Isaiah 33:11
You shall conceive chaff, you shall bring forth stubble: your breath, as fire, shall devour you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Ye shall conceive chaff . . .—Primarily the words are addressed to the Assyrian invaders, but not without a side glance at all who had been weaving their own webs of policy instead of trusting in Jehovah. Scheme and result, conception and parturition, would be alike worthless.

Your breath, as fire . . .—“Breath,” the hot panting of rage; this, instead of working the destruction of Judah, should prove suicidal.

33:1-14 Here we have the proud and false destroyer justly reckoned with for all his fraud and violence. The righteous God often pays sinners in their own coin. Those who by faith humbly wait for God, shall find him gracious to them; as the day, so let the strength be. If God leaves us to ourselves any morning, we are undone; we must every morning commit ourselves to him, and go forth in his strength to do the work of the day. When God arises, his enemies are scattered. True wisdom and knowledge lead to strength of salvation, which renders us stedfast in the ways of God; and true piety is the only treasure which can never be plundered or spent. The distress Jerusalem was brought into, is described. God's time to appear for his people, is, when all other helpers fail. Let all who hear what God has done, acknowledge that he can do every thing. Sinners in Zion will have much to answer for, above other sinners. And those that rebel against the commands of the word, cannot take its comforts in time of need. His wrath will burn those everlastingly who make themselves fuel for it. It is a fire that shall never be quenched, nor ever go out of itself; it is the wrath of an ever-living God preying on the conscience of a never-dying soul.Ye shall conceive chaff - An address of God to the Assyrians. The figure is one that denotes that their counsels would be in vain. Chaff and stubble are used in the Scriptures, in contrast with grain, to denote anything which is not solid, nutritious, or substantial; then anything which is frivolous, useless, vain. A similar image occurs in Isaiah 26:18 (see the note on that place; compare Isaiah 59:4).

Your breath as fire shall devour you - The word 'breath' here (רוח rûach, spirit) is evidently used in the sense of the Θυμός thumos, and denotes anger, as in Isaiah 30:28. It refers to the haughty and arrogant spirit of Sennacherib; the enraged and excited mind intent on victory and plunder. The sense is, that his mind, so intent on conquest - so proud, excited, and angry, would be the means of his own destruction. Lowth proposes to read 'my spirit,' but for this change there is no authority from manuscripts (see the notes at Isaiah 1:31).

11. Ye—the enemy.

conceive chaff—(Isa 26:18; 59:4).

your breath—rather, your own spirit of anger and ambition [Maurer], (Isa 30:28).

Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble, instead of solid corn. Your great hopes and designs, O ye Assyrians! shall be utterly disappointed.

Your breath, as fire, shall devour you; your rage against my people shall bring ruin upon yourselves. Ye shall conceive chaff, ye shall bring forth stubble,.... Signifying that all the counsels, designs, and schemes, of the antichristian party, to continue themselves in their present state, and save themselves from ruin, as well as utterly to destroy the interest of Christ, would be weak, vain, and fruitless; their conceptions and actions, their purposes and attempts, would be alike; would be abortive, like chaff and stubble, and only serve as such for their own destruction:

your breath as fire shall devour you; or, "your spirit" (a); your pride and haughtiness, in self praises, commendations, and glorying; your rage, wrath, and fury, against the saints; your blasphemy against God and Christ shall be the reason why the fire of God's wrath shall consume you. The Targum is,

"you have thought for yourselves, O ye people, thoughts of wickedness; ye have done for yourselves evil works; because of your evil works, my Word shall destroy you, as a whirlwind the stubble;''

Christ, the essential Word of God.

(a) "spiritus vester", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

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

(q) This is spoken against the enemies, who thought all was their own, but he shows that their enterprise will be in vain, and that the fire which they had kindled for others would consume them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. Still the words of Jehovah, addressed to the enemy. The present tense would be better than the future. For the first figure see ch. Isaiah 59:4; Job 15:35; Psalm 7:14.

your breath …] Better as R.V. your breath (i.e. “anger”) is a fire that devours you.Verse 11. - Ye shall conceive chaff. The Assyrian plans against Jerusalem shall be mere "chaff" and "stubble." They shall come to naught. Nay, the fury of the foe against Jerusalem shall be the fire to destroy them. The prophet sees this as he prays, and now feasts himself on the consequences of this victory of Jehovah, prophesying in Isaiah 33:5, Isaiah 33:6 : "Jehovah is exalted; for, dwelling on high, He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness. And there will be security of thy times, riches of salvation, of wisdom, and knowledge. Fear of Jehovah is then the treasure of Judah." Exalted: for though highly exalted in Himself, He has performed an act of justice and righteousness, with the sight and remembrance of which Zion is filled as with an overflowing rich supply of instruction and praise. A new time has dawned for the people of Judah. The prophet addresses them in Isaiah 33:6; for there is nothing to warrant us in regarding the words as addressed to Hezekiah. To the times succeeding this great achievement there would belong 'emūnâh, i.e., (durability (Exodus 17:12) - a uniform and therefore trustworthy state of things (compare Isaiah 39:8, "peace and truth"). Secondly, there would also belong to them חסן, a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge (compare the verb in Isaiah 23:18). We regard these three ideas as all connected with chōsen. The prophet makes a certain advance towards the unfolding of the seven gifts in Isaiah 11:2, which are implied in "salvation;" but he hurries at once to the lowest of them, which forms the groundwork of all the rest, when he says, thirdly, that the fear of Jehovah will be the people's treasure. The construct form, chokhmath, instead of chokhmâh, is a favourite one, which Isaiah employs, even apart from the genitive relation of the words, for the purpose of securing a closer connection, as Isaiah 35:2; Isaiah 51:21 (compare pârash in Ezekiel 26:10), clearly show. In the case before us, it has the further advantage of consonance in the closing sound.
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