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Isaiah 25:11

ESV And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim, but the Lord will lay low his pompous pride together with the skill of his hands.
NIV They will stretch out their hands in it, as swimmers stretch out their hands to swim. God will bring down their pride despite the cleverness of their hands.
NASB And he will spread out his hands in the middle of it As a swimmer spreads out his hands to swim, But the Lord will lay low his pride together with the trickery of his hands.
CSB He will spread out his arms in the middle of it, as a swimmer spreads out his arms to swim. His pride will be brought low, along with the trickery of his hands.
NLT God will push down Moab’s people as a swimmer pushes down water with his hands. He will end their pride and all their evil works.
KJV And he shall spread forth his hands in the midst of them, as he that swimmeth spreadeth forth his hands to swim: and he shall bring down their pride together with the spoils of their hands.
NKJV And He will spread out His hands in their midst As a swimmer reaches out to swim, And He will bring down their pride Together with the trickery of their hands.

What does Isaiah 25:11 mean?

The future celebration of the Lord's reign over the earth concludes on a stark note. Those who trusted in the Lord are freed forever from death and the reproach of sin. These believers (John 3:16–17) celebrate and praise God. They declare to each other that because the Lord is their God, all their waiting was worthwhile. Their trust has been proven right by His salvation (Isaiah 25:7–9). However, many will refuse to trust in Christ who died to save them from their sin (John 3:36). They will refuse to wait, placing their confidence in other gods or their own might. Some will even mock those who patiently trust the Lord. They will sneer at those who waited on God's promises without any obvious change in their circumstances.

The prophet uses Israel's neighbor and frequent enemy Moab (Joshua 24:9; Judges 3:12; 2 Kings 1:1) to symbolize those who did not trust the Lord. These committed enemies of God are now suffering God's judgment. Isaiah pictures the Lord with one hand on Mount Zion and His foot crushing Moab down into his place; this is like a man stomping straw into a manure pile (Isaiah 25:10).

Here, Isaiah's imagery becomes even more grotesque. What's described here evokes someone who falls into a cesspit or a massive pile of waste. Like someone trying to swim, he flails around but cannot escape the filth. In the end, those who refuse to come to God in faith will face shame and humiliation (Daniel 12:2).

Isaiah identifies the root of Moab's sin. It is the cornerstone error of all who refuse to humble themselves before the Lord and trust in Him alone: pompous, self-inflating pride. The Lord will prove that Moab's accomplishments, abilities, and reputation will become nothing. This is the fate of all who follow that path.
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