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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Isaiah 18

Chapter 18

Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:

A. M. cir. 3290. B.C. cir. 714. Woe. Bp. Lowth renders, after Bochart, "Ho! to the land of the winged cymbal;" which he thinks is a periphrasis for the Egyptian sistrum; and consequently, that Egypt, "which borders on the rivers of Cush," is the country to which the prophecy is addressed. If we translate "shadowing with wings," it may allude to the multitude of its vessels, whose sails may be represented under the notion of wings

the land

20:3-6 30:2,3 31:1


Ruth 2:12 Psalms 17:8 36:7 57:1 61:4 63:7 91:4 Matthew 23:37


2 Kings 19:9 Ezekiel 30:4,5 Zephaniah 2:12 3:10

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!


30:2-4 Ezekiel 30:9


It is well known that the Egyptians commonly used on the Nile a light sort of ships or boats made of the papyrus. See note on Ex 2:3.

to a nation

scattered and peeled

or, outspread and polished. Or, as Bp. Lowth renders, "stretched out in length and smoothed." Egypt, which is situated between 24 degrees and 32 degrees N. lat. and 30 degrees and 33 degrees E. long., being bounded on the south by Ethiopia, on the north by the Mediterranean, on the east by the mountains of Arabia, and on the west by those of Lybia, is one long vale, 750 miles in length, (through the middle of which runs the Nile,) in breadth from one to two or three day's journey, and even at the widest part of the Delta, from Pelusium to Alexandria, not above 250 miles broad.

to a people

Genesis 10:8,9 2 Chronicles 12:2-4 14:9 16:8


Meted out and trodden down. or, that meteth out and treadeth down. Heb. of line, line, and treading under foot. This is an allusion to the frequent necessity of having recourse to mensuration in Egypt, in order to determine their boundaries, after the inundation of the Nile had smoothed their land and effaced their landmarks; and to their method of throwing seed upon the mud, when the waters had subsided, and treading it in by turning their cattle into the fields.

have spoiled

or, despise.


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.

All ye

1:2 Psalms 49:1,2 50:1 Jeremiah 22:29 Micah 6:2

see ye

5:26 7:18 13:2,4 26:11 Amos 3:6-8 Micah 6:9 Zechariah 9:14 Matthew 13:9,16

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.

I will

26:21 Psalms 132:13,14 Hosea 5:15

consider in my dwelling place

or, regard my set dwelling.

7 12:6 14:32 31:9 46:13 Joel 3:17

like a clear

2 Samuel 23:4 Psalms 72:6

upon herbs

or, after rain.

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.

17:11 Song of Solomon 2:13,15 Ezekiel 17:6-10

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.

14:19 34:1-7 Jeremiah 7:33 15:3 Ezekiel 32:4-6 39:17-20 Revelation 19:17,18

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.

shall the

16:1 23:17,18 45:14 2 Chronicles 32:23 Psalms 68:29-31 72:9-15 Zephaniah 3:10 Malachi 1:11 Matthew 2:11; Acts 8:27,28

scattered and peeled

or, outspread and polished.

to the

4 60:6-9 Micah 4:13 Zechariah 14:16,17