Isaiah 33:1-24 is a continuation from chapter 32, where dependence upon Egypt (worldly power, wealth, weapons, etc) for relief from Assyrian attack leads to disaster. Again, we are reminded how the only One on whom we should trust in the Lord! The commentaries state that the most likely historical context for this chapter is between the time when the tribute was paid to Sennacherib (2 Kings 18:13–16) and when the final attack upon Jerusalem had begun. So what is happening here, the people try to buy off the invading army and it does not succeed, Egypt is no help, and Hezekiah is leading the people to repentance and turning from their idols but he still has some issues related to not completely trusting in the Lord according to 2 Kings 18:13-16.
ספר מלכים ב פרק יח
יג וּבְאַרְבַּע עֶשְֹרֵה שָׁנָה לַמֶּלֶךְ חִזְקִיָּה עָלָה סַנְחֵרִיב מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר עַל כָּל-עָרֵי יְהוּדָה הַבְּצֻרוֹת וַיִּתְפְּשֵֹם: יד וַיִּשְׁלַח חִזְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה אֶל-מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר | לָכִישָׁה | לֵאמֹר | חָטָאתִי שׁוּב מֵעָלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר-תִּתֵּן עָלַי אֶשָּׂא וַיָּשֶֹם מֶלֶךְ-אַשּׁוּר עַל-חִזְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ-יְהוּדָה שְׁלֹשׁ מֵאוֹת כִּכַּר-כֶּסֶף וּשְׁלֹשִׁים כִּכַּר זָהָב: טו וַיִּתֵּן חִזְקִיָּה אֶת-כָּל-הַכֶּסֶף הַנִּמְצָא בֵית-יְהֹוָה וּבְאוֹצְרוֹת בֵּית הַמֶּלֶךְ: טז בָּעֵת הַהִיא קִצַּץ חִזְקִיָּה אֶת-דַּלְתוֹת הֵיכַל יְהֹוָה וְאֶת-הָאֹמְנוֹת אֲשֶׁר צִפָּה חִזְקִיָּה מֶלֶךְ יְהוּדָה וַיִּתְּנֵם לְמֶלֶךְ אַשּׁוּר:
2 Kings 18:13–16
18:13 Now in the fourteenth year of king Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them. 18:14 And Hezekiah king of Judah sent to the king of Assyria to Lachish, saying, I have offended; return from me: that which thou puttest on me will I bear. And the king of Assyria appointed unto Hezekiah king of Judah three hundred talents of silver and thirty talents of gold. 18:15 And Hezekiah gave him all the silver that was found in the house of the LORD, and in the treasures of the king’s house. 18:16 At that time did Hezekiah cut off the gold from the doors of the temple of the LORD, and from the pillars which Hezekiah king of Judah had overlaid, and gave it to the king of Assyria. (KJV)
So here we see a tragedy where Hezekiah desecrated the temple of God in order to find peace, Hezekiah had the gold from the doors of the temple of the Lord removed and given to the king of Assyria. This is what happens when one does not fully trust in the Lord. Sin leads to the destruction of the temple of God. We notice the parallels here to the NT text and what Paul writes in the book of Romans if we consider to be true that our bodies are the Temple of God. Remember how our bodies are the place in which God’s Holy Spirit dwells, for those who believe.
1:1 PAUL, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV, 1 Παῦλος δοῦλος ⸉Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ⸊, κλητὸς ἀπόστολος ἀφωρισμένος εἰς εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦ*, 2 ὃ προεπηγγείλατο διὰ τῶν προφητῶν αὐτοῦ ἐν γραφαῖς ἁγίαις 3 περὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ τοῦ γενομένου ἐκ σπέρματος Δαυὶδ κατὰ σάρκα*, 4 τοῦ ὁρισθέντος υἱοῦ θεοῦ ἐν δυνάμει κατὰ πνεῦμα ἁγιωσύνης ἐξ ἀναστάσεως νεκρῶν*, Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν*, 5 διʼ* οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολὴν εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως ἐν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν ὑπὲρ τοῦ ὀνόματος αὐτοῦ*, 6 ἐν οἷς ἐστε καὶ ὑμεῖς κλητοὶ Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ, 7 πᾶσιν τοῖς οὖσιν* ⸋ἐν Ῥώμῃ⸌ ⸂ἀγαπητοῖς θεοῦ⸃, κλητοῖς ἁγίοις, χάρις ὑμῖν καὶ εἰρήνη ἀπὸ θεοῦ πατρὸς ἡμῶν καὶ κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ*.)
Paul makes a very important conclusion here in his introduction to the Romans saying when he received grace and apostleship εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως “for obedience to the faith.” This statement here is a reference to the Torah! This speaks of the purpose of God’s mercy. God’s mercy is designed for obedience to the faith. The grace and mercy of God is provided to us so that we have the time to recognize the error of our ways and repent and listen to the voice of God.
ספר דברים פרק כח
א וְהָיָה אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לִשְׁמֹר לַעֲשֹוֹת אֶת-כָּל-מִצְוֹתָיו אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם וּנְתָנְךָ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עֶלְיוֹן עַל כָּל-גּוֹיֵי הָאָרֶץ: ב וּבָאוּ עָלֶיךָ כָּל-הַבְּרָכוֹת הָאֵלֶּה וְהִשִּׂיגֻךָ כִּי תִשְׁמַע בְּקוֹל יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:
Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1–2
28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 28:2 And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. (KJV)
The significance of these things is related to the importance of God’s Word in our lives, that we listen and choose to live our lives for Him. The Word of God is supposed to perform or do something in our lives. The point is that when we receive the Word of God, we accept it and believe and trust, etc. There is a process:
Process of Mercy that Leads to Change
- COMMUNICATION: Listening to God
- COMPREHENSION: Understanding what God says
- CONFIDENCE: Trusting in what God says
- CHANGE: Being transformed by what God says
The reason Paul writes what he does is because he understands that we are not animals (brute beasts) we are created in the image of God, and so we are able to communicate with God and He with us. This communication through His Word (התנ’כית) is supposed to lead to spiritual change and life in a man. It is for this reason that God is deeply concerned with how well we listen because our bodies are the dwelling place of God! Paul goes on saying the following to describe what happens when a man chooses or refuses to listen.
1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (KJV *18 Ἀποκαλύπτεται γὰρ ὀργὴ θεοῦ ἀπʼ οὐρανοῦ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν ἀσέβειαν καὶ ἀδικίαν ἀνθρώπων τῶν τὴν ἀλήθειαν ⸆ ἐν ἀδικίᾳ κατεχόντων*, 19 διότι τὸ γνωστὸν τοῦ θεοῦ φανερόν ἐστιν ἐν αὐτοῖς·* ὁ θεὸς γὰρ αὐτοῖς ἐφανέρωσεν. 20 τὰ γὰρ ἀόρατα αὐτοῦ ἀπὸ κτίσεως κόσμου τοῖς ποιήμασιν νοούμενα καθορᾶται, ἥ τε* °ἀΐδιος αὐτοῦ δύναμις καὶ θειότης, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτοὺς ἀναπολογήτους, 21 διότι γνόντες τὸν θεὸν οὐχ ὡς θεὸν ἐδόξασαν ἢ ηὐχαρίστησαν, ἀλλʼ ἐματαιώθησαν ἐν τοῖς διαλογισμοῖς αὐτῶν καὶ ἐσκοτίσθη ἡ ἀσύνετος αὐτῶν καρδία*. 22 φάσκοντες εἶναι σοφοὶ ἐμωράνθησαν* 23 καὶ ⸀ἤλλαξαν τὴν δόξαν τοῦ ἀφθάρτου θεοῦ ἐν ὁμοιώματι εἰκόνος φθαρτοῦ ἀνθρώπου καὶ πετεινῶν καὶ τετραπόδων καὶ ἑρπετῶν*. 24 Διὸ ⸆ παρέδωκεν* αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς ἐν ταῖς ἐπιθυμίαις τῶν καρδιῶν αὐτῶν εἰς ἀκαθαρσίαν τοῦ ἀτιμάζεσθαι τὰ σώματα αὐτῶν ἐν* ⸀αὐτοῖς·* 25 οἵτινες μετήλλαξαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν τῷ ψεύδει καὶ ἐσεβάσθησαν καὶ ἐλάτρευσαν τῇ κτίσει παρὰ τὸν κτίσαντα*, ὅς ἐστιν εὐλογητὸς εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας, ἀμήν*.)
Paul goes on speaking of holding the truth in unrighteousness and that the wrath of God is revealed in them who have heard the word of God and rejected it. These truths that we find in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:14-68 are being revealed in them by His wrath. We note how the Lord is working to reveal His truth regardless of who we are, whether we are a people of faith or not. The wrath of God is designed to demonstrate the truth of God in His Word! Here we are told that when one rejects God’s word, if they profess to be wise, they are become fools, and when they change the glory of God to an idol, He gives them over to uncleanness and defilement of God’s temple, to the extent of dishonoring their own bodies through their lusts. Paul then explains further what happens when one does not trust in the Lord, there is a danger of losing one’s mind and mental faculties. Losing the ability to discern the truth, to discern between right and wrong, and to become completely given over to confusion truly believing the error of their ways as truth. Paul describes these things in the following way:
1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 1:31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (KJV 26 Διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη ἀτιμίας*, αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν μετήλλαξαν τὴν φυσικὴν ⸀χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν⸆, 27 ὁμοίως ⸀τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ⸁ἑαυτοῖς ⸀1ἀπολαμβάνοντες*. 28 Καὶ καθὼς οὐκ ἐδοκίμασαν τὸν θεὸν ἔχειν ἐν ἐπιγνώσει, παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ⸋ὁ θεὸς⸌ εἰς ἀδόκιμον νοῦν*, ποιεῖν τὰ μὴ καθήκοντα*, 29 πεπληρωμένους πάσῃ ἀδικίᾳ ⸂πονηρίᾳ πλεονεξίᾳ κακίᾳ⸃, μεστοὺς φθόνου φόνου ἔριδος °δόλου κακοηθείας, ψιθυριστὰς 30 ⸀καταλάλους θεοστυγεῖς ὑβριστὰς ὑπερηφάνους ἀλαζόνας, ἐφευρετὰς κακῶν, γονεῦσιν ἀπειθεῖς, 31 ἀσυνέτους ἀσυνθέτους ἀστόργους ⸆ ἀνελεήμονας·* 32 οἵτινες τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ θεοῦ ⸀ἐπιγνόντες ⸆ ὅτι οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες ἄξιοι θανάτου εἰσίν, οὐ μόνον ⸇ ⸂αὐτὰ ποιοῦσιν ἀλλὰ καὶ συνευδοκοῦσιν⸃ τοῖς πράσσουσιν*.)
Here Paul describes the battle for the mind, the error of confusion calling this “vile affections” that go against nature. Men burning in their lust for men, and women for women. Paul states explicitly that “God gave them over to a reprobate mind” illustrating how the battle is in the mind. It is a spiritual battle where we wage war. The mind is the source of “all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, and unmerciful.” (Romans 1:29-31) We note that all of these things are connected to a mind that is given over to error simply because one refuses to listen to the Lord and take heed to seek forgiveness, to repent, and to turn from sin. In addition, this also draws in king Hezekiah who desecrated the Temple of God, taking the gold off of the doors and such in order to save himself. Notice how when one chooses to save themselves as opposed to trusting in the Lord to save them, the end result is desecration of the Temple of God. These things speak of the former way of thinking for those who believe in Yeshua, who trust in our Father in heaven, and seek to walk in His ways. Isaiah says that when God is called King and treated as a King in our lives, the outcome is deliverance, salvation, and a sound mind! It is important to remember that growing in the Lord, and waiting upon Him takes time and effort. We must put in our own effort and wait on God’s timing. This is what was so difficult for Judah and Jerusalem in Isaiah’s day, their unrepentant sins compounded their lack of trust and lack of hope in the Lord. As a result, the Nation could not wait for the God of Israel and so they took actions into their own hands in order to ensure their own security by making an alliance with Egypt. Just as Paul wrote, because of these things the wrath of God is made manifest in them, and the destroyer will come upon them. Here in the first 7 verses of Isaiah 33:1-7, Isaiah speaks of the destroyer but does not identify who the destroyer is. The reason is that God works out his wrath in a number of ways, for the purpose of what Paul wrote the wrath of God is “revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.” Destruction comes in a multitude of ways to illustrate the truth of the Torah. The Lord God keeps the gate to repentance open, so when we truly repent believing in Yeshua the Messiah and seeking our Father in heaven for the forgiveness of sins, he will forgive our sins! Isaiah 33 comes as a response to the people’s response to Hezekiah’s leadership, repentance and seeking the God in heaven. Similarly, our faith in Yeshua coupled to the grace and mercy of God should lead to what Paul is saying here, “we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.” (Romans 1:5) Grace leads to obedience! Can we see how Paul is teaching Torah here in Romans chapter 1? The book of Isaiah, the Tanach, the Torah, all of these ancient texts are consistent with what we know to be true according to the NT text!
Isaiah opens in Isaiah 33:1 in the following way:
ספר ישעיה פרק לג
א הוֹי שׁוֹדֵד וְאַתָּה לֹא שָׁדוּד וּבוֹגֵד וְלֹא-בָגְדוּ בוֹ כַּהֲתִמְךָ שׁוֹדֵד תּוּשַּׁד כַּנְּלֹתְךָ לִבְגֹּד יִבְגְּדוּ-בָךְ:
Isaiah 33:1 states, “Woe to thee that spoilest, and thou wast not spoiled; and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil, thou shalt be spoiled; and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee. (הוֹי שׁוֹדֵד וְאַתָּה לֹא שָׁדוּד וּבוֹגֵד וְלֹא-בָגְדוּ בוֹ כַּהֲתִמְךָ שׁוֹדֵד תּוּשַּׁד כַּנְּלֹתְךָ לִבְגֹּד יִבְגְּדוּ-בָךְ)” If we learn two Hebrew words שׁדד (to devastate, despoil; to deal violently with; pt. the destroyer) and בגד (to deal treacherously with; to depart treacherously from) we can understand this entire sentence in Isaiah. Here Isaiah speaks of a destroyer, one who takes pride in their ability to destroy. The application today may be found in the one who takes pleasure in causing trouble for others. Take for example, are you a manager for a company who enjoys causing employees hardship? Such as in a restaurant when waitresses want the night off because all of the tables are full, do you open a section so she “has” to work causing her to be upset, etc? Doing things like this are synonymous to what we are reading here, dealing treacherously and being a destroyer! Note since this is mentioned in the biblical text, this is a very serious matter! I know of people who do these things and worse and think nothing of it. The Dead Sea Scrolls we find 1QH fragment 5:6 hof: רוחות עולה אשר יושדו לאבל “the spirits of injustice who are devastated and mourn” we can see how this is a serious spiritual issue! From the context of Isaiah, he is speaking of the Assyrians. The Assyrian kingdom, archeology has unearthed their royal annals, their records, and the records indicate how Assyria took great pride in their ability to destroy others, and they had no problem breaking agreements or treaties that they had made if the treaty was no longer to their advantage. We read of the truly wicked nation here that does these things. In the parallel fashion, those who cause hardship and troubles for others, this comes from a truly wicked heart! The text comparison on Isaiah 33:1 reveals the following concerning these things.
The LXX translates saying, 1 Οὐαὶ τοῖς ταλαιπωροῦσιν ὑμᾶς, ὑμᾶς δὲ οὐδεὶς ποιεῖ ταλαιπώρους, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς οὐκ ἀθετεῖ, ἁλώσονται οἱ ἀθετοῦντες καὶ παραδοθήσονται καὶ ὡς σὴς ἐπὶ ἱματίου οὕτως ἡττηθήσονται. 1 Woe to those who distress you (but no one makes you distressed, and the one who rejects you does not reject). Those who reject will be captured, and they will be handed over. And like a moth on a garment, so they will be defeated. (LES) The TgJ translates saying, יֵי דְאָתֵי לְמִבַז וְיָתָך לָא יִבְזוּן וּדאָתֵי לְמֵינַס וְיָתָך לָא יֵינְסוּן כַד תֵיתֵי לְמִיבַז יִבְזוּנָך כַד תִלאֵי לְמֵינַס יֵינְסוּנָך׃ 1 Woe to him who is coming to spoil thee, and shall they not spoil thee? And woe to him that is coming to plunder, and shall they not plunder thee? When thou shalt come to spoil, they shall spoil thee, and when thou shalt be weary of plundering, they shall plunder thee. (TgJ) We note here that the idea is that those who do these things, who live as a destroyer of others, this very same thing will be returned to them! This will come by divine judgment and this is what Isaiah has said before in Isaiah 10:12–19, 10:24–25, 14:24–27, 30:30–33, and 31:8–9, that that day is not far distant when destruction and treachery will come back upon Assyria with vengeance. We note what history bears out, Assyria, Babylon, Rome, Germany, Russia, even the United States. There is no eternal absolute power, eventually human power diminishes, and these countries are overcome, it is inevitable! The only One who is eternal is the Lord God of Israel! The wise nation establishes her power in such a way as to trust in the Lord, to make God’s Word his or her foundation! By doing this one will stand strong and not be moved!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 33:2..
ספר ישעיה פרק לג
ב יְהֹוָה חָנֵּנוּ לְךָ קִוִּינוּ הֱיֵה זְרֹעָם לַבְּקָרִים אַף-יְשׁוּעָתֵנוּ בְּעֵת צָרָה:
Isaiah 33:2 states, “O LORD, be gracious unto us; we have waited for thee: be thou their arm every morning, our salvation also in the time of trouble. (יְהֹוָה חָנֵּנוּ לְךָ קִוִּינוּ הֱיֵה זְרֹעָם לַבְּקָרִים אַף-יְשׁוּעָתֵנוּ בְּעֵת צָרָה)” Here is a call from those who recognize their faults, who repent, and seek the Lord God to overcome their sins and for help in the times of trouble to be delivered from their enemies. This is the idealistic approach. History bears out though that the people chose to seek Egyptian help believing that if they did not take matters into their own hands they would die. In order to be delivered, one must turn to the Lord (Isaiah 30:18–19, 32:14–15) and in this passage, there are some that have turned to the Lord seeking His mercy and grace. Note how the people seek the “grace” חָנֵּנוּ of God. This illustrates another point, that all of the Scriptures, from the beginning to the end, speak to God’s mercy and grace, and salvation by faith! There is no concept of man earning his salvation under the Law, everything, including the NT text, speaks to the context of being faithful to God by how we live our lives. The reason is that our actions demonstrate the truthfulness of our faith and beliefs. This may be the attitude of the people to Isaiah, as needing to turn to the Lord, and Isaiah proclaiming, this is how you should seek the Lord, humble yourself and ask for his grace! This kind of attitude is the outcome of when one recognizes the lordship of God over our lives. Once one realizes this one is led to Teshuvah. When we study the Torah, the five books of Moshe, we quickly see the Lordship of the Lord over all of creation. This is the significance of reading God’s Word, for the purpose of our learning who God is, and recognizing His kingship! This is why we read Paul saying that the Torah leads us to the Messiah of God in Galatians 3:24. The point is that the Torah leads us to Teshuvah, Restoration, and Reconstruction. This means that we Repent, we Return to the Lord, and our lives change! These are the basic NT concepts that we find by faith in the Yeshua the Messiah. This phrase הֱיֵה זְרֹעָם לַבְּקָרִים “be their arm in the mornings” speaks of continual renewal, that each day the Lord will be our strength, and our strength which is renewed each day! This is the glory and power of God in our lives who renews us and empowers us each day! This is paralleled to our salvation in times of distress. This is also paralleled to our receiving
His peace that surpasses all understanding! (Philippians 4:7)
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 33:3-4.
ספר ישעיה פרק לג
ג מִקּוֹל הָמוֹן נָדְדוּ עַמִּים מֵרוֹמְמֻתֶךָ נָפְצוּ גּוֹיִם: ד וְאֻסַּף שְׁלַלְכֶם אֹסֶף הֶחָסִיל כְּמַשַּׁק גֵּבִים שֹׁקֵק בּוֹ:
Isaiah 33:3 states, “At the noise of the tumult the people fled; at the lifting up of thyself the nations were scattered. (מִקּוֹל הָמוֹן נָדְדוּ עַמִּים מֵרוֹמְמֻתֶךָ נָפְצוּ גּוֹיִם)” Isaiah 33:4 “And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them. (וְאֻסַּף שְׁלַלְכֶם אֹסֶף הֶחָסִיל כְּמַשַּׁק גֵּבִים שֹׁקֵק בּוֹ)” Here the Hebrew text states, מִקּוֹל הָמוֹן נָדְדוּ עַמִּים “the noise of the multitude the people fled” and then writes מֵרוֹמְמֻתֶךָ נָפְצוּ גּוֹיִם “the lifting up of yourself the nations are dashed to pieces.” The interesting part here is the word מֵרוֹמְמֻתֶךָ which means “from your exaltation / praise” the root word is רוֹמַם which means exaltation, praise and the KJV translates as “lifting up.” This reminds us of the Hebrew word קום meaning “to raise up, to establish” something such as the covenant (i.e. Bereshit / Genesis 6:18, 9:11, 17:7, 17:19, 17:21). Researching the word רוֹם we find the following usages:
Various ways this word is used:
- to lift up
- to be high
- to exalt
- to offer worship
- to raise one’s voice
- to build
- to rise up
- to rear (bring up)
It is interesting this context has noise of multitude (מִקּוֹל הָמוֹן) and of God raising up (מֵרוֹמְמֻתֶךָ ) there appears to be a parallelism here. These are examples of the power of God to scatter nations, all one has to do is trust in Him believing He is able and willing to do this. Another parallel is in the exalting and praising the Lord He moves to save His people. The voice of God, His word produces something in our lives, change, righteousness, and the need to draw near and repent of our sins. We note that God has spoken, and His Word reveals to us who we are as His people! We have the authority to command the spiritual forces in this world to cease their attempts at destroying our lives. Evidence for the work of the evil one is found in negative thoughts, depression, habitual sin, and the mental ideologies such as the woke liberalism, gender confused, and LGBTQ, we know the Scriptures state that this is a battle for the mind as Paul wrote in Romans 1 and Ephesians 6. God has spoken and His powerful words have been preserved for us to read in the Scriptures for thousands of years. All we have to do is believe and apply them to our lives to live by our faith! Isaiah writes וְאֻסַּף שְׁלַלְכֶם אֹסֶף הֶחָסִיל כְּמַשַּׁק גֵּבִים שֹׁקֵק בּוֹ “And your spoil shall be gathered like the gathering of the caterpillar: as the running to and fro of locusts shall he run upon them.” The spoils here can be a reference to something that the Lord has already done to the enemy, of both the past, present, and future expectation of what the Lord has done, is doing, and will do. We also note that the only way to have this in our lives is to give our lives to the God of Israel in faith to Yeshua the Messiah! The text comparison of the LXX and the Targum Jonathan we find the following:
The LXX translates saying, 3 διὰ φωνὴν τοῦ φόβου σου ἐξέστησαν λαοὶ ἀπὸ τοῦ φόβου σου, καὶ διεσπάρησαν τὰ ἔθνη. 4 νῦν δὲ συναχθήσεται τὰ σκῦλα ὑμῶν μικροῦ καὶ μεγάλου, ὃν τρόπον ἐάν τις συναγάγῃ ἀκρίδας, οὕτως ἐμπαίξουσιν ὑμῖν. 3 Because of the voice of fear, peoples were amazed because of their fear of you, and the nations were scattered. 4 But now your spoils will be gathered, those of small and of great, the way one gathers a grasshopper, so they will ridicule you. (LES) The TgJ translates saying, מִקָל הָמֹון אִיתְבַרוּ עַמְמַיָא מִיסְגֵי גְבוּרָן אִתבַדַרוּ מַלכְווָתָא׃ וְיִכנְשוּן בֵית יִשרָאֵל נִכסֵי עַמְמַיָא סָנְאֵיהֹון כְמָא דְכָנְשִין יָת זַחלָא אָזַן בְמָנֵי זֵינָא כְמָא דְאָזַן בִזרִיקְתָא׃ 3 At the voice of a tumultuous noise the people are afraid, on account of the multitude of mighty actions kingdoms are scattered. 4 And the house of Israel shall gather the treasures of the people, their enemies, as they gather the locusts. They shall be armed with the instruments of warfare, as they that are armed with a sling. (TgJ) We see in these translations how these verses are interpreted as the power of God dramatically altering the plans of the enemy. The multitude of noise is paralleled to the exaltation and praise of God, his exalted stature, His being raised up on high, which demonstrates His superiority to the false gods of the nations, and to His overcoming the enemy. This is the power of God that is available to God’s people, if we are willing to believe and live by our faith!
Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 33:5-6.
ספר ישעיה פרק לג
ה נִשְֹגָּב יְהֹוָה כִּי שֹׁכֵן מָרוֹם מִלֵּא צִיּוֹן מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה: ו וְהָיָה אֱמוּנַת עִתֶּיךָ חֹסֶן יְשׁוּעֹת חָכְמַת וָדָעַת יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה הִיא אוֹצָרוֹ:
Isaiah 33:5 states, “The LORD is exalted; for he dwelleth on high: he hath filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. (נִשְֹגָּב יְהֹוָה כִּי שֹׁכֵן מָרוֹם מִלֵּא צִיּוֹן מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה)” Isaiah 33:6 “And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure. (וְהָיָה אֱמוּנַת עִתֶּיךָ חֹסֶן יְשׁוּעֹת חָכְמַת וָדָעַת יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה הִיא אוֹצָרוֹ)” Here Isaiah makes clear what he was speaking of in Isaiah 33:3-4, how the Lord God is exalted, He is raised up, and the most significant aspect of the power of God is in His מִלֵּא צִיּוֹן מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה “filling Zion with righteousness and Justice.” This is the miracle that God does in our lives to transform our lives so that we are a people who walk in His righteousness and justice. Notice what Isaiah says in Isaiah 33:6 when we break it down:
this will be the faithfulness / reliability in your time → וְהָיָה אֱמוּנַת עִתֶּיךָ
store / wealth of salvation → חֹסֶן יְשׁוּעֹת
wisdom → חָכְמַת
knowledge → וָדָעַת
fear of the Lord → יִרְאַת יְהֹוָה
His treasure / store → הִיא אוֹצָרוֹ
These are the elements of the blessing of knowing the Lord, salvation, wisdom, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and having access to his treasure which is the peace that surpasses understanding. These things are what consists of the exaltation of God, of His power in our lives. There is stability, deliverance, understanding and wisdom, all of which is not based upon this world. Note what John states concerning this world:
1 John 2:14–17
2:14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (KJV 14 ⸀ἔγραψα ὑμῖν,* παιδία, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε τὸν πατέρα. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν,* πατέρες, ὅτι ἐγνώκατε ⸁τὸν ἀπʼ ἀρχῆς. ἔγραψα ὑμῖν,* νεανίσκοι, ὅτι ἰσχυροί ἐστε καὶ ὁ λόγος ⸋τοῦ θεοῦ⸌ ἐν ὑμῖν μένει καὶ νενικήκατε τὸν πονηρόν.* 15 Μὴ ἀγαπᾶτε τὸν κόσμον μηδὲ τὰ ἐν °τῷ κόσμῳ.* ἐάν τις ἀγαπᾷ τὸν κόσμον, οὐκ ἔστιν ἡ ἀγάπη τοῦ ⸀πατρὸς ἐν αὐτῷ·* 16 ὅτι πᾶν τὸ ἐν τῷ κόσμῳ, ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῆς σαρκὸς καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία τῶν ὀφθαλμῶν καὶ ἡ ἀλαζονεία τοῦ βίου, οὐκ ἔστιν ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς ἀλλʼ ἐκ τοῦ κόσμου ἐστίν. 17 καὶ ὁ κόσμος παράγεται καὶ ἡ ἐπιθυμία ♦°αὐτοῦ, ὁ δὲ ποιῶν τὸ θέλημα τοῦ θεοῦ μένει εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα.*)
John speaks of knowing Him (God) from the beginning and how the word of God abides in us. This again is the significance of reading God’s Word and applying it to our lives. John also states that if one loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. The reason is that the ways of the world are “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” and these things are not of our Father in heaven, but of this world. The world also is passing away! According to the Scriptures, it will go up in flames, it will be removed to make way for the new heaven and new Earth. What John is saying, that these things we are given in Isaiah 33:6 are not contingent upon this world which is passing away! The Lord God Almighty is the one who establishes truth and justice, this is why our laws and such are based after these things found in the holy Scriptures. We note what the outcome of all of these things are when we put them together, that we are admitting that everything is in God’s hands. This is the fear of the Lord that is spoken of in the Scriptures, when we know that we need the Lord, and we realize that we need to draw near to the source of all life, truth, righteousness, and holiness. This naturally takes us out of this world, away from the lusts of the world, turning us to the righteousness and truth of God! The text comparison LXX and TgJ reveals the following:
The LXX translates saying, 5 ἅγιος ὁ θεὸς ὁ κατοικῶν ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, ἐνεπλήσθη Σιων κρίσεως καὶ δικαιοσύνης. 6 ἐν νόμῳ παραδοθήσονται, ἐν θησαυροῖς ἡ σωτηρία ἡμῶν, ἐκεῖ σοφία καὶ ἐπιστήμη καὶ εὐσέβεια πρὸς τὸν κύριον, οὗτοί εἰσιν θησαυροὶ δικαιοσύνης. 5 God who dwells on high is holy; Zion was filled with fair judgment and righteousness. 6 By the law, they will be handed over. Our deliverance is in storehouses; there are wisdom and knowledge and piety toward the Lord; these are storehouses of righteousness. (LES) The TgJ translates, תַקִיף יוי דְאַשרִי שְכִינְתֵיה בִשמֵי מְרֹומָא דַאְמַר לְמִמלֵי צִיֹון עָבְדֵי דִין דִקשֹוט וְזָכוּ׃ וִיהֵי מָא דַאְמַרתָא לְאֵיטָבָא לְדַחְלָך אֵיתִיתָא וְקַייֵמתָא בְעִדָנֵיה תְקֹוף וּפוּרקָן חָכמָא וּמַדַע לְדַחְלַיָא דַיוי אֹוצַר טוּבֵיה עְתִיד׃ 5 Mighty is the Lord who maketh His Shekinah to dwell in the highest heavens, who hath promised to fill Zion with them that do true justice and righteousness. 6 And it shall come to pass, whatever good Thou hast promised to them that fear Thee, Thou wilt bring and establish it in its time: strength and salvation, wisdom and knowledge. For them that fear the Lord, the treasure of His goodness is prepared. (TgJ) We note how significant these things are, the Lord God filling His holy place with righteousness and justice. Note how our bodies become the dwelling place of God by faith. The Lord God will fill this space, our lives, with His righteousness and His justice, His glory. These things are a natural outcome of what the Lord does for His people, to make His people into a people who are called by His name! We note something here that Paul wrote in His letter to the Romans saying according to Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” This is the trust that Isaiah is speaking of, that the Lord God will handle our problems, he will handle our terrors, he will handle our enemies, if we simply trust in Him! In return, the Lord gives us His peace which surpasses understanding, which is unexplainable, from the sense of His giving us these things that are listed in Isaiah 33:6. When we trust in the Lord with all that we have, then He gives us His peace so that we can be calm and experience joy. Paul writes to the Corinthians saying in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” Paul speaks of the power of God in our lives, in a very similar way Isaiah is speaking. Trusting in the Lord, drawing near to Him, Teshuvah, turning from sin, and seeking forgiveness through the grace and mercy of our Father in heaven! This again is the path of righteousness that God places each and everyone one of us upon. Yes, it is a daily struggle to remain on this path that God calls us to walk upon. Praise be to God that He is there helping us to walk in His holy ways! And praise be to God that the path to repentance is always open to us each and every day of our lives!
The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore is a valuable resource for continuing to study the book of Isaiah!
תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק לג:א-ו
א יֵי דְאָתֵי לְמִבַז וְיָתָך לָא יִבְזוּן וּדאָתֵי לְמֵינַס וְיָתָך לָא יֵינְסוּן כַד תֵיתֵי לְמִיבַז יִבְזוּנָך כַד תִלאֵי לְמֵינַס יֵינְסוּנָך׃ ב יוי רַחֵים עְלַנָא לְמֵימְרָך סַבַרנָא הְוִי תוּקפַנָא בְכָל יֹום אַף פָרְקַנָא בְעִדָן עָקָא׃ ג מִקָל הָמֹון אִיתְבַרוּ עַמְמַיָא מִיסְגֵי גְבוּרָן אִתבַדַרוּ מַלכְווָתָא׃ ד וְיִכנְשוּן בֵית יִשרָאֵל נִכסֵי עַמְמַיָא סָנְאֵיהֹון כְמָא דְכָנְשִין יָת זַחלָא אָזַן בְמָנֵי זֵינָא כְמָא דְאָזַן בִזרִיקְתָא׃ ה תַקִיף יוי דְאַשרִי שְכִינְתֵיה בִשמֵי מְרֹומָא דַאְמַר לְמִמלֵי צִיֹון עָבְדֵי דִין דִקשֹוט וְזָכוּ׃ ו וִיהֵי מָא דַאְמַרתָא לְאֵיטָבָא לְדַחְלָך אֵיתִיתָא וְקַייֵמתָא בְעִדָנֵיה תְקֹוף וּפוּרקָן חָכמָא וּמַדַע לְדַחְלַיָא דַיוי אֹוצַר טוּבֵיה עְתִיד׃
Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 33:1-6
33:1 Woe to him who is coming to spoil thee, and shall they not spoil thee? And woe to him that is coming to plunder, and shall they not plunder thee? When thou shalt come to spoil, they shall spoil thee, and when thou shalt be weary of plundering, they shall plunder thee. 33:2 O Lord, be merciful unto us; we have hoped for Thy WORD: be Thou our strength every day, our salvation also in the time of distress. 33:3 At the voice of a tumultuous noise the people are afraid, on account of the multitude of mighty actions kingdoms are scattered. 33:4 And the house of Israel shall gather the treasures of the people, their enemies, as they gather the locusts. They shall be armed with the instruments of warfare, as they that are armed with a sling. 33:5 Mighty is the Lord who maketh His Shekinah to dwell in the highest heavens, who hath promised to fill Zion with them that do true justice and righteousness. 33:6 And it shall come to pass, whatever good Thou hast promised to them that fear Thee, Thou wilt bring and establish it in its time: strength and salvation, wisdom and knowledge. For them that fear the Lord, the treasure of His goodness is prepared.
The TgJ writes in Isaiah 33:1 “woe to him that is coming to plunder.” This is analogous to “woe to him who makes war his way of life.” We note that this is how Rome functioned, the military would go out to war and bring back great wealth. This flooded Rome with wealth and history bears out that this made the wealthy wealthier and the poor poorer. The wealth was concentrated into the hands of the elite who were in control of government and the military. We note how today this is the same thing that is taking place, wars are fought for the purpose of making wealth. The wealth goes to those who manufacture weapons, and to the construction companies that are given the contracts to rebuild the countries. The ancient and the modern connection here to making war leads to the significance of the TgJ translation on Isaiah which states, א יֵי דְאָתֵי לְמִבַז וְיָתָך לָא יִבְזוּן וּדאָתֵי לְמֵינַס וְיָתָך לָא יֵינְסוּן כַד תֵיתֵי לְמִיבַז יִבְזוּנָך כַד תִלאֵי לְמֵינַס יֵינְסוּנָך׃ 33:1 Woe to him who is coming to spoil thee, and shall they not spoil thee? And woe to him that is coming to plunder, and shall they not plunder thee? When thou shalt come to spoil, they shall spoil thee, and when thou shalt be weary of plundering, they shall plunder thee. (TgJ) Here Isaiah is basically saying “What goes around comes around.” If we seek out war, or live our lives attempting to make a wealth grab on others (i.e. retail businesses) having the wrong intention is the major issue here in relation to what Isaiah is saying. It is easy to make wealth an idol god, something in which one trusts. Rashi has the following to say concerning these thing.
Rashi on Isaiah 33:1 Parts 1-4
הוי. האויב שאתה שודד תמיד ואתה לא שדוד ובוגד אתה תמיד ואין אדם בוגדך ובוזזך:
Woe To the enemy, that you constantly spoil, but you are not spoiled, and you constantly deal treacherously, but no man deals treacherously with you or spoils you.
כהתימך. להיות שודד ככלותך שדידתך באותם שנגזרה גזרה עליהם להיות שדודים על ידך תושד:
when you finish being a spoiler, when you finish your spoiling of those upon whom it was decreed to be spoiled by you, you shall be spoiled.
כנלותך לבגוד. מנחם חיבר כנלותך עם לא יטה לארץ מנלם בחלק אחד ומנלם המ”ם הראשונה בו יסוד נופל כמו מ”ם של מאמר ושל מדע ויתכן להיות ל’ כליון לפי הענין:
when you finish dealing treacherously (כַּנְּלֹתְךָ) Menahem classified כַּנְלֹתְךָ with (Job 15: 29) “And their destruction (מִנְלָם) shall not fall to the earth,” in one group (Machbereth Menahem, p. 123). In the word מִנְלָם, the first ‘mem’ is a radical which sometimes is absent, like the ‘mem’ of מַאֲמָר, a statement, and of מַדָּע, knowledge, and it is possibly an expression of ending, according to the context.
כנלותך. ל’ ככלותך ולא יטה לארץ מנלם כליון הנגזר עליהם לא יטה לארץ להיות בטל והולך אלא הולך וחזק:
כַּנְּלֹתְךָ is an expression of ‘when you finish.’ “And מִנְלָם shall not fall to the earth,” the destruction decreed upon them shall not fall to the earth to become progressively void, but will become progressively stronger.
Rashi describes a divine design, how the one who is spoiling was decreed by God. The purpose again was to wake up God’s people to their sins which leads to Teshuvah. Something to note that even though the one who comes in war was decreed by God, this person or group of persons is not exempt from their actions. This means that God uses wicked men to work out His plans here on earth. Even though God uses such persons, we all remain responsible for our actions. The wicked person who is used by God still needs to repent of his or her sins, seek forgiveness from God in heaven, and turn from his or her sins. The Lord God is merciful seeking for our repentance, this is how Isaiah describes the Lord according to the TgJ saying, ב יוי רַחֵים עְלַנָא לְמֵימְרָך סַבַרנָא הְוִי תוּקפַנָא בְכָל יֹום אַף פָרְקַנָא בְעִדָן עָקָא׃ 33:2 O Lord, be merciful unto us; we have hoped for Thy WORD: be Thou our strength every day, our salvation also in the time of distress. (TgJ) For those who seek the Lord, He will be to us strength and provide us with salvation and hope! The Midrash Sefrei Bamidbar states the following using this verse.
Sifrei Bamidbar 41:1
“יאר ה’ פניו אליך” – יתן לך מאור עינים. רבי נתן אומר: זה מאור השכינה, שנאמר (ישעיה ט) קומי אורי כי בא אורך. כי הנה החשך יכסה ארץ וערפל לאומים (תהלים ס”ז) אלהים יחננו ויברכנו יאר פניו אתנו סלה. ואומר (שם קי”ח) אל ה’ ויאר לנו. דבר אחר: “יאר” זה מאור התורה, שנאמר (משלי ו) כי נר מצוה ותורה אור. “ויחונך” – במשאלותיך, וכן הוא אומר (שמות ל”ג) וחנותי את אשר אחון ורחמתי את אשר ארחם. דבר אחר: יתן חנך בעיני הבריות, וכך הוא אומר (בראשית ל”ט) ויהי ה’ את יוסף ויט אליו חסד ויתן חנו בעיני שר בית הסהר. ואומר (אסתר ב) ותהי אסתר נושאת חן בעיני כל רואיה. ואומר (דניאל א) ויתן האלהים את דניאל לחן ולחסד ולרחמים. ואומר (משלי ג) ומצא חן ושכל טוב בעיני אלהים ואדם. דבר אחר: “ויחונך” בדעת ובבינה ובהשכל ובמוסר ובחכמה. דבר אחר: “ויחונך” – יחנך בתלמוד תורה. וכך הוא אומר (שם ד) תתן לראשך לוית חן, ואומר (שם א) כי לוית חן הם לראשך וענקים לגרגרותיך. דבר אחר: “ויחונך” – במתנת חנם, וכך הוא אומר (תהלים קכ”ג) הנה כעיני עבדים אל יד אדוניהם כעיני שפחה אל יד גברתה כן עינינו אל ה’ אלהינו עד שיחננו. ואומר (שם) חננו ה’ חננו כי רב שבענו בוז. ואומר (ישעיה לג) ה’ חננו לך קוינו:
(Bamidbar 6:25) “The L-rd cause His countenance to shine upon you”: He will give you “light” of the eyes. R. Nathan says: This refers to the light of the Shechinah, as it is written (Isaiah 60:1-2) “Arise, shine, for your Light has come. For the darkness will cover the earth, and a thick mist, the peoples, but upon you the L-rd will shine, and His glory will be seen upon you,” (Psalms 67:2) “G-d will favor us and bless us. He will cause His countenance to shine upon us, Selah,” (Ibid. 118:27) “… and He shone for us.” Variantly: “The L-rd cause His countenance to shine upon you”: This refers to the light of Torah, as it is written (Proverbs 6:23) “For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah, light.” “and be gracious to you”: in (the granting of) your requests, as it is written (Shemot 33:19) “And I shall be gracious to whom I shall be gracious, and I shall be merciful to whom I shall be merciful.” Variantly: Let Him grant you grace in the eyes of man, as it is written (Bereshit 39:21) “And He granted him grace in the eyes of the overseer of the prison,” and (Esther 2:14) “And Esther found favor in the eyes of all who saw her,” and (Daniel 1:9) “And G-d granted Daniel grace and mercy,” and (Proverbs 3:4) “You will find favor and goodly wisdom in the eyes of G-d and man.” Variantly: “and be gracious to you”: with understanding, insight, mussar, and wisdom. Variantly: “and be gracious to you”: in Torah study, as it is written (Proverbs 4:9) “It (Torah) will set a chaplet of grace upon your head,” and (Ibid. 1:9) “For they (words of Torah) are a chaplet of grace to your head and a necklace to your throat.” Variantly: “and be gracious to you”: with gifts of “grace,” as it is written (Psalms 123:2) “Behold, as the eyes of servants to their masters; as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so are our eyes to the L-rd our G-d, until He grants us grace,” and (Ibid. 3) “Grant us grace, O L-rd, grant us grace, for we are fully sated with contempt, and (Isaiah 33:2) “O L-rd, grant us grace, for in You have we hoped.”
Here the midrash speaks of the Lord causing his countenance to shine upon His people. This light is His presence (Shechina) and the Torah. Mishley / Proverbs 6:23 “For a mitzvah is a lamp, and the Torah, light.” It is interesting how often the Rabbis mention grace and mercy in connection to various characters in the Scriptures. One of the conclusions is that Torah study will cause the grace of God to be placed upon our heads. The reason this is so, in the Torah, one of the greatest attributes of God is that He is gracious.
ספר שמות פרק לד
ו וַיַּעֲבֹר יְהוָֹה | עַל-פָּנָיו וַיִּקְרָא יְהוָֹה | יְהֹוָה אֵל רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת: ז נֹצֵר חֶסֶד לָאֲלָפִים נֹשֵֹא עָוֹן וָפֶשַׁע וְחַטָּאָה וְנַקֵּה לֹא יְנַקֶּה פֹּקֵד | עֲוֹן אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים וְעַל-בְּנֵי בָנִים עַל-שִׁלֵּשִׁים וְעַל-רִבֵּעִים:
Shemot / Exodus 34:6-7
34:6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (KJV)
David also concluded this about the Lord according to Tehillim / Psalms 86:15.
ספר תהילים פרק פו
טו וְאַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֵל-רַחוּם וְחַנּוּן אֶרֶךְ אַפַּיִם וְרַב-חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת:
Tehillim / Psalm 86:15
86:15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, Longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth. (KJV)
The reason is that the Lord God Almighty has revealed Himself as gracious, long suffering, and abounding in chesed and emet (grace and truth). The ultimate act of God’s mercy and grace is found in His giving Yeshua for our salvation and redemption. The Lord, Yeshua the Messiah, continued to reveal to us this character of God in mercy, grace, truth, and righteousness. Paul opened many of his letters with the phrase “Grace and peace to you from our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (see Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, and Ephesians 1:1) The Torah reveals to us the mercy and Grace of God from the very beginning, in Bereshit / Genesis 3:21 we are told how the Lord God killed an animal for the forgiveness of the sin of Adam and Eve providing them clothing to cover their bodies. Paul writes “For by grace are you saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves.” (Ephesians 2:8) It is important to note that being faithful to the Lord which demonstrated one’s faith, this led to forgiveness and qualified the animal sacrifices for atonement. (Bereshit / Genesis 15:6 and Hebrews 10:4)
Isaiah goes on saying, ג מִקָל הָמֹון אִיתְבַרוּ עַמְמַיָא מִיסְגֵי גְבוּרָן אִתבַדַרוּ מַלכְווָתָא׃ 33:3 At the voice of a tumultuous noise the people are afraid, on account of the multitude of mighty actions kingdoms are scattered. ד וְיִכנְשוּן בֵית יִשרָאֵל נִכסֵי עַמְמַיָא סָנְאֵיהֹון כְמָא דְכָנְשִין יָת זַחלָא אָזַן בְמָנֵי זֵינָא כְמָא דְאָזַן בִזרִיקְתָא׃ 33:4 And the house of Israel shall gather the treasures of the people, their enemies, as they gather the locusts. They shall be armed with the instruments of warfare, as they that are armed with a sling. ה תַקִיף יוי דְאַשרִי שְכִינְתֵיה בִשמֵי מְרֹומָא דַאְמַר לְמִמלֵי צִיֹון עָבְדֵי דִין דִקשֹוט וְזָכוּ׃ 33:5 Mighty is the Lord who maketh His Shekinah to dwell in the highest heavens, who hath promised to fill Zion with them that do true justice and righteousness. ו וִיהֵי מָא דַאְמַרתָא לְאֵיטָבָא לְדַחְלָך אֵיתִיתָא וְקַייֵמתָא בְעִדָנֵיה תְקֹוף וּפוּרקָן חָכמָא וּמַדַע לְדַחְלַיָא דַיוי אֹוצַר טוּבֵיה עְתִיד׃33:6 And it shall come to pass, whatever good Thou hast promised to them that fear Thee, Thou wilt bring and establish it in its time: strength and salvation, wisdom and knowledge. For them that fear the Lord, the treasure of His goodness is prepared. (TgJ) Isaiah says according to the TgJ translation that the Lord God Almighty his promise to us is that he will fill us with his presence if we do true justice and righteousness. This is a significant point that is being made as it speaks of an ancient belief that God will come to dwell in us who belong to Him! This is the outcome of the fear of the Lord, that He will come to dwell in our midst! The commentary Sha’ar HaEmunah VeYesod HaChasidut has the following to say concerning these verses.
Sha’ar HaEmunah VeYesod HaChasidut, Entrance to the Gate of Beit Yaakov 1:2
“The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God.” (Tehillim 111:10) The consciousness called the fear of God is the vessel a person needs to receive the Torah, *On a simple level, “receiving the Torah,” means “observing the commandments”; on a deeper level, it means perceiving the very root of the Torah, which is a revelation of God. as it is written (Yeshayahu 33:6), “The fear of God is His storehouse,” *That is, the fear of God holds and stores something; in this case, the Torah. and, as the first part of this verse says, “He shall be the stability (emunah) of your times.” *The entire verse reads: “He shall be the stability of your times, a store of salvation, wisdom and knowledge, the fear of God is His storehouse” (Yeshayahu, 33:6). The Talmud (BT Shabbat 31a) regards each of the attributes as hinting to another order of the Mishnah: “Stability-Faith” – Zera’im (Seeds); “Your times” – Moed (Festival); “Strength” – Nashim (Women); “Salvation” – Nezikin (Damages); “Wisdom” – Kodoshim (Holy Things) and “knowledge” –Tehorot (Purities). The order of Zera’im deals with the laws of planting, harvesting, tithes, etc. It is alluded to by the word “emunah” (meaning both faith and stability) because a person with faith in God will plant. (See, Tosefot, ibid., who cites the Jerusalem Talmud.) There is a deeper relationship between these two uses of the word, as well. In Judaism, in general, faith is not necessarily an abstract feeling or concept, but a level of stability and unwavering commitment, in the sense of “faithfulness.” “Nevertheless,” says the Talmud, “without the fear of God as a storehouse, one has nothing.” *The last statement, “The fear of God is His storehouse,” does not hint at a particular body of knowledge or tract, but rather to the key ingredient needed in order to preserve the knowledge of all the preceding categories. Without the fear of God, or the intense awareness of God’s conduct of the world, joined with an understanding that God both rewards and punishes, the treasures will be lost. In other words, without the fear of God one cannot truly fulfill the Torah. The first consideration is faith, *The verse from Yeshayahu begins with a reference to emunah (stability, faith) and ends with a reference to fear of God (the storehouse). This alludes to the author’s statement above, that faith precedes fear, while fear gives context to faith. which is the root of the fear of God, whereas the fear of God is the vessel which holds faith. But what kind of faith are we talking about? It is the kind in which a person believes that God is all-powerful and exalted. On this, the Zohar writes: *Introduction, 11b.“In the beginning God created…” This is the very first commandment, which is called, “Fear of God.” The fear of God is called, “the beginning,” as it is written, “The beginning of wisdom is the fear of God,” and (Mishlei 1:7), “The fear of God is the beginning of knowledge.” It is the gate one must enter in order to arrive at faith. *The reader may notice a contradiction here. Above, R. Gershon Henokh stated that faith preceeds fear of God; here, the Zohar states that fear of God precedes faith. As will become clear below, there are two types of faith: a deep, inner certainty in God’s existence, which leads to fear andn awe of Him, and a higher type of faith, which actually transcends the limited intellect and the duality of this world, which is the result of this type of fear. In this way, the whole world depends on this commandment. There are three aspects to the fear of God. The first two lack a correct foundation, which the third one has. The first kind is when a person fears God in order that He not bring harm upon his children, *In retribution for the father’s own sins. or in order not to personally suffer physical retribution or financial loss. *Such as on account of his transgressions. He fears God constantly for these reasons, yet his fear lacks a foundation. The second kind is when person fears God in order not to suffer punishment in the world-to-come or in Hell. *Gehinom, more accurately translated as purgatory. These two kinds of fear are not true expressions of the fear of God. The third and true expression is when person fears God solely because He is the Great and Sovereign Ruler of the universe, the root and source of all the worlds, and that everything is considered as nothing before Him, as it is written (Daniel 4:32), “All the inhabitants of the world are considered as naught before Him.” One should place all of his desire on this place which is called “fear.” *Notice how the author, using this passage from the Zohar, has changed the definition of fear. It is no longer centered upon the human being and his concerns, reducing God’s greatness in the process; rather, it opens a person to the absolute transcendence of God and takes him beyond his petty concerns – ultimately i
The commentary begins by pointing out where the battle begins, in the mind stating that “wisdom” is the fear of God, and being conscious of this is the state at which one needs in order to receive God’s Torah. The rabbis say “On a simple level, “receiving the Torah,” means “observing the commandments”; on a deeper level, it means perceiving the very root of the Torah, which is a revelation of God.” The commentary points out Isaiah 33:6 and how the fear of God holds something for us that is coupled to God’s Word. What is stored is “faith” (stability), salvation, wisdom, knowledge, righteousness, and holiness. The rabbis say that emunah (faith), the deeper meaning, is that it is not an abstract concept, but brings stability to our lives and unwavering commitment from the sense of being faithful (faithfulness). The conclusion is that without the fear of God we have nothing. We note that the fear of God is a battle for the mind because this is connected to listening to what God’s Word has to say and applying it to our lives. What kind of faith are we talking about here? It is the kind of faith that trusts in God, that He is able to do all things (anything), it is the kind of faith that one believes that God is all powerful and exalted, loves and cares for each of us. Rashi describes Isaiah 33:6 in the context of the strength and “salvations” of God.
Rashi on Isaiah 33:6 Parts 1-2
והיה אמונת עתיך וגו’. והיה לחוסן ישועות ולחכמה ודעת את אשר תאמין לבוראך עתים שקבע לך לתרומות ולמעשרות בעת הפרשתן ללקט שכחה ופיאה בעתם לקיים שמיטין ויובלות בעתם ד”א אמונת עתך. את שהאמנת בהקב”ה בעתים שעברו עליך וצפית לישועה תהיה לך לחוסן:
And the faith of your times, etc. And it shall be for you for strength of salvations and for wisdom and knowledge, that you will be faithful to your Creator concerning the times that He set for you for terumoth and tithes at the time of their separation, for gleanings, forgotten sheaves, and the corner of the field in their time, to leave them over for the poor, to keep release years and jubilee years in their time. Another explanation is: faith of your times What you believed in the Holy One, blessed be He, in times that passed over you, and you hoped for salvation, shall become your strength.
יראת ה’. שתירא מלפניו היא אוצר טוב להפתח לך מאתו על ידה:
fear of the Lord That you shall fear Him – that is a good treasure to open up for you from before Him.
The faith of your times is a description of what it means to be faithful, that throughout our lives here on earth, we continue to return to the Lord, we continue to seek Him in faith and in listening to His holy Word, applying His words to our lives, and continuing to trust in Him! The treasure of God is literally having him in our lives, Him being present in our lives. This is what Yeshua says concerning these things according to John 14:11-20.
14:11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. (KJV 11 πιστεύετέ μοι ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρὶ καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν ἐμοί·* εἰ δὲ μή, διὰ τὰ ἔργα ⸀αὐτὰ πιστεύετε⸆.* 12 Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὁ πιστεύων εἰς ἐμὲ τὰ ἔργα ἃ ἐγὼ ποιῶ κἀκεῖνος ποιήσει καὶ μείζονα °τούτων ποιήσει,* ὅτι ἐγὼ πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ⸀πορεύομαι·* *13 καὶ ὅ ⸂τι ἂν⸃ ⸀αἰτήσητε ⸆ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου τοῦτο ποιήσω,* ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ.* 14 ⸋ἐάν τι αἰτήσητέ °με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου ⸀ἐγὼ ποιήσω.⸌ 15 Ἐὰν ἀγαπᾶτέ με,* τὰς ἐντολὰς τὰς ἐμὰς ⸀τηρήσετε· 16 κἀγὼ ἐρωτήσω τὸν πατέρα καὶ ἄλλον παράκλητον δώσει ὑμῖν,* ἵνα ⸂μεθʼ ὑμῶν εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα ᾖ⸃, 17 τὸ πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας,* ὃ ὁ κόσμος οὐ δύναται λαβεῖν, ὅτι οὐ θεωρεῖ ⸀αὐτὸ οὐδὲ γινώσκει⸆· ὑμεῖς ⸇ γινώσκετε ⸁αὐτό, ὅτι παρʼ ὑμῖν ⸀1μένει καὶ ἐν ὑμῖν ⸀2ἔσται. 18 Οὐκ ἀφήσω ὑμᾶς ὀρφανούς,* ἔρχομαι πρὸς ὑμᾶς. 19 ἔτι μικρὸν καὶ ὁ κόσμος με οὐκέτι θεωρεῖ, ὑμεῖς °δὲ θεωρεῖτέ με, ὅτι ἐγὼ ζῶ καὶ ὑμεῖς ⸀ζήσετε.* 20 ἐν ἐκείνῃ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ⸂γνώσεσθε ὑμεῖς⸃ ὅτι ἐγὼ ἐν τῷ πατρί μου καὶ ὑμεῖς ἐν* ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν.*)
Here Yeshua speaks of believing in Him and in our Father in heaven. He said that faith will lead to our doing what he has done, and couples this to our Father being glorified in the Son through our faith. Yeshua goes on saying that if we love him, we will keep his commands. Many teach that these commands Yeshua is speaking of here are not the Torah commands, rather these commands are new and different commands. The point is those who teach this are attempting to distance people from the Torah of God. Those who teach such things teach in disobedience to God’s Word! The point Yeshua was making is that if Yeshua is in the Father, and the Father is in Him, then these commands are the very same commands that we read in the Torah which speak of righteousness, holiness, morals, and ethics. Yeshua taught these things and lived these things and told us to follow him and walk in his footsteps! (Matthew 16:24, 1 Corinthians 11:1, 1 John 2:6, 1 Peter 2:21) Yeshua says that when he leaves, he will send the comforter. This comforter is the Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit), the Spirit of God to dwell in us. This parallels what we read in the rabbinic literature on the presence of God and the deeper meaning of faith and Torah. Here Yeshua is consistent with the rabbinic opinion and teaching a truth concerning God’s Word, that the Lord God wants us to remain faithful to Him, and the presence of God in our midst, His dwelling in our lives via the Ruach HaKodesh empowers us to live and walk in His ways. This again draws us back to Yeshua’s words “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).