Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 33:15

He who walks righteously and speaks with sincerity, He who rejects unjust gain And shakes his hands so that they hold no bribe; He who stops his ears from hearing about bloodshed And shuts his eyes from looking upon evil;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blessing;   Bribery;   Church;   Honesty;   Integrity;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Oppression;   Righteous;   Righteousness;   Temptation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Blindness-Vision;   Bribery;   Eyes, Guarded;   Nation, the;   Vision;   The Topic Concordance - Bribery;   Oppression;   Righteousness;   Speech/communication;   Surety;   Uprightness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Justice;   Righteousness;   Uprightness;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Justice;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - God, Names of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Salt;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Messiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Hypocrisy;   Zeal;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Branch;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Gifts;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Blindness, Judicial;   Bribery;   Gain;   Holding;   Providence;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Amos;   Articles of Faith;   Bribery;   Holiness;   Judaism;   Me'asha;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood "Who stoppeth his ears to the proposal of bloodshed" - A MS. reads בדמים bedamim, "in blood."

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-33.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He that walketh righteously - In this and the following verses the prophet presents, in contrast, the confidence and the security of the righteous. He first, in this verse, describes the characteristics of the righteous, and in the following verses their confidence in God, and their security and safety. The first characteristic of the righteous man is that he walks righteously; that is, he lives righteously; he does right.

And speaketh uprightly - The second characteristic - his words are well-ordered. lie is not false, perfidious, slanderous, or obscene in his words. If a private individual, his words are simple, honest, and true; if a magistrate, his decisions are according to justice.

He that despiseth the gain of oppressions - Margin, ‹Deceits‘. The third characteristic - he abhors the gain that is the result of imposition, false dealing, and false weights. Or if it mean oppressions, as the word usually does, then the sense is, that he does not oppress the poor, or take advantage of their needy condition, or affix exorbitant prices, or extort payment in a manner that is harsh and cruel.

That shaketh his hands from holding of bribes - The fourth characteristic - this relates particularly to magistrates. They adjudge causes according to justice, and do not allow their judgment to be swayed by the prospect of reward.

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood - This is the fifth characteristic. It means, evidently, he who does not listen to a proposal to shed blood, or to any scheme of violence, and robbery, and murder (see the note at Isaiah 1:15).

And shutteth his eyes from seeing evil - He does not desire to see it; he is not found in the places where it is committed. A righteous man should not only have no part in evil, but he will keep himself if possible from being a witness of it. A man who sees all the evil that is going forward; that is present in every brawl and contention, is usually a man who has a fondness for such scenes, and who may be expected to take part in them. It is a remarkable fact that very few of the Society of Friends are ever seen in courts of justice as witnesses. The reason is, that they have no fondness for seeing the strifes and contentions of people, and are not found in those places where evil is usually committed. This is the sixth characteristic of the righteous man; and the sum of the whole is, that he keeps himself from all forms of iniquity.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-33.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He that walketh righteously,.... These are the words of the prophet, in answer to those of the hypocrites. So the Targum,

"the prophet said, the righteous shall dwell in it;'

not in the devouring fire and everlasting burnings, but in Zion, in Jerusalem, on high, in the munition of rocks, safe from those burnings; for these words are to be connected not with the preceding, but with the following verse Isaiah 33:16, "thus, he that walketh righteously", &c. "he shall dwell on high", &c.; and such an one is he that walks by faith on Christ as his righteousness; that walks after the Spirit, and not after the flesh; that walks uprightly, according to the rule of the Gospel, and as becomes it; that walks in the ways of judgment and righteousness, in which Christ leads his people, and lives soberly, righteously, and godly:

and speaketh uprightly; or "uprightnesses"F2דבר מישרים "qui loquitur recta", Piscator; "loquens recta", Cocceius; "loquens aequitates", Montanus. ; upright things, what is in his heart, what is agreeable to the word of God, the standard of truth; who makes mention continually of the righteousness of Christ, and that only as his justifying one: and whose tongue talks of judgment, just and righteous things, and not what is corrupt, profane, impure, and impious:

he that despiseth the gain of oppressions; that which is got by oppression and rapine; the mammon of iniquity, as the Targum calls it; but reckons the gain of wisdom, and of godliness, exceeding preferable to it:

that shaketh his hand from holding of bribes; that will not receive any, but when they are put into his hands shakes them out, and will not retain them; expressing his abhorrence of such practices, and declaring that he is not to be influenced by such methods from speaking truth, and doing justice:

that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood; or "bloods"F3משמע דמים "ab audiendo sanquines", Montanus; "ne audiat sanquines", Cocceius. ; from hearing those that shed innocent blood, as the Targum; who will not hearken to any solicitations to shed blood; will not converse with men about it, or enter into schemes in order to it, much less join them in shedding it:

and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; done by others; he abhors it in himself, and dislikes it in others; turns his eyes from beholding it, so far from taking pleasure in it, and in those that do it: all this is opposed to the hypocrisy, impiety, profaneness, rapine, bribery, murders, and wickedness of the church of Rome; see Revelation 9:21.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-33.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

In contrast to the trembling “sinners in Zion” (Isaiah 33:14), the righteous shall be secure amid all judgments; they are described according to the Old Testament standpoint of righteousness (Psalm 15:2; Psalm 24:4).

stoppeth  …  ears  …  eyes — “Rejoiceth not in iniquity” (1 Corinthians 13:6; contrast Isaiah 29:20; Psalm 10:3; Romans 1:32). The senses are avenues for the entrance of sin (Psalm 119:37).

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-33.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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;

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.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-33.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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;

Ver. 15. He that walketh righteously,] q.d., Though you cannot, yet there are those that can, viz., "those that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Surely to such there is "no one condemnation." [Romans 8:1] Christ standeth as a screen between the wrath of God and his elect, for whose sake also this paschal lamb was once for all roasted in the fire of his Father’s indignation, whereby they are not only "delivered from the wrath to come," [1 Thessalonians 1:10] but also have "boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him." [Ephesians 3:12; Ephesians 2:18]

He that walketh righteously.] Through whose whole life righteousness runneth as the woof doth through the web, as the blood doth through the veins, &c.

And speaketh uprightly.] Heb., Evennesses. Non blasphema, impudica, fescennina; not the language of hell, but of Canaan. See James 3:2.

That despiseth the gain of oppressions.] The Mammon of iniquity; wealth gotten by force or fraud. A public person especially, as he should have nothing to lose, so he should have nothing to get; he should be above all price or sale. Nec prece nec precio, Neither by prayer nor request, should be his motto.

That shaketh his hands from holding of bribes.] He doth not only not do wrong, but not receive a gift, whereby he may be engaged or inclined to do it.

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood.] He not only does not shed it, but refuseth to hear any communing about such a business.

That shutteth his eyes from seeing of evil.] Lest his heart should thereby be betrayed, for vitiis nobis in animum per oculos est via, could a heathen (a) say. By the eyes evil getteth into the heart; by looking cometh lusting; and millions die of the wound in the eye.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-33.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He that walketh righteously; who is just in all his dealings with men, of which the following clauses explain it: which is not spoken exclusively, as if piety towards God were not as necessary as righteousness towards men; but comprehensively, this being one evidence and a constant companion of piety.

Speaketh uprightly; who speaks truly and sincerely, what he really intends.

That despiseth; that refuseth it, not for politic reasons, as men sometimes may do, but from a contempt and abhorrency of injustice.

From holding; or, from taking or receiving; as this verb signifies, Proverbs 4:4 5:5 28:17. That will not receive, much less retain, bribes.

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood; who will not hearken or assent to any counsels or courses tending to shed innocent blood.

And shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; that abhorreth the very sight of sill committed by others, and guardeth his eyes from beholding occasions of sin; of which see on Job 31:1.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-33.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Only the righteous may dwell in Zion where God resides. Various activities mark the righteous person (cf. Psalm 15; Psalm 24:3-6); they do not make him righteous before God. His righteousness is not just private but public. His speech is pure, he does not extort money from others, and he does not take bribes (because he does not love money). He does not listen to anything connected with hurting other people, and he will not look at anything vulgar, evil, or perverted (cf. Psalm 119:37). That Isaiah, he will not participate in these things. These last two characteristics are particularly challenging to us who live in an age of motion pictures, television, and Internet.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-33.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Blood. Avoiding revenge, and punishing the guilty, without respect to persons. Such was Ezechias, and therefore his enemies could not hurt him.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-33.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

He, &c. This is not the answer to Isaiah 33:14, but the subject of the Promise in Isaiah 33:16, "He. shall dwell on high". Hence it is emphatic. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 10:17; Deuteronomy 16:19; Deuteronomy 27:25).

hearing of = listening to.

blood = murderers. Figure of speech Metalepsis (of Subject), by which "blood" is first put for bloodshedding, and, secondly, bloodshedding put for those who shed it.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-33.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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;

He that walketh righteously. In contrast to the trembling "sinners in Zion" (Isaiah 33:14), the righteous shall be secure amidst all judgments. They are described according to the Old Testament stand-point of righteousness (Psalms 15:2; Psalms 24:4).

That stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil - "Rejoiceth not in iniquity" (1 Corinthians 13:6 : contrast Isaiah 29:20; Psalms 10:3; Romans 1:32). The senses, especially the eyes, are avenues for the entrance of sin (Psalms 119:37).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-33.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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;
that walketh
56:1,2; Psalms 1:1-3; 15:1,2; 24:4,5; 26:1,2; 106:3; Ezekiel 18:15-17; Malachi 2:6; Luke 1:6; Romans 2:7; Titus 2:11,12; 1 John 3:7
righteously
Heb. in righteousnesses. uprightly. Heb. in uprightnesses. despiseth.
Nehemiah 5:7-13; Job 31:13-25; Luke 3:12-14; 19:8; James 5:4
oppressions
or, deceits. shaketh.
Exodus 23:6-9; Numbers 16:15; Deuteronomy 16:19; 1 Samuel 12:3; Jeremiah 5:26-28; Micah 7:3,4; Matthew 26:15; Acts 8:18-23; 2 Peter 2:14-16
stoppeth
1 Samuel 24:4-7; 26:8-11; Job 31:29-31; Psalms 26:4-6,9-11; Jeremiah 40:15,16; Ephesians 5:11-13
blood
Heb. bloods. shutteth.
Psalms 119:37
Reciprocal: Exodus 18:21 - hating;  Exodus 20:17 - thy neighbour's house;  Exodus 23:7 - far from;  Leviticus 25:14 - GeneralDeuteronomy 24:17 - pervert;  1 Samuel 8:3 - but turned;  1 Kings 21:16 - Ahab rose up;  2 Chronicles 19:7 - taking of gifts;  Job 15:34 - the congregation;  Job 22:23 - thou shalt;  Job 27:8 - GeneralJob 31:7 - cleaved;  Psalm 15:5 - nor taketh;  Psalm 26:10 - bribes;  Psalm 101:3 - set;  Proverbs 4:15 - GeneralProverbs 10:9 - that walketh;  Proverbs 15:27 - but;  Proverbs 20:7 - just;  Proverbs 28:16 - he that;  Ecclesiastes 7:7 - a gift;  Isaiah 1:23 - every;  Jeremiah 33:6 - and will;  Ezekiel 14:3 - should;  Ezekiel 18:7 - hath not;  Ezekiel 18:8 - hath withdrawn;  Ezekiel 22:13 - thy dishonest;  Amos 5:12 - take;  Acts 24:26 - hoped;  1 Thessalonians 5:22 - General

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-33.html.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

15.He that walketh in righeousness. Now, therefore, he explains more fully what we briefly remarked a little before, that they who provoke his anger, and thus drive away from them his forbearance, have no right to complain that God is excessively severe. Thus he convinces them of their guilt and exhorts them to repentance, for he shews that there is a state of friendship between God and men, if they wish to follow and practice “righteousness,” if they maintain truth and integrity, if they are free from all corruptions and act inoffensively towards their neighbors; but because they abound in every kind of wickedness, and have abandoned themselves to malice, calumny, covetousness, robbery, and other crimes, it is impossible that the Lord should not strike them down with fear, by shewing that he is terrible to them. In short, the design of the Prophet is to shut the mouths of wicked babblers, that they may not accuse God of cruelty in their destruction; for the whole blame rests on themselves. By evasions they endeavor to escape condemnation. But the Prophet declares that God is always gracious to his worshippers, and that in this sense Moses calls him “a fire,” (Deuteronomy 4:24,) that men may not despise his majesty and power; but that every one who shall approach to him with sincere piety will know by actual experience that nothing is more pleasant or delightful than his presence. Since, therefore, God shines on believers with a bright countenance, they enjoy settled peace with him through a good conscience; and hence it follows that God is not naturally terrible, but that he is forced to it by our wickedness.

This discourse is directed chiefly against hypocrites, who throw a false veil of piety over their hidden pollutions and crimes, and make an improper use of the name of God, that they may indulge more freely in wickedness. By the examples which he adduces in illustration of “righteousness,” the Prophet more openly reproves their crimes. He enumerates the principal actions of life by means of which we shew what sort of persons we are. Here, as in many other passages, he treats of the second table of the Law, by which the sincerity of godliness is put to the test; for, as gold is tried in the fire, so the dispositions which we cherish towards God are ascertained from the habitual course of our life, when our sincerity comes to be seen by the duties which we owe to each other.

The word walketh is the wellknown metaphor of a road, which is frequently employed in Scripture for describing the manner of life or habitual conduct. By righteousness he means not the entire keeping of the Law, but that equity which is included in the second table; for we must not; imagine that subtle disquisitions about “righteousness” are here intended.

Who speaketh what is right. He now enumerates the chief parts of that uprightness which ought to be maintained; and as the tongue is the chief instrument by which a man regulates his actions, he places it in the second rank after “righteousness.” He who restrains it from slander and evilspeaking, from deceit, perjury, and falsehood, so as not to injure his brother in any matter, is said to “speak what is right.” Next is added another department,

Who despiseth the gain arising from violence and calumny. He might have said in a single word, “who despiseth money;but he employed more homely language, and accommodated himself to the ignorance of men. He who is desirous of riches, and does not refrain from robbery or from base and unlawful means of making gain, harasses and oppresses the poor and feeble, and cares for nothing else than to lay hold on money in every direction, and by every method either right or wrong. He next proceeds farther, and describes corruptions of every sort.

Who shaketh his hands from accepting a bribe. Under the name of bribes, by which judges are corrupted, he likewise includes everything else. There is nothing by which the dispositions of men and righteous judgment are so much perverted; and therefore he bids them “shake their hands,” so as to intimate in what abhorrence they should be held, and with what care they should be avoided by all, lest, if they only handled or were tainted by barely touching them, they should be drawn aside kern what is just and right; for “bribes” have wonderful powers of fascination, so that it is very difficult for judges to keep their hands altogether clean and uncorrupted by them. What, then, can we think of those who always have their hands stretched out and ready to receive, and crooked nails ready to catch; and not only so, but, like harlots, openly hire themselves out for gain? Need we wonder if God thunders against them with unrelenting vengeance?

Who stoppeth his ear that it way not hear blood. At length he demands that the manifestation of uprightness shall be made in the ears. Byblood he means murder and manslaughter, but he likewise includes wicked conspiracies of every kind, that the “ears” may not be open to hear them, so.as to give our consent.. He does not mean that our “ears” should be shut against the cries of the poor, when they suffer injuries and oppression; but he means that we should detest wicked devices by which unprincipled men contrive the ruin of the innocent, that we may not even lend our “ears” to their discourses, or allow ourselves to be solicited in any way to do what is evil.

Who shutteth his eyes. At length he demands the same holiness in the “eyes.” In short, he teaches that we ought to restrain all our senses, that we may not give to wicked men any token of our approbation, if we wish to escape the wrath of God and that terrible burning of which he formerly spake.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:15". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-33.html. 1840-57.