Help from Egypt is futile

Doom to you, rebellious children, says the Lord,
who make a plan, which is not mine;
who weave a plot,[a] but not by my spirit,
piling up sin on sin;
setting out to go down to Egypt without consulting me,
taking refuge in Pharaoh’s refuge and hiding in Egypt’s shadow.
Pharaoh’s refuge will become your shame,
hiding in Egypt’s shadow your disgrace.
Though their officials are in Zoan,
and their messengers reach Hanes,
all will become shamed because of a people who can’t assist them.
They are no help; they are no profit;
rather, shame and disgrace.

An oracle about the beasts in the arid southern plain.

Through a land of distress and danger,
lioness and roaring[b] lion, viper and flying serpent,
they will carry their wealth on donkeys’ shoulders
and their treasures on camels’ humps to a people who won’t profit,
for Egypt’s help is utterly worthless.
Therefore, I call her Rahab Who Sits Still.[c]
Now go, write it before them on a tablet,
inscribe it on a scroll,
so in the future it will endure as a witness.
These are rebellious people, lying children,
children unwilling to hear the Lord’s teaching,
10 who say to the seers, “Don’t foresee,”
and to the visionaries, “Don’t report truthful visions;
tell us flattering things;
envision deceptions;
11 get out of the way;
step off the path;
let’s have no more ‘holy one of Israel.’”

12 Therefore, the holy one of Israel says:

Because you reject this word
and trust in oppression and cunning and rely on them,
13 your sin will be like a crack in a high wall; it bulges, about to fall:
suddenly, in an instant, it breaks!
14 Its breaking is like the breaking of a storage jar
that is totally shattered.
No piece from among its fragments will be large enough to take fire from a hearth,
or to dip water from a cistern.
15 Therefore, the Lord God,
the holy one of Israel, says:
In return and rest you will be saved;
quietness and trust will be your strength—
but you refused.
16 You said,
“No! We’ll flee on horses”—
therefore, you will indeed flee—
“and we’ll ride off; on swift steeds we will ride”—
therefore, your pursuers will be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one,
and at the threat of five you will flee,
until you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a flag on a hill.
18 Nonetheless, the Lord is waiting to be merciful to you,
and will rise up to show you compassion.
The Lord is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him.

This is the way

19 People in Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. God will certainly be merciful to you. Hearing the sound of your outcry, God will answer you. 20 Though the Lord gives you the bread of distress and the water of oppression, your teacher will no longer hide, but you will see your teacher. 21 If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 You will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered priestly vest,[d] and you will scatter them like menstrual rags. “Get out,” you will say to them.

23 God will provide rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food the ground produces will be rich and abundant. On that day, your cattle will graze in large pastures. 24 The oxen and donkeys that are working the ground will eat tasty feed spread for them with shovel and fork.

25 On every lofty mountain, and on every high hill, streams will run with water on the day of the great massacre, when the towers fall. 26 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—on the day that the Lord bandages the people’s brokenness and heals the wounds inflicted by his blows.

Assyria punished

27 Look there! The Lord is coming from far away;
his anger blazing, his smoke-cloud thick.
His lips are full of fury;
his tongue is like a devouring fire.
28 His breath is like a raging river that reaches up to the neck,
to shake the nations with a sieve of destruction,
and to put a misleading rein on the people’s jaws.
29 There will be singing for you
as on the night that people celebrate a festival.
The heart will be joyful as it is when one goes with a flute
to the Lord’s mountain,
to the rock of Israel.
30 The Lord will unleash his majestic voice
and display his crushing arm
in furious anger, with a flame of consuming fire,
in stormy rain and hail.
31 The Lord’s voice will terrify Assyria;
with a rod he will smite it.
32 And every crack that is made in the foundation wall,
which the Lord will bring down upon him,
will be accompanied by timbrels and lyres.
The Lord will raise his arm and fight against Assyria in battle. 33 His place for burning[e] was arranged long ago;
it is indeed made ready for a king.
God has made its wood pile wide and deep,
fire and wood in abundance.
The breath of the Lord, like a stream of brimstone, ignites it.


  1. Isaiah 30:1 Heb uncertain
  2. Isaiah 30:6 Or from them
  3. Isaiah 30:7 Or Rahab the silent
  4. Isaiah 30:22 Correction; Heb ephod
  5. Isaiah 30:33 Heb Topheth