Present Tense, Future Perfect
Yesterday’s roll of nations that will be punished by God continues. Ethiopia must also prepare for the invading Assyrians. But the time is coming (18:7) when gifts shall be brought to God by the Ethiopians. Was not the trip of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts a fulfillment of that prophecy? According to chapter 19, Egypt also will fall before the Assyrians. But “in that day,” which is a term used in the prophets to speak of the time when their prophecies will be ultimately fulfilled, Egypt and Assyria will be joined with Israel in the worship of the true God (19:24-25). This must refer to the messianic age ushered in by Christ. In the early church, Alexandria, Egypt, was a powerful center for Christianity, and over the years thousands of people living in what was then Assyria have become Christians.
But back to the immediate future in chapter 20, the Assyrians will humiliate both the Egyptians and the Ethiopians. There follows in chapter 21 further prophecies against Babylon, Edom and Arabia. Now that Isaiah has the attention of Judah, who is reveling in the thought of coming judgment upon their enemies, chapter 22 says they too will be punished. We also stand under God’s scrutiny!