New American Bible (Revised Edition)
Oracle on the Futility of an Alliance with Egypt[a]
1 Ah! Rebellious children,
oracle of the Lord,
Who carry out a plan that is not mine,
who make an alliance[b] I did not inspire,
thus adding sin upon sin;(A)
2 They go down to Egypt,
without asking my counsel,[c]
To seek strength in Pharaoh’s protection
and take refuge in Egypt’s shadow.(B)
3 Pharaoh’s protection shall become your shame,
refuge in Egypt’s shadow your disgrace.(C)
4 When his princes are at Zoan
and his messengers reach Hanes,(D)
5 All shall be ashamed
of a people that gain them nothing,
Neither help nor benefit,
but only shame and reproach.(E)
- 30:1–17 Several independent oracles against making an alliance with Egypt have been strung together in this chapter: vv. 1–5, vv. 6–7, and vv. 8–17. That these were originally separate oracles is indicated by the fact that the oracle in vv. 6–7 is still introduced by its own heading: Oracle on the Beasts of the Negeb.
- 30:1 Make an alliance: lit., “pour out a libation,” namely, as part of the ritual of treaty making.
- 30:2 Without asking my counsel: it was a practice to consult God through the prophets or through the priestly oracle before making a major political decision (1 Sm 23:1–12; 1 Kgs 22:5), but Judah’s leadership, in its concern for security, was apparently trying to keep its plan for a treaty with Egypt secret even from the prophets, thus implicitly from God (29:15).