.

4 tn The precise meaning of the qualifying terms is uncertain. מְמֻשָּׁךְ (mÿmushakh) appears to be a Pual participle from the verb מָשַׁךְ (mashakh, “to draw, extend”). Lexicographers theorize that it here refers to people who “stretch out,” as it were, or are tall. See BDB 604 s.v. מָשַׁךְ, and HALOT 645-46 s.v. משׁךְ. מוֹרָט (morat) is taken as a Pual participle from מָרַט (marat), which can mean “to pull out [hair],” in the Qal, “become bald” in the Niphal, and “be wiped clean” in the Pual. Lexicographers theorize that the word here refers to people with bare, or smooth, skin. See BDB 598-99 s.v. מָרַט, and HALOT 634-35 s.v. מרט. These proposed meanings, which are based on etymological speculation, must be regarded as tentative.

5 tn Heb “from it and onwards.” HALOT 245 s.v. הָלְאָה suggests the translation “far and wide.”

6 tn Once more the precise meaning of the qualifying terms is uncertain. The expression קַו־קָו (qav-qav) is sometimes related to a proposed Arabic cognate and taken to mean “strength” (see BDB 876 II קַו). Others, on the basis of Isa 28:10, 13, understand the form as gibberish (literally, “kav, kav”) and take it to be a reference to this nation’s strange, unknown language. The form מְבוּסָה (mÿvusah) appears to be derived from בּוּס (bus, “to trample”), so lexicographers suggest the meaning “trampling” or “subjugation,” i.e., a nation that subdues others. See BDB 101 s.v. בּוּס and HALOT 541 s.v. מְבוּסָה. These proposals, which are based on etymological speculation, must be regarded as tentative.

7 tn The precise meaning of the verb בָּזָא (baza’), which occurs only in this oracle (see also v. 7) in the OT, is uncertain. BDB 102 s.v. suggests “divide” on the basis of alleged Aramaic and Arabic cognates; HALOT 117 s.v., citing an alleged Arabic cognate, suggests “wash away.”

8 tn Or “be quiet, inactive”; NIV “will remain quiet.”

9 tn Heb “like the glowing heat because of light.” The precise meaning of the line is uncertain.

10 tn Heb “a cloud of dew,” or “a cloud of light rain.”

11 tc Some medieval Hebrew mss, with support from the LXX, Syriac Peshitta, and Latin Vulgate, read “the day.”

12 sn It is unclear how the comparisons in v. 4b relate to the preceding statement. How is waiting and watching similar to heat or a cloud? For a discussion of interpretive options, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:362.

13 tn Heb “and the unripe, ripening fruit is maturing.”

14 tn On the meaning of זַלְזַל (zalzal, “shoot [of the vine] without fruit buds”) see HALOT 272 s.v. *זַלְזַל.

15 tn Heb “the tendrils he will remove, he will cut off.”

16 tn Heb “they will be left together” (so NASB).

17 tn Heb “the beasts of the earth” (so KJV, NASB).

18 tn On the interpretive difficulties of this verse, see the notes at v. 2, where the same terminology is used.

19 tn The words “the tribute” are repeated here in the translation for clarity.

20 tn Heb “to the place of the name of the Lord who commands armies [traditionally, the Lord of hosts], Mount Zion.”

21 tn Heb “In the year the commanding general came to Ashdod, when Sargon king of Assyria sent him, and he fought against Ashdod and captured it.”

sn This probably refers to the Assyrian campaign against Philistia in 712 or 711 b.c.

22 tn Heb “spoke by the hand of.”

23 tn The word used here (עָרוֹם, ’arom) sometimes means “naked,” but here it appears to mean simply “lightly dressed,” i.e., stripped to one’s undergarments. See HALOT 883 s.v. עָרוֹם. The term also occurs in vv. 3, 4.

24 tn Heb “lightly dressed and barefoot, and bare with respect to the buttocks, the nakedness of Egypt.”

25 tn Heb “and they will be afraid and embarrassed because of Cush their hope and Egypt their beauty.”

26 tn Heb “in that day” (so KJV).

27 sn This probably refers to the coastal region of Philistia (cf. TEV).

28 tn Heb “Woe [to] the destroyer.”

sn In this context “the destroyer” appears to refer collectively to the hostile nations (vv. 3-4). Assyria would probably have been primary in the minds of the prophet and his audience.

29 tn Heb “and the deceitful one”; NAB, NIV “O traitor”; NRSV “you treacherous one.” In the parallel structure הוֹי (hoy, “woe [to]”) does double duty.

30 tc The form in the Hebrew text appears to derive from an otherwise unattested verb נָלָה (nalah). The translation follows the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa in reading ככלתך, a Piel infinitival form from the verbal root כָּלָה (kalah), meaning “finish.”

31 tn Heb “Be their arm each morning.” “Arm” is a symbol for strength. The mem suffixed to the noun has been traditionally understood as a third person suffix, but this is contrary to the context, where the people speak of themselves in the first person. The mem (מ) is probably enclitic with ellipsis of the pronoun, which can be supplied from the context. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:589, n. 1.

32 tn Heb “[Be] also our deliverance in the time of distress.”

33 tn Heb “at the sound of tumult the nations run away.”

34 tn Heb “because of your exaltation the nations scatter.”

35 tn The pronoun is plural; the statement is addressed to the nations who have stockpiled plunder from their conquests of others.

36 tn Heb “and your plunder is gathered, the gathering of the locust.”

37 tn Heb “like a swarm of locusts swarming on it.”

38 tn Or “elevated”; NCV, NLT “is very great.”

39 tn Or “for” (KJV, NASB, NIV).

40 tn Heb “on high” (so KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); CEV “in the heavens.”

41 tn Heb “and he is the stability of your times.”

42 tn Heb “a rich store of deliverance, wisdom, and knowledge.”

43 tn Heb “the fear of the Lord, it is his treasure.”

44 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word is unknown. Proposals include “heroes” (cf. KJV, ASV “valiant ones”; NASB, NIV “brave men”); “priests,” “residents [of Jerusalem].” The present translation assumes that the term is synonymous with “messengers of peace,” with which it corresponds in the parallel structure of the verse.

45 tn Heb “messengers of peace,” apparently those responsible for negotiating the agreements that have been broken (see v. 8).

46 tn Or “desolate” (NAB, NASB); NIV, NRSV, NLT “deserted.”

47 tn Heb “the one passing by on the road ceases.”

48 tn Heb “one breaks a treaty”; NAB “Covenants are broken.”

49 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “he despises cities.” The term עָרִים (’arim, “cities”) is probably a corruption of an original עֵדִים (’edim, “[legal] witnesses”), a reading that is preserved in the Qumran scroll 1QIsaa. Confusion of dalet (ד) and resh (ר) is a well-attested scribal error.

50 tn Heb “he does not regard human beings.”

51 tn Or “earth” (KJV); NAB “the country.”

52 tn Or “mourns” (BDB 5 s.v. I אָבַל). HALOT 6-7 lists homonyms I אבל (“mourn”) and II אבל (“dry up”). They propose the second here on the basis of parallelism. See 24:4.

53 tn Heb “Lebanon is ashamed.” The Hiphil is exhibitive, expressing the idea, “exhibits shame.” In this context the statement alludes to the withering of vegetation.

54 sn Sharon was a fertile plain along the Mediterranean coast. See 35:2.

55 tn Or “the Arabah” (NIV). See 35:1.

56 sn Both of these areas were known for their trees and vegetation. See 2:13; 35:2.

57 tn Heb “shake off [their leaves]” (so ASV, NRSV); NAB “are stripped bare.”

58 tn Or “lift myself up” (KJV); NLT “show my power and might.”

59 tn The second person verb and pronominal forms in this verse are plural. The hostile nations are the addressed, as the next verse makes clear.

60 sn The hostile nations’ plans to destroy God’s people will come to nothing; their hostility will end up being self-destructive.

61 tn Heb “will be a burning to lime.” See Amos 2:1.

62 tn Or “trembling” (ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV); NLT “shake with fear.”

63 tn Or “the defiled”; TEV “The sinful people of Zion”; NLT “The sinners in Jerusalem.”

64 tn The words “they say” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

65 tn Or “perpetual”; or “everlasting” (KJV, ASV, NAB, NIV, NRSV).

66 tn Heb “walks” (so NASB, NIV).

67 tn Or, possibly, “justly”; NAB “who practices virtue.”

68 tn Heb “[who] shakes off his hands from grabbing hold of a bribe.”

69 tn Heb “[who] shuts his ear from listening to bloodshed.”

70 tn Heb “[who] closes his eyes from seeing evil.”

71 tn Heb “he [in the] exalted places will live.”

72 tn Heb “mountain strongholds, cliffs [will be] his elevated place.”

73 tn Heb “your eyes will see a king in his beauty”; NIV, NRSV “the king.”

74 tn Heb “a land of distances,” i.e., an extensive land.

75 tn Heb “your heart will meditate on terror.”

76 tn The words “and you will ask yourselves” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.

77 sn The people refer to various Assyrian officials who were responsible for determining the amount of taxation or tribute Judah must pay to the Assyrian king.

78 tn The Hebrew form נוֹעָז (noaz) is a Niphal participle derived from יָעַז (yaaz, an otherwise unattested verb) or from עָזָז (’azaz, “be strong,” unattested elsewhere in the Niphal). Some prefer to emend the form to לוֹעֵז (loez) which occurs in Ps 114:1 with the meaning “speak a foreign language.” See HALOT 809 s.v. עזז, 533 s.v. לעז. In this case, one might translate “people who speak a foreign language.”

79 tn Heb “a people too deep of lip to hear.” The phrase “deep of lip” must be an idiom meaning “lips that speak words that are unfathomable [i.e., incomprehensible].”

80 tn Heb “derision of tongue there is no understanding.” The Niphal of לָעַג (laag) occurs only here. In the Qal and Hiphil the verb means “to deride, mock.” A related noun is used in 28:11.

81 tn Heb “your eyes” (so NASB, NIV, NRSV).

82 map For location see Map5 B1; Map6 F3; Map7 E2; Map8 F2; Map10 B3; JP1 F4; JP2 F4; JP3 F4; JP4 F4.

83 tn Or “that does not travel”; NASB “which shall not be folded.”

84 tn Heb “But there [as] a mighty one [will be] the Lord for us.”

85 tn Heb “a place of rivers, streams wide of hands [i.e., on both sides].”

86 tn Heb “a ship of rowing will not go into it.”

87 tn Heb “and a mighty ship will not pass through it.”

88 tn The words “though at this time” are supplied in the translation for clarification. The first half of the verse is addressed to Judah and contrasts the nation’s present weakness with its future prosperity. Judah is compared to a ship that is incapable of sailing.

89 tn Heb “they do not fasten the base of their mast.” On כֵּן (ken, “base”) see BDB 487 s.v. III כֵּן and HALOT 483 s.v. III כֵּן.

90 tn Or perhaps, “flag.”

91 tn Heb “then there will be divided up loot of plunder [in] abundance.”

92 sn Judah’s victory over its enemies will be so thorough there will be more than enough plunder for everyone, even slow-moving lame men who would normally get left out in the rush to gather the loot.

93 tn The words “of Zion” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

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