1 Tragedy is coming to the land of whirring wings that lies along the rivers of Ethiopia, 2 They send messengers downriver* Probably referring to the Nile. Literally, “sea.” in papyrus boats. Swift messengers, go and take a message to a tall and smooth-skinned people, to a people feared by everyone, to a very powerful nation of conquerors, whose land is washed away by rivers.† The Hebrew of this verse is unclear and has been variously interpreted.
3 All you people of the world, everyone who lives on earth—you will see when a banner is raised on the mountains, you will hear when a trumpet sounds. 4 For this is what the Lord has told me: I will watch quietly from where I live, quiet as heat haze in sunlight, quiet as a mistcloud in the heat of harvest. 5 For before the harvest, after the flower is gone and becomes an unripe grape, he prunes the vine with a knife to take out the shoots and branches. 6 They will all be left as carrion for the birds of prey of the mountains, and for the wild animals. The birds will eat them in summer, and all the wild animals in winter.
7 At that time a gift will be brought to the Lord Almighty from a tall and smooth-skinned people, from a people feared by everyone, from a very powerful nation of conquerors, whose land is washed away by rivers. It will be brought to Mount Zion, the place identified with the Lord Almighty.
*18:2 Probably referring to the Nile. Literally, “sea.”
†18:2 The Hebrew of this verse is unclear and has been variously interpreted.