Isaiah 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:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Now go, write it before them in a table.—We have before seen this in one of Isaiah’s methods for giving special emphasis to his teaching (Isaiah 8:1). The word, we may believe, passed into the act in the presence of his astonished hearers. In some way or other he feels sure that what he is about to utter goes beyond the immediate occasion, and has a lesson for all time which the world would not willingly let die. Others, following the Vulg., take the verb as an imperative: “They are boasters; cease from them.” (Superbia tantum est; quiesce.)

Isaiah 30:8-11. Now go, write it before them — Write this prophecy and warning, which I have now delivered, in their presence; in a table, and in a book — So it was to be written twice over, once in a table, to be hung up in some public place, that all present might read it; and again in a book, that it might be kept for the use of posterity. That it may be for the time to come — As a witness for me and against them, that I have given them fair warning, and that they have wilfully run upon their own ruin. That they are lying children — Who profess one thing, and practise another; that will not hear the law of the Lord — The commands of God, either contained in the Scriptures, or delivered by the mouth of the prophets, whereby these practices were expressly forbidden them. Which say to the seers, See not, &c. — This they said in effect, in that they were not willing to know and do the will of God. They loved darkness rather than light. Prophesy not unto us right things — The prophets told them of their faults, and warned them of their misery and danger, but they could not bear it. They wanted smooth things to be spoken to them, things that would give them no pain, but please their corrupt minds, and flatter them in their sins. Get ye out of the way — In which you now walk, out of your present course of preaching unpleasing and frightful things; or, out of our way. For the prophets stood in their way, like the angel in Balaam’s road, with the sword of God’s wrath drawn in their hands, so that these sinners could not proceed on in their sinful practices without terror; and this they took heinously. Cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us — Do not trouble us with harsh and repeated messages from God, as you use to do.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.Now go - This is a direction to the prophet to make a permanent record of the character of the Jewish people. The fact to be recorded was, that they were rebellious Isaiah 30:9; the design for which the record was to be made was to show to future times that this had been the uniform character of the nation. The record was to be preserved that it might be a proof of the care of God toward the nation even in the midst of their long-continued and obstinate perverseness.

Write it before them - Before the Jews themselves, that they may see the record, and may have it constantly before them.

In a table - Or ON a table. The word לוח lûach denotes a tablet either of stone to engrave upon Deuteronomy 9:9; Exodus 31:18; or of wood 1 Kings 7:36. It is not improbable that this was to be exposed to public view in some conspicuous place near the temple.

And note it - Engrave it; that is, record it.

In a book - On parchment, or in the usual way of writing (see the note at Isaiah 8:1).

For the time to come - Hebrew as Margin, 'The latter day.' It was to be made in order that future ages might know what had been the character of that people, and what had been the patience and forbearance of God in regard to them.

8. table—a tablet (Hab 2:2), which should be set in public, containing the prophecy in a briefer form, to be read by all.

a book—namely, a parchment roll, containing the prophecy in full, for the use of distant posterity. Its truth will be seen hereafter when the event has come to pass. See on [744]Isa 8:1; [745]Isa 8:16.

for ever and ever—rather read, "For a testimony for ever" [Chaldee, Jerome, Lowth]: "testimony is often joined to the notion of perpetuity (De 31:19, 21, 26).

Write it; write this prophecy and warning which I have now delivered.

Before them; in their presence, in the public assembly; for the prophets were many times commanded to do such actions, as well as to deliver their messages.

In a table, and note it in a book; so this was to be written twice over; once in a table, to be handed up in some public place, that all that were then and there present might read it; and again in a book, that it might be kept for the use of posterity.

That it may be for the time to come, as a witness for me and against them, that I have given them fair warning, and they have wilfully run upon their own ruin. Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,.... Meaning their sins, their rebellion against God, their trust in an arm of flesh, and contempt of the divine word; or the prophecy of their destruction, for these things; and both may be meant; which the Lord orders to be written before their eyes, in some public place, as in the temple, upon a table, a table of wood covered with wax, on which they formerly wrote, and then hung it up against a wall, that it might be read by everyone; and he would have him also engross it in a book, that it might be kept for time to come: now what God would have thus written and engrossed, must be something considerable, and of consequence; and, as it may refer to the sins of this people, may denote the blackness and detestableness of them, as being what they had reason to be ashamed of, when thus set before them; and, as it may refer to their punishment, it may signify the certainty of it:

that it may be for the time to come, for ever and ever; and so continue to their eternal infamy, and for the justification of God in his proceedings against them, and be cautious unto others. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "for a testimony for ever", a witness for God, and against the Jews; and so the Targum,

"and it shall be in the day of judgment for a witness before me for ever.''

Now go, write {g} it before them in a tablet, and note it in a book, that it may be for the {h} time to come for ever and ever:

(g) That is, this prophecy.

(h) That is may be a witness against them for all posterity.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. What is it that Isaiah is here directed to commit to writing? According to Delitzsch, the contents of the short oracle, Isaiah 30:6-7; according to others, merely the pithy sentence with which it closes. That is not impossible; the mention of a “tablet” indicates some short and striking inscription. But since a “book” is mentioned along with the tablet, it is probable that Isaiah at this time wrote down a summary of all his deliverances on the subject of the Egyptian alliance. Not improbably the “book” so prepared was the basis of the present collection of prophecies, ch. 28–32. The incident is closely parallel to that referred to in ch. Isaiah 8:16, where Isaiah prepares documentary evidence of his prophetic actions after his advice had been rejected by the court and people.

For go read go in—“retire to thy house.”

note it should be inscribe it as R.V.

for the time to come for ever and ever] Render for a future day for a witness (R.V. marg.) for ever. The pointing has to be altered in accordance with most ancient versions.Verses 8-17. - A RENEWAL OF THREATENING. The denunciation of the Egyptian alliance had been made viva voce, in the courts of the temple or in some other place of public resort. As he ended, Isaiah received a Divine intimation that the prophecy was to be put on record, doubly, upon a tablet and in a book. At the same time, the "rebelliousness" of the people was further pointed out, and fresh threats (vers. 13, 14, and 17) were uttered against them. Verse 8. - Write it before them in a tablet; i.e." write the prophecy before them" (equivalent to "to be set up before them") "on a tablet," in the briefest possible form (comp. Isaiah 8:1). And note it in a book; i.e. "and also make a full notation of it in a book," or parchment roll. The "tablet" was to be for the admonition of the living generation of men; the "book" was for future generations, to be a record of God's omniscience and faithfulness "forever and ever." That it may be for the time to come; rather, for an after-day - not for the immediate present only. For ever and ever. Modern critics observe that the phrase, la'ad 'ad 'olam, never occurs elsewhere, and suggest a change of the pointing, which would give the sense of "for a testimony forever." Whether we accept the change or not, the meaning undoubtedly is that consigning the prophecy to a "book" would make an appeal to it possible in perpetuum. The perpetuity of the written Word is assumed as certain. The plan which, according to Isaiah 29:15, was already projected and prepared in the deepest secrecy, is now much further advanced. The negotiations by means of ambassadors have already been commenced; but the prophet condemns what he can no longer prevent. "Woe to the stubborn children, saith Jehovah, to drive plans, and not by my impulse, and to plait alliance, and not according to my Spirit, to heap sin upon sin: that go away to travel down to Egypt, without having asked my mouth, to fly to Pharaoh's shelter, and to conceal themselves under the shadow of Egypt. And Pharaoh's shelter becomes a shame to them, and the concealment under the shadow of Egypt a disgrace. For Judah's princes have appeared in Zoan, and his ambassadors arrive in Hanes. They will all have to be ashamed of a people useless to them, that brings no help and no use, but shame, and also reproach." Sōrerı̄m is followed by infinitives with Lamed (cf., Isaiah 5:22; Isaiah 3:8): who are bent upon it in their obstinacy. Massēkhâh designates the alliance as a plait (massēkheth). According to Cappellus and others, it designates it as formed with a libation (σπονδη, from σπένδεσθαι); but the former is certainly the more correct view, inasmuch as massēkhâh (from nâsakh, fundere) signifies a cast, and hence it is more natural here to take nâsakh as equivalent to sâkhakh, plectere (Jerome: ordiremini telam). The context leaves no doubt as to the meaning of the adverbial expressions ולא־מנּי and ולא־רוּחי, viz., without its having proceeded from me, and without my Spirit being there. "Sin upon sin:" inasmuch as they carry out further and further to perfect realization the thought which was already a sinful one in itself. The prophet now follows for himself the ambassadors, who are already on the road to the country of the Nile valley. He sees them arrive in Zoan, and watches them as they proceed thence into Hanes. He foresees and foretells what a disgraceful opening of their eyes will attend the reward of this untheocratical beginning. On lâ‛ōz b', see at Isaiah 10:31 : ‛ōz is the infinitive constr. of ‛ūz; mâ‛ōz, on the contrary, is a derivative of ‛âzaz, to be strong. The suffixes of שׂריו (his princes) and מלאכיו (his ambassadors) are supposed by Hitzig, Ewald, and Knobel, who take a different view of what is said, to refer to the princes and ambassadors of Pharaoh. But this is by no means warranted on the ground that the prophet cannot so immediately transfer to Zoan and Hanes the ambassadors of Judah, who were still on their journey according to Isaiah 30:2. The prophet's vision overleaps the existing stage of the desire for this alliance; he sees the great men of his nation already suing for the favour of Egypt, first of all in Zoan, and then still further in Hanes, and at once foretells the shameful termination of this self-desecration of the people of Jehovah. The lxx give for יגיעוּ חנּס, μάτην κοπιάσουσιν, i.e., ייגעוּ סהנּם, and Knobel approves this reading; but it is a misunderstanding, which only happens to have fallen out a little better this time than the rendering ὡς Δαυίδ given for כּדּוּר in Isaiah 29:3. If chinnâm had been the original reading, it would hardly have entered any one's mind to change it into chânēs. The latter was the name of a city on an island of the Nile in Central Egypt, the later Heracleopolis (Eg. Hnēs; Ehnēs), the Anysis of Herodotus (ii. 137). On Zoan, see at Isaiah 19:11. At that time the Tanitic dynasty was reigning, the dynasty preceding the Ethiopian. Tanis and Anysis were the two capitals. הבאישׁ ( equals היבשׁ equals ( ה, a metaplastic hiphil of יבשׁ equals בּושׁ, a different word from יבשׁ) is incorrectly pointed for הבאישׁ, like ריאשׁנה (keri) for ראישׁנה in Joshua 21:10. הבאישׁ signifies elsewhere, "to make stinking" (to calumniate, Proverbs 13:5), or "to come into ill odour" (1 Samuel 27:12); here, however, it means to be put to shame (בּאשׁ equals בּושׁ).
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