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). Isaiah 30:5The 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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