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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Isaiah 30

Verses 1-7




1. Adding sin to sin, rebellious Judah has rejected the counsel of the Lord (Deuteronomy 17:16; Isaiah 8:19; Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 29:15), and failed to inquire of the Holy Spirit, in her stubborn determination to forge an alliance (lit. "weave a web") of security in the untrustworthy "shadow" of Egypt, (see notes on Isaiah 8:11-12; Isaiah 31:1; Jeremiah 43:7).

2. Their trust in the strength of Egypt, rather than in the Lord their Maker, will soon assure their confusion, shame and disgrace, (vs. 3-5; Isaiah 20:5-6; Isaiah 36:6; Jeremiah 42:18; Jeremiah 42:22; Jeremiah 43:7).

3. Passing through the Negev desert (largely given over to wild beasts, vipers and fiery flying serpents), the princes of Judah are already on their way to Egypt - their asses and camels loaded with treasures designed to secure a treaty of defense which would be worthless, (vs. 6-7).

4. Since Judah refuses to wait on the Lord (comp. vs. 15, 18), she need not expect his blessing.

Verses 8-26


1. Isaiah is commanded to make a public and permanent record of God’s warning to His people that, in the latter day, His faithfullness to them may be recognized, (vs. 8, 2 Peter 1:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17).

2. His children not only lie, rebel and stop their ears against His instruction (Isaiah 59:3-4; Isaiah 24:5); they also try to compromise the witness of His servants, (vs. 9-11).

a. They forbid the seers to foresee their future - much less relate it to them.

b. The prophets are urged to cease telling them the truth; let them speak "smooth things" - prophesying delusions. They have "itching ears", (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

c. Both prophet and seer are urged to forsake the way of righteousness, and to stop reminding them of "the Holy One of Israel".

3. The Holy One of Israel, therefore, warns that their trust in a wall of fraud and perverseness will lead to disaster, (vs. 12-14); He will Himself break down that wall - like the shattering of a potter’s vessel.

4. The Gospel of Isaiah is succinctly stated in verse 15.

a. They may safely trust in Jehovah and His control of human history.

b. All earthly assistance may (and should) be renounced in the realm of international affairs.

c. Their real strength will be found in calm and quiet reliance on the Lord.

5. In verses 16-17 the prophet clearly foresees the folly of Judah’s presumption; so thorough will be her humiliation that she will be left as a branchless tree on a mountain - a banner on a hill.

6. Since Judah will not exalt the Lord by, her trust and worship, He will exalt Himself through the execution of righteous judgment upon her, (vs. 18).

a. His manifestation of graciousness and mercy must await her repentance and return to Him with her whole heart.

b. God allows iniquity to ripen, and shuts up all under sin, that He may have mercy upon all, (Romans 11:32).

c. But His blessings rest continuously upon those who "wait for Him".

7. The ultimate deliverance and restoration of Zion is set forth in verses 19-26.

a. The promise of verse 19 is for those "that wait for Him", (Psalms 37:7; Isaiah 40:31; La 3:25, 26; Zephaniah 3:8-9).

b. In times of adversity and affliction God will be their sufficiency, (vs. 20; comp. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10; Philippians 4:19)

c. Instruction and guidance will be provided by God-sent teachers, (vs. 20b-21; Isaiah 35:8-9; Isaiah 42:16; Isaiah 29:24)..

d. Then will Judah purge herself of all her iniquitous idolatries, (vs. 22; Isaiah 2:18; Isaiah 2:20; Isaiah 31:7); and anyone who assumes that the Jews have had no idols since the days of their captivity in Babylon has a very inadequate concept of idolatry!

e. The ultimate fulfillment of verses 23-26 awaits the fruitfullness and glory of the millennial era - when Messiah rules supremely over the whole earth.

f. The Lord will bind up the breach of this people, and heal their wounds, ONLY when, from the heart, they can say of their once rejected Messiah: "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!" (vs. 26b; Matthew 23:37-39).

Verses 27-33


1. This passage begins with the portrayal of the Lord’s coming in fiery indignation, with wrath upon His enemies and those of His people, (vs. 27-28).

2. As when a holy feast is held (Psalms 42:4), the heart of Judah will be gladdened with "songs in the night" (Isaiah 12:1; Isaiah 26:1) - as when one goes, in holy convocation, to the mountain of the Lord that he may extol "the Rock of Israel", (vs. 29; Isaiah 2:3; Isaiah 17:10; Isaiah 26:4; Isaiah 44:8).

3. In the meantime, the glorious voice of Jehovah (Isaiah 66:5-6; Isaiah 11:4; Joel 2:11; Joel 3:16-17; Revelation 19:15), and the outstretched arm of His indignation (Jeremiah 17:6; Ezekiel 20:33-36), will be lifted against the dismayed Assyrian (Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 14:25; Isaiah 37:7; Isaiah 37:36-38) - effectively ending his reign of terror, and without human instrumentality, (vs. 30-32; Isaiah 31:8).

4. At Tophet, the place in the valley of Jehoshaphat and Hinnom, where abominable sacrifices were made to Moloch, the Lord will consume the armies of Assyria (and later those of Anti-christ) by the fire of His wrath, (vs. 33; comp. Isaiah 63:1-6; Psalms 2:1-6; Joel 2:11; Joel 3:9-16; 2 Thessalonians 2:8; Revelation 19:11-21).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Isaiah 30". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.