Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 33:24

And no resident will say, "I am sick"; The people who dwell there will be forgiven their iniquity.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Israel, Prophecies Concerning;   Righteous;   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom;  
Dictionaries:
Fausset Bible Dictionary - Diseases;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Remnant;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Messiah;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Salvation;   Walk (2);   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Galley;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Grace;   Isaiah;   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Sin;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for May 15;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And the inhabitant shall not say - This verse is somewhat obscure. The meaning of it seems to be, that the army of Sennacherib shall by the stroke of God be reduced to so shattered and so weak a condition, that the Jews shall fall upon the remains of them, and plunder them without resistance; that the most infirm and disabled of the people of Jerusalem shall come in for their share of the spoil; the lame shall seize the prey; even the sick and the diseased shall throw aside their infirmities, and recover strength enough to hasten to the general plunder. See above.

The last line of the verse is parallel to the first, and expresses the same sense in other words. Sickness being considered as a visitation from God. a punishment of sin; the forgiveness of sin is equivalent to the removal of a disease. Thus the psalmist: -

"Who forgiveth all thy sin; And healeth all thine infirmities."

Psalm 103:3.

Where the latter line only varies the expression of the former. And our blessed Savior reasons with the Jews on the same principle: "Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?" Mark 2:9. See also Matthew 8:17; Isaiah 53:4. Qui locus Isaiae, 1 Peter 2:24, refertur ad remissionem peccatorum: hic vero ad sanationem morborum, quia ejusdem potentiae et bonitatis est utrumque praestare; et, quia peccatis remissis, et morbi, qui fructus sunt peccatorum, pelluntur. "Which passage of Isaiah has reference, in 1 Peter 2:24, to the remission of sins, and here to the healing of diseases, because both are effects of the same power and goodness; and because with the remission of sins was associated the removal of disorders, the fruits of sin." - Wetstein on Matthew 8:17.

That this prophecy was exactly fulfilled, I think we may gather from the history of this great event given by the prophet himself. It is plain that Hezekiah, by his treaty with Sennacherib, by which he agreed to pay him three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold, had stripped himself of his whole treasure. He not only gave him all the silver and gold that was in his own treasury and in that of the temple, but was even forced to cut off the gold from the doors of the temple and from the pillars, with which he had himself overlaid them, to satisfy the demands of the king of Assyria: but after the destruction of the Assyrian army, we find that he "had exceeding much riches, and that he made himself treasuries for silver, and for gold, and for precious stones, "etc. 2 Chronicles 32:27. He was so rich, that out of pride and vanity he displayed his wealth to the ambassadors from Babylon. This cannot be otherwise accounted for, than by the prodigious spoil that was taken on the destruction of the Assyrian army. - L. And thus, in the providence of God, he had the wealth which was exacted from him restored.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-33.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And the inhabitant - The inhabitant of Jerusalem.

Shall not say, I am sick - That is, probably, the spoil shall be so abundant, and the facility for taking it so great, that even the sick, the aged, and the infirm shall go forth nerved with new vigor to gather the spoil.

The people that dwell therein - In Jerusalem.

Shall be forgiven their iniquity - This is equivalent to saying that the calamities of the invasion would be entirely removed. This invasion is represented as coming upon them as a judgment for their sins. When the Assyrian should be overthrown, it would be a proof that the sin which had been the cause of the invasion had been forgiven, and that God was now disposed to show them favor and mercy. It is common in the Scriptures to represent any calamity as the consequence of sin, to identify the removal of the calamity and the forgiveness of the sin. Thus, the Saviour said Mark 2:5 to the man afflicted with the palsy, ‹Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.‘ And when the scribes complained, he urged that the power of forgiving sins and of healing disease was the same, or that the forgiveness of sin was equivalent to the removal of disease Mark 2:9.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-33.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 33:24

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick

The bliss of heaven

Two principal circumstances are dwelt upon, as constituting the bliss of heaven.

I. THERE IS NO SORROW IN HEAVEN. “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” It is otherwise in this world, ruined as it has been by sin. Here “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” And what men universally feel, they with one consent complain of. In one way or other, every child of Adam is exclaiming, I am sick!” With some--

1. The body is sick. But in heaven there is nothing of all this.

2. The heart is sick--sick of “hope deferred,” of rash and ill-judged wishes, of continual disappointments. In heaven, no heart saith, “I am sick.” No disappointment, there, of former hopes. Even hope finds no admission there. “We hope for that we see not.” But in heaven all is sight, and knowledge, and solid experience.

3. The soul is sick. In heaven no indwelling sin will remain, to suggest evil, when we “would do good”: no tempter, to recommend to us forbidden pleasures: no apostate, rebellious world, to revile, ensnare, or persecute the friends of God. Still--as there can be no doubt that memory will accompany the soul into its heavenly habitation--it may be imagined by some that the recollection of sins committed on earth must interfere with its entire felicity. But the apprehension is groundless. That a deep sense of unworthiness will exist, there is no doubt; even the sinless angels feel this. But the painful sense of guilt will be for ever excluded.

II. THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION IN HEAVEN. “The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.”

1. The forgiveness of sin will be more certain. Forgiveness is certain to the real believer; but who is certain of himself?

2. The forgiveness of sin will then be more complete,--not so much the forgiveness itself, as the consequences of it. (J. Jowett, M. A.)

Healing and pardon

This whole chapter was a gracious message from God to a people who were in extremis. When the worst had come to the worst, He laid bare His arm and brought deliverance for His people. Is not this a general rule with God? The peril of Jerusalem serves as a dark background to bring out the brightness of my text.

I. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS PRESENT FORGIVENESS. There must be a present, conscious, enjoyable pardon of sin--

1. Else there would be no joy in the world for thoughtful minds.

2. Else the main motive and fountain of love would be dried up. Forgiveness begets gratitude, gratitude creates love, and love brings forth holiness.

3. Else we should always be in bondage through fear of death.

4. Else the whole system of grace would be a dead letter, and its glorious privileges would be mere shells without a kernel. Let us bend our thoughts to a consideration of this great blessing as it is treated of in this chapter.

II. WHEN SIN IS PARDONED, THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN ARE ALSO REMOVED. Sin had made these people sick, as Isaiah saith in his first chapter--“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” But when iniquity is forgiven, then “the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.” Special chastisement is usually removed when any peculiar sin is forgiven. In the case of believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, if some of the temporal results of sin do not cease, yet it is only in appearance that they remain: or rather they remain for other purposes, benign and useful, and not as wrathful inflictions.

III. THIS MAKES A REMARKABLE CHANGE IN THE LANGUAGE OF THE FAVOURED PEOPLE. “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.”

1. They have no need to say it when the Lord comes and dwells with them; for the Sun of Righteousness hath risen upon them with healing in His wings.

2. They shall have no thought of saying, “I am sick.” He that feels the joy of pardoned sin forgets all his pains and griefs.

3. These people did not say they were sick, since they had a motive for not saying so. The three lepers who went out and divided the spoil did not say, “We are lepers”: that was forgotten, and they entered the tents as if they had been in health. They went into one pavilion and ate and drank, and then they went into another. Men free from leprosy could not have made themselves more at home. They took away gold and silver and hid it; though they were lepers. So when the Lord pardons our sin there is a prey to be taken: riches of grace are at our disposal.

4. Pardoned people shall not say they are sick, for by a little anticipation they shall declare the very contrary. In a little time we shall be where the inhabitant shall never be sick again. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

Sickness and sin

I. Let us speak of THOSE “ILLS THAT FLESH IS HEIR TO.” Wherever man exists in this world, the cry is heard, “I a m sick.” It is so because wherever man exists there is sin. Disease has been sent to reprove the sins of men, and to correct them with salutary pain. We are not competent to decide what specific connection there is between disease and sin in the case of our fellow-men. Endurance of sickness is more often a mark of God’s goodwill than of His severe displeasure.

1. Pain removes us out of the way of temptation, gives us time for reflection, when we were hastily running into danger.

2. How much a formidable sickness has helped a believer in drawing out his thoughts to the heavenly country and the passage into glory! But these considerations do not remove this original and humbling fact that sickness is a disorder in God’s world and that it is connected with that moral disorder which we call sin.

II. THE REMOVAL OF BOTH THESE. AS sickness and sin entered together, so shall they depart together. (D. Fraser, D. D.)

Pardon does not involve immediate deliverance from all evil

Upon one other point connected the forgiveness of sins we get instruction from the experience of Jerusalem. Pardon does not change the outside of life; it does not immediately modify the movements of history, or suspend the laws of nature. Although God has forgiven Jerusalem, Assyria comes back to besiege her. Although the penitent be truly reconciled to God, the constitutional results of his fall remain: the frequency of temptation, the power of habit, the bias and facility downwards, the physical and social consequences. Pardon changes none of these things. It does not keep off the Assyrians. But, if pardon means the return of God to the soul, then in this we have the secret of the return of the foe. Men could not try nor develop a sense of the former except by their experience of the latter, Had the Assyrians not returned, the Jews would have had no experimental proof of God’s restored presence, and the great miracle would never have happened that rang through human history for evermore--a trumpet-call to faith in the God of Israel And so, still “the Lord scourgeth every son whom He receiveth,” because He would put our penitence to the test; because He would discipline our disorganised affections, and give conscience and will a chance of wiping out defeat by victory; because He would baptize us with the most powerful baptism possible--the sense of being trusted once more to face the enemy upon the fields of our disgrace. (Prof. G. A. Smith, D. D.)

“Nobody is quite well”

A friend who met Lord Beaconsfield soon after that statesman had lost his helpful wife hoped that he was quite well. In a hollow voice Beaconsfield answered, “Nobody is quite well.” This is true. (Quiver.)

Forgiveness and healing

A brother had grievously offended, and had been put out from Church fellowship for his sin; and he so behaved that his pastor thought of him with pain, and was glad to avoid an interview with him, for it only produced a sad attempt at self-justification. At length the Lord brought him to a better mind. He sought his pastor, and said, with tears, “Will you shake hands with me?” The pastor replied, “Right gladly. I rejoice to feel that the past is all forgiven. How are you?” The repentant one made this reply, “I am quite Well now that you restore me to your esteem.” The poor man was extremely ill, but the joy of being once more in his old place in his friend’s thoughts made him refuse to say, “I am sick.” (C. H.Spurgeon.)

Forgiveness

“Thy sins be forgiven thee.” It is a beautiful figure. It is as if a boat was moored to a filthy mainland and could not get away. There comes a man who cuts the cable, and the boat floats away down stream.

That is the figure given. The Lord comes and cuts the cable that binds me to the filthy mainland of the past, and my boat goes free. (J. H.Jowett, M. A.)
.

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 33:24". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-33.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick,.... That is, the inhabitant of Zion, or Jerusalem, the church of Christ, Isaiah 33:20 and such are they that are born again in Zion, and brought up there; who are made free thereof by Christ; are brought to dwell here by the Lord himself; and, under the influence of divine grace, ask their way hither, and come willingly and cheerfully, and settle here: these, at this time the prophecy refers to, even the latter day, shall not be heard to say, not one of them, "I am sick"; either with the sickness of sin, so as to say there is no cure for them, or that they shall die of it, or even to complain of it; for all their sicknesses and diseases of this kind will be healed by the rising of the sun of righteousness upon them, with healing in his wings; or with the sickness of affliction, especially outward affliction of persecuting enemies, which will be at an end; and such joy will attend them, on account of their deliverance from them, that all their former sorrows and sufferings will be forgot; and in the New Jerusalem church state there will be neither one sickness nor another; no more sorrow, pain, or death; the leaves of the tree of life will be for the healing of the nations, Revelation 21:4,

the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity; this shows that sin is the sickness meant; the manner in which such a disease is cured, by forgiveness; and the perfect health and soundness, as well as joy, and peace, and comfort, which follows upon an application of pardoning grace and mercy. The Targum refers this to the time when the Israelites shall return to their own land; and Kimchi owns that some of their interpreters apply it to the times of the Messiah.

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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 33:24". "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

sick — Smith thinks the allusion is to the beginning of the pestilence by which the Assyrians were destroyed, and which, while sparing the righteous, affected some within the city (“sinners in Zion”); it may have been the sickness that visited Hezekiah (Isaiah 38:1-22). In the Jerusalem to come there shall be no “sickness,” because there will be no “iniquity,” it being forgiven (Psalm 103:3). The latter clause of the verse contains the cause of the former (Mark 2:5-9).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-33.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

The inhabitant — Of Jerusalem.

Sick — Shall have no cause to complain of any sickness or calamity.

Forgiven — They shall not only receive from me a glorious temporal deliverance; but, which is infinitely better, the pardon of all their sins, and all those spiritual and everlasting blessings, which attend upon that mercy.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-33.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 33:24 And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein [shall be] forgiven [their] iniquity.

Ver. 24. And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.] sc., By reason of the long and strait siege. None shall be so lame, [Isaiah 33:23] or sick and in pain (as here), but that he shall be in case to pursue and prey upon the enemies.

The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.] Jehovah Rophe, or the physician, shall heal them on both sides, make them whole every whit. This is a most sweet promise, and highly to be prized by all that are heirs of the promises.

Optandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-33.html. 1865-1868.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

BLESSED Lord! I would pass by all other reflections, profitable as they might otherwise be, if I had not thee in view, to look at my Lord Jesus, under some of those most sweet and precious revelations which thy servant the Prophet has given of thee in this chapter. Here I see thee, Lord, the true, the lawful king in Zion! Here I behold thee, the glorious Lord in the midst of thy people! Yes, blessed Jesus, thou wilt be indeed, and thou last been in all ages, a place of broad rivers and streams. For what though thy Church, like Jerusalem of old, hath no navigable seas, nor gallant ships, nor frontiers of her own, to keep her from the common foe; yet if Jesus, in his own person be all these, and more, who shall attack, or dare approach to hurt? What proud galley with oars shall row to the hurt of thine anointed, while Jesus is himself the broad river, and streams of waters? Oh! precious Lord! how eternally secure must they be, who have a God in Christ for their judge; a God in Christ for their lawgiver; and a God in Christ for their king! Take me, dear Lord, under thy protection, and be thou to me, Jesus: for then I shall no longer say, I am sick, when thou hast forgiven, and taken away all iniquity, and cast all my sins into the depths of the sea.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-33.html. 1828.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Isaiah 33:24

I. First, let us speak of "those ills that flesh is heir to." Wherever man exists in this world, the cry is heard, "I am sick." It is so because, wherever man exists, there is sin. Disease has been sent to reprove the sins of men, and to correct them with salutary pain. We are not competent of ourselves to decide what specific connection there is between disease and sin in the case of our fellow-men. We may know it in our own ease, but we are not to pronounce positively in regard to others. Indeed, the most cursory observation of daily facts may teach us, that while sickness is in the world, because sin is in the world, the measure of sickness which an individual suffers is no index to the measure of sin which he has committed. Endurance of sickness is more often a mark of God's good will than of his severe displeasure. (1) Pain removes us out of the way of temptation, gives us time for reflection, when we were hastily running into danger. (2) How much a formidable sickness has helped a believer in drawing out his thoughts to the heavenly country and the passage into glory!

II. But these considerations, however soothing and comforting they may be, do not remove this original and humbling fact, that sickness is a disorder in God's world, and that it is connected with that moral disorder which we call sin. Consider, secondly, the removal of both these. As sickness and sin entered together, so they shall depart together. When the former things are passed away, then come order, health, perfection, blessedness. Our Lord Jesus Christ, as Saviour of men, coped with both moral and physical evils, and bestowed the double blessing of forgiveness and healing. His skill was never baffled by any form or virulence of disease. He healed all that came unto Him: the blind received their sight, the lame man walked, the deaf heard, and to the poor the Gospel was preached. At the same time, our Lord always dealt with sin as the fundamental disease and disorder of the human race. "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." "I am come to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

D. Fraser, Penny Pulpit, No. 559.

Reference: Isaiah 33:24.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxxii., No. 1905.



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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/isaiah-33.html.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The inhabitant, to wit, of Jerusalem, God’s people,

shall not say, I am sick; shall have no cause to complain of any sickness or calamity; shall be fully delivered from all their enemies and evil occurrents; shall enjoy perfect tranquillity and prosperity. The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity: this may be added, either,

1. As the reason of the foregoing privilege. Their sins, the main causes of all their distresses, shall be pardoned; and therefore their sufferings, the effects of sin, shall cease. Or,

2. As an additional favour. They shall not only receive from me a glorious temporal deliverance; but, which is infinitely better, the pardon of all their sins, and all those spiritual and everlasting blessings which attend upon that mercy.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". 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

Physical sickness and spiritual sin will be totally absent from eschatological Zion (cf. Psalm 103:3). This description pictures the absence of all disabilities. Iniquities will also be forgiven (cf. Leviticus 16:21-22). The basis for this forgiveness is the sacrifice of Christ (cf. Isaiah 53:4; Hebrews 10:17-18).

This is one of the grand pictures of life during the coming reign of Jesus Christ on earth. That kingdom will begin following His second coming, continue for1,000 years, and then extend forever into eternity (cf. Revelation 19-22).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-33.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Feeble. All were obliged to collect the plunder, to be afterwards divided. None shall plead illness. The inhabitants of Jerusalem will not feel the effects of sin (Calmet) on this occasion. (Haydock)

 

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-33.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

forgiven their iniquity. Reference to Pentateuch (Exodus 23:21; Exodus 32:32. Numbers 14:19).

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "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

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

The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick. Smith thinks the allusion is to the beginning of the pestilence by which the Assyrians were destroyed, and which, while sparing the righteous, affected some within the city ("sinners in Zion"). It may have been the sickness that visited Hezekiah, (Isaiah 38:1-22.)

The people that dwell therein (shall be) forgiven (their) iniquity. In the Jerusalem to come there shall be no 'sickness,' because there will be no "iniquity," it being forgiven (Psalms 103:3). The latter clause of the verse contains the cause of the former (Mark 2:5-9).

Remarks: The violent are repaid with retribution in kind. The 'spoiler' is sure at last to be "spoiled" by death; and often even before it God leaves the wicked, like the Assyrian, to develop fully their gratuitous wickedness, and then makes it and them together to "cease" for ever from tormenting His people. It is the cry of prayer which brings down the "gracious" interposition of Yahweh. When in our "time of trouble "we have waited for" the Lord continually He will be our "arm" of "salvation," each day as it comes. As 'the Lord dwelleth on high,' so will He cause His children to 'dwell on high.' "The fear of the Lord" is true "wisdom and knowledge." Such "wisdom and knowledge" are the true 'stability of the times' of any dynasty, and are the only solid and lasting "treasure." Material wealth often corrupts a people, and prepares the way for their decay; but this treasure purifies and invigorates, and lays the basis for permanent endurance.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-33.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick . . .—The words seem to have had their starting- point in the pestilence which attacked the Assyrian army, and which had probably been felt, during the siege, in Jerusalem itself. The prophet, seeing in such a pestilence the punishment of iniquity, couples together the two blessings of health and pardon. Healthy, because holy, was his report as to the restored Jerusalem. (Comp. Matthew 9:2.)

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-33.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
the inhabitant
58:8; Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 7:15; 28:27; 2 Chronicles 30:20; Jeremiah 33:6-8; James 5:14; Revelation 21:4; 22:2
shall be forgiven
44:22; Jeremiah 50:20; Micah 7:18,19; 1 John 1:7-9 Reciprocal: Exodus 23:25 - I will take;  Exodus 40:18 - and fastened;  Psalm 103:3 - healeth;  Isaiah 12:6 - thou;  Isaiah 40:2 - that her iniquity;  Jeremiah 31:34 - for I;  James 5:15 - if he

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-33.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

NO SICKNESS THERE

Isa . And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.

In a besieged city, from watching, anxiety, and scarcity of food, there is usually considerable sickness. When an epidemic disease is prevalent, sickness becomes the general experience. There is in any large population always a considerable amount of sickness, more or less serious. Nor is it confined to the city. In the country it is much the same. At the best it is only somewhat less. Medical men are everywhere required. Sanitary arrangements, temperate habits, and medical skill may diminish the extent and alleviate the severity of sickness, but they cannot uproot it. When, therefore, we read of a city in which there shall be no sickness, our thoughts turn from earth to heaven. The text is a beautifully poetic representation of the termination of the conscious weakness that rested on Jerusalem while the Assyrian army lay before it. But there is a sense in which the words may be literally understood. We believe in "the holy city, the new Jerusalem." Let us meditate on that new condition of our life.

I. Sickness is weakness. We give the name to all states of the body other than sound and perfect health. How numerous! Our condition here is one of constant liability to it. At every period of life we are exposed to it. It may be borne to us by the air we breathe; taken with the food we eat and the water we drink; received by contact with our fellows; lurk secretly in some part of our body unsuspected; develop itself from the slight cold, the result of carelessness, or in spite of the utmost thoughtfulness; it may attack the youth as well as the old man, those who boast the fulness of their strength as well as those who know themselves to be less firmly built. But it always supposes weakness. Under the name of weakness it holds its victim with a firm grasp. While he persuades himself that he has conquered, it secretly spreads through every vein, and eventually lays him prostrate. The strongest man becomes powerless when sickness holds him in its grasp. As he is too weak to throw off the weakness, he is too weak to perform the tasks which at other times he performs with perfect ease. The student, the mechanic, the merchant. Visit some sick-bed and your confidence of perpetual strength will depart. Sickness is humiliating because it is weakening. It is often attended with pain. Pain increases weakness. In the grasp of pain the sufferer may be held for days, with no power of resistance, no prospect of relief.

Have you not sometimes thought what a contrast it would be if you could be entirely free from sickness and from liability to it? We may indulge the thought. That will be the condition of the resurrection body in the celestial city. It will be fashioned like to the body of Christ's glory (1Co ). As Christ on the cross endured the last sickness and pain He was ever to know, so shall all His followers rise, as He did, to a life from which sickness and pain are for ever excluded. Are you one with Him? Then in pain, weariness, languor, sickness, let all impatience be subdued as you remember that it is only a little longer. "Neither shall there be any more pain."

II. Sickness is sorrow. Sorrow because of lost time and business, fear that the end of life is near, the leaving behind not only all pleasant earthly things and persons, but especially those dependent on the patient's life, to whom his loss may be ruin. Not to the patient only is it a time of sorrow. Enter the house. All is gloom. Rooms darkened. The family tread softly and speak under their breath, as if every sound would not only disturb the sufferer, but be out of harmony with their own feelings. It is the little one that has come home sick from school (2Ki ). His mother takes him on her knee. Soon she perceives the signs of one of the sicknesses that are the terror of childhood. Medical aid is procured. The sickness deepens. Every one watches with aching heart, for the child is a universal favourite. And if he is taken, oh, what distress! Or it is the young man who has grown to maturity. He is active in business. His father, under the burden of advancing years, is gradually devolving responsibility on him, that he may himself enjoy a few years' rest after a life of hard and anxious work. But sickness comes. It passes by those you would expect it to strike. It singles out the young and strong. Gradually that fine young man wastes away. Day and night the mother, whose advancing years and infirmities demand the attention, watches over him with a breaking heart. All is done that strong affection can inspire. It is vain. Oh! what sorrow through these months! And when the end comes, what tongue can describe the agony?

We wonder if it will ever cease to be true that "man was made to mourn." Thank God we can entertain the prospect of the complete cessation of sorrow. "Neither sorrow." "Sorrow and sighing shall flee away." "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes." For "the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick."

III. Sickness is the prelude to death. It usually precedes. Any sickness may end in it. Death changes everything: the body different; the soul different. But there shall be no more death. There will be the perpetuated life of paradise regained; for there will be the tree of life; there will be the resurrection body (1Co ).

IV. Sickness, sorrow, and death are the fruit of sin. Does not Scripture thus trace them? There was no sickness before sin. Sin was the seed. The heavenly city is free from sin. There is perfect holiness. It is the completion of the redeeming work of Christ from sin, sorrow, death. The seed which bears sickness is taken out of the soil.

Shall we dwell in that city of immortal health? Are we travelling towards it? If not, we cannot reach it. Jesus is the way. Come to Him (Rev ). It is a prepared place for a prepared people.—J. Rawlinson.

RECOVERY FROM SICKNESS

(Sermon to the Young.)

Isa . And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick.

Our sun-dial is not that of Hezekiah: its shadow has no backward movement; the last enemy must soon challenge the traveller to pay the tax imposed on his pilgrimage. When all the pains and illnesses of the flesh are over, there remaineth a place purchased, prepared, and furnished for the children of God, and in which "the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick." Where is this healthy spot? Not in any place in this country; not in the world of which our land is so favoured a portion. To be able always to say, "I am not sick," is one of the privileges of heaven alone.

I. THE EVILS AND DISAGREEABLES OF SICKNESS.

Sickness is certainly not a pleasant thing—necessary, profitable, if you please, but not pleasant. It cannot be pleasant; for it is the punishment for sin. Angels are never sick, because they are of that world of which the inhabitant shall not say, "I am sick." Sickness helps to crumble us into death; diseases are Death's servants. Death sends them out in their different liveries as his couriers and forerunners; they apprise sinners that their Master is coming into their country, passing by that way, will perhaps "stand at their door and knock," warning each to be ready to leave all and follow death, as Peter said he and his fellow-apostles had done for Christ (H. E. I. 1561).

1. Bodily pain often accompanies sickness. This is sometimes felt in so grievous and dreadful a degree that the sufferer wishes and prays for death to be relieved from his agonies. When David was tried in this way he said, "The pains of hell gat hold upon me"—a strong expression, meaning very excruciating pains. Who can tell but those who have felt them what sufferings belong to the burning fever, the tormenting headache, &c.? The curious machine is out of order; the wheels grind and grate against each other; "the harp with a thousand strings is out of tune and full of discords." The very means taken for recovery often, for a time at least, increase pain and suffering. We admire the wisdom which God has given to man to discover the healing virtues concealed in Nature's works. But most of these, excellent in their effects, are nauseous to the taste. It seems as if Providence had ordained this on purpose that everything should conspire in sickness to make it a suffering, uncomfortable time, in order the more deeply to impress on us the salutary lessons it is intended to teach us.

2. The interruption it causes to the active duties of life. Health is the one thing needful, not only to the enjoyment of life, but to the vigorous and successful discharge of its duties.

3. One might mention a third evil, viz., the trouble one gives in sickness to those around us, only you might be ready to cry out, "We cannot allow this to be either a trouble or an evil; what sister or affectionate brother would think this a trouble?" But often the sufferer feels it keenly.

II. THE PROFITS AND ADVANTAGES OF SICKNESS.

Begin by thanking Jesus Christ that sickness is not a punishment and nothing else—not a certainty and foretaste of hell. His sacrifice has taken away its sting; it bears the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby. It withdraws us from the world. We follow too hotly and incessantly the things of the world. Some years ago a satire was written upon us called "The World Without Souls," and the author, without exaggerating, nearly proved that most of us live as if we thought this was really to be the case.

CONCLUSION.—So improve the sickness of earth as to make it the path to the health of heaven. In health often look back to the time of sickness: consider what were then your feelings, your fears, your good resolutions. Have you kept your word? Have you done your part? Is the Great Physician paid? He seeks not gold, but the coin of gratitude, love, and obedience. Every sickness should urge us to secure the country without pain; to win the new heavens and the new earth in which Christ's redeemed people shall be crowned with unfading youth and unbroken health.—George Clark, M.A.: Sermons, pp. 59-68.

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/isaiah-33.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

24.And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick. The Prophet again returns to the Church; for the destruction which he threatened against the Assyrians tended also to the consolation of the godly, since the safety of the Church could not be maintained unless the Lord granted his protection against so many adversaries who attack and molest her on every hand. Accordingly, having briefly remarked that all the reprobate who annoy the children of God shall be defeated, he appropriately follows out his subject by affirming that God will leave nothing undone that could promote the salvation of the godly. He says, therefore, that the citizens of the Church shall be freed from every inconvenience, because through the favor of God they shall enjoy prosperity.

The people that dwell in it have been freed from iniquity. This latter clause of the verse explains the former; for it shews that there is nothing to prevent the blessings of God from being largely enjoyed by us, when our sins have been pardoned. Hence, also, we conclude, that all the miseries which press upon us spring from no other source than from our sins. On any other ground the reason which he assigns might appear to be, farfetched and inappropriate; but we must hold this principle, that all the evils which God inflicts upon us are so many tokens of his anger. Hence it follows that, when guilt has been removed, nothing remains but that God will regard us with the affection of a father, and will graciously bestow upon us all that we need. If, therefore, we desire to be delivered from afflictions, we ought to observe this order, to seek first to be reconciled to God; for the removal of the cause would be speedily followed by the removal of the effect.

But seeing that our desires, are illregulated, and that, in consequence of being anxious merely to avoid punishments, we shut our eyes against the root of our distresses, we need not wonder that we obtain no alleviation of them. Those persons, therefore, are mistaken who indulge in their vices, and yet wish to be exempted from every kind of afflictions. If they do not suffer and adversity, still they will not cease to be miserable, and cannot enjoy peace of mind so long as they are pursued by the consciousness of their crimes. Consequently, true happiness consists in this, that we have obtained pardon from God, and sincerely believe that all the blessings which we receive from his hand are the results of his fatherly kindness.

Let us also learn that there is no other way in which we can please God, or obtain the honor of being accounted his children, than when he ceases to impute to us our sins; and therefore it is only the reconciliation which we obtain by free grace that pacifies God toward us, and opens up the way to the enjoyment of his goodness. That there is no visible evidence of that exemption from afflictions does not lessen the truth of the promise, because believers are abundantly satisfied with this comfort in their afflictions, that even when they are chastened by the hand of God, still they are his beloved children. So far as they have been renewed by his Spirit, they begin to taste the blessing which was in full perfection before the fall of Adam; but because they are burdened with many sins, they constantly need to be cleansed. Still, however, through compassion on their weakness, God mitigates their punishment, and, if not by removing altogether, yet by abating and soothing their grief, shews that he promotes their happiness; and therefore it is not without good reason that the Prophet declares the Church to be exempted from ordinary calamities, so far as they proceed from the curse of God.

Hence, also, we see clearly how childish is the distinction of the Papists, that the removal of guilt is of no avail; as if we had to satisfy the judgment of God. But far otherwise do the prophets teach, as may be easily learned from various passages; and if there had been nothing more than this single passage, can anything be plainer than that sicknesses come to an end, because iniquity has been pardoned? The meaning is undoubtedly the same as if he had said, that punishment ceases because sin has been pardoned. True, indeed, though God has been pacified towards them, (15) he sometimes inflicts punishment on believers; and the object is, that by fatherly chastisement he may instruct them more fully for the future, and not that he may take vengeance on them, as if he had been. but half reconciled. But Papists think that their punishments are of the nature of satisfactions, and that by paying them the sinner in some measure redeems himself, and puts away his guilt; which is absolutely inconsistent with a free pardon. Thus their abominable inventions, both about satisfactions, and about the fire of purgatory, fall to the ground.

It is also worthy of observation, that none but the citizens of the Church enjoy this privilege; for, apart from the body of Christ and the fellowship of the godly, there can be no hope of reconciliation with God. Hence, in the Creed we profess to believe in “The Catholic Church and the forgiveness of sins;” for God does not include among the objects of his love any but those whom he reckons among [he members of his onlybegotten Son, and, in like manuel’, does not extend to any who do not belong to his body the free imputation of righteousness. Hence it follows, that strangers who separate themselves from the Church have nothing left for them but to rot amidst their curse. Hence, also, a departure from the Church is an open renouncement of eternal salvation.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 33:24". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-33.html. 1840-57.