31:1 Woe to them that a go down to Egypt for help; and rely on
horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and
in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look
not to the Holy One of Israel, neither b seek the LORD!
(a) There were two special reasons why the Israelites
should not join with the Egyptians: first, because the
Lord had commanded them never to return there,
(De 17:16,28:68) lest they should forget the
benefit of their redemption: and secondly, lest they
should be corrupted with the superstition and idolatry
of the Egyptians, and so forsake God, (Jer 2:18).
(b) Meaning, that they forsake the Lord, if they put their
trust in worldly things: for they cannot trust in both.
31:2 Yet he also [is] c wise, and will bring evil, and will
not call back his words: but will arise against the house
of the evildoers, and against the help of them that work
(c) And knows their crafty enterprises, and will bring all
31:3 Now the Egyptians [are] men, and not God; and their horses
flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD shall stretch out his
hand, both he that d helpeth shall fall, and he that is
helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.
(d) Meaning, both the Egyptians and the Israelites.
31:4 For thus hath the LORD spoken to me, As the lion and the
young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of
shepherds is called forth against him, [he] will not be
afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of
them: so shall the LORD of hosts come e down to fight for
mount Zion, and for its hill.
(e) He shows the Jews that if they would put their trust in
him, he is so able, that no one can resist his power
and so care over them, as a bird over her young,
which ever flies about them for their defence: which
similitude the scripture uses in various places, as in
(De 32:11, Mt 23:37).
31:6 Turn ye to [him from] whom the children of Israel have f
(f) He touches their conscience that they might earnestly
feel their grievous sins, and so truly repent, for as
much as now they are almost drowned and past recovery.
31:7 For in that day every man shall g cast away his idols of
silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have
made to you [for] a sin.
(g) By these fruits your repentance will be known, as in
31:8h Then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of
man; and the sword, not of men, shall devour him: but he
shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be made
(h) When your repentance appears.
31:9 And he shall pass over to his i strong hold for fear, and
his princes shall be afraid of the ensign, saith the LORD,
whose k fire [is] in Zion, and his furnace in Jerusalem.
(i) This was accomplished soon after when
Sennacherib's army was discomfited, and he fled to his
castle in Nineveh for comfort.
(k) To destroy his enemies.