Isaiah 20:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then the LORD said, "Just as my servant Isaiah has gone stripped and barefoot for three years, as a sign and portent against Egypt and Cush,

New Living Translation
Then the LORD said, "My servant Isaiah has been walking around naked and barefoot for the last three years. This is a sign--a symbol of the terrible troubles I will bring upon Egypt and Ethiopia.

English Standard Version
Then the LORD said, “As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a portent against Egypt and Cush,

New American Standard Bible
And the LORD said, "Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt and Cush,

King James Bible
And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
the LORD said, "As My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and omen against Egypt and Cush,

International Standard Version
Then the LORD said, "Just as my servant Isaiah has walked around naked and barefoot for three years as a sign and a warning for Egypt and Ethiopia,

NET Bible
Later the LORD explained, "In the same way that my servant Isaiah has walked around in undergarments and barefoot for the past three years, as an object lesson and omen pertaining to Egypt and Cush,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then the LORD said, "My servant Isaiah has gone barefoot and naked for three years as a sign and as an omen to Egypt and Sudan.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the LORD said, Like as my slave Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia,

King James 2000 Bible
And the LORD said, Just as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder against Egypt and against Ethiopia;

American King James Version
And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder on Egypt and on Ethiopia;

American Standard Version
And Jehovah said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia;

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the Lord said: As my servant Isaias hath walked, naked and barefoot, it shall be a sign and a wonder of three years upon Egypt, and upon Ethiopia,

Darby Bible Translation
And Jehovah said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years, a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia,

English Revised Version
And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;

Webster's Bible Translation
And the LORD said, As my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Cush;

World English Bible
Yahweh said, "As my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and a wonder concerning Egypt and concerning Ethiopia,

Young's Literal Translation
And Jehovah saith, 'As My servant Isaiah hath gone naked and barefoot three years, a sign and a wonder for Egypt and for Cush,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

20:1-6 The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia. - Isaiah was a sign to the people by his unusual dress, when he walked abroad. He commonly wore sackcloth as a prophet, to show himself mortified to the world. He was to loose this from his loins; to wear no upper garments, and to go barefooted. This sign was to signify, that the Egyptians and Ethiopians should be led away captives by the king of Assyria, thus stripped. The world will often deem believers foolish, when singular in obedience to God. But the Lord will support his servants under the most trying effects of their obedience; and what they are called upon to suffer for his sake, commonly is light, compared with what numbers groan under from year to year from sin. Those who make any creature their expectation and glory, and so put it in the place of God, will, sooner or later, be ashamed of it. But disappointment in creature-confidences, instead of driving us to despair, should drive us to God, and our expectation shall not be in vain. The same lesson is in force now; and where shall we look for aid in the hour of necessity, but to the Lord our Righteousness, throne of grace, and serving with each other in the same business of religion, should end all disputes, and unite the hearts of believers to each other in holy love.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 3. - My servant Isaiah. Isaiah shares this honorable title, "my servant," with a select few among God's saints - with Abraham (Genesis 26:24), Moses (Numbers 12:7), Caleb (Numbers 14:24), Job (Job 1:8; Job 42:7, 8), Eliakim (Isaiah 22:20), and Zerubbabel (Haggai 2:23). It is a great acknowledgment for the Creator to make to the creature, that he really does him service. Three years. Probably from B.C. 713 to B.C. 711, or during the whole of the time that Philistia, Edom, Moab, and Judah were making representations to the Egyptians and Ethiopians, and endeavoring to obtain their aid (see G. Smith, 'Eponym Canon,' p. 130). It has been proposed, by an arbitrary emendation, to cut down the time to "three days;" but a three days' sign of the kind could not have been expected to have any important effect. The supposed "impropriety" of Isaiah's having "gone naked and barefoot" for three years arises from a misconception of the word "naked." which is not to be taken literally (see the comment on ver. 2). The costume adopted would be extraordinary, especially in one of Isaiah's rank and position; but would not be in any degree "improper." It would be simply that of working men during the greater part of the day (see Exodus 22:26, 27).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And the Lord said,.... Here follows the explanation of the sign, and the accommodation of it to the thing signified by it:

like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot; not wholly naked, for that would have been very indecent and dangerous indeed; but without his upper garment, as Saul, 1 Samuel 19:24 and David, 2 Samuel 6:14 or with rent and ragged clothes, and old shoes, as Jarchi (k) interprets it, and which might be only when he appeared abroad; and how long he thus walked is not certain, whether only one day, as some, or three days, as others, or three years, which is not said, though our version inclines to it; but the three years next mentioned are not to be joined to Isaiah's walking, but to the thing signified by it; for the accent "athnach" is at the word which is rendered "barefoot", and distinguishes this clause from the following. The Septuagint indeed puts the phrase "three years" into both clauses, but it only belongs to the latter:

three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt, and upon Ethiopia; that is, the prophet's walking naked and barefoot was a sign that three years after this Egypt and Ethiopia should be subdued by the Assyrians; or, that so long he should be in subduing them, or their calamities should last such a term of time. This sign was only seen by the Jews, for whose sake chiefly this prophecy was, to take off their dependence on the above nations; though probably this might be made known to the Egyptians and Ethiopians.

(k) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 77. 1. & Sabbat, fol. 114. 1.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

3. three years—Isaiah's symbolical action did not continue all this time, but at intervals, to keep it before the people's mind during that period [Rosenmuller]. Rather, join "three years" with "sign," a three years' sign, that is, a sign that a three years' calamity would come on Egypt and Ethiopia [Barnes], (Isa 8:18). This is the only instance of a strictly symbolical act performed by Isaiah. With later prophets, as Jeremiah and Ezekiel, such acts were common. In some cases they were performed, not literally, but only in prophetic vision.

wonder—rather, "omen"; conveying a threat as to the future [G. V. Smith].

upon—in reference to, against.

Isaiah 20:3 Additional Commentaries
Context
A Sign against Egypt and Ethiopia
2at that time the LORD spoke through Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, "Go and loosen the sackcloth from your hips and take your shoes off your feet." And he did so, going naked and barefoot. 3And the LORD said, "Even as My servant Isaiah has gone naked and barefoot three years as a sign and token against Egypt and Cush, 4so the king of Assyria will lead away the captives of Egypt and the exiles of Cush, young and old, naked and barefoot with buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.…
Cross References
Isaiah 8:18
Here am I, and the children the LORD has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from the LORD Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion.

Isaiah 18:1
Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush,

Isaiah 37:9
Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. When he heard it, he sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:

Isaiah 43:3
For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

Ezekiel 4:3
Then take an iron pan, place it as an iron wall between you and the city and turn your face toward it. It will be under siege, and you shall besiege it. This will be a sign to the people of Israel.

Ezekiel 12:6
Put them on your shoulder as they are watching and carry them out at dusk. Cover your face so that you cannot see the land, for I have made you a sign to the Israelites."

Ezekiel 30:6
"'This is what the LORD says: "'The allies of Egypt will fall and her proud strength will fail. From Migdol to Aswan they will fall by the sword within her, declares the Sovereign LORD.

Zechariah 3:8
"'Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
Treasury of Scripture

And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah has walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder on Egypt and on Ethiopia;

three

Numbers 14:34 After the number of the days in which you searched the land, even …

Ezekiel 4:5,6 For I have laid on you the years of their iniquity, according to …

Revelation 11:2,3 But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure …

a sign

Isaiah 8:18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD has given me are for signs …

Upon Egypt

Isaiah 18:1 Woe to the land shadowing with wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia:

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