King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 30

The Jews reproved for seeking aid from Egypt. (1-7) Judgements in consequence of their contempt of God’s word. (8-18) God’s mercies to his church. (19-26) The ruin of the Assyrian army, and of all God’s enemies. (27-33)

Isaiah 30 Audio:

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The Jews reproved for seeking aid from Egypt

1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt your confusion.

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

5 They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.

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

Judgements in consequence of their contempt of God’s word

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

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

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

11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

15 For thus saith the 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.

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

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 top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him.

God’s mercies to his church

19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

20 And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

22 Ye shall 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 menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

23 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.

24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.

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

26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the 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.

The ruin of the Assyrian army, and of all God’s enemies

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

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

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

30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, which smote with a rod.

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

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

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Of me. Ezechias was guided by human prudence, in making an alliance with Egypt, though he might have just reasons for refusing to pay tribute to the Assyrians. 4 K. xviii. 20. C. — And. Sept. “alliances not by,” &c. H.

Ver. 2. Down, with presents. v. 6. 4 K. xviii. 20.

Ver. 3. Shame. Egypt had been defeated before Sennacherib’s approach.

Ver. 4. Hanes. Chal. “Taphanes,” (Jer. ii. 16.) or Daphnæ Pelusiæ. Herod. ii. 30. — In the Arabic, Nome, which formed part of (H.) the dominions of Tharaca. C.

Ver. 6. Burden. This title seems unnecessary, and may be added by some Jew, (C. xxi. 13.) though the Chal. and others explain it, “They carry on their beasts, presents to the south,” to the nations of Arabia and Egypt, infested with lions, &c. The rest of the prophecy is against the Jews, who cannot well be styled beasts of the south. C. — Basilisk. The ibis devours many serpents on their flight from Arabia and Egypt. Herod. ii. 5. Solin. xxxii.

Ver. 7. Cried. Heb. “called it Rahab, (or pride) it is rest.” The people are indolent, though they will make great promises. C.

Ver. 8. Box. This word was covered with wax. Propert. iii. 3. — Write, that none may pretend that they were not admonished. Some think that this was addressed to Jeremias: but Isaias spoke to his incredulous countrymen.

Ver. 10. See not. Such were the dispositions of their heart. C. xxviii. 15.

Ver. 11. Us. Mention God no more, or let him not meddle with our affairs. Seek not to reclaim us, we are pleased with our delusion. C.

Ver. 12. Oppression. Lit. “calumny,” (H.) or rebellion against the Assyrians. This was contrary to the respect due to God’s name, used in the ratification of treaties, how wicked soever those princes might be.

Ver. 13. For. Ps. lxi. 3. If God had not miraculously cut off the army of Sennacherib, what would have become of the kingdom of Juda?

Ver. 15. Be. Sept. “groan,” as Origen, &c. read. If you be seriously converted, and trust not in Egypt, you need not fear.

Ver. 16. Ones, or chariots. C. — Egypt was famous for horses. Deut. xvii. 16. Forcr. — Rebsaces ridicules the Jews for the want of them. 4 K. xviii. 23. H.

Ver. 17. Five. A small number shall put you to flight. M. — Mast, set up after a shipwreck, to warn others, or as a signal. C. xxxiii. 23.

Ver. 18. Wait for him. Having convinced Ezechias that he ought to trust in on other, the Lord rescues him from the hand of Sennacherib. C.

Ver. 19. Weep. The citizens expected certain death, (H.) or slavery. C.

Ver. 20. Water. The land will be reduced to a miserable condition by the ravages of Sennacherib. H. — The following was a sabbatical year. v. 23. C. xxxvii. 30. — Teacher. It seems that Isaias, &c. had been silent. He spoke after Ezechias had sent for him, and God promises that the people shall not be left without guides. C. — Christ will not abandon his Church. M.

Ver. 22. Garment. Heb. “ephod,” belonging to the idol, or its priest. Ezechias had prohibited idolatry at first. After his deliverance he was still more zealous, and even those who had formerly retained an affection for idols, saw their vanity, and became sincere.

Ver. 24. Floor. They shall not have straw only, but wheat, &c. to denote abundance.

Ver. 25. Towers, or chief officers of Sennacherib. All shall be luxuriant.

Ver. 26. Sevenfold. Exceedingly great, equal to the light of 49 days. C. — The fame of Ezechias spread widely. His kingdom was a figure of that of Christ, when this was more perfectly realized, the preaching of the gospel having dispelled the darkness of error. C. — He alludes to the day of judgment. S. Jer. M.

Ver. 27. Name. Majesty of God, (C.) in the future ages. H.

Ver. 28. Error. The unjust government of Sennacherib, who endeavoured to engage all in idolatry.

Ver. 29. Night. When the festivals commenced. C. — He may particularly mean that night, when the destroying angel slew the Egyptians. Vatab. — Pipe. Music. H. — This was not prescribed.

Ver. 30. Stones. The Angel raised the storm, which destroyed many, while the rest in a panic fell upon one another. C. ix. 5. and xxvii. 36.

Ver. 31. Rod. Sennacherib is terrified, who a few days before insulted the living God.

Ver. 32. Harps. The sound of thunder will fill the people of Ezechias with joy, while the enemy shall perish irrecoverably. C.

Ver. 33. Topheth. ‘Tis the same as Gehenna, and is taken for hell. Ch. — The Assyrians perish amid horrid cries (H.) and thunders, which resembled the noise made by drums, and by children who were burning in the arms of Moloc. 4 K. xviii. 4. and xxiii. 10. and 2 Par. xxix. 16. Some think that the carcasses of the Assyrians were to be burnt in this common sewer of Jerusalem. But they were too far distant. C. xxxvii. 33. C.