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Isaiah chapter 18

New International Version

1 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.
English Standard Version

1 Ah, land of whirring wings that is beyond the rivers of Cush, 2 which sends ambassadors by the sea, in vessels of papyrus on the waters! Go, you swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, to a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide. 3 All you inhabitants of the world, you who dwell on the earth, when a signal is raised on the mountains, look! When a trumpet is blown, hear! 4 For thus the LORD said to me: “I will quietly look from my dwelling like clear heat in sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” 5 For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away. 6 They shall all of them be left to the birds of prey of the mountains and to the beasts of the earth. And the birds of prey will summer on them, and all the beasts of the earth will winter on them. 7 At that time tribute will be brought to the LORD of hosts from a people tall and smooth, from a people feared near and far, a nation mighty and conquering, whose land the rivers divide, to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the LORD of hosts.
King James Version

1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia: 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! 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
New American Standard Bible

1 Woe, land of whirring wings Which lies beyond the rivers of Cush, 2 Which sends messengers by the sea, Even in papyrus vessels on the surface of the waters. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth, To a people feared far and wide, A powerful and oppressive nation Whose land the rivers divide. 3 All you who inhabit the world, and live on earth, As soon as a flag is raised on the mountains, you will see it, And as soon as the trumpet is blown, you will hear it. 4 For this is what the LORD has told me: 'I will quietly look from My dwelling place Like dazzling heat in the sunshine, Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.' 5 For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms And the flower becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, And remove and tear away the spreading branches. 6 They will be left together for mountain birds of prey, And for the animals of the earth; And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, And all the animals of the earth will spend harvest time on them. 7 At that time a gift of tribute will be brought to the LORD of armies From a people tall and smooth, From a people feared far and wide, A powerful and oppressive nation, Whose land the rivers divide— To the place of the name of the LORD of armies, to Mount Zion.
New Living Translation

1 Listen, Ethiopia--land of fluttering sails that lies at the headwaters of the Nile,
2 that sends ambassadors in swift boats down the river. Go, swift messengers! Take a message to a tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction, and whose land is divided by rivers.
3 All you people of the world, everyone who lives on the earth--when I raise my battle flag on the mountain, look! When I blow the ram's horn, listen! 4 For the LORD has told me this: 'I will watch quietly from my dwelling place--as quietly as the heat rises on a summer day, or as the morning dew forms during the harvest.' 5 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. 6 Your mighty army will be left dead in the fields for the mountain vultures and wild animals. The vultures will tear at the corpses all summer. The wild animals will gnaw at the bones all winter.
7 At that time the LORD of Heaven's Armies will receive gifts from this land divided by rivers, from this tall, smooth-skinned people, who are feared far and wide for their conquests and destruction. They will bring the gifts to Jerusalem, where the LORD of Heaven's Armies dwells.
Christian Standard Bible

1 Woe to the land of buzzing insect wings beyond the rivers of Cush, 2 which sends envoys by sea, in reed vessels over the water. Go, swift messengers, to a nation tall and smooth-skinned, to a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers. 3 All you inhabitants of the world and you who live on the earth, when a banner is raised on the mountains, look! When a ram's horn sounds, listen!
4 For the Lord said to me: I will quietly look out from my place, like shimmering heat in sunshine, like a rain cloud in harvest heat. 5 For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and the blossom becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife, and tear away and remove the branches. 6 They will all be left for the birds of prey on the hills and for the wild animals of the land. The birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, and all the wild animals the winter.
7 At that time a gift will be brought to the Lord of Armies from a people tall and smooth-skinned, a people feared far and near, a powerful nation with a strange language, whose land is divided by rivers--to Mount Zion, the place of the name of the Lord of Armies.

What does Isaiah chapter 18 mean?

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