A Commentary, Critical, Practical, and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, by Robert Jamieson, A.R. Fausset and David Brown  at sacred-texts.com
isa 33:1The time is the autumn of 713 B.C. (Isa 33:1, Isa 33:8-9, describe the Assyrian spoiler; strong as he is, he shall fall before Jehovah who is stronger (Isa 33:2-6, Isa 33:10-12))
and thou--that is, though thou wast not spoiled--though thou wast not dealt treacherously with (see on Isa 24:16), thy spoiling and treachery are therefore without excuse, being unprovoked.
cease--When God has let thee do thy worst, in execution of His plans, thine own turn shall come (compare Isa 10:12; Isa 14:2; Hab 2:8; Rev 13:10).
isa 33:2us; we . . . their . . . our--He speaks interceding for His people, separating himself in thought for a moment from them, and immediately returns to his natural identification with them in the word "our."
every morning--each day as it dawns, especially during our danger, as the parallel "time of trouble" shows.
isa 33:3the tumult--the approach of Jehovah is likened to an advancing thunderstorm (Isa 29:6; Isa 30:27), which is His voice (Rev 1:15), causing the people to "flee."
nation--the Assyrian levies.
isa 33:4The invaders' "spoil" shall be left behind by them in their flight, and the Jews shall gather it.
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.
isa 33:6wisdom--sacred; that is, piety.
thy--Hezekiah's; or rather, "Judea's." "His" refers to the same; such changes from the pronoun possessive of the second person to that of the third are common in Hebrew poetry.
treasure--Not so much material wealth as piety shall constitute the riches of the nation (Pro 10:22; Pro 15:16).
isa 33:7From 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 (Kg2 18:14, Kg2 18:18, Kg2 18:37). The highways deserted through fear, the cities insulted, the lands devastated.
cry-- (Isa 15:4).
isa 33:8broken . . . covenant--When Sennacherib invaded Judea, Hezekiah paid him a large sum to leave the land; Sennacherib received the money and yet sent his army against Jerusalem (Kg2 18:14, Kg2 18:17).
despised--make slight of as unable to resist him (Isa 10:9; Isa 36:19); easily captures them.
isa 33:9(Isa 24:4).
Lebanon--personified; the allusion may be to the Assyrian cutting down its choice trees (Isa 14:8; Isa 37:24).
Sharon--south of Carmel, along the Mediterranean, proverbial for fertility (Isa 35:2).
Bashan--afterwards called Batanea (Isa 2:13).
fruits--rather, understand "leaves"; they lie as desolate as in winter.
isa 33:10The sight of His people's misery arouses Jehovah; He has let the enemy go far enough.
I--emphatic; God Himself will do what man could not.
isa 33:11Ye--the enemy.
conceive chaff-- (Isa 26:18; Isa 59:4).
your breath--rather, your own spirit of anger and ambition [MAURER], (Isa 30:28).
isa 33:12(Isa 9:19; Amo 2:1). Perhaps alluding to their being about to be burnt on the funeral pyre (Isa 30:33).
thorns--the wicked (Sa2 23:6-7).
isa 33:13far off--distant nations.
near--the Jews and adjoining peoples (Isa 49:1).
isa 33:14sinners in Zion--false professors of religion among the elect people (Mat 22:12).
hypocrites--rather, "the profane"; "the abandoned" [HORSLEY].
who, &c.--If Jehovah's wrath could thus consume such a host in one night, who could abide it, if continued for ever (Mar 9:46-48)? Fire is a common image for the divine judgments (Isa 29:6; Isa 30:30).
among us--If such awful judgments have fallen on those who knew not the true God, how infinitely worse shall fall on us who, amid religious privileges and profession, sin against God, (Luk 12:47-48; Jam 4:17)?
isa 33:15In contrast to the trembling "sinners in Zion" (Isa 33:14), the righteous shall be secure amid all judgments; they are described according to the Old Testament standpoint of righteousness (Psa 15:2; Psa 24:4).
stoppeth . . . ears . . . eyes--"Rejoiceth not in iniquity" (Co1 13:6; contrast Isa 29:20; Psa 10:3; Rom 1:32). The senses are avenues for the entrance of sin (Psa 119:37).
isa 33:16on high--heights inaccessible to the foe (Isa 26:1).
bread . . . waters--image from the expected siege by Sennacherib; however besieged by trials without, the godly shall have literal and spiritual food, as God sees good for them (Isa 41:17; Psa 37:25; Psa 34:10; Psa 132:15).
isa 33:17Thine--the saints'.
king in . . . beauty--not as now, Hezekiah in sackcloth, oppressed by the enemy, but King Messiah (Isa 32:1) "in His beauty" (Sol 5:10, Sol 5:16; Rev 4:3).
land . . . very far off--rather, "the land in its remotest extent" (no longer pent up as Hezekiah was with the siege); see Margin. For Jerusalem is made the scene of the king's glory (Isa 33:20, &c.), and it could not be said to be "very far off," unless the far-off land be heaven, the Jerusalem above, which is to follow the earthly reign of Messiah at literal Jerusalem (Isa 65:17-19; Jer 3:17; Rev 21:1-2, Rev 21:10).
isa 33:18meditate--on the "terror" caused by the enemy, but now past.
where, &c.--the language of the Jews exulting over their escape from danger.
scribe--who enrolled the army [MAURER]; or, who prescribed the tribute to be paid [ROSENMULLER]; or, who kept an account of the spoil. "The principal scribe of the host" (Kg2 25:19; Jer 52:25). The Assyrian records are free from the exaggerations of Egyptian records. Two scribes are seen in every Assyrian bas-relief, writing down the various objects brought to them, the heads of the slain, prisoners, cattle, sheep, &c.
receiver--"weigher," Margin. LAYARD mentions, among the Assyrian inscriptions, "a pair a scales for weighing the spoils."
counted . . . towers--he whose duty it was to reconnoitre and report the strength of the city to be besieged.
isa 33:19fierce people--The Assyrians shall not be allowed to enter Jerusalem (Kg2 19:32). Or, thou shalt not any longer see fierce enemies threatening thee as previously; such as the Assyrians, Romans, and the last Antichristian host that is yet to assail Jerusalem (Deu 28:49-50; Jer 5:15; Zac 14:2).
stammering--barbarous; so "deeper," &c., that is, unintelligible. The Assyrian tongue differed only in dialect from the Hebrew, but in the Assyrian levies were many of non-Semitic race and language, as the Medes, Elamites, &c. (see on Isa 28:11).
isa 33:20solemnities--solemn assemblies at the great feasts (see on Isa 30:29; Psa 42:4; Psa 48:12).
not . . . taken down . . . removed--image from captives "removed" from their land (Isa 36:17). There shall be no more "taking away" to an enemy's land. Or else, from nomads living in shifting tents. The saints, who sojourned once in tabernacles as pilgrims, shall have a "building of God--eternal in the heavens" (Co2 5:1; Heb 11:9-10; compare Isa 54:2).
stakes--driven into the ground; to these the "cords" were fastened. Christ's Church shall never fall (Mat 16:18). So individual believers (Rev 3:12).
isa 33:21there--namely, in Jerusalem.
will be . . . rivers--Jehovah will be as a broad river surrounding our city (compare Isa 19:6; Nah 3:8), and this, too, a river of such a kind as no ship of war can pass (compare Isa 26:1). Jerusalem had not the advantage of a river; Jehovah will be as one to it, affording all the advantages, without any of the disadvantages of one.
galley with oars--war vessels of a long shape, and propelled by oars; merchant vessels were broader and carried sail.
gallant--same Hebrew word as for "glorious," previously; "mighty" will suit both places; a ship of war is meant. No "mighty vessel" will dare to pass where the "mighty Lord" stands as our defense.
isa 33:22Lord--thrice repeated, as often: the Trinity (Num 6:24-26).
judge . . . lawgiver . . . king--perfect ideal of the theocracy, to be realized under Messiah alone; the judicial, legislative, and administrative functions as king to be exercised by Him in person (Isa 11:4; Isa 32:1; Jam 4:12).
isa 33:23tacklings--Continuing the allegory in Isa 33:21, he compares the enemies' host to a war galley which is deprived of the tacklings or cords by which the mast is sustained and the sail is spread; and which therefore is sure to be wrecked on "the broad river" (Isa 33:21), and become the prey of Israel.
they--the tacklings, "hold not firm the base of the mast."
then--when the Assyrian host shall have been discomfited. Hezekiah had given Sennacherib three hundred talents of silver, and thirty of gold (Kg2 18:14-16), and had stripped the temple of its gold to give it to him; this treasure was probably part of the prey found in the foe's camp. After the invasion, Hezekiah had so much wealth that he made an improper display of it (Kg2 20:13-15); this wealth, probably, was in part got from the Assyrian.
the lame--Even the most feeble shall spoil the Assyrian camp (compare Isa 35:6; Sa2 5:6).
isa 33:24sick--SMITH thinks the allusion is to the beginning of the pestilence by which the Assyrians were destroyed, and which, while sparing the righteous, affected some within the city ("sinners in Zion"); it may have been the sickness that visited Hezekiah (Isa. 38:1-22). In the Jerusalem to come there shall be no "sickness," because there will be no "iniquity," it being forgiven (Psa 103:3). The latter clause of the verse contains the cause of the former (Mar 2:5-9).
The thirty-fourth and thirty-fifth chapters form one prophecy, the former part of which denounces God's judgment against His people's enemies, of whom Edom is the representative; the second part, of the flourishing state of the Church consequent on those judgments. This forms the termination of the prophecies of the first part of Isaiah (the thirty-sixth through thirty-ninth chapters being historical) and is a kind of summary of what went before, setting forth the one main truth, Israel shall be delivered from all its foes, and happier times shall succeed under Messiah.