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Foolish Trust in Egypt

30 “Oh, you stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out plans—
    but they are not mine,
and who make alliances—
    but not by my Spirit,
        piling sin upon sin.
They set out to go down to Egypt,
    without asking my advice;
taking refuge in Pharaoh’s protection,
    and seeking shelter in Egypt’s shadow.
But Pharaoh’s protection will become your shame,
    and sheltering in Egypt’s shadow your longing.[a]
And it will turn out that[b] his officials are at Zoan,
    and his envoys will reach Hanes.
There is only loathsome destruction[c]
    through a people that cannot benefit them,
who bring neither help nor profit,
    but only shame and disgrace.”

The Animals of the Negev

An oracle about the animals of the Negev:[d]

“Through a land of trouble, dryness,[e] and distress,
    of lionesses and roaring lions,
        where there is no water,[f]
a land of vipers and darting snakes,
    he carries[g] their riches on donkeys’ backs,
and their treasures on the humps of camels,
    to a nation that cannot benefit them,
to Egypt, which gives help that is worthless and useless.
    Therefore I call her,
        ‘Rahab,[h] who just sits still.’”

The Illusions of False Prophecy

“Go now, and write it down[i] on a tablet in their presence,
    inscribing it in a book,
so that for times to come
    it may be an everlasting witness.
For they are a rebellious people,
    deceitful children,
children unwilling to hear
    the Lord’s instruction.
10 They say to the seers,
    ‘Don’t see visions,’
and to the prophets,
    ‘Don’t give us visions of what is right!
        Instead, tell us welcome things, prophesy illusions,
11 get out of the way,
    turn aside from the path,
        and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel.”[j]

Rejecting God’s Message

12 Therefore, this is what the Holy One of Israel says:

“Because you reject this message,
    and put your trust in oppression and enjoy it,[k]
        and since you rely on it,
13 therefore, for you this sin will become
    like a breach in a high wall that is about to collapse,
        bulging out,
    and whose crash comes suddenly—in an instant.
14 Its breaking will be like when potters’ vessels are broken,
    shattered so ruthlessly[l]
that among its fragments not even a broken sliver will be found
    for taking fire from a hearth
        or scooping water out of a cistern.”

15 For this is what the Lord[m] God,[n] the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest you will be saved;
    in staying calm and trusting will be your strength.
        But you refused.
16 Instead, you said,
    ‘No! We’ll escape on horses!’
        Therefore, you’ll flee away.
And you said,
    ‘We’ll ride off on swift steeds!’
        Therefore your pursuers will be swift.
17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one;
    and run away, pursued by[o] five,
until you are left
    like a flagpole on a mountaintop,[p]
        like a banner on a hill.”

Restoration is Promised to Israel

18 “Nevertheless, the Lord will wait
    so he can be gracious to you;
        and thus he will rise up to show you mercy.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    How blessed are all those who wait for him.”

19 Indeed, you people who live in Zion and in Jerusalem,[q] you[r] will weep no more. How gracious the Lord[s] will be to you at the sound of your cry! As soon as he hears it, he will answer you. 20 And although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water[t] of affliction, your teachers won’t hide themselves[u] anymore, but your own eyes will see your teachers. 21 And whether you turn to the right or turn to the left, your ears will hear a message behind you: “This is the way, walk in it.” 22 Then you will defile your carved idols that are overlaid with silver and your images plated with gold. You’ll throw them away like disgusting objects[v] and say to them, “Away with you!”

23 He will also provide rain for your seed that you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the ground will be[w] rich and abundant. At that time,[x] your cattle will graze in broad meadows, 24 and oxen and donkeys that work the ground will eat seasoned[y] fodder that workers will winnow with shovels and forks. 25 And on every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks and canals[z] running with water on the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

26 Moreover, the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the sun’s light will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days,[aa] when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

27 See, the name of the Lord comes from far away,
    burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke;
his lips are full of fury,
    and his tongue is like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like an overflowing torrent,
    and it rises right up to the neck,
to shake[ab] the nations in the sieve of destruction,
    and to place in the jaws of the peoples a bit that leads them astray.

29 You will have songs as on nights when people celebrate a holy festival,[ac] and gladness of heart, as when they set out with flutes to go to the Lord’s mountain, to the Rock of Israel.

God’s Judgment on Assyria

30 And the Lord will make heard—yes, he will make heard[ad]—his majestic voice, and make his arm[ae] seen descending in raging anger and in a flame of consuming fire, with a cloudburst, thunderstorm and hailstones. 31 Indeed, the Assyrians will be shattered at the Lord’s voice, when he strikes them with his scepter. 32 And every stroke of his punishing rod[af] that the Lord brings down on them will be to the sound of tambourines and harps, as he fights against her[ag] in battle with a brandished arm.

33 For the Fire Pit[ah] has long been prepared; truly it is for the king; it will indeed be made ready.[ai] And[aj] its pyre will be deep and wide, with abundant fire and wood. Like a stream of burning sulfur, the breath of the Lord will set it ablaze.


  1. Isaiah 30:3 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read disgrace
  2. Isaiah 30:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read For even though
  3. Isaiah 30:5 So 1QIsaa; MT reads Everyone comes to shame
  4. Isaiah 30:6 I.e. southern region of Israel; cf. Josh 10:40
  5. Isaiah 30:6 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX lack dryness; cf. Isa 41:18
  6. Isaiah 30:6 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read from whence come
  7. Isaiah 30:6 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read they carry
  8. Isaiah 30:7 The Heb. word Rahab means The One who Storms; i.e. Egypt; cf. Isa 51:9; Ps 87:4
  9. Isaiah 30:8 So 1QIsaa MT; 4QIsac LXX read write down
  10. Isaiah 30:11 Lit. bring to an end the Holy One from before us.
  11. Isaiah 30:12 Apparent meaning 1QIsaa; MT reads and are perverse
  12. Isaiah 30:14 Lit. broken—they do not take pity; so 1QIsaa; MT reads broken—he does not take pity
  13. Isaiah 30:15 So 1QIsaa
  14. Isaiah 30:15 So 1QIsaa corrector
  15. Isaiah 30:17 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read away at the threat of
  16. Isaiah 30:17 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads the mountaintop
  17. Isaiah 30:19 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; MT reads at Jerusalem
  18. Isaiah 30:19 So 1QIsaa (pl.); MT (sing.)
  19. Isaiah 30:19 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read he
  20. Isaiah 30:20 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks the correct Heb. construct
  21. Isaiah 30:20 So 1QIsaa; MT reads himself
  22. Isaiah 30:22 Lit. like menstrual rags
  23. Isaiah 30:23 So 1QIsaa LXX; MT reads and it will be
  24. Isaiah 30:23 Lit. On that day
  25. Isaiah 30:24 Lit. salted
  26. Isaiah 30:25 So 1QIsaa; MT reads streams
  27. Isaiah 30:26 So 1QIsaa MT; LXX lacks like the light of seven full days
  28. Isaiah 30:28 So 1QIsaa; MT reads to sift; LXX reads to confuse
  29. Isaiah 30:29 So 1QIsaa; MT reads one celebrates a holy festival
  30. Isaiah 30:30 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read heard only once
  31. Isaiah 30:30 I.e. the Messiah
  32. Isaiah 30:32 So MTmss; 1QIsaa reads the rod of his foundation; MT reads the rod of foundation
  33. Isaiah 30:32 So 1QIsaa MT; MTqere, mss read against them
  34. Isaiah 30:33 Lit. the Topheth; i.e. a fire pit near Jerusalem where the Canaanite deity Molech was worshipped
  35. Isaiah 30:33 So 1QIsaa; MT reads it is made ready for the king; cf. LXX
  36. Isaiah 30:33 So 1QIsaa; MT lacks And

Woe to the Obstinate Nation

30 “Woe(A) to the obstinate children,”(B)
    declares the Lord,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
    forming an alliance,(C) but not by my Spirit,
    heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt(D)
    without consulting(E) me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,(F)
    to Egypt’s shade for refuge.(G)
But Pharaoh’s protection will be to your shame,
    Egypt’s shade(H) will bring you disgrace.(I)
Though they have officials in Zoan(J)
    and their envoys have arrived in Hanes,
everyone will be put to shame
    because of a people(K) useless(L) to them,
who bring neither help(M) nor advantage,
    but only shame and disgrace.(N)

A prophecy(O) concerning the animals of the Negev:(P)

Through a land of hardship and distress,(Q)
    of lions(R) and lionesses,
    of adders and darting snakes,(S)
the envoys carry their riches on donkeys’(T) backs,
    their treasures(U) on the humps of camels,
to that unprofitable nation,
    to Egypt, whose help is utterly useless.(V)
Therefore I call her
    Rahab(W) the Do-Nothing.

Go now, write it on a tablet(X) for them,
    inscribe it on a scroll,(Y)
that for the days to come
    it may be an everlasting witness.(Z)
For these are rebellious(AA) people, deceitful(AB) children,
    children unwilling to listen to the Lord’s instruction.(AC)
10 They say to the seers,(AD)
    “See no more visions(AE)!”
and to the prophets,
    “Give us no more visions of what is right!
Tell us pleasant things,(AF)
    prophesy illusions.(AG)
11 Leave this way,(AH)
    get off this path,
and stop confronting(AI) us
    with the Holy One(AJ) of Israel!”

12 Therefore this is what the Holy One(AK) of Israel says:

“Because you have rejected this message,(AL)
    relied on oppression(AM)
    and depended on deceit,
13 this sin will become for you
    like a high wall,(AN) cracked and bulging,
    that collapses(AO) suddenly,(AP) in an instant.
14 It will break in pieces like pottery,(AQ)
    shattered so mercilessly
that among its pieces not a fragment will be found
    for taking coals from a hearth
    or scooping water out of a cistern.”

15 This is what the Sovereign(AR) Lord, the Holy One(AS) of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest(AT) is your salvation,
    in quietness and trust(AU) is your strength,
    but you would have none of it.(AV)
16 You said, ‘No, we will flee(AW) on horses.’(AX)
    Therefore you will flee!
You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’
    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
17 A thousand will flee
    at the threat of one;
at the threat of five(AY)
    you will all flee(AZ) away,
till you are left(BA)
    like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
    like a banner(BB) on a hill.”

18 Yet the Lord longs(BC) to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.(BD)
For the Lord is a God of justice.(BE)
    Blessed are all who wait for him!(BF)

19 People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more.(BG) How gracious he will be when you cry for help!(BH) As soon as he hears, he will answer(BI) you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread(BJ) of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers(BK) will be hidden(BL) no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice(BM) behind you, saying, “This is the way;(BN) walk in it.” 22 Then you will desecrate your idols(BO) overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold;(BP) you will throw them away like a menstrual(BQ) cloth and say to them, “Away with you!(BR)

23 He will also send you rain(BS) for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food that comes from the land will be rich(BT) and plentiful.(BU) In that day(BV) your cattle will graze in broad meadows.(BW) 24 The oxen(BX) and donkeys that work the soil will eat fodder(BY) and mash, spread out with fork(BZ) and shovel. 25 In the day of great slaughter,(CA) when the towers(CB) fall, streams of water will flow(CC) on every high mountain and every lofty hill. 26 The moon will shine like the sun,(CD) and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals(CE) the wounds he inflicted.

27 See, the Name(CF) of the Lord comes from afar,
    with burning anger(CG) and dense clouds of smoke;
his lips are full of wrath,(CH)
    and his tongue is a consuming fire.(CI)
28 His breath(CJ) is like a rushing torrent,(CK)
    rising up to the neck.(CL)
He shakes the nations in the sieve(CM) of destruction;
    he places in the jaws of the peoples
    a bit(CN) that leads them astray.
29 And you will sing
    as on the night you celebrate a holy festival;(CO)
your hearts will rejoice(CP)
    as when people playing pipes(CQ) go up
to the mountain(CR) of the Lord,
    to the Rock(CS) of Israel.
30 The Lord will cause people to hear his majestic voice(CT)
    and will make them see his arm(CU) coming down
with raging anger(CV) and consuming fire,(CW)
    with cloudburst, thunderstorm(CX) and hail.(CY)
31 The voice of the Lord will shatter Assyria;(CZ)
    with his rod he will strike(DA) them down.
32 Every stroke the Lord lays on them
    with his punishing club(DB)
will be to the music of timbrels(DC) and harps,
    as he fights them in battle with the blows of his arm.(DD)
33 Topheth(DE) has long been prepared;
    it has been made ready for the king.
Its fire pit has been made deep and wide,
    with an abundance of fire and wood;
the breath(DF) of the Lord,
    like a stream of burning sulfur,(DG)
    sets it ablaze.(DH)

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