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Only the Lord can Help

31 “How terrible it will be for those who go down to[a] Egypt for help,
    who rely on horses,
who trust in the chariot,
    because there are so many,
and in charioteers,[b]
    because they are so strong—
but do not look to[c] the Holy One of Israel
    or seek the Lord!
Yet he is also wise and can bring disaster;
    he does not take back his words,
but will rise up against the house of those who practice evil
    and against anyone who assists people who work iniquity.
The Egyptians are men, not God,
    and their horses are physical,[d] not spirit.
When the Lord stretches out his hand,
    anyone who assists will stumble,
and the one who is helped will fall;
    and they will all perish together.”

The Lord will Defend Jerusalem

For this is what the Lord told me:

“Just as a lion or a young lion growls over his objects of prey,[e]
    even when a whole band of shepherds is called out against it,
it is not alarmed at their shouting
    or disturbed by their clamor—
so the Lord of the Heavenly Armies will come down
    to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill.
Like birds hovering overhead,
    so the Lord of the Heavenly Armies will protect Jerusalem;
he will shield and deliver it;
    and[f] he will pass over[g] and bring it to safety.[h]

Turn back to him, yes to him whom[i] your people[j] have so greatly betrayed, you people of Israel. For at that time,[k] everyone will throw away their[l] idols of silver and their[m] idols of gold that your hands have sinfully made for yourselves.

“Then Assyria will fall by a sword
    that is not from human beings only[n]
        a sword not wielded by mortal beings will devour them.
They will flee from the sword,
    and their young men will be put to forced labor.
Their stronghold will vanish by reason of terror,
    and their commanders will be filled with alarm
        because of the battle standard,”

declares the Lord, whose fire is in Zion
    and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.


  1. Isaiah 31:1 So 1QIsaa LXX; the Heb. lacks to
  2. Isaiah 31:1 Or horsemen
  3. Isaiah 31:1 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read upon
  4. Isaiah 31:3 Or flesh
  5. Isaiah 31:4 So 1QIsaa; MT LXX read his prey (sing.)
  6. Isaiah 31:5 So 1QIsaa; cf. LXX; the Heb. lacks and
  7. Isaiah 31:5 I.e. as the Angel of Death passed over the Israelis; cf. Exod 12:13, 23, 27
  8. Isaiah 31:5 So 1QIsaa; MT reads rescue it
  9. Isaiah 31:6 So 1QIsaa; MT reads back to him whom
  10. Isaiah 31:6 Lit. whom they
  11. Isaiah 31:7 Lit. on that day
  12. Isaiah 31:7 Lit. his
  13. Isaiah 31:7 Lit. his
  14. Isaiah 31:8 Lit. not of man