Isaiah 18:1
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Woe to the land of whirring wings along the rivers of Cush,

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

Darby Bible Translation
Ha! land shadowing with wings, which art beyond the rivers of Cush,

World English Bible
Ah, the land of the rustling of wings, which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia;

Young's Literal Translation
Ho, land shadowed with wings, That is beyond the rivers of Cush,

Isaiah 18:1 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Wo to the land - הוי ארץ hoi arets! This interjection should be translated ho! for it is properly a particle of calling: Ho, land! Attend! Give ear!

Shadowing with wings "The winged cymbal" - צלצל כנפים tsiltsal kenaphayim. I adopt this as the most probable of the many interpretations that have been given of these words. It is Bochart's: see Phaleg, 4:2. The Egyptian sistrum is expressed by a periphrasis; the Hebrews had no name for it in their language, not having in use the instrument itself. The cymbal they had was an instrument in its use and sound not much unlike the sistrum; and to distinguish it from the sistrum, they called it the cymbal with wings. The cymbal was a round hollow piece of metal, which, being struck against another, gave a ringing sound: the sistrum was a round instrument, consisting of a broad rim of metal, through which from side to side ran several loose laminae or small rods of metal, which being shaken, gave a like sound. These, projecting on each side, had somewhat the appearance of wings; or might be very properly expressed by the same word which the Hebrews used for wings, or for the extremity, or a part of any thing projecting. The sistrum is given in a medal of Adrian, as the proper attribute of Egypt. See Addison on Medals, Series 3. No. 4; where the figure of it may be seen. The frame of the sistrum was in shape rather like the ancient lyre; it was not round.

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 second verse seems to support this interpretation. Vessels of bulrushes, גמא gome, or rather the flag papyrus, so much celebrated as the substance on which people wrote in ancient times, and from which our paper is denominated. The sails might have been made of this flag: but whole canoes were constructed from it. Mat sails are used to the present day in China. The Vulgate fully understood the meaning of the word, and has accordingly translated, in vasis papyri, "in vessels of papyrus." Reshi vesselis. - Old MS. Bib. This interpretation does not please Bp. Lowth, and for his dissent he gives the following reasons: -

In opposition to other interpretations of these words which have prevailed, it may be briefly observed that צלצל tsiltsel is never used to signify shadow, nor is כנף canaph applied to the sails of ships. If, therefore, the words are rightly interpreted the winged cymbal, meaning the sistrum, Egypt must be the country to which the prophecy is addressed. And upon this hypothesis the version and explanation must proceed. I farther suppose, that the prophecy was delivered before Sennacherib's return from his Egyptian expedition, which took up three years; and that it was designed to give to the Jews, and perhaps likewise to the Egyptians, an intimation of God's counsels in regard to the destruction of their great and powerful enemy.

Which is beyond the rivers of Ethiopia "Which borders on the rivers of Cush" - What are the rivers of Cush? whether the eastern branches of the lower Nile, the boundary of Egypt towards Arabia, or the parts of the upper Nile towards Ethiopia, it is not easy to determine. The word מעבר meeber signifies either on this side or on the farther side: I have made use of the same kind of ambiguous expression in the translation.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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

Isaiah 20:3-6 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...

Isaiah 30:2,3 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh...

Isaiah 31:1 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen...

shadowing

Ruth 2:12 The LORD recompense your work, and a full reward be given you of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you are come to trust.

Psalm 17:8 Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of your wings,

Psalm 36:7 How excellent is your loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 57:1 Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me: for my soul trusts in you: yes, in the shadow of your wings will I make my refuge...

Psalm 61:4 I will abide in your tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of your wings. Selah.

Psalm 63:7 Because you have been my help, therefore in the shadow of your wings will I rejoice.

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust: his truth shall be your shield and buckler.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets, and stone them which are sent to you...

which

2 Kings 19:9 And when he heard say of Tirhakah king of Ethiopia, Behold, he is come out to fight against you: he sent messengers again to Hezekiah...

Ezekiel 30:4,5 And the sword shall come on Egypt, and great pain shall be in Ethiopia, when the slain shall fall in Egypt...

Zephaniah 2:12 You Ethiopians also, you shall be slain by my sword.

Zephaniah 3:10 From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, even the daughter of my dispersed, shall bring my offering.

Library
The Christians' Call to the Gypies. --Isa. xviii. 7
The Christians' Call to the Gypies.--Isa. xviii. 7. Christians. Gypsies. Christians. Gypsies. Christians and Gypsies. Strangers, whence came ye to the West; Are ye the offspring of the sun, That from his rising to his rest, Through every clime he shines on, run? So bright of eye, so dark of hue, Surely your sire hath look'd on you. Of higher lineage than the sun, (But where our birthplace none can show,) His track in heaven, on earth we run, From where the waves of Ganges flow, Or Nile's mysterious
James Montgomery—Sacred Poems and Hymns

Cross References
2 Kings 19:9
Now Sennacherib received a report that Tirhakah, the king of Cush, was marching out to fight against him. So he again sent messengers to Hezekiah with this word:

Isaiah 20:3
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,

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 45:14
This is what the LORD says: "The products of Egypt and the merchandise of Cush, and those tall Sabeans-- they will come over to you and will be yours; they will trudge behind you, coming over to you in chains. They will bow down before you and plead with you, saying, 'Surely God is with you, and there is no other; there is no other god.'"

Ezekiel 30:4
A sword will come against Egypt, and anguish will come upon Cush. When the slain fall in Egypt, her wealth will be carried away and her foundations torn down.

Ezekiel 30:5
Cush and Libya, Lydia and all Arabia, Kub and the people of the covenant land will fall by the sword along with Egypt.

Ezekiel 30:9
"'On that day messengers will go out from me in ships to frighten Cush out of her complacency. Anguish will take hold of them on the day of Egypt's doom, for it is sure to come.

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