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Bible Commentaries

Trapp's Complete Commentary

Isaiah 30

Verse 1

Isa 30:1 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin:

Ver. 1. Woe to the rebellious children. ] Vae filiis desertoribus, vel apostatis, so he boldly calleth the politicians of his time, the counsellors of state, Shebna and others, who gave good Hezekiah ill counsel to send to Egypt for help a when Sennacherib invaded him. Well might St Paul say, "Esaias is very bold." Rom 10:20 Consurgens enim, proceres inquit, quid hoc rei est quod occeptatis? male omnina factum! vae vobls, vae reipublicae toti! Such another bold court preacher was Elias, Amos, John Baptist, Chrysostom, Latimer, Dearing, &c. See Latimer’s letter to King Henry VIII after the proclamation for abolishing English books, Acts and Mon., fol. 1591, where we may see and marvel at his great boldness and stoutness, saith Mr Foxe, who, as yet being no bishop, so freely and plainly, without all fear of death, adventuring his own life to discharge his conscience so boldly, to so mighty a prince, in such a dangerous case, against the king’s law and proclamation, set out in such a terrible time, dared take upon him to write and to admonish that which no counsellor dared once speak unto him in defenee of Christ’s gospel, &c.

That take council, but not of me. ] Though I am "the wonderful Counsellor," Isa 9:6 and though they profess to be my children, but unruly, rebellious ones. I must needs say, they are such as, like petty gods within themselves, run on of their own heads, and "lean to their own understanding," Pro 3:5 as if I were nothing to them, or as if Consilii satis est in me mihi were their motto. See the like folly, Joshua 9:14 .

That cover with a covering. ] b But it will not reach. Isa 28:20 God will make the strongest sinew in the arm of flesh to crack, and the fairest blossoms of human policies to wither.

That they may add sin to sin, ] i.e., Thereby adding sin to sin. Deu 29:19 Job 34:37 See Trapp on " Deu 29:19 " See Trapp on " Job 34:37 "

a Est species quaedam αποστασιας aliunde quam a Deo auxilium petere.

b Et ordiremini telam.

Verse 2

Isa 30:2 That walk to go down into Egypt, and have not asked at my mouth; to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh, and to trust in the shadow of Egypt!

Ver. 2. That walk to go down into Egypt. ] This they were flatly forbidden to do. But state policy doth sometimes carry it against express Scripture, to the formalising and enervating of the power of truth, till at length they have left us a heartless and sapless religion, as one well observeth. This is no thriving course certainly; here we have a dreadful woe hanged at the heels of it. The Grecian Churches first called in the Turks to their help, who distressed them, and then, through fear of the Turks, A.D. 1438, sent and subjected themselves to the Bishop of Rome, that they might have the help of the Latin Churches; but shortly after they were destroyed, their empire subdued, &c., teaching all others by their example not to trust to carnal combinations, not to seek the association of others in a sinful way.

Verse 3

Isa 30:3 Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame, and the trust in the shadow of Egypt [your] confusion.

Ver. 3. Therefore shall the strength of Pharaoh be your shame. ] They that consult not with God "consult shame to their own houses"; Heb 2:10 and because they despise him, they shall be lightly esteemed. 1Sa 2:30 When any came to Bacon and Burleigh, Queen Elizabeth’s gravest counsellors, with a project or design of raising her revenue, or promoting her interest, they would ask him how much reputation would redound unto her by it. Moses, who was faithful in all God’s house, had the like care of God’s glory, Exodus 32:10 ; Exo 32:12 and is therefore renowned to all posterity. But these apostates in the text, for carnal policy and contempt of God, are justly branded and threatened with disgrace and disappointment.

Verse 4

Isa 30:4 For his princes were at Zoan, and his ambassadors came to Hanes.

Ver. 4. For his princes were at Zoan. ] Where Pharaoh kept his court, and Moses had done his miracles.

And his ambassadors came to Hanes. ] This was, saith Jerome, a famous city in the utmost part of Egypt, toward Ethiopia. Oecolampadius saith it lay beyond Egypt. So far did these men travel and trouble themselves in seeking foreign help, when they might have stayed at home to better purpose.

Verse 5

Isa 30:5 They were all ashamed of a people [that] could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.

Ver. 5. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them. ] Either could not or would not, for fear of provoking the Assyrian, so potent and formidable a prince. When Queen Elizabeth undertook to protect the Netherlanders against the Spaniard, the King of Sweden, hearing of it, said, that she had taken the crown off her own head and set it on the head of Fortune.

Verse 6

Isa 30:6 The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence [come] the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people [that] shall not profit [them].

Ver. 6. The burden, ] i.e., The gifts and presents wherewith the Hebrews’ beasts were laden to carry southward, to hire help from Egypt. A man’s gift maketh room for him. Pro 18:11 Philip was wont to say, that he doubted not of taking any town or tower, if he could but thrust into it an ass laden with gold. But these Jewish ambassadors lost both their labour and their treasures, carried upon the shoulders of many young asses, and upon the bunches of camels, to a very great quantity. See what a present was sent to a poor prophet, even of every good thing of Damascus forty camels’ burden, 2Ki 8:9 and guess by that what a deal of wealth went now to Egypt to procure help.

Into the land of trouble and anguish. ] That great and terrible wilderness of Arabia, wherein were "fiery serpents and scorpions," Deu 8:15 and other fell creatures not a few. Through that "waste howling desert" Deu 32:10 that lay between Judea and Egypt, travelled these beasts with their burdens; but all was labour in vain, and cost cast away, because God was not of the counsel.

Verse 7

Isa 30:7 For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength [is] to sit still.

Ver. 7. For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose. ] Heb., In vanity and inanity. Such are creature comforts if relied on, a very magnum nihil.

Therefore have I cried. ] But could not get audience.

Their strength is to sit still. ] To bide at home, and "behold the salvation of the Lord"; for the prophet here seemeth to relate to that in Exodus 14:14 . "Contented godliness is great gain," saith the apostle, 1Ti 6:6 and quiet godliness is great strength, saith the prophet here. "Their strength is to sit still." As good sit still, saith our English proverb, as rise and fall. The word here rendered strength is rahab, which signifieth pride and power, and is sometimes put for Egypt herself. Psa 87:4 Hence the Vulgate translation here is, superbia tantum est, quiesce. Egypt is but a flask or a piece of proud flesh; she is all in ostentation, but will not answer thine expectation; therefore keep home and be quiet. Others, rendering the text as we do, set this sense upon it, Your Rahab, or Egypt, is to sit still, and to hold your content; by so doing you shall have an Egypt. Whatever help you may think to have that way, you shall have it, and better, this way, si tranquillo et sedato sitis animo, if you can compose yourselves and get a sabbath of spirit.

Verse 8

Isa 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:

Ver. 8. Now go, write before them in a table, and note it in a book. ] He had proclaimed it before, Isa 30:7 but with ill success. Now he is commanded to commit it to writing, for a testimony against them to all posterity, viz., that they had been told in two words what were their best course to take for their own security and safeguard; but they thought it better to trot to Egypt than to trust in God. Now, therefore, if they suffer and smart, as they must, for their contempt and contumacy, the blame must be laid upon themselves alone. Who else can be faulted, whenas they were so fairly forewarned?

Verse 9

Isa 30:9 That this [is] a rebellious people, lying children, children [that] will not hear the law of the LORD:

Ver. 9. That this is a rebellious people. ] Isaiae concepta verba praeit Deus; God dictateth to the prophet Isaiah what very words he shall set down. So he did to Moses, to Jeremiah, Jer 36:4 to Habakkuk, Hab 2:2 to John the divine. Rev 14:13 The whole Scripture was inspired by God; not for matter only, but for words also; 2Ti 3:16 and is therefore more than a bare commonitory or warning, as Bellarmine calls it, a kind of storehouse for advice in matters of religion. We account them the surest rule of life, a the divine beam, and most exact balance. b But the Papists see well enough that while the authority of the Scriptures standeth, the traditions of their Popes cannot be established, which they account the touchstone of doctrine and foundation of faith. And in favour of their unwritten verities, as they call them, they tell us, but falsely, that Christ commanded his apostles to preach, but not to write.

Lying children. ] And therefore not God’s children. Isa 63:8

a Divina statera. - Aug.

b Exactissima trutina - Chrysost.

Verse 10

Isa 30:10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

Ver. 10. Which say to the seers, See not, &c. ] Strange impudence! but in thus reciting their words, the prophet rather expresseth their spirit than their speeches. And yet it may be that the politicians of those times blamed the prophets, Isaiah and the rest, as pragmatic, for interposing and meddling in state matters, and pressing the law so strictly, since in cases of necessity, as now it was, they must make bold to borrow a little law of the Holy One of Israel.

Speak unto us smooth things. ] Heb., Smoothnesses, toothless truths, and such as may speak you no meddlers.

Verse 11

Isa 30:11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.

Ver. 11. Get ye out of the way. ] If that be the way which you so much insist upon, warp a little, remit of your rigour. Religiosum opertet esse, sed non religentem. Let a religious man work but not to be bound.

Cause the Holy One of Israel to depart from us. ] Desinat ille nos per prophetas obtundere; let us hear no more of him: molest us not with so many messages from him. See Micah 2:6 .

Verse 12

Isa 30:12 Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:

Ver. 12. Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel. ] The prophet doth on purpose repeat this title, so much disrelished by them, to cross them. Ministers must not be men pleasers.

Verse 13

Isa 30:13 Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.

Ver. 13. Therefore this iniquity shall be unto you, ] q.d., Your commonwealth is tumbling down apace, and ye are hastening the utter ruin of it, as if ye were ambitious of your own destruction, which will be, as sudden, so total. Isa 30:14

Verse 14

Isa 30:14 And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters’ vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water [withal] out of the pit.

Ver. 14. And he shall break it as the breaking of a potter’s vessel.] Collige ex hoc loco, saith Oecolampadius, gather we may from this text that remediless ruin will befall such as resist the Holy Ghost, and sin against light.

Verse 15

Isa 30:15 For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.

Ver. 15. The Holy One of Israel. ] A style much in the mouths of God’s prophets in those times. But what great arrogance is it in the Pope to take unto him the title of his Holiness!

In returning and rest shall ye be saved. ] This is the same in effect with that before. Isa 30:7 Preachers must be instant, stand to their work, and not be baffled out of their unpleasing messages. The Septuagint here have it, Si conversus ingemueris, tunc salvaberis.

Verse 16

Isa 30:16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.

Ver. 16. But ye said, No. ] We will not return or rest. This is a golden rule of life, In silentio et spe fortitudo vestra; but these refractories would have none of it, they knew a better way to work than all that came to. Politicians are like tumblers, that have their heads on the earth and their heels against heaven. Cross-grained they are for the most part to all good.

For we will flee upon horses. ] Whereof Egypt was full, and for which it was famous of old, and so is yet, for the Mamelukes’ horses especially.

Therefore shall ye flee. ] But in another sense, sc., fusi fugatique ab hoste, with the enemy at your heels.

Verse 17

Isa 30:17 One thousand [shall flee] at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

Ver. 17. One thousand shall flee. ] See Deuteronomy 32:30 , with the note.

Until ye be left as a beacon. ] Heb., A mast - i.e., a very poor few, or all alone, shred of all you had. This was fulfilled when Sennacherib wasted the country, even to the very walls of Jerusalem. Paucitatem salvandorum nobis insinuat, saith Oecolampadius.

Verse 18

Isa 30:18 And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD [is] a God of judgment: blessed [are] all they that wait for him.

Ver. 18. And therefore will the Lord wait that he may be gracious unto you. ] This is a wonderful condescension - i.e., God tarrieth looking for thee to show thee mercy, as Mr Bradford a rendereth it; if thou wert ripe, he is ready. But never think that he will lay cordials upon full and foul stomachs, saith another grave divine; b that he will scarf thy bones before they be set, and lap up thy sores before they be searched. God chooseth the fittest times to hear and help his suppliants, Isa 49:8 Psa 69:13 opportunitatem opitulandi expectat. Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Jam 5:7 Let your equanimity, your longanimity, patience be known to all men; the Lord is at hand. Php 4:5

And therefore will he be exalted. ] He will get up to his tribunal or throne of grace, that if ye repent ye may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Heb 4:16

For the Lord is a God of judgment, ] i.e., He is a wise God, that knoweth best when to deal forth his favours, and where to place his benefits.

Blessed are all they that wait for him. ] Wait his leisure, et non cerebri sui sectantur consilia, and seek not to get off by indirect courses. Those, though they should die in a waiting condition, yet cannot but be happy, because God hath said here, "Blessed are all they that wait for him."

a Serm. of Repent.

b Dr Harris.

Verse 19

Isa 30:19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.

Ver. 19. For the people shall dwell in Zion, &c. ] Or, For thou, the people of Zion that dwell in Jerusalem, shalt weep no more;

Flebile principium melior fortuna sequetur.

At the voice of thg cry. ] Thou shalt pray; thou shalt also hear the Word of God, Isa 30:20-21 and reform thy life; Isa 30:22 so shall good be done unto thee.

When he shall hear it, he will answer thee. ] Yea, before, Isa 65:24 before thy prayer can get from thy heart to thy mouth, it is got as high as heaven.

Verse 20

Isa 30:20 And [though] the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers:

Ver. 20. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity. ] Though he hold you to hard meat, and give you but prisoner’s pittance, so much as will keep you alive only, and that you eat your meat with the peril of your lives; Emendicato pane hic vivamus, saith Luther; in our Father’s house is bread, God’s plenty.

Yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner. ] Non alis se induent, they shall not take wing and fly from thee. The ministry is a sweet mercy, under what misery soever men do otherwise groan and labour. Corporeal wants are not much to be passed on, so the spiritual food be not wanting: a famine of the word is the greatest judgment. Amo 8:11 When the gospel was first preached there was great scarcity of bodily food, Revelation 6:6 Act 11:28 but that was scarce felt by those holy souls who did eat their meat, such as it was, with gladness and singleness of heart, accounting that bread and cheese with the gospel was good cheer. a

Thine eyes shall see thy teachers. ] A description of holy hearers; their eyes are intent on the preacher’s, their ears erect, their whole course conformed to the rule, quando lapsus tam in proclivi est b Isa 30:21 their dearest sins abandoned. Isa 30:22 Oh, for such hearers in these days!

Apparent rarl nantes in gurgite vasto.

a Greenham.

b Scultet.

Verse 21

Isa 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

Ver. 21. And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee. ] Quum a tergo tuo dicent, when they shall say behind thee - viz., thy teachers: a metaphor, say some, from shepherds driving their sheep, and whistling them in when ready to stray. a

When ye turn to the right hand, or to the left. ] Heb., When ye right hand it, and when ye left hand it. It is hard to hold the king’s highway chalked out in the word, without swerving - to walk accurately, and as it were in a frame; yet this must be done, and all exorbitancies carefully shunned. Hereunto the word preached is a singular help: God by his Spirit also sends for us in our strayings, and sets us right again. There will be upon any miscarriage, singultus cordis, sobbing of heart, an upbraiding or rising of heart, as it is termed by Abigail; 1Sa 25:31 the Spirit will come in with his secret and sweet voice, both correcting and directing pro re nata for unfolding affairs.

a Subest comparatio a pastore sumpta, qui oves sequitur, et aberrantes in viam revocat.

Verse 22

Isa 30:22 Ye shall defile also the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the ornament of thy molten images of gold: thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth; thou shalt say unto it, Get thee hence.

Ver. 22. Thou shalt defile also the covering. ] Thou shalt pollute the idols which thou hadst perfumed. Such a change is wrought in people by the Word preached, as is to be seen in all the reformed churches; cavete ab idolis, beware of idols.

Thou shalt cast them away as a menstruous cloth. ] Ut mulierem laborantem ex mensibus, as a labouring woman from her period. a

Thou shalt say unto them, Get thee hence. ] Apage, Abi in malam crucem. Men should heartily hate sin by them committed: dealing by it as Amnon did by Tamar; and as heartily desiring to forego it, as to have it forgiven; to part with it, as to have it pardoned. See Hosea 14:8 . See Trapp on " Hos 14:8 "

a Piscat. Comparat idola scorto perpetuo monstro abominabili. - Zeged.

Verse 23

Isa 30:23 Then shall he give the rain of thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.

Ver. 23. Then shall he give the rain of thy seed. ] Or, For thy seed, or to thy seed. A figurative description of God’s superabundant blessings, viz., the spiritual blessing, saith Diodate. This was fulfilled in the letter, under Hezekiah and Ezra: in the figure, under Christ.

In that day shall thy cattle feed. ] This branch properly belongeth to the next verse. The Bible was not distinguished into verses till of late years; and it is not done very skilfully in some places, as this for one. Versuum in Scripturis sectiones pio quidem, at tumultuario Roberti Stephani studio excogitatae, imperitissime plerunque, texture dissecant. a

a Scultet.

Verse 24

Isa 30:24 The oxen likewise and the young asses that ear the ground shall eat clean provender, which hath been winnowed with the shovel and with the fan.

Ver. 24. Shall eat clean provender. ] Such plenty there shall be of corn that the cattle shall have of the best threshed out and winnowed. The Vulgate hath it, commistum migma, whereby is understood diversity of grains mingled together, as in horse bread.

Verse 25

Isa 30:25 And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers [and] streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall.

Ver. 25. Rivers and streams of waters. ] To moisten them and make them fertile.

When the towers fall ] i.e., Sennacherib’s great princes, who were as towers and bulwarks.

Verse 26

Isa 30:26 Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

Ver. 26. Moreover, the light of the moon, &c. ] i.e., Very great shall be your joy upon that slaughter of Sennacherib’s army: the sun and moon also seeming to rejoice with you by their extraordinary outshinings.

In the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach. ] Sunt allegoriae sive similitudes quae instituto mire conveniunt. a

a Hyperius.

Verse 27

Isa 30:27 Behold, the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning [with] his anger, and the burden [thereof is] heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

Ver. 27. Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far. ] That is, an angel cometh from heaven to destroy the Assyrians: or, The name of the Lord, that is, Maiestas Dei nominatissimi, the glorious and renowned God himself.

Burning with anger. ] Or, At the nose, which burneth with a grievous flame.

His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue, &c. ] Est pulchra hypotyposis irae Dei, a gallant description of God’s anger, which yet is nothing else but his most just will to punish sin. These things and the like are spoken concerning God ανθρωποπαθως , and must be understood Yεοπρεπως . Rash anger, as it dispossesseth a man of his soul, wit, and reason, so it disfigureth his body with firiness of the eyes, inflammation of the face, stammering of the tongue, gnashing of the teeth, a very harsh and hateful intension of the voice, &c. Hence angry men were counselled, in the heat of their fit, to look themselves in a glass, &c. God is here brought in as thus angry, more humano. Let us take heed how we provoke him to wrath:

“ Sχετλιε, τιπτ εθελεις ερεθιζεμεν αγριον ανδρα .”

Verse 28

Isa 30:28 And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and [there shall be] a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing [them] to err.

Ver. 28. And his breath as an overflowing stream. ] God can blow men to destruction, Job 4:9 for they are but dust heaps; yea, his breath, as an irresistible torrent, beareth all before it. The prophet had compared God’s fierce wrath to a raging fire; now he further compareth it here, 1. To a flood; 2. To a fan; 3. To a bridle.

To sift the nations with a sieve of vanity, ] i.e., Ad perdendas gentes in nihilum, as the Vulgate here hath it, To destroy the nations, and to bring them to nothing.

Verse 29

Isa 30:29 Ye shall have a song, as in the night [when] a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the LORD, to the mighty One of Israel.

Ver. 29. He shall have a song. ] As, after the passover eaten, they sang a hynm; so, after the Assyrian destroyed, there shall be a different sound heard in their several camps. Apud utrosque audietur sonus, et strepitus, sed diversa admodum ratione: so was fulfilled that of our prophet. Isa 65:13-14

As in the night when a holy solemnity is kept. ] Pintus saith, that the night before some solemn sacrifice, the Jews usually spent in jollity and singing. They still conclude their Sabbath with singing, or caterwauling a rather, which they continue as long as they can, for ease of the defunct souls.

a Any hideous, discordant howling noise.

Verse 30

Isa 30:30 And the LORD shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall shew the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of [his] anger, and [with] the flame of a devouring fire, [with] scattering, and tempest, and hailstones.

Ver. 30. And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice. ] Hence some gather that Sennacherib’s soldiers were destroyed by the angel, not without a mighty storm and tempest, accompanied with dreadful thunder and lightning. See the like threatened to all wicked ones, Job 27:20-22 .

Verse 31

Isa 30:31 For through the voice of the LORD shall the Assyrian be beaten down, [which] smote with a rod.

Ver. 31. Which smote with a rod. ] Isaiah 10:5 . Now he is broken in pieces with God’s iron rod, Psa 2:9 Iustissimae talionis exemplum.

Verse 32

Isa 30:32 And [in] every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the LORD shall lay upon him, [it] shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.

Ver. 32. And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass. ] Virga fundata, seu inflxa; God’s rod or staff, wherewith he beateth the Assyrians, shall pierce their flesh, and stick in it, make deep welts, yea, stick in their very bowels, as Ehud’s dagger did in Eglon’s guts. And this shall be done with little ado too.

It shall be with tabrets and harps. ] Quasi per ludum, non tormentis bellicis.

And in battles of shaking will he fight with it. ] Levi quadam velitatione bellica, by skirmishings only.

Verse 33

Isa 30:33 For Tophet [is] ordained of old; yea, for the king it is prepared; he hath made [it] deep [and] large: the pile thereof [is] fire and much wood; the breath of the LORD, like a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.

Ver. 33. For Tophet is ordained. ] Heb., Tophteh which some derive of Pathah, to entice or seduce, because hell draweth customers; and is called also infernus ab inferendo, from the great resort that is to it. But others fetch the name from toph, a drum, because those idolaters who sacrificed their children to Moloch or Saturn, in the valley of Hinnom, struck up drums to drown the cries of those poor tortured children. Hence it is here used for hell, together with that eternity of extremity which the damned there endure; and this the Assyrians are here threatened with, yea, their very king, whose preservation from the stroke of the angel was but a reservation to a worse mischief here and hereafter. For patentes potenter torquebunter, great men, if not good, shall be greatly tormented; and the more they have of the fat of the earth, the more they are sure to fry in hell. Such, therefore, had need to add true grace to their high places, else they shall prove but as a high gibbet to bring them to more disgrace in this world, and torment in the next.

Of old. ] Heb., From yesterday. Hence some infer that hell torments are always fresh and new, as if they had begun but yesterday; and "every sacrifice there is salted with fire," Mar 9:49 that is, it burneth, but consumeth not; fire being of a burning, but salt of a preserving nature.

He hath made it deep and large. ] Capacious enough to receive a world full of wicked ones. Psa 9:17

The pile thereof is fire and much wood. ] Hell fire is no metaphorical thing, but a material, true, proper, real, and corporeal fire. Matthew 18:9 ; Mat 25:41 Luk 16:23 For vehemency of heat, saith Augustine, it exceedeth ours as far as our fire doth exceed fire painted on the wall. That friar said too little of it who said that one might feel it burn seven miles off. Etna, Vesuvius, Pietra Mala (which is a mountain in the highest part of the Apennines that perpetually burns), come not near it. Some gross Papists have imagined Etna to be the place of purgatory. Odilo, abbot of Cluniscum, persuaded Pope John XIX that he had there seen the tormented souls wailing: whereupon that pope appointed the feast of All-souls.

The breath of the Lord, as a stream of brimstone. ] This formidable fire, then, is fed with most tormenting temper, rivers of brimstone, and kindled with the breath of the Almighty throughout all eternity. Simile quiddam videmus in thermis, ubi sulphureae scaturigines magno fremitu effervescunt. Some resemblance hereof we have in the hot baths, &c.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 30". Trapp's Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.