Isaiah 33:18

18 Your mind will muse on the terror: "Where is the one who counted? Where is the one who weighed the tribute? Where is the one who counted the towers?"

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 will live on the heights; their refuge will be the fortresses of rocks; their food will be supplied, their water assured.
17 Your eyes will see the king in his beauty; they will behold a land that stretches far away.
18 Your mind will muse on the terror: "Where is the one who counted? Where is the one who weighed the tribute? Where is the one who counted the towers?"
19 No longer will you see the insolent people, the people of an obscure speech that you cannot comprehend, stammering in a language that you cannot understand.
20 Look on Zion, the city of our appointed festivals! Your eyes will see Jerusalem, a quiet habitation, an immovable tent, whose stakes will never be pulled up, and none of whose ropes will be broken.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.