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Egypt Will Disappoint

31 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead;[a]
those who rely on war horses,
and trust in Egypt’s many chariots[b]
and in their many, many horsemen.[c]
But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel[d]
and do not seek help from the Lord.
Yet he too is wise[e] and he will bring disaster;
he does not retract his decree.[f]
He will attack the wicked nation,[g]
and the nation that helps[h] those who commit sin.[i]

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  1. Isaiah 31:1 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who go down to Egypt for help.”
  2. Isaiah 31:1 tn Heb “and trust in chariots for they are many.”
  3. Isaiah 31:1 tn Heb “and in horsemen for they are very strong [or “numerous”].”
  4. Isaiah 31:1 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.
  5. Isaiah 31:2 sn This statement appears to have a sarcastic tone. The royal advisers who are advocating an alliance with Egypt think they are wise, but the Lord possesses wisdom as well and will thwart their efforts.
  6. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he does not turn aside [i.e., “retract”] his words”; NIV “does not take back his words.”
  7. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he will arise against the house of the wicked.”
  8. Isaiah 31:2 sn That is, Egypt.
  9. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and against the help of the doers of sin.”