What do the phrases

What is the meaning of Isaiah 33:14?

Most Gospel preachers use it in warning the unsaved but some Bible students hold differently.


I have heard an attempt to interpret “the devouring fire,” and “everlasting burnings,” as God’s burning love, on the ground that the words in v. 15, “He that walketh righteously, etc.,” are an answer to the question of the hypocrites, but it is not an answer at all and the interpretation is purely fantastic. “He that walketh righteously,” etc., describes those who will not dwell “with everlasting burnings,” but “on high” as in v. x6. Why should the sinners in Zion be afraid or the hyprocrites surprised with fearfulness, if they are intended to understand that all that awaits them is the eternal enjoyment of the love of God? No, they get a glimpse of the terrors of a lost eternity and of what awaits them if they pursue their path. It is to call darkness light and light darkness to make V. 14 mean something good and pleasant. I should think only Bible students of the shallowest “Universalist” type could extract such a meaning from the passage. Certainly let evangelists continue to use it as a warning to the ungodly, for that is its legitimate use.

The word “‘akal”—here translated “devouring”—_means literally “to eat,” and is constantly used of devouring or consuming in judgment (Numbers 21: 28; Isaiah 24: 6; Isaiah 29:6). The word for “burnings” is from “yaqad”—and is used in Deuteronomy 32:22; “and shall burn to the lowest hell,” see also Isaiah 10:16 and Isaiah 65:5; Jeremiah 15:4 and Jeremiah 17:4. It is also used of the burnings of the fire on the altar (Levticus 6:9, 12, 13).

W.H.