Year of the Bible – Isaiah 18-21

Epiphany - Isaiah 18



O my people, crushed on the threshing floor, I tell you what I have heard from the Lord Almighty, from the God of Israel. – Isaiah 21:10

Isaiah 18:1-21:17 (21:1-10)

God does hear the prayers of the needy, the poor who look to Him for deliverance. In these four chapters God lays out the coming destruction that would fall upon the nations that turned against Israel and her Messianic hope. But God also left the peoples of these countries—Gentile countries—with a hope of a new day when all nations would find unity with Israel in the faith of a Messiah manifested to the world, in Christianity. God directs His first accusation again Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s kings were able to descend at will upon Egypt as the Nile River rose. They lived in the protection of mountains and prospered with trade. It seemed as though God was not watching or caring when they oppressed the poor. But God was watching and in justice He crushed them with famine and drought. It would not be until the time of the Messiah that they would be permitted to return to the favor of the Lord. Christianity flourished in Ethiopia and Abyssinia. In our text, God then turned in prophesy against Egypt. Egypt, the mighty power that oppressed Judah, God’s people, would be turned into a host of feudal states, warring constantly against each other (7th Century BC), never to rise again to her former glory and unity, never to find the wisdom that would bring unity and peace to her nation. But God also held out the Messianic promise to the Egyptians. God would send His word to Egypt, both in the establishment of Jewish colonies and in the great epiphany of Christianity after the resurrection of Christ. They too, would be permitted to know the Lord, the God of Israel, and take up a place among the chosen people of God. In chapter 20 God turns to the impending doom that is coming upon Egypt and Ethiopia that will take place at the hand of the king of Assyria. They would be disgraced because of the disgrace they had imposed upon God’s people. The same fate would come true for Babylon, Edom and the peoples of Arabia. No one may hurt or harm God’s people without God bringing justice and vindicating them!


Questions – Isaiah 18

  1. What promise does God make to His people experiencing oppression.
  2. Even though God executed justice upon the Ethiopians, what promise did he make to them, a promise of hope?
  3. When did Egypt fall into feudalism and division?
  4. What hope did God give to the Egyptians?
  5. What kingdom would destroy Egypt?
  6. What kingdom did God use to destroy the southern Kingdom of Judah, taking her people away into captivity, but was later punished by God for having done so?
Year of the Bible – Epiphany Week Two | Wednesday | Isaiah 18 – © John W. Fiene