Loading

Isaiah Eighteen

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Navigate to Verse

Isaiah 18:1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:

rivers of Ethiopia. These rivers probably were the Nile headwaters with their tributaries. Ethiopia is Cush in the Hebrew, no doubt referring to their ancestor Cush, son of Ham and father of Nimrod (Genesis 10:6, 8).

Ethiopia. The coming Assyrian invasion would extend even into Egypt and Ethiopia. All of these prophecies of invasion and destruction were fulfilled in the period from about 730 b.c. to about 670 b.c.

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!

scattered and peeled. See also Isaiah 18:7. The Hebrew word translated “scattered” is rendered as “tall” in some versions. Its basic meaning seems to be “drawn out” or “stretched out.” It probably here refers to the Cushites as having migrated far away from God's “dwelling place” (Isaiah 18:4) in Jerusalem. The word for “peeled” is used only in these two verses. Its basic meaning is “obstinate” or “independent-minded,” although many English versions translate it as “smooth.” The emphasis more likely is that the Ethiopians, “terrible from the beginning,” had ventured far away from the other descendants of Ham, going deep into Africa after crossing the Red Sea from southern Arabia. The independent spirit of their father Cush was perhaps exhibited when he named his most eminent son Nimrod, meaning “Let us rebel” (see note on Genesis 10:8).

Isaiah 18:3 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.

Isaiah 18:4 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.

Isaiah 18:5 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.

Isaiah 18:6 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.

Isaiah 18:7 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.

present be brought. In the last days, the Ethiopians, at least in part, will turn back to the true God. The Ethiopian eunuch who accepted Christ (Acts 8:26-38) is perhaps a type of their future conversion. There has long been an Ethiopian church, and it may also be significant that there have been multitudes of black Africans (probably descended originally from the Cushite emigrants) who have turned to Christ in modern times.