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FRAMEWORKS: Isaiah 31: Woe to Israel relying on Egypt for deliverance from the Assyrians


For Context see chapter 28


v.1-3 The folly of trusting in Egypt and not the Lord

v.4-9 God will bring down the invading Assyrians


[Introductory Comment: This short chapter expands the case made in the previous chapter about relying on Egypt to point out that it will be God who will bring down the Assyrians of whom they are afraid.]



v.1-3 The folly of trusting in Egypt and not the Lord


v.1 (Where Israel put their trust – not God!)   Woe to those who [i] go down to Egypt for help,
[ii] who rely on horses,
[iii] trust in the multitude of their chariots
    and in the great strength of their horsemen,
[‘who' [iv] do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
[‘who don't' [v] seek help from the Lord.
v.2 (But the all-wise and knowing God can bring judgment)  Yet he [i.e. God] too is wise and can bring disaster;
    he does not take back his words.
He will rise up against that wicked nation,
    against those who help evildoers.
v.3 (Contrast the very human Egyptians)  But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;
    their horses are flesh and not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    those who help will stumble,
    those who are helped will fall;
    all will perish together.



v.4-9 God will bring down the invading Assyrians


v.4  (The bringer of judgment is not deterred by their folly)  This is what the Lord says to me:

‘As a lion growls,
    a great lion over its prey –
and though a whole band of shepherds
    is called together against it,
it is not frightened by their shouts
    or disturbed by their clamour –
so the Lord Almighty will come down
    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.
v.5 (Yet He will still protect Jerusalem)  Like birds hovering overhead,
    the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
    he will “pass over” it and will rescue it.'

v.6 (Turn back to God!)  Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against.

v.7 (When He comes you'll reject your idols)  For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.

v.8 (The mighty Assyrians will fall)  ‘Assyria will fall by no human sword;
  a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.
They will flee before the sword
    and their young men will be put to forced labour.
v.9 (Even their own city will fall, but not Jerusalem)  Their stronghold will fall because of terror;
    at the sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,'
declares the Lord,
    whose fire is in Zion,
    whose furnace is in Jerusalem.



Continue to Chapter 32