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Isaiah 31:1-3

Context
Egypt Will Disappoint

31:1 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead, 1 

those who rely on war horses,

and trust in Egypt’s many chariots 2 

and in their many, many horsemen. 3 

But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel 4 

and do not seek help from the Lord.

31:2 Yet he too is wise 5  and he will bring disaster;

he does not retract his decree. 6 

He will attack the wicked nation, 7 

and the nation that helps 8  those who commit sin. 9 

31:3 The Egyptians are mere humans, not God;

their horses are made of flesh, not spirit.

The Lord will strike with 10  his hand;

the one who helps will stumble

and the one being helped will fall.

Together they will perish. 11 

1 tn Heb “Woe [to] those who go down to Egypt for help.”

2 tn Heb “and trust in chariots for they are many.”

3 tn Heb “and in horsemen for they are very strong [or “numerous”].”

4 sn See the note on the phrase “the Holy One of Israel” in 1:4.

5 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 tn Heb “and he does not turn aside [i.e., “retract”] his words”; NIV “does not take back his words.”

7 tn Heb “and he will arise against the house of the wicked.”

8 sn That is, Egypt.

9 tn Heb “and against the help of the doers of sin.”

10 tn Heb “will extend”; KJV, ASV, NASB, NCV “stretch out.”

11 tn Heb “together all of them will come to an end.”



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