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Sunday, September 24th, 2023
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
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Bible Commentaries
Isaiah 31

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-9

Isaiah 31:1 . Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help. This was a sin in open defiance of the law. Deuteronomy 28:68. It was a great revolt of unbelief, because it distrusted the Lord, and all his wondrous works, to trust in an arm of flesh. By consequence, the prohibition has a strong bearing on the christian church in times of trouble.

Isaiah 31:9 . The Lord, whose fire is in Zion. He had promised to be about his church as a wall of fire, while the wicked have only a fire and sparks of their own kindling. Zechariah 2:5. Isaiah 10:17; Isaiah 50:11.


This chapter contains a portion of another prediction, during the time of the Assyrian invasion. It was written before Sennacherib had entered the boundaries of Egypt. We may here see that no nation can fall, till the invader first receives his commission from heaven. Then precaution is vain; and efforts of defence, by falling into the enemy’s hands, encrease his power. Here the reliance on Egypt is rationally reproved, for the Lord was king in Jeshurun. He had ever defended his people, when they called upon him by sincere repentance; and the Egyptians being but men, could not deliver the Israelites, unless the Egyptians were first helped of the Lord. Let this teach the sick man not to trust in physicians, and the rich man not to confide in wealth; yea, let it teach the church of God not to put confidence in princes, for the whole of our earthly dependence is but an arm of flesh.

There is no need to trust in man, for the Lord will roar for the safety of Zion, as the young lion roareth for his prey; and come swiftly to succour her, as the bird flies to cover her young in the moment of danger.

God promises to defeat the Assyrian, but not with the sword; and yet he fled to his strong cities for fear of the sword. Seeing the flower of his army fall in one fatal night, he thought Hezekiah would pursue.

But there was an ensign or royal standard which he feared more than that of Hezekiah, or of Pharaoh. This was the flames of fire, which have ever surrounded the Lord as the banner of victory. Oh my soul, be careful to retain that token of the divine favour, and thou shalt not be afraid of Satan nor all his host. Only walk with God, and thou shalt be exalted in righteousness, and all thine enemies shall fall at thy feet.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 31". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/isaiah-31.html. 1835.
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