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Isaiah 31:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Woe to them that 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 unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah!
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the LORD!
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Woe to those who 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 do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Woe to them that 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 seek the LORD!
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and depend on horses, and confide in chariots because [they are] many, and in horsemen because they are very strong; and who look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek Jehovah!
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Alas! for them who are going down to Egypt for help, On horses, would rely,—And have trusted—In chariots—because they are many, and, In horsemen, because they are very bold, But have not looked unto the Holy One of Israel, And, onto Yahweh, have not sought.
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Woe [to] those going down to Egypt for help, And on horses lean, And trust on chariots, because many, And on horsemen, because very strong, And have not looked on the Holy One of Israel, And Jehovah have not sought.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, trusting in horses, and putting their confidence in chariots, because they are many: and in horsemen, because they are very strong: and have not trusted in the Holy One of Israel, and have not sought after the Lord.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Woe to them that go down to Egypt for helpe, and stay on horses, and trust in charets, because they [are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong: but they looke not vnto the Holy one of Israel, neither seeke the LORD.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Woe to them that go down to Mizraim{gr.Egypt} for help, who trust in horses and chariots, for they are many; and in horses, [which are] a great multitude; and have not trusted in the Holy One of Israel, and have not sought the Lord.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Woe to them that go down to Mitzrayim for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because [they are] many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Yisrael, neither seek Yahweh!

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Woe 1945
{1945} Prime
הוֹי
howy
{hoh'ee}
A prolonged form of H1930 (akin to H0188); oh!.
to them that go down 3381
{3381} Prime
יָרַד
yarad
{yaw-rad'}
A primitive root; to descend (literally to go downwards; or conventionally to a lower region, as the shore, a boundary, the enemy, etc.; or figuratively to fall); causatively to bring down (in all the above applications).
z8802
<8802> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Participle Active (See H8814)
Count - 5386
to Mixrayim מִצרַיִם 4714
{4714} Prime
מִצְרַיִם
Mitsrayim
{mits-rah'-yim}
Dual of H4693; Mitsrajim, that is, Upper and Lower Egypt.
for help; 5833
{5833} Prime
עֶזְרָה
`ezrah
{ez-raw'}
Feminine of H5828; aid.
and stay 8172
{8172} Prime
שָׁעַן
sha`an
{shaw-an'}
A primitive root; to support one's self.
z8735
<8735> Grammar
Stem - Niphal (See H8833)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 1602
on x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
horses, 5483
{5483} Prime
סוּס
cuwc
{soos}
From an unused root meaning to skip (properly for joy); a horse (as leaping); also a swallow (from its rapid flight).
and trust 982
{0982} Prime
בָּטַח
batach
{baw-takh'}
A primitive root; properly to hie for refuge (but not so precipitately as H2620); figuratively to trust, be confident or sure.
z8799
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
in x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
chariots, 7393
{7393} Prime
רֶכֶב
rekeb
{reh'-keb}
From H7392; a vehicle; by implication a team; by extension cavalry; by analogy a rider, that is, the upper millstone.
because x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
[they are] many; 7227
{7227} Prime
רַב
rab
{rab}
By contraction from H7231; abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality).
and in x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
horsemen, 6571
{6571} Prime
פָּרָשׁ
parash
{paw-rawsh'}
From H6567; a steed (as stretched out to a vehicle, not single nor for mounting (compare H5483)); also (by implication) a driver (in a chariot), that is, (collectively) cavalry.
because x3588
(3588) Complement
כִּי
kiy
{kee}
A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed.
they are very y3966
[3966] Standard
מְאֹד
m@`od
{meh-ode'}
From the same as H0181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated).
strong; 6105
{6105} Prime
עָצַם
`atsam
{aw-tsam'}
A primitive root; to bind fast, that is, close (the eyes); intransitively to be (causatively make) powerful or numerous; denominatively (from H6106) to craunch the bones.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
x3966
(3966) Complement
מְאֹד
m@`od
{meh-ode'}
From the same as H0181; properly vehemence, that is, (with or without preposition) vehemently; by implication wholly, speedily, etc. (often with other words as an intensive or superlative; especially when repeated).
but they look 8159
{8159} Prime
שָׁעָה
sha`ah
{shaw-aw'}
A primitive root; to gaze at or about (properly for help); by implication to inspect, consider, compassionate, be nonplussed (as looking around in amazement) or bewildered.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
not x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
unto x5921
(5921) Complement
עַל
`al
{al}
Properly the same as H5920 used as a preposition (in the singular or plural, often with prefix, or as conjugation with a particle following); above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications.
the Holy One 6918
{6918} Prime
קָדוֹשׁ
qadowsh
{kaw-doshe'}
From H6942; sacred (ceremonially or morally); (as noun) God (by eminence), an angel, a saint, a sanctuary.
of Yi$rl יִשׂרָאֵל, 3478
{3478} Prime
יִשְׂרָאֵל
Yisra'el
{yis-raw-ale'}
From H8280 and H0410; he will rule as God; Jisrael, a symbolical name of Jacob; also (typically) of his posterity.
neither x3808
(3808) Complement
לֹא
lo'
{lo}
lo; a primitive particle; not (the simple or abstract negation); by implication no; often used with other particles.
seek 1875
{1875} Prime
דּרשׁ
darash
{daw-rash'}
A primitive root; properly to tread or frequent; usually to follow (for pursuit or search); by implication to seek or ask; specifically to worship.
z8804
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
Yhw יָהוֶה! 3068
{3068} Prime
יְהֹוָה
Y@hovah
{yeh-ho-vaw'}
From H1961; (the) self Existent or eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Isaiah 31:1

_ _ Isaiah 31:1-9. The chief strength of the Egyptian armies lay in their cavalry.

_ _ and stay on horses, and trust in chariots — In their level and fertile plains horses could easily be used and fed (Exodus 14:9; 1 Kings 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 Isaiah 36:9; Psalms 20:7; Daniel 9:13).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Isaiah 31:1-5

_ _ This is the last of four chapters together that begin with woe; and they are all woes to the sinners that were found among the professing people of God, to the drunkards of Ephraim (Isaiah 28:1), to Ariel (Isaiah 29:1), to the rebellious children (Isaiah 30:1), and here to those that go down to Egypt for help; for men's relation to the church will not secure them from divine woes if they live in contempt of divine laws. Observe,

_ _ I. What the sin was that is here reproved, Isaiah 31:1. 1. Idolizing the Egyptians, and making court to them, as if happy were the people that had the Egyptians for their friends and allies. They go down to Egypt for help in every exigence, as if the worshippers of false gods had a better interest in heaven and were more likely to have success of earth than the servants of the living and true God. That which invited them to Egypt was that the Egyptians had many chariots to accommodate them with, and horses and horsemen that were strong; and, if they could get a good body of forces thence into their service, they would think themselves able to deal with the king of Assyria and his numerous army. Their kings were forbidden to multiply horses and chariots, and were told of the folly of trusting to them (Psalms 20:7); but they think themselves wiser than their Bible. 2. Slighting the God of Israel: They look not to the Holy One of Israel, as if he were not worth taking notice of in this distress. They advise not with him, seek not his favour, nor are in any care to make him their friend.

_ _ II. The gross absurdity and folly of this sin. 1. They neglected one whom, if they would not hope in him, they had reason to fear. They do not seek the Lord, nor make their application to him, yet he also is wise, Isaiah 31:2. They are solicitous to get the Egyptians into an alliance with them, because they have the reputation of a politic people; and is not God wise too? and would not infinite wisdom, engaged on their side, stand them in more stead than all the policies of Egypt? They are at the pains of going down to Egypt, a tedious journey, when they might have had better advice, and better help, by looking up to heaven, and would not. But, if they will not court God's wisdom to act for them, they shall find it act against them. He is wise, too wise for them to outwit, and he will bring evil upon those who thus affront him. He will not call back his words as men do (because they are fickle and foolish), but he will arise against the house of the evil-doers, this cabal of them that go down to Egypt; God will appear to their confusion, according to the word that he has spoken, and will oppose the help they think to bring in from the workers of iniquity. Some think the Egyptians made it one condition of their coming into an alliance with him that they should worship the gods of Egypt, and they consented to it, and therefore they are both called evil-doers and workers of iniquity. 2. They trusted to those who were unable to help them and would soon appear to be so, Isaiah 31:3. Let them know that the Egyptians, whom they depend so much upon, are men and not God. As it is good for men to know themselves to be but men (Psalms 9:20), so it is good for us to consider that those we love and trust to are but men. They therefore can do nothing without God, nothing against him, nothing in comparison with him. They are men, and therefore fickle and foolish, mutable and mortal, here to day and gone to morrow; they are men, and therefore let us not make gods of them, by making them our hope and confidence, and expecting that in them which is to be found in God only; they are not God, they cannot do that for us which God can do, and will, if we trust in him. Let us not then neglect him, to seek to them; let us not forsake the rock of ages for broken reeds, nor the fountain of living waters for broken cisterns. The Egyptians indeed have horses that are very strong; but they are flesh, and not spirit, and therefore, strong as they are, they may be wearied with a long march, and become unserviceable, or be wounded and slain in battle, and leave their riders to be ridden over. Every one knows this, that the Egyptians are not God and their horses are not spirit; but those that seek to them for help do not consider it, else they would not put such confidence in them. Sinners may be convicted of folly by the plainest and most self-evident truths, which they cannot deny, but will not believe. 3. They would certainly be ruined with the Egyptians they trusted in, Isaiah 31:3. When the Lord does but stretch out his hand how easily, how effectually, will he make them ashamed of their confidence in Egypt, and the Egyptians ashamed of the encouragement they gave them to trust in them; for he that helps and he that is helped shall fall together, and their mutual alliance shall prove their joint ruin. The Egyptians were shortly to be reckoned with, as appears by the burden of Egypt (ch. 19), and then those who fled to them for shelter and succour should fall with them; for there is no escaping the judgments of God. Evil pursues sinners, and it is just with God to make that creature a scourge to us which we make an idol of. 4. They took God's work out of his hands. They pretended a great deal of care to preserve Jerusalem, in advising to an alliance with Egypt; and, when others would not fall in with their measures, they pleaded self preservation, and went to Egypt themselves. Now the prophet here tells them that Jerusalem should be preserved without aid from Egypt and that those who tarried there should be safe when those who fled to Egypt should be ruined. Jerusalem was under God's protection, and therefore there was no occasion to put it under the protection of Egypt. But a practical distrust of God's all-sufficiency is at the bottom of all our sinful departures from him to the creature. The prophet tells them he had it from God's own mouth: Thus hath the Lord spoken to me. They might depend upon it, (1.) That God would appear against Jerusalem's enemies with the boldness of a lion over his prey, Isaiah 31:4. When the lion comes out to seize his prey a multitude of shepherds come out against him; for it becomes neighbours to help one another when persons or goods are in danger. These shepherds dare not come near the lion; all they can do is to make a noise, and with that they think to frighten him off. But does he regard it? No: he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself so far as to be in the least moved by it either to quit his prey or to make any more haste than otherwise he would do in seizing it. Thus will the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion, with such an unshaken undaunted resolution not to be moved by any opposition; and he will as easily and irresistibly destroy the Assyrian army as a lion tears a lamb in pieces. Whoever appear against God, they are but like a multitude of poor simple shepherds shouting at a lion, who scorns to take notice of them or so much as to alter his pace for them. Surely those that have such a protector need not go to Egypt for help. (2.) That God would appear for Jerusalem's friends with the tenderness of a bird over her young, Isaiah 31:5. God was ready to gather Jerusalem, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings (Matthew 23:37); but those that trusted to the Egyptians would not be gathered. As birds flying to their nests with all possible speed, when they see them attacked, and fluttering about their nests with all possible concern, hovering over their young ones to protect them and drive away the assailants, with such compassion and affection will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. As an eagle stirs up her young when they are in danger, takes them and bears them on her wings, so the Lord led Israel out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 32:11, Deuteronomy 32:12); and he has now the same tender concern for them that he had then, so that they need not flee into Egypt again for shelter. Defending, he will deliver it; he will so defend it as to secure the continuance of its safety, not defend it for a while and abandon it at last, but defend it so that it shall not fall into the enemies' hand. I will defend this city to save it, Isaiah 37:35. Passing over he will preserve it; the word for passing over is used in this sense only here and Exodus 12:12, Exodus 12:23, Exodus 12:27, concerning the destroying angel's passing over the houses of the Israelites when he slew all the first-born of the Egyptians, to which story this passage refers. The Assyrian army was to be routed by a destroying angel, who should pass over Jerusalem, though that deserved to be destroyed, and draw his sword only against the besiegers. They shall be slain by the pestilence, but none of the besieged shall take the infection. Thus he will again pass over the houses of his people and secure them.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Isaiah 31:1

Horses — For Egypt had many and choice horses.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Isaiah 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, (Deuteronomy 17:16, Deuteronomy 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, (Jeremiah 2:18).

(b) Meaning, that they forsake the Lord, if they put their trust in worldly things: for they cannot trust in both.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
to them:

Isaiah 30:1-7 Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my spirit, that they may add sin to sin: ... For the Egyptians shall help in vain, and to no purpose: therefore have I cried concerning this, Their strength [is] to sit still.
Isaiah 36:6 Lo, thou trustest in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; whereon if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it: so [is] Pharaoh king of Egypt to all that trust in him.
Isaiah 57:9 And thou wentest to the king with ointment, and didst increase thy perfumes, and didst send thy messengers far off, and didst debase [thyself even] unto hell.
Ezekiel 17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such [things]? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
Hosea 11:5 He shall not return into the land of Egypt, but the Assyrian shall be his king, because they refused to return.

stay on horses:

Isaiah 30:16 But ye said, No; for we will flee upon horses; therefore shall ye flee: and, We will ride upon the swift; therefore shall they that pursue you be swift.
Isaiah 36:9 How then wilt thou turn away the face of one captain of the least of my master's servants, and put thy trust on Egypt for chariots and for horsemen?
Deuteronomy 17:16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the LORD hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
Psalms 20:7 Some [trust] in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.
Psalms 33:16-17 There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. ... An horse [is] a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver [any] by his great strength.
, the look,
Isaiah 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
Isaiah 17:7-8 At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. ... And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect [that] which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images.
Isaiah 22:11 Ye made also a ditch between the two walls for the water of the old pool: but ye have not looked unto the maker thereof, neither had respect unto him that fashioned it long ago.
2 Chronicles 16:7 And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said unto him, Because thou hast relied on the king of Syria, and not relied on the LORD thy God, therefore is the host of the king of Syria escaped out of thine hand.
Jeremiah 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
Jeremiah 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed [be] the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Hosea 14:3 Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, [Ye are] our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy.

neither:

Isaiah 9:13 For the people turneth not unto him that smiteth them, neither do they seek the LORD of hosts.
Isaiah 64:7 And [there is] none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Daniel 9:13 As [it is] written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Hosea 7:7 They are all hot as an oven, and have devoured their judges; all their kings are fallen: [there is] none among them that calleth unto me.
Hosea 7:13-16 Woe unto them! for they have fled from me: destruction unto them! because they have transgressed against me: though I have redeemed them, yet they have spoken lies against me. ... They return, [but] not to the most High: they are like a deceitful bow: their princes shall fall by the sword for the rage of their tongue: this [shall be] their derision in the land of Egypt.
Amos 5:4-8 For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live: ... [Seek him] that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD [is] his name:
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Dt 17:16. 2Ch 16:7. Ps 20:7; 33:16. Is 5:12; 9:13; 17:7; 22:11; 30:1, 16; 36:6, 9; 57:9; 64:7. Jr 2:13; 17:5. Ezk 17:15. Dn 9:13. Ho 7:7, 13; 11:5; 14:3. Am 5:4.

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