Isaiah 31 – “Rebuke for Turning to Egypt; Exhortation to Return to God”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Isaiah rebukes those who seek Egyptian protection and urges the people to return to God.

II. Photo
Isaiah cuts the Egyptians down to size: “The Egyptians are man, not God! Their horses are flesh, not spirit!” (v. 3a)

III. Important Verses
1: Ha! Those who go down to Egypt for help And rely upon horses! They have put their trust in abundance of chariots, In vast numbers of riders, And they have not turned to the Holy One of Israel, They have not sought the LORD.
3: For the Egyptians are man, not God, And their horses are flesh, not spirit; And when the LORD stretches out His arm, The helper shall trip And the helped one shall fall, And both shall perish together.
6-9: Return, O children of Israel, to Him to whom they have been so shamefully false; for in that day everyone will reject his idols of silver and idols of gold, which your hands have made for your guilt. Then Assyria shall fall, Not by the sword of man; A sword not of humans shall devour him. He shall shrivel before the sword, And his young men pine away. His rock shall melt with terror, And his officers shall collapse from weakness — Declares the LORD, who has a fire in Zion, Who has an oven in Jerusalem.

IV. Outline
1-3. Admonition: those who seek Egyptian help shall fall
4-5. Basis for admonition: God will protect Jerusalem
6. Exhortation: return to God
7-9. Basis for exhortation: repentance will bring the downfall of Assyria

V. Comment
No comment today. Stay tuned.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Blenkinsopp, Joseph. “Isaiah 1-39” The Anchor Bible vol. 19 (New York: Doubleday, 2000).
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Sweeney, Marvin A. “Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction to Prophetic Literature” The Forms of Old Testament Literature vol. 16 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans, 1996).
Photo taken from