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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - Isaiah 18:1-7

Interpreters are very much at a loss where to find this land that lies beyond the rivers of Cush. Some take it to be Egypt, a maritime country, and full of rivers, and which courted Israel to depend upon them, but proved broken reeds; but against this it is strongly objected that the next chapter is distinguished from this by the title of the burden of Egypt. Others take it to be Ethiopia, and read it, which lies near, or about, the rivers of Ethiopia, not that in Africa, which lay south of... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - Isaiah 18:2

That sendeth ambassadors by the sea ,.... The Red Sea, which washed the coasts of Egypt and Ethiopia, and which were united into one kingdom under Sabacus, or So the Ethiopian, called king of Egypt, 2 Kings 17:4 and this kingdom, or rather the king of it, is here described as sending ambassadors by sea to foreign courts, to make leagues and alliances, and thereby strengthen himself against attempts made on him; though some understand it of one part of Ethiopia, on one side of the Red Sea,... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - Isaiah 18:2

In vessels of bulrushes "In vessels of papyrus" - This circumstance agrees perfectly well with Egypt. It is well known that the Egyptians commonly used on the Nile a light sort of ships, or boats, made of the reed papyrus. Ex ipso quidem papyro navigia texunt . Pliny, 42:11. Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymba papyro . Lucan, 4:136. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Isaiah 18:1-4

The contrast of Divine calm with human bustle, hurry, and excitement. When men take a matter in hand wherein they feel an interest, and set themselves either to carry out a certain design of their own, or to frustrate the designs of others, nothing is more remarkable than the "fuss" that they make about it. Heaven and earth are moved, so to speak, for the accomplishment of the desired end; the entire nation is excited, stirred, thrilled to its lowest depths; a universal eagerness prevails;... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Isaiah 18:1-6

The patience of power. The most striking and distinctive truth this chapter contains is that of the patience of Divine power, which permits evil to rise and to mature, and which, at the right moment, effectually intervenes. But there are other points beside this; they are— I. THE MISDIRECTION OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE . Whatever may be the right translation and the true application of these verses, it is clear that reference is made to a warlike people—a people "terrible" to their... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Isaiah 18:1-7

THE HOMAGE OF ETHIOPIA TO JEHOVAH . Amid the general excitement caused by the advance of Assyria, Ethiopia also is stirred, and stirred to its furthest limits. The king sends messengers in beats upon the canals and rivers to summon his troops to his standard ( Isaiah 18:1 , Isaiah 18:2 ). The earth stands agaze to see the result of the approaching collision ( Isaiah 18:3 ); but God rests calmly in heaven while events are ripening ( Isaiah 18:4 , Isaiah 18:5 ). When... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Isaiah 18:1-7

Homage of Ethiopia to Jehovah. I. AGITATION IN ETHIOPIA . The oracle opens with a scene full of life. Hosts of Egyptian and Ethiopian warriors are seen, like buzzing swarms of flies moving to and fro. Messengers are speeding in papyrus boats to announce the approach of the Assyrians. The Ethiopians are described as a nation "tall and polished," terrible, strong, and all-subduing, whose land rivers cut through. A sense of mystery and greatness hung about this! and from the earliest... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - Isaiah 18:2

That sendeth ambassadors ; rather, perhaps, messengers , as the word is translated in Isaiah 57:9 and Proverbs 25:13 . They are sent, apparently, by the king to his own people. By the sea . "The sea" must in this place necessarily mean the Nile, which is called "the sea" in Nahum 3:8 certainly, and probably in Isaiah 19:5 . Vessels of papyrus could not possibly have been employed in the very difficult navigation of the Red Sea. Vessels of bulrushes . That some of the boats used... read more

Albert Barnes

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible - Isaiah 18:2

That sendeth ambassadors - That is, “accustomed” to send messengers. What was the design of their thus sending ambassadors does not appear. The prophet simply intimates the fact; a fact by which they were well known. It may have been for purposes of commerce, or to seek protection. Bochart renders the word translated ‘ambassadors’ by “images,” and supposes that it denotes an image of the god Osiris made of the papyrus; but there does not seem to be any reason for this opinion. The word ציר... read more

Joseph Benson

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments - Isaiah 18:2

Isaiah 18:2. That sendeth ambassadors by sea That is accustomed to send, or at this time is sending, ambassadors to strengthen themselves with leagues and alliances, or to encourage their confederates; in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters This circumstance agrees perfectly well with Egypt; Pliny, Lucan, Diodorus Siculus, and Strabo, all affirming that the Egyptians commonly used on the Nile a light sort of ships, or boats, made of the reed papyrus. Go, ye swift messengers “To this... read more

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