Isaiah 31:2
Yet he also is 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 iniquity.
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(2) Yet he also is wise.—The words have a ring of sarcasm in them. Isaiah admits ironically that the counsellors of Hezekiah were wise in their generation. He reminds them that there might be some little wisdom in Jehovah, and in the prophet by whom He spake.

And will not call back his words.—Such words, e.g., as those of the preceding chapter (Isaiah 30:12-13; Isaiah 30:16-17).

31:1-5 God will oppose the help sought from workers of iniquity. Sinners may be convicted of folly by plain and self-evident truths, which they cannot deny, but will not believe. There is no escaping the judgments of God; and evil pursues sinners. The Lord of hosts will come down to fight for Mount Zion. The Lion of the tribe of Judah will appear for the defence of his church. And as birds hovering over their young ones to protect them, with such compassion and affection will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem. He will so defend it, as to secure its safety.Yet he also is wise - God is wise. It is in vain to attempt to deceive him, or to accomplish such purposes without his knowledge.

And will bring evil - The punishment which is due to such want of confidence in him.

But will arise against the house of the evil-doers - This is a general proposition, and it is evidently just as true now as it was in the time of Isaiah.

2. he also is wise—as well as the Egyptian priests, so famed for wisdom (Ac 7:22), but who are "fools" before Him (Isa 19:11). He not only devises, but executes what He devises without "calling back His words" (Nu 23:19).

home—the whole race.

help—the Egyptian succor sought by the Jews.

He also is wise: you think you are wise, and act wisely in engaging the Egyptians, who are a wise and warlike people, to help. you; but God is not inferior to them in wisdom nor in strength, but much their superior; and therefore you have done foolishly and wickedly in prefer. ring them before him.

Will bring evil; will execute his judgments upon you, notwithstanding all that you or your allies the Egyptians can do to hinder it.

Will not call back his words, his threatenings denounced against you, but will infallibly execute them.

Will arise; though at present he sit still, yet he will bestir himself and fight.

Against the house of evil-doers; against this wicked and rebellious people of the Jews.

The help; the helpers, as it is explained in the next verse; the abstract being put for the concrete.

Yet he also is wise,.... That is, God, the Holy One of Israel, is, whom they disregarded; and wiser too than the Egyptians, to whom they sought for help, and who were thought to be a wise and political people; and wiser than themselves, who imagined they acted a prudent part, in applying to them; so wise as to know all their schemes, and able to confound them, as well as most certainly and fully to complete his own; and it would have been therefore the highest wisdom to have sought to him, and not to men:

and will bring evil; the evil of punishment or affliction on wicked men, which he has threatened, and which they could in no wise escape, by taking the methods they did:

and will not call back his words; his threatenings delivered by the prophets: these, as he does not repent of, he will not revoke or make void, but fulfil and accomplish; what he has said he will do, and what he has purposed he will bring to pass; and therefore it was a weak and an unwise part they acted, by applying to others, and slighting him:

but will arise against the house of evildoers; not the ten tribes of Israel, as Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it; but rather the people of the Jews, or some particular family among them; it may be the royal family, chiefly concerned in sending the embassy to Egypt, or in advising to it; though it may be the singular is put for the plural, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions render it "the houses"; and so may design all those great families which joined in this affair, and are therefore called "evildoers"; as all such are that put their confidence in the creature, and not in the Lord; and against such he will "arise", in a hostile manner, sooner or later, against whom there is no standing; see Job 9:4,

and against the help of them that work iniquity; that is, against the Egyptians, the helpers of the Jews, who were workers of iniquity, and therefore their help and hope in it would be in vain; or else the latter part is descriptive of the Egyptians their helpers, who were a wicked and idolatrous nation, and so not to be sought unto for help, or trusted in, since, God being against them, it would be to no purpose, as he is against all workers of iniquity.

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 iniquity.

(c) And knows their crafty enterprises, and will bring all to nought.

2. Yet he also is wise] as well as the shrewd diplomatists who have negotiated this treaty! The words are ironical, yet they have a serious meaning; the prophet, alone in his view of the political situation, reassures himself by thinking of the transcendent wisdom of Jehovah and the fixity of His purpose.

and will bring evil] Rather, brings trouble (cf. Amos 3:6) in consequence of His wisdom.

and will not call back (better: and hath not recalled) his words] The “words” are such prophecies as Isaiah 28:16 ff., Isaiah 29:14 ff., Isaiah 30:13 f., 16 ff.

the house of [the] evildoers is Judah (ch. Isaiah 1:4); their help (i.e. “helpers “) is Egypt.

2, 3. A demonstration of the folly of trusting Egypt rather than Jehovah.

Verse 2. - Yet he also is wise. Intense irony. "Wisdom is not wholly confined to the human counselors whose advice Judah follows (Isaiah 29:14). He (Jehovah) is 'wise' too, and could give prudent counsel if his advice were asked." As he is not consulted, he will bring evil upon his people, and will not call back, or retract, his words of threatening, but will give them accomplishment, by rising up against the house of the evil-doers (i.e. the Jews), and their help (i.e. the Egyptians). Isaiah 31:2There is nothing to surprise us in the fact, that the prophet returns again and again to the alliance with Egypt. After his warning had failed to prevent it, he wrestled with it in spirit, set before himself afresh the curse which would be its certain fruit, brought out and unfolded the consolation of believers that lay hidden in the curse, and did not rest till the cursed fruit, that had become a real thing, had been swallowed up by the promise, which was equally real. The situation of this fourth woe is just the same as that of the previous one. The alliance with Egypt is still in progress. "Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and rely upon horses, and put their trust in chariots, that there are many of them; and in horsemen, that there is a powerful multitude of them; and do not look up to the Holy One of Israel, and do not inquire for Jehovah! And yet He also is wise; thus then He brings evil, and sets not His words aside; and rises up against the house of miscreants, and against the help of evil-doers. And Egypt is man, and not God; and its horses flesh, and not spirit. And when Jehovah stretches out His hand, the helper stumbles, and he that is helped falls, and they all perish together." The expression "them that go down" (hayyōredı̄m) does not imply that the going down was taking place just then for the first time. It is the participle of qualification, just as God is called הבּרא. לעזרה with Lamed of the object, as in Isaiah 20:6. The horses, chariots, and horsemen here, as those of Egypt, which Diodorus calls ἱππάσιμος, on account of its soil being so suitable for cavalry (see Lepsius in Herzog's Cyclopaedia). The participle is combined in the finite verb. Instead of ועל־סוּסים, we also find the reading preferred by Norzi, of על without Vav, as in Isaiah 5:11 (cf., Isaiah 5:23). The perfects, שׁעוּ לא and דרשׁוּ לא, are used without any definite time, to denote that which was always wanting in them. The circumstantial clause, "whilst He is assuredly also wise," i.e., will bear comparison with their wisdom and that of Egypt, is a touching μείωσις. It was not necessary to think very highly of Jehovah, in order to perceive the reprehensible and destructive character of their apostasy from Him. The fut. consec. ויּבא is used to indicate the inevitable consequence of their despising Him who is also wise. He will not set aside His threatening words, but carry them out. The house of miscreants is Judah (Isaiah 1:4); and the help (abstr. pro concr., just as Jehovah is frequently called "my help," ‛ezrâthı̄, by the Psalmist) of evil-doers is Egypt, whose help has been sought by Judah. The latter is "man" ('âdâm), and its horses "flesh" (bâsâr); whereas Jehovah is God (El) and spirit (rūăch; see Psychol. p. 85). Hofmann expounds it correctly: "As ruuach has life in itself, it is opposed to the bâsâr, which is only rendered living through the rūăch; and so El is opposed to the corporeal 'âdâm, who needs the spirit in order to live at all." Thus have they preferred the help of the impotent and conditioned, to the help of the almighty and all-conditioning One. Jehovah, who is God and spirit, only requires to stretch out His hand (an anthropomorphism, by the side of which we find the rule for interpreting it); and the helpers, and those who are helped (i.e., according to the terms of the treaty, though not in reality), that is to say, both the source of the help and the object of help, are all cast into one heap together.
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