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Isaiah 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, says Yahweh, who take counsel, but not from Me- This follows on from the condemnation of this "counsel" in Is. 29:15: "Woe to those who deeply hide their counsel from Yahweh, and whose works are in the dark, and who say, Who sees us? and Who knows us?". The counsel in view was their seeking help from Egypt against  Assyria and later against Babylon, 'counseled' by the false prophets. But they thought they could somehow hide this "in the dark" from Yahweh, whom they still believed in and would have assented in theory to the truth that He sees and knows all things. It's doubtful that they said in so many words that God could not see or know. But as often in the prophets, the implication of their positions are perceived and stated as God sees them.

And who make an alliance, but not with My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin- Through repentance, they could have entered into a new covenant or alliance which would have resulted in the gift of the Spirit working powerfully in their hearts; as also offered in Is. 29:17,18 (see notes there). By refusing the covenant, they instead would be confirmed in their sin, from "sin to sin".

Isaiah 30:2 Who set out to go down into Egypt, and have not asked My advice-
The Divine cameraman as it were zooms in on them as they set out for Egypt, noting they didn't begin that journey with a prayer to Yahweh; see on :6. They had taken counsel / advice from the false prophets before the trip (:1).    

To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to take refuge in the shadow of Egypt!- 'Hezekiah' means 'Yah strengthens'. They had ignored him and were seeking strength not in Yahweh but in Egypt; and were ignoring the frequent encouragement to take refuge beneath the shadow of Yahweh's cherubim; see on :4. Their trust in Egypt was more than surface level weakness, it was a studied rejection of God. And the challenge comes through powerfully to us who are tempted in myriad ways to trust 'Egypt' rather than our God.

Isaiah 30:3 Therefore the strength of Pharaoh will be your shame, and the refuge in the shadow of Egypt your confusion-
Shame and confusion is the language of condemnation. Accepting God's existence but not trusting Him was the ticket to condemnation. This comes over as a piercing challenge to us in our generation, whereby about every human eventuality apart from death is apparently covered by some secular device. But even from that shame they could be saved, just as the eyes blinded for their own wilful blindness could be opened (Is. 29:9,18). For "Jacob shall no longer be ashamed, neither shall his face grow pale" (Is. 29:22). The context is of a spiritually weak Judah being reformed and recreated by God's Spirit. This was what God did to Jacob. The pale face of Jacob was surely in the "time of Jacob's trouble" when he faced apparent annihilation by the superior forces of Esau- but the situation was reversed by God's grace and his night of repentant wrestling with God. Although God would save His people from their shame as He had Jacob, they still needed to repent in order to be like Jacob at that point. And they refused to generally be like this at Isaiah's time; they were saved therefore by grace and because a minority repented. However the potentials then possible for the reestablishment of the Kingdom were thereby precluded.

Isaiah 30:4 For their princes are at Zoan, and their ambassadors have come to Hanes-
The Egyptian representatives came to meet those from Judah at the border towns. "Ambassadors" is malak, the word for "Angel". Judah had spurned to take refuge beneath the wings of the Angel-cherubim (see on :2); the Egyptians were offering a fake system of Angelic protection. Princes and ambassadors were later sent to Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:31) from Babylon, and he ought to have learnt not to trust in them, seeing that trust in the "princes and ambassadors" of Egypt had been proven so false just in recent history. God likewise brings situations into our lives whereby situations repeat- to test our faith and understanding. See on Is. 39:1.    

Isaiah 30:5 They shall all be ashamed because of a people that can’t profit them, that are not a help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach-
But as explained on :5, they could be saved even from this shame. Their trust in Egypt became a reproach with which the Assyrians mocked them (2 Kings 18:21,24). But the Assyrians were destroyed by Yahweh. There was not therefore the shame afterwards which there would have been if Assyria had conquered Jerusalem. We see here how God's purposes adjust and recalculate in accordance with the changes made by the repentance even of a remnant. That minority repentance led to the Assyrians being destroyed. Therefore the faithless were not ashamed and reproached for their trust in Egypt to the degree intended. But this shall ultimately come true at the last day; that final judgment at the Lord's return will as it were balance all the prophetic books and recalculations. The sum of them will then be attained with perfect integrity.

Isaiah 30:6 The burden of the animals of the South. Through the land of trouble and anguish, of the lioness and the lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they carry their rich gifts on the shoulders of young donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to an unprofitable people-
The Divine cameraman as it were zooms in on them as they fix their packages of presents on the shoulders of donkeys and humps of camels. The focus on detail is impressive. The animals were burdened down with it all, and this is played upon by this prophetic "burden". They risked much- the way was full of lions, snakes and also the mythical creatures they believed inhabited the desert, i.e. "fiery flying serpents". But we notice that the record doesn't as it were add a footnote informing us that "these beings don't exist in reality". The people were spoken to in terms they understood and according to their own perceptions, even if they were inaccurate. And this explains the language of demons in the New Testament. They had been led through this same dangerous desert by God at the exodus (Dt. 8:15; Jer. 2:6); now they were returning through it to Egypt without His direction and protection.

Isaiah 30:7 For Egypt helps in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I called her Rahab who sits still-
GNB "The harmless dragon". The apparently impressive power of Egypt was in fact vain. And that is true of all secular power, advantage and insurance, which are the equivalent of "Egypt" to us. "Rahab", 'pride' or 'strength', was an old name for Egypt (Job 26:12; Ps. 87:4; 89:10; Is. 51:9). But the historical Rahab did repent and become part of God's people; and God always entertained that hope for Egypt (e.g. Is. 19:18-20). His hopefulness is wonderful and also inspirational in our own dealings with people.


Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it in a book, that it may be for the time to come forever and ever-
The purpose of this particular written record was because God foresaw that He would deliver Judah from the Assyrians despite the rebellion of the majority. He didn't want them to therefore assume that their sinful attitudes were insignificant because He had saved them anyway. See on :13.    

Isaiah 30:9 For it is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of Yahweh-
LXX "false children". True sonship is predicated upon our attitude to our Father's word. The majority had listened to the false prophets rather than the word of Yahweh (:1,2).

Isaiah 30:10 who tell the seers, Don’t see! and to the prophets, Don’t prophesy to us right things. Tell us pleasant things, prophesy deceits-
This was therefore how Isaiah was treated. God's grace in still saving Jerusalem from the Assyrians was the more remarkable; and it highlights therefore His sensitivity to the prayer and repentance of a minority. We wonder if they actually said these words; but these are what we are effectively saying every time we place secular advice about that of God's word.

Isaiah 30:11 get out of the way, turn aside from the path; cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us-
LXX adds "the oracle of the Holy One of Israel". Their attitudes to God's word were their attitudes to Him; in that sense "the word was God" as it still is. It is unlikely they actually said these words; but God read their rejection of His counsel in favour of that of the false prophets (:1,2) as being tantamount to saying this.

Isaiah 30:12 Therefore thus says the Holy One of Israel, Because you despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness and rely on it-
As the context makes clear, they had despised Yahweh's word for the word of the false prophets. To not trust God is therefore understood as despising Him. This is typical of the prophets, to show into stark relief the implications of unbelief and unspirituality. We may need to read in an ellipsis: "Trust not in the results of oppression" or the wealth gained by it; for this is a quotation from Ps. 62:8 where the construction means just that. The rulers of Judah had oppressed the poor; and stood to benefit materially from an alliance with Egypt, or so they imagined. To reject Isaiah's "no alliance with Egypt" message was perceived as not to their material benefit. And so they preferred to trust the words of the false prophets, because this allowed them to continue their oppressive ways. There is always a subconscious personal advantage to believing a false message or interpretation. It's why "false doctrine" is popular and attractive.

Isaiah 30:13 therefore this iniquity shall be to you like a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking comes suddenly in an instant-
LXX "of which the fall is very near at hand". The sin of those who trusted in Egypt at Isaiah's time was to result in major judgment, and very soon. The next verse speaks of total breakage, as if the Divine potter was displeased with Judah as His vessel and was to break it and start again with another vessel. But this didn't happen, because the Assyrian destruction of the walls of Jerusalem didn't actually happen as envisaged because of the repentance of a minority. And this led to the unspiritual majority apparently 'getting away with it'. This is why their condemnation was to be written in a book (:8) as witness that ultimately they would meet their judgment.

Isaiah 30:14 He will break it as a potter’s vessel is broken, breaking it in pieces without sparing, so that there won’t be found among the broken pieces one piece good enough to take fire from the hearth, or to dip up water out of the cistern-
See on :13. This is the language of Jer. 18:6; 19:11; the Divine potter was going to break Judah and not one piece of them would be any use for anything. He would do so "without sparing". But He did spare, and the remnant of the judged people were to again be used by Him. We have here an example of the sort of thing that goes on in Hosea; God threatens total and irreversible rejection of His people in His anger, but His core love for them means it doesn't totally happen. The pole of His love and pity is in the last analysis stronger than the pole of His anger and judgment. Or we can conclude that the final judgment has been deferred until their resurrection at the last day. Dan. 2:44 describes how the kingdoms of this world will be broken and scattered as the chaff before the wind. Yet this is exactly the language here and in Jer. 13:24 concerning Israel's latter day destruction. They will be "dashed" (Jer. 13:14) as the nations of the world will be (Ps. 2:9). Jer. 13:14 says they will be destroyed by brother being dashed against brother- again, the picture of the world's final destruction (Zech. 14:13). Rev. 2:27 speaks of the unfaithful in the ecclesia likewise being dashed to pieces. The Lord's coming will be a stone that grinds them to powder (Mt. 21:44), but perhaps in that they will destroy each other.

Isaiah 30:15 For thus said the Lord Yahweh, the Holy One of Israel, You will be saved by returning and rest; your strength will be in quietness and in confidence. You refused- Their destruction was to be because they had been given the chance to repent ['returning' to God] but had refused it. As discussed on :14, they were therefore threatened with total and permanent rejection without a single survivor. But even that was changed by God's pity and grace. There was to be "quietness" after the Babylonian / Assyrian invaders were destroyed (s.w. Is. 14:7); and they were to act as if what they believed in had come about. For this is faith, believing that what we hope for and trust in has already come.

LXX "When thou shalt turn and mourn, then thou shalt be saved; and thou shalt know where thou wast, when thou didst trust in vanities: then your strength became vain, yet ye would not hearken". As noted on :20 LXX, the repentant remnant would come to understand where they had gone wrong, they would have the ability to see themselves from outside themselves.

The reference in the primary context may be to how Ahaz had been called upon to repent of his faithlessness, and to find "calm", s.w. "quietness" (see on Is. 7:4); but he had "refused", madly trusting upon Egyptian horses for salvation (:16). But the appeal to repent was still there, for a later generation.

Isaiah 30:16 But you said, No, for we will flee on horses; therefore you will flee; and, We will ride on the swift; therefore those who pursue you will be swift-
As noted on :15, this may be a reference to Ahaz trusting in Egyptian horses against Syria and Israel, as noted on Is. 7:4. Perhaps part of the package deal with Egypt was that they would provide swift horses (for which Egypt was famed even in Solomon's time) for the leadership to flee away on. We see here the selfishness and short termism of the Jerusalem leadership in making this deal with Egypt.

Isaiah 30:17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five-
This is the curse for breaking the covenant. Covenant relationship with God is not merely a knowing of correct things about Him; it is trust in Him. To not trust in Him means that we break the covenant, whether or not we maintain intellectual purity of understanding in theological terms.

You will flee until you are left like a beacon on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill- The idea is as GNB "Nothing will be left of your army except a lonely flagpole on the top of a hill". But this is the very picture of how an ensign is to be lifted up on Zion, to which the nations shall come. The curse here is as always pregnant with promise in the longer term. The tiny remnant left in Zion were to become a banner or ensign for the world; and the idea is later developed in terms of the "ensign" or "pole" being applied to the Lord Jesus on the cross, who is to become the rallying point for the faithful remnant from all nations. But the Jewish remnant were to be brought to that point by the experience of their own faithlessness and repentance.


Isaiah 30:18 Therefore Yahweh will wait, that He may be gracious to you; and therefore He will be exalted, that He may have mercy on you, for Yahweh is a God of justice. Blessed are all those who wait for Him-
Having lambasted Israel for their sins and described in detail their coming judgment, God then makes a strange comment, apparently out of context with what He has just been saying. God appears to be saying that He delays His actions, that He brings judgment, that He sets Himself so far above us- just so that He can get to show yet more mercy to us. Perhaps Joseph was manifesting God in the way he worked out that slow and detailed scheme of dealing with his sinful brethren... it has always seemed to me that he drew out the process just so that he could lead up to a climax of pouring out his maximum grace to them. Whilst the way seems long, “blessed are all they that wait for him”. God is even spoken of as concluding (Gk. ‘shutting up the eyes’) of Israel in the sin of unbelief, “that he might have mercy” upon both them and the Gentiles (Rom. 11:32). Likewise God delays the second coming because He waits and hopes for repentance and spiritual growth from us. But He praises the faithful for patiently waiting for Him (Is. 30:18; Ps. 37:7). Here we see the humility of God's grace.

The passion and love of God leads Him time and again to apparently contradict Himself. He says that He will crush Judah so that not one of them is left, He will not spare (:14); He would cast Judah out of their land, they would go to Babylon and serve other gods there, “where I will not show you favour” (Jer. 16:13). But actually Esther and her people were shown favour there [s.w. Esther 4:8; Esther 8:5]. God was gracious [s.w. ‘show favour’] to those in exile (Is. 30:18,9; Am. 5:15; Mal. 1:9). But Jer. 16 goes on to state that God would not ever hide His eyes / face from the iniquity they had committed, i.e. the reason why they were in captivity (Jer. 16:17). But actually He did do just that- He hid His eyes from the sin of Judah and the sin of the exiles (Is. 65:16); the hiding of His face from them was in fact not permanent but for a brief moment (Is. 54:8).

Isaiah 30:19 For the people will dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; you will weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the voice of your cry; when He hears you, He will answer you-
These dwelling in Zion are the tiny remnant who remain on mount Zion after the rest have been destroyed or have fled (see on :17). But they will be there because they cry to God in repentance. The salvation of Zion in Isaiah's time didn't exactly fit this pattern; the human variables worked out to preclude this entire picture coming about, but it will in essence in the last days.

Isaiah 30:20 Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction-
The language of minimum rations, in prison or during a siege (1 Kings 22:27). It was the 'Plan A' that Jerusalem would fall to the Assyrians and Judah join Israel in captivity in Assyria, but out of that exile, a remnant would repent. Due to the minority repentance, that scenario was deferred to the effects of the Babylonian captivity; although as Jeremiah and Ezekiel make clear in their appeals for repentance, that too could have been averted. The simple truth is that if they had responded to the prophetic appeals and repented, the whole captivity scenario wouldn't have been required. I suppose that was the ideal 'Plan A'.

Yet your teachers won’t be hidden any more, but your eyes will see your teachers- This could be read as an intensive plural; their eyes would no longer be blinded, they would see and perceive the 'hidden' God who had tried to teach them through all their afflictions. Meaning will finally be attached to event, and the problem of evil resolved finally. God had as it were 'hidden' Himself during the exile (Is. 45:15; Mic. 3:4); but now He would be revealed to them. Just as Cain was exiled to the east of Eden (which I have suggested was the eretz promised to Abraham) and been hidden from God's eyes in his exile (Gen. 4:14; Dt. 31:17,18; 32:20 s.w.), so with Judah. The hidden things belong to God and only some are now revealed to us, but in the day of exile's end, all those things, the meaning attached to the events, will at last be revealed (Dt. 29:29 s.w.). Then there will be no need for Jeremiah's Lamentations and struggles about the exile, all developed in the story of the suffering Job, who felt God hidden from him (s.w. Job 3:23; 13:24) just as God was to hide His face from Zion at the time of the Babylonian invasion (Jer. 33:5) and exile (Ez. 39:23,24). Therefore all human attempts to see the hidden God were doomed to failure, as Job was finally taught (Job 34:29 s.w.). But the glorious truth of Is. 30:20 is that finally, the Divine teacher will not be hidden any more and our eyes shall see Him and His ways, as Job did at the end (Job 42:5). And yet Isaiah and his family / school of prophets did look or see the hand of the God who was hiding Himself from Judah (s.w. Is. 8:17). At the restoration, there was to be no need for Judah to feel that their way was "hid from Yahweh" (Is. 40:27 s.w.) any more, as it had been during the exile "for a little moment" when God hid His face (Is. 54:8). Their eyes would see / perceive. But tragically, the exiles didn't; God reflected that "I hid me... and he went on proudly in the way of his heart" (Is. 57:17). Their sins continued to hide His face from them (Is. 59:2; 64:7).

LXX offers a different slant: "They that cause thee to err shall no more at all draw nigh to thee; for thine eyes shall see those that cause thee to err". As noted on :15 LXX, the repentant remnant would come to understand where they had gone wrong, they would have the ability to see themselves from outside themselves.

Isaiah 30:21 and when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, This is the way, walk in it
- see on Gen. 18:19. The new covenant they were to enter according to Jer. 30 and Ez. 20 involved the gift of the Spirit working in their hearts to give them a heart which remained in the covenant. It is that same new covenant which we accept by baptism into the Lord Jesus today. The work of the Spirit in practice would be to keep them in the path, recalling them from any straying to the right hand or left. This could have been for Judah the time of Is. 29:18, when the deaf heard the words of the book. But for Judah this was not to mean they were mere puppets of the Spirit. Josiah (in their revent history) is described as experiencing this blessing, not turning to the right nor left (2 Chron. 34:2); but at the end of his life it seems he did turn aside.

Isaiah 30:22 You shall defile the overlaying of your engraved images of silver, and the plating of your molten images of gold. You shall cast them away as an unclean thing. You shall tell it, Go away!-
Overlaying wooden idols with precious metals recalls the construction of the tabernacle. This was how idolatry was justified at the same time as a claim to Yahweh worship- as we are tempted to, they claimed to worship Yahweh through worshipping the idols, whose paraphernalia became as it were another tabernacle (as in Acts 7:43). Idolatry was clearly a problem at the time of both the Assyrian and Babylonian invasions. Repentance involved the destruction of those idols.

Isaiah 30:23 He will give the rain for your seed, with which you will sow the ground; and the bread from the increase of the ground will be rich and plentiful. In that day, your livestock will feed in large pastures-
The Kingdom blessings were to come once Judah repented (:22) and accepted the new covenant (:20,21). Yet when the exiles returned, they met famine and pests ate their harvests. They returned externally, but not to God.

Isaiah 30:24 the oxen likewise and the young donkeys that till the ground will eat savoury provender, which has been winnowed with the shovel and with the fork-
The idea is as GNB "The oxen and donkeys that plow your fields will eat the finest and best fodder".

Isaiah 30:25 There shall be brooks and streams of water on every lofty mountain and on every high hill in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall-
Streams bursting forth from mountain tops suggest great supernatural blessing (as streams run in valleys not on mountain tops), provided in the very "high places" where they had worshipped idols which they had now destroyed (:22). This is grace indeed. The idea seems to be that the high places of men ("towers") will fall in the final "great slaughter" of Armageddon; but God's people will be safe on their "high places", which were formally the site of their sins and idolatry which is now forgiven. All that is elevated in secular terms ("towers") will be brought down in the last day, as in Is. 2:12. And this is indeed a principle truth to live by.

Isaiah 30:26 Moreover the light of the 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, in the day that Yahweh binds up the fracture of His people, and heals the wound they were struck with-
This is part of the same potential prophetic scenario as in Is. 13:10: "For the stars of the sky and its constellations will not give their light, the sun will be darkened in its going forth, and the moon will not cause its light to shine", in relation to Babylon; but the opposite will be true for God's people. Darkness for Babylon would mean light for Judah, just as there was darkness for the Egyptians and light for Israel at the time of the exodus deliverance. These words are applied in the Olivet prophecy to the situation in the last days (Mt. 24:29). For this didn't fully happen at the time.

LXX has "the stars of heaven, and Orion". Orion was identified with Nimrod, founder of Assyria, and this constellation was much worshipped by the Babylonians. The prophetic potential was that Assyria and Babylon would be totally eclipsed, along perhaps with the extinguishing from sight of their favourite constellation. But this literal aspect didn't happen, just as the literal changes to the sun and moon spoken of in Is. 30:26 didn't happen at the time, with a week's worth of sunlight given in one day, because the Kingdom of God was not reestablished at that time because Judah didn't fully repent. The coming of Zion's supernaturally bright light is to come therefore when Babylon falls; and this has therefore been deferred to the latter day fall of Babylon.

Isaiah 30:27 Behold, the name of Yahweh comes from far away, burning with His anger, and in thick rising smoke. His lips are full of indignation, and His tongue is as a devouring fire-
It comes "after a long time" (LXX). And yet there are indications in Isaiah that this time od judgment for the nations and deliverance for Zion was to come shortly. The ambiguity is because of the open ended nature of the prophecies. It could have come soon, but the human preconditions weren't fulfilled and so it is delayed until the last days. "Thick rising smoke" suggests that supernatural Divine judgment would come upon Assyria or Babylon akin to the destruction of Sodom. There is no mention of this kind of destruction being used when the Angel smote the Assyrian army. 2 Pet. 3:7 and other latter day prophecies (especially Ez. 39) suggest that such fire will be used in the last days. God's Name is parallel with His glory (Is. 59:19; Ps. 102:15 and often). The literal, visible coming of God's glory to Zion in the form of supernaturally bright light has just been spoken of (:26). But the intensity of that light will bring burning heat upon His enemies and the darkness they will experience (Is. 13:10 etc.) is presented as being because of the thick smoke which arises from their subsequent burning.    

Isaiah 30:28 His breath is as an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction-
As the Assyrian invasion reached to the neck of Judah, right up to Jerusalem (Is. 8:8), so God's response would be likewise. What they did to Jerusalem would be done to them; which is the great theme of Revelation, where the seals of judgment on Israel become the vials of judgment upon her abusers. All these things were to be done by the breath and tongue (:27) of God- through the word which Isaiah was speaking. Like Jeremiah, he was set up to speaks words which could destroy nations and resurrect them. This is the power of the prophetic word.

And a bridle that leads to ruin will be in the jaws of the peoples- It is God who makes the Gentile nations labour in "vanity: and a bridle that causeth to err shall be in the jaws of the peoples" (Is. 30:28 RV). Clearly enough, God causes people to err by putting a bridle in the jaws to pull them in a certain direction. The latter day Assyrian will likewise have a hook in his jaws to lead him to destruction (Ez. 38:4), just as the Assyrians of Isaiah's time did (Is. 37:29).

Isaiah 30:29 You will have a song, as in the night when a holy feast is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goes with a flute to come to Yahweh’s mountain, to Israel’s Rock-
The song sung at night recalls the Passover feast (see on Is. 31:5); Judah's deliverance was to be as if Israel had been redeemed from Egypt. Perhaps the deliverance from Assyria also happened at Passover time, and perhaps Passover will be a significant time of deliverance for Israel from the latter day Assyrian or Egyptians. But going with a flute to keep the feast at Zion also sounds like the joy of the feast of tabernacles (Lev. 23:40). The symbolism of all the feasts spoke of Israel's final redemption, and this was to come gloriously true in the end.

Isaiah 30:30 Yahweh will cause His glorious voice to be heard, and will show the descent of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and the flame of a devouring fire, with a blast, storm, and hailstones-
The literal and final descent of God's arm will be in the descent of His Son from Heaven with the Angels. But this 'coming down' was achieved in a limited sense when the Assyrians were destroyed by an Angel (:31); a "blast" was sent upon them (Is. 37:7), but not the full outpouring of wrath spoken of here. But what happened then could have been the full reestablishment of the Kingdom in glory, as spoken of in the preceding verses. But this didn't happen at the time. The invasion was averted by the faith of a few, but there was still not strength to bring forth a spiritually reborn nation (Is. 37:3).

Isaiah 30:31 For through the voice of Yahweh -
All these things were to be done by the breath and tongue (:27,28) of God- through the word which Isaiah was speaking. Like Jeremiah, he was set up to speaks words which could destroy nations and resurrect them. This is the power of the prophetic word.

The Assyrian will be dismayed- see on 2 Chron. 32:21. This is the dismaying or breaking of the Assyrians in Isaiah's time of Is. 9:4 (s.w.). But this is in the context of the Kingdom being established. It could have come; but it didn't. Hezekiah failed to be the Messiah figure as did Eliakim, and the people generally were impenitent. The latter day Assyrian, therefore, is to be “broken in pieces” (Is. 30:31 RV), just as the whole image of Daniel 2 is to be, by the return of Christ as the little stone. The Assyrian confederacy which came against Jerusalem is described as being the foes of Israel who will be swept away as chaff (Is. 29:5 RV). This was fulfilled in Sennacherib’s destruction outside Jerusalem. And yet the language of being swept away as chaff refers without doubt to the image of Dan. 2 being swept away as chaff. The conclusion surely is that the Assyrian attack against Jerusalem, comprised as it was of a confederacy of local nations from within the land promised to Abraham, is typical of the final destruction of a similar confederacy by the Lord’s return.


He will strike him with His rod- As Assyria had smitten Judah with the rod. The LXX brings out the parallel between the word / voice of God through Isaiah, and the rod striking Assyria: "For by the voice of the Lord the Assyrians shall be overcome, even by the stroke wherewith he shall smite them".


Isaiah 30:32 Every stroke of the rod of punishment which Yahweh will lay on him will be with the sound of tambourines and harps. He will fight with them in battles, brandishing weapons-
GNB suggests "As the LORD strikes them again and again, his people will keep time with the music of drums and harps". LXX: "And it shall happen to him from every side, that they from whom their hope of assistance was, in which he trusted, themselves shall war against him in turn with drums and with harp". "Brandishing" is literally 'shaking', the language of earthquake. But it is the technical term for the “wave offering” in the Law (e.g. Lev. 7:30); in all this, Yahweh will be glorified, and the judgment of the nations will be as a sacrifice to Him, with Israel worshipping in the background now that His judgments are in the earth.

Isaiah 30:33 For his burning place has long been ready. Yes, for the king it is prepared; He has made its pyre deep and large with fire and much wood-
The Assyrian army is personalized as "the king". But their king was not then killed. The destruction of the Assyrian army by an Angel was but a partial fulfilment of these words. The latter day leader of Assyria, the antichrist figure called Gog, will be destroyed in the same coming down of Divine judgment. And that has been long prepared- in these words of Isaiah.

Yahweh’s breath, like a stream of sulphur, kindles it- Sulphur suggests the judgment of Sodom. There is no evidence this happened when the Assyrians were destroyed outside Jerusalem, nor was literal fire apparently used. These things will come true in the last days.