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Isaiah Thirty Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Isaiah 33:1 Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.

Woe to thee that spoilest. The immediate object of this anathema was the Assyrian king Sennacherib, whose armies were besieging Jerusalem at the time. The ultimate antitype is the future Antichrist, who will also attempt to destroy the people of Israel.

Isaiah 33:2 O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

time of trouble. The “time of trouble,” in context, is the coming great tribulation, “the time of Jacob's trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7), but it will also be the time of “our salvation,” for Jacob “shall be saved out of it.”

Isaiah 33:3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.

Isaiah 33:4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.

Isaiah 33:5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.

Isaiah 33:6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

stability of thy times. In times of intense stress, stability is found only in Christ, “in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). Thus, “the fear of the Lord,” which is the foundation of true knowledge and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10), also comprises our “treasures.”

Isaiah 33:7 Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.

Isaiah 33:8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.

Isaiah 33:9 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

Isaiah 33:10 Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.

Isaiah 33:11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.

Isaiah 33:12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

Isaiah 33:13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.

Isaiah 33:14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

everlasting burnings. Those who “conceive chaff” and “bring forth stubble” (Isaiah 33:11) instead of true wisdom and knowledge (see note on Isaiah 33:6, above) are destined for “everlasting fire” (Matthew 25:41) and “everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

Isaiah 33:15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

Isaiah 33:16 He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

Isaiah 33:17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

the king. The king is, of course, the Lord Jesus Christ, when He returns in “power and great glory” to assume “the throne of His father David,” and the people of Israel, scattered in all the nations of the world, will be gathered back to their ancient land, “from one end of heaven to the other” (Matthew 24:30, 31; Luke 1:32).

Isaiah 33:18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?

Isaiah 33:19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.

Isaiah 33:20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

Isaiah 33:21 But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.

Isaiah 33:23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.

Isaiah 33:24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.