Isaiah 31

1 Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they don’t look to the Holy One of Israel, and they don’t seek the LORD! 2 Yet he also is wise, and will bring disaster, and will not call back his words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity. 3 Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, both he who helps shall stumble, and he who is helped shall fall, and they all shall be consumed together. 4 For the LORD says to me, “As the lion and the young lion growling over his prey, if a multitude of shepherds is called together against him, will not be dismayed at their voice, nor abase himself for their noise, so the LORD of Armies will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its heights. 5 As birds hovering, so the LORD of Armies will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it. He will pass over and preserve it.” 6 Return to him from whom you have deeply revolted, children of Israel. 7 For in that day everyone shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold—sin which your own hands have made for you. 8 “The Assyrian will fall by the sword, not of man; and the sword, not of mankind, shall devour him. He will flee from the sword, and his young men will become subject to forced labor. 9 His rock will pass away by reason of terror, and his princes will be afraid of the banner,” says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1-5

God will oppose the help sought from workers of iniquity. Sinners may be convicted of folly by plain and self-evident truths, which they cannot deny, but will not believe. There is no escaping the judgments of God; and evil pursues sinners. The Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will appear for the defence of his church. And as birds hovering over their young ones to protect them, with such compassion and affection will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. He will so defend it, as to secure its safety.

Verses 6-9

They have been backsliding children, yet children; let them return, and their backslidings shall be healed, though they have sunk deep into misery, and cannot easily recover. Many make an idol of their silver and gold, and by the love of that are drawn from God; but those who turn to God, will be ready to part with it. Then, when they have cast away their idols, shall the Assyrian fall by the sword of an angel, who strikes more strongly than a mighty man, yet more secretly than a mean man. God can make the stoutest heart to tremble. But if we keep up the fire of holy love and devotion in our hearts and houses, we may depend upon God to protect us and them.

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