Isaiah 30:17
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."

New Living Translation
One of them will chase a thousand of you. Five of them will make all of you flee. You will be left like a lonely flagpole on a hill or a tattered banner on a distant mountaintop."

English Standard Version
A thousand shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.

New American Standard Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you will flee, until you alone remain like a solitary pole on a mountaintop or a banner on a hill.

International Standard Version
A thousand will flee at the threat of one; and run away, pursued by five, until you are left like a flagpole on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill."

NET Bible
One thousand will scurry at the battle cry of one enemy soldier; at the battle cry of five enemy soldiers you will all run away, until the remaining few are as isolated as a flagpole on a mountaintop or a signal flag on a hill."

New Heart English Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one. At the threat of five, you will flee until you are left like a beacon on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
One thousand people will flee when one person threatens them, and you will flee when five threaten you. Then you will be left alone like a flagpole on top of a mountain, like a signpost on a hill.

JPS Tanakh 1917
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 a hill.

New American Standard 1977
One thousand shall flee at the threat of one man,
            You shall flee at the threat of five;
            Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top,
            And as a signal on a hill.

Jubilee Bible 2000
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five ye shall all flee: until ye are left as a mast upon the top of a mountain and as a banner of example on a hill.

King James 2000 Bible
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall you flee: till you be left as a flagstaff upon the top of a mountain, and as a banner on a hill.

American King James Version
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall you flee: till you be left as a beacon on the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

American Standard Version
One thousand'shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on a hill.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A thousand men shall flee for fear of one: and for fear of five shall you flee, till you be left as the mast of a ship on the top of a mountain, and as an ensign upon a hill.

Darby Bible Translation
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 a banner on a hill.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 a hill.

World English Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one. At the threat of five, you will flee until you are left like a beacon on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill.

Young's Literal Translation
One thousand because of the rebuke of one, Because of the rebuke of five ye flee, Till ye have been surely left as a pole On the top of the mountain, And as an ensign on the height.
Study Bible
A Warning to a Rebellious People
16And you said, "No, for we will flee on horses," Therefore you shall flee! "And we will ride on swift horses," Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift. 17One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill. 18Therefore the LORD longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the LORD is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.…
Cross References
Leviticus 26:36
'As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.

Deuteronomy 28:25
"The LORD shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Deuteronomy 32:30
"How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had given them up?

Joshua 23:10
"One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.

Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Jeremiah 37:10
For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'"

Lamentations 4:19
Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky; They chased us on the mountains, They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.

Amos 2:14
"Flight will perish from the swift, And the stalwart will not strengthen his power, Nor the mighty man save his life.
Treasury of Scripture

One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall you flee: till you be left as a beacon on the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

thousand

Leviticus 26:8,36 And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall …

Deuteronomy 28:25 The LORD shall cause you to be smitten before your enemies: you shall …

Deuteronomy 32:30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, …

Joshua 23:10 One man of you shall chase a thousand: for the LORD your God, he …

Proverbs 28:1 The wicked flee when no man pursues: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

Jeremiah 37:10 For though you had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight …

till ye

Isaiah 1:7,8 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your …

Isaiah 37:3,4 And they said to him, Thus said Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, …

Nehemiah 1:2,3 That Hanani, one of my brothers, came, he and certain men of Judah; …

Zephaniah 3:12 I will also leave in the middle of you an afflicted and poor people, …

Zechariah 13:8,9 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, said the LORD, two …

Matthew 24:21,22 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning …

a beacon. or, a tree bereft of branches. or, boughs, or a mast

Isaiah 6:13 But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return, and shall be …

Isaiah 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the …

John 15:2-6 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every …

Romans 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild …

(17) One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one.--The hyperbole is natural and common enough (Deuteronomy 32:30; Joshua 23:10; Leviticus 26:8); but the fact that the inscription of King Piankhi Mer. Amon., translated in Records of the Past, ii. 84, gives it in the self-same words ("many shall turn their backs on a few; and one shall rout a thousand") as his boast of the strength of Egypt, may have given a special touch of sarcasm to Isaiah's words.

As a beacon upon the top of a mountain.--Literally, as a pine. As with a poet's eye, the prophet paints two of the most striking emblems of solitariness: the tall pine standing by itself on the mountain height, the flag-staff seen alone far off against the sky. (Comp. the lowlier imagery of Isaiah 1:8.)

Verse 17. - One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one. A hyperbole common in Scripture (Deuteronomy 32:30; Joshua 23:10; Leviticus 26:8), and not confined to the sacred writers. Piankhi the Ethiopian boasts, in his great inscription, that, with Ammon's help, "many should turn their backs upon a few, and one should rout a thousand" ('Records of the Past,' vol. it. p. 84). At the rebuke of five. The "rebuke" of five (i.e. their war-shout) would put to flight the whole army. As a beacon; rather, as a flag-staff - stripped and bare (comp. Isaiah 33:23; Ezekiel 27:5). A tree stripped of its branches and left standing as a landmark seems to be intended. As an ensign. A military standard, such as was in common use among the Assyrians and Egyptians, as among the Greeks and Romans (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2. p. 57; Rawlinson, 'Hist. of Egypt,' vol. 1. p. 463). One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one,.... A troop of horse, consisting of a thousand men, shall flee upon the attack and onset of a single person, so dispirited should they be, and so possessed of the fear of the enemy; what was promised to them with respect to their enemies is here turned against them, Leviticus 26:7,

at the rebuke of five shall ye flee; being attacked by a very small number, the whole army should run away: this denotes with what ease they should be routed, and put to flight; and is to be understood, not of what would be at the present time, but of what should come to pass hereafter, when the Chaldean army should come against them;

till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain; or, "as the mast of a ship", so the Septuagint and other versions. Jarchi says it signifies a high tree, or tall piece of wood fixed in the earth, like a ship's mast (p), set up to give warning of an enemy's approach, and when, and where, sometimes fires used to be kindled; hence the Targum is,

"till ye are left as a burning torch on the top of a mountain.''

The Syriac version renders it, "as a wild ass", solitary and alone:

and as an ensign on a hill; erected as a trophy of victory. The design of the metaphors is to show that there should be few that should escape falling into the enemy's hand, here and there one, that should he scattered about, and be very thin, as beacons and signs are, and should be warnings to others of pursuing the same foolish and sinful methods and practices.

(p) So Ben Melech says, it is a high piece of wood in a ship, on which they hang an ensign or flag; and so he interprets the ensign in the next clause of a veil, so called, because they lift it up upon the mast. 17. One thousand—A thousand at once, or, "As one man" [Maurer].

rebuke—the battle cry.

shall ye—at the rebuke of five shall ye, namely, all (in contrast to the "one thousand") flee so utterly that even two shall not be left together, but each one shall be as solitary "as a signal staff" [G. V. Smith], or "a banner on a hill" (Isa 5:26; 11:12). The signal staff was erected to rally a nation in war. The remnant of Jews left would be beacons to warn all men of the justice of God, and the truth of His threatenings. Gesenius (from Le 26:8; De 32:30) arbitrarily inserts "ten thousand." "At the rebuke of five shall ten thousand of you flee."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.
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