Isaiah 18:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches.

New Living Translation
Even before you begin your attack, while your plans are ripening like grapes, the LORD will cut off your new growth with pruning shears. He will snip off and discard your spreading branches.

English Standard Version
For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he cuts off the shoots with pruning hooks, and the spreading branches he lops off and clears away.

New American Standard Bible
For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms And the flower becomes a ripening grape, Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives And remove and cut away the spreading branches.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over and the blossom becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with a pruning knife, and tear away and remove the branches.

International Standard Version
For before the harvest, when the season of budding is over, and sour grapes ripen into mature grapes, he cuts off the shoots with pruning knives, clearing away the spreading branches as he lops them off.

NET Bible
For before the harvest, when the bud has sprouted, and the ripening fruit appears, he will cut off the unproductive shoots with pruning knives; he will prune the tendrils.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Before the harvest, when blossoms are gone and grapes are ripening from blossoms, he will cut off the shoots with pruning shears and chop off the spreading branches.

Jubilee Bible 2000
For before the harvest, when the fruit is perfect, and after the flower is past and the fruit is mature, then he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks and take away and cut down the branches.

King James 2000 Bible
For before 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.

American King James Version
For before 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.

American Standard Version
For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becometh a ripening grape, he will cut off the sprigs with pruning-hooks, and the spreading branches will he take away and cut down.

Douay-Rheims Bible
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.

Darby Bible Translation
For before the harvest, when the blossoming is over, and the flower becometh a ripening grape, he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning-knives, and take away [and] cut down the branches.

English Revised Version
For afore the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becometh a ripening grape, he shall cut off the sprigs with pruning-hooks, and the spreading branches shall he take away and cut down.

Webster's Bible Translation
For before 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.

World English Bible
For before the harvest, when the blossom is over, and the flower becomes a ripening grape, he will cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and he will cut down and take away the spreading branches.

Young's Literal Translation
For before harvest, when the flower is perfect, And the blossom is producing unripe fruit, Then hath one cut the sprigs with pruning hooks, And the branches he hath turned aside, cut down.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

18:1-7 God's care for his people; and the increase of the church. - This chapter is one of the most obscure in Scripture, though more of it probably was understood by those for whose use it was first intended, than by us now. Swift messengers are sent by water to a nation marked by Providence, and measured out, trodden under foot. God's people are trampled on; but whoever thinks to swallow them up, finds they are cast down, yet not deserted, not destroyed. All the dwellers on earth must watch the motions of the Divine Providence, and wait upon the directions of the Divine will. God gives assurance to his prophet, and by him to be given to his people. Zion is his rest for ever, and he will look after it. He will suit to their case the comforts and refreshments he provides for them; they will be acceptable, because seasonable. He will reckon with his and their enemies; and as God's people are protected at all seasons of the year, so their enemies are exposed at all seasons. A tribute of praise should be brought to God from all this. What is offered to God, must be offered in the way he has appointed; and we may expect him to meet us where he records his name. Thus shall the nations of the earth be convinced that Jehovah is the God, and Israel is his people, and shall unite in presenting spiritual sacrifices to his glory. Happy are those who take warning by his judgment on others, and hasten to join him and his people. Whatever land or people may be intended, we are here taught not to think that God takes no care of his church, and has no respect to the affairs of men, because he permits the wicked to triumph for a season. He has wise reasons for so doing, which we cannot now understand, but which will appear at the great day of his coming, when he will bring every work into judgment, and reward every man according to his works.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - For afore the harvest. God can rest thus tranquil, because he can step in at any time; and this he is about to do, before Assyria reaps her harvest. When the bud is perfect, etc.; rather, when the blossom is past, and the green grape is becoming a ripening bunch. He shall cut off (comp. Isaiah 10:33, 34). The metaphor is slightly varied in this place, to suit the imagery of the preceding clause, where Assyria has been represented as a vine-stock. Formerly her "boughs" were to be "lopped;" now her "branches" and "sprigs" or "sprouts" are to be cut away with pruning-hooks.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

For afore the harvest,.... Or vintage: the above metaphor is carried on; before the designs and schemes of the people above described are ripe for execution, who promised themselves a large harvest of their neighbours:

when the bud is perfect; when the bud of the vine is become a perfect grape, though unripe; when the scheme was fully laid, and with perfect and consummate wisdom as imagined, though not brought into execution:

and the sour grape is ripening in the flower; things go on and promise well, as if the issue would be according to expectation, and there would be a good vintage. The sour grape may denote the temper and disposition of the above people against their enemies, their ill nature, and enmity to them; or the sins and transgressions, for which the judgment denounced came upon them:

he shall both cut off the sprigs with pruning hooks, and take away and cut down the branches; as the vinedresser; or rather as one that has no good will to the vine, cuts it with pruning hooks, not to make it better, but worse, and cuts off, not the dead withered and useless parts of it, but the sprigs that have buds and flowers, or unripe grapes, upon them, and even whole branches that have clusters on them, and takes them and casts them away, to be trodden under foot, or cast into the fire; so the Lord, or the king of Assyria, the instrument in the hand of God, should cut off the Ethiopians, or the Egyptians, with the sword, both small and great, when their enterprise should fail, and their promised success: or this is to be understood of the destruction of Sennacherib's army by the angel, when he was full of expectation of taking Jerusalem, and plundering that rich city. Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of the destruction of the armies of Gog and Magog. The Targum is,

"and he shall kill the princes of the people with the sword, and their mighty ones he shall remove and cause to pass over.''

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. For—rather, "But."

perfect—perfected. When the enemy's plans are on the verge of completion.

sour grape … flower—rather, "when the flower shall become the ripening grape" [Maurer].

sprigs—the shoots with the grapes on them. God will not only disconcert their present plans, but prevent them forming any future ones. Horsley takes the "harvest" and vintage here as referring to purifying judgments which cause the excision of the ungodly from the earth, and the placing of the faithful in a state of peace on the earth: not the last judgment (Joh 15:2; Re 14:15-20).

Isaiah 18:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Message to Ethiopia
4For thus the LORD has told me, "I will look from My dwelling place quietly Like dazzling heat in the sunshine, Like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest." 5For before the harvest, as soon as the bud blossoms And the flower becomes a ripening grape, Then He will cut off the sprigs with pruning knives And remove and cut away the spreading branches. 6They will be left together for mountain birds of prey, And for the beasts of the earth; And the birds of prey will spend the summer feeding on them, And all the beasts of the earth will spend harvest time on them.…
Cross References
Isaiah 17:10
You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Therefore, though you set out the finest plants and plant imported vines,

Isaiah 17:11
though on the day you set them out, you make them grow, and on the morning when you plant them, you bring them to bud, yet the harvest will be as nothing in the day of disease and incurable pain.

Isaiah 27:11
When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them. For this is a people without understanding; so their Maker has no compassion on them, and their Creator shows them no favor.

Ezekiel 17:6
and it sprouted and became a low, spreading vine. Its branches turned toward him, but its roots remained under it. So it became a vine and produced branches and put out leafy boughs.
Treasury of Scripture

For before 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.

Isaiah 17:11 In the day shall you make your plant to grow, and in the morning …

Songs 2:13,15 The fig tree puts forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender …

Ezekiel 17:6-10 And it grew, and became a spreading vine of low stature, whose branches …

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