Isaiah 31:3
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the LORD stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together.

King James Bible
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 helpeth shall fall, and he that is holpen shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

American Standard Version
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit: and when Jehovah shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall stumble, and he that is helped shall fall, and they all shall be consumed together.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Egypt is man, and not God: and their horses, flesh, and not spirit: and the Lord shall put down his hand, and the helper shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall, and they shall al be confounded together.

English Revised Version
Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit: and when the LORD shall stretch out his hand, both he that helpeth shall stumble, and he that is holpen shall fall, and they all shall fail together.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 helpeth shall fall, and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together.

Isaiah 31:3 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

Israel is marching in such a joyful way to a sacred and glorious height, whilst outside Jehovah is sweeping the world-power entirely away, and that without any help from Israel. "And Jehovah causes His majestic voice to be heard, and causes the lowering of His arm to be seen, with the snorting of wrath and the blazing of devouring fire, the bursting of a cloud, and pouring of rain and hailstones. For Asshur will be terrified at the voice of Jehovah, when He smites with the staff. And it will come to pass, every stroke of the rod of destiny, which Jehovah causes to fall upon Asshur, is dealt amidst the noise of drums and the playing of guitars; and in battles of swinging arm He fights it. For a place for the sacrifice of abominations has long been made ready, even for the king is it prepared; deep, broad has He made it: its funeral-pile has fire and wood in abundance; the breath of Jehovah like a stream of brimstone sets it on fire." The imposing crash (on hōd, see Job 39:20) of the cry which Jehovah causes to be heard is thunder (see Psalm 29:1-11); for the catastrophe occurs with a discharge of all the destructive forces of a storm (see Isaiah 29:6). Nephets is the "breaking up" or "bursting," viz., of a cloud. It is through such wrath-announcing phenomena of nature that Jehovah manifests the otherwise invisible letting down of His arm to smite (nachath may possibly not be the derivative of nūăch, "settling down," but of nâchath, "the coming down," as in Psalm 38:3; just as shebheth in 2 Samuel 23:7 is not derived from shūbh, but from shâbhath, to go to ruin). Isaiah 30:31, commencing with ki (for), explains the terrible nature of what occurs, from the object at which it is directed: Asshur is alarmed at the voice of Jehovah, and thoroughly goes to pieces. We must not render this, as the Targum does, "which smites with the rod," i.e., which bears itself so haughtily, so tyrannically (after Isaiah 10:24). The smiter here is Jehovah (lxx, Vulg., Luther); and basshēbhet yakkeh is either an attributive clause, or, better still, a circumstantial determining clause, eo virga percutiente. According to the accents, vehâyâh in Isaiah 30:32 is introductory: "And it will come to pass, every stroke of the punishing rod falls (supply יהיה) with an accompaniment of drums and guitars" (the Beth is used to denote instrumental accompaniment, as in Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 24:9; Psalm 49:5, etc.) - namely, on the part of the people of Jerusalem, who have only to look on and rejoice in the approaching deliverance. Mūsâdâh with mattēh is a verbal substantive used as a genitive, "an appointment according to decree" (comp. yâsad in Habakkuk 1:12, and yâ‛ad in Micah 6:9). The fact that drums and guitars are heard along with every stroke, is explained in Isaiah 30:32: "Jehovah fights against Asshur with battles of swinging," i.e., not with darts or any other kind of weapon, but by swinging His arm incessantly, to smite Asshur without its being able to defend itself (cf., Isaiah 19:16). Instead of בּהּ, which points back to Asshur, not to matteh, the keri has בּם, which is not so harsh, since it is immediately preceded by עליו. This cutting down of the Assyrians is accounted for in Isaiah 30:33, (ki, for), from the fact that it had long ago been decreed that they should be burned as dead bodies. 'Ethmūl in contrast with mâchâr is the past: it has not happened today, but yesterday, i.e., as the predestination of God is referred to, "long ago."

Tophteh is the primary form of tōpheth (from tūph, not in the sense of the Neo-Persian tâften, Zend. tap, to kindle or burn, from which comes tafedra, melting; but in the Semitic sense of vomiting or abhorring: see at Job 17:6), the name of the abominable place where the sacrifices were offered to Moloch in the valley of Hinnom: a Tophet-like place. The word is variously treated as both a masculine and feminine, possibly because the place of abominable sacrifices is described first as bâmâh in Jeremiah 7:31. In the clause הוּכן למּלך גּם־הוא, the gam, which stands at the head, may be connected with lammelekh, "also for the king is it prepared" (see at Job 2:10); but in all probability lammelekh is a play upon lammolekh (e.g., Leviticus 18:2), "even this has been prepared for the Melekh," viz., the king of Asshur. Because he was to be burned there, together with his army, Jehovah had made this Tophet-like place very deep, so that it might have a far-reaching background, and very broad, so that in this respect also there might be room for many sacrifices. And their medūrâh, i.e., their pile of wood (as in Ezekiel 24:9, cf., Ezekiel 24:5, from dūr, Talm. dayyēr, to lay round, to arrange, pile), has abundance of fire and wood (a hendiadys, like "cloud and smoke" in Isaiah 4:5). Abundance of fire: for the breath of Jehovah, pouring upon the funeral pile like a stream of brimstone, sets it on fire. בּ בּער, not to burn up, but to set on fire. בּהּ points back to tophteh, like the suffix of medurâthâh.

(Note: So far as the form of the text is concerned, kōl has the disjunctive yethib before pashta, which occurs eleven times according to the Masora. Nevertheless the word is logically connected in the closest manner with what follows (comp. 'ēth tōrath in Isaiah 5:24). The âh of mūsâdâh is rafatum pro mappicato, according to the Masora; in which case the suffix would refer to Asshur. In the place of הוא גם we also meet with היּא גם, with this chethib and keri reversed; but the former, according to which הוכן is equivalent to הוכנה, has many examples to support it in the Masora. הוכן has kametz in correct MSS in half pause; whereas Kimchi (Michlol, 117b) regards it as a participle.)

Isaiah 31:3 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

the Egyptians

Isaiah 36:6 See, you trust in the staff of this broken reed, on Egypt; where on if a man lean, it will go into his hand, and pierce it...

Deuteronomy 32:30,31 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up...

Psalm 9:20 Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah.

Psalm 146:3-5 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help...

Ezekiel 28:9 Will you yet say before him that slays you, I am God? but you shall be a man, and no God, in the hand of him that slays you.

Acts 12:22,23 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man...

2 Thessalonians 2:4-8 Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sits in the temple of God...

their horses

Psalm 33:17 An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

stretch

Isaiah 9:17 Therefore the LORD shall have no joy in their young men, neither shall have mercy on their fatherless and widows...

Jeremiah 15:6 You have forsaken me, said the LORD, you are gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against you, and destroy you...

Ezekiel 20:33,34 As I live, said the Lord GOD, surely with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out, will I rule over you...

both

Jeremiah 37:7-10 Thus said the LORD, the God of Israel; Thus shall you say to the king of Judah, that sent you to me to inquire of me; Behold...

Cross References
Matthew 15:14
Let them alone; they are blind guides. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit."

2 Thessalonians 2:4
who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

Psalm 118:8
It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.

Isaiah 9:17
Therefore the Lord does not rejoice over their young men, and has no compassion on their fatherless and widows; for everyone is godless and an evildoer, and every mouth speaks folly. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still.

Isaiah 10:3
What will you do on the day of punishment, in the ruin that will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help, and where will you leave your wealth?

Isaiah 20:6
And the inhabitants of this coastland will say in that day, 'Behold, this is what has happened to those in whom we hoped and to whom we fled for help to be delivered from the king of Assyria! And we, how shall we escape?'"

Isaiah 30:5
everyone comes to shame through a people that cannot profit them, that brings neither help nor profit, but shame and disgrace."

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