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Isaiah: Chapter 31

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1

Alas for those who go down to Egypt for help and who rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel or consult the LORD! 2 Yet he too is wise and brings disaster; he does not call back his words, but will rise against the house of the evildoers, and against the helpers of those who work iniquity. 3 The Egyptians are human, and not God; their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and the one helped will fall, and they will all perish together.

4

For thus the LORD said to me, As a lion or a young lion growls over its prey, and—when a band of shepherds is called out against it— is not terrified by their shouting or daunted at their noise, so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight upon Mount Zion and upon its hill. 5 Like birds hovering overhead, so the LORD of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it, he will spare and rescue it.

6Turn back to him whom you c Or Topheth have deeply betrayed, O people of Israel. 7For on that day all of you shall throw away your idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have sinfully made for you.

8

“Then the Assyrian shall fall by a sword, not of mortals; and a sword, not of humans, shall devour him; he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be put to forced labor. 9 His rock shall pass away in terror, and his officers desert the standard in panic,” says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

Notes:

a Or Topheth

Text Commentary view alone

31.1–3 : Another denunciation of the Egyptian alliance,

from the same period as 30.1–7 .

1 :

Cf. Ps 20.7 .

2 :

Yet he too is wise and brings disaster, cf. the strange and alien work of God, 28.29 .

31.4–9 : God's deliverance of Jerusalem from Assyria.

4–5 :

God will protect Jerusalem as a lion protects its prey and a bird its young.

6–7 :

A prose addition; cf. 2.20 .

8–9 :

The complete and final annihilation of Assyria; the last time the name occurs in chs 1–35 . Fire, furnace, a reference to the temple altar.

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