31:4 Indeed, this is what the Lord says to me:
“The Lord will be like a growling lion,
like a young lion growling over its prey. 1
Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it,
it is not afraid of their shouts
or intimidated by their yelling. 2
In this same way the Lord who commands armies will descend
to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill. 3
so the Lord who commands armies will protect Jerusalem. 5
He will protect and deliver it;
as he passes over 6 he will rescue it.
a sword not made by humankind will destroy them. 12
They will run away from this sword 13
and their young men will be forced to do hard labor.
their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.” 16
This is what the Lord says –
the one whose fire is in Zion,
whose firepot is in Jerusalem. 17
[31:4] 1 tn Heb “As a lion growls, a young lion over its prey.” In the Hebrew text the opening comparison is completed later in the verse (“so the Lord will come down…”), after a parenthesis describing how fearless the lion is. The present translation divides the verse into three sentences for English stylistic reasons.
[31:5] 6 tn The only other occurrence of this verb is in Exod 12:13, 23, 27, where the Lord “passes over” (i.e., “spares”) the Israelite households as he comes to judge their Egyptian oppressors. The noun פֶּסַח (pesakh, “Passover”) is derived from the verb. The use of the verb in Isa 31:5 is probably an intentional echo of the Exodus event. As in the days of Moses the Lord will spare his people as he comes to judge their enemies.
[31:6] 7 tn Heb “Return to the one [against] whom the sons of Israel made deep rebellion.” The syntax is awkward here. A preposition is omitted by ellipsis after the verb (see GKC 446 §138.f, n. 2), and there is a shift from direct address (note the second plural imperative “return”) to the third person (note “they made deep”). For other examples of abrupt shifts in person in poetic style, see GKC 462 §144.p.
[31:7] 10 tn Heb “the idols of their idols of silver and their idols of gold which your hands made for yourselves [in] sin.” חָטָא (khata’, “sin”) is understood as an adverbial accusative of manner. See J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah (NICOT), 1:573, n. 4.