Isaiah 33:18

18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror: “Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue? Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”

Isaiah 33:18 in Other Translations

18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?
18 Your heart will muse on the terror: "Where is he who counted, where is he who weighed the tribute? Where is he who counted the towers?"
18 You will think back to this time of terror, asking, “Where are the Assyrian officers who counted our towers? Where are the bookkeepers who recorded the plunder taken from our fallen city?”
18 In your mind you'll go over the old terrors: "What happened to that Assyrian inspector who condemned and confiscated? And the one who gouged us of taxes? And that cheating moneychanger?"
18 Your mind will meditate on the [past] terror: "Where is the accountant? Where is the tribute collector? Where is the one who spied out our defenses?"

Isaiah 33:18 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 33:18

Thine heart shall meditate terror
shall recollect, and think of with pleasure and thankfulness, the terror they were formerly seized with, when surrounded and oppressed by their enemies, particularly at the time of the slaying of the witnesses, which will be a terrible time to the church and people of God; but when that is over, they will call it to mind with gratitude, for deliverance from it F5. This is commonly understood of the terror and consternation the Jews were in when besieged by the Assyrian army; and so the following words, Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the receiver? where [is] he that
counted the towers?
are taken to be either the words of the Jews in their distress, calling for such and such officers to go to their respective posts, and do their duty; as the "scribe", or muster master, to see that he has his full quota of men; the "receiver" or treasurer, and paymaster of the soldiers, to give the men money and wages, that they may be encouraged to fight; and "the counter of towers", or engineer, to take care of the fortifications, and give directions about them: or else, as now insulting the Assyrians after the defeat of them, inquiring where were now such and such officers in their army, whom before they dreaded, signifying they were all perished and gone. The apostle cites these words, or at least alludes to them, ( 1 Corinthians 1:20 ) when he says, "where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world?" triumphing over the wise doctors of the Jews, and the philosophers of the Gentiles, as not being able to face and withstand the power and wisdom of the Gospel; (See Gill on 1 Corinthians 1:20). So here, when the people of God will be recovered from their fright, and be brought out of their low estate, and will have ascended into heaven, or be come into a glorious church state, they will then triumph over their enemies, who will be no more, and say, where are the pope and his clergy? his cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, monks, friars, &c.; what are become of them? they are all gone, and will be no more. The Targum is,

``thine heart shall think of great things; where are the scribes? where are the princes? where are the counters? let them come, if they can count the numbers of the slain, the heads of mighty armies;''
which may well enough be illustrated by ( Revelation 11:13 ) ( Revelation 19:18 Revelation 19:19 ) .

F5 So Ben Melech interprets it, ``thine heart, which was meditating terror before this.''

Isaiah 33:18 In-Context

16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.
18 In your thoughts you will ponder the former terror: “Where is that chief officer? Where is the one who took the revenue? Where is the officer in charge of the towers?”
19 You will see those arrogant people no more, people whose speech is obscure, whose language is strange and incomprehensible.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, a tent that will not be moved; its stakes will never be pulled up, nor any of its ropes broken.

Cross References 2

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.