Scriptures/The Bible/The Old Testament/Isaiah/32

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Isaiah 32 at

1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

The introduction here sounds like a description of millenial conditions.

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.

It appears again, that Isaiah is predicting a rarity of men. Commentaries suggest that "a man" here, is specifically referring to the aforementioned princes, which seems likely to describe a better long-term millenial condition. It has been my observation, since the beginning of my professional life, that managers are generally more interested in posturing to their managers, than supporting those who work for them, or doing great work that provides value, and in the same way, I think most rulers and politicians are more interested in themselves than they are in promoting success and prosperity.[1] Perhaps, rather, Isaiah is saying that all men, as leaders, will lead unselfishly.
In the spirit of Isaiah 4:1, where men are being sought after as mates, the suggestion from Isaiah here is that men will be sought after for protection.
Theme: Men Will Become Rare in the Last Days

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.

5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

I certainly consider myself to have grown up in a time when the vile have been called liberal, and it seems that this is changing. Commentaries point out that the word "liberal" here can mean generous and self-sacrificing, or noble.[2]

6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, 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 deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

An apt description of how to identify a true "liberal" and an apt endorsement of the strength of liberalism.

9 ¶ Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.

This sounds like an apt reprimand for modern women.

10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.

Many days and years: Literally "days beyond a year", meaning, "a little more than a year".[3]
Commentaries suggest this may be a generic reference to a period without earthly joy rather than merely a famine.[4]
This may be echoing the situation described as occurring during/after the 6th angel's trumpet described in Revelations 9; the 13-month war.
Theme: Wickedness of Women in the Last Days

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.

They shall lament for the teats: Commentators describe this passage as particularly difficult. The Hebrew gives us something literally like, "upon their breasts people shall mourn".[5] The most common suggestion is to read this as "they shall smite upon the breasts" (as an act of mourning), however, the word here translated as "breasts" might rather have been intended as "fields", so that we have something like "they shall mourn for the fields".[6]
There may be a double-meaning here (as is common with Isaiah), that both the literal fields will be unfruitful, and, since he was just talking about the women, he may be alluding to their own unfruitfulness. The increasing childlessness of women is a sign of the times.[7] This has echoes of Isaiah 4:1.

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;

Depopulated cities are here mentioned again by Isaiah. (As in Isaiah 5:9)

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.

16 Then judgment 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.

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.


It feels like there are strong echoes of Isaiah 3 here.