King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 33

God’s judgments against the enemies of his church. (1-14) The happiness of his people. (15-24)

Isaiah 33 Audio:

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God’s judgments against the enemies of his church

1 Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.

2 O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

3 At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered.

4 And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpiller: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.

5 The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.

6 And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.

7 Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.

8 The highways lie waste, the wayfaring man ceaseth: he hath broken the covenant, he hath despised the cities, he regardeth no man.

9 The earth mourneth and languisheth: Lebanon is ashamed and hewn down: Sharon is like a wilderness; and Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits.

10 Now will I rise, saith the LORD; now will I be exalted; now will I lift up myself.

11 Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.

12 And the people shall be as the burnings of lime: as thorns cut up shall they be burned in the fire.

13 Hear, ye that are far off, what I have done; and, ye that are near, acknowledge my might.

14 The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

The happiness of his people

15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

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.

17 Thine eyes shall see the king in his beauty: they shall behold the land that is very far off.

18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?

19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.

20 Look upon Zion, the city of our solemnities: thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation, a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken.

21 But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

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

23 Thy tacklings are loosed; they could not well strengthen their mast, they could not spread the sail: then is the prey of a great spoil divided; the lame take the prey.

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

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. Spoilest. This is particularly directed to Sennacherib. Ch. — He was a figure of persecutors of the Church, to which many passages here allude. C. — Remotâ justitiâ quid sunt regna nisi magna latrocinia? S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iv. 4. — Sennacherib plundered Samaria and Juda, and despising God, was himself contemned. W.

Ver. 2. Morning. Speedily. Heb. “mornings,” or every day. Ezechias thus addressed God.

Ver. 4. Them. The neglect of burying these insects has often brought on the plague. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei. iii. 31.

Ver. 6. Faith. Sincerity and justice adorn the reigns of Ezechias and Christ.

Ver. 7. Without. The people of the country, and the envoys of Ezechias. 4 K. xviii. 14. Heb. “Behold their Ariel, cried they without,” insultingly, (C.) pointing at Jerusalem. C. xxix. 1. At which (H.) the envoys rent their garments, &c. C. xxxvi. 22. C. — “Behold I shall appear to them.” Aquila. S. Jer. — Angels. Messengers or deputies sent to negotiate a peace, (Ch.) who wept because they could not obtain it. W.

Ver. 8. Void, though Sennacherib had received what he demanded. 4 K. xviii. 14.

Ver. 9. Confounded. Its trees were cut down. C. xxxvii. 24.

Ver. 10. Myself, when all human aid fails.

Ver. 11. You, Assyrians, are bringing destruction upon yourselves. C.

Ver. 14. Of you. Heb. “of us.” H. — They are seriously alarmed at the sight of the fires prepared to burn the dead bodies of the Assyrians, (C. xxx. 33.) and begin to think of hell, (C.) which their sins deserve. H.

Ver. 15. Blood. Avoiding revenge, and punishing the guilty, without respect to persons. Such was Ezechias, and therefore his enemies could not hurt him.

Ver. 16. Sure. Never failing. C. — This was a great advantage in those dry regions. H.

Ver. 17. King Ezechias, or he shall be one of his courtiers. — Off. Their limits shall be extended. Those who believe in Christ, shall cast their eyes up towards their heavenly country. Heb. ix. 13.

Ver. 18. Ones. These questions were put by the people, when the enemy approached; or they now rejoice that their severe masters were gone.

Ver. 19. Shameless, unjust Assyrians. Lu. xviii. 2. When shame is gone, people give way to every excess. — Profound. Unknown to the Jews. 4 K. xviii. 26. — No wisdom, manners, or piety.

Ver. 20. Broken. It was taken 125 years afterwards. The Church remains till the end of time, (C.) whereas both the prophets and history assure us, that Jerusalem was subject to destruction. W.

Ver. 21. Of rivers. He speaks of the rivers of endless joys that flow from the throne of God to water the heavenly Jerusalem, like a deep river. C.

Ver. 23. Thy tacklings. He speaks of the enemies of the Church, under the allegory of a ship that is disabled. Ch. — Sennacherib shall attempt invasion no more than a ship without masts would put to sea.

Ver. 24. 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 (C.) on this occasion. H.