Isaiah 31:1 - 'Going Down To Egypt.'

Isaiah 31:1 - "Going Down To Egypt."

Isaiah 31:1 (NKJV) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, 
And rely on horses, Who trust in chariots because they are many, And 
in horsemen because they are very strong, But who do not look to 
the Holy One of Israel, Nor seek the Lord!  

Isaiah 31:1 (NIV) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, 
who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and 
in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the 
Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.  

Isaiah 31:1 (ESV) Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help and 
rely on horses, who trust in chariots because they are many and in 
horsemen because they are very strong, but do not look to the Holy One of 
Israel or consult the Lord!  

Isaiah 31:1 (NCV) How terrible it will be for those people who 
go down to Egypt for help. They think horses will save them. They 
think their many chariots and strong horsemen will save them. But they 
don't trust God, the Holy One of Israel, or ask the Lord for help.  

Isaiah 31:1 (NLT) What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for 
help, trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers and depending 
on the strength of human armies instead of looking to the Lord, the 
Holy One of Israel.  

Isaiah 31:1 (MSG) Doom to those who go off to Egypt thinking 
that horses can help them, Impressed by military mathematics, awed by 
sheer numbers of chariots and riders-- And to The Holy of Israel, not 
even a glance, not so much as a prayer to God.  


"Going down to Egypt" is Bible language for getting out of the 
will of God. [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe 
re Gen. 12:10-20] 

Go down to Egypt. Isaiah continues (see ch. 30:2-7) rebuke of 
the leaders of Judah for turning to Egypt for help against Assyria. 
Judah was so weak in cavalry that the Assyrians tauntingly offered to 
provide 2,000 horses if Hezekiah could set riders upon them (ch. 
36:8).The Hebrew politicians sought to make up for this weakness by an 
appeal to Egypt. [SDA Bible Commentary] 


Isaiah 31:1-3: The Folly of Not Trusting God. [Remnant SOP SB]

   When Assyria threatened Judah, the leaders did not 
immediately turn to God for help but trusted in diplomacy. Their ambassadors 
went through dangerous territory (30:6-7) to go to Egypt, but Egypt 
could not help Judah. Egypt was as helpful as a shadow (30:1-5), a 
wall about to fall down (30:12-13), or a broken clay vessel (30:14). 
The Egyptians were only men, not God (31:1-3). Are you trusting 
things that cannot help you while the Lord waits for you to come to Him 
for help (30:15, 18)? 
   Those who wait on the Lord for help will experience 
blessings, such as answered prayer (30:18-19), God's guidance (30:20-21), 
cleansing (30:22), fruitfulness (30:23-26), victory (30:27-33; 31:4-9), 
and a song (30:29). 
   The horses of Egypt can never take the place of the chariots 
of God (Ps. 20:7-8). [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren 


It was wrong for Judah to look to other nations for military 
help. (1) They were trusting in human beings instead of God. Judah 
sought protection from those who were powerless when compared to God. 
Both Egypt and Judah would fall as a result of their arrogance. (2) 
They were serving their own interests instead of God's, and thus they 
did not even consult him. They violated God's stipulation in 
Deuteronomy 17:16. (3) They did not want to pay the price of looking to God 
and repenting of their sinful ways. When we have problems, it is 
good to seek help, but we must never bypass God or his previous 
directions to us. [Life Application SB] 

   Again and again these chapters stress the futility of relying 
on anything other than God. Perhaps the clearest expression of this 
is found in 31:3: "The Egyptians are men and not God; their horses 
are flesh and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out His hand, he 
who helps will stumble, he who is helped will fall; both will perish 
   We're so vulnerable to the attitude seen here in the people 
of Judah. We keep on putting our trust in things we can touch, see, 
and feel. The Persian poet Omar Khayyam put it this way:  
   Ah, take the cash, 
   And let the credit go. 
   Nor heed the rumble 
   of a distant drum. 
   You and I, however, are to listen for that distant drum, and 
ignore the cash! We know that the only things that are real, the only 
things that offer true security, are spiritual and not material.  
   If we keep this truth clearly in mind, and act on it, we will 
be safe from the sin that brought disaster on ancient Judah. [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

   Christians sometimes approach obedience as a way of avoiding 
the negative consequences of disobedience. They see obedience as a 
burden, not as a wide road to blessing. 
   But God intended our walk of faith to be a thrilling 
adventure, motivated by our love for Jesus Christ. Obedience is about 
discovering God, not about avoiding unpleasant consequences. That is why 
John can say, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His 
commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome" (1 John 5:3). 
   When we place our trust in the omnipotence of the Lord and 
act on His prompting, life becomes exciting. We need not be afraid 
of the future because God already knows the outcome of our 
obedience--and we can trust in His promise that he does everything for our good 
(Rom. 8:28). 
   Walking in faith is so thrilling because each step leads to a 
fantastic blessing from Almighty God. The Lord continuously moves us 
through a variety of circumstances toward His overriding purpose for our 
lives. If we back off from obedience because of a mistaken desire for 
safety, we deprive God of the opportunity to demonstrate His awesome 
power in us. Small choices may seem insignificant, but they lead 
toward a lifetime of walking with God. 
   As God's children, we should ask Him what He wants us to do 
every day. "What would You have me say here, Lord?" or "What is the 
best decision now?" We must learn to listen to our heavenly Father 
and remain sensitive to the quiet voice that prompts us throughout 
the day. Isaiah says, "Your ears shall hear a word behind you, 
saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right 
hand or whenever you turn to the left" (Is. 30:21). 
   When we keep our minds attuned to Him, we will begin to 
understand the significance of some decisions we might otherwise barely 
notice. Ultimately this awareness will lead to a lifestyle of walking 
with the Lord and receiving his best for us. 
   As you look at the day ahead of you--what is your next step of 
obedience? [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley re v. 30:21] 

What is your "Egypt"? What are your "horses"? To what do you 
instinctively turn for help, other than your God? Those other things may seem 
more "practical" to eyes of flesh, but only God provides aid that 
will last. [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley] 


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