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Jamieson, Fausset & Brown :: Commentary on Isaiah 31

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The Book of the Prophet Isaiah

Commentary by A. R. FAUSSET



      1. and stay on horses, and trust in chariots--In their level and fertile plains horses could easily be used and fed ( Exd 14:9 1Ki 10:28 ). In hilly Palestine horses were not so easily had or available. The Jews were therefore the more eager to get Egyptian chariots as allies against the Assyrian cavalry. In Assyrian sculptures chariots are represented drawn by three horses, and with three men in them (see Isa 36:9 Psa 20:7 Dan 9:13 ).

      2. he also is wise--as well as the Egyptian priests, so famed for wisdom ( Act 7:22 ), but who are "fools" before Him ( Isa 19:11 ). He not only devises, but executes what He devises without "calling back His words" ( Num 23:19 ).
      home--the whole race.
      help--the Egyptian succor sought by the Jews.

      3. not spirit--not of divine power ( Psa 56:4 146:3, 5 Zec 4:6 ).
      he that helpeth--Egypt.

      4. ( Isa 42:13 Hsa 11:10 ).
      roaring on--"growling over" his prey.
      abase himself--be disheartened or frightened.

      5. As in the image of "the lion," the point of comparison is the fearless might of Jehovah; so in that of the birds, it is His solicitous affection ( Deu 32:11 Psa 91:4 Mat 23:37 ).
      flying--Rather, "which defend" their young with their wings; "to fly" is a secondary meaning of the Hebrew word [MAURER]. "Hovering over" to protect their young [G. V. SMITH].
      passing over--as the destroying angel passing over, so as to spare the blood-marked houses of the Israelites on the first passover ( Exd 12:13, 23, 27 ). He passed, or leaped forward [LOWTH], to destroy the enemy and to spare His people.

      6. The power and love of Jehovah, just mentioned, are the strongest incentives for returning to Him ( Eze 16:62, 63 Hsa 6:1 ).
      ye. . . Israel--The change of person marks that when they return to the Lord, He will address them in more direct terms of communion in the second person; so long as they were revolters, God speaks of them, as more at a distance, in the third person, rather than to them.

      7. In the day of trial the idols will be found to render no help and will therefore be cast away. Compare as to the future restoration and conversion of Israel simultaneously with the interposition of Jehovah in its defense, Zec 12:9-14 13:1, 2.
      for a sin--that is, whereby especially you contracted guilt ( 1Ki 12:30 ).

      8. Assyrian--Sennacherib, representative of some powerful head of the ungodly in the latter ages [HORSLEY].
      sword, not of. . . mighty. . . mean man--but by the unseen sword of God.
      flee--Sennacherib alone fled homewards after his army had been destroyed ( Isa 37:37 ).
      young men--the flower of his army.
      discomfited--rather, "shall be subject to slavery"; literally, "shall be liable to tribute," that is, personal service ( Deu 20:11 Jos 9:21 ) [MAURER]. Or, not so well, "shall melt away" [ROSENMULLER].

      9. Rather, "shall pass beyond his strongholds"; he Shall not stop to take refuge in it through fear ( Jdg 20:47 Jer 48:28 ) [GESENIUS].
      ensign--the banner of Jehovah protecting the Jews [MAURER].
      fire. . . furnace--"light" and "fire," namely, of Jehovah's altar at Jerusalem ( Isa 29:1 ). Perhaps "furnace," as distinguished from "fire," may mean that His dwelling-place (His hearth) was at Jerusalem (compare Isa 4:5 ); or else the fiery furnace awaiting all the enemies who should attack Jerusalem.

Introduction to Song of Solomon ← Prior Book
Introduction to Jeremiah Next Book →
Commentary on Isaiah 30 ← Prior Chapter
Commentary on Isaiah 32 Next Chapter →

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.


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