Isaiah 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 shard to take fire from the hearth, or to take water with out of the pit.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) As the breaking of the potters’ vessel . . . Psalm 2:9 had given currency to the figure. In Jeremiah 18:4; Jeremiah 19:10, it passes into a parable of action. The schemes of the intriguers were to be not crushed only but pulverised.

30:8-18 The Jews were the only professing people God then had in the world, yet many among them were rebellious. They had the light, but they loved darkness rather. The prophets checked them in their sinful pursuits, so that they could not proceed without fear; this they took amiss. But faithful ministers will not be driven from seeking to awaken sinners. God is the Holy One of Israel, and so they shall find him. They did not like to hear of his holy commandments and his hatred of sin; they desired that they might no more be reminded of these things. But as they despised the word of God, their sins undermined their safety. Their state would be dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel. Let us return from our evil ways, and settle in the way of duty; that is the way to be saved. Would we be strengthened, it must be in quietness and in confidence, keeping peace in our own minds, and relying upon God. They think themselves wiser than God; but the project by which they thought to save themselves was their ruin. Only here and there one shall escape, as a warning to others. If men will not repent, turn to God, and seek happiness in his favour and service, their desires will but hasten their ruin. Those who make God alone their confidence, will have comfort. God ever waits to be gracious to all that come to him by faith in Christ, and happy are those who wait for him.And he shall break it as the breaking - That is, its breaking shall be like the breaking of a potter's vessel. The Septuagint reads it, 'And its fall (τὸ πτῶμα to ptōma) shall be like the breaking of an earthen vessel,'

As the breaking of the potter's vessel - That is, as an earthen, fragile vessel, which is easily dashed to pieces. The image here is all drawn from the bursting forth, or the complete ruin of the swelling wall; but the sense is, that the Jewish republic would be entirely broken, scattered, demolished.

He shall not spare in the bursting of it - Figuratively in the bursting of the wall; literally in the destruction of the Jewish state and polity.

A sherd - A piece of pottery; a fragment.

To take fire from the hearth - Large enough to carry coals on.

Or to take water withal out of the pit - Out of the fountain, or pool; that is, it shall be broken into small fragments, and the ruin shall be complete - as when a wall tumbles down and is completely broken up. The sense is, that the republic of Israel would be completely ruined, so that there should not be found a man of any description who could aid them. The prophet does not specify when this would be. It is not necessary to suppose that it would occur on the invasion of Sennacherib, or that it would be the immediate consequence of seeking the aid of Egypt, but that it would be a consequence, though a remote one. Perhaps the figure used would lead us to look to some remote period. A high wall will begin to give way many years before its fall. The swell will be gradual, and perhaps almost imperceptible. For some time it may appear to be stationary; then perhaps some new cause will produce an increase of the projecting part, until it can no longer sustain itself, and then the ruin will be sudden and tremendous. So it would be with the Jews. The seeking of the alliance with Egypt was "one" cause - though a remote one - of their final ruin. Their forsaking God and seeking human aid, was gradually but certainly "undermining" the foundations of the state - as a wall may be gradually undermined. Frequent repetitions of that would more and more impair the real strength of the republic, until, for their accumulated acts of want of confidence, the patience of God would be exhausted, and the state would fall like a mighty, bursting wall. The prophecy was fulfilled in the invasion of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans; it had a more signal and awful fulfillment in its destruction by the Romans.

14. he—the enemy; or rather, God (Ps 2:9; Jer 19:11).

It—the Jewish state.

potter's vessel—earthen and fragile.

sherd—a fragment of the vessel large enough to take up a live coal, &c.

pit—cistern or pool. The swell of the wall is at first imperceptible and gradual, but at last it comes to the crisis; so the decay of the Jewish state.

He shall break it; he, either God, or he whom God shall send against them. Or, it shall be broken; for such phrases are oft taken indefinitely and passively; it, this iniquity last mentioned, Isaiah 30:13, your carnal confidence and all the grounds of it, and you that lean upon it. And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel,.... That is, their confidence in an arm of flesh, and they that place it there; and this either God shall do, or the enemy, and God by him; or rather it may he rendered impersonally, "it shall be broken"; and may refer to the wall to which the ruin of this people is compared, that that when it falls shall be broke to pieces, as a potter's vessel is when it falls upon a pavement, or is dashed against anything, or, struck with a rod of iron:

that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare; or that is broken in pieces without mercy, as the Targum; no pity shall be shown by the enemy, nor mercy from the Lord:

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; as poor people are wont to do, to take fire from the hearth, and water out of a well, in a piece of a broken pitcher (n); but this vessel should be broke into so many shivers, that there should not be such a piece left of it as could be made use of for such purposes. This denotes the utter and irreparable ruin and destruction of these people, which, though it was not at this time, yet afterwards by the Babylonians, and especially by the Romans.

(n) Vid. Misn. Sabbat, c. 8. sect. 7.

And he shall break it as the breaking of the potter's vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it {m} a piece to take fire from the hearth, or to take water out of the pit.

(m) Signifying that the destruction of the wicked will be without recovery.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. he shall break it] or: it shall be broken.

that is broken … spare] R.V. “breaking it in pieces without sparing”; better: shivering it unsparingly (Cheyne).

in the bursting of it] among its fragments. So completely will the Jewish state be shattered by the crooked policy of its leaders.

For pit read cistern (as R.V.).Verse 14. - And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces. Isaiah is fond of mixed metaphors, and of superseding one metaphor by another. From comparing Judah's fall and ruin to the shattering of a lofty wall, he suddenly turns to a comparison of it with the breaking to pieces of an earthen pitcher. Judah shall be so broken as when the pitcher is crushed into minute fragments, so that there is no piece large enough to convey a coal from one fire for the lighting of another, or to be of even the least use for drawing water from a well. A complete dissolution of the political fabric is foreshadowed, such as did not actually take effect till the conquest of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. So runs the divine oracle to which the following command refers. "Now go, write it on a table with them, and note it in a book, and let it stand there fore future days, for ever, to eternity." The suffixes of kothbâh (write it) and chuqqâh (note it) refer in a neuter sense to Isaiah 30:6, Isaiah 30:7; and the expression "go" is simply a general summons to proceed to the matter (cf., Isaiah 22:15). Sēpher could be used interchangeably with lūăch, because a single leaf, the contents of which were concluded, was called sēpher (Exodus 17:14). Isaiah was to write the oracle upon a table, a separate leaf of durable material; and that "with them," i.e., so that his countrymen might have it before their eyes (compare Isaiah 8:1; Habakkuk 2:2). It was to be a memorial for posterity. The reading לעד (Sept., Targ., Syr.) for לעד is appropriate, though quite unnecessary. The three indications of time form a climax: for futurity, for the most remote future, for the future without end.
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