New English Translation
2 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]
3 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
4 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]
- 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.
- Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he does not turn aside [i.e., “retract”] his words”; NIV “does not take back his words.”
- Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and he will arise against the house of the wicked.”
- Isaiah 31:2 sn That is, Egypt.
- Isaiah 31:2 tn Heb “and against the help of the doers of sin.”
- Isaiah 31:3 tn Heb “will extend”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV “stretch out.”
- Isaiah 31:3 tn Heb “together all of them will come to an end.”
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.