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Yet he too is wise[a] and he will bring disaster;
he does not retract his decree.[b]
He will attack the wicked nation,[c]
and the nation that helps[d] those who commit sin.[e]
The Egyptians are mere humans, not God;
their horses are made of flesh, not spirit.
The Lord will strike with[f] his hand;
the one who helps will stumble
and the one being helped will fall.
Together they will perish.[g]

The Lord Will Defend Zion

Indeed, this is what the Lord has said to me:
“The Lord will be like a growling lion,
like a young lion growling over its prey.[h]
Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it,
it is not afraid of their shouts
or intimidated by their yelling.[i]
In this same way the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will descend
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill.[j]

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  1. 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.
  2. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he does not turn aside [i.e., “retract”] his words”; NIV “does not take back his words.”
  3. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he will arise against the house of the wicked.”
  4. Isaiah 31:2 sn That is, Egypt.
  5. Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and against the help of the doers of sin.”
  6. Isaiah 31:3 tn Heb “will extend”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV “stretch out.”
  7. Isaiah 31:3 tn Heb “together all of them will come to an end.”
  8. Isaiah 31:4 tn Heb “As a lion growls, a young lion over its prey.” In the Hebrew text the opening comparison is completed later in the verse (“so the Lord will come down…”), after a parenthesis describing how fearless the lion is. The present translation divides the verse into three sentences for English stylistic reasons.
  9. Isaiah 31:4 tn Heb “Though there is summoned against it fullness of shepherds, by their voice it is not terrified, and to their noise it does not respond.”
  10. Isaiah 31:4 tn Some prefer to translate the phrase לִצְבֹּא עַל (litsboʾ ʿal) as “fight against,” but the following context pictures the Lord defending, not attacking, Zion.

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