Isaiah chapter 33

Woe to the destroyers. The deliverance of the righteous.





VERSE 1. Woe to you who destroy, but you weren’t destroyed, and who betray, but nobody betrayed you! When you have finished destroying, you will be destroyed; and when you have finished betrayal, you will be betrayed.

NLT translation. What sorrow awaits you Assyrians who have destroyed others but have never been destroyed yourselves. You betray others, but you have never been betrayed.

What sorrow awaits you Assyrians. The deeds of Assyria have finally caught up with them. They are now reaping what they had sown.

There is a law of “sowing and reaping” throughout the Bible. We don’t know how to fully reconcile it with grace and mercy. Here are the verses we’ve found »


VERSE 2. LORD, be gracious to us. We have waited for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble.

We have waited for you. They were waiting upon the LORD God. They were letting him do things on his own timetable.

Be our strength every morning. As they wait upon the LORD God each day, they find themselves filled with fresh strength.


VERSE 3. At the noise of the thunder, the peoples have fled. When you lift yourself up, the nations are scattered.


VERSE 4. Your plunder will be gathered as the caterpillar gathers. Men will leap on it as locusts leap.


VERSE 5. The LORD is exalted, for he dwells on high. He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness.

NLT translation. Though the LORD is very great and lives in heaven, he will make Jerusalem his home of justice and righteousness.

he will make Jerusalem his home. Jerusalem is usually at the center of the LORD God’s activity.

Whatever he’s doing seems to begin in Jerusalem. Then from Jerusalem, his work spreads throughout the earth.

filled Zion with justice. Believers have NOT filled the world with justice.

Instead, churches are often sources of injustice.


VERSE 6. There will be stability in your times, abundance of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge. The fear of the LORD is your treasure.

BBE translation. And she will have no more fear of change, being full of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge: the fear of the Lord is her wealth.

no more fear of change. After a lifetime of calamities and never-ending transition, she will now be given the gift of stability.

the fear of the Lord is her wealth. That’s a wonderful phrase!


VERSE 7. Behold, their valiant ones cry outside; the ambassadors of peace weep bitterly.


VERSE 8. The highways are desolate. The traveling man ceases. The covenant is broken. He has despised the cities. He doesn’t respect man.

He doesn’t respect man. They have no respect for anyone.


VERSE 9. The land mourns and languishes. Lebanon is confounded and withers away. Sharon is like a desert, and Bashan and Carmel are stripped bare.


VERSE 10. “Now I will arise,” says the LORD. “Now I will lift myself up. Now I will be exalted.

Now I will arise. The time is right for the LORD God to act.


VERSE 11. You will conceive chaff. You will give birth to stubble. Your breath is a fire that will devour you.

BBE translation. Your designs will be without profit, and their effect will be nothing: you will be burned up by the fire of my breath.

Your designs will be without profit. Some people are unable to produce positive outcomes for themselves or for others. All they can do is destroy.

John 10:10. The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.


VERSE 12. The peoples will be like the burning of lime, like thorns that are cut down and burned in the fire.


VERSE 13. Hear, you who are far off, what I have done; and, you who are near, acknowledge my might.”

you who are far off. The LORD God speaks to nations that are far away. He is reaching out to the Gentiles.

The Old Testament foresee Gentiles coming to faith in the One God of Israel and bringing gifts to Jerusalem. Here are the key Bible verses about this »


VERSE 14. The sinners in Zion are afraid. Trembling has seized the godless ones. Who among us can live with the devouring fire? Who among us can live with everlasting burning?

the devouring fire. God first appeared to Abraham in the form of fire. At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended as tongues of fire.

People who experience the presence of the LORD God often describe him as a devouring fire. John of the Cross wrote of him as The Living Flame of Love.


VERSE 15. He who walks righteously and speaks blamelessly, he who despises the gain of oppressions, who gestures with his hands, refusing to take a bribe, who stops his ears from hearing of blood, and shuts his eyes from looking at evil—

This very is very much like Psalm 15.


VERSE 16. he will dwell on high. His place of defense will be the fortress of rocks. His bread will be supplied. His waters will be sure.




VERSE 17. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty. They will see a distant land.


VERSE 18. Your heart will meditate on the terror. Where is he who counted? Where is he who weighed? Where is he who counted the towers?


VERSE 19. You will no longer see the fierce people, a people of a deep speech that you can’t comprehend, with a strange language that you can’t understand.

You will no longer see the fierce people. Their oppressors will be gone forever.


VERSE 20. Look at Zion, the city of our appointed festivals. Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, a tent that won’t be removed. Its stakes will never be plucked up, nor will any of its cords be broken.


VERSE 21. But there the LORD will be with us in majesty, a place of wide rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will go, neither will any gallant ship pass by there.


VERSE 22. For the LORD is our judge. The LORD is our lawgiver. The LORD is our king. He will save us.


VERSE 23. Your rigging is untied. They couldn’t strengthen the foot of their mast. They couldn’t spread the sail. Then the prey of a great plunder was divided. The lame took the prey.


VERSE 24. The inhabitant won’t say, “I am sick.” The people who dwell therein will be forgiven their iniquity.

BBE translation. And the men of Zion will not say, I am ill: for its people will have forgiveness for their sin.

will not say, I am ill. The LORD Godʼs people will no longer be ill.

In our day, why do godly people still become ill? Christians have lots of guesses:

  • They are not godly enough
  • God is punishing their sins
  • They are cursed
  • They are in a state of sin, even if they do not know it
  • Bad genetics
  • Random chance
  • Some fluke of nature


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.