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ISAIAH
The Gospel To Israel
Book 2

LESSON  FOURTEEN
Isaiah 29:9 - 30:33

Isaiah 29:9-12
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(9)  Act stupid and be stupefied! Act
blind and be blinded! (They are
drunk, but not from wine, they
stagger, but not from liquor.)
Faint ye, and be amazed, and be over
powered, not with strong drink nor
with wine.
Be astounded and wonder; be perplexed and distraught; be drunken, but not with wine; go astray but not from old wine.
(10)  For the Lord has spread over
you a spirit of deep sleep, and has
shut your eyes, the prophets, and
covered your heads, the seers;
For the Lord has made you to drink a
spirit of deep sleep; and he shall close
their eyes, and the eyes of their
prophets and of their rulers, who see
secret things.
For the Lord hath cast among you the spirit of error, and hath hidden from you the prophets; the scribes and the teachers who taught you the instruction of the law hath he hidden.
(11)  So that all prophecy has been
to you like the words of a sealed
document. If it is handed to one who
can read and he is asked to read it, he
will say, “I can’t, because it is sealed;”
And all these things shall be to you as
the words of this sealed book, which if
thy shall give to a learned man, saying,
Read this, he shall then say, I cannot
read it, for it is sealed.
And all prophecy is become unto you as the words of a book which is sealed, so that if they give it to one that is learned, saying Read this now, he will say, I cannot for it is sealed:
(12)  and if the document is handed to
one who cannot read and he is asked
to read it, he will say, “I can’t read.”
12 And this book shall be given into
the hands of a man that is unlearned,
and one shall say to him, Read this;
and he shall say, I am not learned.
and should the book be given to one that is not learned, saying Read this now, he will say, I am not learned.
From the NKJV
(9)  Pause and wonder!  Blind yourselves and be blind!  They are drunk, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with intoxicating drink.  (10)  For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely, the seers.
(11)  The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, "Read this, please."
And he says, "I cannot, for it is sealed."
(12)  Then the book is delivered to one who is illiterate, saying, "Read this, please."
And he says, "I am not literate."

This enigma of  the future the prophet holds out before the eyes of  his contemporaries.
The prophet received it by revelation of  Jehovah; and

without the illumination of  Jehovah it could not possibly be understood.

The deep degradation of  Ariel,  the wonderful deliverance,  the sudden elevation from the abyss to this lofty height - all this was a matter of  faith.

But this faith was just what the nation lacked,  and therefore
the understanding depending upon it was lacking also.

The prophet stands amazed at the stupidity of the greatest part of the Jewish nation.

They had Levites who taught the good knowledge of the Lord and had encouragement from Hezekiah in doing so
They had prophets who brought them messages immediately from God, and signified to them what were the causes and what would be the effects of God's displeasure against them.
Now,  one would think,  surely this great nation,  that has all the advantages of  divine revelation,  is a wise and understanding people.  But, alas! it was quite otherwise.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

They could not understand the word of  God,  but they were confused,  and their eyes were,  so to speak,  festered up:  therefore this self-induced condition would become to them a God-appointed punishment.

The spirit of deep sleep
Yahweh gives them up judicially to their own hardness of heart.
This was quoted by Paul,  with variations,  from the Septuagint in Romans 11:8 -

Romans 11:7-8
What then?  Israel has not obtained what it seeks;  but the elect have obtained it,  and the rest were blinded.  Just as it is written:
"God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear,  to this very day."     (NKJV)

All the punishments of  God are inflicted through the medium of  His no less world-destroying than world-sustaining Spirit,  which,  although not willing what is evil,  does make the evil called into existence by the creature the means of  punishing evil.

Tardeemâh  (deep  sleep) is used here to signify the powerless,  passive state of  utter spiritual insensibility.
This judgment had fallen upon the nation in all its members,  even upon the eyes and heads of  the nation,  i.e.,  the prophets.  Even they whose duty is was to see to the good of  the nation,  and lead it,  were blind leaders of  the blind.

The word rendered  'deep sleep,'  is the same as is used in

Genesis 2:21  to denote the sleep that God brought on Adam when He created Eve
And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.
Genesis 15:12 to denote the deep sleep that fell on Abraham, and when a horror of great darkness fell upon him
Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram.
1 Samuel 26:12 to denote the deep sleep that came upon Saul when David approached and took away the spear and the cruise of water from his bolster
So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul's head, and they got away; and no man saw or knew it or awoke. For they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen on them.
Here it means spiritual sluggishness,  inactivity,  stupidity,  that prevailed everywhere among the people in regard to the things of  Jehovah

The seers
Those that see visions,  another name for the prophets
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frags. 15-16
Isaiah 29:10-11 [For] 1 the Lord pours [upon] you [a breath] of languor and will blinker [your eyes-the prophets-and] 2 he will cover your heads-the seers-. For you [any vision] will be [like the text of a] 3 [sea]led [book:] they give it to someone who can read, telling] him: Please read this,] 4 [and he answers: I cannot because] it is sealed. […]

Isaiah 29:13, 14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(13)  My Lord said: Because that
people has approached [Me] with its
mouth and honored Me with its lips,
but has kept its heart far from Me,
and its worship of Me has been a
commandment of men, learned by
rote-
And the Lord has said, This people
draw nigh to me with their mouth,
and they honor me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me: but in
vain do they worship me, teaching
the commandments and doctrines
of men.
And the Lord said, Because this people draweth nigh with their mouth, and with their lips do they honor me, but their heart is far removed from the fear of me; and their fear of me is become as a precept of those that teach:
(14)  Truly, I shall further baffle that
people with bafflement upon
bafflement; And the wisdom of its
wise shall fail, and the prudence of
its prudent shall vanish.
Therefore behold I will proceed to
remove this people, and I will remove
them: and I will destroy the wisdom
of the wise, and will hide the
understanding of the prudent.
therefore, behold, I will again smite this people with terrible plagues, and wisdom shall perish from their wise men, and understanding shall be hidden from their prudent ones.
From the NKJV
(13)  Therefore the Lord said:
"Inasmuch as these people draw near with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but have removed their hearts far from Me, and their fear toward Me is taught by the commandment of men,   (14)  therefore, behold, I will again do a marvelous work among this people, a marvelous work and a wonder; for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hidden."

The people had been obliged to consent to the abolition of  the public worship of  idols,  but their worship of  Jehovah was hypocrisy.

Sometimes it was conscious hypocrisy,
arising from the fear of  man
and favor of  man;
Sometimes it was unconscious hypocrisy,
inasmuch as without any inward conversion,
but simply with work - an outward fulfillment of  the law.
This self-alienation and self-blinding,  Jehovah would punish with a wondrously paradoxical judgment,  namely,  the judgment of a hardening,  which would so completely empty and confuse,  that even the appearance of  wisdom and unity,  which the leaders of  Israel still had,  would completely disappear.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 29:15, 16
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(15)  Ha! Those who would hide their
plans deep from the Lord! Who do
their work in dark places and say,
“Who sees us?”
Woe to them that deepen their
counsel, and not by the Lord. Woe
to them that take secret counsel, and
whose works are in darkness, and
they say, Who has seen us? And
who shall know us, or what we do?
Woe unto them that think to hide counsel from before the Lord and their works are as it were in darkness, and say, There is none that seeth us, and there is none that taketh heed of our work.
(16)  How perverse of you! Should
the potter be accounted as the clay?
Should what is made say of its Maker,
“He did not make me,” and what is
formed say of Him who formed it,
“He did not understand?”
Shall ye not be counted as clay of
the potter? Shall the thing formed
say to him that formed it, Thou
didst not form me? or the work to
the maker, Thou hast not made me
wisely?
Do ye seek to pervert your works? Behold, as the clay is in the hand of the potter, so are ye accounted before me! Is it possible for the clay to say to its maker, Thou didst not make me, or for the creature to say to him that created it, Thou dost not know me?
From the NKJV
(15)  Woe to those who seek deep to hide their counsel far from the LORD, and their works are in the dark; they say, "Who sees us?" and, "Who knows us?"
(16)  Surely you have things turned around!
Shall the potter be esteemed as the clay; for shall the thing made say of him who made it,  "He did not make me"?
Or shall the thing formed say of him who formed it,  "He has no understanding"?

Their hypocrisy,  which was about to be so wonderfully punished according to the universal law (Ps 18:26-27),  manifested itself  in their self-willed and secret behavior,  which would not inquire for Jehovah,  nor suffer itself  to be chastened by His word.
Just as Ahaz had carefully kept his appeal to Asshur for help secret from the prophet;  so did they try,  as far as possible,  to hide from the prophet the plan for an alliance with Egypt.

Psalm 18:26, 27
You are pure to those who are pure, but hostile to those who are wicked.
You save those who are humble, but you humble those who are proud.   (Today's English Version)

To hide from Jehovah is equivalent to hiding from the prophet of  Jehovah that they might not have to listen to reproof from the word of  Jehovah.
We may see from Isa 8:12 how suspiciously they watched the prophet in such circumstances as these.
But Jehovah saw them in their secrecy,  and the prophet saw through the whole in the light of  Jehovah.

Haapªkªkem (OT:2017)  (you have things turned around!)  is an exclamation,  like tipªlatsªtªkaa (OT:8606) in Jeremiah 49:16 (Your fierceness has deceived you).
They are perverse.  They think they can dispense with Jehovah,  and yet they are His creatures;  they attribute cleverness to themselves,  and practically disown Jehovah,  as if the pot should say to the potter who has turned it,  He does not understand it.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Be esteemed as the clay
That is,  as if he was no more qualified to form anything than the clay itself

You suppose that God does not see you,  and do your deeds in darkness.
All this supposes that God is destitute of  wisdom,  and cannot see what is done,  and it is just as absurd as it would be in the clay to complain that the potter who fashions it has no understanding.
This passage is quoted by the apostle Paul in Rom 9:19-21
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Romans 9:19-21
You will say to me then, "Why does He still find fault? For who has resisted His will?"
But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?
Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, "Why have you made me like this?"
Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?     (NKJV)


FUTURE  RECOVERY  OF  WISDOM

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Isaiah 29:17-21
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(17)  Surely, in a little while, Lebanon
will be transformed into farmland,
and farmland accounted as mere
brush.
Is it not yet a little while, and Libanus
(Lebanon) shall be changed as the
mountain of Chermel, and Chermel
shall be reckoned as a forest?
Is it not yet but a very little while, and Lebanon shall again be as a fruitful field, and the fruitful field shall cause many cities to be inhabited?
(18)  In that day, the deaf shall hear
even written words, and the eyes of
the blind shall see even in darkness
and obscurity.
And in that day the deaf shall hear the
words of the book, and they that are
in darkness, and they that are in mist:
the eyes of the blind shall see,
And they that are as deaf ones shall hear the words of the book at that time, and out of obscurity and darkness shall the eyes of the blind see.
(19)  Then the humble shall have
increasing joy through the Lord, and
the neediest of men shall exult in the
Holy One of Israel.
and the poor shall rejoice with joy
because of the Lord, and they that
had no hope among men shall be
filled with joy.
And they that have suffered humiliation shall increase their joy in the Memra of the Lord, and the poor among the sons of men shall exult in the Memra of the Holy One of Israel.
(20)  For the tyrant shall be no more,
the scoffer shall cease to be; and
those diligent for evil shall be wiped
out,  (21)  who cause men to lose
their lawsuits, laying a snare for the
arbiter at the gate, and wronging by
falsehood Him who was in the right.
The lawless man has come to naught,
and the proud man has perished, and
they that transgress mischievously
have been utterly destroyed,  and
they that cause men to sin by a word:
and men shall make all that reprove in
the gates an offence, because they
have unjustly turned aside the
righteous.
For the oppressor is come to an end, and the spoiler is destroyed; and all those who seek to do violence are come to an end; who condemn the sons of men by their words, and seek an occasion of stumbling against him that reproved them in the house of judgment with the words of the law, and pervert the cause of the innocent with lying.
From the NKJV
(17)  Is it not yet a very little while till Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be esteemed as a forest?   (18)  In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.   (19)  The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
(20)  For the terrible one is brought to nothing, the scornful one is consumed, and all who watch for iniquity are cut off —  (21)  who make a man an offender by a word, and lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, and turn aside the just by empty words.

But the prophet's God,  whose omniscience,  creative glory,  and perfect wisdom they so basely mistaken and ignored,  would very shortly turn the present state of  the world upside down,  and make Himself a congregation out of  the poor and wretched,  while He would entirely destroy this proud ungodly nation.
The circumstances themselves,   as well as the sentence passed,  will experience a change,  in complete contrast with the present state of  things.

The unfettered sight of  those who have been blind pierces through the hitherto surrounding darkness.
The heirs of  the new future thus transformed are the

'anâviim "meek"
'ebhyooniim "poor"
Needy men who present a glaring contrast to,  and stand out from,  the general body of men.

Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field
Probably a proverb transposed into a more literary style.

What is now forest shall become a garden
What is now a garden shall become overgrown as a forest
This answers to verses 18 & 19
What is now deaf shall hear
What is now blind shall see
What is now oppressed shall increase their joy  in the LORD  (this is the key)
What is now poor shall rejoice in the Holy One of  Israel
And at the same time to verses 20 & 21
What is now ruthless shall vanish
What is now mocking shall be consumed
What has an eye for evil shall be cut down

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frag. 21
1[…] Isa. 29:17 Perhaps, [in a very little while, 2 [will the Lebanon turn into] an orchard, and will the orchard] seem like [a wood?] The Lebanon are […] 3 […] into an orchard and they will turn into […] 4 […] by the sword. And what it [says…] 5 […]…[…] 6 […] … […] the teacher of […as it is written:]
Frag. 18-19
1 Isa. 29:18-23 [of the book;] without darkness of glo[om the eyes of the blind will see. The oppressed will return to rejoice in the Lord] 2 [and the poor]est of men [will delight in the Holy One of Israel. Because the tyrant is destroyed, the sceptic finished off and] 3 [all] those alert for evil [will be obliterated, those who are going to seize another in speaking and the one who defends in the gate with snares and, for nothing, engulf] 4 [the innocent.] Therefore, so says [the Lord to the House of Jacob, he who ransomed Abraham: No longer] 5 [will] Jacob [be ashamed, no longer will his face smile when he sees that his sons, the work] 6 [of my hands in his midst,] worship my name, because they wor[ship the Holy One of Jacob.]

Isaiah 29:22-24
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(22)  Assuredly, thus said the Lord to
the House of Jacob,  Who redeemed
Abraham: No more shall Jacob be
shamed, No longer his face grow pale.
Therefore thus saith the Lord
concerning the house of Jacob,
whom he set apart from Abraam,
Jacob shall not now be ashamed;
neither shall he now change
countenance.
Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the house of Jacob, even he that redeemed Abraham: Not from henceforth shall they of the house of Jacob be put to shame; not from henceforth shall their faces change color.
(23)  For when he – that is, his
children – behold what My hands
have wrought in his midst, they will
hallow My name. Men will hallow the
Holy One of Jacob and stand in awe
of the God of Israel.
But when their children shall have
seen my works, they shall sanctify
my name for my sake, and they shall
sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and
shall fear the God of Israel.
For when they see the mighty acts, which I shall do for their sons, even the kindnesses of Abraham for his seed after them on their land in the midst of them, they shall sanctify my name, and shall say, Holy is the Holy One of Jacob, and of the God of Israel shall they say, He is mighty.
(24)  And the confused shall acquire
insight and grumblers accept
instruction.
And they that erred in spirit shall
know understanding, and the
murmurers shall learn obedience,
and the stammering tongues shall
learn to speak peace.
And they that were not taught the spirit of understanding shall know, and they that said, All these things exist not, shall receive instruction.
From the NKJV
(22)  Therefore thus says the LORD, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob:
"Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale;   (23)  But when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My name, and hallow the Holy One of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel.   (24)  These also who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who complained will learn doctrine."

Everything that was incorrigible would be given up to destruction;  and therefore the people of  God,  when it came out of  the judgment,  would have nothing of  the same kind to look for again.

With 'el (OT:413)  (for which Luzzatto,  following Lowth,  reads 'eel (OT:410),  "the God of the house of Jacob")  the theme is introduced to which the following utterance refers.

The end of  Israel will correspond to the holy root of  its origin.
Just as Abraham was separated from the human race that was sunk in heathenism,  to become the ancestor of  a nation of  Jehovah -
So would a remnant be separated from the great mass of  Israel that was sunk in apostasy from Jehovah -
And this remnant would be the foundation of a holy community well pleasing to God.
And this would never be confounded or become pale with shame again.

Redeemed
Paadaah (OT:6299) "to ransom,  that is,  to redeem a captive, or a prisoner with a price paid"
Is also used as meaning to deliver in general,  without reference to a price,  to free in any manner,  to recover It is used in this general sense here;  and means that Yahweh had rescued Abraham from the evils of  idolatry,  and made him his friend.
See also Eph 1:7 and Gal 3:13.


FUTILE  CONFIDENCE  IN  EGYPT

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Isaiah 30:1-5
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(1)  Oh, disloyal sons! –declares the
Lord – Making plans against My
wishes, weaving schemes against
My will, thereby piling guilt on guilt.
Woe to the apostate children, saith
the Lord: ye have framed counsel,
not by me, and covenants not by
my Spirit, to add sins to sins:
Woe to the rebellious sons, saith the Lord, that think to make plans but not of my Memra, and to take counsel, but ask not of my prophets, that they may add transgressions to the transgressions of their souls:
(2)  Who set out to go down to Egypt
without asking Me, to seek refuge
with Pharaoh, to seek shelter under
the protection of Egypt.
even they that proceed to go down
into Egypt, but they have not
enquired of me, that they might he
helped by Pharao, (Pharaoh) and
protected by the Egyptians.
that walk to go down to Egypt, but have not asked the advice of my prophets, to strengthen themselves with the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt.
(3)  The refuge with Pharaoh shall
result in your shame; the shelter
under Egypt’s protection, in your
chagrin.
For the protection of Pharao shall
be to you a disgrace, and there shall
be a reproach to them that trust in
Egypt.
But the strength of Pharaoh shall be to you for shame, and the trusting in the shadow of Egypt for confusion.
(4)  Though his officers are present
in Zoan, and his messengers reach
as far as Hanes,  (5)  they all shall
come to shame because of a people
that does not avail them, that is of
no help or avail, but [brings] only
chagrin and disgrace.
For there are princes in Tanes, evil
messengers. In vain shall they labor
in seeking to a people, which shall
not profit them for help, but shall be
for a shame and reproach.
For his nobles are in Tanes, and his ambassadors are come to Tahphanhes. They are all going to their shame unto a people that shall not profit them; that shall not be for help nor for profit, but for shame and also for reproach.
From the NKJV
(1)  "Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD,
"Who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin;  (2)  who walk to go down to Egypt, and have not asked My advice, to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!   (3)  Therefore the strength of Pharaoh shall be your shame, and trust in the shadow of Egypt shall be your humiliation.  (4)  For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.  (5)  They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them, or be help or benefit, but a shame and also a reproach."

The Third Woe:  The Momentous Result of the Alliance with Egypt

The plan which,  according to Isa 29:15,  was already projected and prepared in the deepest secrecy,  is now much further advanced.  The negotiations by means of  ambassadors have already been commenced;  but the prophet condemns what he can no longer prevent.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The Lord denounced Judah for seeking an alliance with Egypt. Instead of consulting the Lord, the people rejected the prophetic word and sought help from a nation that was incapable of following through on its promises.
(from Holman Bible Handbook. (c) Copyright 1992 by Holman Bible Publishers. All rights reserved.)

Add sin to sin
Inasmuch as they carry out further and further to perfect realization the thought that was already a sinful one in itself.  The prophet now follows for himself the ambassadors,  who are already on the road to the country of  the Nile valley.  He sees them arrive in Zoan,  and watches them as they proceed thence into Hanes.  He foresees and foretells what a disgraceful opening of  their eyes will attend the reward of  this beginning.
But this is by no means warranted on the ground that the prophet cannot so immediately transfer to Zoan and Hanes the ambassadors of  Judah.  The prophet's vision overleaps the existing stage of  the desire for this alliance;  he sees the great men of  his nation already suing for the favor of  Egypt,  first of  all in Zoan,  and then still further in Hanes,  and at once foretells the shameful termination of  this self-desecration of  the people.

Pharaoh
Pharaoh was the general name of  the kings of Egypt,  in the same manner as Caesar was the common name of the emperors of Rome.

Shadow of Egypt
A  'shadowtseel (OT:6738)  is an emblem of  protection and defense,  as a shade is a protection from the burning rays of the sun

Shall be to your shame ... humiliation
It would either occur that the Egyptians  "would"  not enter into an alliance;
or that if they did, they "could" not defend them.
In either case it would be the source of  deep regret and shame.

Zoan
Zan - In the time of  Moses it was the capital or court of  Pharaoh,  and the scene of  his miracles and the seat of wisdom.
(Psalm 78:12, "Marvelous things He did in the sight of their fathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan."),

Hanes
Called Tahapanes (Jeremiah 2:16).
Tell Defenneh,  about seventy miles from Cairo,  the capital of  a minor district.
Succeeded Memphis as the capital before Abraham’s time.  Known to the Greeks as Hiracleopolis Magna.

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frag 21  Isa. 30:1-5
9 [Woe to the rebellious sons – oracle of the] Lord – who make plans [without counting] 10 [on me; who sign deals, but] without my spirit, to ad[d sin] 11 [to sin; who proceed to go do]wn to Egypt [without conferring with me, to gain strength] 12 [with the strength of the Pharaoh and shel]ter in the shadow of Egypt! [Their disgrace will be] 13 [the strength of the Pharaoh, and the she]lter of the shadow of Egypt, [their shame. For in Zoan were] 14 [their princes, and their messengers] reached Hanes. [They were all ashamed of a] 15 [powerless people which could neither help] nor [oblige…]

Isaiah 30:6, 7
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(6)  The “Beasts of the Negev” Pronouncement.
Through a land of distress and
hardship, of lion and roaring
king-beast, of viper and flying seraph.
They convey their wealth on the
backs of asses, their treasures on
camels’ humps, to a people of no
avail.
The Vision of the Quadrupeds in the Desert.
In affliction and distress, where are
the lion and lion’s whelp, thence
come also asps, and the young of
flying asps, there shall they be who
bore their wealth on asses and camels
to a nation which shall not profit them.
They carry on their beasts on the way to the south, in the land of trouble and distress, in the haunt of the lion, the young lion and poisonous deadly serpents; they carry their riches on the shoulders of young asses, and bear what is in their treasuries on the humps of camels, unto a people that shall not profit them.
(7)  For the help of Egypt shall be vain and empty. Truly, I call this, “They are a threat that has ceased.” The Egyptians shall help you utterly
in vain: tell them, This your
consolation is vain.
For the Egyptians are naught, and their help is vain: therefore have I found some of them slain: warriors will I bring against them.
From the NKJV
(6)   The burden against the beasts of the South.
Through a land of trouble and anguish, from which came the lioness and lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches on the backs of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people who shall not profit;   (7)  for the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her Rahab-Hem-Shebeth.

The prophet's address is hardly commenced,   however,  when a heading is introduced of  the very same kind as we have already met with several times in the cycle of  prophecies against the heathen nations.
But nothing is more genuine in the whole book of  Isaiah than the words massâ' bahamooth negebh (burden of the beasts of the south or Negev).  Isaiah breaks off  his address to communicate an oracle relating to the Egyptian treaty,  which Jehovah has specially commanded him to hand down to posterity.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

This is not an address to the people,  but the preliminary text,  the application of  which is determined afterwards.  The prophet communicates in the form of  a citation

what has been revealed to him by God,
then states what God has commanded him to do with it.

Bahamooth (beast) is the construct of behemoth,  which is a Hebraized from of  an Egyptian word, p-ehe-mau,  i.e.,  the ox of  the water.  The animal referred to is the hippopotamus - the Nile-horse or water-pig.

The emblem of Egypt in other passages of  the Old Testament is tannin,  the water snake,  or leviathan,  the crocodile.  In Ps 78:31 this is called chayyath qâneh,  "the beast of the reed,"  though Hengstenberg supposes that the Nile-horse is intended there.

Rahab-Hem-Shebeth
Rahab sits idle - a name given by the prophet Isaiah to Egypt, comparing that nation to Rahab the Dragon,  a mythological sea monster or primeval dragon of  chaos.  The context of  this passage is that Israel had sought to establish a political and military alliance with Egypt under the threat of Assyrian aggression.  The prophet Isaiah warned that such an alliance was worthless.  Trust in God alone,  warned Isaiah;  Egypt cannot save others,  for she cannot even save herself.
(from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright (c)1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

Rahab is a name applied to Egypt in other passages also (Isa 51:9; Ps 87:4; 89:11), here has the meaning common in other passages,  viz.,  violence, domineering pride, boasting.

hem (OT:1992) is a term of comparison.
Hence the meaning is either,  "The bragging people, they are sit-still;" or, "Boast-house, they are idlers."

To this deceitful land the ambassadors of  Judah were going with rich resources,  without shrinking from the difficulties and dangers of  the road through the desert,  where lions and snakes spring out now here and now there.

Through this very desert,  through which God had led their fathers when He redeemed them out of  the bondage of  Egypt,  they were now marching to purchase the friendship of  Egypt,  though really,  whatever might be the pretext which they offered,  it was only to deceive themselves;  for the vainglorious land would never keep the promises that it made.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)


A  REBELLIOUS  PEOPLE

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Isaiah 30:8
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(8)  Now, go, write it down on a tablet and inscribe it in a record, that it may be with them for future days, a witness forever. Now then sit down and write these words on a tablet, and in
a book; for these things shall be
for many long days, and even
forever.
Now go, write it on a tablet in their midst, and inscribe it on the lines of a book, that it may be for the day of judgment for witness before me for ever.
From the NKJV
(8)   Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll,  that it may be for time to come,
forever and ever:

Write it before them
Before the Jews themselves,  that they may see the record,  and may have it constantly before them.

Tablet
A tablet either of stone to engrave upon, wood, or clay.

Scroll
A parchment roll.

The prophet must not only preach this,  but he must write it,  write it in a table,  to be hung up and exposed to public view;  he must carefully note it,  not in loose papers which might be lost or torn,  but in a book,  to be preserved for posterity,  in perpetuam rei memoriam - for a standing testimony against this wicked generation;  let it remain not only to the next succeeding ages,  but for ever and ever,  while the world stands.
Let it be written,

1. To shame the men of  the present age -
who would not hear and heed it when it was spoken.  Let it be written,  that it may not be lost;  their children may profit by it,  though they will not.
2. To justify God in the judgments he was about to ring upon them -
people will be tempted to think he was too hard upon them,  and over-severe,  unless they know how very bad they were,  how very provoking,  and what fair means God tried with them before he brought it to this extremity.
3. For warning to others not to do as they did -
lest they should fare as they fared.  It is designed for admonition to those of  the remotest place and age,  even those upon whom the ends of  the world have come, 1 Corinthians 10:11 ("Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.").  It may be of  use for God's ministers not only to preach,  but to write;  for that which is written remains.
(from Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible: New Modern Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1991 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 30:9-11
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
9 For it is a rebellious people, faithless
children, children who refused to heed
the instruction of the Lord;  (10)  Who
said to the seers, “Do not see,” To the
prophets, “Do not prophesy truth to
us; speak to us falsehoods, prophesy
delusions.  (11)  Leave the way! Get
off the path! Let us hear no more
about the Holy One of Israel!”
For the people is disobedient, false
children, who would not hear the law
of God: who say to the prophets,
report not to us; and to them that see
visions, speak them not to us, but
speak and report to us another error;
and turn us aside from this way;
remove from us this path, and
remove from us the oracle of Israel.
For they are a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not receive the instruction of the law of the Lord: which say to the prophets, Prophesy not, and to the teachers, Teach us not the instruction of the law; speak unto us pleasant things, announce unto us something new: turn us from the right path, cause us to have done with tradition, put away from before us the Memra of the Holy One of Israel.
From the NKJV
(9)  That this is a rebellious people,  lying children,  children who will not hear the law of the LORD;   (10)  who say to the seers, "Do not see,"   and to the prophets,  "Do not prophesy to us right things;  speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.   (11)  Get out of the way, turn aside from the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us."

It was necessary that the worthlessness of  the help of  Egypt should be placed in this way before the eyes of  the people.

The prophet traces back their words to an unvarnished expression of  their true meaning,  just as he does in Isa 28:15. They forbid the prophets of  Jehovah to prophesy:

nekhoochooth straight or true things  (things not agreeable to their own wishes)
but would rather hear
chalâqooth smooth, insinuating, and flattering things
and even
chalâqooth illusions or deceits
Their desire was to be entertained and lauded,  not repelled and instructed.

The prophets are to adopt another course and not trouble them any more with the Holy One of  Israel,  whom they (at least Isaiah,  who is most fond of  calling Jehovah by this name)  have always in their mouths.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 30:12-14
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(12)  Assuredly, thus said he Holy
One of Israel: Because you have
rejected this word, and have put
your trust and reliance in that which
is fraudulent and tortuous.
Therefore thus saith the Holy One of
Israel, Because ye have refused to
obey these words, and have trusted
in falsehood; and because thou hast
murmured, and been confident in this
respect:
Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye have despised this word, and have put your trust in falsehood and oppression and stay yourselves thereon;
(13)  Of a surety, this iniquity shall
work on you like a spreading breach
that occurs in a lofty wall, whose
crash come sudden and swift.
therefore shall this sin be to you as a
wall suddenly falling when a strong
city has been taken, of which the fall
is very near at hand.
therefore this transgression shall be to you as a city that is laid waste and reduced to ruins; as a strong wall whose breaking cometh very suddenly.
(14)  It is smashed as one smashes an
earthen jug, ruthlessly shattered so
that no shard is left in its breakage
to scoop coals from a brazier, or ladle
water from a puddle.
And the fall thereof shall be as the
breaking of an earthen vessel, as
small fragments of a pitcher, so that
thou shouldest not find among them
a shred, with which thou mightest
take up fire, and with which thou
shouldest draw a little water.
And its breaking shall be like the breaking of an earthen vessel, which is broken in pieces without sparing, and there is not found among it pieces a shred wherewith to rake fire from the hearth, or to draw water from the stream.
From the NKJV
(12)  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
"Because you despise this word,  and trust in oppression and perversity, and rely on them,  (13)  therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, a bulge in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly, in an instant.
(14)  And He shall break it like the breaking of the potter's vessel, which is broken in pieces; He shall not spare.  So there shall not be found among its fragments a shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water from the cistern."

Thus do they fall out with Jehovah and the bearers of  His word. Vv. 12-14.

The "word" towards which they despised,  was the word of  Jehovah through His prophet,  which was directed against their untheocratic policy of  reckoning upon Egypt.

Nâlooz  (perversity - bent out or twisted)  is the term used to denote this very policy,  which was ever resorting to bypaths and secret ways;  while 'oosheq  (oppression)  denotes the squeezing out of  the money required to carry on the war of  freedom,  and to purchase the help of  Egypt (compare 2 Kings 15:20 - And Menahem exacted the money from Israel,  from all the very wealthy,  from each man fifty shekels of silver,  to give to the king of Assyria.).

The guilt of  Judah is compared to the broken and overhanging part (bulge) of  a high wall (nibh'eh, bent forwards).

Just as such a broken piece brings down the whole of  the injured wall along with it,
so would the sinful conduct of  Judah immediately ruin the whole of  its existing constitution.
Israel, which would not recognize itself as the image of  Jehovah,  even when there was yet time,  would be like a vessel smashed into the smallest fragments.

It is the captivity that is here figuratively threatened by the prophet;  for the smashing had regard to Israel as a state.  The subject to uwshªbaaraah (OT:7665)  (he shall break it)  in v. 14 is Jehovah,  who would make use of  the hostile power of  man to destroy the wall,  and break up the kingdom of  Judah into such a Diaspora of broken shreds.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

The breaking of  the potter’s vessel - The reference is to the manufacture of  homrah,  by breaking up pottery to powder in order to make cement of it.

Isaiah 30:15-17
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(15)  For thus said my Lord God, The
Holy One of Israel, “You shall
triumph by stillness and quiet; your
victory shall come about through
calm and confidence.”  But you
refused.
Thus saith the Lord, the Holy Lord of
Israel; When thou shalt turn and
mourn, then thou shalt be saved; and
thou shalt know where thou wast,
when thou didst trust in vanities:
then your strength became vain, yet
ye would not hearken:
For thus saith the Lord God (Elohim), the Holy One of Israel, I thought that ye would return to my law, that ye would rest, be delivered, be quiet, dwell in security, and be strong; and ye would not.
(16)  “No,” you declared.
“We shall flee on steeds” – therefore
you shall flee! “We shall ride on swift
mounts” – therefore your pursuers
shall prove swift!
but ye said, We will flee upon horses;
therefore shall ye flee: and, we will be
aided by swift riders; therefore shall
thy that pursue you be swift.
But ye said, No, but on horses will we flee; therefore ye shall flee: and upon swift horses will we ride; therefore shall your pursuers be swift.
(17)  One thousand before the shout
of one – you shall flee at the shout of
five; till what is left of you is like a
mast on a hilltop, like a pole upon a
mountain.
A thousand shall flee because of the
voice of one, and many shall flee on
account of the voice of five; until ye
be left as a signal post upon a
mountain, and as one bearing an
ensign upon a hill.
One thousand shall flee before the rebuke of one; before the rebuke of five shall ye flee: until ye be left as a beacon on the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on a hill.
From the NKJV
(15)  For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel:
"In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."
But you would not,  (16)  and you said,
"No, for we will flee on horses" — Therefore you shall flee! And,
"We will ride on swift horses" — Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!
(17)  One thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left as a pole on top of a mountain and as a banner on a hill.

Into such small shreds,  a heap thus scattered hither and thither,  would the kingdom of  Judah be broken up,  in consequence of  its ungodly thirst for self-liberation.

The conditions upon which their salvation depended,  were

shuubhâh turning from their self-chosen way
nachath rest from self-confident work of their own
Their strength  (i.e., what they would be able to do in opposition to the imperial power)  would show itself (hâyâh,  arise,  come to the light),  in
hashqeet laying aside their busy care and stormy eagerness
bitchâh trust,  which cleaves to Jehovah and,  renouncing all self-help,  leaves Him to act alone

This was the leading and fundamental principle of  the prophet's politics even in the time of Ahaz.  But from the very first they would not act upon it;  nor would they now that the alliance with Egypt had become an irreversible fact.

The horses and chariots are Judah's own (Isa 2:7),  though possibly with the additional allusion to the Egyptian cavalry,  of  worldwide renown,  which they had called to their help.

In verse 17 the subject of  the first clause is also that of  the second.
The insertion of  rebhâbhâh (one thousand) after chamisshâh (five).  The play upon the words symbolizes the divine law of  retribution (talio),  which would be carried out with regard to them.  The nation,  which had hitherto resembled a thick forest,  would become like a lofty pine,  standing solitary upon the top o f a mountain,  and like a flagstaff planted upon a hill - a miserable remnant in the broad land so fearfully devastated by war.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frag. 23 3 Isa. 30:15-18
[For] thus says YHWH, the Holy One of Israel: By turning back and being pla[cid will you be saved;] 4 your courage will comprise composure and trust. But you did not wish and sa[id:] 5 No, let us flee on horseback. Well, then, you need to flee. We will run at a gallop. Well, then 6 those chasing you will run faster. A thousand [shall flee] before the menace of one, before the menace 7 of five shall you flee, until you end up like a flagpole on the peak of a mountain, 8 like a standard upon a hill. This is why the Lord waits to take pity on you, this is why he rises 9 to be lenient with you. For YHWH is a God of justice. Happy are those waiting for! 10 The interpretation of the word, for the last days, concerns the congregation of those [looking] for easy interpretations 11 who are in Jerusalem […] 12 in the law and not […] 13 the heart, for in order to crush […]


GOD  WILL  BE  GRACIOUS

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Isaiah 30:18
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(18)  Truly, the Lord is waiting to
show you grace, truly, He will arise
to pardon you. For the Lord is a God
of justice; happy are all who wait for
Him.
And the Lord will again wait, that he
may pity you, and will therefore be
exalted that he may have mercy upon
you: because the Lord your God is a
judge: blessed are they that stay
themselves upon him.
And therefore the Lord is about to
spare you, and strong is he that will
pity you: for a God that doeth
judgment is the Lord: happy are the righteous that wait for his salvation.
From the NKJV
(18)  Therefore the LORD will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you.  For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

The thought of the prophet is the perpetually recurring one,  which Israel would have to be reduced to a small remnant before Jehovah would cease from His wrath.

In other places lâkheen (therefore) deduces the punishment from the sin;   here it infers,  from the nature of  the punishment,  the long continuance of  the divine wrath.

Chikkâh (will wait),  has at least the idea,  if not the actual signification,  of delay.  This helps to determine the sense of  yâruum (He will be exalted),  which does not mean,  He will show Himself exalted as a judge,   but,  He will raise Himself up,  so as to be far away,  that thus (after having for a long time withdrawn His gracious presence; cf., Hos 5:6)  He may bestow His mercy upon you.

A dark prospect, but only alarming to unbelievers.
The salvation at the remotest end of  the future belongs to believers even now.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Despite the faithlessness of the nation as a whole,  Jehovah would bear with them patiently  (rather than inflict final destruction upon them all)  until a penitent remnant would turn in faith to him;  for he would fain display in them the riches of  his kindness and grace.  Those persecuted and afflicted believers who looked to him for deliverance would some day see him inflict judgment upon the wicked.
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)

Blessed - The first of three in Isaiah

Isaiah 30:18 Blessed are all those who wait for Him.
Isaiah 32:20 Blessed are you who sow beside all waters, who send out freely the feet of the ox and the donkey.
Isaiah 56:2 Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.

Isaiah 30:19-22
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(19)  Indeed, O people in Zion,
dwellers of Jerusalem, you shall not
have cause to weep. He will grant you
His favor at the sound of your cry; He
will respond as soon as He hears it.
For the holy people shall dwell in
Sion: and whereas Jerusalem has
wept bitterly, saying, Pity me; he
shall pity thee: when he perceived
the voice of thy cry, he hearkened
to thee.
For, O people in Zion, inhabitant of Jerusalem, thou shalt weep no more: he will surely have compassion upon thee; he will receive the voice of thy prayer, and carry out thy request.
(20)  My Lord will provide for you
meager bread and scant water.
Then your Guide will no more be
ignored, but your eyes will watch
your Guide;  (21)  and, whenever you deviate to the right or to the left,
your ears will heed the command
from behind you: “This is the road;
follow it!”
And though the Lord shall give you
the bread of affliction and scant water,
yet they that cause thee to err shall
no more at all draw nigh to thee; for
thine eyes shall see those that cause
thee to err, 21 and thine ears shall
hear the words of them that went
after thee to lead thee astray, who
say, This is the way, let us walk in it,
whether to the right or to the left.
And the Lord will give you the riches of the enemy and the spoil of the oppressor, and will not more remove his Shekinah from the sanctuary, and thine eyes shall see the Shekinah in the sanctuary: 21 and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way that is right, walk ye in it: turn not aside from it to the right or to the left.
(22)  And you will treat as unclean the
silver overlay of your images and the
golden plating of your idols. You will
cast them away like a monstrous
woman. “Out!” you will call to them.
And thou shalt pollute the plated
idols, and thou shalt grind to powder
the gilt ones, and shalt scatter them
as the water of a removed woman,
and thou shalt thrust them forth as
dung.
And ye shall defile the overlaying of your silver images, and the adornment of your molten images of gold; ye shall cast them away as men cast away something unclean, so shall ye cast them away.
From the NKJV
(19)  For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you shall weep no more.  He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
(20)  And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore, but your eyes shall see your teachers.
(21)  Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
"This is the way, walk in it,"
Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left.
(22)  You will also defile the covering of your images of silver, and the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; you will say to them, "Get away!"

None but such are heirs of  the grace that follows the judgment - a people,  newly pardoned in response to its cry for help,  conducted by faithful teachers in the right way,  and renouncing idolatry with disgust.

The accent very properly marks these words as forming an independent clause.
The apparent tautology in the expression, "in Zion, in Jerusalem," is emphatic and explanatory.  The fate of  Zion-Jerusalem will not be the same as that of  the imperial city;  for it is the city of  Jehovah,  which,  according to His promise,  cannot become an eternally deserted ruin.  After this promising declaration,  the prophet turns and addresses the people of  the future in the people of  his own time;

baakow lo' tibkeh - you shall weep no more - strengthens the verbal notion with the mark of duration
chânoon - he will be very - with the mark of certainty and fullness
yaachªnªkaa - gracious to you - answering and hearing would coincide

From this lowest stage of  response to the penitential cry for help,  the promise rises higher and higher.  The next stage is that in which Jerusalem is brought into all the distress consequent upon a siege,  as threatened by the prophet in Isa 29:3-4;  the besieged would not be allowed by God to die of  starvation,  but He would send them the necessary support.

The abominations of  idolatry (which continued even in the first years of  Hezekiah's reign)  would now be regarded as abominations,  and put away.  Even gold and silver,  with which the images that were either carved or cast in inferior metal were overlaid,  would be made unclean (see 2 Kings 28:8 ff.);  that is to say,  no use would be made of  them.

A word behind you
The idea may be from the practice of  teachers who are represented as  "following"  their pupils and admonishing them if they were in danger of  going astray.
The Jews understand this voice  'from behind'  to be the "Bath Kol" - `the daughter of the voice;' a divine admonition which they suppose attends the pious
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

John 16:13
However,  when He,  the Spirit of  truth,  has come,  He will guide you into all truth,   (NKJV)

From The Dead Sea Scrolls

Frag. 23 15 Isa. 30:19-21
[F]or a people living in Zion, [in Jerusalem, will no longer need to weep; the voice will have pity on you at the sound of] 16 on your cry; when he hears [you he will answer you. Even though the Lord were to give you measured bread and rationed water,] 17 no longer will he hide [from your Master, and your eyes will see your Master.] 18 Your ears will [hear a word at your shoulder which says: This is the path, walk on it,] 19 when you need to go to the right [or to the left. The interpretation of the word, for the last days,] 29 concerns the sin of […]

Isaiah 30:23-25
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(23)  So rain shall be provided for the
seed with which you sow the ground,
and the bread that the ground brings
forth shall be rich and fat. Your
livestock, in the day, shall graze in
broad pastures;   (24)   as for the cattle
and the Asses that till the soil, they
shall partake of salted fodder that has
been winnowed with shovel and fan.
Then shall there be rain to the seed
of thy land; and the bread of the fruit
of thy land shall be plenteous and
rich: and thy cattle shall feed in that
day in a fertile and spacious place.
Your bulls and your oxen that till the
ground, shall eat chaff mixed with
winnowed barley.
And he shall give the rain of thy seed wherewith thou shalt sow the land, and the corn and the crops shall increase in the land, and there shall be sustenance and prosperity; the righteous shall be nourished on their herds at that time, even on the fat of your ones and fatlings. The oxen also and the asses, wherewith they till the ground, shall eat savory provender which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.
(25)  And on every high mountain
and on every lofty hill, there shall
appear brooks and watercourses –
on a day of heavy slaughter, when
towers topple.
And there shall be upon every lofty
mountain and upon every high hill,
water running in that day, when
many shall perish, and when the
towers shall fall.
And there shall be upon every lofty mountain and upon every high hill streams flowing with water, a cause of stumbling to kings and their armies in the day of the great slaughter, when the princes fall.
From the NKJV
(23)  Then He will give the rain for your seed with which you sow the ground, and bread of the increase of the earth; it will be fat and plentiful.  In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures.  (24)  Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat cured fodder, which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
(25)  There will be on every high mountain and on every high hill rivers and streams of waters, in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

The promise,  after setting forth this act of  penitence,  rises higher and higher;  it would not stop at bread in time of need.

The blessing,  which the prophet depicts,  is the reverse of  the Day of  Judgment,  and stands in the foreground when the judgment is past.

The expression  "in that day"  fixes,  as it were,  the evening of  the Day of  Judgment,  which is followed by the depicted morning of  blessing.

But the great mass of  the Jewish nation would be first of  all murdered in war;  the towers must fall, i.e., (though without any figure, and merely as an exemplifying expression) all the bulwarks of self-confidence,  self-help,  and pride.  In the place of  the self-induced calamities of  war,  there would now come the God-given rich blessings of  peace;  and in the place of  the proud towers,  there would come fruitful heights abounding with water.  The field would be cultivated again,  and produce luxuriant crops of  nutritious corn;  so that not only the labor of  man,  but that of  the animals also,  would receive a rich reward.

"Rain to thy seed:" this is the early rain - The early rain fell soon after the seed was sown,  the latter rain before the ripening of  the corn.  Both were needed for a good harvest.

The 'alâphiim are the oxen used in ploughing and threshing
The 'ayâriim,  the donkeys used for carrying manure,  soil,  the sheaves,  or the grain.
Beliil châmiits - cured fodder -  is a mash (composed of oats, barley, and vetches, or things of that kind) made more savory with salt and sour vegetables.
Dainty food,  such as was only given occasionally to the cattle,  as something especially strengthening,  would then be their regular food,  and would be prepared in the most careful manner

Note:  Asses particularly,  even those of  a guest,  are generally very much neglected.  The host throws them a little grass,  and then hangs up the fodder-sack full of  chopped straw;  and it is a sign of extraordinary hospitality if corn is given to the asses as well as to the horses. - Wetzstein.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

When the towers fall - The towers of the enemy;  perhaps referring here to the towers of  Babylon.
After they should fall, the Jews would be favored with the time of prosperity to which the prophet here refers.
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Isaiah 30:26
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(26)  And the light of the moon shall
become like the light of the sun, and
the light of the sun shall become
sevenfold, like the light of the seven
days, when the Lord binds up His
people’s wounds and heals the
injuries it has suffered.
And the light of the moon shall be as
the light of the sun, and the light of
the sun shall be sevenfold in the day
when the Lord shall heal the breach
of his people, and shall heal the pain
of thy wound.
And the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun is about to shine three hundred and forty-three times more brightly, even as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord shall bring back the exiled of his people, and shall heal the sickness of his wound.
From the NKJV
(26)  Moreover the light of the moon will be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD binds up the bruise of His people and heals the stroke of their wound.

The promise now rises higher and higher,  and passes from earth to heaven. Even Luther (although he notices these words in his exposition and sermons) merely renders them, der Sonnen schein wird siebenmal heller sein denn jtzt (the sunlight will be seven times as bright as it is now).

The prophet does not predict a multiplication of  the sun by seven,  but simply the multiplication of  its light.  The seven days are the length of  an ordinary week.  Drechsler gives it:  "The radiated light,  which is sufficient to produce the daylight for a whole week according to the existing order of  things,  will then be concentrated into a single day."

This also is not meant figuratively,  any more than Paul means is figuratively,  when he says,  that with the manifestation of  the "glory" of  the children of  God,  the  "corruption"  of  universal nature will come to an end.  Nevertheless,  it is not of  the new heaven that the prophet is speaking,  but of  the glorification of  nature,  which is promised by both the Old Testament prophecy and by that of the New at the closing period of the world's history,  and which will be the closing typical self-annunciation of  that eternal glory in which everything will be swallowed up.  The brightest,  sunniest days then alternate,  as the prophet foretells,  with the most brilliant moonlight nights.  No other miracles will be needed for this than that wonder-working power of  God,  which even now produces those changes of  weather,  the laws of  which no researches of  natural science have enabled us to calculate,  and which will then give the greatest brilliancy and most unchangeable duration to what is now comparatively rare - namely,  a perfectly unclouded sky , with sun or moon shining in all its brilliancy,  yet without any scorching from the one,  or injurious effects from the other.

Heaven and earth will then put on their Sabbath dress;  for it will be the Sabbath of  the world's history,  the seventh day in the world's week.  The light of  the seven days of  the world's week will be all concentrated in the seventh.  For the beginning of  creation was light,  and its close will be light as well.
The darkness all comes between,  simply that it may be overcome.
At last will come a booqer (morning),  after which it will no more be said,  "And evening was ... and morning was."   The prophet is speaking of  the last type of  this morning.
What he predicts here precedes what he predicted in Isa 24:23,  just as the date of  its composition precedes that of ch. 24-27;  for there the imperial city was Babylon,  whereas here the glory of  the latter day is still placed immediately after the fall of  Assyria.


JUDGMENT  ON  ASSYRIA

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Isaiah 30:27, 28
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(27)  Behold the Lord Himself-i comes
from afar in blazing wrath, with a
heavy burden His lips full of fury,
His tongue like devouring fire,   (28)
and his breath like a raging torrent
reaching halfway up the neck – to set
a misguiding yoke upon nations and
a misleading bridle upon the jaws of
peoples.
Behold, the name of the Lord comes
after a long-time, burning wrath: the
word of his lips is with glory, a word
full of anger, and the anger of his
wrath shall devour as fire. And his
breath, as rushing water in a valley,
shall reach as far as the neck, and be
divided, to confound the nations for
their vain error: error also shall
pursue them. And overtake them.
Behold the name of the Lord is revealed as the prophets prophesied concerning it of old; strong is his anger and too grievous to be borne: from before him goeth forth a curse upon the wicked, and his Memra is as a devouring fire. And his Memra as a mighty river reaching even unto the neck shall destroy the strong, to sift the nations in the sieve of vanity; and it shall be a bridle that causeth to err in the cheeks of the peoples.
From the NKJV
(27)  Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with His anger, and His burden is heavy; His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue like a devouring fire.  (28)  His breath is like an overflowing stream, which reaches up to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of futility; and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.

Two figures are here melted together

A Storm coming up from the farthest horizon,  which turns the sky into a sea of  fire,  and kindles whatever it strikes,  so that there rises up a heavy burden,  or thick mass of  smoke
A Man burning with wrath,  whose lips foam,  whose tongue moves to and fro like a flame,  and whose breath is a snorting that threatens destruction,  which when it issues from Jehovah swells into a stream,  which so far covers a man that only his neck appears as the visible half.

We had the same figure in Isa 8:8,  where Asshur,  as it came upon Judah,  was compared to such an almost overwhelming and drowning flood.  Here,  again,  it refers to Judah,  which the wrath of  Jehovah had almost though not entirely destroyed.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 30:29
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(29)  For you, there shall be singing
as on a night when a festival is
hallowed; there shall be rejoicing as
when they march with flute, with
timbrels, and with lyres to the Rock
of Israel on the Mount of the Lord.
Must ye always rejoice, and go into
my holy places continually, as they
that keep a feast? And must ye go
with a pipe, as those that rejoice into
the mountain of the Lord, to the God
of Israel?
Ye shall have a song as in the night when a feast is hallowed, and joy of heart as when they go with a song of thanksgiving and pipe to enter into the mount of the sanctuary of the Lord, to appear before the Mighty One of Israel.
From the NKJV
(29)  You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the Mighty One of Israel.

This is the issue of  the judgment which begins at the house of  God,  then turns against the instrument employed,  namely the heathen,  and becomes to the Israel that survives a counterpart of  the deliverance from Egypt.

In the word châg (festival),  which is generally used with special reference to the Feast of Tabernacles,  there is here an unmistakable allusion to the Passover,  as we may see from the introduction of  "the night,"  which evidently means the night before the Passover,  which was so far a festal night,  that it preceded and introduced the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  The prophet has taken his figure from the first Passover-night in Egypt,  when Israel was rejoicing in the deliverance that it was just about to receive,  while the destroying angel was passing through the land.  Such would be the song that they would be able to sing,  when Jehovah poured out His judgment upon His people's enemies outside.

The church is shut up in its chamber (Isa 26:20),  and its joy resembles the heartfelt joy of  those who go on pilgrimage on one of  the three great feasts,  or in the procession that carries up the first-fruits to Jerusalem (Biccurim, iii. 3),  going up with the sound of  flutes to the mountain of  Jehovah,  to appear before Him,  the Rock of Israel.
(From Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament: New Updated Edition, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1996 by Hendrickson Publishers, Inc.)

Isaiah 30:30-33
From the Tanakh From the  LXX From the Targum
(30)  For the Lord will make His
majestic voice heard and display the
sweep of His arm in raging wrath, in
a devouring blaze of fire, in tempest,
and rainstorm, and hailstones.
And the Lord shall make his glorious
voice to be heard, and the wrath of
his arm, to make a display with wrath
and anger and devouring flame: he
shall lighten terribly, and his wrath
shall be as water and violent hail.
And the Lord shall cause the glorious voice of his Memra to be heard, and the strength of his mighty arm shall be reveal, with the might of his anger, and the flame of a fire the destroys graven images, and with rainstorm and hailstones.
(31)  Truly, Assyria, who beats with
the rod, shall be cowed by the voice
of the Lord;   (32)  And each time the
appointed staff passes by, the Lord
will bring down [His arm] upon him
and will do battle with him as he
waves it.
For by the voice of the Lord the
Assyrians shall be overcome, even
by the stroke wherewith he shall
smite them. And it shall happen to
him from every side, that they from
whom their hope of assistance was,
in which he trusted, themselves shall
war against him in turn with drums
and with harp.
For though the voice of the Memra of the Lord the Assyrian which smiteth with a rod is broken in pieces. And all the passing of their nobles and mighty men among whom the Lord shall cause his terrible punishment to rest shall be with tabrets and with harps; the house of Israel shall sing praises concerning the mighty battle which shall be fought for them against the nations.
(33)  The Topheth has long been
ready for him; he too is destined for
Melech his fire pit has been made
both wide and deep, with plenty of
fire and firewood, and with the breath
of the Lord burning in it like a stream
of sulfur.
For thou shalt be required before thy
time: has it been prepared for thee
also to reign? Nay, God has prepared
for thee a deep trench, wood piled,
fire and much wood: the wrath of the
Lord shall be as a trench kindled with
sulphur.
For from of old is Gehinnom prepared for their transgressions; the king of ages has prepared it making deep and broad the place thereof; fire burneth therein as in much wood, even the Memra of the Lord like a mighty river; brimstone burneth therein.
From the NKJV
(30)  The LORD will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, tempest, and hailstones.
(31)  For through the voice of the LORD Assyria will be beaten down, as He strikes with the rod.  (32)  And in every place where the staff of punishment passes, which the LORD lays on him, it will be with tambourines and harps; and in battles of brandishing He will fight with it.
33 For Tophet was established of old, yes, for the king it is prepared.  He has made it deep and large; its pyre is fire with much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it.

Israel is marching in such a joyful way to a sacred and glorious height,  while outside Jehovah is sweeping the world power entirely away,  and that without any help from Israel.

The imposing crash of  the cry which Jehovah causes to be heard is thunder (see Psalm 29);  for the catastrophe occurs with a discharge of  all the destructive forces of  a storm (see Isa 29:6).

Scattering (nephets) -  is the "breaking up" or "bursting," viz., of a cloud.
It is through such wrath-announcing phenomena of  nature that Jehovah manifests the otherwise invisible letting down of  His arm to smite.

Verse 31, commencing with ki (for),  explains the terrible nature of  what occurs,  from the object at which it is directed:  Asshur is alarmed at the voice of  Jehovah,  and thoroughly goes to pieces.
The smiter here is Jehovah.  This cutting down of  the Assyrians is accounted for in verse 33 from the fact that it had long ago been decreed that they should be burned as dead bodies.

Tophet
The word Tophet is commonly supposed to be derived from top,  or drum,  from the drums used to drown the cries of children who were made to pass through the fire to Molech.

Topheth lay somewhere E or SE of Jerusalem, for Jeremiah went out by the potsherd gate, or E gate, to go to it.
It was in "the valley of the son of Hinnom," which is "by the entrance of the potsherd gate". Thus it was not identical with Hinnom.
It was in Hinnom and was, perhaps, one of  its chief groves or gardens,  watered by Siloam,  perhaps a little to the South of the present Birket el-Hamra.
In Tophet the deity (Baal, Jeremiah 19:5; Molech, 32:35) was worshiped by sacrifices in pagan fashion,  first by the ancient Canaanites and afterward by apostate Israelites (cf. Psalms 106:38; Jeremiah 7:31).  This was done first by Ahaz (2 Kings 16:3),  then especially by Manasseh (21:6).
Thus it became the place of abomination,  the very gate or pit of hell.  The pious kings defiled it (23:10) and threw down its altars and high places,  pouring into it all the filth of  the city,  till it became the abhorrence of  Jerusalem.  Every vestige of  Tophet,  name and grove,  is gone,  and we can only guess at the spot.
(from The New Unger's Bible Dictionary. Originally published by Moody Press of Chicago, Illinois. Copyright (c) 1988.)

This valley was early selected as the seat of  the worship of  Moloch,  where his rites were celebrated by erecting a huge brass image with a hollow trunk and arms,  which was heated,  and within which,  or on the arms of  which,  children were placed as a sacrifice to the horrid idol.  To drown their cries,  drums were beaten
(from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)

Jeremiah 7:31-32
And they have built the high places of  Tophet,  which is in the Valley of  the Son of Hinnom,  to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, nor did it come into My heart.  "Therefore behold,  the days are coming,"  says the LORD,  "when it will no more be called Tophet,  or the Valley of  the Son of  Hinnom,  but the Valley of  Slaughter;  for they will bury in Tophet until there is no room."   (NKJV)


LESSON  14  FROM  THE  AMPLIFIED  VERSION

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Isaiah 29:8 - 30:33 - from the Amplified Version

29:9   STOP AND wonder [at this prophecy, if you choose, whether you understand it or not; soon you will witness the actual event] and be confounded [reluctantly]! Blind yourselves [now, if you choose; take your pleasure] and then be blinded [at the actual occurrence]. They are drunk, but not from wine; they stagger, but not from strong drink [but from spiritual stupor].
(10)  For the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep. And He has closed your eyes, the prophets; and your heads, the seers, He has covered and muffled.
(11)  And the vision of all this has become for you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, Read this, I pray you, he says, I cannot, for it is sealed.
(12)  And when the book is given to him who is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray you, he says, I cannot read.
(13)  And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips but remove their hearts and minds far from Me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of men that is learned by repetition [without any thought as to the meaning],
(14)  Therefore, behold! I will again do marvelous things with this people, marvelous and astonishing things; and the wisdom of their wise men will perish, and the understanding of their discerning men will vanish or be hidden.
(15)  Woe to those who [seek to] hide deep from the Lord their counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, Who sees us? Who knows us?
(16)  [Oh, your perversity!] You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be considered of no more account than the clay? Shall the thing that is made say of its maker, He did not make me; or the thing that is formed say of him who formed it, He has no understanding?
(17)  Is it not yet a very little while until Lebanon shall be turned into a fruitful field and the fruitful field esteemed as a forest?
(18)  And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and out of obscurity and gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see.
(19)  The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice and exult in the Holy One of Israel.
(20)  For the terrible one [the Assyrian enemy] shall come to nought, and the scoffer shall cease, and all those who watch for iniquity [as an occasion for accusation] shall be cut off —
(21)  Those who make a man an offender and bring condemnation upon him with a word, and lay a trap for him who upholds justice at the city gate, and thrust aside the innocent and truly righteous with an empty plea.
(22)  Therefore thus says the Lord, Who redeemed Abraham [out of Ur and idolatry], concerning the house of Jacob: Jacob shall not then be ashamed; not then shall his face become pale [with fear and disappointment because of his children's degeneracy].
(23)  For when he sees his children [walking in the way of piety and virtue], the work of My hands in his midst, they will revere My name; they will revere the Holy One of Jacob and reverently fear the God of Israel.
(24)  Those who err in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmur [discontentedly] will accept instruction.

30:1   WOE TO the rebellious children, says the Lord, who take counsel and carry out a plan, but not Mine, and who make a league and pour out a drink offering, but not of My Spirit, thus adding sin to sin;
(2)    Who set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked Me — to flee to the stronghold of Pharaoh and to strengthen themselves in his strength and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!
(3)    Therefore shall the strength and protection of Pharaoh turn to your shame, and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt be to your humiliation and confusion.
(4)    For though [Pharaoh's] officials are at Zoan and his ambassadors arrive at Hanes [in Egypt],
(5)    Yet will all be ashamed because of a people [the Egyptians] who cannot profit them, who are not a help or benefit, but a shame and disgrace.
(6)    A mournful, inspired prediction (a burden to be lifted up) concerning the beasts of the South (the Negeb): Oh, the heavy burden, the load of treasures going to Egypt! Through a land of trouble and anguish, in which are lioness and lion, viper and fiery flying serpent, they carry their riches upon the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures upon the humps of camels, to a people that will not and cannot profit them.
(7)    For Egypt's help is worthless and toward no purpose. Therefore I have called her Rahab Who Sits Still.
(8)    Now, go, write it before them on a tablet and inscribe it in a book, that it may be as a witness for the time to come forevermore.
(9)    For this is a rebellious people, faithless and lying sons, children who will not hear the law and instruction of the Lord;
(10)  Who [virtually] say to the seers [by their conduct], See not! and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us what is right! Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceitful illusions.
(11)  Get out of the true way, turn aside out of the path, cease holding up before us the Holy One of Israel.
(12)  Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel: Because you despise and spurn this [My] word and trust in cunning and oppression, in crookedness and perverseness, and rely on them,
(13)  Therefore this iniquity and guilt will be to you like a broken section of a high wall, bulging out and ready [at some distant day] to fall, whose crash will [then] come suddenly and swiftly, in an instant.
(14)  And he shall break it as a potter's vessel is broken, breaking it in pieces without sparing so that there cannot be found among its pieces one large enough to carry coals of fire from the hearth or to dip water out of the cistern.
(15)  For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning [to Me] and resting [in Me] you shall be saved; in quietness and in [trusting] confidence shall be your strength. But you would not,
(16)  And you said, No! We will speed [our own course] on horses! Therefore you will speed [in flight from your enemies]! You said, We will ride upon swift steeds [doing our own way]! Therefore will they who pursue you be swift, [so swift that]
(17)  One thousand of you will flee at the threat of one of them; at the threat of five you will flee till you are left like a beacon or a flagpole on the top of a mountain, and like a signal on a hill.
(18)  And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]! [John 14:3,27; 2 Cor 12:9; Heb 12:2; 1 John 3:16; Rev 3:5.]
(19)  O people who dwell in Zion at Jerusalem, you will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when He hears it, He will answer you.
(20)  And though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide Himself any more, but your eyes will constantly behold your Teacher.
(21)  And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left.
(22)  Then you will defile your carved images overlaid with silver and your molten images plated with gold; you will cast them away as a filthy bloodstained cloth, and you will say to them, Be gone!
(23)  Then will He give you rain for the seed with which you sow the soil, and bread grain from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful. In that day your cattle will feed in large pastures.
(24)  The oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savory and salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and with fork.
(25)  And upon every high mountain and upon every high hill there will be brooks and streams of water in the day of the great slaughter [the day of the Lord], when the towers fall [and all His enemies are destroyed].
(26)  Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one], in the day that the Lord binds up the hurt of His people, and heals their wound [inflicted by Him because of their sins].
(27)  Behold, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, burning with His anger, and in thick, rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is like a consuming fire.
(28)  And His breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that causes them to err will be in the jaws of the people.
(29)  You shall have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept, and gladness of heart as when one marches in procession with a flute to go to the temple on the mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
(30)  And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard and the descending blow of His arm to be seen, coming down with indignant anger and with the flame of a devouring fire, amid crashing blast and cloudburst, tempest, and hailstones.
(31)  At the voice of the Lord the Assyrians will be stricken with dismay and terror, when He smites them with His rod.
(32)  And every passing stroke of the staff of punishment and doom which the Lord lays upon them shall be to the sound of [Israel's] timbrels and lyres, when in battle He attacks [Assyria] with swinging and menacing arms.
(33)  For Topheth [a place of burning and abomination] has already been laid out and long ago prepared; yes, for the [Assyrian] king and [the god] Molech it has been made ready, its pyre made deep and large, with fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, kindles it. [Jer 7:31,32; Matt 5:22; 25:41.]
 

(End of  Lesson 14)


  

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