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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 33:22

For the LORD is our judge, The LORD is our lawgiver, The LORD is our king; He will save us--

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For the Lord is our judge - Yahweh will be to us nothing but a source of happiness, truth, and prosperity. His presence will be to us only a blessing, and a means of success and joy. The repetition of the name Yahweh three times is common in the Scriptures.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 33:22

For the Lord is our Judge . . . lawgiver . . . king

Salvation in harmony with Divine relations

The advent of sin into the world is one of the greatest mysteries of the universe.
It was the introduction of a mighty force for evil in direct antagonism to God, and to everything God ever made. Now that sin had found a footing in this world, it became a problem, perhaps the most perplexing and difficult ever known: How the Divine government should deal with sin to prevent its spread, to restrain its action, to subdue its power, and, if possible, to expel it from the throne it had usurped. Known to us are two methods in which the Divine government has dealt with sin. The first is that of stern, vigorous, prompt justice. This was the principle adopted in the case of the fallen angels. Sin in them became at once its own punishment. In the case of man God adopted another method of dealing with sin--a method of merciful and mediatorial intervention. By redemption He proposes to meet evil in its own temple, even in the heart of man, and there restrain, subdue, destroy, and abolish it. How can this be done? If done at all, it must be done in perfect harmony with the attributes and the character of God. He can do nothing contrary to His nature, or dishonouring to His law. If He saves, pardons, and acquits the guilty, it must be in perfect harmony with His law and government. Jehovah King, Jehovah Lawgiver, Jehovah Judge is our Jehovah Saviour. All the four offices blend and harmonise in one glorious Person, the Lord Jesus Christ.

I. JEHOVAH IS OUR KING, and although we are rebels against His kingly authority, yet He can save us. His right to govern us is based on His creatorship. He made us and not we ourselves. All our powers of body, mind, and spirit are gifts--His gifts. Not one of them is of our own production. He hath made all things for Himself, for His service, for His will. Had the race of man continued obedient to His will, we should have continued happy and safe under His benevolent and holy rule. But the reverse of this has taken place. We have rebelled. Had He doomed us to woes unrelieved and unending, every attribute of His nature, every law in the universe, every being in creation would have given the acquiescing Amen, just and true are all Thy ways. Yet, when retribution with unrestrained force was about to fall, when truth and justice demanded the execution of the dread sentence, the curse was rolled back, wrath suspended, punishment deferred, guilty man spared, and complete eternal deliverance provided and freely offered. How came this to pass? Not by a mere act of arbitrary sovereignty. There are things which God cannot do. He cannot do an injustice. He cannot deny His Word; He cannot deny Himself. He cannot come into the midst of a rebel world armed to the teeth against His majesty, and say, “I know that all men are traitors to My rule, rebels against My authority; all deserve to die, and without exception ought to die, for I have solemnly declared that death is the penalty of rebellion; but as sovereign Lord, I select some from amongst them who shall not die, who shall escape the penalty, who shall be treated as if they had never rebelled, and ultimately be crowned with glory and immortality, like all loyal beings in My dominions. I give no reason for thus acting. I claim the right to do it by an act of sovereign will.” We must all feel that this was impossible to God. This would be to abolish all distinction between virtue and vice, between obedience and rebellion; this would be to overthrow law and right, to enthrone lawlessness, and reward crime: God could never do this. Notwithstanding that He is our King, and that we are traitors who have dared to lift our hand to smite the Majesty on high, yet He saves us. Jehovah is our King, and He will save us. But how? If He saves us, it must be in perfect harmony with His Kingship. And so He does. The Son of God equipped with human nature steps into the breach, stands between the rebels and the Majesty they have offended. The naked sword in the hand of the angered King is about to fall and smite, but Jehovah’s Fellow bares His breast to receive the smiting. The strongest condemnation of sin which even God Himself could give was given when He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin condemned sin in the flesh.

II. SALVATION IN HARMONY WITH LAW. Jehovah is our Lawgiver, and He will save us. This clause teaches that God sustains towards us the relation of Lawgiver, but the difficulty in the way of saving us is in the fact that we sustain towards Him the relation of lawbreakers. There can be no question as to our guilt. We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God. If then we have all sinned, the law cannot justify, nay, the law condemns us.

The penalty of disobedience is death. The Lawgiver cannot by an act of mere sovereignty remit that penalty. He cannot ignore or override the law which He Himself has made. If this were done, the Maker of the law would become the breaker of the law. This can never be. Salvation in order to be satisfactory to the sinner himself must be bestowed in harmony with law, and must have the consent of the law. To secure for me abiding peace I must have the assurance that the law consents to my pardon, to blot out my sins from her book of remembrance, and to cancel the sentence of condemnation. I must be assured that the law will never lift up her voice to condemn me, nor stretch out her hand to smite me, nor throw open the sources of wrath to overwhelm me. Redemption through atonement meets this difficulty. Jehovah Lawgiver becomes Jehovah Saviour. But how? Within the ark were the tables of the law; over the law was the lid, the covering, called the propitiatory or mercy-seat; over that again the cherubim in bending thoughtful attitude; between the cherubim the Glory, the uncreated symbol of the Divine Presence seated in majesty on the mercy-seat. This then is the teaching of this profound symbolism. Mercy has built her throne on law; so that when the transgressor approaches God to plead for pardon, and when God graciously bestows it, the law is present, not to condemn, but to approve, not to object but to acquiesce in the pardon: that pardon proceeds from mercy and that mercy is founded on law. Jesus was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities. Now that the law has vindicated her own majesty and purity by smiting our Substitute, the law can not only acquiesce, but also triumph in your pardon, and be more signally magnified by your salvation than by your condemnation, so that we can challenge you to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy, for Jehovah Lawgiver is also Jehovah the Saviour. “If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father.” Here Jesus Christ is spoken of as an advocate or pleader. What is He pleading for? Forgiveness. The sinner cannot deny or disprove the accusation. But the Divine Advocate is there and shows Himself as newly slain, saying, I have endured the curse for him, I have been wounded for his transgressions, the chastisement of his peace has been laid upon Me, and I claim for him forgiveness. The plea is admitted, the Advocate prevails, the sinner is free; in the presence of the sacrifice the law is magnified and announces the acquittal of the penitent believer: “Neither do I condemn thee, go in peace.”

III. SALVATION IN HARMONY WITH JUDGESHIP. Jehovah Judge is also Jehovah Saviour. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.

But is not every man judged at the hour of death and his eternal destiny then irrevocably fixed? Yes. What need then of a general judgment? One important, if not the most important purpose is this--the general judgment will give the Judge of all the opportunity of vindicating Himself. He must be justified when He speaks; He must be cleared when He judges. Assembled worlds on that day must be satisfied that every decision is in perfect harmony with truth and righteousness For father and mother to enter heaven with even the shadow of a suspicion that the sentence pronounced upon their son was unjust or severe, would mar heaven to them for ever. For His own sake and for the sake of all His subjects throughout His vast dominions, God must silence every objection, dissipate every suspicion. How will the Judge clear Himself? Not by pleading sovereignty. We cannot conceive of Him saying to assembled worlds on that great day: “I am sovereign disposer of all events, of all beings, of all worlds. I do as I will with each and all without giving any reason. I have endowed you with reason but I intend to treat you as though you had none. You may be dissatisfied with your destiny, or with the destiny of some in whom you are lovingly concerned; you may suspect Me of having done you or your loved ones an injustice, but that will not concern Me. You may carry your suspicion with you to your doom, it may cleave to your spirit for ever; I will not attempt to remove it or to convince you that I am right.” This would be an unreasoning despotism, and one shudders at the thought of the righteous Judge dealing thus with His rational creatures. He will justify Himself when He speaks, and clear Himself when He judges. But how? When the dividing line is drawn between the righteous and the wicked, the one placed on the right, the other on the left of the judgment throne, the Judge will be able to say: “Notwithstanding that all men have sinned and come short of the glory of God, yet, in infinite compassion I made a provision for the removal of sin, for the deliverance of every man from its power, guilt, and pollution, and for his complete restoration to purity and bliss. These on My right availed themselves of that provision, fulfilled its conditions, sought with true repentance and faith the application of that redemption to their heart, and they stand here to-day without sin. Who will lay anything to their charge?” Turning then to the other side the Judge will be able to say: “All these on My left I have loved with an infinite compassion, I have died to redeem them, My salvation was as free to them as to the others, and would have been as effectual had they received it, but they spurned it. I shed My blood for them, but they trampled it under foot. I can do no more for them. They have chosen death and they must have it.” What then is the inference? If you perish it will be your own fault; the entire responsibility of your lost condition is with yourself, and will rest on you alone, and for ever. “God so loved the world,” &c., so that if you perish, it will not be because you are sinners, but rather because you spurn the remedy, and reject the only Redeemer. Sin and punishment are inseparable. You cannot divorce them. Where the one is, the other must be. If sin remain, you cannot escape punishment; for sin is its own punishment. The only method to avoid punishment is to abolish sin. God’s system of redemption provides for this. “For this purpose was the Son of God manifested that He might destroy the works of the devil.” Nothing that God ever made is to be annihilated. Matter may change its form, its appearance, its relations, but science teaches us that not an atom will ever cease to be. God has, however, provided for the annihilation of sin in the believer through atonement. This is the mystery of redemption, it destroys that which destroys humanity. It saves the sinner by destroying his sin. (Richard Roberts.)

The restoration of judgment, God’s way of salvation to the Church

The broken and divided condition of the Christian Church is, to every right-thinking man, a subject of uneasy reflection.

1. It is in the nature of things impossible for a multitude of men to live together, or subsist as a community without the occurrence of differences, disputes, and questions of a greater or a less degree of importance.

2. The institution by which God meets and provides against this unavoidable circumstance in human life is that of the judge, the fullest general idea and true theological definition of which office is contained in these words, “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood,” &c. (Deuteronomy 17:8-13).

3. The provision of a judge with absolute and conclusive authority, is God’s way of meeting that evil to which human society is exposed. He demands from men that they shall bring their controversies and have them determined by the person whom He appoints; and they are to yield to the award of the judge, through submission to God, by whose voice or in whose providence he has been appointed, and through faith that God is with the judge, and is at hand to give him wisdom and discernment Proverbs 29:4; 2:18).

4. The taking away of judges is one of the last and severest punishments that God inflicts upon a people. When God gives men children to be their princes and babes to rule over them--so that the people are oppressed everyone by another and everyone by his neighbour, so that the child behaves himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable--it is in His anger that He does so (Amos 2:3).

5. Again, when God recovered His people, or spake of doing so, the restoration of the judge is one of the main acts or promises (Isaiah 1:26).

6. To set judgment in the earth is declared to be one of the offices of Christ: and His kingdom is characterised as that in which “a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment”; when the people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation and in sure dwellings and in quiet resting-places. But of peace and quiet security and well-being without the office of the judge, there is no mention in all scripture, either prophetical or historical.

7. This method and ordinance of God for the preservation of peace and righteousness among men is continually alluded to in the language of the New Testament; alluded to and recognised, and therefore shown to be perpetual. Our blessed Lord always refers to the judge as the ordained ultimate decider in all human quarrels and contentions; and although He would have His disciples to be reconciled everyone to his adversary before an appeal to the judge shall have become unavoidable, yet He clearly points out the absoluteness and peremptoriness of the ordinance, as one which God will ordinarily guide, and one which He will not suffer any man with impunity to despise.

8. The duty of those whose matter is brought before the judge is to do according to the sentence of the judge, not declining from it to the right nor to the left. This, of course, is on the supposition that the judge spoken of is the ultimate one, from whom there can be no appeal. So the general peace of society, and the comfort and quietness of the individual himself are ensured.

9. Moreover, it is through the judge that law becomes a living thing, capable of continual enlargement, and of application to the varying conditions of human society; which is itself a living thing, its character always in progress, with new interests springing up, and liable to new difficulties and complications.

10. The Church of Christ is the widest and most comprehensive society of men that can exist. How much more than all other societies of men must the Church be liable to causes of division!

11. And shall God’s ordinance for peace not be found in the spiritual corporation? And if there be in the Church such an ordinance of ultimate appeal, and peremptory decision, shall not the same implicit submission be required which God commanded that men should render under the law--a submission more intelligent than under the Jewish dispensation, and therefore more voluntary, yet not less absolute--and shall not the penalty be as severe as it then was for the despiser and the presumptuous?

12. There has been no Catholic judgment in the Church since the removal of the apostles; and we are conscious of the condition to which we have been reduced by the want of judgment. Questions, doubts, disputes, discontents, hatreds, divisions, rebellions have accumulated.

13. And when God’s people fall into such depths as these, how does He act towards them? “He repenteth Himself for His servants, when He seeth that their power is gone” (Deuteronomy 32:36). Such as God was to Israel the same is He for ever, the same shall He show Himself unto His Church. And unto Israel He hath said, “I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellers as at the beginning, afterward thou shalt be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city” (Isaiah 1:26). Those judges and counsellors, shall not they be peacemakers for the long-vexed Church--by whom the winds and the sea shall be rebuked and there shall be agreat calm? (W. Dow, M. A.)

Our best safety

I. ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S DECISION IN THE AFFAIRS OF LIFE. “The Lord is our Judge.” These words do not refer to the final judgment, but to the verdict of the Judge in this life.

1. This decision is made known in reference to nations, as in this chapter. God judged between Israel and the Assyrians by destroying the Assyrian host. He showed that the Jews were His people, and He was their God.

2. The same may be said of Churches, as is shown by the history of the seven Churches of Asia.

3. So likewise of individuals, though the Divine decision in this case is not always so manifest.

II. ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S WILL AS THE RULE OF LIFE. “The Lord is our Lawgiver.” We are liable to take our own passions, inclinations, and desires as the rule of life. Sometimes the maxims of society and the examples of others. But the only safe rule is the will of God.

1. It is benevolent in its intentions--it aims at our happiness here and hereafter.

2. It is safe in its action--always the same. Human wisdom changes.

3. It is elevating in its effects, ennobles, enriches, exalts.

4. It is eternal. We must ever live under the rule of this Lawgiver. If we accept it as the rule of life here, it will be the delight of heaven to live under the same hereafter.

III. ACCEPTANCE OF GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY. “The Lord is our King.” He is a worthy King.

1. A King who is infinite in power, and wisdom, and love.

2. A King who ever thinks of, and provides for, the welfare of His subjects.

3. A King whose dominion extends to all things; to every element and every creature; to all men and spirits, good and bad; to all regions--earth, heaven, and hell.

4. A King whose kingdom shall have no end. No revolution will ever disturb the security of His throne, and that because the sceptre of His kingdom is a right sceptre. Let us earnestly and devoutly say, “Thy kingdom come.”

IV. ASSURANCE OF SAFETY. “He will save us.” A result arising from the acceptance of the Divine under the three foregoing aspects--as Judge, as Lawgiver, and as King. (Homilist.)

The Lord is our King

Our King

Let the great day at Hebron when David was made king by a united nation be to us a type of that greater day when a united world with a perfect heart shall crown Jesus King of men.

1. Jesus is our King by Divine anointing.

2. Jesus received regal honours without any protest on His part.

3. When Jesus had risen from the dead and ascended into heaven there was another crowning there.

4. Though Jesus was the King of men, He refused to possess universal empire.

5. Our King has two great things to do.

6. Our King is powerful.

7. He is an active King.

8. What shall we do for our King? (W. Birch.)

Israel’s King

Two distinct benefits stand out as soon as we compare the condition of Israel under the judges with that under King David and King Solomon. Under the king was obtained--

1. Unity. One nation with one national life, instead of isolated tribes living under their own judges, and having little cohesion with the other tribes.

2. Salvation from their enemies, and prosperity at home. (Hubert Brooke, M. A.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 33:22". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For the Lord is our Judge,.... The Lord Christ, who has all judgment committed to him by the Father, who will judge his people, right their wrongs, and avenge their injuries:

the Lord is our Lawgiver; who has enacted wholesome laws for his church, writes them on their hearts, and puts his Spirit within them, to enable them to keep them:

the Lord is our King: King of saints, King of Zion, made so by his Father, owned by his church, under whose government it is in safety:

he will save us; from all sin, and from all enemies, with an everlasting salvation. The church here speaks with great pleasure of her interest in Christ under every character, and of her safety as depending upon him. The Targum is,

"the Lord is our Judge, who brought us by his power out of Egypt; the Lord is our teacher, who gave us the doctrine of the law from Sinai; the Lord is our King, he will redeem us, and take vengeance of judgment for us on the army of Gog;'

which shows that the ancient Jews understood this prophecy as referring to times yet to come.

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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 Rightes 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

Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Lord — thrice repeated, as often: the Trinity (Numbers 6:24-26).

judge … lawgiver … king — perfect ideal of the theocracy, to be realized under Messiah alone; the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king to be exercised by Him in person (Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 32:1; James 4:12).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Is judge — To plead our cause against our enemies.

Lawgiver — Our chief governor, to whom it belongs, to give laws, and to defend his people.

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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.

Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

22.For Jehovah is our judge. The Prophet now explains the manner in which God dwells in the Church. It is, that he is there worshipped and acknowledged as Judege, Lawgiver, and King; for they who obey God and yield subjection to him as their King, shall know by experience that he is the guardian of their salvation; but they who falsely glory in his name, vainly hope that he will assist them. Let us only yield to his authority, hear his voice, and obey him; and, on the other hand, he will shew that he is our protector and most faithful guardian. But when we despise his voice and disobey his word, we undoubtedly have no reason to wonder that he abandons and forsakes us in dangers.

Hence, also, we ought to observe what is the true Church of God. It is that which acknowledges God to be a “Lawgiver” and “King.” With what effrontery, therefore, do the Papists dare to boast that they are the Church of God, seeing that they reject that lawful government of it which was enjoined by Moses, and the Prophets, and Christ, and substitute in the room of it inventions and base traffic? They exert a cruel tyranny over consciences, and, by taking away all the liberty which Christ has bestowed on us, they wretchedly harass souls and lead them to perdition; but God alone has the right to rule the conscience, because he alone is “Lawgiver” and “Judge,” and he alone ought to rule and guide us by his word. He combines here the three words, “Judge,” “Lawgiver” and King,” because the subject is of very great importance, and ought not to be lightly set aside. If, therefore, we permit ourselves to be guided by his word, he will never fail us; and this is the only way of obtaining salvation.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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

Ver. 22. For the Lord is our judge.] Ours in all relations, therefore we shall not die or do amiss. See Habakkuk 1:12, with the note. Our Judge will do us right; our Lawgiver will give us the best direction. See Nehemiah 9:13, with the note. Our King will see to our safety: "Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King." [Psalms 149:2]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture



Isaiah 33:22.

There is reference here to the three forms of government in Israel: by Moses, by Judges, by Kings. In all, Israel was a Theocracy. Isaiah looks beyond the human representative to the true divine Reality.

I. A truth for us, in both its more specific and its more general forms.

{a} Specific. Christ is all these three for us-Authority; His will law; Defender.

{b} More general. Everything that human beings are to us, they are by derivation from Him-and He sums in Himself all forms of good and blessing. Every name among men for any kind of helper belongs to Him. All tender, helpful relationships are but ‘broken lights of Thee.’

II. A lesson hard to learn and to remember.

One knows not whether it is harder for faith to look beyond the visible helpers or delights to the Unseen Real One, or to look through tears, when these are gone, and to see Him clearly filling an otherwise empty field of vision. When we have a palpable prop to lean on, it is difficult to be clearly aware that, unless the palpable support were held up by the Unseen, it could not be a prop, and to lean on it would be like resting one’s weight on a staff stuck in yielding mud. But it is no less difficult to tell our hearts that we have all that we ever had, when what we had leaned on for many happy days and found to hold us up is stricken from beneath us. Present, the seen lawgiver, judge, or king stays the eyes that should travel past him to God Himself; removed, his absence makes a great emptiness, in whose vacuity it is difficult for faith to discern the real presence of Him who is all that the departed seemed to be. The painted glass stays the eye; shattered, it lets in only the sight of a void and far-off sky.

Israel could not breathe freely in the rarefied air on the heights of a theocracy, and demanded a visible king. It had its desire, and as a consequence, ‘leanness in its soul.’ Christendom has found it as difficult to do without visible embodiments of authority, law, defence, and hence many evils and corruptions in the institutions and practices of organised Christianity.

III. A conviction which makes strong and blessed.

To have dominant in our minds, and operative through our lives, the settled conviction that God in Christ is for us judge, lawgiver, and king, and that the purpose of all these offices or relationships is that ‘He will save us’ is the secret of tranquillity, the fountain of courage, the talisman which makes life all different and us who live in it different. Fear cannot survive where that conviction rules and fortifies a heart. We shall not be slavish adherents of men if we are accustomed to take our orders from our Lawgiver. Earthly prizes or dignities will not dazzle eyes that have seen the King in His beauty. We shall pay little heed to men’s judgments if there flames ever before conscience the thought, ‘He that judgeth me is the Lord.’ ‘He will save us’; who can destroy what His hand is stretched out to preserve? ‘If God is for us, who is against us? It is God that justifieth; who is He that condemneth?’

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https:

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The Lord is our Judge; to judge for us, to plead our cause against our enemies, as the ancient judges of Israel did, Jude 2 16.

Our Lawgiver; our chief Governor, to whom it. belongs to give laws, and to defend his people.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Messiah will be the Judge (leader and governor), lawgiver (legislator and chief), and (permanent) ruler of His people. He will be the head of all branches of government-judicial, legislative, and executive. He will provide deliverance in every situation.

This verse, which is a climax to chapters28-33 , was the basis for the Mayflower Compact, the covenant that the Pilgrims made when they left England for America in A.D1620. It was also the basis for the government of the United States, which had its roots in the Mayflower Compact.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

The Lord ... the Lord ... the Lord - thrice repeated, as often; hinting at the Trinity (Numbers 6:24-26).

Judge ... lawgiver ... king - perfect ideal of the theocracy, to be realized under Messiah alone: the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king, to be exercised by Him in person (Isaiah 11:4; Isaiah 32:1; James 4:12).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(22) The Lord is our judge . . .—The verb is better omitted, and the threefold iteration of the name of Jehovah, in each case with a special characteristic, taken as the subject of the final verb: “The Lord, our judge, the Lord, our lawgiver . . . He will save us.”

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us.
the Lord is our judge
Genesis 18:25; Psalms 50:6; 75:7; 98:9; 2 Corinthians 5:10
Heb. statute-maker.
Deuteronomy 33:2; Nehemiah 10:14; Psalms 147:19,20; James 4:12
the Lord is our king
Psalms 44:4; 74:12; 89:18; Jeremiah 23:5,6; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5; 25:34; Revelation 19:16
he will
12:2; 25:9; Zephaniah 3:15-17; Matthew 1:21-23; Luke 2:11; Acts 5:31; Titus 3:4-6; Hebrews 5:9

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

Isa . For the Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our Lawgiver, &c.

There are here two propositions, the one affirming that Jehovah sustains a certain relationship to us, the other declaring that in that relationship, and therefore in a manner perfectly consistent with it, He will save us. The same thing substantially is repeatedly asserted in the Scriptures. The very prophet in whose writings these words occur elsewhere speaks thus in God's name: "There is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside" (Isa ); "I bring near my righteousness, my salvation shall not tarry" (Isa 46:13); "My righteousness is near, my salvation is gone forth" (Isa 51:5). All this has been translated into New Testament language in that remarkable utterance of Paul's, "Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness, that He might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus" (Rom 3:25-26).

Let us endeavour to unfold the harmony of salvation with the law, the justice, and the royalty of God.

I. Let us look at the relationship indicated by the three terms Judge, Lawgiver, and King. We say relationship, for although the words are three, the thing is substantially one, each term giving us only a modification of the same idea. The judge is the king on the bench, the lawgiver is the king writing the statute-book, and the king is the judge and lawgiver on the throne of government. The three things so run into each other that it is difficult to keep them distinct, each of the three terms brings before us one distinct phasis of the governmental relationship which God sustains towards us. The judge is set to see that the guilty shall not escape, and that the innocent shall not be punished; the lawgiver has to secure that the majesty of the law is upheld, and its authority recognised; and the king has to take care that the best interests of his subjects as a whole are not interfered with but advanced. Now it is here affirmed that Jehovah stands to us in this threefold relation, and that as a judge He saves us criminals, as a lawgiver He forgives us law-breakers, as a king He pardons us rebels.

We are not denying that God is willing and anxious to show Himself as a father, even to sinners. Our affirmation is, that now, when man has sinned, if God is to be to him precisely as he was before, if the liberty of God's son is to be enjoyed by him, then some means must be taken to secure that in all this no dishonour shall be put upon the law of God, no blot be made upon His judicial character, and no peril result to His throne or to the interests of His holy subjects.

II. The means by which God the Judge, Lawgiver, and King saves man. If we take the Scriptures for our guide, the answer will not be difficult to discover, for we are there uniformly taught that God seeks to save us through a substitute. At first this principle was revealed through animal sacrifices, then through the more definite offerings of the Mosaic institute, and then through the still more definite teachings of the inspired prophets. The high priest laid his hand upon the head of his victim, confessed over it all his iniquities and all the sins of all the people, and it was to bear their iniquity. But in the remarkable oracle contained in Isaiah 53 the very same phraseology is used in reference to the expected Messiah; for we are there told that God "hath laid upon Him the iniquity of us all," that "He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities," and that "He shall bear our iniquities." To this corresponds the language of the New Testament; for when John the Baptist pointed out the Messiah, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh (beareth) away the sins of the world;" and Jesus Himself declared that "the Son of man came to give His life a ransom for many," and that "the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." And in perfect harmony with all this are the utterances of the Apostles. It seems perfectly clear that the principle of substitution is the very thread round which all the other declarations of the Scripture crystallise. The Bible, from its beginning to its close, is "dipped in blood;" the atoning death of Christ is the foundation on which its whole system rests, and if that be rejected, the whole book must go with it as a dead and worthless thing.

III. Is this arrangement in harmony with the regal and judicial character of God? Gathering up the scattered statements of the Word of God into one systematic treatment of this subject, it seems clear that the following things need to be secured in order that substitution may harmonise with and subserve the ends of justice:—

1. That the substitute shall be himself free from all taint of sin, and be a voluntary victim. Christ was "holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners" as He was God-Man, and did not need to put Himself under the law except He had chosen to be the sinner's friend. He is thus qualified to be our substitute. And there was no compulsion. "Lo, I come! I delight to do Thy will, O my God."

2. That the sacrifice he offers be of such value as to preserve the majesty of the law, and cover the case of those for whom it was designed. The sacrifice offered must be something which the person making it can call his own property; and it must be something which is in itself adequate to the end contemplated. This is precisely what we have in the case of Christ. He could say His life was His own, for He was God as well as man. Again, it was such a sacrifice as met the case, for it was offered in the person of a Divine Man. As God-man, He infinitely transcends all other men, and therefore, when standing as a substitute, His personal dignity and worth give infinite value to His substitution.

3. That the persons set free thereby should be so changed in character that their after conduct shall not in any way interfere with or interrupt the happiness of God's other holy children and subjects. This is secured in connection with Christ's work; for when, by the eye of faith, the love of Jesus is seen as manifested on the cross, its power is such that it constrains the sinner to live to Him who loved him and gave Himself for him. The criminal who is pardoned through faith in the substitution of Christ is also reformed, and no detriment results from his deliverance to the other citizens of Jehovah's empire.

4. That the substitute himself have such compensation given him, that in the end he shall not lose, but rather gain, through the sacrifice he has made. Even although a substitute should willingly offer himself, it would be injustice to allow him to suffer if no adequate return could be made for it. Christ received as the reward of His sufferings that which is by Himself admitted and declared to be a thoroughly satisfactory recompense for the sacrifice he made. As He sees of the travail of His soul, He is satisfied.

5. That the substitute be accepted by both parties. That He is accepted by God is evident from the resurrection of Christ from the dead, His ascension into heaven, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; and He becomes accepted by the sinner when he believes in Jesus. Christ is not my substitute until I accept Him as such.

Two remarks in conclusion:—

1. It follows that Jesus Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour. His work is such that any sinner choosing to avail himself of it may be saved through it.

2. It also follows that Jesus Christ is the only Saviour; for if all these requirements needed to be satisfied, who is there that can meet them but Himself?—W. M. Taylor, D.D.: Life Truths, pp. 1-20.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:22". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, October 31st, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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