King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 20

The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia.

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The invasion and conquest of Egypt and Ethiopia

1 In the year that Tartan came unto Ashdod, (when Sargon the king of Assyria sent him,) and fought against Ashdod, and took it;

2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.

3 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;

4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

5 And they shall be afraid and ashamed of Ethiopia their expectation, and of Egypt their glory.

6 And the inhabitant of this isle shall say in that day, Behold, such is our expectation, whither we flee for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria: and how shall we escape?

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Year. Eighteen after the preceding predictions. C. — Sargon. Sennacherib, (S. Jer.) Salmanasar, (Sanct.) or Assaradon, who intended to revenge Sennacherib, and sent his “collector of taxes” to take Azotus from Ezechias, and then to proceed farther. C. — Psammitichus having obtained the sole dominion of Egypt, besieged Azotus for 29 years. Herod. ii. 157. Amos i. 8.

Ver. 2. Sackcloth. The prophets lived in poverty. Zac. xiii. 4. Their persons were prophetic. It is not agreed whether Isaias went quite naked, or only without his upper garment. The former supposition would represent better the condition of slaves, (v. 4.) and is adopted by S. Jerom, &c. C. — People are said to be naked when they are almost so. 2 K. vi. Jo. xxi. H. — Yet “nothing is more honest than to obey God.” S. Jer. W.

Ver. 3. Years. Isaias went so long, or perhaps only three days undressed. Num. xiv. 34. Ezec. iv. 5. Egypt and the Arabian Ethiopia were to be abandoned to the Assyrians, in or during three years.

Ver. 4. Shame. Thus captives were generally exposed to sale. C. xlvii. 2. Nah. iii. 5.

Ver. 5. Glory. The alliance of these nations shall not avail the Jews, who are said to inhabit an island, because they neglected God’s service no less than the most distant and abandoned nations. C. — The changes in empires must convince us to depend only on God, since Damascus and Egypt could not save the Hebrews, nor even themselves. W.