|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 14. - The sinners in Zion are afraid. The prophet proceeds to speak in his own person. The judgment on Assyria, he says, cannot but strike terror into the hearts of the immoral and irreligious in Zion. They cannot fail to realize their own danger, and to tremble at it. Who among us, they will say, can dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? They will recognize God as "a consuming Fire" (Deuteronomy 4:24), whose next outbreak may be upon themselves, and will shudder at the prospect.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The sinners in Zion are afraid, and fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites,.... Meaning not persons of such a character that dwelt in Jerusalem, who had the guise and form of religion, and not the power of it, and were for fleeing to Egypt, and trusting in Pharaoh, and not in the Lord; who were seized with dread and terror, when the Assyrian army besieged them, or when it was so awfully destroyed by the angel in the night; when, observing the visible and immediate hand of God in it, they might fear the like judgment would fall upon them for their irreligion and hypocrisy; but rather formal professors, and hypocritical persons, in the reformed churches, or Protestants having only a form of godliness, without the power of it, are meant; who, observing God's judgments upon antichrist, shall be seized with a panic, lest the like should come down upon them for their hypocrisy and deceit; unless it should be rather thought that antichrist, and his followers themselves, are designed, who himself is said to sit in the temple of God, and who claim to themselves the name of the church of God, and pretend to be Christians, though they are not; when they shall see the city of Rome in flames, and the vials of God's wrath poured on the antichristian states, shall dread the vengeance of eternal fire, which they express in the following words:
Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? that is, the wrath of God in hell, which is the fire that feeds upon and devours Christless sinners; which shall never be quenched, and is called everlasting fire, in which the followers of antichrist will be tormented for ever; and the smoke of which will ascend for ever and ever, and will be intolerable; none will be able to abide and endure it; see Revelation 14:9. So the Targum interprets it of the place where the ungodly are to be judged and delivered into hell, an everlasting burning.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
14. sinners in Zion—false professors of religion among the elect people (Mt 22:12).
hypocrites—rather, "the profane"; "the abandoned" [Horsley].
who, &c.—If Jehovah's wrath could thus consume such a host in one night, who could abide it, if continued for ever (Mr 9:46-48)? Fire is a common image for the divine judgments (Isa 29:6; 30:30).
among us—If such awful judgments have fallen on those who knew not the true God, how infinitely worse shall fall on us who, amid religious privileges and profession, sin against God, (Lu 12:47, 48; Jas 4:17)?
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