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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 33

Verses 1-24

Warnings to Judah

These chapters refer to the state of affairs during the reign of Hezekiah, when Palestine was threatened by Assyria, and an influential party in Judah favoured resistance, relying on the support of Egypt; a line of policy consistently opposed by Isaiah.

Verses 1-24

1-12. The deliverance of Jerusalem from the Invader.

13-24. The Consequences of the Interposition of Jehovah for those that dwell in the City.

1. The Assyrian is addressed. That spoilest, etc.] may mean, (1) that the Assyrian attacked Judah without provocation, or (2) that he has so far spoiled other nations unchecked.

2. Their arm] viz. Jerusalem’s defenders’.

3. Disaster overtakes the enemy. People.. nations] refer to the various races subject to Sennacherib and serving in his army.

4. As.. upon them] RV ’as locusts leap shall they leap upon it’: the people of Jerusalem seizing the spoil compared to insects devastating the fields.

6. Thy times.. his treasure] The pronoun in each clause refers to the people of Judah. In the last clause there may be an implied rebuke of the tendency of Hezekiah to trust in his material treasure (cp. Isaiah 39:2, etc.).

7. Ambassadors of peace] i.e. sent to obtain peace. The reference is to Hezekiah’s ineffectual embassy to Sennacherib at Lachish (2 Kings 18:14-16).

8, 9. describe the country ravaged by the invader. Broken the covenant] cp. 2 Kings 18:14.

11, 12. set forth figuratively the destruction of the Assyrian army.

14. Jehovah’s interposition strikes terror to the unworthy in Zion. Fire.. burnings] i.e. God, who is a consuming fire (Isaiah 30:33; Isaiah 31:9).

15, 16. The righteous finds in the manifestation of Jehovah his protection.

17. The king] i.e. the reigning king of Judah, Hezekiah. In his beauty] no longer in sackcloth (Isaiah 37:1). The land.. off] RV ’a far-stretching land,’ no longer hemmed in by foes.

18. Meditate] i.e. muse upon it as something past. Where.. receiver] RV ’where is he that counted, where is he that weighed? ’The Assyrian officials before whom the people had to appear with their tribute will be nomore.

19. The common language of Syria and Assyria was Aramaic, which, though a Semitic tongue, was unintelligible to the ordinary Hebrew-speaking Israelite: cp. Isaiah 28:11; Isaiah 36:11.

20. Zion likened to a tent which nothing can root up.

21. The image is changed to that of a city encircled by a protecting stream: cp. Psalms 46:4; Nahum 3:8.

23. Reverts to the present. Zion is like a shattered ship. Nevertheless the spoil from her foes will be so great that even cripples take their share.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.