Isaiah 31

Do not trust Egypt to help

1 It will be very bad for those people who expect that Egypt will help them. They think that Egypt's many horses and chariots will keep them safe. They trust the power of Egypt's strong soldiers who ride on horses. But those people do not trust the Holy God of Israel. They do not ask the Lord to help them.

2 But the Lord is very wise. He will bring trouble to people, as he has promised. He will not change his mind. He will punish wicked people, as well as those who help them to do evil things.

3 The men in Egypt are human. They are not God. Their horses are weak animals, not powerful spirits. When the Lord lifts up his hand to punish them, the strong helpers will not be able to stand. The people who expected them to help will fall down too. They will all come to an end together.

The Lord will keep his people safe

4 This is what the Lord said to me:

‘The Lord Almighty will come down to fight on Mount Zion and on its hill. He will come like a strong young lion that roars when it has caught a lamb to eat. Even if a whole crowd of shepherds come to chase it away, their shouts will not make the lion afraid. 5 The Lord Almighty will make Jerusalem safe. He will protect it like a bird that protects its nest. He will pass over the city and he will rescue it.

31:4‘Shepherds’ often describes the leaders of Israel.
31:5‘Pass over’ describes the time when God rescued his people from being slaves in Egypt. See Exodus 12:13, 23, 27. The Passover festival was very important for the Israelites.

6 Israelite people, you have turned completely against the Lord. Now turn back to him! 7 The time will come when everyone must throw away their gold and silver idols. It was a sin for you to make them for yourselves.

8 The Assyrian soldiers will die in battle. But humans did not make the sword that will kill them. It is God's sword that will destroy them. The Assyrians will run away from that sword. But their strong young men will have to do hard work as slaves. 9 Their strongest soldiers will run away because they are afraid. The officers of their army will be afraid when they see the Lord's battle flag.’

That is what the Lord says. His fire is in Zion. Yes, his hot oven is in Jerusalem.