Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 33:16

He will dwell on the heights, His refuge will be the impregnable rock; His bread will be given him, His water will be sure.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Nave's Topical Bible - Blessing;   Bribery;   Church;   Fort;   Honesty;   Integrity;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Oppression;   Righteous;   Righteousness;   Temptation;   Thompson Chain Reference - Church;   Exaltation;   Exaltation-Abasement;   Exalted;   Saints;   Security;   Security-Insecurity;   The Topic Concordance - Bribery;   Oppression;   Righteousness;   Speech/communication;   Surety;   Uprightness;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Cities;   Fortresses;   Justice;   Righteousness;   Rocks;   Uprightness;  
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Munitions;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Justice;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - God, Names of;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Achsah;   Canon of Scripture;   Elijah;   Jeremiah;   Nest;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Messiah;   Misgab;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Manger;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Munition;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Gilead;  
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Providence;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Deep;   Holiness;   Me'asha;  
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 14;   Faith's Checkbook - Devotion for December 5;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He shall dwell on high - See the margin. Heights, or high places, were usually places of safety, being, inaccessible to an enemy. The sense here is, that such a man as is described in Isaiah 33:15, should be preserved from alarm and danger, as if his habitation were on a lofty cliff or rock. The particular and special meaning is, that he should be safe from the anger, wrath, and consuming fire, which the sinner and the hypocrite dreaded Isaiah 33:14.

The munitions of rocks - The literal translation of this place would be, ‹The strongholds of the rocks shall be his lofty fortress‘ (compare the note at Isaiah 2:21).

Bread shall be given him - He shall be sustained, and his life shall be preserved.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He shall dwell on high,.... And so in safety: this is opposed to the fears of hypocrites, the grovelling life of a worldling, and the low life of many professors, and is expressive of the security of good men. It may respect the state of the saints on earth, who dwell by faith on God, as their covenant God, on his everlasting love and unchangeable grace; on Christ, as their Redeemer and Saviour; and in their thoughts and contemplations on heavenly things, where Christ is; and particularly in the spiritual reign of Christ, after the destruction of antichrist, when such shall dwell quietly and safely in God's holy hill, the church, which shall be established upon the top of the mountains: and it may also respect the state of the saints in heaven, which is a dwelling on high, and where they will be safe from everlasting burnings, and out of the reach of all enemies:

his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; Christ is "the place of defence" to his people, against avenging justice, the curse and condemnation of the law, the wrath of God, sin and all its dreadful consequences, Satan and all enemies: and he is "the munitions of rocks"; he is "a Rock" himself, for them to build upon, and shelter in; and like "fortresses" made out of "rocks", which can never be undermined, blown up, or broke through:

bread shall be given him: not only shall he be in safety, but shall enjoy the greatest plenty of blessings, particularly spiritual ones; above all, Christ, the bread of God from heaven, the true bread, the bread of life, which gives and supports life, and secures an eternal one; as also the word and ordinances, which are the provisions of Zion, and which all its inhabitants are favoured with; for these are all the "gifts" of divine goodness. The Targum is,

"in the house of the sanctuary his soul shall be satisfied, his food shall be sufficient:'

his waters shall be sure; Christ and his fulness, the Spirit and his grace, the Gospel doctrines, and ordinances of it; the believer may be assured of a supply from Christ's fulness; the grace of the Spirit is never failing, and is persevering; and Gospel doctrines and ordinances are not deceitful brooks, but yield comfort and refreshment: compare with this, Revelation 7:15.

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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.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

He shall dwell on t high: his place of defence [shall be] the strong holds of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters [shall be] sure.

(t) Meaning, that God will be a sure defence to all them that live according to his word.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

on high — heights inaccessible to the foe (Isaiah 26:1).

bread  …  waters — image from the expected siege by Sennacherib; however besieged by trials without, the godly shall have literal and spiritual food, as God sees good for them (Isaiah 41:17; Psalm 37:25; Psalm 34:10; Psalm 132:15).

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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 33:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". 1871-8.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary


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

This is part of the answer to the question proposed in Isa . The overthrow of Asshur has been predicted; but the judgment of Asshur is a lesson for Israel as well as for the heathens. For the sinners in Jerusalem, there is no abiding in the presence of the Almighty. They must repent. "God is a consuming fire." His furnace was in Jerusalem. Therefore they inquire, "Who among us can dwell with everlasting burnings?"

The prophet answers their question in Isa . It is the description of a God-fearing man from the Old Testament point of view. Because of the predominating religion of his heart, he avoids the sins of his times. A Christian, in like manner, renounces sin, and, so far as the world's principles and practices are sinful, sets himself against the world. Instead of being afraid of the Divine anger, as sinners and hypocrites are, he dwells in blessed security, with God for his Friend (Isa 33:16). Three things distinguish him from the unbelieving world: elevation, provision, and security.

I. ELEVATION. "He shall dwell on high." Leaving out of view the temporal advantages that sometimes accrue from true religion as being only incidental, let us look at the elevation it secures with regard to—

1. Thought. Christianity directs the mind to the most elevated themes, fosters the habit of thought upon them, and through them refines and elevates the mind itself. When a man is converted he generally becomes interested in topics beyond the requirements of his daily life. Mind is awakened. Mental activity is required. In any number of uneducated men, some Christians and some not, the Christian section will probably be the more intelligent and thoughtful. If an educated man is converted, the influence is equally marked. His previous attainments remain, and his mind receives a new impetus from the world of spiritual thought now discovered. He thinks of God, Christ, redemption, holy influences on men from on high, the invisible, heaven, eternity. The mind cannot fail to be uplifted by contact with such themes as these.

2. Character. Doubtless much excellence exists among men apart from personal religion. The civil, social, and commercial virtues are often exemplified by men who make no pretension to religion. Even in these respects the best man without it would be better with it. But we must rise higher. Men never rise above their ideal. The ideal of a man without religion does not rise above his obligations to man; but the ideal of a man in Christ is to be like Christ. It comprehends all dispositions, sympathies, duties that either look God ward or manward. It is Divine perfection. It is not yet realised; but the entertaining and striving towards it will lift him to a loftier moral altitude than if his ideal were lower; when all allowance has been made for human imperfection, it remains true that the Christian is "the highest style of man."

3. Relationship. Believers are closely connected with Christ, their Saviour, their Head, their Elder Brother. They are "united to Him," "in Him." Terms are employed that give the idea, not, indeed, of personal identity, but of such close relationship that whatever concerns Him concerns them, and whatever glorification. He attains they are to share. Through Him they are "the children of God," and heirs of the celestial inheritance. Is it possible for relationship to be loftier?

4. Companionship. The man is known by his chosen associates. The young man that keeps low company makes it plain that his tastes are low. Fine natures can only enjoy congenial society. When a man becomes a Christian, he seeks the society of Christians. And not only are his human companionships superior to those he previously courted, he enjoys a Divine companionship which is the supremest dignity. "Our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ." Is it not dwelling "on high" to have free access at all times to the King of kings?

5. Influence. God has made us kings of men. The time is coming when the principles we hold shall, by our means, pervade the mass of humanity. Already, in a thousand quiet ways, in families, in schools, in churches, in populations, the influence of individual Christian men is felt to be good and gracious as far as it extends. Christian fathers and mothers will live in the recollection of their children and their children's children when the memory of the wicked shall rot (H. E. I. 1089-1095).

6. Destiny. He is to be crowned and enthroned in the abiding glory. "He shall dwell on high" (H. E. I. 1073-1076, 1106, 1112-1119).

II. PROVISION. "Bread shall be given him, his water shall be sure." His wants shall be supplied in his elevation. All necessary temporal supplies and spiritual provision. Christ the bread of life.

III. SECURITY. "His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks." There is an enemy who would gladly attack and overcome him; but he has retired to a place of perfect safety. Inaccessible to the adversary. Will endeavour to dislodge you by various means; such as:

1. Temptation, which assumes many forms. Grows out of everything. Keep before you the lofty ideal; constant effort, watchfulness, government of thought and desires, Divine aid.

2. Trouble. It becomes temptation. It tries faith. Cry to God.

3. Death. It is the last enemy. Christ, our defence, will triumph.

What a privilege to be a Christian! For what would you exchange it? Not the world's sins, pleasures, possessions.—J. Rawlinson.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

On high — Out of the reach of danger.

His waters — God will furnish him with all necessaries.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

Ver. 16. He shall dwell on high.] Extra iactum, out of the gunshot, the reach of evils and enemies. Or in heaven shall he dwell with God in safety who is to the wicked a consuming fire. [Isaiah 33:14]

His place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks.] Rocks within rocks; rocks beneath, above rocks; rocks so deep no pioneer can undermine them, so thick no cannon can pierce them, so high no ladder can scale them, &c.

Bread shall be given him; his waters shall not fail.] He shall have all that his heart can wish, or need require.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". John Trapp Complete Commentary. 1865-1868.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



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.

WE cannot judge of men’s moral state by the dispensations of God’s providence towards them. Among the Jews indeed virtue was inculcated and enforced chiefly by temporal sanctions; and their national prosperity or adversity bore a very manifest reference to their national conduct. In some degree also the same observation will extend to individuals among them. But to us, under the Gospel, God has not bound himself to distinguish his favourites by any temporal advantages. Nevertheless, what the pious Jews enjoyed visibly in relation to their bodies, that the obedient Christian shall enjoy invisibly in his soul.

To enter properly into the subject before us, we must consider,

I. The character to whom the promise is made—

This appears clearly in the two preceding verses; in one of which it is implied, and in the other it is clearly expressed:

1. He is sincere in his profession of religion—

[The greater part of the Jews were “sinners in Zion, and hypocrites;” and they had good reason to tremble for their approaching calamities. The person spoken of in the text is placed in direct opposition to them: he really belongs to Zion, and to Zion’s God: he does not make religion a cloak for habitual and indulged lusts; or profess what he does not experience: if he implore mercy as a “miserable sinner;” and declare his trust in the mere “mercy of God through Christ Jesus;” and desire “that he may henceforth live a sober, righteous, and godly life, to the glory of God’s holy name,” he does not mock God with unmeaning words, or hypocritically assume a character which belongs not to him: he feels in his heart what he utters with his lips; and desires to fulfil his duties in Zion, as much as to enjoy her privileges.]

2. He is consistent in the practice of it—

[He has learned in a measure that important lesson, “Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good [Note: Romans 12:9.].” The whole tenour of his conversation is agreeable to the strictest rules of righteousness. In all his dealings he is both just and honourable, not taking advantage of the ignorance or necessities of others, but endeavouring to do as he would be done unto. Nor is he less observant of his words than of his actions: he not only “walketh righteously,” but “speaketh uprightly:” he rigidly adheres to truth, and avoids every deviation from it, whether in criminating others, or exculpating himself.

As he thus “cleaves to what is good, so he abhors that which is evil.” Could he gain ever so much by an act of oppression, or were he offered ever so great a bribe to bias his judgment und to violate his conscience, he would “despise the gain,” and “shake from his hands the polluted gift” with utter abhorrence. Were he advised to do any thing injurious or vindictive, he would “stop his ears” with indignation, and not allow the thought for one moment to dwell upon his mind. Did a contaminating object present itself to his view, or any thing whereby his own corruptions might be stirred up, he would “shut his eyes,” even like holy Job, who “made a covenant with his eyes that he would not look upon a maid [Note: Job 31:1.].”

We say not that the Christian is never drawn aside through the influence of temptation and corruption; (for then where shall we find a Christian upon earth?) but if at any time he be overtaken with a fault, he returns to God with deepest humiliation and contrition, and renews his course with increased vigilance and circumspection.

That this is indeed the character to whom alone the promise in the text is made, is evident from parallel passages in the Psalms [Note: Psalms 15:1-5; Psalms 24:3-5.], and from the strongest possible declarations in the New Testament [Note: 1 John 3:6-10.]. O that all persons, whether professors of religion or others, would duly consider this!. Our conduct must be upright towards God and man: we must embrace the religion of the Gospel with sincerity, and adorn it by a holy conversation: nor can a person of any other character than this have any part or lot in the promises of God.]

Let us now turn our attention to,

II. The promise itself—

To understand this, we must consider the occasion whereon it was delivered. The Assyrian army, that had overrun almost the whole of Judea, were now encompassing Jerusalem. The wicked Jews are given up to terror and consternation; but the righteous are encouraged with a promise of,

1. Protection—

[A fortress situated on an eminence which no weapons can reach, and founded on a rock which no human efforts can shake, may be considered as impregnable. Such a place should Jerusalem be to God’s obedient people.

To us, who are surrounded with spiritual enemies, the promise has a spiritual import. “The archers will shoot at us:” the world, the flesh, and the devil will combine against us to destroy us: but the true Christian “shall dwell on high,” out of their reach; and “his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks” which cannot be undermined. If his enemies wound his body, they shall “not be able to kill his soul;” for that is “hid with Christ in God:” and he may say to his enemies, as Hezekiah said to the besieging and blaspheming General, “The virgin the daughter of Zion hath despised thee, and laughed thee to scorn; the daughter of Jerusalem hath shaken her head at thee [Note: 2 Kings 19:21.].”]

2. Provision—

[There are but two ways in which a fortress, which will not capitulate, can be taken; namely, by assault or famine. Against both of these God promised to guard his obedient people: for as their fortress should be impregnable, so it should be supplied with manna from heaven, and with water springing out of the rocks on which they dwelt. To us also the promise may be applied with strictest propriety. Our enemies may deal with us us with Paul and Silas of old, who were cruelly scourged, and thrust into an inner prison, and their feet were made fast in the stocks: but, though there was no access to them for earthly friends, were the visits of their God intercepted? Could their supplies of strength and consolation be cut off? Did not rather their consolations abound as their afflictions abounded? Thus it shall be with us: “broad shall be given us” for the support of our souls, and “the Holy Spirit shall be within us a well of water, springing up” for our continual refreshment. Difficulties and dangers we may experiences but they shall issue only in the contusion of our enemies, and in brighter discoveries of God’s power und grace.]


1. To those who rest in presumptuous hopes—

[The wicked Jews laughed at the judgments of God when they were at a distance, but were filled with horror at their approach, and cried out, “Who shall dwell with the devouring fire? who amongst us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” Similar consternation will ere long seize on those who now slight the threatenings of the Gospel. The day of vengeance is hastening on apace, and God will then shew himself to be “a consuming fire [Note: Hebrews 12:29.].” How will his enemies then stand appalled [Note: Psalms 73:19.]! How “will they cry to the rocks to fall upon them, and the hills to cover them from the wrath of the Lamb [Note: Revelation 6:15-17.]!” How terrible will the devouring fire then appear! How awful those everlasting burnings in which they will be doomed to dwell! Let the “sinners in Zion,” the people who name the name of Christ without departing from iniquity, awake from their delusions; let “the hypocrites” also deceive themselves no longer. Let a holy fear possess all our souls: let us cry out, as on the day of Pentecost, “What shall we do to be saved?” and let us improve the present season of God’s mercy and forbearance in “fleeing from the wrath to come.”]

2. To those who are agitated with unbelieving fears—

[Many spend their time in anxious inquiries, Will God save me? Well would it be if we would leave God to do his part, and mind only our own. God’s part is, to save us: ours is, to serve and glorify him. This is obvious in the passage before us, and in numberless other passages of Holy Writ. We have nothing to fear but sin. Let us be sincere in embracing the Gospel, and consistent in obeying it, and we need not fear the united attempts of men and devils. God is engaged to be the God of his believing and obedient people: and, “if he be for us, who can be against us?” He will “hide us in his pavilion [Note: Psalms 27:5.],” where we shall be surrounded with hosts of angels for our guard, and supplied with the richest viands for our support: and “in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh us [Note: Psalms 32:6-7.].” Let us then dismiss our unbelieving fears, and look to him to “fulfil his promises, wherein he has caused us to put our trust.”]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He shall dwell on high; out of the reach of danger.

Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure; God will furnish him with all necessaries.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Such a righteous person will dwell with God, who dwells on the high places ( Isaiah 33:5). He will be safe from attacks by enemies since God is his refuge. And God will provide for his needs (cf. Matthew 6:33). In other words, he will enjoy God"s fellowship, protection, and provision (cf. Psalm 15; Psalm 24:3-6).

"This is the picture of a man who has no need to be alarmed at the judgment of God upon Asshur." [Note: Delitzsch, 2:63.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Sure. Never failing. (Calmet) --- This was a great advantage in those dry regions. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

He shall dwell on high - heights inaccessible to the foe (Isaiah 26:1).

Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure - image from the expected siege by Sennacherib. Bread shall be given him, his waters shall be sure - image from the expected siege by Sennacherib. However besieged by trials without, the godly shall have literal and spiritual food, as God sees good for them (Isaiah 41:17; Psalms 37:19; Psalms 37:25; Psalms 34:10; Psalms 132:15). So Jeremiah in the siege of Jerusalem was provided with "a piece of bread daily," though in prison (Jeremiah 37:21).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
shall dwell
32:18; Psalms 15:1; 90:1; 91:1-10,14; 107:41; Proverbs 1:33; 18:10; Habakkuk 3:19
Heb. heights, or high places. his place.
26:1-5; Psalms 18:33
Psalms 33:18; 34:10; 37:3; 111:5; Luke 12:29-31
Reciprocal: Genesis 1:29 - to you;  Genesis 47:15 - Give us bread;  Genesis 48:15 - fed me;  Exodus 23:25 - he shall;  2 Samuel 22:34 - setteth;  1 Kings 17:6 - the ravens;  1 Kings 19:6 - cake;  Job 5:20 - famine;  Psalm 24:4 - He that;  Psalm 31:2 - an house;  Psalm 33:19 - to keep;  Psalm 37:19 - days;  Psalm 59:1 - defend me;  Psalm 71:3 - my strong habitation;  Psalm 94:22 - the rock;  Psalm 132:15 - I will satisfy;  Proverbs 10:3 - will;  Proverbs 10:9 - that walketh;  Proverbs 15:27 - but;  Proverbs 28:16 - he that;  Isaiah 14:30 - the poor;  Isaiah 58:11 - and satisfy;  Isaiah 58:14 - to ride;  Jeremiah 22:15 - eat;  Jeremiah 37:21 - and that;  Joel 3:16 - hope;  Matthew 6:11 - GeneralLuke 11:3 - Give;  Luke 12:31 - General1 Timothy 4:8 - having

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

16.He shall dwell in high places. That the Jews may know that the chastisements which God had inflicted on them were righteous, and may endeavor to be restored to his favor, he says that his blessing is ready to be bestowed on good and upright men, such as he described in the former verse, and that they are not subject to any danger, and have no reason to dread that burning which he mentioned, because they shall be made to dwell in a place of the greatest safety. As to wicked men, slanderers, robbers, and deceitful persons, on the other hand, who cannot restrain their tongue, and hands, and ears, and eyes from base and wicked actions, the Prophet shews that we need not wonder if God treat them with severity, and that, while God is their judge, their own conscience is at the same time their executioner; and consequently, that the only means of hindering them from dreading the presence of God, is to keep themselves voluntarily in the fear of God. By “high places,” he means a very safe place, and free from all danger, which ns attack of the enemy can reach, as he declares plainly enough immediately afterwards by assigning to them a habitation among “fortified rocks.”

Bread shall be given to him. To a safe dwelling he adds an abundance of good things; as if he had said that the holy and upright worshippers of God shall lack nothing, because God will not only protect them so as to keep them safe from all danger, but will also supply them abundantly with all that is necessary for the support of life. By the words “bread” and “water” he means all the daily necessaries of life.

And his waters shall be sure. Though wicked men have abundance for a time, they shall afterwards be hungry; as God threatens in the Law, that they shall have famine and hunger. (Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 28:23.) The same remark may be made with regard to “bread,” for the word “sure” relates to both; as if he had said, that all believers shall have their food made “sure.” “Lions are hungry, and wander about; but they that fear God shall not want any good thing,” (Psalms 34:10;) because God, who is by nature bountiful, is not wearied by bestowing liberally, and does not exhaust his wealth by acts of kindness.

Besides, as the life of men is exposed to various dangers, and as abundance of meat and drink is not all that is necessary for our support, unless the Lord defend us by his power, we ought, therefore, to observe carefully what he formerly mentioned, that believers are placed in a safe abode. The Lord performs the office of a shepherd, and not only supplies them with food, but also defends them from the attacks of robbers, enemies, and wolves; and, in short, keeps them under his protection and guardianship, so as not to allow any evil to befall them. Whenever, therefore, it happens, that enemies annoy us, let us consider that we are justly punished for our sins, and that we are deprived of God’s assistance because we do not deserve it; for we must reckon our sins to be the cause of all the evils which we endure.

Yet let not those who are conscious of their integrity imagine that God has forsaken them, but let them to the latest day of their life rely on those promises in which the Lord assures his people that he will be a very safe refuge to them. No man, indeed, can be so holy or upright as to be capable of enduring the eye of God; for “if the Lord mark our iniquities,” as David says, “who shall endure?” (Psalms 130:3.) We therefore need a mediator, through whose intercession our sins may be forgiven; and the Prophet did not intend to set aside the ordinary doctrine of Scripture on this subject, but to strike with terror wicked men, who are continually stung and pursued by an evil conscience, (13) This ought to be carefully observed in opposition to the Popish doctors, by whom passages of this kind, which recommend works, are abused in order to destroy the righteousness of faith; as if the atonement for our sins, which we obtain through the sacrifice of Christ, ought to be set aside.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:16". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". 1840-57.