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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 32

Verses 1-4

The Realm of Peace

The beginning of this chapter describes the situation following the liberation of the previous chapter, where Christ has come to save His people. Now follows the meeting with Christ personally and the prophecy of Christ’s personal, millennial reign (Isaiah 32:1; cf. 2 Samuel 23:3; Jeremiah 23:5). The remaining people of Israel will take to heart the exhortations of the previous chapter and repent. Now Christ can make Himself known to His people, just as the viceroy of Egypt, Joseph, did to His brothers after they have repented. This will be very personal, without the presence of others (cf. Genesis 45:1).

This can never refer to the current time. The Lord Jesus does not rule in righteousness now. How anyone can assume that seeing all the wars and all the misery on earth, is incomprehensible. The world is still full of injustice. When He reigns, there will also be “princes” who will “rule” under Him (Revelation 5:10; Matthew 19:28; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 20:6; Revelation 22:5).

The kings of this world, such as the antichrist and the king of the North, can be compared to beasts, dragons, predators, against whom the people must protect themselves. On the other hand, Christ, the King, is painted in this verse as the good Shepherd, the Sovereign Who dedicates his life to the good of the people. He is the Shepherd Who gave His life for the sheep, the Son of Man Who came, not to be served, “but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

Christ – He is meant with “a man” (Isaiah 32:2, Darby Translation) – will personally be the protection and refreshment for those who, at the beginning of the realm of peace, are still threatened by hostile powers from the far north (Ezekiel 38-39). It is possible that this protection and refreshment will also be given by the princes who rule with Him at that time (Matthew 19:28).

From the rulers in Isaiah 32:1-Exodus : the prophet passes to the people (Isaiah 32:3). Christ makes Himself known to His people in His Divine omnipotence when He heals the blind and deaf (Matthew 11:2-Joshua :). At the same time we see His compassion in this. Nowhere in the Old Testament do we read that a blind man is healed. Healing a blind man is therefore seen by the Jews as the ultimate sign of the Messiah. In what the Lord Jesus says to the disciples of John the baptist about Himself being the Messiah, He mentions in His evidence as the first point that He heals the blind (Matthew 11:5).

He does not only work physical healing. Being able to see and hear again has a spiritual counterpart. The inability to understand God’s thoughts is gone (Isaiah 32:4; Isaiah 6:9-2 Samuel :). The judgment of hardening has been lifted. They have insight and knowledge. And now that their ears are opened again, they can hear what God is saying and are also able to give a clear testimony of the greatness of the LORD without stammering.

Blindness and deafness are also the spiritual characteristics of the people of Israel (Isaiah 42:19; Isaiah 6:9-2 Samuel :; Acts 28:27). A servant who is blind and deaf is not fit for any task. But Christ, the perfect Servant of the LORD, has come to heal the blind and deaf servant Israel.

Verses 5-8

The Fool and the Noble

In that time justice will reign and there will also have come an end to a reversal of values and to the utterly erroneous assessment of relations in God’s people. The people as a whole have called the foolish antichrist noble, and this “rogue” has been held in high regard by them because of his deceitful generosity (Isaiah 32:5; John 5:43). Isaiah 32:6-Judges : give a more detailed description of what is being planned in the wicked heart of the fool and rogue. On the other hand, there is what the “generous” devises, what his life radiates, and what is consistently present with him (Isaiah 32:8).

In the realm of peace, everything will be called by its true name, as in creation, where Adam gives each being the appropriate name (Genesis 2:19-Proverbs :). There will be no more reversal of things. No one can pretend to be anything other than what he really is. The “noble man” cannot be anyone but the Lord Jesus. But also every believer, everyone who has Him as his life and lives in fellowship with Him, may be such a “generous one”. The believer is also asked to “devise noble plans” (Philippians 4:8) – and not to evil “against one another” (Zechariah 7:10; Zechariah 8:17) – and to stand for “noble plans”.

Verses 9-14

Judgment About Complacency

In Isaiah 32:9 Isaiah is back in Jerusalem. Before righteousness reigns in the realm of peace, the people must first be purified during the great tribulation. In that time the people will send the prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” (Psalms 139:23-Jeremiah :). To this end, the spiritual state of the people is described, a state that makes the purification by God necessary.

Isaiah turns with sharp words against the complacent women in the city (cf. Isaiah 3:16-Ezekiel :). He condemns their carelessness while judgment is at hand (cf. Amos 6:1). They don’t care about anything except their own pleasure. They quietly live their lives of luxury and prosperity, without any fear of imminent danger. This carelessness and tranquility are not the result of trusting in the LORD, but of their indifference to the LORD and His words by the prophet.

Therefore, within not too long – and that time is indicated quite accurately – they will be awakened from that carelessness (Isaiah 32:10). It will not come right away, but it will come for sure. Their rest will turn into trembling. It will be over with the fun in which wine plays such an important role.

Isaiah calls upon them to undress, to strip themselves of all their splendor (Isaiah 32:11). He calls for repentance and sadness about the adopted lifestyle from which the LORD is excluded (cf. Luke 15:17-Psalms :). Isaiah presents to them what it will look like in not too long time (Isaiah 32:12-2 Chronicles :). It will all look desolate and hopeless.

There is no more milk for the babies; there is no more golden corn in the fields; there are no more vines with their sumptuous fruit (Isaiah 32:12). The consequences of sin, the “thorns [and] briars”, will fill the land and overgrow the houses of joy and the exuberant city (Isaiah 32:13). All is forsaken when their king is gone and the people are taken from their homes into exile (Isaiah 32:14; Zechariah 14:2). The city has become a ghost town, without any protection. The only ones who still have some joy there are the wild donkeys who might find something edible there.

Verses 15-20

Once More the Realm of Peace

Then the hopeful “until” sounds again (Isaiah 32:15). From this verse Isaiah looks again forward to the situation that will be there in the thousand years of peace. Through the word “us” the prophet identifies himself with the redeemed people, that is the remnant. It begins with the outpouring of the Spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-Daniel :; Joel 2:28; Zechariah 12:10; Acts 2:1-Numbers :; Acts 2:16) upon this believing remnant of Israel.

The Bible teaches not only a first and a second coming of the Lord Jesus, but also a first and a second coming of the Holy Spirit. Through the first coming of the Holy Spirit, the church came into being, God’s heavenly people, the body of Christ, in which the Spirit has dwelt since that event (Acts 2:1-Numbers :; 1 Corinthians 12:13). The people coming into being by the second coming of the Holy Spirit are an earthly people who are at the core of the people who will acknowledge the Lord Jesus as Messiah and receive His blessing.

With this second outpouring of the Holy Spirit will come an abundance of fertility (Isaiah 32:15), righteousness (Isaiah 32:16), and peace, quietness, and security (Isaiah 32:17-Job :). We must remember that this is not about the indwelling of the Spirit, but about the working of the Spirit in this redeemed people.

What is a wilderness becomes a fertile field. What is a fertile field will become even more fertile. The law will “dwell” in the peaceful realm of the wilderness [that is “to tabernacle”, “[dwelling] in tents”], which means that it will have its rest there (Isaiah 32:16). Everywhere justice will be spoken in a completely righteous manner.

As a result, there will be peace, for which the nations have labored in vain for so long (Isaiah 32:17), for peace is based on righteousness. From this will flow again “quietness and confidence” which will have no end. This people at rest will still be attacked by Gog (Ezekiel 38:11). This will have no effect on their quietness at all because the LORD will bring this enemy to the land to exterminate him there.

In Isaiah 32:18 the Spirit searches, as it were, for words to describe how great the benefit is of living on earth then. There is no longer any fear of a hostile power, for the hail of God’s judgments will fall upon them, the forest (cf. Isaiah 10:18), and cause the city to sink into the depths (Isaiah 32:19). The seed sown by the waters will produce abundant fruit (Isaiah 32:20). The yield from the soil will be so great that the farmer will not have to feed his working animals with straw in their stalls, but can drive them to the abundance that has risen along the waters to take of it as much as they want.

There is also a spiritual application of the latter verse. Sow besides all waters indicates the complete freedom to sow and teach God’s Word throughout the world. Whoever does so is called “blessed”. Sowing besides the waters indicates that it is also necessary to preach the gospel in the realm of peace, because every person who is born is born a sinner and must repent.

“The ox and the donkey” are symbolic of being busy in the service of the Lord, both in the preaching of the gospel and in the teaching of the church of God (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:9-2 Samuel :; 1 Timothy 5:17-Job :).

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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Isaiah 32". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/isaiah-32.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniƫl', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.