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Isaiah 33

INTRODUCTION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 33

Woe to the Assyrians, their doom will soon happen.  The spoils were pounced on like a locust devouring the crops.  God promised justice and righteousness to Jerusalem.  Israel’s ambassadors weep in disappointment as Assyria violates her peace pact.  Highways and roads are ruined and deserted, the earth is pictured as mourning, forests are cut down and burned, armies ruin farms and vineyards.  God has had enough so he shows his power.  God will lop her branches off and burn them.  Sinners in Zion are shuttering with fear.  God promises better days ahead, but only to those who walk righteously.  Some flash-backs occur and then the exiles are promised a return to Jerusalem where God will defend them.  The national covenant is again restored exempting them from diseases.  The commentary section will provide wisdom and insight.

EXPOSITION TO ISAIAH CHAPTER 33

1Woe 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.

It is evident that this refers to the Assyrians who were the spoilers and Israel had never wronged the Assyrians.  The prophet tells us that when the Assyrians cease destroying that they will be betrayed and destroyed.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

MAKE THE CASE:

Isa 10:5  O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

2Ch 28:16-17  At that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.   For again the Edomites had come and smitten Judah, and carried away captives.  Read:  Isa 10:6; Hab 2:8

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

Save us when trouble comes─use your arm to lift us up and be gracious to us.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

MAKE THE CASE:

Psa 62:5  My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

Jer 2:27-28  Saying to a stock, Thou art my father; and to a stone, Thou hast brought me forth: for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us.  But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble: for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah.  Read: Isa 25:9-10

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

When God stood up the enemy fled─his power was manifest─ nations were scattered at the sound of God’s voice.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

INDORSE THE TEXT:

Isa 37:29  Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou camest.  Read:  Isa 37:12-18

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

The spoil of Nineveh was pounced on like a bunch of caterpillars or locusts that strip the fields and vines leaving nothing behind.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

2Ki 7:15-16  And they went after them unto Jordan: and, lo, all the way was full of garments and vessels, which the Syrians had cast away in their haste. And the messengers returned, and told the king.  And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the LORD.

2 Ch 20:25  And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much.

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

The eternal was magnified as supreme─the one who lives in heaven.  He brought justice and righteousness to Zion.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Psa 46:9-10  He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.  Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psa 97:8-9  Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O LORD.  For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.  Read:  Dan 4:37

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

The only way a nation can have stability is for her people to possess wisdom and knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

AUTHENTICATE THE TEXT:

Pro 24:3-7  Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established:  And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.  For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war: and in multitude of counsellors there is safety.  Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.

Ecc 7:12  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Ecc 9:18  Wisdom is better than weapons of war: but one sinner destroyeth much good.  Read  Psa 112:1-3; Isa 11:2; 2Ch 32:27-29

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

The valiant ones are crying for help.  Her ambassadors weep in better disappointment.  Assyria has broken her promises and refuses their cry for peace.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

ESTABLISH THE CERTAINTY OF THE TEXT:

2Ki 18:37  Then came Eliakim the son of Hilkiah, which was over the  household, and Shebna the scribe, and Joah the son of Asaph the recorder, to Hezekiah with their clothes rent, and told him the words of Rabshakeh.

2Ki 19:1-3  And it came to pass, when king Hezekiah heard it, that he rent his clothes, and covered himself with sackcloth, and went into the house of the LORD.  And he sent Eliakim, which was over the household, and Shebna the scribe, and the elders of the priests, covered with sackcloth, to Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz.  And they said unto him, Thus saith Hezekiah, This day is a day of trouble, and of rebuke, and blasphemy: for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.

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

Highways are deserted─roads lie in ruin─the truce was broken by Assyria.  The covenant is broken and terms are spurned.  No respect for anyone.  They broke the peace pact that had been entered into with Israel.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

PRESENT OVERWHELMING PROOF OF THE TEXT:

Isa 10:13-14  For he saith, By the strength of my hand I have done it, and by my wisdom; for I am prudent: and I have removed the bounds of the people, and have robbed their treasures, and I have put down the inhabitants like a valiant man:  And my hand hath found as a nest the riches of the people: and as one gathereth eggs that are left, have I gathered all the earth; and there was none that moved the wing, or opened the mouth, or peeped.

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

The earth is pictured as mourning─they cut down the forest─destroying the pride of Lebanon.  Sharon was a fertile pasture region south of Mount Carmel when this army finished its destruction and burning it looked like a desert.  Bashan was cattle country, now it too is ruined─Carmel was ruined by fires.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT ATTEST TO THE TEXT:

Isa 37:24  By thy servants hast thou reproached the Lord, and hast said, By the multitude of my chariots am I come up to the height of the mountains, to the sides of Lebanon; and I will cut down the tall cedars thereof, and the choice fir trees thereof: and I will enter into the height of his border, and the forest of his Carmel.

Zec 11:1-3  Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.  Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.  There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

 

He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers: Bashan languisheth, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languisheth.  Read  Jer 50:19; Nah 1:4

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

God is going to stand up and show his power.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

ARE CONCLUSIVE AND FINAL:

Isa 42:13-14  The LORD shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.  I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself: now will I cry like a travailing woman; I will destroy and devour at once.  Read:  Isa 59:16-17; Psa 78:65; Zep 3:8; Psa 7:6

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

Pregnant on chaff and the baby is stubble and fire from your mouth will ignite the chaff  (another one liner by the prophet.)  What a picture of self destruction.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

RATIFY THE TEXT:

Isa 59:4  None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

Job 15:35  They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepareth deceit.

Psa 7:14  Behold, he travaileth with iniquity, and hath conceived mischief, and brought forth falsehood.   Read:  Nah 1:5-7

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

Assyria shall be like lime burnt in a lime kiln, or a thorn brush lopped off and piled up for burning.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

BEAR OUT THE TEXT:

Amo 2:1  Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

Isa 9:18  For wickedness burneth as the fire: it shall devour the briers and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forest, and they shall mount up like the lifting up of smoke.

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

God wanted the heathen nations to realize his power.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Jos 2:9-11  And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.  For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed.  And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.   Read:  Isa 49:1; Dan 4:1-3

14The 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?

These profane, godless, impious sinners are shuttering with fear.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

SPEAK VOLUMES ABOUT THE TEXT:

Deu 32:21-24  They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.  For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.  I will heap mischiefs upon them; I will spend mine arrows upon them.  They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction: I will also send the teeth of beasts upon them, with the poison of serpents of the dust.  Read:  Isa 10:6; Isa 66:24

15He 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;

The man who acts with integrity, who lives an upright life, who tells the truth, who is honest and fair, who does not take a bribe, who rejects making profit by fraud, who cannot be enticed to do wrong.  This is the person who will dwell on high.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

VERIFY THE TEXT:

Neh 5:7-9  Then I consulted with myself, and I rebuked the nobles, and the rulers, and said unto them, Ye exact usury, every one of his brother. And I set a great assembly against them.  And I said unto them, We after our ability have redeemed our brethren the Jews, which were sold unto the heathen; and will ye even sell your brethren? or shall they be sold unto us? Then held they their peace, and found nothing to answer.   Also I said, It is not good that ye do: ought ye not to walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the heathen our enemies?  Read:  Exo 23:6-8; Psa 26:9-11

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

He will find refuge in a citadel built like a fortress upon the top of a rock. Food and drink will be given to him in a steady fashion.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT GIVE COUNTEREVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Psa 15:1-5  A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who  shall dwell in thy holy hill?  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.  He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.  In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.  He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.  He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

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

Perhaps the song writer had this verse in mind when he penned these words, “we shall see the king some day.”

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

CONFIRM THE TEXT:

2Ch 32:23  And many brought gifts unto the LORD to Jerusalem, and presents to Hezekiah king of Judah: so that he was magnified in the sight of all nations from thenceforth.

Isa 32:1-2  Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.  And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

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

You will have a flash back to the time when the king of Assyria’s officers were counting the towers and having a scribe make notes and sketches of them and telling the people on the wall that they will soon be coming down.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

GIVE AUTHORITIVE DATA TO THE TEXT:

1Sa 25:33-35  And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.  For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.  So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.

 19Thou 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.

These people (the Assyrians) will soon disappear from the scene─a people with a dialect difficult to understand─a foreign tongue─chattering in a language you can’t understand.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

CARRY WEIGHT REGARDING THE TEXT:

Deu 28:49-50  The LORD shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the  end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand;  A nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:   Read:  Isa 28:11; Eze 3:5-6

  20Look 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.

The prophet wants them to look beyond the exile to the time when Jerusalem would be restored and secure.  It will be like a tent whose pegs will not pull out when the wind of adversity comes─whose cord will not break under stress.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

MAKE THE CASE:

Psa 48:12-14  Walk about Zion, and go round about her: tell the towers thereof.  Mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces; that ye may tell it to the generation following.  For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.

Psa 78:68-69  But chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which he loved.  And he built his sanctuary like high palaces, like the earth which he hath established for ever.

Psa 125:1  A Song of degrees. They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

Psa 128:5  The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

21But 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.

This God of ours will protect us like a broad river and stream that surround a king’s castle─no galley with oars. No ships of war to invade─too broad for the enemy to cross.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

MAKE THE CASE:

Psa 46:4-5  There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

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

He is our Judge, lawgiver and King─he will defend us.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

INDORSE THE TEXT:

Psa 75:7  But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

Deu 33:2  And he said, The LORD came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran, and he came with ten thousands of saints: from his right hand went a fiery law for them.

Psa 44:4  Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

23Thy 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.

Your enemies ropes are hanging loose─the mast is laying on the deck─the sails are tangled in the wind─the spoils of war are divided, even the lame gets part of the loot.

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES THAT

LEND EVIDENCE TO THE TEXT:

Act 27:19  And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship.

Act 27:40-41  And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore.  And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves.

2Ki 7:8  And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.

Psa 68:12  Kings of armies did flee apace: and she that tarried at home divided the spoil.

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

God had a national covenant with Israel exempting them from certain diseases and sicknesses, which scourged other nations.  The Israelites, if obedient, would have been subject to no maladies but those common to fallen man, and generally very healthy and long lived;  being exempted from pestilential diseases, which have often most tremendously scourged guilty nations; and from such maladies in particular, as they had witnessed in Egypt, by which God afflicted their cruel oppressors.  This must be referred to as the national covenant; for though godliness often secures the most solid temporal advantages, yet temporal blessings were not, even among them, uniformly dispensed to individuals according to their obedience; but they were to the nation, with an exactness which is not observed towards any other people.  

CROSS REFERENCE SCRIPTURES

THAT DEMONSTRATE THE TEXT:

Isa 58:8  Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.

 

Exo 15:26  And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Deu 7:15  And the LORD will take away from thee all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which thou knowest, upon thee; but will lay them upon all them that hate thee.

 

Lev 26:16  I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.

 

Deu 28:27  The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed.

 

Deu 28:60  Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee.

 

Psa 105:37  He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.

 

2Ch 30:20  And the LORD hearkened to Hezekiah, and healed the people.

 

Jer 33:6-8  Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.  And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.   And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.

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