Isaiah 32 - Outline of Isaiah (Book Notes menu page)
I. E. Five 'Woes' upon unbelievers, 28:1-33:24
4. Woe to the Obstinate Children of Israel...
The following divisions are suggested for this chapter, by J.V.McGee:
  1. The Person of the King, vs.1-8
  2. The Preceding time of judgment (prior to the King's reign), vs.9-14
  3. The Promise of the Spirit (vs.15-20)
1. Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness,
and princes shall rule in judgment
{ie., justice}.
2 And a man shall be
as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest;
as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
behold, a king shall reign in righteousness...-
This King and His princes stand in contrast to, and in conquest over, those mentioned in Isa 30:33; 31:8,9.
and a man shall be... - This is the Lord Jesus Christ,
who will rule and judge the world as a man (Joh 5:26,27; Acts 17:31; Isa 9:6,7; Jer 23:5,6).
For His people, He will be...
3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim,
and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.
4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge,
and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
the eyes of them that see shall not be dim...- Beyond the lifting of spiritual blindness (Isa 29:18),
this is a promise of perfectly clear spiritual understanding, for those who do see. cp. Mark 8:23-25; 1Cor 13:12
     The Hebrew construction of vs.3-4 suggests that the first and last clause apply to prophets and preachers (who will 'see' clearly and speak the truth plainly), while the two central clauses apply to the congregation (who will receive the truth eagerly and with understanding). Thus, curing their condition as described in Isa 29:9-14.
the heart also of the rash {ie., hasty, anxious}...-
The faithless heart, which previously hastened to find its own solutions (eg., Isa 31:1), will adhere to God's Word and rest upon the Rock (v.2; Isa 28:16; Mat 7:24,25; 1Pet 2:6,7).
5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal,
nor the churl said [to be] bountiful.
6 For the vile
{HB=nabal, foolish} person will speak villany {HB=nabalah, folly},
and his heart will work iniquity,
to practise hypocrisy
{HB=choneph, godlessness, profaneness},
and to utter error against the LORD,
to make empty the soul of the hungry,
and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.
7 The instruments also of the churl [are] evil:
he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words,
even when the needy speaketh right.
8 But the liberal
{ie., nobel} deviseth liberal {ie., nobel} things;
and by liberal
{ie., nobel} things shall he stand {or, arise, be established}.
the vile {HB=nabal, foolish} person... no more called liberal {ie., noble, generous}...
nor the churl {ie., miser, scoundrel}... bountiful {ie., rich, noble, generous}...-
All hypocrisy will be exposed in Christ's Kingdom. The selfish motives of those who appear to be generous humanitarian benefactors will be brought to light. However, since vs.5-8 continue the thought of vs.3-4, the emphasis is upon exposure of false teachers and their motives.
"These preachers are the modern fools and churls. They are admired as 'liberal' (ie., broadminded), and 'bountiful' (ie., emancipated) (v.5). But such preaching is 'folly,' 'iniquity,' 'profaneness,' and 'error'; it is 'against Jehovah' and its effect is to rob and impoverish the hearer (v.6)... But the true liberals (or, nobleminded) will stand continually before the King, when He comes, because they preach liberal [ie., noble, princely] things, ie., the Gospel." [GWms; (in brackets, added by editor)]
9. Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice,
ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women:
for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.
11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones:
strip you, and make you bare, and gird [sackcloth] upon [your] loins.
12 They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns [and] briers;
yea, upon all the houses of joy [in] the joyous city:
14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left;
the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;
15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high,
and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.
rise up, ye women that are at ease... they shall lament...- cp. Luk 23:26-30
This paragraph depicts the suffering that would befall Israel during the Times of the Gentiles, and especially the Tribulation period which will precede the coming of the King. When Isaiah delivered this message, the women of Israel were at ease and careless, because the trouble had not yet overtaken them (Isa 3:16-f). But it would come soon enough. Verse 10 may be translated: "Within a year and a few days, You will be troubled, O complacent daughters; for the vintage is ended, and the fruit gathering will not come." [NASB]
     The literal failure of the vintage, making it difficult to gather sufficient food, would come in judgment upon Israel for their failure to bear good fruit, as the Lord's vine. Literal thorns and briers would infest the land, where hearts had grown wild and away from Him (Isa 5:1-7). Yet, in His mercy, the Lord's desire and purpose is to restore His vine, at the appointed time (27:2-6).
     Their downtrodden condition would last "for ever" {HB='olam, unto the ages, in perpetuity} (v.14). Mercifully, the duration is limited by the "until..." of v.15.
Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high...-
The Holy Spirit will be poured out upon Israel when they receive Christ Jesus as their King at the beginning of His Millennial Kingdom (v.1,2; Joel 2:27-29). Peter quoted Joel's prophecy, in Acts 2:15-21, explaining that the Holy Spirit's coming at Pentecost was like what will occur in the future day when Christ reigns on earth. Joel foresaw the working of the Spirit, in the future Kingdom. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, was similar, although on a smaller scale (affecting a handful of people rather than the whole nation and world). Note that Joel also predicted that the outpouring of the Spirit would be preceded by certain events (Joel 2:30,31), which have not yet occurred, since they pertain to the Tribulation period, which precedes the establishment of Christ's earthly Kingdom.
16 Then judgment {ie., justice} shall dwell in the wilderness,
and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace;
and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
The Holy Spirit's outpouring will result in...
18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation,
and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest;
and the city shall be low in a low place.
20 Blessed [are] ye that sow beside all waters,
that send forth [thither] the feet of the ox and the ass.
my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation... sure... quiet...-
The peace and security of Israel is ensured by the King who reigns in righteousness and with a rod of iron, for He will have judged and destroyed their oppressors (Psa 2:7-9).
when it shall hail... on the forest... (cp. Isa 30:30,31)
the city shall be low in a low place {or, 'will be utterly laid low' [NASB]}-
This city is the Babylon of the Antichrist, which will be destroyed along with the 'forest' (ie., army) of her king.
blessed [are] ye that sow beside all waters...-
This last verse speaks again of the tranquility of God's people, who, in that future day of blessing, will tend their fields without fear of losing life or livestock, at the hands of marauders. cf. Judg 6:3-6; cp. Isa 30:23,24; Eze 34:25-31

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