Old Testament

Isaiah 30
A Useless Treaty With Egypt
301Woe to this rebellious people, says the Lord.
They take advice, but not from me.
They establish an alliance, but not by my Spirit.
Then they sin more and more.
2Woe to those who go down to Egypt, without consulting me.
They seek Pharaoh's protection,
and they take refuge in the shade of Egypt!
3So Pharaoh's protection will bring you shame.
Taking refuge in the shade of Egypt will be your downfall.
4Even though Israel's officials are in Zoan,
and their envoys have gone as far as Hanes,
5they will all be humiliated
because of a people that is useless to them.
They can neither help nor provide any benefit.
They bring only shame and reproach.
Judah's Envoys Take Tribute to Egypt
6An oracle about the animals of the Negev.
Through the land of trouble and distress,
the land of the lioness and the lion,
of the viper and the venomous flying serpent,
Judah's envoys carry their wealth on the backs of donkeys
and their treasures on camels' humps,
to a nation that cannot help them.
7For Egypt's help is useless and serves no purpose.
That is why I have called her “the dragon that just sits there.”[]
8Go and write it on a tablet for them.
Record it on a scroll,
so that it may serve in the future as a permanent witness.
9These are a rebellious people, lying children,
children unwilling to hear the law of the Lord,
10who tell the seers, “Stop seeing!”
who tell the prophets, “Stop prophesying what is right!
Tell us pleasant things. Prophesy illusions.
11Leave the way! Turn from the path!
Stop getting in our face about the Holy One of Israel!”
12This is what the Holy One of Israel says:
Since you have rejected my word,
and you trust in oppression and deceit,
and you rely on them,
13your guilt will be like a crack in a wall,
bulging out and about to collapse.
It will suddenly fall without warning.
14It will crash like a broken clay pot,
smashed to pieces so violently that not one useful piece will be left,
not even a piece good enough to pick up a coal from the hearth
or to ladle water from a cistern.
15This is what the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, says:
If you repent and wait quietly, you will be saved.
Your strength will depend on quietness and trust.
But you refused.
16You said, “No, we will flee on horseback!”
Yes indeed, you will flee.
You said, “We will ride away swiftly!”
Yes indeed, you will be pursued swiftly.
17A thousand will flee when just one threatens.
When five threaten, you will flee,
until you are like a single flag, fluttering on a mountaintop,
like a lonely banner on a hill.
18But the Lord is eager to be gracious to you.
He waits on high to have mercy on you,
for the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all those who long for him.
19So people will live in Zion. In Jerusalem you will weep no more. The Lord will be very gracious to you when he hears your cry. When he hears you, he will answer you. 20Though the Lord has given you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, he is your teacher.[] He will not be hidden any longer. You will see your teacher with your own eyes. 21Whenever you are tempted to turn to the right or to the left, you will hear his voice behind you, saying, “This is the way. Walk in it.” 22You will defile your idols that are plated with silver and your images overlaid with gold. You will throw them away like a filthy cloth,[] saying, “Get away from me!”
23Then he will give you rain so that you can sow seed in the ground. The bread from your land's harvest will be excellent and plentiful. On that day your livestock will graze in wide pastures. 24The oxen and the donkeys that work the ground will eat the best feed[]—winnowed with a shovel and a winnowing fork. 25On every lofty mountain and on every high hill there will be streams flowing with water.
It will be a day of terrible slaughter, when towers fall. 26The light of the moon will be as bright as the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days—on the day when the Lord will bind up the wounds of his people and heal the injuries he inflicted.
God Will Punish Assyria
27Look! The name of the Lord is coming from far away,
burning with anger, in a column of thick smoke.
His lips are full of anger,
and his tongue is a consuming fire.
28His breath is a stream at flood stage,
surging all the way up to your neck.
He shakes the nations in a sieve to destroy them,
and he puts a bridle in their mouths to lead them to destruction.
29You will sing as you do on the night of a holy festival, with glad hearts,
as when they go up with flutes to the mountain of the Lord,
to the Rock of Israel.
30The Lord will cause the majestic splendor of his voice to be heard.
He will make them see his arm come crashing down in fierce anger,
like the flames of a consuming fire,
like driving rain, a furious storm with hailstones.
31The voice of the Lord will terrify Assyria.
He will strike it with his rod.
32Every stroke of the punishing rod[] which the Lord will lay on them
will be accompanied by the music of drums and lyres.
He himself will fight, battling them, swinging weapons.
33Topheth has long been made ready.
It is prepared for the king,
a flaming funeral pyre, deep and wide, with plenty of wood.
The breath of the Lord, like a river of liquid fire, sets it ablaze.


  • 30:7 Literally Rahab who sits still. Rahab was the name of a dragon-like sea monster or river monster. See Job 26:12; Psalm 89:9-10.
  • 30:20 The Hebrew reads teachers, perhaps referring to the prophets, but the singular he occurs throughout verses 20-26.
  • 30:22 The Hebrew words refer to a cloth stained with menstrual blood. Blood made a person who contacted it ceremonially unclean.
  • 30:24 Or seasoned feed
  • 30:32 Or the appointed rod