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A prophecy against Cush or Ethiopia. Cush is an area on the Upper Nile River.
18:1–2. “Woe unto the land of whirring wings” may be a reference to the locusts which sometimes wreak havoc on crops in east Africa. Papyrus boats are very lightweight boats. Scholars have puzzled over the swift messengers, tall and smooth-skinned, sent to a people feared, an aggressive nation of strange speech whose land is divided by rivers.
18:3. This verse is a call to all “people of the world.” We’ll see and hear a banner and trumpet.
18:4. This describes Jehovah saying to Isaiah, “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.”
18:5. This verse can be translated as, “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 take away the spreading branches. They will all be left to the mountain birds of prey. And to the wild animals, the birds will feed on them all summer.” And again, there is another abrupt change in the following verses.
18:7. At that time, gifts will be brought to Jehovah Almighty from a people tall, smooth-skinned, from a people feared far and wide, an aggressive nation of strange speech, whose land is divided by waters. And then the significant phrase, “the gifts will be brought to Mount Zion, the name of the place of Jehovah Almighty,” which refers to a temple.
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