Description
This chapter rebukes Israel for seeking protection from Egypt rather than trusting God to protect her from the Antichrist's invasion. God calls Israel to return to him and promises to deliver Jerusalem like a lion that cannot be deterred.
Commentary
This is the third chapter in a row telling us that Israel is as good as dead, and that she will fall and then be rescued. God continues his rebuke of those who trust in an alliance with Egypt rather than looking to God for protection against Assyria. According to verse 3, both Egypt and Israel will fall. According to Daniel 11:41-42, the Antichrist will invade Israel and conquer many nations including Egypt. But God calls Israel to return to him (v6), and when they do, he promises to do battle over Jerusalem, like a great lion over his prey (v4). Verse 4 says, "…Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it, it is not afraid of their shouts or intimidated by their yelling. In this same way the LORD who commands armies will descend to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill". Shepherds represent rulers of nations, and the Lord who commands armies is Jesus. He is not deterred by the coalition of enemy nations that comes together to attack Jerusalem. Verse 5 tells us that Jesus will 'pass over' Jerusalem and rescue it. This is the same verb as used in Exodus 12 when the angel of death 'passed over' the homes of the Israelites and spared them from the plague of the firstborn. Jesus will act like an angel of death to Israel's enemies, but will spare and rescue Israel.

Israel will reject her idols (v7), symbolic of her returning to true faith in God. Assyria (the Antichrist and his empire) will fall by a sword that is not of man-made (v 8). This is the sword that metaphorically comes out of Jesus' mouth to strike down the nations in Revelation 19:15. This sword represents the many weapons that Jesus will use against his enemies (search tags: Weapons of Jesus). Isaiah has already listed many of these weapons in 29:6 and 30:27-33. The Antichrist's stronghold will fall, because at the sight of Jesus' battle flag, Antichrist's officers will be terrified and panic (v9). This stronghold (literally 'rocky cliff' but denoting a place of defence and security) is presumably Jerusalem, which the Antichrist claims as his capital when he sets up the abomination that causes desolation (Daniel 9:27). God says that his fire is in Zion, his firepot in Jerusalem (v9). In other words, Antichrist's Jerusalem stronghold will become like a furnace where he and his armies will be consumed.
Tags
Places: Assyria, Jerusalem, Mount Zion
Symbols: Shepherds, Lion of Judah, Sword of Jesus
Tags: Jesus fights muslim nations, Armageddon, Jerusalem, Weapons of Jesus, Jesus as a lion, Sword of Jesus, Jesus delivers Israel
Egypt Will Disappoint
31 Those who go down to Egypt for help are as good as dead, those who rely on war horses, and trust in Egypt’s many chariots and in their many, many horsemen. But they do not rely on the Holy One of Israel and do not seek help from the Lord.
2 Yet he too is wise and he will bring disaster; he does not retract his decree. He will attack the wicked nation, and the nation that helps those who commit sin.
3 The Egyptians are mere humans, not God; their horses are made of flesh, not spirit. The Lord will strike with his hand; the one who helps will stumble and the one being helped will fall. Together they will perish.

The Lord Will Defend Zion
4 Indeed, this is what the Lord has said to me: “The Lord will be like a growling lion, like a young lion growling over its prey. Though a whole group of shepherds gathers against it, it is not afraid of their shouts or intimidated by their yelling. In this same way the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will descend to do battle on Mount Zion and on its hill.
5 Just as birds hover over a nest, so the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will protect Jerusalem. He will protect and deliver it; as he passes over he will rescue it.
6 You Israelites! Return to the one against whom you have so blatantly rebelled!
7 For at that time everyone will get rid of the silver and gold idols your hands sinfully made.
8 Assyria will fall by a sword, but not one human-made; a sword not made by humankind will destroy them. They will run away from this sword and their young men will be forced to do hard labor.
9 They will surrender their stronghold because of fear; their officers will be afraid of the Lord’s battle flag.” This is what the Lord says – the one whose fire is in Zion, whose firepot is in Jerusalem.
(NET)