Isaiah 16:13-19:15 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
13 This is the word the Lord has already spoken concerning Moab. 14 But now the Lord says: ‘Within three years, as a servant bound by contract would count them, Moab’s splendour and all her many people will be despised, and her survivors will be very few and feeble.’
A prophecy against Damascus
17 A prophecy against Damascus:
‘See, Damascus will no longer be a city
but will become a heap of ruins.
2 The cities of Aroer will be deserted
and left to flocks, which will lie down,
with no one to make them afraid.
3 The fortified city will disappear from Ephraim,
and royal power from Damascus;
the remnant of Aram will be
like the glory of the Israelites,’
declares the Lord Almighty.
4 ‘In that day the glory of Jacob will fade;
the fat of his body will waste away.
5 It will be as when reapers harvest the standing corn,
gathering the corn in their arms –
as when someone gleans ears of corn
in the Valley of Rephaim.
6 Yet some gleanings will remain,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
leaving two or three olives on the topmost branches,
four or five on the fruitful boughs,’
declares the Lord,
the God of Israel.
7 In that day people will look to their Maker
and turn their eyes to the Holy One of Israel.
8 They will not look to the altars,
the work of their hands,
and they will have no regard for the Asherah poles
and the incense altars their fingers have made.
9 In that day their strong cities, which they left because of the Israelites, will be like places abandoned to thickets and undergrowth. And all will be desolation.
10 You have forgotten God your Saviour;
you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress.
Therefore, though you set out the finest plants
and plant imported vines,
11 though on the day you set them out, you make them grow,
and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud,
yet the harvest will be as nothing
in the day of disease and incurable pain.
12 Woe to the many nations that rage –
they rage like the raging sea!
Woe to the peoples who roar –
they roar like the roaring of great waters!
13 Although the peoples roar like the roar of surging waters,
when he rebukes them they flee far away,
driven before the wind like chaff on the hills,
like tumble-weed before a gale.
14 In the evening, sudden terror!
Before the morning, they are gone!
This is the portion of those who loot us,
the lot of those who plunder us.
A prophecy against Cush
18 Woe to the land of whirring wings
along the rivers of Cush,
2 which sends envoys by sea
in papyrus boats over the water.
Go, swift messengers,
to a people tall and smooth-skinned,
to a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers.
3 All you people of the world,
you who live on the earth,
when a banner is raised on the mountains,
you will see it,
and when a trumpet sounds,
you will hear it.
4 This is what the Lord says to me:
‘I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling-place,
like shimmering heat in the sunshine,
like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.’
5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone
and the flower becomes a ripening grape,
he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives,
and cut down and take away the spreading branches.
6 They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey
and to the wild animals;
the birds will feed on them all summer,
the wild animals all winter.
7 At that time gifts will be brought to the Lord Almighty
from a people tall and smooth-skinned,
from a people feared far and wide,
an aggressive nation of strange speech,
whose land is divided by rivers –
the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the place of the Name of the Lord Almighty.
A prophecy against Egypt
19 A prophecy against Egypt:
See, the Lord rides on a swift cloud
and is coming to Egypt.
The idols of Egypt tremble before him,
and the hearts of the Egyptians melt with fear.
2 ‘I will stir up Egyptian against Egyptian –
brother will fight against brother,
neighbour against neighbour,
city against city,
kingdom against kingdom.
3 The Egyptians will lose heart,
and I will bring their plans to nothing;
they will consult the idols and the spirits of the dead,
the mediums and the spiritists.
4 I will hand the Egyptians over
to the power of a cruel master,
and a fierce king will rule over them,’
declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty.
5 The waters of the river will dry up,
and the river bed will be parched and dry.
6 The canals will stink;
the streams of Egypt will dwindle and dry up.
The reeds and rushes will wither,
7 also the plants along the Nile,
at the mouth of the river.
Every sown field along the Nile
will become parched, will blow away and be no more.
8 The fishermen will groan and lament,
all who cast hooks into the Nile;
those who throw nets on the water
will pine away.
9 Those who work with combed flax will despair,
the weavers of fine linen will lose hope.
10 The workers in cloth will be dejected,
and all the wage earners will be sick at heart.
11 The officials of Zoan are nothing but fools;
the wise counsellors of Pharaoh give senseless advice.
How can you say to Pharaoh,
‘I am one of the wise men,
a disciple of the ancient kings’?
12 Where are your wise men now?
Let them show you and make known
what the Lord Almighty
has planned against Egypt.
13 The officials of Zoan have become fools,
the leaders of Memphis are deceived;
the cornerstones of her peoples
have led Egypt astray.
14 The Lord has poured into them
a spirit of dizziness;
they make Egypt stagger in all that she does,
as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit.
15 There is nothing Egypt can do –
head or tail, palm branch or reed.