Isaiah 32


Prophecy of great prosperity under Hezekiah; but, in its

highest sense, applicable to Christ, 1-8.

Description of impending calamities, 9-14.

Rejection of the Jews, and calling of the Gentiles, 15.

The future prosperity of the Church, 16-20.


Verse 1. Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness] If King

Hezekiah were a type of Christ, then this prophecy may refer to

his time; but otherwise it seems to have Hezekiah primarily in

view. It is evident, however, that in the fullest sense these

words cannot be applied to any man; GOD alone can do all that is

promised here.

And princes] ve-sarim, without lamed, to; so

the ancient Versions. An ancient MS. has vesaraiv, and his


Verse 2. As the shadow of a great rock] The shadow of a great

projecting rock is the most refreshing that is possible in a hot

country, not only as most perfectly excluding the rays of the sun,

but also as having in itself a natural coolness, which it reflects

and communicates to every thing about it.

Speluncaeque tegant, et saxea procubet umbra.

VIRG. Georg. iii. 145.

"Let the cool cave and shady rock protect them."




HESIOD. ii. 206.

"When Sirius rages, and thine aching head,

Parched skin, and feeble knees refreshment need;

Then to the rock's projected shade retire,

With Biblin wine recruit thy wasted powers."

Verse 3. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim-"And him

the eyes of those that see shall regard"] For velo, and not,

Le Clerc reads velo, and to him, of which mistake the

Masoretes acknowledge there are fifteen instances; and many more

are reckoned by others. The removal of the negative restores to

the verb its true and usual sense.

Verse 5. The vile person shall no more be called liberal] The

different epithets here employed require minute explanation.

The vile person- nabal, the pampered, fattened, brainless

fellow, who eats to live, and lives to eat; who will scarcely part

with any thing, and that which he does give he gives with an evil

eye and a grudging heart.

Liberal- nadib; the generous, openhearted, princely man,

who writes on all his possessions, For myself and mankind, and

lives only to get and to do good.

The churl- kilai, the avaricious man; he who starves

himself amidst his plenty, and will not take the necessaries of

life for fear of lessening his stock.

Thus he differs from nabal, who feeds himself to the full,

and regards no one else; like the rich man in the Gospel. The

avaricious man is called kilai, from ki, for,

li, myself; or contracted from col, all, and li, to

myself: all is mine; all I have is my own; and all I can get is

for myself: and yet this man enjoys nothing; he withholds

From back and belly too their proper fare:-

O cursed lust of gold, when for thy sake

The wretch throws up his interest in both worlds,

First starved in this, then damned in that to come!

Bountiful- shoa, he who is abundantly rich; who rejoices

in his plenty, and deals out to the distressed with a liberal


Verse 6. The vile person will speak villany-"The fool will still

utter folly"] A sort of proverbial saying, which Euripides

(Bacchae, 369) has expressed in the very same manner and words:

μωραγαρμωροςλεγει "The fool speaks folly." Of this kind of

simple and unadorned proverb or parable, see De S. Poes, Hebr.

Praelect. xxiv.

Against the Lord-"Against JEHOVAH"] For El, two MSS. read

al, more properly; but both are of nearly the same meaning.

Verse 7. The instruments also of the churl are evil-"As for the

niggard, his instruments are evil"] His machinations, his designs.

The paronomasia, which the prophet frequently deals in, suggested

this expression vechelai kelaiv. The first word is

expressed with some variety in the MSS. Seven MSS. read

vekili, one vechol, another vecoli.

To destroy the poor with lying words-"To defeat the assertions

of the poor in judgment"] A word seems to have been lost here, and

two others to have suffered a small alteration, which has made the

sentence very obscure. The Septuagint have happily retained the

rendering of the lost word, and restored the sentence in all its

parts: καιδιασκεδασαιλογουςταπεινωνενκρισει

ulehapher dibrey ebyon bemishpat, "And

disperse the words of the poor in judgment." They frequently

render the verb haphar by διασκεδασαι, A MS. reads

uledabber, which gives authority for the preposition lamed,

to, necessary to the sense, and the Septuagint, Syriac, and

Chaldee read bemishpat, IN judgment.

Verse 8. Liberal things-"Generous purposes"] "Of the four sorts

of persons mentioned Isa 32:5, three are described, Isa 32:6-8,

but not the fourth."-SECKER. Perhaps for vehu, and he, we

ought to read veshoa, the bountiful.

Verse 9. Rise up, ye women-"ye provinces." Ye careless

daughters-"ye cities."-Targum.

From this verse to the end of the fourteenth, the desolation of

Judea by the Chaldeans appears to be foretold.

Verse 11. Gird sackcloth] sak, sackcloth, a word necessary

to the sense, is here lost, but preserved by the Septuagint, MSS.

Alex. and Pachom., and I. D. II., and edit. Ald. and Comp.,

and the Arabic and Syriac.

Tremble-be troubled-strip you] peshotah,

regazah, &c. These are infinitives, with a paragogic he,

according to Schultens, Institut. Ling. Hebr. p. 453, and are to

be taken in an imperative sense.

Verse 12. They shall lament-for the pleasant fields-"Mourn ye

for the pleasant field"] The Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read

siphdu, mourn ye, imperative; twelve MSS., (five ancient,)

two editions, the Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion,

Syriac, and Vulgate, all read sadeh, a field; not

shedey, breasts.

Verse 13. Shall come up thorns and briers-"The thorn and the

brier shall come up"] All the ancient Versions read

veshamir, with the conjunction. And an ancient MS. has

taaleh bo, "shall come up in it," which seems to be right; or

rather bah: and there is a rasure in the place of bo

in another ancient MS.

Yea, upon all the houses of joy] For ki, the ancient

Versions, except the Vulgate, seem to have read ve.

ki may perhaps be a mistake for bo, or bah, in it,

above mentioned. It is not necessary in this place.

The description of impending distress which begins at Isa 32:13

belongs to other times than that of Sennacherib's invasion, from

which they were so soon delivered. It must at least extend to the

ruin of the country and city by the Chaldeans. And the promise of

blessings which follows was not fulfilled under the Mosaic

dispensation; they belong to the KINGDOM of Messiah. Compare

Isa 32:15 with Isa 29:17, and see the note there.

Verse 14. The palaces shall be forsaken] The house of the

sanctuary (the temple) shall be destroyed.-Targum.

The forts-"Ophel"] It was a part of Mount Zion, rising higher

than the rest, at the eastern extremity, near to the temple, a

little to the south of it; called by Micah, Mic 4:8, "Ophel of

the daughter of Zion." It was naturally strong by its situation;

and had a wall of its own, by which it was separated from the rest

of Zion.

Verse 15. And the fruitful field] vehaccarmel. So

fifteen MSS., six ancient, and two editions; which seems to make

the noun an appellative.

Verse 17. The work of righteousness] Righteousness works and

produces peace.

The effect of righteousness] abodath, the culture.

Righteousness, cultivated by peace, produces tranquillity of mind

and permanent security. Reader, hast thou the principle? If so,

dost thou cultivate it? If thou dost, thou hast peace of

conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and a sure and certain hope of

everlasting life.

Verse 19. The city shall be low in a low place.-"The city shall

be laid level with the plain."] For ubashephelah, the

Syriac reads ukeshephelah. The city-probably Nineveh

or Babylon: but this verse is very obscure. Saltus; Assyriorum

regnum: civitas; magnifica Assyriorum castra. Ephrem Syr. in loc.

For ubarad, a MS. has vaiyered; and so conjectured

Abp. Secker, referring to Zec 11:2.

Verse 20. That sow beside all waters-"Who sow your seed in every

well-watered place"] Sir John Chardin's note on this place

is:-"This exactly answers the manner of planting rice; for they

sow it upon the water, and before sowing, while the earth is

covered with water, they cause the ground to be trodden by oxen,

horses, and asses, who go mid-leg deep; and this is the way of

preparing the ground for sowing. As they sow the rice on the

water, they transplant it in the water." Harmer's Observ. vol. i.

p. 280. "Rice is the food of two-thirds of mankind." Dr.

Arbuthnot. "It is cultivated in most of the eastern

countries." Miller. "It is good for all, and at all times." Sir J.

Chardin, ib. "Le ris, qui est leur principal aliment et leur

froment (i.e., des Siamois,) n'est jamais assez arrose; il croit

au milieu de l'eau, et les campagnes ou on le cultive ressemblent

plutot a de marets que non pas a des terres qu'on laboure aver la

charue. Le ris a bien cette force, que quoy qu'il y ait six ou

sept pieds d'eau sur lui, il pousse toujours sa tige au dessus; et

le tuyau qui le porte s'eleve et croit a proportion de la hauteur

de l'eau qui noye son champ. Voyage de l'Eveque de Beryte, p. 144.

Paris, 1666.-L. "Rice, which is the principal grain and aliment of

the Siamese, can never be too much watered. It grows in the water,

and the fields where it is sown resemble marshes rather than

fields cultivated by ploughing. Rice has that property that

although it be covered with water six or seven feet deep, yet it

raises its stalk above it; and this grows long in proportion to

the depth of the water by which the field is inundated."

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