Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ISAIAS - Chapter 18

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Isaias xviii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Cymbal. Or sistrum, commonly used in Egypt. Septuagint, "ship sails." --- Ethiopia, or Chus, lying between the Nile (the branches of which are styled rivers) and the Red Sea. He alludes to the kingdom of Tharaca, 4 Kings xix. 8. (Calmet)

Ver. 2. Ambassadors. Hebrew, "images," (Bochart) in honour of Adonis; (St. Cyril) or rather Ezechias, or Tharaca send to demand troops. (Calmet) --- Bulrushes. Literally, "paper." (Haydock) --- Formed of rushes which grow on the banks of the Nile. (Pliny, [Natural History?] vii. 56., and xiii. 11.) --- Angels. Or messengers. --- Pieces. With factions after the death of Sabacon, or by the inroads of Sennacherib. --- Other. He derides the vanity of the Egyptians. (Calmet) --- Expecting the overflowing of the Nile. (Haydock) --- Hebrew, "of line," (Calmet) with which they marked out each person's property, after the waters had subsided. (Strabo 17.) --- Foot. They worked their dough with their feet, and sent swine to trample on the seed, which required no more cultivation. (Herodotus ii. 14., and 36.) --- Spoiled. The Nile made considerable alterations.

Ver. 4. Place. God rules all with ease. --- Harvest. The allies shall comfort my people, (Calmet) or Sennacherib shall threaten ruin. (Haydock) --- But I will frustrate his evil designs. His army shall perish unexpectedly, ver. 5. (Calmet) --- The Egyptians had sent messengers to assure the Israelites that they would come to assist them: but the prophet informs them of their own ruin. (Worthington)

Ver. 6. Them. Their bodies shall lie unburied.

Ver. 7. Sion. Egypt shall send presents to the Lord, 2 Paralipomenon xxxii. 23. (Calmet)

Bible Text & Cross-references:
A woe to the Ethiopians, who fed Israel with vain hopes: their future conversion.

1 Woe to the land, the winged cymbal, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia.

2 That sendeth ambassadors by the sea, and in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters. Go, ye swift angels, to a nation rent and torn in pieces: to a terrible people, after which there is no other: to a nation expecting and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled.

3 All ye inhabitants of the world, who dwell on the earth, when the sign shall be lifted up on the mountains, you shall see, and you shall hear the sound of the trumpet:

4 For thus saith the Lord to me: I will take my rest, and consider in my place, as the noon light is clear, and as a cloud of dew in the day of harvest.

5 For before the harvest, it was all flourishing, and it shall bud without perfect ripeness, and the sprigs thereof shall be cut off with pruning-hooks: and what is left shall be cut away, and shaken out.

6 And they shall be left together to the birds of the mountains, and the beasts of the earth: and the fowls shall be upon them all the summer, and all the beasts of the earth shall winter upon them.

7 At that time shall a present be brought to the Lord of hosts, from a people rent and torn in pieces: from a terrible people, after which there hath been no other; from a nation expecting, expecting and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, to Mount Sion.