Isaiah 30:28
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
His breath is like an overflowing torrent, Which reaches to the neck, To shake the nations back and forth in a sieve, And to put in the jaws of the peoples the bridle which leads to ruin.

King James Bible
And his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err.

Darby Bible Translation
and his breath as an overflowing torrent, which reacheth even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to put a bridle into the jaws of the peoples, that causeth them to go astray.

World English Bible
His breath is as an overflowing stream that reaches even to the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction; and a bridle that leads to ruin will be in the jaws of the peoples.

Young's Literal Translation
And His breath is as an overflowing stream, Unto the neck it divideth, To sift nations with a sieve of vanity, And a bridle causing to err, Is on the jaws of the peoples.

Isaiah 30:28 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

And his breath - The word רוח rûach properly means "wind," air in motion; then a breathing, an exhalation, a breath; then the soul, spirit, etc. The idea here seems to be that of excited, and rapid, and agitated breathing, as when one is in anger (compare Judges 8:3; Zechariah 6:8).

As an overflowing stream - This figure is common to express desolating judgments (see the notes at Isaiah 8:8; Isaiah 10:22; Isaiah 28:17; compare Psalm 69:2, Psalm 69:15).

Shall reach to the midst of the neck - Isaiah Isa 8:8, in describing the invasion of Sennacherib, and comparing it to an oveflowing torrent, says it would 'reach even to the neck;' that is, it would overflow the land, and even approach the head, the capital, but that that would be spared. By the use of a similar figure, and perhaps referring to that, he here says, that the judgment of God would overflow the army of the Assyrians, but that it would approach only to the neck, the head would still be spared; the commander and sovereign would not be destroyed. In accordance with this prediction, the angel in one night, as with an overflowing flood, cut off the army, and yet spared the sovereign, Sennacherib, who escaped with his life Isaiah 37:36-37. The word rendered 'shall reach' (רחצה yechĕtseh) properly means "shall divide," or cut into two parts Genesis 33:8; Numbers 31:37, Numbers 31:42; Judges 9:43; and the idea here seems to be that a man who is in the water seems to be "divided" into two parts, one part above, and one in the water.

To sift the nations - Doubtless many nations were laid under requisition to furnish an army so large as that of Sennaherib, as the kingdom of Assyria was made up of a number of tributary people and provinces. The word rendered 'to sift' refers to the act of winnowing or fanning grain, in which the grain is "tossed" or thrown from the shovel into the air. As the chaff is driven away by the wind, so the nations in the army of Sennacherib would be scattered.

With the sieve of vanity - That is, of emptiness or perdition; he would so scatter them that nothing would be left.

A bridle in the jaws of the people - The idea is, that he had all these nations as much under his control as a man has a horse with a bridle in his mouth. The same idea the prophet has used in reference to the same subject in Isaiah 37:29 :

I will put my bridle in thy jaws,

And I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.

Causing them to err - That shall cause them to wander; that is, he would turn them from the path in which they had designed to go. They had purposed to go to Jerusalem, but he would lead them back to their own land, discomfited and disheartened (see Isaiah 37:29).

Isaiah 30:28 Parallel Commentaries

Library
The Voice Behind Thee
The word behind us which is spoken of in the text is mentioned as one among other covenant blessings. No "if" or "but" is joined to it. It is one of those gracious, unconditional promises upon which the salvation of the guilty depends. There are many comforts of the new life which depend upon our own action and behaviour, and these come to us with "ifs"; but those which are vital and essential are secured to the chosen of God without "but" or "peradventure." It shall be so: God declares it shall,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 28: 1882

God's People Delivered
When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. The people of God--some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains--still
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

The Evening Light
This chapter is an article written by the author many years after she had received light on the unity of the church. It will acquaint the reader with what is meant by the expression "evening light." "At evening time it shall be light." "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light" (Zechariah 14:6,7). The expression
Mary Cole—Trials and Triumphs of Faith

The Baptist's Inquiry and Jesus' Discourse Suggested Thereby.
(Galilee.) ^A Matt. XI. 2-30; ^C Luke VII. 18-35. ^c 18 And the disciples of John told him of all these things. ^a 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent by his disciples ^c 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them unto the Lord [John had been cast into prison about December, a.d. 27, and it was now after the Passover, possibly in May or June, a.d. 28. Herod Antipas had cast John into prison because John had reproved him for taking his brother's wife.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
2 Thessalonians 2:8
Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;

2 Kings 19:28
'Because of your raging against Me, And because your arrogance has come up to My ears, Therefore I will put My hook in your nose, And My bridle in your lips, And I will turn you back by the way which you came.

Isaiah 8:8
"Then it will sweep on into Judah, it will overflow and pass through, It will reach even to the neck; And the spread of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel.

Isaiah 11:4
But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.

Isaiah 28:2
Behold, the Lord has a strong and mighty agent; As a storm of hail, a tempest of destruction, Like a storm of mighty overflowing waters, He has cast it down to the earth with His hand.

Isaiah 28:15
Because you have said, "We have made a covenant with death, And with Sheol we have made a pact. The overwhelming scourge will not reach us when it passes by, For we have made falsehood our refuge and we have concealed ourselves with deception."

Isaiah 30:29
You will have songs as in the night when you keep the festival, And gladness of heart as when one marches to the sound of the flute, To go to the mountain of the LORD, to the Rock of Israel.

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