Isaiah 33:24
And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(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.)

33:15-24 The true believer watches against all occasions of sin. The Divine power will keep him safe, and his faith in that power will keep him easy. He shall want nothing needful for him. Every blessing of salvation is freely bestowed on all that ask with humble, believing prayer; and the believer is safe in time and for ever. Those that walk uprightly shall not only have bread given, and their water sure, but they shall, by faith, see the King of kings in his beauty, the beauty of holiness. The remembrance of the terror they were in, shall add to the pleasure of their deliverance. It is desirable to be quiet in our own houses, but much more so to be quiet in God's house; and in every age Christ will have a seed to serve him. Jerusalem had no large river running by it, but the presence and power of God make up all wants. We have all in God, all we need, or can desire. By faith we take Christ for our Prince and Saviour; he reigns over his redeemed people. All that refuse to have Him to reign over them, make shipwreck of their souls. Sickness is taken away in mercy, when the fruit of it is the taking away of sin. If iniquity be taken away, we have little reason to complain of outward affliction. This last verse leads our thoughts, not only to the most glorious state of the gospel church on earth, but to heaven, where no sickness or trouble can enter. He that blotteth out our transgressions, will heal our souls.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.

24. 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 (Isa 38:1-22). In the Jerusalem to come there shall be no "sickness," because there will be no "iniquity," it being forgiven (Ps 103:3). The latter clause of the verse contains the cause of the former (Mr 2:5-9). 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.

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.

And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. The healing of disease and the forgiveness of sin are combined as in Psalm 103:3; Matthew 9:2 ff., &c. To the Old Testament saints sickness was the proof of God’s displeasure and of sin unforgiven. Hence in the conception of the Messianic community, the abolition of sickness, the chief evil of life, is the indispensable pledge that guilt is taken away. Cf. Exodus 23:25.

Verse 24. - And the inhabitant shall not say, I am sick. There shall be no sickness in the restored Jerusalem at least, no "sickness unto death." The people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity. Once more the prophet floats off into Messianic anticipations.



Isaiah 33:24(Compare Grashof, Ueber das Schiff bei Homer und Hesiod, Gymnasial-programm 1834, p. 23ff.). The μεσόδμη ( equals μεσοδόμη) is the cross plank which connects the two sides of the ship. A piece is cut out of this on the side towards the rudder, in which the mast is supported, being also let into a hole in the boards of the keel (ἱστοπέδη) and there held fast. The mast is also prevented from falling backwards by ropes or stays carried forward to the bows (πρότονοι). On landing, the mast is laid back into a hollow place in the bottom of the ship (ἱστοδόκη). If the stays are not drawn tight, the mast may easily fall backwards, and so slip not only out of the μεσόδμη but out of the ἱστοπέδη also. This is the meaning of the words בּל־יהזּקוּ כן־תּרנם. It would be better to understand kēn as referring to the ἱστοπέδη than to the μεσόδμη. The latter has no "hole," but only a notch, i.e., a semicircular piece cut out, and serves as a support to the mast; the former, on the contrary, has the mast inserted into it, and serves as a kēn, i.e., a basis, theca, loculamentum. Vitringa observes (though without knowing the difference between μεσόδμη and ἱστοπέδη): "Oportet accedere funes, qui thecam firment, h. e. qui malum sustinentes thecae succurrant, qui quod theca sola per se praestare nequit absque funibus cum ea veluti concurrentes efficiant."

Isaiah 33:23Now indeed it was apparently very different from this. It was not Assyria, but Jerusalem, that was like a ship about to be wrecked; but when that which had just been predicted should be fulfilled, Jerusalem, at present so powerless and sinful, would be entirely changed. "Thy ropes hang loose; they do not hold fast the support of thy mast; they do not hold the flag extended: then is booty of plunder divided in abundance; even lame men share the prey. And not an inhabitant will say, I am weak: the people settled there have their sins forgiven." Nearly every commentator (even Luzzatto) has taken Isaiah 33:23 as addressed to Assyria, which, like a proud vessel of war, would cross the encircling river by which Jerusalem was surrounded. But Drechsler has very properly given up this view. The address itself, with the suffix ayikh (see at Isaiah 1:26), points to Jerusalem; and the reference to this gives the most appropriate sense, whilst the contrast between the now and then closes the prophecy in the most glorious manner. Jerusalem is now a badly appointed ship, dashed about by the storm, the sport of the waves. Its rigging hangs loose (Jerome, laxati sunt); it does not hold the kēn tornâm fast, i.e., the support of their mast, or cross beam with a hole in it, into which the mast is slipped (the mesodme of Homer, Od. xv 289), which is sure to go to ruin along with the falling mast, if the ropes do not assist its bearing power (malum sustinentes thecae succurrant, as Vitruvius says). And so the ropes of the ship Jerusalem do not keep the nēs spread out, i.e., the ἐπίσημον of the ship, whether we understand by it a flag or a sail, with a device worked upon it (see Winer, R.W. s. v. Schiffe). And this is the case with Jerusalem now; but then ('âz) it will be entirely different. Asshur is wrecked, and Jerusalem enriches itself, without employing any weapons, from the wealth of the Assyrian camp. It was with a prediction of this spoiling of Asshur that the prophet commenced in Isaiah 33:1; so that the address finishes as it began. But the closing words of the prophet are, that the people of Jerusalem are now strong in God, and are עון נשׂא (as in Psalm 32:1), lifted up, taken away from their guilt. A people humbled by punishment, penitent, and therefore pardoned, would then dwell in Jerusalem. The strength of Israel, and all its salvation, rest upon the forgiveness of its sins.

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