When God Inspires His Prophets, ישעיהו ל:טו-כ / Isaiah 30:15-20

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Isaiah 30:15-20

In these verses from Isaiah 30:15-20 it appears as if the people are intentionally fleeing the truth of God! The interesting thing about the Hebrew word for truth is that this word is all encompassing in the Hebrew language. The Hebrew word “truth” is אֱמֶת֙ and we note something about this word. Looking at the Hebrew alphabet and the word emet / אֱמֶת֙  we see that this word contains the first, middle, and last letters of the Hebrew alphabet. This is the meaning of “truth” being all encompassing in the Hebrew language.

Since the truth is all encompassing, it always has a place to be put into practice in our lives. This leads to the fact that we are to live by the truth and not live by a lie. We note that this is a very weighty concept since God Himself is called the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16-17, 15:26, 16:13). The root of the word emet / אֱמֶת֙ comes from aman אמן which means to make firm or support and expresses the idea of making something firm analogous to the Lord taking care of us. The Hebrew conception of “truth” is coupled with this understanding of who God is according to the Tanakh (תנ’’ך) for example we read the following spoken by the prophet Malachi.

ספר מלאכי פרק ב
ו  תֹּורַ֤ת אֱמֶת֙ הָיְתָ֣ה בְּפִ֔יהוּ וְעַוְלָ֖ה לֹא־נִמְצָ֣א בִשְׂפָתָ֑יו בְּשָׁלֹ֤ום וּבְמִישֹׁור֙ הָלַ֣ךְ אִתִּ֔י וְרַבִּ֖ים הֵשִׁ֥יב מֵעָוֹֽן׃

Malachi 2:6
2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, And iniquity was not found in his lips: He walked with me in peace and equity, And did turn many away from iniquity. (KJV)

Malachi states תֹּורַ֤ת אֱמֶת֙ הָיְתָ֣ה בְּפִ֔יהוּ “the Torah of truth was in His mouth” meaning that when God inspires His prophets, he does so in truth. These things reveal to us how there is no truth apart from the God of Israel! The interesting point is that when we look at the word emet / אֱמֶת֙ we realize that when any part of the truth is removed we get something false. For example, if we remove the letter aleph א then what we have is מת which means “death.” The letter aleph is the ineffable letter that represents the oneness of God and His glory, such as the demonstration of His power “in the beginning” with the creation. So the idea is if we remove God from the truth, all we end up with is death! The rabbis illustrate this from the Torah that God’s truth emanates from the very beginning saying the following according to Midrash Rabbah Bereshit 1:7.

Bereishit Rabbah 1:7
רַבִּי יִצְחָק פָּתַח (תהלים קיט, קס): רֹאשׁ דְּבָרְךָ אֱמֶת וגו’, אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק מִתְּחִלַּת בְּרִיָּתוֹ שֶׁל עוֹלָם רֹאשׁ דְּבָרְךָ אֱמֶת. בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, (ירמיה י, י): וַה’ אֱלֹהִים אֱמֶת. וּלְעוֹלָם כָּל מִשְׁפַּט צִדְקֶךָ, שֶׁכָּל גְּזֵרָה וּגְזֵרָה שֶׁאַתָּה גּוֹזֵר עַל בְּרִיּוֹתֶיךָ הֵן מַצְדִיקִין עֲלֵיהֶם אֶת הַדִּין וּמְקַבְּלִין אוֹתוֹ בֶּאֱמוּנָה, וְאֵין כָּל בְּרִיָה יְכוֹלָה לוֹמַר שְׁתֵּי רְשֻׁיּוֹת בָּרְאוּ הָעוֹלָם. וַיְדַבְּרוּ אֱלֹהִים, אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן, אֶלָּא וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים. וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֱלֹהִים, אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן, אֶלָּא וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים. בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרְאוּ אֱלֹהִים, אֵין כְּתִיב כָּאן, אֶלָּא בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים.
Rabbi Yitzchak opened with (Psalms 119:160): “The beginning of Your word is truth, and Your righteous law is forever.” Rabbi Yitzchak said: From the beginning of the creation of the world “the beginning of Your word is truth.” “In the beginning God created”–(Jeremiah 10:10) “Your God is true.” “And Your righteous law is forever”–that for every restriction that you place on your creations, they affirm the righteousness of your judgement and accept it with faith. No creation can say that two powers created the world. It is not written: “the gods spoke”, but rather: “God spoke”. It is not written: “the gods said”, but rather: “God said”. It is not written: “in the beginning the gods created”, but rather: “God created”.

We see here the Rabbis explain that the beginning of God’s word is truth! They begin with the righteous Torah of God being eternal, and then say that the beginning of God’s word is Truth. Righteousness and judgment are coupled to the truth of God, and this is so powerful of a statement that this is how God made all of creation from the sense that “God spoke” and it was so! There were no other gods involved. These concepts from the Rabbis are derived from Bereshit / Genesis 2:3 which states the following.

ספר בראשית פרק ב
ג   וַיְבָ֤רֶךְ אֱלֹהִים֙ אֶת־יֹ֣ום הַשְּׁבִיעִ֔י וַיְקַדֵּ֖שׁ אֹתֹ֑ו כִּ֣י בֹ֤ו שָׁבַת֙ מִכָּל־מְלַאכְתֹּ֔ו אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹהִ֖ים לַעֲשֹֽׂות׃ 

Bereshit / Genesis 2:3
2:3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made. (KJV)

The sages believed the beginning of God’s word is truth based upon the words from the Creation account according to Bereshit / Genesis 2:3 when the scriptures state אֲשֶׁר־בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹהִ֖ים לַעֲשֹֽׂות “which God created, to do.” Notice the final letters of בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹהִ֖ים לַעֲשֹֽׂות spell the word אֱמֶת֙ “truth.” Based upon these things the Rabbis quote from Tehillim / Psalms 119:160 “The beginning of Your word is truth, and Your righteous law is forever.” What these things reveal to us is בָּרָ֥א אֱלֹהִ֖ים לַעֲשֹֽׂות that God created creation “to do” (לַעֲשֹֽׂות) something. That something is to continue in the ways of God in righteousness, holiness, justice, and truth (Tikkun Olam). The truth is about doing and is not about simply existing in this world, but to our duty as God’s people to live our lives for Him and tell others about His great love for us. We who are God’s people exist within this concept of the truth of God, and so the people of Judah and Jerusalem missed the point of God having created them, their purpose, to trust in Him and to bring glory to His holy Name! Those who walk in the footsteps of the Messiah are called to live the truth, and their lives should exhibit the truth of God! It is in this way that we understand how the truth and the Torah of God are joined together from the beginning, and this truth is eternal. This reveals to us how important the Torah is for our lives today. We also note how in the book of Revelation, Yeshua is called the Aleph and the Tav, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. These are divine titles that are given to the Messiah of God (see Isaiah 41:4, 44:6, Revelation 1:1, 1:17-18, 22:13) illustrating how the presence of God fully dwells upon Him! When we consider the question of the truth, based upon the Scriptures this reminds us of who created us, God in heaven who seeks us to draw near to Him in His Word. The Lord God Almighty is personal, intense, emotional, compassionate, He is a God who is intimate with His creation in this world, as the Living God who created us for life and not for death. These are the reasons why the prophets and all of the scriptures call us back to this basic concept of truth, the truth of God and of His Torah, how the Lord God Almighty is the source and origin of truth according to His Holy Word! Therefore we are called to seek truth, the Lord God of Israel and His Messiah Yeshua!

Isaiah goes on to describe those who turn from the Lord saying the following according to Isaiah 30:15.

ספר ישעיה פרק ל
טו   כִּי כֹה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֶוִֹה קְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּשׁוּבָה וָנַחַת תִּוָּשֵׁעוּן בְּהַשְׁקֵט וּבְבִטְחָה תִּהְיֶה גְּבוּרַתְכֶם וְלֹא אֲבִיתֶם: 

Isaiah 30:15 states, “For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not. (כִּי כֹה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהֶוִֹה קְדוֹשׁ יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּשׁוּבָה וָנַחַת תִּוָּשֵׁעוּן בְּהַשְׁקֵט וּבְבִטְחָה תִּהְיֶה גְּבוּרַתְכֶם וְלֹא אֲבִיתֶם)” Here Isaiah speaks of the importance of Teshuvah by saying, בְּשׁוּבָה וָנַחַת תִּוָּשֵׁעוּן “in returning and rest will you be saved.” This is a very important concept and there is a NT commentary on this according t o Acts 3:19.

Acts 3:19
3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (KJV, 19 μετανοήσατε οὖν καὶ ἐπιστρέψατε ⸀εἰς τὸ ἐξαλειφθῆναι ὑμῶν τὰς ἁμαρτίας,*)

We note here that turning from sin is synonymous to repenting. In the LXX μετάνοια occurs 7x, and only once in the canonical Hebrew bible (see Mishley / Proverbs 14:15). The verb μετανοέω is used 24x; it most frequently stands for נחם and in most instances it is used with reference to God. Thus, we read, in the context of Saul’s punishment, that God “will not turn back or change his mind, for he is not like a human, that he should change his mind” (1 Samuel 15:29, also Jeremiah 4:28 and Zechariah 8:14). Elsewhere, however, God does change his mind in the sense that, because of his mercy, he relents from bringing judgment on sinful persons (Jeremiah 18:8, Joel 2:13-14, Amos 7:3-6, Jonah 3:9-10). Note also that the words μετάνοια and μετανοέω become the characteristic terms for conversion in later Jewish-Greek writings. This shift in usage is evident in the references found in the Apocrypha also in the Pseudepigrapha. writings (e.g., Sib. Or. 1.129 et al.; T. Reu. 1.9; 2.1.; T. Jud. 19.2; Jos. Asen. 15.6–8). The word group is common in Philo (65x) and Josephus (75x), both of whom use the terms mainly to denote repentance of one’s sin (especially in Philo’s extended discussion in Virt. 175–86). John the Baptist called the people to a “baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4, Luke 3:3, Matthew 3:2, 3:11, Acts 13:24, 19:4) and to produce its corresponding fruit, for example, to show the genuineness of one’s repentance through their conduct (Matthew 3:8, Luke 3:8). The motivation for repentance was that “the kingdom of heaven has come near” (Matthew 3:2). Those wishing to escape judgment (Matthew 3:10) must repent, so that their whole lives may be changed and brought into a new relationship with God. This is a very important concept here of the entire life being changed. This means that  Teshuvah is not simply a mental exercise! We also realize that repentance, faith, and discipleship are different aspects of the same thing (Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe”). The point here is what Yeshua said in Luke 5:32, that he had come to call the sinners, not the righteous, εἰς μετάνοιαν, “to repentance.” This is the idea of a sinner turning back to God and His holy ways. Note the parallels to this in the parables from Luke 15:7 and 15:10. God’s gift to us is the converted life, one that is holy and righteous, and this comes only by the indwelling presence of God in our lives. This is the entire concept and conclusion of the parable that said, “This son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found” (Luke 15:24 15:32). The NT text is a great commentary on what it means to repent and turn from sin, and this appears to be what Isaiah is saying here, that in order to receive help from God there must be change in attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs. Similarly, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven there must be change and this occurs through the Torah centric principle of God dwelling in our midst, in our hearts and lives!  The LXX and the TgJ also agree with this interpretation when we do a text comparison with the MSS..

The LXX translates the MSS to say, 15 οὕτω λέγει κύριος ὁ ἅγιος τοῦ Ισραηλ Ὅταν ἀποστραφεὶς στενάξῃς, τότε σωθήσῃ καὶ γνώσῃ ποῦ ἦσθα, ὅτε ἐπεποίθεις ἐπὶ τοῖς ματαίοις, ματαία ἡ ἰσχὺς ὑμῶν ἐγενήθη. καὶ οὐκ ἠβούλεσθε ἀκούειν, 15 This is what the lord Lord says, the Holy One of Israel: “When you turn back, you groan; then you will be delivered, and you will know where you were; when you put trust in the things without avail, your strength came to no avail, and you were unwilling to listen. (LES) The LXX writes about turning back from the path of destruction to a path of life, and doing so leads to the Lord God working in their lives. The TgJ has a similar concept saying, אְרֵי כִדנָן אְמַר יוי אְלֹהִים קַדִישָא דְיִשרָאֵל אְמַרִית דִתתוּבוּן לְאֹורָיתָא תְנוּחוּן תִתפַרקוּן תִשקְטוּן תִשרֹון לְרוּחצָן תְהֹון גִיבָרִין וְלָא אְבֵיתֹון׃ 15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: I have said, If ye return to my law, ye shall have rest, and ye shall be redeemed, ye shall be quiet, and ye shall dwell in safety, and be mighty; but ye would not. (TgJ) The TgJ states דִתתוּבוּן לְאֹורָיתָא “returning to the law” which is synonymous to turning to the Lord and His holy ways. Note again how turning to the Torah is synonymous to finding rest and to being redeemed, and becoming quiet, all of which are descriptions of coming to terms with God, meaning that one humbles his life and listens to the voice of God. Here Isaiah speaks to the people preferring to turn to Egypt rather than turning to God. This has obvious parallels to the Torah, and so there is a lot we can learn from this situation. The point is that of returning and resting in the God of Israel! This is the solution for our problems in life! This is the same message that Moshe gave the people in Shemot / Exodus 14:13 when faced with the Red Sea at their backs and the Egyptian army at their front. We trust in the Lord because He can work a miracle in any situation and no matter what is standing against us!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:16.

ספר ישעיה פרק ל
טז   וַתֹּאמְרוּ לֹא-כִי עַל-סוּס נָנוּס עַל-כֵּן תְּנוּסוּן וְעַל-קַל נִרְכָּב עַל-כֵּן יִקַּלּוּ רֹדְפֵיכֶם: 

Isaiah 30:16 states, “But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift. (וַתֹּאמְרוּ לֹא-כִי עַל-סוּס נָנוּס עַל-כֵּן תְּנוּסוּן וְעַל-קַל נִרְכָּב עַל-כֵּן יִקַּלּוּ רֹדְפֵיכֶם)” Both the LXX and TgJ translate these verses word for word. Isaiah says that the people reject the offer of God to their own devices, here fleeing upon horses. The idea of having a horse and chariot, these were weapons of war and were considered significant in relation to military might in ancient days (middle bronze age period). It may be that Judah and Jerusalem were paying for and receiving military weapons, and so they became proud of their own ability to wage war, or to defend themselves. This idea of going to Egypt and getting military power reminds us of something Moshe said in the Torah according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:16.

ספר דברים פרק יז
טז   רַק לֹא-יַרְבֶּה-לּוֹ סוּסִים וְלֹא-יָשִׁיב אֶת-הָעָם מִצְרַיְמָה לְמַעַן הַרְבּוֹת סוּס וַיהוָֹה אָמַר לָכֶם לֹא תֹסִפוּן לָשׁוּב בַּדֶּרֶךְ הַזֶּה עוֹד::

Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:16
17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way. (KJV)

Here Moshe warns the people not to return to Egypt for the purpose of multiplying horses. The idea is to turn to Egypt to increase one’s wealth. We are to rely upon the Lord God in heaven to increase our wealth by His blessing through our desire to live our lives for Him! The reason being the dangers of learning the ways of Egypt again and falling into sin before God. The Midrash Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael states the following concerning these things.

Mekhilta d’Rabbi Yishmael 14:13 Part 2
כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים, בשלשה מקומות הזהיר המקום לישראל שלא לחזור למצרים שנא’ כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים היום לא תוסיפו לראותם עד עולם, ואומר וה’ אמר לכם לא תוסיפון לשוב בדרך הזה עוד (שם יז), ואומר והשיבך ה’ מצרים באניות בדרך אשר אמרתי לך לא תוסיף עוד לראותה (שם כח). בשלשתם חזרו שם ובשלשתם נפלו, הראשונה בימי סנחריב שנ’ הוי היורדים מצרים לעזרה (ישעיה לא), השנית בימי יוחנן בן קרח שנ’ והיתה החרב אשר אתם יראים ממנה שם תשיג אתכם בארץ מצרים והחרב אשר אתם דואגים ממנו שם ידבק אחריכם מצרים ושם תמותו (ירמיה מב), והשלישית בימי טורנינוס. בשלשתן חזרו ובשלשתן נפלו הה”ד אפרים יונה פותה אין לב וגו’ (הושע ז). ארבע כתות נעשו ישראל על הים, אחת אומרת ליפול אל הים ואחת אומרת לשוב למצרים ואחת אומרת לעשות מלחמה כנגדן ואחת אומרת נצווח כנגדן. זאת שאמרה ליפול אל הים נאמר להם התיצבו וראו את ישועת ה’, זו שאמרה נשוב למצרים נאמר להם כי אשר ראיתם את מצרים, זו שאמרה נעשה מלחמה כנגדן נאמר להם ה’ ילחם לכם, זו שאמרה נצווח כנגדן נאמר להם ואתם תחרישון. “
For as you see Egypt”: In three places the L rd exhorted Israel not to return to Egypt: (Here:) “for as you see Egypt this day, you shall see them no more, forever”, (Devarim 17:16) “You must not go back this way again”, (Ibid. 28:68) “… by the way which I told you, you shall not see it again.” Three times they returned and three times they fell. The first, in the days of Sancheriv, viz. (Isaiah 31:1) “Woe unto those who go down to Egypt for help!” The second, in the days of Yochanan ben Kareach, (Jeremiah 42:16-17) “And it shall be, the sword which you fear will overtake you there in the land of Egypt and the famine which you worry over will follow after you in Egypt, and there will you die.” The third, in the days of Trajanus. Three times they returned and three times they fell. As it is written, (Hoshea 7:11) “Ephraim is a silly dove, without a heart. They have called to Egypt, etc. Israel were four factions at the sea: One was for lunging into the sea; another, for returning to Egypt; another for warring against them; another, for crying out against them. Those who were for lunging into the sea — it was said to them: “Stand ready to see the salvation of the L rd. Those who were for returning to Egypt — it was said to them: “For as you see Egypt this day, you shall see them no more, forever.” Those who were for warring against it” — it was said to them: “the L rd will war for you.” Those who were crying out against them — it was said to them: “And you be still.”

Here the Midrash describes how Israel turned to Egypt three times and three times they fell. The Torah text from Shemot / Exodus 14 is drawn into context here, with Moshe saying stand still and behold the power of God to deliver you. Instead, here the people forget what God and Moshe had done and take matters into their own hands. What Isaiah is saying here is that if we rely upon our own strength to get us through something, we can rest assured that one day we will meet someone swifter and stronger than we are. This is the whole point, that we trust Him who is stronger than all, and cleave to the Lord God of Israel as opposed to trusting in self and foreign nations.

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:17.

ספר ישעיה פרק ל
יז   אֶלֶף אֶחָד מִפְּנֵי גַּעֲרַת אֶחָד מִפְּנֵי גַּעֲרַת חֲמִשָּׁה תָּנֻסוּ עַד אִם-נוֹתַרְתֶּם כַּתֹּרֶן עַל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר וְכַנֵּס עַל-הַגִּבְעָה: 

Isaiah 30:17 states, “One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill. (אֶלֶף אֶחָד מִפְּנֵי גַּעֲרַת אֶחָד מִפְּנֵי גַּעֲרַת חֲמִשָּׁה תָּנֻסוּ עַד אִם-נוֹתַרְתֶּם כַּתֹּרֶן עַל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר וְכַנֵּס עַל-הַגִּבְעָה)” This idea of fleeing and then being left as a beacon on the top of a mountain, sounds as if the ruins of the cities are left as a reminder of what has happened and what was to come for those who sin and refuse to repent of their sins. This verse reminds us of the Torah from Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:20-28 concerning those who refuse to listen to the Lord God Almighty.

ספר דברים פרק כח
כ   יְשַׁלַּח יְהוָֹה | בְּךָ אֶת-הַמְּאֵרָה אֶת-הַמְּהוּמָה וְאֶת-הַמִּגְעֶרֶת בְּכָל-מִשְׁלַח יָדְךָ אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶֹה עַד הִשָּׁמֶדְךָ וְעַד-אֲבָדְךָ מַהֵר מִפְּנֵי רֹעַ מַעֲלָלֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עֲזַבְתָּנִי: כא   יַדְבֵּק יְהוָֹה בְּךָ אֶת-הַדָּבֶר עַד כַּלֹּתוֹ אֹתְךָ מֵעַל הָאֲדָמָה אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ: כב   יַכְּכָה יְהֹוָה בַּשַּׁחֶפֶת וּבַקַּדַּחַת וּבַדַּלֶּקֶת וּבַחַרְחֻר וּבַחֶרֶב וּבַשִּׁדָּפוֹן וּבַיֵּרָקוֹן וּרְדָפוּךָ עַד אָבְדֶךָ: כג   וְהָיוּ שָׁמֶיךָ אֲשֶׁר עַל-רֹאשְׁךָ נְחשֶׁת וְהָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-תַּחְתֶּיךָ בַּרְזֶל: כד   יִתֵּן יְהוָֹה אֶת-מְטַר אַרְצְךָ אָבָק וְעָפָר מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם יֵרֵד עָלֶיךָ עַד הִשָּׁמְדָךְ: כה   יִתֶּנְךָ יְהֹוָה | נִגָּף לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֶיךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶחָד תֵּצֵא אֵלָיו וּבְשִׁבְעָה דְרָכִים תָּנוּס לְפָנָיו וְהָיִיתָ לְזַעֲוָה לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ: כו   וְהָיְתָה נִבְלָתְךָ לְמַאֲכָל לְכָל-עוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּלְבֶהֱמַת הָאָרֶץ וְאֵין מַחֲרִיד: כז   יַכְּכָה יְהֹוָה בִּשְׁחִין מִצְרַיִם וּבַעְפֹלִים [וּבַטְחֹרִים] וּבַגָּרָב וּבֶחָרֶס אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תוּכַל לְהֵרָפֵא: כח   יַכְּכָה יְהֹוָה בְּשִׁגָּעוֹן וּבְעִוָּרוֹן וּבְתִמְהוֹן לֵבָב: 

Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:20–28
28:20 The Lord shall send upon thee cursing, vexation, and rebuke, in all that thou settest thine hand unto for to do, until thou be destroyed, and until thou perish quickly; because of the wickedness of thy doings, whereby thou hast forsaken me. 28:21 The Lord shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until he have consumed thee from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it. 28:22 The Lord shall smite thee with a consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish. 28:23 And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron. 28:24 The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. 28:25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. 28:26 And thy carcase shall be meat unto all fowls of the air, and unto the beasts of the earth, and no man shall fray them away. 28:27 The Lord will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed. 28:28 The Lord shall smite thee with madness, and blindness, and astonishment of heart: (KJV)

We note these things which the Lord will send to those who are rebellious, who refuse to listen to the Lord, and who refuse to repent of their sins. We note how destitute the life is of the one who refused to live their lives for the Lord. Here the Torah states כה   יִתֶּנְךָ יְהֹוָה | נִגָּף לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֶיךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶחָד תֵּצֵא אֵלָיו וּבְשִׁבְעָה דְרָכִים תָּנוּס לְפָנָיו וְהָיִיתָ לְזַעֲוָה לְכֹל מַמְלְכוֹת הָאָרֶץ:  28:25 The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies: thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them: and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth. (KJV) What is interesting is that it says יִתֶּנְךָ יְהֹוָה | נִגָּף לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֶיךָ that such persons will be given to be נִגָּף (struck) by their enemies and they will flee seven ways before them. This is the exact opposite for those who listen and obey the voice of God according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:7.

ספר דברים פרק כח
ז   יִתֵּן יְהוָֹה אֶת-אֹיְבֶיךָ הַקָּמִים עָלֶיךָ נִגָּפִים לְפָנֶיךָ בְּדֶרֶךְ אֶחָד יֵצְאוּ אֵלֶיךָ וּבְשִׁבְעָה דְרָכִים יָנוּסוּ לְפָנֶיךָ:

Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:7 
28:7 The Lord shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. (KJV)

We note how the Lord God had said previously יִתֵּן יְהוָֹה אֶת-אֹיְבֶיךָ הַקָּמִים עָלֶיךָ נִגָּפִים לְפָנֶיךָ that the Lord will give your enemies to raise up against you to be smitten/struck down before you. The point is that our enemies are used in one of two ways, if we listen to the Lord God Almighty according to His word, we will be used by the Lord to bring judgment against the enemy. On the other hand, if we do not listen to the Lord God Almighty, the enemy will be brought to bring judgment against those who are rebellious for the purpose of waking one up and repenting from his or her sins. Isaiah’s words are reiterating the truth of God’s Torah, that sin causes one to be routed before our enemies and this leads to only a few remaining and nothing being left, nothing but ruins. This is what happens when hope is placed in self, there is a collapse and sudden toppling and heavy fall. We note how when the Torah was written, these things were written for future generations to listen and to understand as a warning to seek the God of Israel. When everything is left in ruins it is only then that one is able to recognize the wisdom of God, to walk in His ways and to place hope in the Lord! 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:18.

ספר ישעיה פרק ל
יח   וְלָכֵן יְחַכֶּה יְהֹוָה לַחֲנַנְכֶם וְלָכֵן יָרוּם לְרַחֶמְכֶם כִּי-אֱלֹהֵי מִשְׁפָּט יְהֹוָה אַשְׁרֵי כָּל-חוֹכֵי לוֹ: 

Isaiah 30:18 states, “And therefore will the LORD wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you: for the LORD is a God of judgment: blessed are all they that wait for him. (וְלָכֵן יְחַכֶּה יְהֹוָה לַחֲנַנְכֶם וְלָכֵן יָרוּם לְרַחֶמְכֶם כִּי-אֱלֹהֵי מִשְׁפָּט יְהֹוָה אַשְׁרֵי כָּל-חוֹכֵי לוֹ)” Here Isaiah speaks to an eternal truth, how the Lord is patient and how much He loves us to show us mercy in His desire for our returning to Him! This is something that Isaiah is reminding the people of who God is, filled with mercy and grace, if they would only turn from their sins, repent, and seek forgiveness from Him! The idea here is that the people and the leaders want to run off on horses, or purchase military help from Egypt. The Lord sends His prophet to tell them the error of their ways, they are unwilling to listen, and so the Lord is patient to wait for them to come to the point in which they will listen. The long suffering and slow to anger and great in mercy and grace is a Torah based concept of who God is. 

ספר שמות פרק לד
א   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה פְּסָל-לְךָ שְׁנֵי-לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים וְכָתַבְתִּי עַל-הַלֻּחֹת אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר הָיוּ עַל-הַלֻּחֹת הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲשֶׁר שִׁבַּרְתָּ: ב   וֶהְיֵה נָכוֹן לַבֹּקֶר וְעָלִיתָ בַבֹּקֶר אֶל-הַר סִינַי וְנִצַּבְתָּ לִי שָׁם עַל-רֹאשׁ הָהָר: ג   וְאִישׁ לֹא-יַעֲלֶה עִמָּךְ וְגַם-אִישׁ אַל-יֵרָא בְּכָל-הָהָר גַּם-הַצֹּאן וְהַבָּקָר אַל-יִרְעוּ אֶל-מוּל הָהָר הַהוּא: ד   וַיִּפְסֹל שְׁנֵי-לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים כָּרִאשֹׁנִים וַיַּשְׁכֵּם מֹשֶׁה בַבֹּקֶר וַיַּעַל אֶל-הַר סִינַי כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוָּה יְהוָֹה אֹתוֹ וַיִּקַּח בְּיָדוֹ שְׁנֵי לֻחֹת אֲבָנִים: ה   וַיֵּרֶד יְהוָֹה בֶּעָנָן וַיִּתְיַצֵּב עִמּוֹ שָׁם וַיִּקְרָא בְשֵׁם יְהוָֹה: ו   וַיַּעֲבֹר יְהוָֹה | עַל-פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָֹה | יְהֹוָה אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת: ז   נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵֹא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה פֹּקֵד | עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים וְעַל-בְּנֵי בָנִים עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים: ח   וַיְמַהֵר מֹשֶׁה וַיִּקֹּד אַרְצָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ: ט   וַיֹּאמֶר אִם-נָא מָצָאתִי חֵן בְּעֵינֶיךָ אֲדֹנָי יֵלֶךְ-נָא אֲדֹנָי בְּקִרְבֵּנוּ כִּי עַם-קְשֵׁה-עֹרֶף הוּא וְסָלַחְתָּ לַעֲוֹנֵנוּ וּלְחַטָּאתֵנוּ וּנְחַלְתָּנוּ: י   וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת בְּרִית נֶגֶד כָּל-עַמְּךָ אֶעֱשֶֹה נִפְלָאֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִבְרְאוּ בְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הַגּוֹיִם וְרָאָה כָל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בְקִרְבּוֹ אֶת-מַעֲשֵֹה יְהוָֹה כִּי-נוֹרָא הוּא אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶֹה עִמָּךְ: 

Shemot / Exodus 34:1–10
34:1 And the Lord said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest. 34:2 And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount. 34:3 And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount. 34:4 And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone. 34:5 And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. 34:6 And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. 34:8 And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped. 34:9 And he said, If now I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiffnecked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance. 34:10 And he said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people among which thou art shall see the work of the Lord: for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee. (KJV)

We note the Lord God declaring His mercy, goodness, and truth. These things reveal to us how the justice of God can be understood in two ways, one of mercy and one of judgment. His mercy is meant to draw us to Him, and it was in His mercy that He sent His Son Yeshua to show us the way to live for Him. We note a very significant ending statement to this verse אַשְׁרֵי כָּל-חוֹכֵי לוֹ “blessed are all who wait for Him” which speaks to the blessedness and happiness of those who wait upon the Lord, who seek Him, who trust in Him. This is true because it is only the Lord God Almighty who is able to meet our needs, and He is the only one who is exalted in all of Creation. The point of these things is to study God’s word daily, to train ourselves to have complete dependence upon the Lord. It is only then that we are able endure persecution, and even in the midst of hardship we can be happy.

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 30:19-20.

ספר ישעיה פרק ל
יט   כִּי-עַם בְּצִיּוֹן יֵשֵׁב בִּירוּשָׁלָם בָּכוֹ לֹא-תִבְכֶּה חָנוֹן יָחְנְךָ לְקוֹל זַעֲקֶךָ כְּשָׁמְעָתוֹ עָנָךְ: כ   וְנָתַן לָכֶם אֲדֹנָי לֶחֶם צָר וּמַיִם לָחַץ וְלֹא-יִכָּנֵף עוֹד מוֹרֶיךָ וְהָיוּ עֵינֶיךָ רֹאוֹת אֶת-מוֹרֶיךָ:

Isaiah 30:19 states, “For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem: thou shalt weep no more: he will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee. (כִּי-עַם בְּצִיּוֹן יֵשֵׁב בִּירוּשָׁלָם בָּכוֹ לֹא-תִבְכֶּה חָנוֹן יָחְנְךָ לְקוֹל זַעֲקֶךָ כְּשָׁמְעָתוֹ עָנָךְ)” Isaiah 30:20 “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: (וְנָתַן לָכֶם אֲדֹנָי לֶחֶם צָר וּמַיִם לָחַץ וְלֹא-יִכָּנֵף עוֹד מוֹרֶיךָ וְהָיוּ עֵינֶיךָ רֹאוֹת אֶת-מוֹרֶיךָ)”  What we note here about these two verses is how when we cry out to the Lord for help, He answers us. The specific approach for crying out to the Lord is through repentance and truly seeking the Lord for His help. The entire issue is related to how we live our lives. We note that modern Christianity today teaches that our salvation is based in faith alone and not of any works. Now the major issues here are that if one is not living his or her life for the Lord, then such persons are simply providing lip service to the Lord! (Isaiah 29:13) The next question is how exactly are we supposed to live our lives for the Lord? The answer is according to the Scriptures as God had laid out in the Torah and all of Scripture! The weeping described here in Isaiah 30:19 speaks to the people recognizing their having fallen short of what God expects from them. Having faith in Yeshua the Messiah, the NT text states that we are sanctified in heaven. What God expects from us is that because of what He has done in heaven on our behalf through His Son Yeshua, we now should live our lives here on earth, sanctifying our lives by living our lives according to His word, just as Paul wrote as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1-3). The point is that our faith and works are intimately coupled together and absolutely cannot be separated. So when one says by faith alone, this is not entirely true since because of our faith we should be living what we believe and not joining ourselves with sin and the ways of this world. We always remember that Yeshua spoke of this in Matthew 7:23. The type of people here are those who provide lip service to put on a show just like in Isaiah 29:13, and the Lord God Almighty knows our intentions, the motivation of our heart! So the point is as James writes in his epistle, “faith without works is dead.” (James 2:26) There is another point that is being made here by Isaiah, that if we do not live for the Lord, then He will not answer us when we cry out to Him unless it is a cry of repentance! Repentance is vital, anything less than starting with repentance will lead to destruction, heaps of rubble, and homes for jackals (see Isaiah 13:19-22, 34:10-17). God’s judgment rests upon those who refuse to repent! This is the point of our faith in Yeshua, that of repentance and seeking the Mashiach of God! Yeshua actually said the same thing according to John 3:16-21.

John 3:16–21
3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. (KJV, 16 οὕτως γὰρ ἠγάπησεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν κόσμον, ὥστε τὸν υἱὸν ⸆ τὸν μονογενῆ ἔδωκεν, ἵνα πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν μὴ ἀπόληται ἀλλʼ ἔχῃ ζωὴν αἰώνιον.* 17 οὐ γὰρ ἀπέστειλεν ὁ θεὸς τὸν υἱὸν ⸆ εἰς τὸν κόσμον ἵνα κρίνῃ τὸν κόσμον, ἀλλʼ ἵνα σωθῇ ὁ κόσμος διʼ αὐτοῦ. 18 ὁ πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν οὐ κρίνεται· ὁ °δὲ μὴ πιστεύων ἤδη κέκριται, ὅτι μὴ πεπίστευκεν εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ μονογενοῦς υἱοῦ τοῦ θεοῦ. 19 αὕτη δέ ἐστιν ἡ κρίσις ὅτι* °τὸ φῶς ἐλήλυθεν εἰς τὸν κόσμον καὶ ⸉ἠγάπησαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι μᾶλλον τὸ σκότος⸊* ἢ τὸ φῶς· ἦν γὰρ ⸉1αὐτῶν πονηρὰ⸊ τὰ ἔργα.* 20 πᾶς γὰρ ὁ φαῦλα πράσσων μισεῖ τὸ φῶς καὶ οὐκ ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα μὴ ἐλεγχθῇ ⸂τὰ ἔργα αὐτοῦ⸃· * 21 ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ἔρχεται πρὸς τὸ φῶς, ἵνα φανερωθῇ αὐτοῦ τὰ ἔργα ὅτι ἐν θεῷ ἐστιν εἰργασμένα.*)

Notice what Yeshua is saying here contains all of the elements that we are discussing in regard to faith and works. Yeshua speaks of believing in Him for everlasting life, and that those who do not believe are condemned already, and how men love darkness (Reference to sin) because their deeds are evil. Yeshua describes himself as the light of God, and those who come to him their deeds will become apparent whether they are done in sin or for the Lord. Notice how Yeshua is speaking about faith and how we live our lives is intimately coupled to this! In addition to this, our works, our deeds, they are what demonstrate whether we are of God or of the evil one. When we come to faith in Yeshua, our deeds are reproved, meaning that they are evaluated in respect to the Scriptures and especially in regard to our faith, what kind of faith do we have, and/or we are entering into the faith and what does that mean, etc. The text comparison states the following on Isaiah 30:19-20.

The LXX translates saying, 19 Διότι λαὸς ἅγιος ἐν Σιων οἰκήσει, καὶ Ιερουσαλημ κλαυθμῷ ἔκλαυσεν Ἐλέησόν με, ἐλεήσει σε τὴν φωνὴν τῆς κραυγῆς σου, ἡνίκα εἶδεν, ἐπήκουσέν σου. 20 καὶ δώσει κύριος ὑμῖν ἄρτον θλίψεως καὶ ὕδωρ στενόν, καὶ οὐκέτι μὴ ἐγγίσωσίν σοι οἱ πλανῶντές σε, ὅτι οἱ ὀφθαλμοί σου ὄψονται τοὺς πλανῶντάς σε, 19 Because a holy people will reside in Zion, and Jerusalem has wept with weeping, “Have mercy on me!” he will show mercy to you for the sound of your crying. When he saw it, he listened to you. 20 And the Lord will give you the bread of oppression and scant water, and those who mislead you will not approach you any longer, because your eyes will look at those who mislead you, (LES) Notice how the LXX writes that a “holy people” (λαὸς ἅγιος) will dwell in the city. This is a reference to exactly what we have been talking about concerning having faith and actually living out our faith! These people characterize what it means to be a holy people, to weep over our sins, and repentance turning from sin seeking God’s help doing this. The TgJ translate this in the following way saying, אְרֵי עַמָא בְצִיֹון יָתֵיב בִירוּשלַם מִבכָא לָא תִבכֵי רַחָמָא יְרַחֵים עְלָך לְקָל צְלֹותָך יְקַבֵיל וְיַעְבֵיד בָעוּתָך׃ וְיִתֵן לְכֹון יוי יָת נִכסֵי סָנְאָה וּבִיזַת מָעִיקָא וְלָא יְסַלֵיק עֹוד שְכִינְתֵיה מִבֵית מַקדְשָא וְיִהוְייָן עֵינָך חָזיָן יָת שְכִינְתָא בְבֵית מַקדְשָא׃ 19 For the people of Zion shall dwell in Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more. He will assuredly shew thee compassion: the voice of thy prayer He will hear, and He will answer thy supplication. 20 And the Lord shall give unto you the treasures of the enemy, and the spoil of the oppressor, and He will no more take away His Shekinah from the house of the sanctuary, and thine eyes shall behold my Shekinah in the house of the sanctuary. (TgJ) The interesting thing is how Jonathan translates this to demonstrate the outcome of repentance and trusting in the Lord. The Lord will hear our prayers, he will give us the treasures of the enemy and the spoil of the oppressor, and he will not remove His Shekinah from the house of the sanctuary. This is powerful if we consider the NT references of our bodies being the sanctuary of God’s Holy Spirit. Through repentance and trusting in Him, He will not remove His presence from us. This is powerful since it is because of the Lord dwelling inside of us that we have the will and desire to live our lives for Him. We have a cooperative work here, our submitting our lives to the call of God and to His holy Word! The idea of the people being truly gracious speaks to the time when the sin that separated us from God will be atoned for, the reason for weeping will be taken away. (Isaiah 25:8, 61:2-5; Tehillim / Psalms 30:6, 126:1-6, Revelation 7:17). This reconciliation is ultimately found in God’s Mashiach! (See Luke 23:45, Collosians 1:21, 22). We note how different the TgJ interpretes Isaiah 30:20. There is some difficulty in Isaiah’s words “And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers” (וְנָתַן לָכֶם אֲדֹנָי לֶחֶם צָר וּמַיִם לָחַץ וְלֹא-יִכָּנֵף עוֹד מוֹרֶיךָ וְהָיוּ עֵינֶיךָ רֹאוֹת אֶת-מוֹרֶיךָ) The question is who is the teacher being spoken of here? The idea of God being their teacher (see Isaiah 28:9-13, 29:11-12, 30:15) and the people refusing to listen to the words of God are in perspective here. The point may be that ultimately the people will return to holiness, to the study of God’s word, and to hearing and listening to the voice of God, and so their eyes will be opened to the true teacher, the Lord God Almighty. Notice how this is in agreement with the NT teaching on the Holy Spirit of God teaching us! We also note that when the Lord God teaches us, He always sends someone to show us the way. This was the point of His sending His son Yeshua, to show us the way of truth and life! To open our eyes so that we can see ourselves for who we truly are, a people who desperately need the mercy and forgiveness of God and His help to repent and turn from sin! These are truths that flow throughout the entire biblical narrative, to trust in the Lord, to draw near to Him, to seek the God of Israel and His Mashiach, and to truly live our lives by faith. 

Rabbinic Commentary

The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation and therefore is a valuable resource for our continued study of the book of Isaiah.

תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק ל:טו-כ
טו   אְרֵי כִדנָן אְמַר יוי אְלֹהִים קַדִישָא דְיִשרָאֵל אְמַרִית דִתתוּבוּן לְאֹורָיתָא תְנוּחוּן תִתפַרקוּן תִשקְטוּן תִשרֹון לְרוּחצָן תְהֹון גִיבָרִין וְלָא אְבֵיתֹון׃ טז   וַאְמַרתוּן לָא אְלָהֵין עַל סוּסָוָון נִערוֹק עַל כֵין תִערְקוּן וְעַל דְקַלִיל נִרכֹוב עַל כֵין יְהֹון קַלִילִין רָדְפֵיכֹון׃ יז   אַלפָא חַד מִן קֳדָם מַזֹופִית חַד מִן קֳדָם מַזֹופִית חַמשָא תִערְקוּן עַד ‭>‬אִם‭‬‭<‬ דְתִשתַאְרוּן כְבֵיעוּרָא עַל רֵיש טוּרָא וּכאָתָא עַל רָמְתָא׃ יח   וּבכֵין עְתִיד יוי לִמחָס עְלֵיכֹון וְתַקִיף הוּא דְירַחֵים עְלֵיכֹון אְרֵי אְלָהָא עָבֵיד דִינָא יוי טוּבֵי צַדִיקַיָא דִמסַבְרִין לְפֻרקָנֵיה׃ יט   אְרֵי עַמָא בְצִיֹון יָתֵיב בִירוּשלַם מִבכָא לָא תִבכֵי רַחָמָא יְרַחֵים עְלָך לְקָל צְלֹותָך יְקַבֵיל וְיַעְבֵיד בָעוּתָך׃ כ   וְיִתֵן לְכֹון יוי ‭‬יָת‭‬‭‬ נִכסֵי סָנְאָה וּבִיזַת מָעִיקָא וְלָא יְסַלֵיק עֹוד שְכִינְתֵיה מִבֵית מַקדְשָא וְיִהוְייָן עֵינָך חָזיָן יָת שְכִינְתָא בְבֵית מַקדְשָא׃

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 30:15-20
30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: I have said, If ye return to my law, ye shall have rest, and ye shall be redeemed, ye shall be quiet, and ye shall dwell in safety, and be mighty; but ye would not. 30:16 And ye said: Nay, but we will flee on horses; therefore shall ye flee; and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they be swift that pursue you. 30:17 One thousand of you shall flee because of the rebuke of one, because of the rebuke of five: till ye be left as a signalfire on the top of a mountain; and as a beacon on a high hill. 30:18 And therefore the Lord will shew you pity, and He that is mighty will compassionate you; for the Lord is the God who doeth judgment: blessed are the righteous who wait for His salvation. 30:19 For the people of Zion shall dwell in Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more. He will assuredly shew thee compassion: the voice of thy prayer He will hear, and He will answer thy supplication. 30:20 And the Lord shall give unto you the treasures of the enemy, and the spoil of the oppressor, and He will no more take away His Shekinah from the house of the sanctuary, and thine eyes shall behold my Shekinah in the house of the sanctuary. (TgJ)

The Targum translation makes a very important statement regarding what the God of Israel expects from His people (all of us) according to Isaiah 30:15, יט   אְרֵי עַמָא בְצִיֹון יָתֵיב בִירוּשלַם מִבכָא לָא תִבכֵי רַחָמָא יְרַחֵים עְלָך לְקָל צְלֹותָך יְקַבֵיל וְיַעְבֵיד בָעוּתָך׃  30:15 For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: I have said, If ye return to my law, ye shall have rest, and ye shall be redeemed, ye shall be quiet, and ye shall dwell in safety, and be mighty; but ye would not. (TgJ) Here the point is to return to the Torah of God and doing so one finds rest in the Lord. What does it mean to return to the Torah? Moshe prophesied about this according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:1.

ספר דברים פרק ל
א   וְהָיָה כִי-יָבֹאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה הַבְּרָכָה וְהַקְּלָלָה אֲשֶׁר נָתַתִּי לְפָנֶיךָ וַהֲשֵׁבֹתָ אֶל-לְבָבֶךָ בְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם אֲשֶׁר הִדִּיחֲךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ שָׁמָּה: 

Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:1
30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, (KJV)

Here in Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:1 Moshe prophesies that after Israel has been scattered to the nations, the four corners of the earth, there will come a time when all of these things happen that we are reminded of what God had said according to His word. Then the one who remembers will repent and return to faith, to God’s word, and to Israel, where they will fulfill all the commandments of the Torah. We note that the meaning of returning to Torah is to fulfill the commands of God. This refers to one turning from sin and living life according to the Word of God. We note again how the purpose of the presence of God in our lives via the Holy Spirit of God is to overcome sin, to live our lives for the Lord, to produce the fruit of the Spirit, these things intrinsically speak to obedience to God’s word, obeying the commandments by the power of God in our lives! We also note something very interesting in connection to these things, the gentile prophet Bilam prophecies that the return of the people will be led by Moshiach / Messiah (see Bamidbar / Numbers 24:17 –20).

ספר במדבר פרק כד
יז   אֶרְאֶנּוּ וְלֹא עַתָּה אֲשׁוּרֶנּוּ וְלֹא קָרוֹב דָּרַךְ כּוֹכָב מִיַּעֲקֹב וְקָם שֵׁבֶט מִיִּשְֹרָאֵל וּמָחַץ פַּאֲתֵי מוֹאָב וְקַרְקַר כָּל-בְּנֵי-שֵׁת: יח   וְהָיָה אֱדוֹם יְרֵשָׁה וְהָיָה יְרֵשָׁה שֵֹעִיר אֹיְבָיו וְיִשְֹרָאֵל עֹשֶֹה חָיִל: יט   וְיֵרְדְּ מִיַּעֲקֹב וְהֶאֱבִיד שָֹרִיד מֵעִיר: כ   וַיַּרְא אֶת-עֲמָלֵק וַיִּשָּׂא מְשָׁלוֹ וַיֹּאמַר רֵאשִׁית גּוֹיִם עֲמָלֵק וְאַחֲרִיתוֹ עֲדֵי אֹבֵד:  

Bamidbar / Numbers 24:17-20
24:17 I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: There shall come a Star out of Jacob, And a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, And shall smite the corners of Moab, And destroy all the children of Sheth. 24:18 And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; And Israel shall do valiantly. 24:19 Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, And shall destroy him that remaineth of the city. 24:20 And when he looked on Amalek, he took up his parable, and said, Amalek was the first of the nations; But his latter end shall be that he perish for ever. (KJV 1900)

We note the idea of striking the corners of Moab and destroying the children of Sheth all are connected to their idolatrous form of worship which involves human sacrifice. The Messiah will set us free from idolatrous worship and reveal to us anything that has been established as an idol in our lives! We see here Bilam prophesied about the Star out of Jacob and a Scepter rising out of Israel and this is a reference to the Messiah. The Orthodox Jewish concept of the Messiah is as follows:

“Moshiach will be a man who possesses extraordinary qualities. He will be proficient in both the written and oral Torah traditions. He will incessantly campaign for Torah observance among Jews, and observance of the seven universal Noahide laws by non-Jews. He will be scrupulously observant, and encourage the highest standards from others. He will defend religious principles and repair breaches in their observance. Above all, Moshiach will be heralded as a true Jewish king, a person who leads the way in the service of G‑d, totally humble yet enormously inspiring.” (www.chabad.org)

When we examine the NT text concerning the Messiah Yeshua, we see how he raised the bar on the Torah command, taking the two major aspects of the Torah, loving God and loving neighbor, to the extent of loving our enemies, even to praying for and feeding our enemies. This speaks to Yeshua expecting the highest standards for obeying Torah, and he led the way showing us what it means to live our lives as a service unto God, being humble and inspiring to others. In addition to these things, we are told how we are given peace in the Mashiach of God. Yeshua says that he will give us peace. (See John 14:27) Both the Zohar and Rashi also have the following to say concerning these things:

Kol HaTor 2,16
(Isa. 30:15) “in quietness and in security will be your might” — In the same chapter, we find, “in returning and rest you will be saved.” The meaning of “in quietness” is like the verse “place it ! ‘in the ears of’ Yehoshua.” The word ! in gematria equals (70). “In returning and rest you will be saved” means ‘heh’ will return to ‘vau, ’ As it says in the Zohar about the word ‘Teshuva.’ Then ‘vau’ will return to ‘heh’ as explained in the Zohar which is the revelation of the Redemption, and in this manner you will be saved [see 21]. Also, there is a hint of this in the word which in gematria equals Eretz Israel [832].

Rashi on Isaiah 30,15 Parts 1-3
כי כה אמר. הקב”ה לכם זה ימים אין אתם צריכים לבקש לכם מעוז מצרים ולאבד ממונכם כי בשובה ונחת תהיה לכם תשועה בלא שום טורח אם תשמעו לי: For so said the Holy One, blessed be He, to you long ago, “You need not seek for yourselves the strength of Egypt and waste your money, for with tranquility and restfulness you shall have salvation, without any toil, if you listen to Me.”
בשובה. לשון ישוב ומרגוע וכן שובה ה’ רבבות אלפי ישראל (במדבר י): with tranquility (בְּשׁוּבָה) an expression of restfulness and tranquility, Comp. (Num. 10:36): “Rest (שׁוּבָה), O Lord, with the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel.”
בהשקט. הבא לכם מאתי ובבטחה תהיה גבורתכם: with quietude that comes to you from Me, and with trust, shall be your might.

The Zohar speaks of resting in the quietness of the Lord. This quietness refers to security and trust in the Lord, and how it is through resting and trusting that we are redeemed through the Lord God Almighty sending His salvation to us. Rashi describes what the leaders of Judah and Jerusalem are doing, seeking help through wealth, and Rashi says that this is a waste of money. His point is consistent with the Zohar on how the Lord works in the hearts of men to protect His people. The point of these statements is something the Lord is trying to teach us that we cannot trust someone if we don’t know him. The same with the Lord God in heaven, when Isaiah says that the people should trust the Lord, they have one of two reactions, (i) Yes I can trust him! or (ii) why should I trust him? In this case of trusting in the Lord God Almighty, it naturally follows that we have to understand who He is and why we should trust Him! This illustrates why it is so important for us to study God’s Word, the Scriptures, so we can get to know who God is. According to the Scriptures, God is worthy of our trust because He never lies and never fails to fulfill His promises, unlike men. (Bamidbar / Numbers 23:19, Tehillim / Psalms 89:34) The Lord God has the power to bring to pass what He has stated He will do. All that the Lord God does, His plans are perfect and Paul said they work together for good for those who love Him and are called to His holy purposes (see Romans 8:28). As we study the Word of God we learn how He is trustworthy and so our trust in Him grows as we get to know Him better. We note the first time in the Torah when God tells Moshe to make a record in a book for remembering. The purpose was for future generations to know what happened and remember.

ספר שמות פרק יז
יד   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה כְּתֹב זֹאת זִכָּרוֹן בַּסֵּפֶר וְשִֹים בְּאָזְנֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ כִּי-מָחֹה אֶמְחֶה אֶת-זֵכֶר עֲמָלֵק מִתַּחַת הַשָּׁמָיִם: 

Shemot / Exodus 17:14
17:14 And the Lord said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. (KJV)

We note that with the passage of time we forget things. Here the memory of Amalek is being utterly wiped from the face of the earth and so a record must be written. The point is to remember what God has done! This verse here with God telling Moshe to write in a book may be the reason why he had written the Torah since the Torah had not been written yet up to this point in the history of Israel. These things reveal the trustworthiness of God to us who are His people! We read according to 1 Kings 8:56 “Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.” The Scriptures are a record of God working in the lives of His people as a testimony for all to see and read and know who God is and how much He loves us. Because of this, every faithful believer can give personal testimony to God’s trustworthiness as we see His work in our lives, fulfilling His promises to save our souls and use us for His purposes (Ephesians 2:8-10) and comfort us with the peace that passes all understanding as we run the race He has planned out for us. (Philippians 4:6-7, Hebrews 12:1) Once we become aware of God’s presence through understanding these things according to the Scriptures, we are able to observe the power of God in our lives and experience more of His mercy, faithfulness, and goodness as we place more and more trust in Him! (See Tehillim / Psalms 100:5) The point that Isaiah makes that is coupled with Rashi’s interpretation is that of trusting in wealth being a waste of money, and trusting in ourselves is futile, therefore there is no sensible alternative to trusting in God in heaven and His Mashiach. Based upon what we are reading here in Isaiah, the choice should be obvious, that we trust and believe in the all-knowing, all powerful, all gracious, all merciful, and loving God who created us! The Lord God in His mercy has preserved the Scriptures for us until this day so that we can know Him and learn to trust in Him as Lord and God over all! There are many ways to read the Scriptures, one can jump around from book to book, or read about specific biblical characters and their lives. I always recommend reading the Scriptures from cover to cover every year for a complete understanding. If you want to challenge yourself with God’s word, it is a fantastic opportunity to learn the biblical languages and read the scriptures in the original languages. Learning the languages helps to challenge and keep the reading of God’s word interesting and most of all the ancient languages cause the narrative of the bible to come alive in our lives to the extent of believing and living out what we believe! Most importantly, seeking the God of Israel and His Messiah for God’s presence in our lives for the purpose of bringing glory to God’s name through our faith and obedience to His holy Word!

Isaiah goes on according to the TgJ saying, טז   וַאְמַרתוּן לָא אְלָהֵין עַל סוּסָוָון נִערוֹק עַל כֵין תִערְקוּן וְעַל דְקַלִיל נִרכֹוב עַל כֵין יְהֹון קַלִילִין רָדְפֵיכֹון׃  30:16 And ye said: Nay, but we will flee on horses; therefore shall ye flee; and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they be swift that pursue you. יז   אַלפָא חַד מִן קֳדָם מַזֹופִית חַד מִן קֳדָם מַזֹופִית חַמשָא תִערְקוּן עַד ‭‬אִם‭‬‭‬ דְתִשתַאְרוּן כְבֵיעוּרָא עַל רֵיש טוּרָא וּכאָתָא עַל רָמְתָא׃  30:17 One thousand of you shall flee because of the rebuke of one, because of the rebuke of five: till ye be left as a signalfire on the top of a mountain; and as a beacon on a high hill. יח   וּבכֵין עְתִיד יוי לִמחָס עְלֵיכֹון וְתַקִיף הוּא דְירַחֵים עְלֵיכֹון אְרֵי אְלָהָא עָבֵיד דִינָא יוי טוּבֵי צַדִיקַיָא דִמסַבְרִין לְפֻרקָנֵיה׃  30:18 And therefore the Lord will shew you pity, and He that is mighty will compassionate you; for the Lord is the God who doeth judgment: blessed are the righteous who wait for His salvation. (TgJ) Notice how if we decide to trust in ourselves, the Lord God will make a way so that we will realize that we cannot trust in ourselves. Isaiah’s example is that of fleeing on horses where the Lord will provide faster horses to the enemy who pursues us. Fear will enter into one’s life, where one man will cause a thousand to flee. Isaiah concludes here with the mercy of God on His people, that He will have pity on His people and most importantly how blessed is the one who waits upon the salvation of God. This is the point of enduring suffering for the Lord. The Zohar makes this conclusion saying the following:

Zohar 1:181a:3
Rabbi Elazar said that the Holy One, blessed be He, does everything according to Justice. (If He brings suffering it is) to purify that soul (Nefesh) and bring it to the World to Come, for all the deeds of the Holy One, blessed be He, are true and just. To remove from the soul the filth it accumulated in this world, the body is crushed and the soul cleansed. Therefore the Holy One, blessed be He, brings pain to the just man, so that he will be cleansed from all sins and thereby merit life in the World to Come. As it is written, “Hashem tries the righteous” (Tehilim 11:5), as we have already learned.

The rabbis say that the purpose of suffering is to purify the Nefesh (Soul) and bring it to the Olam HaBa (World to come). The Zohar speaks of the need for the body to be crushed for the soul to be cleansed! This is a significant parallel to the NT text here regarding suffering. Paul says that he brings his body under subjection for this very purpose. (1 Corinthians 9:27) Yeshua said His people would follow in His footsteps, and that would include suffering. He left us an example of how to suffer (1 Peter 2:19-21). He said His followers would be blessed when they faithfully endured suffering for His name’s sake (Matthew 5:10-12). Paul deeply desired to share in Christ’s sufferings (Philippians 3:10). We note how suffering purifies, draws one to repentance, humility, and seeking the Lord God in heaven. This is what the rabbis mean by suffering cleaning sins. The point is that both Yeshua, Paul, and his disciples understood this purifying concept of suffering in the life that is lived by faith. This is why they bring this topic so often in the Scriptures and is something we need to expect and anticipate in our own lives!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to the TgJ, יט   אְרֵי עַמָא בְצִיֹון יָתֵיב בִירוּשלַם מִבכָא לָא תִבכֵי רַחָמָא יְרַחֵים עְלָך לְקָל צְלֹותָך יְקַבֵיל וְיַעְבֵיד בָעוּתָך׃ 30:19 For the people of Zion shall dwell in Jerusalem; thou shalt weep no more. He will assuredly shew thee compassion: the voice of thy prayer He will hear, and He will answer thy supplication. (TgJ) Isaiah says that because of the compassion of God he will cause the people of Jerusalem to dwell in peace and will weep no more. The suffering of the people will lead to repentance. The Lord God hears the prayer of the repentant, and this is an important point that Midrash Tanchuma Mishpatim 16,1 draws out for us.

Midrash Tanchuma, Mishpatim 16,1
אִם חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל (שמות כב, כח) אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: כַּמָּה אַתְּ חַיָּב לִי, אַתָּה חוֹטֵא לְפָנַי וַאֲנִי מַמְתִּי לְךָ, וְנַפְשְׁךָ עוֹלָה אֶצְלִי בְּכָל יוֹם וּבְכָל אֶמֶשׁ וְאֶמֶשׁ וְנוֹתֶנֶת דִּין וְחֶשְׁבּוֹן וְהִיא מִתְחַיֶּבֶת, וַאֲנִי מַחֲזִיר לְךָ אֶת נַפְשְׁךָ שֶׁאַתָּה חַיָּב לִי. אַף אַתָּה אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְךָ, אִם חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל, עַד בֹּא הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ תְּשִׁיבֶנּוּ לוֹ. כִּי הִוא כְסוּתֹה לְבַדָּהּ. אַף אַתָּה דָּבָר אֶחָד יֵשׁ לִי אֶצְלָךְ, אִם אֵין אַתָּה מַחֲזִיר מַשְׁכּוֹנוֹ, אֵינִי מַחֲזִיר לְךָ אֶת נַפְשְׁךָ. לְפִיכָךְ, אִם חָבֹל תַּחְבֹּל. וְהָיָה כִּי יִצְעַק אֵלַי וְשָׁמַעְתִּי כִּי חַנּוּן אָנִי. שֶׁהוּא קוֹרֵא תִּגָּר לְפָנַי וְאוֹמֵר: רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָם, אֲנִי אָדָם וְהוּא אָדָם. הוּא שׁוֹכֵב עַל מִטָּתוֹ, וַאֲנִי בַּמֶּה אֶשְׁכַּב. לְפִיכָךְ, וְשָׁמַעְתִּי כִּי חַנּוּן אָנִי. אָמַר הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא: בָּעוֹלָם הַזֶה, הָיִיתִי שׁוֹמֵעַ צַעֲקַת יְחִידִים. וְלֶעָתִיד, וְהָיָה טֶרֶם יִקְרָאוּ וַאֲנִי אֶעֱנֶה (ישעיה סה, כד). וְהַנָּבִיא אוֹמֵר: כִּי עַם בְּצִיּוֹן יֵשֵׁב וְגוֹ’ (ישעיה ל, יט).
If thou at all take thy neighbor’s garment to pledge (Exod. 22:25). The Holy One, blessed be He, declared: How guilty are your sins before Me, yet I have been patient with you. And though your soul ascends unto Me at twilight each day to render an accounting and is found guilty,27There is a tradition that the soul ascends to heaven while the body is sleeping. nevertheless I return the soul to you. Just as you are obligated to me, so also are you obligated to them (the poor). If thou at all take thy neighbor’s garment to pledge, thou shalt restore it to him by that the sun goeth down; for that may be his only covering (Exod. 22:25). You have one thing that belongs to Me, and therefore, if you take your neighbor’s garment to pledge, and do not return his pledge to him, I will not return your soul to you. Scripture says of this: Takest thy neighbor’s garment. And it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto Me that I will hear; for I am gracious (ibid., v. 26). If anyone complains to Me of injustice, saying: “Master of the Universe, I am a man and he is a man, yet he sleeps on his bed, but where can I sleep?” I will listen to him for I am gracious. The Holy One, blessed be He, said: I pay attention to the complaints of the lonely ones in this world, but in the day to come, It shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer (Isa. 56:4). The prophet also said: For, O people that dwelleth in Zion at Jerusalem, thou shalt weep no more (ibid. 30:19).

Here the rabbis expand upon the command of taking a neighbor’s garment in pledge for a debt from Shemot / Exodus 22:25 and how the Torah states that one is to return his cloak to his neighbor at nighttime for the purpose of not oppressing one’s neighbor. The mercy and compassion of God is found in the belief that the soul returns to the Lord God in heaven when one sleeps, and God returns the soul back to a person when one wakes up. It is interesting how the greatness of God’s mercy is illustrated here in the idea that we are guilty before God, and even though our soul returns to Him and our being guilty, the Lord patiently waits for us to repent and turn from our sins. Again, we see the NT parallel how God waits for all of us. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) There are so many examples in the NT text, how the Lord waits for us so too we should wait on Him, one example from Matthew 25:1-13 and the kingdom of heaven being like ten virgins waiting upon their groom. The major point is getting to know the Lord through His Word and doing so we are able to trust and wait patiently for Him to bring His salvation!

Isaiah goes on saying the following, כ   וְיִתֵן לְכֹון יוי ‭‬יָת‭‬‭‬ נִכסֵי סָנְאָה וּבִיזַת מָעִיקָא וְלָא יְסַלֵיק עֹוד שְכִינְתֵיה מִבֵית מַקדְשָא וְיִהוְייָן עֵינָך חָזיָן יָת שְכִינְתָא בְבֵית מַקדְשָא׃ 30:20 And the Lord shall give unto you the treasures of the enemy, and the spoil of the oppressor, and He will no more take away His Shekinah from the house of the sanctuary. (TgJ) Here we find the tables being turned, the treasures of the enemy being given to us, and this is coupled to the presence of God dwelling in our midst. These things speak of what is external versus what is internal. The presence of God within, it is more important to have the Lord within than to have external wealth or the treasures of this world. It is interesting how when we remain in the Lord, trusting in Him, and resting in His salvation, we receive the blessings that are listed in the promises of God according to the Torah. The power of God is not shown in the strength of arms from the sense of conquest, but in the power of His indwelling spirit, which moves in love, mercy, and serving others. This seems to be what the rabbis say in the following commentaries, what is on the inside is what is important.

Nefesh HaChayim, Gate IV 28:10
As is written in Zohar B’ha-a-lote-kha (152a): “The Torah has a body…, the world’s fools only gaze upon that clothing…, those who know more don’t gaze upon the clothes but rather upon the body which is under the clothes. The wise, servants of the supernal King, those who stood at Mount Sinai gaze only upon the soul-Neshama which is the actual core of the entire Torah, and in the future they will come to gaze upon the soul-Neshama of-the-soul-Neshama that is within the Torah.” And as is written (Yeshayahu 30:20): “And your own eyes will behold your Teacher” and “and your Teacher will no longer be hidden behind His garment”1196Rav Chayyim reverses the order of these two phrases relative to their order in Y’shaya..

Rashi on Isaiah 30,20 Parts 1-3
לחם צר ומים לחץ. לא תהיו כרוכים אחר תענוגים כאשר אתם עתה כמה שנאמר השותים במזרקי יין (עמוס ו׳:ו׳) הנה ששון ושמחה (לעיל כב): scant bread and water of oppression You shall not run after pleasures as you do now, as it is said (Amos 6:6): “Who drink from basins of wine.” (Above 22:13) “And behold joy and happiness.”
ולא יכנף. לא יתכסה ממך בכנף בגדיו כלומר לא יסתיר ממך פניו: shall no longer be concealed (לֹא יִכָּנֵף) shall not be covered from you with the skirt of His garments, i.e., He shall not hide His countenance from you.
מוריך. הקב”ה המלמדך להועיל: your Teacher The Holy One, blessed be He, who teaches you for your profit.

We note the commentary Nefesh HaChayim states that “The Torah has a body…” which suggests that the point of God’s Word, and His Mitzvot (Commands) is to be clothed in a body, meaning that they are to be lived out in our lives. This speaks to spiritual things which are turned into physical actions in love, mercy, and peace. The rabbis say that the people at Sinai gazed at the Neshama (Soul) when they stood at the mountain, and that there is a Neshama within the Torah. We note the three levels of spirituality: Basar, Nefesh, and Neshama where the Neshama is the highest level, the part of us which is able to communicate with God. So the idea is that when Moshe brought the people to the mountain of Sinai, he brought them to the highest spiritual level according to the statement that they gazed at the Neshamah. We note something that the people were not ready for this, first they asked that only Moshe speak to them, and second they descended into idolatry at the foot of the mountain. They remained at the Basar (the flesh) level of their spirituality. This was because they did not know God, they did not have His Word yet to live by. So they lived in the only way that they knew how, the desires of the flesh. When we study God’s word and the NT text, we learn that we are called to turn from the desires of the flesh, and seek the spiritual things! We note something here in the NT parallel, that Paul said the exact same thing according to Romans 7:14.

Romans 7:14
7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (KJV, 14 ⸀Οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι ὁ νόμος πνευματικός ἐστιν, ἐγὼ δὲ ⸁σάρκινός εἰμι πεπραμένος ὑπὸ τὴν ἁμαρτίαν*.)

Paul had this same kind of understanding regarding the Basar, Nefesh, Neshamah when making his statement to the Romans. Paul writes the same thing saying Οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι ὁ νόμος πνευματικός ἐστιν “For we know that the law is spiritual.” The rabbis say this is the context of Isaiah saying that our eyes will behold the Teacher. The Teacher here is God in heaven and the reason is that of His presence dwelling in us. Rashi agrees with this interpretation that the Teacher is the Holy One blessed be He, God in heaven. Rashi makes a point that the presence of God will cause us to not run after the pleasures of this world. This poses a question for us today: 

“Do I run after the pleasures of this world?”

“Does my relationship with God in heaven and in His Messiah Yeshua cause me to seek righteousness and holiness in this world?” 

“If not, why not?” 

Depending upon the answer to each of these questions, we find the answer here in what we are studying according to Isaiah 30, whether we are listening and obeying, and whether we are serious about our faith or not? Again, having the presence of God within is most important, and something we absolutely must seek. Thankfully we have a God who desires this very thing, to dwell in our midst coupled to relationship, and to have an intimate connection with us in every aspect of our lives. This was the point of the Lord God sending His Son Yeshua, to show us how and what all of these things mean, and what they look like in the life of the faithful!

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Dr. Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher.Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!