Notes for Isa 30:1LEB

Or "stubborn" (NCV); cf. NIV "obstinate."


"Woe [to] rebellious children."


"making a plan, but not from me."


"and pouring out a libation, but not [from] my spirit." This translation assumes that the verb נָסַךְ (nasakh) means "pour out," and that the cognate noun מַסֵּכָה (massekhah) means "libation." In this case "pouring out a libation" alludes to a ceremony that formally ratifies an alliance. Another option is to understand the verb נָסַךְ as a homonym meaning "weave," and the cognate noun מַסֵּכָה as a homonym meaning "covering." In this case forming an alliance is likened to weaving a garment.


"consequently adding sin to sin."


Notes for Isa 30:2LEB

"those who go to descend to Egypt, but [of] my mouth they do not inquire."


"to seek protection in the protection of Pharaoh, and to seek refuge in the shade of Egypt."


Notes for Isa 30:4LEB

This probably refers to Judah’s officials and messengers.


Zoan was located in the Egyptian delta in the north; Hanes was located somewhere in southern region of lower Egypt, south of Memphis; the exact location is debated.


Notes for Isa 30:5LEB

The present translation follows the marginal (Qere) reading of the Hebrew text; the consonantal text (Kethib) has "made to stink, decay."


Notes for Isa 30:6LEB

Traditionally, "burden" (so KJV, ASV); NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV "oracle."


"[a land of] a lioness and a lion, from them." Some emend מֵהֶם (mehem, "from them") to מֵהֵם (mehem), an otherwise unattested Hiphil participle from הָמַם (hamam, "move noisily"). Perhaps it would be better to take the initial mem (ם) as enclitic and emend the form to הֹמֶה (homeh), a Qal active participle from הָמָה (hamah, "to make a noise"); cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:542, n. 9.


"flying fiery one." See the note at 14:29.


Or "carry" (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).


This verse describes messengers from Judah transporting wealth to Egypt in order to buy Pharaoh’s protection through a treaty.


Notes for Isa 30:7LEB

"As for Egypt, with vanity and emptiness they help."


"Rahab" (רַהַב, rahav), which also appears as a name for Egypt in Ps 87:4LEB. The epithet is also used in the OT for a mythical sea monster symbolic of chaos. See the note at Isa 51:9LEB. A number of English versions use the name "Rahab" (e.g., ASV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV) while others attempt some sort of translation (cf. CEV "a helpless monster"; TEV, NLT "the Harmless Dragon").


The MT reads "Rahab, they, sitting." The translation above assumes an emendation of הֵם שָׁבֶת (hem shavet) to הַמָּשְׁבָּת (hammashbat), a Hophal participle with prefixed definite article, meaning "the one who is made to cease," i.e., "destroyed," or "silenced." See HALOT 444-45 s.v. ישׁב.


Notes for Isa 30:8LEB

The referent of the third feminine singular pronominal suffix is uncertain. Perhaps it refers to the preceding message, which accuses the people of rejecting Yahweh’s help in favor of an alliance with Egypt.


"with them." On the use of the preposition here, see BDB 86 s.v. II אֵת.


Recording the message will enable the prophet to use it in the future as evidence that Yahweh warned his people of impending judgment and clearly spelled out the nation’s guilt. An official record of the message will also serve as proof of the prophet’s authority as Yahweh's spokesman.


Notes for Isa 30:9LEB

Or perhaps, "instruction" (so NASB, NIV, NRSV); NCV, TEV "teachings."


Notes for Isa 30:10LEB

"who" (so NASB, NRSV). A new sentence was started here in the translation for stylistic reasons.


"Do not see for us right things."


"Tell us smooth things, see deceptive things."


Notes for Isa 30:11LEB

The imagery refers to the way or path of truth, as revealed by Yahweh to the prophet.


See the note on the phrase "the Holy One of Israel" in 1:4.


Notes for Isa 30:12LEB

The sentence actually begins with the word "because." In the Hebrew text vv. 12–13 are one long sentence.


"and you trust in oppression and cunning."


"and you lean on it"; NAB "and depend on it."


Notes for Isa 30:13LEB

The verse reads literally, "So this sin will become for you like a breach ready to fall, bulging on a high wall, the breaking of which comes suddenly, in a flash." Their sin produces guilt and will result in judgment. Like a wall that collapses their fall will be swift and sudden.


Notes for Isa 30:14LEB

"Its shattering is like the shattering of a jug of [i.e., "made by"] potters, [so] shattered one cannot save [any of it]."


The words "large enough" are supplied in the translation for clarification.


"to remove fire from the place of kindling."


On the meaning of גֶבֶא (geveh, "cistern") see HALOT 170 s.v.


Notes for Isa 30:15LEB

"in returning and in quietness you will be delivered." Many English versions render the last phrase "shall be saved" or something similar (e.g., NAB, NASB, NRSV).


"in quietness and in trust is your strength" (NASB and NRSV both similar).


Notes for Isa 30:17LEB

"One thousand from before [or "because of"] one battle cry." גְּעָרָה (arah) is often defined as "threat," but in war contexts it likely refers to a shout or battle cry. See Ps 76:6LEB."from before [or "because of"] the battle cry of five you will flee.


"until you are left" (so NAB, NASB, NRSV).


Notes for Isa 30:18LEB

"Therefore Yahweh waits to show you mercy, and therefore he is exalted to have compassion on you." The logical connection between this verse and what precedes is problematic. The point seems to be that Judah’s impending doom does not bring Yahweh joy. Rather the prospect of their suffering stirs within him a willingness to show mercy and compassion, if they are willing to seek him on his terms.


"Blessed are all who wait for him."


Notes for Isa 30:19LEB

"For people in Zion will live, in Jerusalem, you will weep no more." The phrase "in Jerusalem" could be taken with what precedes. Some prefer to emend יֵשֵׁב (yeshev, "will live," a Qal imperfect) to יֹשֵׁב (yoshev, a Qal active participle) and translate "For [you] people in Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more."


"he will indeed show you mercy at the sound of your crying out; when he hears, he will answer you."


Notes for Isa 30:20LEB

The Hebrew term translated "sovereign master" here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonai).


"and the Master will give to you bread – distress, and water – oppression."


"but your teachers will no longer be hidden, your eyes will be seeing your teachers." The translation assumes that the form מוֹרֶיךָ (morekha) is a plural participle, referring to spiritual leaders such as prophets and priests. Another possibility is that the form is actually singular (see GKC 273-74 § or a plural of respect, referring to Yahweh as the master teacher. See HALOT 560-61 s.v. III מוֹרֶה. For discussion of the views, see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:560.


Notes for Isa 30:21LEB

"your ears" (so NAB, NASB, NIV, NRSV).


The word "correct’ is supplied in the translation for clarification.


Notes for Isa 30:22LEB

"the platings of your silver idols."


"the covering of your gold image."


Notes for Isa 30:23LEB

"and he will give rain for your seed which you plant in the ground, and food [will be] the produce of the ground, and it will be rich and abundant."


Or "in that day" (KJV).


Notes for Isa 30:24LEB

"the oxen and the donkeys that work the ground."


Crops will be so abundant that even the work animals will eat well.


Notes for Isa 30:25LEB

Or "in the day of" (KJV).


Notes for Isa 30:26LEB

Light here symbolizes restoration of divine blessing and prosperity. The number "seven" is used symbolically to indicate intensity. The exact meaning of the phrase "the light of seven days" is uncertain; it probably means "seven times brighter" (see the parallel line).


"the fracture of his people" (so NASB).


The Yahweh is here compared to a physician setting a broken bone in a bandage or cast.


"the injury of his wound." The joining of synonyms emphasizes the severity of the wound. Another option is to translate, "the wound of his blow." In this case the pronominal suffix might refer to Yahweh, not the people, yielding the translation, "the wound which he inflicted."


Notes for Isa 30:27LEB

The "name" of Yahweh sometimes stands by metonymy for Yahweh himself, see Exod 23:21; Lev 24:11; Pss 54:1 (54:3 HT); 124:8. In Isa 30:27 the point is that he reveals that aspect of his character which his name suggests – he comes as Yahweh ("he is present"), the ever present helper of his people who annihilates their enemies and delivers them. The name "Yahweh" originated in a context where Yahweh assured a fearful Moses that he would be with him as he confronted Pharaoh and delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt. See Exod 3.


"his anger burns, and heaviness of elevation." The meaning of the phrase "heaviness of elevation" is unclear, for מַשָּׂאָה (masaah, "elevation") occurs only here. Some understand the term as referring to a cloud (elevated above the earth’s surface), in which case one might translate, "and in heavy clouds" (cf. NAB "with lowering clouds"). Others relate the noun to מָשָׂא (masa’, "burden") and interpret it as a reference to judgment. In this case one might translate, "and with severe judgment." The present translation assumes that the noun refers to his glory and that "heaviness" emphasizes its degree.


"his lips are full of anger, and his tongue is like consuming fire." YAHWEHS'  and tongue are used metonymically for his word (or perhaps his battle cry; see v. 31).


Notes for Isa 30:28LEB

"his breath is like a flooding river." This might picture Yahweh breathing heavily as he runs down his enemy, but in light of the preceding verse, which mentions his lips and tongue, "breath" probably stands metonymically for the word or battle cry that he expels from his mouth as he shouts. In Isa 34:16LEB and Ps 33:6LEB Yahweh’s "breath" is associated with his command.


"shaking nations in a sieve of worthlessness." It is not certain exactly how שָׁוְא (shavé’, "emptiness, worthlessness") modifies "sieve." A sieve is used to separate grain from chaff and isolate what is worthless so that it might be discarded. Perhaps the nations are likened to such chaff; Yahweh's judgment will sift them out for destruction.


"and a bit that leads astray [is] in the jaws of the peoples." Here the nations are likened to horse that can be controlled by a bit placed in its mouth. In this case Yahweh uses his sovereign control over the "horse" to lead it to its demise.


Notes for Isa 30:29LEB

"[you will have] joy of heart, like the one going with a flute to enter the mountain of Yahweh to the Rock of Israel." The image here is not a foundational rock, but a rocky cliff where people could hide for protection (for example, the fortress of Masada).


Notes for Isa 30:30LEB

"Yahweh will cause the splendor of his voice to be heard."


"and reveal the lowering of his arm."


"and a flame of consuming fire."


Notes for Isa 30:31LEB

"Indeed by the voice of Yahweh Assyria will be shattered."


Notes for Isa 30:32LEB

The Hebrew text has "every blow from a founded [i.e., "appointed"?] cudgel." The translation above, with support from a few medieval Hebrew mss, assumes an emendation of מוּסָדָה (musadah, "founded") to מוּסָרֹה (musaroh, "his discipline").


"which Yahweh lays on him."


"will be with" (KJV similar).


The Hebrew text reads literally, "and with battles of brandishing [weapons?] he will fight against him." Some prefer to emend וּבְמִלְחֲמוֹת (uvémilkhamot, "and with battles of") to וּבִמְחֹלוֹת (uvimkholot, "and with dancing"). Note the immediately preceding references to musical instruments.


Notes for Isa 30:33LEB

Or "indeed."


The Hebrew text reads literally, "for arranged from before [or "yesterday"] is [?]." The meaning of תָּפְתֶּה (taféteh), which occurs only here, is unknown. The translation above (as with most English versions) assumes an emendation to תֹּפֶת (tofet, "Topheth"; cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) and places the final hey (ה) on the beginning of the next word as an interrogative particle. Topheth was a place near Jerusalem used as a burial ground (see Jer 7:32LEB; 19:11LEB).


The Hebrew text reads literally, "Also it is made ready for the king, one makes it deep and wide." If one takes the final hey (ה) on תָּפְתֶּה (taféteh) and prefixes it to גָּם (gam) as an interrogative particle (see the preceding note), one can translate, "Is it also made ready for the king?" In this case the question is rhetorical and expects an emphatic affirmative answer, "Of course it is!"


"its pile of wood, fire and wood one makes abundant."


Apparently this alludes to some type of funeral rite.