Isaiah – Chapter 30

The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 30


Woe to the rebellious children, says the LORD, Who carry out plans that are not mine, who weave webs that are not inspired by me, adding sin upon sin.


They go down to Egypt, but my counsel they do not seek. They find their strength in Pharaoh’s protection and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow;


Pharaoh’s protection shall be your shame, and refuge in Egypt’s shadow your disgrace.


When their princes are at Zoan and their messengers reach Hanes,


All shall be ashamed of a people that gain them nothing, Neither help nor benefit, but only shame and reproach.


1 (Oracle on the Beasts of the Negeb) Through the distressed and troubled land of the lioness and roaring lion, of the viper and flying saraph, They carry their riches on the backs of asses and their treasures on the humps of camels To a people good for nothing,


2 to Egypt whose help is futile and vain. Therefore I call her «Rahab quelled.»


3 Now come, write it on a tablet they can keep, inscribe it in a record; That it may be in future days an eternal witness:


This is a rebellious people, deceitful children, Children who refuse to obey the law of the LORD.


They say to the seers, «Have no visions»; to the prophets, «Do not descry for us what is right; speak flatteries to us, conjure up illusions.


Out of the way! Out of our path! Let us hear no more of the Holy One of Israel.»


Therefore, thus says the Holy One of Israel: Because you reject this word, And put your trust in what is crooked and devious, and depend on it,


This guilt of yours shall be like a descending rift Bulging out in a high wall whose crash comes suddenly, in an instant.


It crashes like a potter’s jar smashed beyond rescue, And among its fragments cannot be found a sherd to scoop fire from the hearth or dip water from the cistern.


For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies. But this you did not wish.


«No,» you said, «Upon horses we will flee.»  – Very well, flee! «Upon swift steeds we will ride.»  – Not so swift as your pursuers.


A thousand shall tremble at the threat of one; if five threaten you, you shall flee, Until you are left like a flagstaff on the mountaintop, like a flag on the hill.


Yet the LORD is waiting to show you favor, and he rises to pity you; For the LORD is a God of justice: blessed are all who wait for him!


O people of Zion, who dwell in Jerusalem, no more will you weep; He will be gracious to you when you cry out, as soon as he hears he will answer you.


4 The Lord will give you the bread you need and the water for which you thirst. No longer will your Teacher hide himself, but with your own eyes you shall see your Teacher,


While from behind, a voice shall sound in your ears: «This is the way; walk in it,» when you would turn to the right or to the left.


And you shall consider unclean your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered images; You shall throw them away like filthy rags to which you say, «Begone!»


He will give rain for the seed that you sow in the ground, And the wheat that the soil produces will be rich and abundant. On that day your cattle will graze in spacious meadows;


The oxen and the asses that till the ground will eat silage tossed to them with shovel and pitchfork.


Upon every high mountain and lofty hill there will be streams of running water. On the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall,


The light of the moon will be like that of the sun and the light of the sun will be seven times greater (like the light of seven days). On the day the LORD binds up the wounds of his people, he will heal the bruises left by his blows.


5 See the name of the LORD coming from afar in burning wrath, with lowering clouds! His lips are filled with fury, his tongue is like a consuming fire;


His breath, like a flood in a ravine that reaches suddenly to the neck, Will winnow the nations with a destructive winnowing, and with repeated winnowings will he battle against them (and a bridle on the jaws of the peoples to send them astray).


The LORD will make his glorious voice heard, and let it be seen how his arm descends In raging fury and flame of consuming fire, in driving storm and hail.


When the LORD speaks, Assyria will be shattered, as he strikes with the rod;


While at every sweep of the rod which the LORD will bring down on him in punishment,


You will sing as on a night when a feast is observed, And be merry of heart, as one marching along with a flute Toward the mountain of the LORD, toward the Rock of Israel, accompanied by the timbrels and lyres.


For the pyre 6 has long been ready, prepared for the king; Broad and deep it is piled with dry grass and wood in abundance, And the breath of the LORD, like a stream of sulphur, will set it afire.


1 [6] Flying saraph: see note on ⇒ Numbers 21:6.

2 [7] Rahab: Egypt, here as elsewhere (cf ⇒ Psalm 87:4), is compared to the stormy, impetuous sea monster (cf ⇒ Isaiah 51:9; ⇒ Job 26:12; ⇒ Psalm 89:11), which yet, when asked for aid by Judah, becomes silent, quelled.

3 [8] Isaiah will write down his condemnation of the people so that (⇒ Isaiah 30:12-18) its fulfillment may afterward be admitted.

4 [20] Teacher: God, who in the past taught in a veiled manner through his prophets, will in future help them to understand his teaching clearly. This was eminently true when the Son of God became Man.

5 [27-33] God’s punishment of Assyria. The name of the LORD: God himself; cf ⇒ Psalm 20:2.

6 [29-33] Pyre: on which the corpse of the king of Assyria is burned. This is the occasion of festal rejoicing for the Israelites, who are now free from his yoke.