Search Bible
Click for Help   Click for QuickNav   Click for Advanced Search Options
Search KJV
Your Bible Version is the KJV
Go to Top
Link to This Page Cite This Page
Share this page Follow the BLB
Printable Page
Left Contextbar EdgeLeft Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge2Prior BookPrior ChapterReturn to CommentariesReturn to Author BiographyNext ChapterNext BookRight Contextbar Edge2Right Contextbar Edge BackgroundRight Contextbar Edge1
The Blue Letter Bible

David Guzik :: Study Guide for Isaiah 31

toggle collapse
Choose a new font size and typeface

The LORD Will Give Victory, Not Egypt

A. The folly of trusting in Egypt.

1. (Isa 31:1) Woe to those who look to Egypt, not the LORD.

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but who do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!

a. Isaiah confronts Judah with two sins: the sin of trusting in Egypt and their military might, and the sin of not looking to the Holy One of Israel. Judah felt they had a reason to trust in chariots (because they are many). Judah felt they had a reason to trust in horsemen (because they are very strong). But they couldn't seem to find a reason to trust in the LORD!

i. "They did not, of course, abandon faith per se. Everybody lives by faith. It is part of the human condition. Financiers trust market forces, militarists trust bombs, scientists trust nature's regularities. Jerusalem's leaders trusted Egypt." (Motyer)

b. How much better to have the heart of the Psalmist in Psalm 20:7: Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. And our trust should only be in the LORD; "He that stands with one foot on a rock, and another foot upon a quicksand, will sink and perish as certainly as he that stands with both feet on a quicksand." (Trapp)

2. (Isa 31:2-3) The LORD is mightier than the Egyptians.

Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster, and will not call back His words, but will arise against the house of evildoers, and against the help of those who work iniquity. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out His hand, both he who helps will fall, and he who is helped will fall down; they all will perish together.

a. Yet He also is wise and will bring disaster: Though Judah couldn't seem to find a reason to trust God, the reasons were there, and Isaiah calls them to remember the reasons. They should trust God more than the Egyptians or their armies because He also is wise and will bring disaster … He will arise against the house of evildoers.

b. Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses are flesh, and not spirit: Judah was also wrong about their trust in Egypt. The Egyptians and their armies were not as mighty as they seemed to be. All the LORD must do to topple them, along with all who trust in them, is to stretch out His hand.

B. The LORD will defend Judah and Jerusalem.

1. (Isa 31:4-5) The LORD defends Mount Zion.

For thus the LORD has spoken to me: "As a lion roars, and a young lion over his prey (When a multitude of shepherds is summoned against him, He will not be afraid of their voice nor be disturbed by their noise), so the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion and for its hill. Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; passing over, He will preserve it."

a. As a lion roars … So the LORD of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion: Again, their trust in Egypt for protection against the Assyrian invasion was both foolish and unnecessary. God would protect Mount Zion if Judah trusted Him or not!

b. Like birds flying about, so will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem: The picture is of a mother bird protecting her young. So, God will defend Jerusalem with the ferocity of a lion, and also with the tender care of a bird. The combination of the two images is powerful.

i. "As birds flying; which come from above, and so cannot be kept off; which fly swiftly and engage themselves valiantly and resolutely, when they perceive that their young ones are in eminent danger." (Poole)

ii. "The Lord of Hosts will be strong as the lion that growls over his prey … and He will be sweet and soft and gentle as a mother-bird." (Meyer)

2. (Isa 31:6-9) An invitation to repent to the God who will deliver.

Return to Him against whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. For in that day every man shall throw away his idols of silver and his idols of gold; sin, which your own hands have made for yourselves. "Then Assyria shall fall by a sword not of man, and a sword not of mankind shall devour him. But he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall become forced labor. He shall cross over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the banner," says the LORD, whose fire is in Zion and whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

a. Return to Him: Because of how great God is, because of how terrible the alternatives to serving Him are, we should feel compelled to return to Him. Repentance means turning towards God, and away from anything we have put in God's place (idols of silver and idols of gold - sin, which your own hands have made).

b. Then Assyria shall fall by sword not of man: This was fulfilled exactly. The Assyrian army devastated almost the entire land of Judah, and camped on the outskirts of Jerusalem, waiting to conquer the nation by defeating the capital city. But 2 Kings 19:35 describes how God simply sent the angel of the LORD, and killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. When the people woke up, there were 185,000 dead Assyrian soldiers. It was a victory that had nothing to do with the sword … of man. God was more than able to protect Judah and Jerusalem.

© 2001 David Guzik - No distribution beyond personal use without permission

Study Guide for Song of Songs 1 ← Prior Book
Study Guide for Jeremiah 1 Next Book →
Study Guide for Isaiah 30 ← Prior Chapter
Study Guide for Isaiah 32 Next Chapter →
BLB Searches
Search the Bible
Search KJV

Advanced Options

Other Searches

Multi-Verse Retrieval
Search KJV

Let's Connect
Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

Daily Bible Reading Plans

Recognizing the value of consistent reflection upon the Word of God in order to refocus one's mind and heart upon Christ and His Gospel of peace, we provide several reading plans designed to cover the entire Bible in a year.

One-Year Plans

Two-Year Plan


The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

Donate Contact

Blue Letter Bible study tools make reading, searching and studying the Bible easy and rewarding.

Blue Letter Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization