New International Version

Isaiah 31:1-9

Woe to Those Who Rely on Egypt

1Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,

who rely on horses,

who trust in the multitude of their chariots

and in the great strength of their horsemen,

but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,

or seek help from the Lord.

2Yet he too is wise and can bring disaster;

he does not take back his words.

He will rise up against that wicked nation,

against those who help evildoers.

3But the Egyptians are mere mortals and not God;

their horses are flesh and not spirit.

When the Lord stretches out his hand,

those who help will stumble,

those who are helped will fall;

all will perish together.

4This is what the Lord says to me:

“As a lion growls,

a great lion over its prey—

and though a whole band of shepherds

is called together against it,

it is not frightened by their shouts

or disturbed by their clamor—

so the Lord Almighty will come down

to do battle on Mount Zion and on its heights.

5Like birds hovering overhead,

the Lord Almighty will shield Jerusalem;

he will shield it and deliver it,

he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.”

6Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against. 7For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made.

8“Assyria will fall by no human sword;

a sword, not of mortals, will devour them.

They will flee before the sword

and their young men will be put to forced labor.

9Their stronghold will fall because of terror;

at the sight of the battle standard their commanders will panic,”

declares the Lord,

whose fire is in Zion,

whose furnace is in Jerusalem.

New International Reader’s Version

Isaiah 31:1-9

The Lord Will Judge Those Who Depend on Egypt

1How terrible it will be for those who go down to Egypt for help!

How terrible for those who depend on horses!

They trust in how many chariots they have.

They trust in how strong their horsemen are.

But they don’t look to the Holy One of Israel.

They don’t ask the Lord for his help.

2He too is wise. He can bring horrible trouble.

He does what he says he’ll do.

He’ll rise up against that evil nation.

He’ll fight against those who help them.

3The men of Egypt are only human beings.

They aren’t God.

Their horses are only flesh and blood.

They aren’t spirits.

The Lord will reach out his powerful hand

to punish everyone.

The Egyptians provide help.

But they will be tripped up.

The people of Judah receive the help.

But they will fall down.

All of them will be destroyed.

4The Lord says to me,

“A powerful lion stands over its food and growls.

A lot of shepherds can be brought together to drive it away.

But the lion is not frightened by their shouts.

It is not upset by the noise they make.

In the same way, I will come down from heaven.

I will fight on Mount Zion and on its hills.

Nothing will drive me away.

I am the Lord who rules over all.

5Like a bird hovering over its nest, I will guard Jerusalem.

I will keep it safe.

I will ‘pass over’ it and save it.

I am the Lord who rules over all.”

6People of Israel, return to the Lord. He’s the God you have so strongly opposed. 7You sinned when you made your gods out of silver and gold. The time will come when all of you will turn away from them.

8The Lord says, “The Assyrians will be killed by swords.

But the swords that kill them will not be used by human beings.

The Assyrians will run away from those swords.

But their young men will be caught

and forced to work hard.

9Their hiding places will be destroyed

when terror strikes them.

Their commanders will see their enemy’s battle flags.

Then they will be filled with panic,”

announces the Lord.

His fire blazes out from Mount Zion.

His furnace burns in Jerusalem.