The LORD is exalted; for he dwells on high: he has filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Lord is exalted . . .—The vision of the seer takes in the ideal city of God, Jehovah dwelling on high in His holy Temple, the city at last filled with “judgment and righteousness.”Isaiah 33:5-6. The Lord is exalted — By the destruction of so potent an army, and by the defence of his people. For he dwelleth on high — He is, and will appear to be, superior to his enemies, both in place and power. He dwelleth in heaven, whence he can easily and irresistibly pour down judgments upon his enemies. He hath fulfilled — Or, he will fill Zion —
Or Jerusalem; with judgment and righteousness — That is, either, 1st, With a glorious instance of his just judgment against the Assyrians; or, 2d, With the execution of justice by good Hezekiah, and the practice of righteousness among the people, as before the same city was filled with impiety and injustice under Ahaz. The city shall not only be delivered from that wicked enemy, but shall also be established and blessed with true religion and righteousness; which was a great addition to that mercy. And wisdom and knowledge — To govern thyself and the people well. The words seem to be addressed to Hezekiah, either by the prophet, or, as Bishop Lowth thinks, by a chorus of the Jews. Shall be the stability of thy times — Of thy reign; times being often put for the things done in those times, The sense is, thy throne shall be established upon the sure foundations of wisdom and justice; and strength of salvation — Thy saving strength, or thy strong and mighty salvation. The fear of the Lord is his treasure — Thy chief treasure and delight shall be in promoting the fear and worship of God, which shall be a great honour and safeguard to thyself and people.Psalm 97:9). The prophet here introduces a chorus of the Jews, celebrating the praises of God for delivering them from the Assyrian.
He hath filled Zion with judgment - That is, the effect of his destroying his enemies will be to fill Jerusalem with reverence for his name. The deliverance would be so signal, and the manifestation of the divine mercy so great, that the effect would be that the nation would turn to God, and acknowledge his gracious interposition (see Isaiah 30:22-26, Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 31:6; Isaiah 32:15-18).
caterpillar—rather, "the wingless locust"; as it gathers; the Hebrew word for "gathers" is properly used of the gathering of the fruits of harvest (Isa 32:10).
running to and fro—namely, in gathering harvest fruits.
them—rather, "it," that is, the prey.Is exalted; will get great glory by the marvellous deduction of so proud and potent an army, and by the defence of his people.
For he dwelleth on high; for he is and will appear to be superior to his enemies, both in place and power. He dwelleth in the heaven, whence he can easily and irresistibly pour down judgments upon his enemies. Although these words may be, and by some are, joined with those that follow, thus, for he that dwelleth on high hath filled, &c. He hath filled Zion, he will fill Jerusalem, with judgment and righteousness; either,
1. With a glorious instance of his just judgment against the Assyrians. Or,
2. With the execution of justice by good Hezekiah, as before it was filled with impiety and injustice under Ahaz. The city shall not only be delivered from that wicked enemy, but shall also be established and blessed with true religion and righteousness; which was a great addition to that mercy. Revelation 11:15 this will be true of Christ, and indeed this will be the time when he, and he alone, shall be exalted, Isaiah 2:17,
for he dwelleth on high; in the highest heaven, and is above his greatest enemies, and can, and will, pour down his wrath and vengeance on them:
he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness; the church of God, where Christ her King will reign in righteousness, and when all the administrations of his kingly power and government will appear to be just and true; where his word shall be faithfully preached, and his ordinances duly administered; and when all his subjects and people shall be righteous, and live soberly and righteously. The Targum is,The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)5. judgment and righteousness can mean nothing else than personal and civic virtues in the inhabitants of the city. Isaiah could not have written thus of the Jerusalem he knew (cf. Isaiah 1:21); if he is the author the words must express a vivid anticipation of the great change in the national character which is now on the eve of accomplishment.
5, 6. The writer draws encouragement from two thoughts: (1) from the nature of Israel’s God; He is a spiritual Being, dwelling on high, beyond the reach of His enemies: (2) from the spiritual blessings He has conferred on His people. The connexion of these two may be gathered from ch. Isaiah 32:15; it is the outpouring of “spirit from on high” that has produced the fruit of righteousness in the state. That Israel possesses a religion which is essentially spiritual appears to be the ultimate ground on which the expectation of deliverance is based.Verse 5. - The Lord is exalted. His destruction of the Assyrian host is an exaltation of God; i.e. it causes him to be exalted in the thoughts of those who have cognizance of the fact (comp. Exodus 15:14-16; Psalm 96:3-10, etc.). It is an indication to them that he has his dwelling on high, and is the true King of heaven. He hath filled Zion with judgment, etc. (comp. Isaiah 32:15-17). The destruction is, in part, the result, in part the cause, of the Jews once more turning to God, putting away their iniquities, and establishing the reign of justice and righteousness in the land (see Isaiah 1:26). Isaiah 32:14. The punishment would last till the Spirit, which Israel had not then dwelling in the midst of it (see Haggai 2:5), and whose fulness was like a closed vessel to Israel, should be emptied out over Israel from the height of heaven (compare the piel ערה, Genesis 24:20), i.e., should be poured out in all its fulness. When that was done, a great change would take place, the spiritual nature of which is figuratively represented in the same proverbial manner as in Isaiah 29:17. At the same time, a different turn is given to the second half in the passage before us. The meaning is, not that what was now valued as a fruit-bearing garden would be brought down from its false eminence, and be only regarded as forest; but that the whole would be so glorious, that what was now valued as a fruit-garden, would be thrown into the shade by something far more glorious still, in comparison with which it would have the appearance of a forest, in which everything grew wild. The whole land, the uncultivated pasture-land as well as the planted fruitful fields of corn and fruit, would then become the tent and seat of justice and righteousness. "Justice and righteousness' (mishpât and tsedâqâh) are throughout Isaiah the stamp of the last and perfect time. As these advance towards self-completion, the produce and result of these will be peace (ma‛ăseh and abhōdâh are used to denote the fruit or self-reward of work and painstaking toil; compare פּעלּה). But two things must take place before this calm, trustworthy, happy peace, of which the existing carnal security is only a caricature, can possibly be realized. In the first place, it must hail, and the wood must fall, being beaten down with hail. We already know, from Isaiah 10:34, that "the wood" was an emblem of Assyria; and in Isaiah 30:30-31, we find "the hail" mentioned as one of the forces of nature that would prove destructive to Assyria. And secondly, "the city" (העיר, a play upon the word, and a counterpart to היּער) must first of all be brought low into lowliness (i.e., be deeply humiliated). Rosenmller and others suppose the imperial city to be intended, according to parallels taken from chapters 24-27; but in this cycle of prophecies, in which the imperial city is never mentioned at all, "the city" must be Jerusalem, whose course from the false peace to the true lay through a humiliating punishment (Isaiah 29:2-4; Isaiah 30:19., Isaiah 31:4.).
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