Isaiah 33:7
Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without: the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTeedTTBWESTSK
(7) Behold, their valiant ones.—Literally, their lions of God. Heb., Arielam, probably with a reference to the “Ariel” of Isaiah 29:1, the lion-like heroes of the lion-like city. (Comp. 2Samuel 23:20; 1Chronicles 11:22.) The whole passage paints the panic caused by the approach of Sennacherib.

The ambassadors of peace.—The envoys sent by Hezekiah to Sennacherib at Lachish. They “weep bitterly” at the hard conditions imposed on them, which may be either those of 2Kings 18:14, or some yet harder terms, demanding the surrender of the city.

Isaiah 33:7-9. Behold, &c. — That the mercy here promised might be duly appreciated and magnified, he gives a lively representation of the great danger and distress in which it found them. Their valiant ones — “Three MSS.,” says Bishop Lowth, “read אראלים, lions of God, or strong lions; so they called valiant men, heroes; which appellation the Arabians and Persians still use.” The Hebrew doctors, however, understand by the word, their heralds, or messengers, namely, those whom Hezekiah sent to treat with the Assyrian commissioners, 2 Kings 18:18. Shall cry without — Through grief and fear: the ambassadors of peace — Whom Hezekiah sent to beg peace of the Assyrian; shall weep bitterly — Because they cannot obtain their desire. The wayfaring man ceaseth — Because the Assyrian soldiers possessed and filled the land. He hath broken the covenant — Sennacherib broke his faith given to Hezekiah, of departing for a sum of money, 2 Kings 18:14; 2 Kings 18:17. He hath despised the cities — The defenced cities of Judah, which he contemned and easily took. He regardeth no man — Either to spare, or to fear, or keep faith with him. He neither feareth God nor reverenceth man. The earth mourneth, &c. — Being desolate and neglected. Lebanon is hewn down — By the Assyrians. Or, as קמלrather signifies, and is here rendered by some withereth, or languisheth, because its trees are spoiled and destroyed by the Assyrians. Sharon is like a wilderness — Although before it was a pleasant and fruitful place. Bashan and Carmel shake off their fruits — Are spoiled of them. These two places, eminent for fertility, and especially for good pastures, are here put for all such places.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.Behold - This verse introduces a new subject by a very sudden transition. It is designed, with the two following, to exhibit the desolation of the land on the invasion of Sennacherib, and the consternation that would prevail. For this purpose, the prophet introduces Isaiah 33:7 the ambassadors who had been sent to sue for peace, as having sought it in vain, and as weeping now bitterly; he represents Isaiah 33:8 the desolation that abounded, and the fact that Sennacherib refused to come to any terms; and Isaiah 33:9 the extended desolations that had come upon the fairest portions of the land.

Their valiant ones - The 'valiant ones' of the Jews who had been sent to Sennacherib to obtain conditions of pence, or to enter into a negotiation with him to spare the city and the nation. The word which is rendered here 'valiant ones' (אראלם 'ere'elâm) has given great perplexity to expositors. It occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures. The Septuagint renders the verse, 'With the dread of you shall they be terrified; they, of whom you have been afraid, will, for fear of you, raise a grievous cry.' Jerome renders it, 'Behold, they seeing, cry without,' as if the word was derived from ראה râ'âh, to see. The Chaldee renders it, 'And when it shall be revealed to them, the messengers of the people who went to announce peace, shall cry bitterly.' The Syriac, 'If he shall permit himself to be seen by them, they shall weep bitterly.' Symmachus and Theodotion render it, Ἰδοὺ ὀφθήσομαι αὐτοῖς Idou ophthēsomai autois - 'Lo, I will appear to them.' So Aquila, Ὁραθήσομαι αὐτοῖς Horathēsomai autois. Most or all the versions seem to have read it as if it were compounded of לם אראה 'ere'eh lm - 'I will appear to them.' But probably the word is formed from אראל 'ăre'el, the same as אריאל 'ărı̂y'êl (Ariel), 'a hero' (see the note at Isaiah 29:1), and means "their hero" in a collective sense, or their heroes; that is, their men who were distinguished as military leaders, and who were sent to propose terms of peace with Sennacherib. The most honorable and valiant men would be selected, of course, for this purpose (compare the note at Isaiah 30:4), but they had made the effort to obtain peace in vain, and were returning with consternation and alarm.

Shall cry without - They would lift up their voice with weeping as they returned, and publicly proclaim with bitter lamentation that their efforts to obtain peace had failed.

The ambassadors of peace - When Sennacherib invaded fife land, and had advanced as far as to Lachish, Hezekiah sent messengers to him with a rich present, having stripped the temple of its gold, and sent him all the silver which was in his treasury, for the purpose of propitiating his favor, and of inducing him to return to his own land 2 Kings 18:14-16. But it was all in vain. Sennacherib sent his generals with a great host against Jerusalem, and was unmoved by all the treasures which Hezekiah had sent to him, and by his solicitations for peace 2 Kings 18:17. It was to the failure of this embassy that Isaiah refers in the passage before us.

7-9. From the vision of future glory Isaiah returns to the disastrous present; the grief of "the valiant ones" (parallel to, and identical with, "the ambassadors of peace"), men of rank, sent with presents to sue for peace, but standing "without" the enemy's camp, their suit being rejected (2Ki 18:14, 18, 37). The highways deserted through fear, the cities insulted, the lands devastated.

cry—(Isa 15:4).

Behold: that the mercy here promised might be duly magnified, he makes a lively representation of their great danger and distress, in which it found them.

Their valiant ones; or, their heralds or messengers, as the Hebrew doctors expound the word: either,

1. Those whom the king of Assyria sent to Jerusalem, 2 Kings 18:17. Or rather,

2. Those whom Hezekiah sent to treat with the Assyrian commissioners, 2 Kings 18:18, as the next clause showeth.

Shall cry without, through grief and fear.

The ambassadors of peace, whom he shall send to beg peace of the Assyrian, shall weep bitterly, because they cannot obtain their desires. Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without,.... Or, "in the street": this, and the two following verses Isaiah 33:8, describe the sad and desolate condition of the people of God, before the above happy times take place; "their valiant ones", such who have been valiant for the truth on earth; or "their angels", as Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech interpret the word; these are the angels and pastors of the churches, the two witnesses that prophesy in sackcloth openly and publicly, and who will be slain, and their bodies lie unburied in the street of the great city, Revelation 11:3,

the ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly; most interpreters understand this of the ambassadors which Hezekiah sent to the king of Assyria to obtain peace, but could not succeed, on account of which they are said to weep bitterly; but the character of "ambassadors of peace" well agrees with the ministers of the Gospel, who are "ambassadors" in Christ's stead, and whose work it is to exhort men to "be reconciled to God", and to preach the Gospel of peace to sinful men; these now will "weep bitterly", when they are removed into corners, and are silenced, and not suffered to deliver their messages of peace, to the comfort of the Lord's people, and the glory of his name; which will be the case at the time of the slaying of the witnesses.

Behold, {l} their valiant ones shall cry outside: the {m} ambassadors of peace shall weep bitterly.

(l) Sent from Sennacherib.

(m) Whom they of Jerusalem sent to intreat of peace.

7. their valiant ones] This word is hopelessly obscure. It is usually translated “God’s lions,” i.e. ‘picked warriors, each as fierce as a lion and as invincible as his God’ (Cheyne: see on Isaiah 29:1, and cf. 2 Samuel 23:20; 1 Chronicles 11:22); and this is probably the sense intended by E.V. Another suggestion is that it is a gentilic name, meaning “inhabitants of Ariel.” It is impossible to get beyond conjecture. The reading of the text (’er’ellâm) appears to rest on a false etymology. It should probably be pointed as a simple plural, ’ar’çlîm or (if necessary) ’ǎrî’çlîm. The verbs shall cry and shall weep should both be translated as presents (R.V.).

the ambassadors of peace (omit shall) weep bitterly] Cf. ch. Isaiah 22:4. Taken in connexion with the last half of Isaiah 33:8, these words seem to point to the conclusion of a treaty of peace, which had been shamelessly violated by the enemy. Those immediately responsible for the arrangement are naturally loudest in their expression of dismay. We have no certain knowledge of such negotiations between Hezekiah and Sennacherib, although such an incident might very well have happened then.

7–9. For a moment the prophet’s faith seems to relax its hold on the great principles he has enunciated, as he turns to contemplate the misery and desolation of the present. But in reality this is an additional plea for the Divine intervention, to be followed by the exultant outburst of Isaiah 33:10-13.Verses 7-12. - THE PROPHET ENTERS FURTHER INTO PARTICULARS. Having "sketched the main outlines of his revelation," Isaiah proceeds to "fill in and apply the details" (Cheyne). He first describes the despair and low condition of Judah: the men of war wailing aloud; the ambassadors just returned kern Laehish weeping at the ill success of their embassy; all travelling stopped; the land wasted and made a desert; the Assyrians still ravaging and destroying, despite the peace which had been made (2 Kings 18:14-16). Then suddenly he sees Jehovah rousing himself (ver. 10), and the Assyrians con-stoned, as if with a fire (vers. 11, 12). Verse 7. - Behold, their valiant ones shall cry without. "Their lion-hearts "(Cheyne); "heroes" (Delitzsch). Literally, lions of God (comp. Isaiah 29:1). They raise a cry of mourning in the streets, with child-like effusiveness (comp. Herod., 8:99; 9:24). The ambassadors of peace. Hezekiah probably sent several embassies to Sennacherib in the course of the war. One went to Lachish, offering submission, in B.C. 701 (2 Kings 18:14); another to Nineveh, with tribute and presents, in the same or the following year (2 Kings 18:15; comp. 'Eponym Canon,' p. 135). A third probably sought to deprecate Sennacherib's auger, when he made his second invasion (2 Kings 18:17) in B.C. 699 (?). These last would seem to be the "ambassadors" of this verse. We are now in the fourteenth year of Hezekiah's reign. The threatenings of the first years, which the repentance of the people had delayed, are now so far in force again, and so far actually realized, that the Assyrians are already in Judah, and have not only devastated the land, but are threatening Jerusalem. The element of promise now gains the upper hand, the prophet places himself between Asshur and his own nation with the weapons of prophecy and prayer, and the woe turns from the latter to the former. "Woe, devastator, and thyself not devastated; and thou spoiler, and still not spoiled! Hast thou done with devastating? thou shalt be devastated. Hast thou attained to rob? men rob thee." Asshur is described as not devastated and not spoiled (which could not be expressed by a participle as with us, since bâgad is construed with Beth, and not with the accusative of the person), because it had not yet been visited by any such misfortune as that which had fallen upon other lands and nations. But it would be repaid with like for the like as soon as כּ indicating simultaneousness, as in Isaiah 30:19 and Isaiah 18:5, for example) its devastating and spoiling had reached the point determined by Jehovah. Instead of בך, we find in some codd. and editions the reading בו, which is equally admissible. In כּהתימך (from תּמם) the radical syllable is lengthened, instead of having dagesh. כּנּלתך is equivalent to כּהנלותך, a hiphil syncopated for the sake of rhythm (as in Isaiah 3:8; Deuteronomy 1:33, and many other passages), written here with dagesh dirmens, from the verb nâlâh, which is attested also by Job 15:29. The coincidence in meaning with the Arab. verb nâl (fut. i and u), to acquire or attain (see Comm. on Job, at Job 15:29 and Job 30:24-27), has been admitted by the earliest of the national grammarians, Ben-Koreish, Chayug, etc. The conjecture כּכלּותך (in addition to which Cappellus proposed כנלאותך) is quite unnecessary. The play upon the sound sets forth the punishment of the hitherto unpunished one as the infallible echo of its sin.
Isaiah 33:7 Interlinear
Isaiah 33:7 Parallel Texts

Isaiah 33:7 NIV
Isaiah 33:7 NLT
Isaiah 33:7 ESV
Isaiah 33:7 NASB
Isaiah 33:7 KJV

Isaiah 33:7 Bible Apps
Isaiah 33:7 Parallel
Isaiah 33:7 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 33:7 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 33:7 French Bible
Isaiah 33:7 German Bible

Bible Hub

Isaiah 33:6
Top of Page
Top of Page