Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.
What should I learn from this chapter?
Underlying Judah’s problems with Egypt (symbolic of the world and worldliness), shadowy references to Satan appear. Satan is called a reptile; a serpent, a sea monster, Leviathan. Another definition of Leviathan is to coil or weave. Rahab also has been translated as Leviathan.
Futile Confidence in Egypt
Isaiah 30:1 “Woe to the rebellious children,” says the Lord,
“Who take counsel, but not of Me,
And who devise plans (Lit. weave a web), but not of My Spirit,
That they may add sin to sin;
Those who devise plans weave a web of deception. Satan as the serpent in Genesis is called “craftier” than any other animal of the garden. To be “crafty” is to be a sly manipulator. To weave a web, like a “wreath” is another translation of the sea monster who lives in a sea of people.
Isaiah 30:2 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!
A shadow has no strength, no light, no life, and no reality.
Isaiah 30:3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh
Shall be your shame,
And trust in the shadow of Egypt
Shall be your humiliation.
Isaiah 30:4 For his princes were at Zoan,
And his ambassadors came to Hanes.
Isaiah 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people who could not benefit them,
Or be help or benefit,
But a shame and also a reproach.”
Isaiah 30:6 The burden (oracle, prophecy) 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;
Isaiah 30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain and to no purpose.
Therefore I have called her
Rahab-Hem-Shebeth (Lit. Rahab Sits Idle).
Rahab is another translation of the Leviathan and Pride:
H3882 Leviathan from H3867; a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent (especially the crocodile or some other large sea-monster); figuratively, the constellation of the dragon;
A Rebellious People
Isaiah 30:8 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:
Isaiah 30:9 That this is a rebellious people,
Children who will not hear the law of the Lord;
Isaiah 30:10 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.
Isaiah 30:11 Get out of the way,
Turn aside from the path,
Cause the Holy One of Israel
To cease from before us.”
Isaiah 30:12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel:
“Because you despise this word,
And trust in oppression and perversity,
And rely on them,
Isaiah 30:13 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.
Isaiah 30:14 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 (A piece of broken pottery) to take fire from the hearth,
Or to take water from the cistern.”
- Job 41 compares Leviathan’s underside to shards:
- Job 31:30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds; he spreads pointed marks in the mire.
Isaiah 30:15 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,
Isaiah 30:16 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!
Isaiah 30:17 One thousand shall flee at the threat of one,
At the threat of five you shall flee,
Till you are left as a pole (A tree stripped of branches) on top of a mountain
And as a banner on a hill.
God Will Be Gracious
A description of the Millennium when Jesus sets up His kingdom on earth:
Isaiah 30:18 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.
Isaiah 30:19 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.
Isaiah 30:20 And though the Lord gives you
The bread of adversity and the water of affliction (oppression),
Yet your teachers will not be moved into a corner anymore,
But your eyes shall see your teachers.
Isaiah 30:21 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.
Isaiah 30:22 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!”
Isaiah 30:23 Then He will give the rain (Jesus) for your seed
With which you sow the ground,
And bread of the increase of the earth;
It will be fat (rich) and plentiful.
In that day your cattle will feed
In large pastures.
Jesus is the seed who was buried and bears much fruit:
- John 12:24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
Rain is a word used for “teacher” and faithful rain is considered to be the Messiah. Throughout scripture, Jesus comes down to men like the rain. He comes down twice: like the early and the latter rain.
Psalm 72:6 He shall come down upon the grass before mowing, Like showers that water the earth.
James 5:7 Be Patient and Persevering – Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.
Joel 2:23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully (Teacher of righteousness), And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first.
Isaiah 30:24 Likewise the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground
Will eat cured fodder,
Which has been winnowed with the shovel and fan.
Isaiah 30:25 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 day of the great slaughter will happen at Jesus’ return just prior to the Millennium. It is the day of the Lord’s Vengeance.
High towers protected inhabitants of a city when watchmen could stand and see for long distances for approaching enemies.
High towers were also significant in their height, just as powerful people are called pillars of the community.
When the towers fall could mean one or the other or both.
Isaiah 30:26 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.
Judgment on Assyria
Isaiah 30:27 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.
Isaiah 30:28 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.
Isaiah 30:29 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 (Lit. the Rock) of Israel.
Isaiah 30:30 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.
The arm of the Lord is the Prince of the Father, Jesus at His return.
Isaiah 30:31 For through the voice of the Lord
Assyria will be beaten down (Lit. shattered),
As He strikes with the rod.
Isaiah 30:32 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.
Isaiah 30:33 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,
At Jesus’ return the tables will be turned against the nations who are enemies of Judah.
- Numbers 24:8 “God brings him out of Egypt (the world); He has strength like a wild ox (El); He shall consume the nations, his enemies; He shall break their bones And pierce them with his arrows.
- Psalm 110:6 He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill the places with dead bodies, He shall execute the heads of many countries.