Isaiah 30:5
They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
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(5) They were all ashamed . . .—Better, are: historic present, as before. The prophet paints the dreary disappointment of the embassy. They found Egypt at once weak and false, without the will or power to help them. So Rabshakeh compares that power to a “broken reed,” which does but pierce the hand of him who leans on it. So Sargon (Smith, Assyrian Canon, p. 133, quoted by Cheyne), describing the resistance of his foes, says that they carried presents, seeking his alliance, to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, a monarch who could not help them.”

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.They were all ashamed - That is, all the legates or ambassadors. When they came into Egypt, they found them either unwilling to enter into an alliance, or unable to render them any aid, and they were ashamed that they had sought their assistance rather than depend on God (compare Jeremiah 2:36). 5. (Jer 2:36.) They; both the messengers, and they who sent them. They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them,.... The princes, the ambassadors that were sent unto them, and the king or people, or both, that sent them, who hoped for and expected great things from them, but, being disappointed, were filled with shame; because either the Egyptians, who are the people here meant, either could not help them, or would not, not daring to engage with so powerful an enemy as the Assyrian monarch, which is illustrated and confirmed by repeating the same, and using other words:

nor be an help, nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach: so far from being of any advantage to them, by helping and assisting them against their enemy, wanting either inclination or capacity, or both, that it not only turned to their shame, but even was matter of reproach to them, that ever they made any application to them, or placed any confidence in them for help.

They were all ashamed of a people that could not profit them, nor be an help nor profit, but a shame, and also a reproach.
Verse 5. - They were all ashamed; rather, all are ashamed. The reference is not to the ambassadors, who felt no shame in their embassy, and probably returned elated by the promises made them; but to the subsequent feelings of the Jewish nation, when it was discovered by sad experience that no reliance was to be placed on "the strength of Pharaoh." A people that could not profit them. Mr. Cheyne compares, very pertinently, an inscription of Sargon's, where he says of the people of Philistia, Judah, Edom, and Moab, that "they and their evil chiefs, to fight against me, unto Pharaoh, King of Egypt, a monarch who could not save them, their presents carried, and besought his alliance" (G. Smith, 'Eponym Canon,' p. 130, II. 35-39). Egypt was, in fact, quite unable to cope with Assyria, and knew it. A shame, and also a reproach. A matter of which they would themselves be "ashamed," and with which the Assyrians would "reproach" them (as they did, 2 Kings 18:21, 24). Everything that was incorrigible would be given up to destruction; and therefore the people of God, when it came out of the judgment, would have nothing of the same kind to look for again. "Therefore thus saith Jehovah of the house of Jacob, He who redeemed Abraham: Jacob shall not henceforth be ashamed, nor shall his face turn pale any more. For when he, when his children see the work of my hands in the midst of him, they will sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shudder before the God of Israel. And those who were of an erring spirit discern understanding, and murmurers accept instruction." With אל (for which Luzzatto, following Lowth, reads אל sda, "the God of the house of Jacob") the theme is introduced to which the following utterance refers. The end of Israel will correspond to the holy root of its origin. Just as Abraham was separated from the human race that was sunk in heathenism, to become the ancestor of a nation of Jehovah, so would a remnant be separated from the great mass of Israel that was sunk in apostasy from Jehovah; and this remnant would be the foundation of a holy community well pleasing to God. And this would never be confounded or become pale with shame again (on bōsh, see at Isaiah 1:29; châvar is a poetical Aramaism); for both sins and sinners that called forth the punishments of God, which had put them to shame, would have been swept away (cf., Zephaniah 3:11). In the presence of this decisive work of punishment (ma‛ăseh as in Isaiah 28:21; Isaiah 10:12; Isaiah 5:12, Isaiah 5:19), which Jehovah would perform in the heart of Israel, Israel itself would undergo a thorough change. ילדיו is in apposition to the subject in בּראתו, "when he, namely his children" (comp. Job 29:3); and the expression "his children" is intentionally chosen instead of "his sons" (bânı̄m), to indicate that there would be a new generation, which would become, in the face of the judicial self-manifestation of Jehovah, a holy church, sanctifying Him, the Holy One of Israel. Yaqdı̄shū is continued in vehiqdı̄shū: the prophet intentionally repeats this most significant word, and he‛ĕrı̄ts is the parallel word to it, as in Isaiah 8:12-13. The new church would indeed not be a sinless one, or thoroughly perfect; but, according to Isaiah 29:24, the previous self-hardening in error would have been exchanged for a willing and living appropriation of right understanding, and the former murmuring resistance to the admonitions of Jehovah would have given place to a joyful and receptive thirst for instruction. There is the same interchange of Jacob and Israel here which we so frequently met with in chapters 40ff. And, in fact, throughout this undisputedly genuine prophecy of Isaiah, we can detect the language of chapters 40-66. Through the whole of the first part, indeed, we may trace the gradual development of the thoughts and forms which predominate there.
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