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Go to Bible: Isaiah 30
“by my spirit.” This verse is saying the people acted on their own, not by revelation from God, which came through the gift of holy spirit that God put on the prophets and some priests and leaders. [For more on the gift of holy spirit, see Appendix 11, “What is the Holy Spirit,” and also commentaries on John 7:39 and Eph. 4:4. Also, the book, The Gift of Holy Spirit: The Power to be Like Christ].
“so that sin is added to sin.” The Hebrew can be translated as a result clause, “so that,” or as a purpose clause, “in order to.” Here the result clause is the most likely meaning.(top)
|Isa 30:2||- (top)|
“the stronghold of Pharaoh.” Isaiah uses this phrase sarcastically, because the “stronghold” of Pharaoh, the protection offered by him, was no match for the Assyrian army.(top)
“Zoan...Hanes.” The city of Zoan was in the Egyptian delta in north Egypt; in contrast, the city of Hanes was located somewhere in the southern region of what is known as lower Egypt, south of the city of Memphis, but the precise location is debated by scholars. In any case, Isaiah 30:4 refers to Egypt and mentions cities in both north and south Egypt.(top)
|Isa 30:5||- (top)|
“burden.” The word of the Lord can be a burden to the prophet, and then, when it is spoken, can be a burden to the people. It might have been more clear in the English to say “burdensome message” instead of “burden,” but the Hebrew word is “burden.” [For more information on “burden,” see commentary on Malachi 1:1].(top)
“Rahab.” “Rahab” was, in popular legend, a sea-monster.(top)
|Isa 30:8||- (top)|
“children who refuse to listen to the law of Yahweh.” In a context like this, the word “listen” can also be used idiomatically and have the meaning “obey.” Some scholars refer to this as the “pregnant sense” of the word. In this verse it has the meaning “listen to and obey.” Many Hebrew words are used with an idiomatic or pregnant sense (see commentary on Luke 23:42).(top)
|Isa 30:10||- (top)|
“Let us hear no more about the Holy One of Israel.” The people did not want to hear any more about Yahweh from the prophet Isaiah. The Hebrew is more literally, “Cause to cease from before us the Holy One of Israel.” This has been understood like it is in the REV (cp. ESV; NAB; NASB; NLT; NRSV), and it has also been understood as “Remove from our presence the Holy One of Israel” (NET; cp. CEB; CJB; CSB; NJB). Although the exact translation is debated, the meaning is clear. Isaiah was telling the people about God and they did not want to hear anything more about Him.
Evil people do not want to know God or His ways, and they harden their hearts against Him (cp. Job. 21:14; 22:17; Isa. 30:11; Micah 2:6. See commentary on Matt. 13:13).(top)
|Isa 30:12||- (top)|
|Isa 30:13||- (top)|
|Isa 30:14||- (top)|
|Isa 30:15||- (top)|
|Isa 30:16||- (top)|
|Isa 30:17||- (top)|
|Isa 30:18||- (top)|
“For the people will live in Zion at Jerusalem. You will weep no more.” In Isaiah 30:19, Isaiah shifts from speaking about his present time to speaking about the future Millennial Kingdom when Christ reigns on earth. Thus, Isaiah 30:19-26 are about the Millennial Kingdom. There will be joy, and not weeping and crying, in Christ’s kingdom (cp. Isa. 61:2-3; 65:19). [For more verses in Isaiah that speak of the Millennial Kingdom, see commentary on Isaiah 2:2. For more on Christ’s future kingdom on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].(top)
“Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction.” This stanza speaks of the situation that the people of Israel were going through at the time of Isaiah. Among other things, the Assyrian attacks had made life difficult.
“yet your teachers will not be hidden anymore.” Isaiah shifts from the present, when the people are in need of food and water, to the future Millennial Kingdom when Christ reigns on earth. At that time the true teachers will be out in the open and well known. In the time of Isaiah and before, the teachers of truth either did not speak up boldly due to persecution and danger, or they were so intermingled with false teachers and false prophets that they were hard to recognize. But when Christ reigns on earth the true teachers will be out in the open.
The word “teachers” is generally taken to be a plural, but some scholars feel the Hebrew word is a less common singular form or a plural of majesty for “teacher.” However, that is less likely, especially given the context. The Scripture portrays a time when there will be many teachers and many will know the truth and thus as a person is going through life if they begin to go astray they will hear a voice behind them correcting them (Isa. 30:21).(top)
|Isa 30:21||- (top)|
|Isa 30:22||- (top)|
“your livestock will feed in large pastures.” Israel is not known for having “large pastures.” Much of the ground is rocky, like Jesus described in the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:5), but in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom on earth the soil will be restored and there will be large pastures for livestock.(top)
“will eat seasoned fodder that has been winnowed.” The food in Christ’s Millennial Kingdom will be so plentiful that even the animals will eat grain that has been winnowed with a shovel and winnowing fork. Food has never been that abundant on earth, and working farm animals like cattle and donkeys have always eaten grain from the field or just cut as hay. Today we have machines that thresh the grain so special animals such as racehorses and pets get grain, but historically it took too much effort to thresh the grain to do that for farm animals. Isaiah 30:24 is a wonderful picture of how abundant food will be in the Millennial Kingdom. [For more on the Millennial Kingdom, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].(top)
|Isa 30:25||- (top)|
“the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun.” Isaiah uses poetic language to describe this, literally, “the light of the white will be like the light of the heat,” where “white” is the moon and “heat” is the sun.
“and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter.” This verse applies to the Millennial Kingdom when the Lord Jesus Christ rules the earth will be a time of unprecedented blessing, and there are many verses about the Millennial Kingdom scattered throughout the Bible and especially in the books of the prophets, such as Isaiah and Ezekiel. Darkness was a real problem in the ancient world, and there was simply no way to easily get needed light into dark places or at night. Although it is hard to understand exactly how this verse will be literally fulfilled, added light both day and night would be a blessing.
[For more on the Millennial Kingdom and Christ’s rule on earth, see Appendix 3, “Christ’s Future Kingdom on Earth”].
“the day.” This is the use of “day” to refer to a period of time, not a literal “day.”(top)
|Isa 30:27||- (top)|
|Isa 30:28||- (top)|
|Isa 30:29||- (top)|
|Isa 30:30||- (top)|
|Isa 30:31||- (top)|
|Isa 30:32||- (top)|
|Isa 30:33||- (top)|