The people of Kush want Assyria to fall. Isaiah says they will see it. Then they will travel to Jerusalem with gifts for the LORD of Hosts.
NAB translation. Ah, land of buzzing insects, beyond the borders of Ethiopia.
land of buzzing insects. This might refer to locusts. It is not a complement. It is a reference to the region of the Upper Nile river.
beyond the rivers of Ethiopia. That is, Kush. It included modern-day southern Egypt, Sudan, and northern Ethiopia. It is spelled in two ways: “Kush” and “Cush.”
We see the main story of this chapter being this: the people of Kush will be won over to faith in the LORD God of the Jewish people!
VERSE 2. that sends ambassadors by the sea, even in vessels of papyrus on the waters, saying, “Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people awesome from their beginning onward, a nation that measures out and treads down, whose land the rivers divide!”
vessels of papyrus. These were light boats made of papyrus and sealed with pitch. They could move more quickly than bigger boats.
to a nation tall and smooth. In those days, the people of Cush were tall and smooth-skinned.
All you inhabitants of the world. Cush represents all the people of the world who want Assyria to fall.
When the shofar is blown, listen! The time would come when they would indeed see Assyria fall.
the LORD said to me. Prophets are convinced that God speaks to them. How do they know whether a message is from God or just from themselves? Here are the most popular theories »
like clear heat in sunshine. God’s plans would linger like the summer heat, until the time was right.
VERSE 5. For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and he will cut down and take away the spreading branches.
NLT translation. Even before you begin your attack, while your plans are ripening like grapes, the LORD will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.
He will snip off and discard your spreading branches. God will impede the progress of those who attack his people.
VERSE 6. They will be left together for the ravenous birds of the mountains, and for the animals of the earth. The ravenous birds will eat them in the summer, and all the animals of the earth will eat them in the winter.
VERSE 7. In that time, a present will be brought to the LORD of Hosts from a people tall and smooth, even from a people awesome from their beginning onward, a nation that measures out and treads down, whose land the rivers divide, to the place of the name of the LORD of Hosts, Mount Zion.
a present will be brought to the LORD. The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »
whose land the rivers divide. Like Egypt, Cush was divided by rivers. That is, by the branches of the Nile River.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.