View Isaiah 33 in the note window.
The destruction of the enemies of the church, who are derided,
ver. 1 - 13.
Which terrifies the sinners in Zion, ver. 14.
The safety and privileges of the godly, ver. 23, 24.
1: To thee - Sennacherib, who wasted the land of Judah.
2: O Lord - The prophet contemplating the judgment which was now
coming upon God's people, directs his prayer to God for them.
Their arm - Our arm or strength. The change of persons is frequent in
prophetical writings. Every morning - When we offer the morning sacrifice,
and call upon thee: which yet is not meant exclusively, as if he did not
desire God's help at other times; but comprehensively, the morning being
put for the whole day. The sense is, help us speedily and continually.
3: The noise - Which the angel shall make in destroying the army.
The people - Those of the army, who escaped that stroke.
The nations - The people of divers nations, which made up this army.
4: Your spoil - That treasure which you have raked together, by
spoiling divers people. Gathered - By the Jews at Jerusalem, when
you flee away. Like the caterpillar - As caterpillars gather and devour
the fruits of the earth. As locusts - As locusts, especially when they
are armed by commission from God, come with great force, and run hither
5: Exalted - By the destruction of so potent an army; and by the
defence of this people.
6: Thy times - He turns his speech to Hezekiah. Thy throne shall
be established upon the sure foundations of wisdom and justice.
And strength - Thy strong salvation. The fear - Thy chief treasure is
in promoting the fear and worship of God.
7: Behold - That the mercy promised might be duly magnified, he
makes a lively representation of their great danger and distress.
The ambassadors - Whom he shall send to beg peace of the Assyrian.
Shall weep - Because they cannot obtain their desires.
8: The covenant - Sennacherib broke his faith, given to
Hezekiah, of departing for a sum of money, (2Ki 18:14,17).
Cities - The defenced cities of Judah, which he contemned, and
9: Mourneth - Being desolate and neglected. Hewn - By the
Assyrians. Bashan - Two places eminent for fertility, are spoiled
of their fruits.
11: Stubble - Instead of solid corn. Your great hopes and designs,
shall be utterly disappointed. Your breath - Your rage against my people
shall bring ruin upon yourselves.
12: The people - Shall be burnt as easily and effectually as chalk
is burned to lime.
14: The sinners - This is spoken of the Jews. The prophet having
foretold the deliverance of God's people, and the destruction of their
enemies, gives a lively representation of the unbelieving condition, in
which the Jews were, before their deliverance came. Who - How shall we
be able to endure, or avoid the wrath of that God, who is a consuming
fire; who is now about to destroy us utterly by the Assyrians, and will
afterwards burn us with unquenchable fire?
15: He - Who is just in all his dealings. From hearing - Who will
not hearken to any counsels, tending to shed innocent blood.
From seeing - That abhors the very sight of sin committed by others,
and guards his eyes from beholding occasions of sin.
16: On high - Out of the reach of danger. His waters - God will
furnish him with all necessaries.
17: The king - First Hezekiah, and then Christ, triumphing
over all enemies, and ruling his own people with righteousness.
Very far - Thou shalt not be shut up in Jerusalem, but shalt
have free liberty to go abroad with honour and safety.
18: Thine heart - This is a thankful acknowledgment of deliverance
from their former terrors and miseries. Where - These words they spoke in
the time of their distress. The scribe, whom we call muster - master,
was to make and keep a list of the soldiers, and to call them together
as occasion required: the receiver, received and laid out the money for
the charges of the war; and he that counted the towers, surveyed all the
parts of the city, and considered what towers or fortifications were to be
made or repaired. And unto these several officers the people resorted,
with great distraction and confusion.
19: A fierce - That fierce and warlike people, whom thou hast seen
with terror, near the walls of Jerusalem, thou shalt see no more.
A people - A foreign nation, whose language is unknown to thee.
20: Look upon - Contemplate Zion's glorious and peculiar
privileges. Solemnities - This was the chief part of Zion's glory,
that God was solemnly worshipped, and the solemn assemblies and
feasts kept in her. Quiet - This was but imperfectly fulfilled in
the literal Zion; but clearly and fully in the mystical Zion,
the church of God, in the times of the gospel.
21: There - In and about Zion. Rivers - Tho' we have nothing
but a small and contemptible brook to defend us; yet God will be
as sure a defence to us, as if we were surrounded with great rivers.
No galley - No ships of the enemies shall be able to come into this
river to annoy them.
22: Is judge - To plead our cause against our enemies.
Lawgiver - Our chief governor, to whom it belongs, to give laws,
and to defend his people.
23: Tacklings - He directs his speech to the Assyrians; and having
designed their army under the notion of a gallant ship, ver.(21), he
here represents their undone condition, by the metaphor of a ship,
tossed in a tempestuous sea, having her cables broke, and all her
tacklings loose, so that she could have no benefit of her masts and
sails; and therefore is quickly swallowed up. The lame - They shall
leave so many spoils behind them, that there shall be enough left
for the lame, who come last to the spoil.
24: The inhabitant - Of Jerusalem. Sick - Shall have no cause
to complain of any sickness or calamity. Forgiven - They shall not
only receive from me a glorious temporal deliverance; but, which
is infinitely better, the pardon of all their sins, and all those
spiritual and everlasting blessings, which attend upon that mercy.