Isaiah 30 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Isaiah 30)
30:1 Woe to the a rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not from me; and that b cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

(a) Who contrary to their promise take not me for their protector and contrary to my commandment seek help from strangers.
(b) They seek shifts to cloak their doings and not godly means.

30:4 For his c princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

(c) The chief of Israel went into Egypt as an ambassador to seek help and abode at these cities.

30:6 The d burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from which [come] the young and the old lion, the viper and flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures upon the humps of camels, to a people [that] shall not profit [them].

(d) That is, a heavy sentence or prophecy against the beasts that carried their treasures into Egypt, by the wilderness, which was south from Judah, signifying that if the beasts would not be spared, the men would be punished much more grievously.

30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried e concerning this, Their strength f [is] to sit still.

(e) That is, to Jerusalem.
(f) And not to come to and fro to seek help.

30:8 Now go, write g it before them in a tablet, and note it in a book, that it may be for the h time to come for ever and ever:

(g) That is, this prophecy.
(h) That is may be a witness against them for all posterity.

30:9 That this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not i hear the law of the LORD:

(i) He shows what was the cause of their destruction and brings also all misery to man: that is, because they would not hear the word of God, but delighted to be flattered and led in error.

30:10 Who say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not to us right things, speak to us smooth things, prophesy k deceits:

(k) Threaten us not by the word of God, neither be so rigorous, nor talk to us in the Name of the Lord, as in (Jeremiah 11:21).

30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in l oppression and perverseness, and lean upon it:

(l) Meaning, in their stubbornness against God and the admonitions of his prophets.

30:14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it m a piece to take fire from the hearth, or to take water out of the pit.

(m) Signifying that the destruction of the wicked will be without recovery.

30:15 For thus saith the n Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

(n) Often by his prophets he put you in remembrance of this, that you should only depend on him.

30:16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon o horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

(o) We will trust to escape by our horses.

30:17 One thousand [shall flee] at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the p top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

(p) Whereas all the trees are cut down save two or three to make masts.

30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be q gracious to you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD [is] a God of

(r) judgment: blessed [are] all they that wait for him.
(q) He commends the great mercies of God, who with patience waits to call sinners to repentance.
(r) Not only in punishing but in using moderation in the same, as in (Jeremiah 10:24,30:11).

30:21 And thy ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, s walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

(s) God will direct all your ways and appoint you how to go either hither or thither.

30:22 Ye shall t defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a polluted cloth; thou shalt say to it, u Be gone from me.

(t) You will cast away your idols which you have made of gold and silver with all that belongs to them, as a most filthy thing and polluted.
(u) Showing that there can be no true repentance, unless both in heart and deed we show ourselves enemies to idolatry.

30:25 And there shall be upon every high x mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers [and] streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

(x) By these various manners of speech he shows that the happiness of the Church will be so great, that no one is able sufficiently to express it.

30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the y sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

(y) When the Church is restored, the glory of it will pass seven times the brightness of the sun: for by the sun and moon which are two excellent creations, he shows what will be the glory of the children of God in the kingdom of Christ.

30:27 Behold, z the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning [with] his anger, and the burden [of it is] heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

(z) This threatening is against the Assyrians the chief enemies of the people of God.

30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of a vanity: and [there shall be] a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing [them] to err.

(a) To drive you to nothing: and thus God consumes the wicked by that means, by which he cleanses his.

30:29 Ye shall have a song, as in the b night [when] a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come upon the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.

(b) You will rejoice at the destruction of your enemies, as they who sang for joy at the solemn feast, which began in the evening.

30:31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, [who] smote with a c rod.

(c) God's plague.

30:32 And [in] every place where the grounded staff shall pass, d which the LORD shall lay upon him, [it] shall be with e tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight f with it.

(d) It will destroy.
(e) With joy and assurance of the victory.
(f) Against Babel, meaning the Assyrians and Babylonians.

30:33 For g Tophet [is] ordained of old; yea, for the h king it is prepared; he hath made [it] i deep [and] large: the pile of it [is] fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

(g) Here it is taken for hell, where the wicked are tormented, read (2 Kings 23:10).
(h) So that their estate or degree cannot exempt the wicked.
(i) By these figurative speeches he declares the condition of he wicked after this life.