Isaiah 30:27
Behold, the name of the LORD comes from far, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:
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(27) Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far . . .—The use of “the Name of Jehovah” for Jehovah Himself is noticeable as an anticipation of the later use of the memra (sc., “word”) in the Targumim (or paraphrases) of the sacred writings, and of the logos of St. John, a distinct, though not defined, conception of a duality in the Divine essence. In other respects the vision of the Theophany has its parallels in Judges 5:4-5; Exodus 24:17.

And the burden thereof is heavy.—Better, in thick uplifting of smoke.

Isaiah 30:27-28. Behold, &c. — Here begins the last part of the discourse contained in this chapter, in which the prophet gives an earnest of those greater blessings promised, for times to come, by assuring his people of the approaching destruction of the Assyrian forces. “It is an exquisitely fine and sublime passage, and closely connected with the argument and scope of the whole discourse, in that it teaches that the Jews and Israelites had no need to flee to Egypt for help against the Assyrians, to the neglect of their duty toward God, since God was perfectly sufficient to defend them, and had determined to destroy the Assyrian.” — Vitringa. The name of the Lord is here put for the Lord himself, and he is said to come from far, either as coming unexpectedly, or as having for a long time appeared to withdraw his presence, and withhold his help from his people; burning with anger — Determined to take signal vengeance on his enemies. And the burden thereof is heavy — The punishment which he will inflict will prove very grievous and intolerable. His lips are full of indignation — He hath pronounced a severe sentence against them, and will give command for the execution of it. And his breath — His anger, or rather, the effects thereof; (the expression is borrowed from men’s discovering their anger by strong and vehement breathing; see on Job 4:9;) as an overflowing stream — Coming from him as vehemently as a mighty torrent of waters; shall reach to the midst of the neck — Shall bring the Assyrian into a most dangerous condition, as a man, who is in waters which reach to his neck, is in great danger of being drowned; see on Isaiah 8:8. To sift the nations with the sieve of vanity — To shake and scatter, as it were, with a sieve, the Assyrian army, made up of the people of different nations. “Vanity,” says Lowth, “sometimes signifies destruction: so Isaiah 57:13. Vanity shall take them, that is, they shall be destroyed. And here the sieve of vanity is such a one as doth not separate the chaff in order to save the corn, but makes an entire riddance, as when chaff is scattered before the wind.” Bishop Lowth translates the clause, To toss the nations with the van of perdition, judging that נפהrather signifies a van than a sieve, and observing from Kimchi, “The use of the van is to cleanse the corn from the chaff and straw: but the van with which God will winnow the nations, will be the van of emptiness or perdition; for nothing useful shall remain behind, but all shall come to nothing, and perish. In like manner a bridle is designed to guide the horse in the right way; but the bridle which God will put in the jaws of the people, shall not direct them aright, but shall make them err, and lead them into destruction.”30:27-33 God curbs and restrains from doing mischief. With a word he guides his people into the right way, but with a bridle he turns his enemies upon their own ruin. Here, in threatening the ruin of Sennacherib's army, the prophet points at the final and everlasting destruction of all impenitent sinners. Tophet was a valley near Jerusalem, where fires were continually burning to destroy things that were hurtful and offensive, and there the idolatrous Jews caused their children to pass through the fire to Moloch. This denotes the certainty of the destruction, as an awful emblem of the place of torment in the other world. No oppressor shall escape the Divine wrath. Let sinners then flee to Christ, seeking to be reconciled to Him, that they may be safe and happy, when destruction from the Almighty shall sweep away all the workers of iniquity.Behold, the name of the Lord cometh - (compare the notes at Isaiah 19:1). The verses following, to the end of the chapter, are designed evidently to describe the destruction of the army of Sennacherib. This is expressly declared in Isaiah 30:31, and all the circumstances in the prediction accord with that event. There is no necessity of supposing that this is the commencement of a new prophecy, for it is connected with the main subject in the previous part of the chapter. The whole prophecy was composed evidently in view of that threatened invasion. In the apprehension of that, they sought the aid of Egypt Isaiah 30:1-6, for that, the prophet denounces judgment on them (Isaiah 30:8 ff); in view of these judgments, however, he promises a more happy state Isaiah 30:18-26; and now, in the close of the chapter, in order to deter them from the alliance, he assures them that, without any foreign aid, the Assyrian would be destroyed by Yahweh himself. The phrase 'name of Yahweh,' is probably another mode of designating Yahweh himself; as the name of God is often put for God himself (see Acts 3:6-7, Acts 3:12, 30; Acts 4:10; 1 Corinthians 1:10). The idea is, that the destruction of the Assyrian hosts would be accomplished by the immediate power of Yahweh himself without any need of the aid of the Egyptian or of any foreign alliances.

From afar - That is, from heaven (compare the note at Isaiah 19:1).

Burning with his anger - Or, rather, his anger is enkindled.

And the burden thereof - Margin, 'Grievousness of flame.' Lowth renders it, 'The flame rageth violently.' Noyes, 'Violent is the flame.' The Septuagint renders it, 'A burning wrath' The word משׂאה mas'â'âh, from נשׂא nâs'â' "to bear, lift up, carry," means properly a lifting up Psalm 141:2; a burden Zephaniah 3:18; then a mounting up, particularly of a flame or smoke in a conflagration Judges 20:38. This seems to be the idea here, that the anger of God would be like a heavy, dark column of mingled smoke and flame bursting out, and rising up over a city.

His lips are full of indignation - All this language is of course figurative, and means that he would issue a command to destroy the Assyrians, or that they would be destroyed in such a manner as most effectively to exhibit his displeasure.

And his tongue as a devouring fire - That is, he shall issue a command that shall destroy like a raging and devouring fire.

27. name of … Lord—that is, Jehovah Himself (Ps 44:5; 54:1); represented as a storm approaching and ready to burst over the Assyrians (Isa 30:30, 31).

burden … is heavy—literally, "grievousness is the flame," that is, the flame which darts from Him is grievous. Or else (as the Hebrew means an "uplifting") the uprising cloud is grievous [G. V. Smith]; the gathering cloud gradually rising till it bursts.

Here begins the last part of the chapter, wherein he gives them an earnest of those greater mercies promised for times to come, by assuring them of the approaching destruction of the Assyrian forces.

The name of the Lord; the Lord himself: for as the names of men are oft put for the men themselves, as Numbers 26:53 Acts 1:15 Revelation 3:4 11:13; so the name of God is frequently put for God, as Genesis 4:26 Deu 28:58 Psalm 20:1,7, &c.

Cometh from far; from a very remote place, even from heaven, whence God sent his angel to destroy them, Isaiah 37:36. Possibly this expression may respect the judgment of the Assyrians, who looked upon God as one afar off, not only in his presence, which they thought to be confined to heaven, but in his care of and affections to the Jews; and therefore no more expected any opposition from him than from them who live in the ends of the earth.

The burden thereof is heavy; he will inflict heavy judgments upon them.

His lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire; he hath pronounced a severe sentence against them, and will give command for the execution of it. Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from far,.... From hence to the end of the chapter Isaiah 30:28 is a very full account, by way of prophecy, of the destruction of the Assyrian army by the Lord; and which is to be considered as a type of the destruction of antichrist, by and at the coming of the Lord Jesus. It is introduced with a "behold", as declaring something of moment and importance worthy of attention, and even wonderful. "The name of the Lord" is the Lord himself; unless it is to be understood of the angel that came in the name of the Lord, and destroyed Sennacherib's army; who may be said to come "from far", because he came from heaven; and from whence Christ the Angel uncreated, in whom the name of the Lord is, will come to judge the world, and to take vengeance on all his and his people's enemies, antichrist and all his followers:

burning with his anger; against the Assyrian monarch and his army. So our Lord, when he shall come forth to make war with the antichristian kings of the earth, his "eyes" shall be "as a flame of fire": and when he comes to judge the world, he will descend in "flaming fire", Revelation 19:12 the day of the Lord will burn as an oven, Malachi 4:1,

and the burden thereof is heavy: the punishment inflicted, in his burning anger and hot displeasure, will be heavy, even intolerable, heavier than it can be borne, as the Targum paraphrases it; see Genesis 4:13,

his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire; the words he will utter, the sentence he will pronounce, will be dreadful, executed by the angel; so the sharp sword that goes out of the mouth of Christ, with which he will smite the nations; and such the awful sentence pronounced by him on the wicked, "go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire", &c. see Revelation 19:15. So the Targum,

"from before him goes out the curse upon the ungodly, and his Word as a consuming fire.''

Behold, {z} the name of the LORD cometh from far, burning with his anger, and the burden of it is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire:

(z) This threatening is against the Assyrians the chief enemies of the people of God.

27. the name of the Lord] appears here to be synonymous with what is elsewhere called the “glory of Jehovah” (cf. the parallelism, ch. Isaiah 59:19; Psalm 102:15) i.e. the visible manifestation of His presence. It may have the same sense in ch. Isaiah 18:7, the Temple of the future being conceived as the scene of a perpetual Theophany (Ezekiel 43:2 ff.). Amongst the later Jews the expression “the Name” was commonly used, out of reverence, to avoid the use of Jehovah (cf. Leviticus 24:11).

cometh from far] In Jdg 5:4; Deuteronomy 33:2, the Theophany comes from Seir or Sinai; here its origin is left indefinite. Jehovah’s coming is like that of the thundercloud which appears on the distant horizon, no eye having observed the mysterious process by which it was formed. In what follows the figure of the storm is inseparably blended with an anthropomorphic representation of Jehovah.

and the burden thereof is heavy] Render: and with thick uplifting (of smoke) (Cheyne). R.V. “in thick rising smoke.” Cf. Jdg 20:38.

full of indignation] Perhaps “full of angry foam.”

27, 28. These verses describe the Theophany, in which Jehovah appears to destroy the Assyrians, cf. Jdg 5:4-5; Psalm 18:7 ff. Psalm 50:3-5.Verses 27-33. - A PROPHECY OF ASSYRIA'S DESTRUCTION. Mr. Chcyne regards this passage as "a symbolic description of the judgment introduced by a theophany." But is it not rather a poetical description of God's judgment on Assyria, which may be, probably is, a type of his final judgment upon an iniquitous world? The mention of Assyria in ver. 31 seems to be decisive in favor of the prophecy being (primarily) of special application to the circumstances of the time. Verse 27. - The Name of the Lord cometh from far. "The Name of Jehovah" is scarcely distinguishable from Jehovah himself. Jehovah, who has long hid himself, and seemed to keep himself remote from worldly affairs, now is about to manifest his glory, and interpose in the doings of men in a wonderful way. Burning with his anger; rather, his anger burneth (comp. Isaiah 42:25). And the burden thereof is heavy; "anti heavy is its grievousness." His tongue as a devouring fire (comp. Exodus 24:17; Deuteronomy 9:3; Isaiah 9:19; Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 29:6; Isaiah 33:14). None but such are heirs of the grace that follows the judgment - a people, newly pardoned in response to its cry for help, conducted by faithful teachers in the right way, and renouncing idolatry with disgust. "For a people continues dwelling in Zion, in Jerusalem; thou shalt not weep for ever: He will prove Himself gracious to thee at the sound of thy cry for help; as soon as He hears, He answers thee. And the Lord giveth you bread in penury, and water for your need; and thy teachers will not hide themselves any more, and thine eyes come to see thy teachers. And thine ears will hear words behind thee, saying, 'This is the way, walk ye in it!' whether ye turn to the right hand or to the left. And ye defile the covering of thy graven images of silver, and the clothing of thy molten images of gold; thou wilt scatter them like filthy thing: 'Get out!' thou sayest to it." We do not render Isaiah 30:19, "For O people that dwelleth in Zion, in Jerusalem!" For although the personal pronoun may be omitted after Vav in an apostrophizing connection (Proverbs 8:5; Joel 2:23), we should certainly expect to find אתּה here. The accent very properly marks these words as forming an independent clause. The apparent tautology in the expression, "in Zion, in Jerusalem," is emphatic and explanatory. The fate of Zion-Jerusalem will not be the same as that of the imperial city (Isaiah 13:20; Isaiah 25:2); for it is the city of Jehovah, which, according to His promise, cannot become an eternally deserted ruin. After this promising declaration, the prophet turns and addresses the people of the future in the people of his own time; bâkhō strengthens the verbal notion with the mark of duration; chânōn with the mark of certainty and fulness. יחנך, with an advanced ŏ, as in Genesis 43:29, for יחן. כּ is the shortest expression used to denote simultaneous occurrence; answering and hearing would coincide (shom‛âh, nomen actionis, as in Isaiah 47:9; Isaiah 55:2; Ges. 45, 1b; ‛ânâkh, the pausal form here, as in Jeremiah 23:37). From this lowest stage of response to the penitential cry for help, the promise rises higher and higher. The next stage is that in which Jerusalem is brought into all the distress consequent upon a siege, as threatened by the prophet in Isaiah 29:3-4; the besieged would not be allowed by God to die of starvation, but He would send them the necessary support. The same expression, but very little altered, viz., "to give to eat lechem lachatz ūmayim lachatz," signifies to put any one upon the low rations of a siege or of imprisonment, in 1 Kings 22:27 and 2 Chronicles 18:26; but here it is a promise, with the threat kept in the background. צר and לחץ are connected with the absolute nouns לחם and מים, not as adverbial, but as appositional definitions (like תּרעלה יין, "wine which is giddiness," in Psalm 60:5; and בּרכּים מים, "water which is knees," i.e., which has the measure of the knees, where birkayim is also in apposition, and not the accusative of measurement): literally, bread which is necessity, and water which is affliction; that is to say, nourishment of which there is extreme need, the very opposite of bread and water in abundance. Umbreit and Drechsler understand this spiritually. But the promise rises as it goes on. There is already an advance, in the fact that the faithful and well-meaning teachers (mōrı̄m) no longer keep themselves hidden because of the hard-heartedness and hatred of the people, as they have done ever since the time of Ahaz (נכנף, a denom.: to withdraw into כּנף, πτέρυξ, the utmost end, the most secret corner; though kânaph in itself signifies to cover or conceal). Israel, when penitent, would once more be able to rejoice in the sight of those whom it longed to have back again. מוריך is a plural, according to the context (on the singular of the previous predicate, see Ges. 147). As the shepherds of the flock, they would follow the people with friendly words of admonition, whilst the people would have their ears open to receive their instruction. תּאמינוּ is here equivalent to תּימינוּ, תּימינוּ. The abominations of idolatry (which continued even in the first years of Hezekiah's reign: Isaiah 31:7; Micah 1:5; Micah 5:11-13; Micah 6:16) would now be regarded as abominations, and put away. Even gold and silver, with which the images that were either carved or cast in inferior metal were overlaid, would be made unclean (see 2 Kings 28:8ff.); that is to say, no use would be made of them. Dâvâh is a shorter expression for kelı̄ dâvâh, the cloth worn by a woman at the monthly period. On zârâh, to dispense - to which dâvâh would be inappropriate if understood of the woman herself, as it is by Luzzatto - compare 2 Kings 23:6. With זהבך, the plural used in the general address passes over into the individualizing singular; לו is to be taken as a neuter pointing back to the plunder of idols.
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