Isaiah 30:8 MEANING

Isaiah 30:8
(8) Now go, write it before them in a table.--We have before seen this in one of Isaiah's methods for giving special emphasis to his teaching (Isaiah 8:1). The word, we may believe, passed into the act in the presence of his astonished hearers. In some way or other he feels sure that what he is about to utter goes beyond the immediate occasion, and has a lesson for all time which the world would not willingly let die. Others, following the Vulg., take the verb as an imperative: "They are boasters; cease from them." (Superbia tantum est; quiesce.)

Verses 8-17. - A RENEWAL OF THREATENING. The denunciation of the Egyptian alliance had been made viva voce, in the courts of the temple or in some other place of public resort. As he ended, Isaiah received a Divine intimation that the prophecy was to be put on record, doubly, upon a tablet and in a book. At the same time, the "rebelliousness" of the people was further pointed out, and fresh threats (vers. 13, 14, and 17) were uttered against them. Verse 8. - Write it before them in a tablet; i.e." write the prophecy before them" (equivalent to "to be set up before them") "on a tablet," in the briefest possible form (comp. Isaiah 8:1). And note it in a book; i.e. "and also make a full notation of it in a book," or parchment roll. The "tablet" was to be for the admonition of the living generation of men; the "book" was for future generations, to be a record of God's omniscience and faithfulness "forever and ever." That it may be for the time to come; rather, for an after-day - not for the immediate present only. For ever and ever. Modern critics observe that the phrase, la'ad 'ad 'olam, never occurs elsewhere, and suggest a change of the pointing, which would give the sense of "for a testimony forever." Whether we accept the change or not, the meaning undoubtedly is that consigning the prophecy to a "book" would make an appeal to it possible in perpetuum. The perpetuity of the written Word is assumed as certain.

30:8-18 The Jews were the only professing people God then had in the world, yet many among them were rebellious. They had the light, but they loved darkness rather. The prophets checked them in their sinful pursuits, so that they could not proceed without fear; this they took amiss. But faithful ministers will not be driven from seeking to awaken sinners. God is the Holy One of Israel, and so they shall find him. They did not like to hear of his holy commandments and his hatred of sin; they desired that they might no more be reminded of these things. But as they despised the word of God, their sins undermined their safety. Their state would be dashed in pieces like a potter's vessel. Let us return from our evil ways, and settle in the way of duty; that is the way to be saved. Would we be strengthened, it must be in quietness and in confidence, keeping peace in our own minds, and relying upon God. They think themselves wiser than God; but the project by which they thought to save themselves was their ruin. Only here and there one shall escape, as a warning to others. If men will not repent, turn to God, and seek happiness in his favour and service, their desires will but hasten their ruin. Those who make God alone their confidence, will have comfort. God ever waits to be gracious to all that come to him by faith in Christ, and happy are those who wait for him.Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book,.... Meaning their sins, their rebellion against God, their trust in an arm of flesh, and contempt of the divine word; or the prophecy of their destruction, for these things; and both may be meant; which the Lord orders to be written before their eyes, in some public place, as in the temple, upon a table, a table of wood covered with wax, on which they formerly wrote, and then hung it up against a wall, that it might be read by everyone; and he would have him also engross it in a book, that it might be kept for time to come: now what God would have thus written and engrossed, must be something considerable, and of consequence; and, as it may refer to the sins of this people, may denote the blackness and detestableness of them, as being what they had reason to be ashamed of, when thus set before them; and, as it may refer to their punishment, it may signify the certainty of it:

that it may be for the time to come, for ever and ever; and so continue to their eternal infamy, and for the justification of God in his proceedings against them, and be cautious unto others. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "for a testimony for ever", a witness for God, and against the Jews; and so the Targum,

"and it shall be in the day of judgment for a witness before me for ever.''

Courtesy of Open Bible