New Living Translation
Judah’s Worthless Treaty with Egypt
30 “What sorrow awaits my rebellious children,”
says the Lord.
“You make plans that are contrary to mine.
You make alliances not directed by my Spirit,
thus piling up your sins.
2 For without consulting me,
you have gone down to Egypt for help.
You have put your trust in Pharaoh’s protection.
You have tried to hide in his shade.
3 But by trusting Pharaoh, you will be humiliated,
and by depending on him, you will be disgraced.
4 For though his power extends to Zoan
and his officials have arrived in Hanes,
5 all who trust in him will be ashamed.
He will not help you.
Instead, he will disgrace you.”
6 This message came to me concerning the animals in the Negev:
The caravan moves slowly
across the terrible desert to Egypt—
donkeys weighed down with riches
and camels loaded with treasure—
all to pay for Egypt’s protection.
They travel through the wilderness,
a place of lionesses and lions,
a place where vipers and poisonous snakes live.
All this, and Egypt will give you nothing in return.
7 Egypt’s promises are worthless!
Therefore, I call her Rahab—
the Harmless Dragon.[a]
A Warning for Rebellious Judah
8 Now go and write down these words.
Write them in a book.
They will stand until the end of time
as a witness
9 that these people are stubborn rebels
who refuse to pay attention to the Lord’s instructions.
10 They tell the seers,
“Stop seeing visions!”
They tell the prophets,
“Don’t tell us what is right.
Tell us nice things.
Tell us lies.
11 Forget all this gloom.
Get off your narrow path.
Stop telling us about your
‘Holy One of Israel.’”
12 This is the reply of the Holy One of Israel:
“Because you despise what I tell you
and trust instead in oppression and lies,
13 calamity will come upon you suddenly—
like a bulging wall that bursts and falls.
In an instant it will collapse
and come crashing down.
14 You will be smashed like a piece of pottery—
shattered so completely that
there won’t be a piece big enough
to carry coals from a fireplace
or a little water from the well.”
15 This is what the Sovereign Lord,
the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me
and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength.
But you would have none of it.
16 You said, ‘No, we will get our help from Egypt.
They will give us swift horses for riding into battle.’
But the only swiftness you are going to see
is the swiftness of your enemies chasing you!
17 One of them will chase a thousand of you.
Five of them will make all of you flee.
You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill
or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop.”
Blessings for the Lord’s People
18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
Blessed are those who wait for his help.
19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem,
you will weep no more.
He will be gracious if you ask for help.
He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.
20 Though the Lord gave you adversity for food
and suffering for drink,
he will still be with you to teach you.
You will see your teacher with your own eyes.
21 Your own ears will hear him.
Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,”
whether to the right or to the left.
22 Then you will destroy all your silver idols
and your precious gold images.
You will throw them out like filthy rags,
saying to them, “Good riddance!”
23 Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. 24 The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. 25 In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered and the towers fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill. 26 The moon will be as bright as the sun, and the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days in one! So it will be when the Lord begins to heal his people and cure the wounds he gave them.
27 Look! The Lord is coming from far away,
burning with anger,
surrounded by thick, rising smoke.
His lips are filled with fury;
his words consume like fire.
28 His hot breath pours out like a flood
up to the neck of his enemies.
He will sift out the proud nations for destruction.
He will bridle them and lead them away to ruin.
29 But the people of God will sing a song of joy,
like the songs at the holy festivals.
You will be filled with joy,
as when a flutist leads a group of pilgrims
to Jerusalem, the mountain of the Lord—
to the Rock of Israel.
30 And the Lord will make his majestic voice heard.
He will display the strength of his mighty arm.
It will descend with devouring flames,
with cloudbursts, thunderstorms, and huge hailstones.
31 At the Lord’s command, the Assyrians will be shattered.
He will strike them down with his royal scepter.
32 And as the Lord strikes them with his rod of punishment,[b]
his people will celebrate with tambourines and harps.
Lifting his mighty arm, he will fight the Assyrians.
33 Topheth—the place of burning—
has long been ready for the Assyrian king;
the pyre is piled high with wood.
The breath of the Lord, like fire from a volcano,
will set it ablaze.
Judah Warned against Egyptian Alliance
30 “Woe (judgment is coming) to the rebellious children,” declares the Lord,
“Who carry out a plan, but not Mine,
And make an alliance [by pouring out a libation], but not of My Spirit,
In order to add sin to sin;
Who proceed down to Egypt
Without consulting [a]Me,
To take refuge in the stronghold of Pharaoh
And to take shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
“Therefore the safety and protection of Pharaoh will be your shame
And the refuge in the shadow of Egypt, your humiliation and disgrace.
“For his princes are at Zoan
And his ambassadors arrive at Hanes [in Egypt].
“All will be ashamed because of a people (the Egyptians) who cannot benefit them,
Who are not a help or benefit, but a shame and also a disgrace.”
6 A [mournful, inspired] oracle ([b]a burden to be carried) concerning the beasts of the Negev (the South):
Through a land of trouble and anguish,
From [c]where come lioness and lion, viper and [fiery] flying serpent,
They carry their riches on the shoulders of young donkeys
And their treasures on the humps of camels,
To a people (Egyptians) who cannot benefit them.
For Egypt’s help is worthless and good for nothing.
Therefore, I have called her
“Rahab Who Has Been Exterminated.”
Now, go, write it on a tablet before them
And inscribe it on a scroll,
So that it may serve in the time to come
As a witness [against them] forevermore.
For this is a rebellious people, lying sons,
Sons who refuse to listen to
The law and instruction of the Lord;
Who say to the seers, “You must not see visions from God”;
And to the prophets, “You must not prophesy to us what is right!
Speak to us pleasant things and smooth words,
Prophesy [deceitful] illusions [that we will enjoy].
“Get out of the [true] way, turn aside from the path [of God],
Stop bothering us with the Holy One of Israel.”
12 Therefore, the Holy One of Israel says this,
“Because you have refused and rejected this word [of Mine]
And have put your trust in oppression and guile, and have relied on them,
Therefore this wickedness [this sin, this injustice, this wrongdoing] will be to you
Like a crack [in a wall] about to fall,
A bulge in a high wall,
Whose collapse comes suddenly in an instant,
“Whose collapse is like the smashing of a potter’s jar,
Crushed so savagely
that there cannot be found among its pieces a potsherd [large enough]
To take [coals of] fire from a fireplace,
Or to scoop water from a cistern.”
15 For the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel has said this,
“In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
And you said, “No! We will flee on horses!”
Therefore you will flee [from your enemies]!
And [you said], “We will ride on swift horses!”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
A thousand of you will flee at the threat of one man;
You will flee at the threat of five,
Until you are left like a flag on the top of a mountain,
And like a signal on a hill.
God Is Gracious and Just
Therefore the Lord waits [expectantly] and longs to be gracious to you,
And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.
[d]For the Lord is a God of justice;
Blessed (happy, fortunate) are all those who long for Him [since He will never fail them].(A)
19 [e]O people in Zion, inhabitant in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. He will most certainly be gracious to you at the sound of your cry for help; when He hears it, He will answer you. 20 Though the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of oppression, yet your Teacher will no longer hide Himself, but your eyes will [constantly] see your Teacher. 21 Your ears will hear a word behind you, “This is the way, walk in it,” whenever you turn to the right or to the left. 22 And you will defile your carved images overlaid with silver, and your cast images plated with gold. You will scatter them like a bloodstained cloth, and will say to them, “Be gone!”
23 Then He will give you rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and bread [grain] from the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and plentiful. In that day your livestock will graze in large and roomy pastures. 24 Also the oxen and the young donkeys that work the ground will eat salted fodder, which has been winnowed with shovel and pitchfork. 25 On every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams of water on the day of the great slaughter (the day of the Lord), when the towers fall [and all His enemies are destroyed]. 26 The light of the full moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven days [concentrated in one], in the day the Lord binds up the fracture of His people and heals the wound He has inflicted [because of their sins].
Now look, the [f]name of the Lord comes from far away,
Burning with His anger, and heavy with [g]smoke;
His lips are full of [h]indignation,
And His tongue is like a consuming fire.
His breath is like an overflowing river,
Which reaches to the neck,
To sift the nations back and forth in a sieve [of disaster],
And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads to ruin.
You will have a song as in the night when a holy feast is kept,
And joy of heart as when one marches [in procession] with a flute,
To go to the [temple on the] mountain of the Lord, to the Rock of Israel.
And the Lord will make His majestic voice heard,
And show the descending of His arm [striking] in [His] fierce anger,
And in the flame of a devouring fire,
In the crashing sound of heavy rain, cloudburst, and hailstones.
For at the voice of the Lord the Assyrians will be terrified,
When He strikes [them] with the rod.
And every blow of the rod of punishment,
Which the Lord will lay on them,
Will be to the music of Israel’s tambourines and lyres;
And in battles, brandishing weapons, He will fight Assyria.
For [i]Topheth [in Hinnom] has long been ready;
Indeed, it has been prepared for the [Assyrian] king.
He has made it deep and wide,
A pit of fire with plenty of wood;
The breath of the Lord, like a river of brimstone (blazing sulfur), kindles and fans it.(B)
- Isaiah 30:2 Lit My mouth.
- Isaiah 30:6 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to proclaim.
- Isaiah 30:6 Lit them.
- Isaiah 30:18 The ancient rabbis posed the question of why God waits to bring in the kingdom, if both He and Israel desire it. Their answer was that God’s attribute of justice delays it, i.e. that Israel is not yet deserving of it. Nevertheless, they maintained, it is meritorious to look forward to it, and those who do will be blessed (rewarded).
- Isaiah 30:19 MT reads For a people will dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem.
- Isaiah 30:27 The revelation of the power and glory and brilliance of God.
- Isaiah 30:27 Lit lifting up, possibly referring to clouds.
- Isaiah 30:27 Lit cursing.
- Isaiah 30:33 A pagan site where children were burned as sacrifices to Molech, a Semitic god.