|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:1-7 It was often the fault and folly of the Jews, that when troubled by their neighbours on one side, they sought for succour from others, instead of looking up to God. Nor can we avoid the dreadful consequences of adding sin to sin, but by making the righteousness of Christ our refuge, and seeking for the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. Men have always been prone to lean to their own understandings, but this will end in their shame and misery. They would not trust in God. They took much pains to gain the Egyptians. The riches so spent turned to a bad account. See what dangers men run into who forsake God to follow their carnal confidences. The Creator is the Rock of ages, the creature a broken reed; we cannot expect too little from man, or too much from God. Our strength is to sit still, in humble dependence upon God and his goodness, and quiet submission to his will.
Verse 2. - That walk; or, are on their way (comp. Isaiah 31:1). Either the Jewish ambassadors have already started, or the anticipatory vision of the prophet sees them as if starting. In the history (2 Kings 18:13-37; Isaiah 36:1-22) it is not expressly said that Hezekiah made application to Egypt for aid; but the reproaches of Rabshakeh (2 Kings 18:21, 24) would be pointless if he had not done so. Have not asked at my mouth. As they ought to have done (see Numbers 27:21; Judges 1:1; Judges 20:18; 1 Samuel 23:2; 1 Kings 22:7, etc.). To strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh. It is very uncertain who is the "Pharaoh" here intended. The supreme power over Egypt was probably, at the time, in the hands of Tirkakah (2 Kings 19:9); but Lower Egypt seems to have been ruled by various princes, the chief of whom was Shabatok, and any one of these may have been regarded by Isaiah as a "Pharaoh." To trust in the shadow of Egypt. Trust in the "shadow of God" was an expression very familiar to the Jews (see Psalm 17:8; Psalm 36:7; Psalm 63:7; Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 25:4; Isaiah 32:2). To "trust in the shadow of Egypt" was to put Egypt in the place of God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
That walk to go down into Egypt,.... That walk out of their own land to go thither; who sent messengers thither to form an alliance, and get help and assistance, or went in person, to secure themselves from present danger. Jarchi refers this to the times of Hoshea, the son of Elah, king of Israel, who sent messengers to So, king of Egypt, 2 Kings 17:4. Jerom to the times of Jeremiah, to the history in his prophecy, Jeremiah 41:17 and others to Zedekiah. Kimchi thinks it respects the time of Ahaz, though there is no account, either in the books of Kings or Chronicles, of sending then to Egypt for help; or else to the times of Hezekiah himself; which latter is right, as appears from the insults of Rabshakeh, when Sennacherib's army was before Jerusalem, Isaiah 36:6,
and have not asked at my mouth: or as the Targum,
"the words of my prophets they have not asked;''
they did not inquire of the prophets of the Lord, whether they should go down or not:
to strengthen themselves in the strength of Pharaoh; by making an alliance with him, and receiving men and horses from him, to assist them against the Assyrians; this Pharaoh was he whom the Scriptures call So, 2 Kings 17:4 and by other writers, Sevechus and Sethon:
and to trust in the shadow of Egypt; the protection that would afford them, in which they placed their confidence, and thought themselves safe from their other enemy, by having so powerful an ally; but this was but a shadow, as are whatsoever men trust in short of the Lord himself, be they riches or righteousness, or any creature or creature enjoyment.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. walk—are now setting out, namely, their ambassadors (Isa 30:4).
Egypt—See on Isa 19:1; Isa 20:1.
Pharaoh—the generic name of the kings of Egypt, as Cæsar was at Rome. The word in Egyptian means "king" [Josephus, Antiquities, 8.6,2]. Phra, "the sun," was the hieroglyphic symbol and title of the king.
shadow—image from shelter against heat: protection (Ps 121:5, 6).
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