The staff of this broken reed - A weakened, faithless ally.
On Egypt - The Bodl. MS. adds מלך melech, the king of Egypt; and so perhaps the Chaldee might read.
It will go into his hand, and pierce it - Will take subsidy after subsidy, and do nothing for it.
Lo, thou trustest - It is possible that Sennacherib might have been apprised of the attempt which had been made by the Jews to secure the cooperation of Egypt (see the notes at Isaiah 30:1-7; Isaiah 31:1 ff), though he might not have been aware that the negotiation was unsuccessful.
In the staff of this broken reed - The same comparison of Egypt with a broken reed, or a reed which broke while they were trusting to it, occurs in Ezekiel 29:6-7. Reeds were doubtless used often for staves, as they are now. They are light and hollow, with long joints. The idea here is, that as a slender reed would break when a man leaned on it, and would pierce his hand, so it would be with Egypt. Their reliance would give way, and their trusting to Egypt would be attended with injury to themselves (compare Isaiah 30:5, Isaiah 30:7; Isaiah 31:3).
This world is God's great field of labor; He has purchased those that dwell on it with the blood of His only-begotten Son, and He means that His message of mercy shall go to everyone. Those who are commissioned to do this work will be tested and tried, but they are always to remember that God is near to strengthen and uphold them. He does not ask us to depend upon any broken reed. We are not to look for human aid. God forbid that we should place man where God should be.... The Lord Jehovah is “everlasting strength.” RC 352.4Read in context »
Stand in God. Work under the sweet influence of His grace. The truth of God sanctifying the heart of the believer guides his life. We may stand firmly and assuredly. If you make the face of clay your dependence you lean on a reed that has oft broken in your hand and will break. Trust fully, unwaveringly, in God. He is the wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. We may keep the conscience unsullied and in peace and quiet rest in God.22 TMK 268.4Read in context »
The long-expected crisis finally came. The forces of Assyria, advancing from triumph to triumph, appeared in Judea. Confident of victory, the leaders divided their forces into two armies, one of which was to meet the Egyptian army to the southward, while the other was to besiege Jerusalem. PK 352.1
Judah's only hope was now in God. All possible help from Egypt had been cut off, and no other nations were near to lend a friendly hand. PK 352.2
The Assyrian officers, sure of the strength of their disciplined forces, arranged for a conference with the chief men of Judah, during which they insolently demanded the surrender of the city. This demand was accompanied by blasphemous revilings against the God of the Hebrews. Because of the weakness and apostasy of Israel and Judah, the name of God was no longer feared among the nations, but had become a subject for continual reproach. See Isaiah 52:5. PK 352.3Read in context »