Isaiah 33:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
But there the majestic One, the LORD, will be for us A place of rivers and wide canals On which no boat with oars will go, And on which no mighty ship will pass--

King James Bible
But there the glorious LORD will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

Darby Bible Translation
but there Jehovah is unto us glorious, a place of rivers, of broad streams: no galley with oars shall go there, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.

World English Bible
But there Yahweh will be with us in majesty, a place of broad rivers and streams, in which no galley with oars will go, neither will any gallant ship pass by there.

Young's Literal Translation
But there mighty is Jehovah for us, A place of rivers -- streams broad of sides, No ship with oars doth go into it, And a mighty ship doth not pass over it.

Isaiah 33:21 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But there - In Jersalem; or in his church, of which Jerusalem was the emblem.

The glorious Lord - Lowth renders it, 'The glorious name of Yahweh,' שׁם shâm to be a noun, as if it were pointed שׁם shēm. So the Syriac and the Septuagint read it. The word 'glorious' (אדיר 'adiyr) means magnificent; denoting that Yahweh would manifest himself there as magnificent or great in the destruction of his enemies, and in the protection of his people.

Will be unto us a place - It seems to be harsh to say that Yahweh would be a place; but the meaning is, that he would be to them as such a place; that is, his presence and blessing would be such as would be represented by broad rivers and streams flowing through a land, or encompassing a city. Rivers and streams are sources of fertility, the channels of commerce, and objects of great beauty. Such seems to be the idea here. The presence of Yahweh would be to them a source of great prosperity and happiness; and a beauty would be thrown around the city and nation like majestic and useful rivers. It is possible that there may have been some allusion here to cities that were encompassed or penetrated by rivers and canals, like Babylon, or Thebes in Egypt. Such cities derived important advantages from rivers. But Jerusalem had nothing of this nature to contribute to its prosperity or beauty. The prophet says, that the presence of Yahweh would be to them what these rivers were to other cities.

Of broad rivers and streams - Hebrew, 'Rivers, streams broad of hands.' The sense seems to be, broad rivers that are made up of confluent streams; or rivers to which many streams are tributary - like the Nile - and which are therefore made broad, and capable of navigation. The phrase used here in the Hebrew, 'broad of hands' - properly denotes broad on both hands, or as we would say, on both sides; that is, the shores would be separated far from each other. The word hand is often used in Hebrew to denote the side, the shore, or the bank of a river. The following extract will show the importance of such rivers: 'In such a highly cultivated country as England, and where great drought is almost unknown, we have not an opportunity to observe the fertilizing influence of a broad river; but in South Africa, where almost no human means are employed for improving the land, the benign influence of rivers is most evident. The Great, or Orange River, is a remarkable instance of this. I traveled on its banks, at one time, for five or six weeks, when, for several hundred miles, I found both sides of it delightfully covered with trees of various kinds, all in health and vigor, and abundance of the richest verdure; but all the country beyond the reach of its influence was complete desert. Everything appeared to be struggling for mere existence; so that we might be said to have had the wilderness on one side, and a kind of paradise on the other.' (Campbell)

Wherein shall go - The mention of broad rivers here seems to have suggested to the prophet the idea that navigable rivers, while they were the channels of commerce, also gave to an enemy the opportunity of approaching easily with vessels of war, and attacking a city. He therefore says that no such consequence would follow, from the fact that Yahweh would be to them in the place of broad rivers. No advantage could be taken from what was to them a source of prosperity and happiness. While other cities were exposed to an enemy from the very sources from which they derived their wealth and prosperity, it would not be so with them. From what constituted their glory - the protection of Yahweh - no danger ever could be apprehended. It had all the advantages of broad rivers and streams, but with none of their attendant exposures and perils.

No galley with oars - That is, no small vessel - for larger vessels were propelled by sails. Still the reference is doubtless to a vessel of war; since vessels of commerce would be an advantage, and it would not be an object of congratulation that none of them should be there. "Neither shall gallant ship." No great (אדיר 'adiyr) or magnificent ship; no ship fitted out for purposes of war. The sense is, therefore, that though Jerusalem should be thus favored, yet it would be unapproachable by an enemy.

Isaiah 33:21 Parallel Commentaries

The Rivers of God
'But there the glorious Lord will be unto us a place of broad rivers and streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby.'--ISAIAH xxxiii. 21. One great peculiarity of Jerusalem, which distinguishes it from almost all other historical cities, is that it has no river. Babylon was on the Euphrates, Nineveh on the Tigris, Thebes on the Nile, Rome on the Tiber; but Jerusalem had nothing but a fountain or two, and a well or two, and a little trickle and an intermittent
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Border of his Sanctuary
G. W. Is. xxxiii. 17 Glorious and solemn hour, Thus at last to stand, All behind us the great desert, All before, the land! Past the shadow of the valley, Past the weary plain; Past the rugged mountain pathway, Ne'er to be again. And before us, ever stretching In its golden sheen, Lies the fair, the blessed country Where our hearts have been-- Where our hearts have been whilst wandering Through the desert bare; For the soul's adored, beloved One, He abideth there. Clad in love and glory stands
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

The Angel of the Lord in the Pentateuch, and the Book of Joshua.
The New Testament distinguishes between the hidden God and the revealed God--the Son or Logos--who is connected with the former by oneness of nature, and who from everlasting, and even at the creation itself, filled up the immeasurable distance between the Creator and the creation;--who has been the Mediator in all God's relations to the world;--who at all times, and even before He became man in Christ, has been the light of [Pg 116] the world,--and to whom, specially, was committed the direction
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

The Blessed Privilege of Seeing God Explained
They shall see God. Matthew 5:8 These words are linked to the former and they are a great incentive to heart-purity. The pure heart shall see the pure God. There is a double sight which the saints have of God. 1 In this life; that is, spiritually by the eye of faith. Faith sees God's glorious attributes in the glass of his Word. Faith beholds him showing forth himself through the lattice of his ordinances. Thus Moses saw him who was invisible (Hebrews 11:27). Believers see God's glory as it were
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Cross References
Isaiah 33:17
Your eyes will see the King in His beauty; They will behold a far-distant land.

Isaiah 41:18
"I will open rivers on the bare heights And springs in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water And the dry land fountains of water.

Isaiah 43:19
"Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:20
"The beasts of the field will glorify Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I have given waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My chosen people.

Isaiah 48:18
"If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.

Isaiah 66:12
For thus says the LORD, "Behold, I extend peace to her like a river, And the glory of the nations like an overflowing stream; And you will be nursed, you will be carried on the hip and fondled on the knees.

Jump to Previous
Blades Boat Broad Canals Fair Glorious Glory Majestic Majesty Oars Ride Rivers Sail Ship Stately Streams Thereby Wherein Wide
Jump to Next
Blades Boat Broad Canals Fair Glorious Glory Majestic Majesty Oars Ride Rivers Sail Ship Stately Streams Thereby Wherein Wide
Isaiah 33:21 NIV
Isaiah 33:21 NLT
Isaiah 33:21 ESV
Isaiah 33:21 NASB
Isaiah 33:21 KJV

Isaiah 33:21 Bible Apps
Isaiah 33:21 Biblia Paralela
Isaiah 33:21 Chinese Bible
Isaiah 33:21 French Bible
Isaiah 33:21 German Bible

Isaiah 33:21 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Isaiah 33:20
Top of Page
Top of Page