Passage: Isaiah 19, 20, 21 (RSV)

Isaiah 19

1An oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, the LORD is riding on a swift cloud and comes to Egypt; and the idols of Egypt will tremble at his presence, and the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them.
2And I will stir up Egyptians against Egyptians, and they will fight, every man against his brother and every man against his neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom;
3and the spirit of the Egyptians within them will be emptied out, and I will confound their plans; and they will consult the idols and the sorcerers, and the mediums and the wizards;
4and I will give over the Egyptians into the hand of a hard master; and a fierce king will rule over them, says the Lord, the LORD of hosts.
5And the waters of the Nile will be dried up, and the river will be parched and dry;
6and its canals will become foul, and the branches of Egypt's Nile will diminish and dry up, reeds and rushes will rot away.
7There will be bare places by the Nile, on the brink of the Nile, and all that is sown by the Nile will dry up, be driven away, and be no more.
8The fishermen will mourn and lament, all who cast hook in the Nile; and they will languish who spread nets upon the water.
9The workers in combed flax will be in despair, and the weavers of white cotton.
10Those who are the pillars of the land will be crushed, and all who work for hire will be grieved.
11The princes of Zo'an are utterly foolish; the wise counselors of Pharaoh give stupid counsel. How can you say to Pharaoh, "I am a son of the wise, a son of ancient kings"?
12Where then are your wise men? Let them tell you and make known what the LORD of hosts has purposed against Egypt.
13The princes of Zo'an have become fools, and the princes of Memphis are deluded; those who are the cornerstones of her tribes have led Egypt astray.
14The LORD has mingled within her a spirit of confusion; and they have made Egypt stagger in all her doings as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
15And there will be nothing for Egypt which head or tail, palm branch or reed, may do.
16In that day the Egyptians will be like women, and tremble with fear before the hand which the LORD of hosts shakes over them.
17And the land of Judah will become a terror to the Egyptians; every one to whom it is mentioned will fear because of the purpose which the LORD of hosts has purposed against them.
18In that day there will be five cities in the land of Egypt which speak the language of Canaan and swear allegiance to the LORD of hosts. One of these will be called the City of the Sun.
19In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar to the LORD at its border.
20It will be a sign and a witness to the LORD of hosts in the land of Egypt; when they cry to the LORD because of oppressors he will send them a savior, and will defend and deliver them.
21And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians; and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and burnt offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them.
22And the LORD will smite Egypt, smiting and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will heed their supplications and heal them.
23In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian will come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians.
24In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth,
25whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, "Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage."

Isaiah 20

1In the year that the commander in chief, who was sent by Sargon the king of Assyria, came to Ashdod and fought against it and took it, --
2at that time the LORD had spoken by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go, and loose the sackcloth from your loins and take off your shoes from your feet," and he had done so, walking naked and barefoot --
3the LORD said, "As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Ethiopia,
4so shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians captives and the Ethiopians exiles, both the young and the old, naked and barefoot, with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
5Then they shall be dismayed and confounded because of Ethiopia their hope and of Egypt their boast.
6And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, `Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?'"

Isaiah 21

1The oracle concerning the wilderness of the sea. As whirlwinds in the Negeb sweep on, it comes from the desert, from a terrible land.
2A stern vision is told to me; the plunderer plunders, and the destroyer destroys. Go up, O Elam, lay siege, O Media; all the sighing she has caused I bring to an end.
3Therefore my loins are filled with anguish; pangs have seized me, like the pangs of a woman in travail; I am bowed down so that I cannot hear, I am dismayed so that I cannot see.
4My mind reels, horror has appalled me; the twilight I longed for has been turned for me into trembling.
5They prepare the table, they spread the rugs, they eat, they drink. Arise, O princes, oil the shield!
6For thus the Lord said to me: "Go, set a watchman, let him announce what he sees.
7When he sees riders, horsemen in pairs, riders on asses, riders on camels, let him listen diligently, very diligently."
8Then he who saw cried: "Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord, continually by day, and at my post I am stationed whole nights.
9And, behold, here come riders, horsemen in pairs!" And he answered, "Fallen, fallen is Babylon; and all the images of her gods he has shattered to the ground."
10O my threshed and winnowed one, what I have heard from the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, I announce to you.
11The oracle concerning Dumah. One is calling to me from Se'ir, "Watchman, what of the night? Watchman, what of the night?"
12The watchman says: "Morning comes, and also the night. If you will inquire, inquire; come back again."
13The oracle concerning Arabia. In the thickets in Arabia you will lodge, O caravans of De'danites.
14To the thirsty bring water, meet the fugitive with bread, O inhabitants of the land of Tema.
15For they have fled from the swords, from the drawn sword, from the bent bow, and from the press of battle.
16For thus the Lord said to me, "Within a year, according to the years of a hireling, all the glory of Kedar will come to an end;
17and the remainder of the archers of the mighty men of the sons of Kedar will be few; for the LORD, the God of Israel, has spoken."

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