Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Isaiah 32:1

Behold, a king will reign righteously And princes will rule justly.
New American Standard Version
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  1. Adam Clarke Commentary
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  3. Coffman Commentaries on the Bible
  4. Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible
  5. E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes
  6. Calvin's Commentary on the Bible
  7. Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
  8. Chuck Smith Bible Commentary
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Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Church;   Salvation;   Wicked (People);   Scofield Reference Index - Kingdom of Heaven;   Thompson Chain Reference - King;   Kingship, Divine;   Sovereignty of God;   The Topic Concordance - Government;   Jesus Christ;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Christ, the King;   Righteousness;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Prophecy, prophet;   Rock;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Judges, the Book of;   Manasseh (2);   Holman Bible Dictionary - Isaiah;   Remnant;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Isaiah, Book of;   King;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Messiah;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Rain;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Grace;   Hezekiah (2);   Isaiah;   Jesus Christ (Part 1 of 2);   King, Christ as;   Prince;   Reign;   Salvation;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Proverbs, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

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 - ושרים ve -sarim, without ל lamed, to; so the ancient Versions. An ancient MS. has ושריו vesaraiv, and his princes.

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These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/isaiah-32.html. 1832.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

A kingdom of righteousness (32:1-20)

Looking beyond the victory over the Assyrians, Isaiah sees the day when the people of God are under the rule of an ideal government. At the head of this government is a king whose chief officials share his characteristics of integrity, justice and mercy. Together they give their people protection and contentment (32:1-2).

In such a kingdom the people as a whole reflect in their lives the qualities of their rulers. They have a desire to know more of God and his ways and to live lives of greater usefulness to others (3-4). If people speak foolishly, act selfishly, or plot cunningly how to exploit the disadvantaged, they will find that in such a society they are shown up to be what they really are (5-7). In the same way the upright will be recognized for what they are, and honoured accordingly (8).

Returning to the Jerusalem of his own time, Isaiah announces that the upper class women who live luxuriously will suddenly find themselves poor. The vineyards that provide them with a constant supply of wine will be destroyed, and the city where they find their pleasure will be smashed to ruins (9-14).

Only after the removal of all these evils does the ideal age begin. This age is characterized by justice and righteousness, because the people have God's Spirit poured out upon them (15-16). The result is peace, safety, joy, freedom and prosperity such as people have never known before (17-20).

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/isaiah-32.html. 2005.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

There are obviously only three paragraphs in this chapter: a blessed promise (Isaiah 32:1-8), a warning to complacent and indifferent women (Isaiah 32:9-15), and a return to the message of hope (Isaiah 32:16-20).

Isaiah 32:1-8

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in justice. And a man shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest, as streams of water in a dry place, as the shade of a great rock in a weary land. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. And the heart of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongues of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. The fool shall be no more called noble, nor the churl said to be bountiful. For the fool will speak folly, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice profaneness, and to utter terror against Jehovah, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and to cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. And the instruments of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the meek with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the noble deviseth noble things; and in noble things shall he continue."

There is much difference of opinion about the identity of that "King who shall reign in righteousness," which is the prominent feature of this paragraph. Jewish commentators usually take the position that it is Hezekiah who is here spoken of; and some Christian scholars have accepted this. Barnes stated flatly that, "This king is Hezekiah."[1] He defended this position by pointing out the superiority of Hezekiah's rule over that of the evil Manasseh who succeeded him, and also such scripture references as the following:

"He removed the high places and broke the images and cut down the grove. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him there was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him, for he clave unto the Lord, and departed not from following him" (2 Kings 18:3-5).

Yes, indeed, in the context of a record of other kings of Israel, Hezekiah was indeed righteous; but in the absolute sense, no. The situation is the same as it was with other Old Testament heroes who bore the designation of "righteous men." For example, Lot, Noah, and others whose lives were indeed blemished with sin were called, "righteous in their generation" (Genesis 7:1); and that is the way we understand the "righteousness of Hezekiah." Certainly, Hezekiah was not righteous when he was going along with that plot to make an alliance with Egypt, contrary to God's will.

There are serious reasons why the theory of this "king's" being Hezekiah cannot be accepted. (1) Neither Hezekiah nor the conditions during his reign fulfill the conditions of justice, righteousness, and proper understanding and discernment by the people in all the land. "The evidence does not seem to warrant this interpretation."[2]

(2) It is also impossible to receive this as a promise of Hezekiah's reign, because Hezekiah was already reigning, and the passage speaks of a "future situation.," not one that already existed. "The king here is not Hezekiah, who was already on the throne, whereas a future time is contemplated."[3]

(3) Objections to the refusal to see this as a Messianic passage are weak and ineffective. Some, of course, say that in Christ's kingdom, there are no "princes" to reign with Him. While true enough in an ordinary sense, it is nevertheless true that "all Christians" are a "royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:9); and does not the Bible say, "He hath made us (Christians) to be kings and priests unto God" (Revelation 1:6 KJV), and that Our Lord himself is "The prince of the kings of the earth" (Revelation 1:5), and that, "They (Christians) lived and reigned with Christ"? (Revelation 20:6). Furthermore, the fundamental Pauline teaching of the New Testament is that every Christian is "baptized `into Christ,'" is therefore a member of Christ's spiritual body; and that it is proper to say that Christians are in a sense "actually Christ." Whatever Christ does, Christians also do. Whatever he did, they "have therefore done"; and that is why the redeemed may lawfully say that they "have already died to sin" in the person of their Savior.

The germ of that very important Pauline conception is therefore right here in this chapter of Isaiah.

(4) Another objection is that no clear picture of Christ appears in these verses; and that objection disappears completely when the passage is understood, not as a picture of the King, but as a prophecy of His Kingdom, of the Messianic Age; and a number of discerning scholars have properly understood this:

"Christ's kingdom will fulfill God's holy ideal of a holy commonwealth, administering perfect righteousness throughout the earth.[4] This is the fourth of Isaiah's promises of the Messiah: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6f; 11:1ff; and 32:1.[5] The role of the coming Messiah fits the description in this verse. He is the King who shall role in righteousness.[6] Here are the characteristics of the future age."[7]

As excellent a commentary on this passage as any we have seen is the following from Peake, who, although a critical scholar, offered the following:

"Here is a description of the Messianic time, though the figure of the Messiah does not appear in the passage. King and princes will reign in righteousness, each of them a source of shelter and refreshment. The present failure in moral insight and responsiveness will be removed; the inconsiderate will gain judgment, the faulty speaker the faculty of lucid expression. Men will be designated in harmony with their true character. The fool shall no longer be called noble, nor the swindler an aristocrat; for fool and swindler will act in accordance with their nature, but the noble will resolve on noble schemes and persist in their execution."[8]

Before leaving these first eight verses we should notice a little further the satanic habit of giving sins and sinful men names that tend to ameliorate their shame and unworthiness. The drunkard is called an "alcoholic"; the vicious murderer is judged to be "sick"; the grossly immoral is labeled as a "schizophrenic"; the shoplifter, the gambler, and other sinners are also dignified with special names and descriptions. In the kingdom of Christ, however, things will be called what they are! "God's standard of judgment will at last become man's standard."[9]

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/isaiah-32.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Behold, a king - That is, Hezekiah. That it refers to him is apparent from the connection. The reign of Ahaz had been one of oppression and idolatry. This was to be succeeded by the reign of one under whom the rights of the people would be secured, and under whom there would be a state of general prosperity. This may have been uttered while Ahaz was on the throne, or it may have been when Hezekiah began to reign. Perhaps the latter is the more probable, as Ahaz might not have tolerated anything that would have looked like a reflection on his own reign; nor, perhaps, while he was on the throne would Isaiah have given a description that would have been a contrast between his reign and that of his successor.

Shall reign in righteousness - That is, a righteous king shall reign; or his administration shall be one of justice, and strongly in contrast with that of his predecessor. This was certainly the general characteristic of the reign of Hezekiah.

And princes shall rule - Hebrew, ‹For princes, or, ‹as to princes‘ (לשׂרים les'ârı̂ym ). Lowth proposes to read this without the ל (l ), as the ancient versions do. But it is not necessary to change the text. It may be rendered, ‹As to princes, they shall rule‘ (compare Psalm 16:3). The ‹princes‘ here denote the various officers of government, or those to whom the administration was confided.

In judgment - That this is a just description of the reign of Hezekiah is apparent from the history, see 2 Kings 18:3-6: ‹He removed the high places, and broke the images, and cut down the grove. He trusted in the Lord God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him, for he clave unto the Lord, and departed not from following him.‘

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Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/isaiah-32.html. 1870.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.

a king. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 17:14, Deuteronomy 17:16). App-92.

in = for, in the interest of.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/isaiah-32.html. 1909-1922.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

1.Behold, a King shall reign. He means that God will still be gracious to his Church, so as to restore her entirely; and the best method of restoring her is, when good government is maintained, and when the whole administration of it is conducted with propriety, and with good order. This prediction undoubtedly relates to Hezekiah and his reign, under which the Church was reformed and restored to its former splendor; for formerly it was in a wretched and ruinous condition. Ahaz, who was a wicked and disgraceful hypocrite, had corrupted everything according to his own wicked dispositions, and had overturned the whole condition of civil government and of religion. (2 Kings 16:2.) He therefore promises another king, namely, Hezekiah, whose power and righteousness shall restore the state of affairs which is thus wretched and desperate. In a word, he presents to us in this passage a lively picture of the prosperous condition of the Church; and as this cannot be attained without Christ, this description undoubtedly refers to Christ, of whom Hezekiah was a type, and whose kingdom he foreshadowed.

In righteousness and judgment. Here he follows the ordinary usage of Scripture, which employs those expressions to denote good government; for by righteousness is meant equity and good government, and by judgment is meant that part of equity which upholds good men, and defends them from the assaults of the wicked. It is undoubtedly true that the duty of a good prince embraces a wider extent than “righteousness and judgment;” for his great aim ought to be to defend the honor of God and religion. But the ordinary usage of Scripture is, to describe the whole observation of the law by the works of the second table; for, if we refrain from acts of injustice, if we aid, as far as lies in our power, those who are oppressed by others, and, in a word, if we maintain brotherly kindness, we give evidence of the fear of God, from which such fruits spring and grow. From a part, therefore, the Prophet has described the whole.

And princes shall rule. It is not without good reason that he likewise mentions nobles; (328) for it would not be enough to be a good prince, if he were not supported by upright ministers and counselors. Frequently has the condition of the people, under good princes, been very bad; as we read of Nerva, (329) under whose reign every kind of conduct was tolerated, so that many persons were far less favourably situated under his reign than under Nero; for the carelessness and indolence of a single individual gave freedom of action to many wicked men. It is therefore necessary that a king shall have good governors, who shall supply the place of eyes and hands, and aid him in the righteous exercise of his authority. If this be not the case, a good king cannot advance a step without being more or less retarded by other men; and unless rulers move with a harmony resembling that which we find in musical instruments, the government of a state cannot be carried on with advantage.

On this subject, men ought to listen to the advice of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, to unite with him

“able men fearing God, men of truth, and hating covetousness, and to appoint such men to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” (Exodus 18:21.)

But at the present day, those who aid, or pander to their lusts, and who favor and flatter them, are promoted by kings to honors and high rank, which are bestowed on them as the just reward of their flattery or base servility. Nor ought we to wonder if we see, almost throughout the whole world, states thrown into confusion, ranks overturned, and all good government despised and set aside; for this is the just punishment of our iniquities, and we deserve to have such governors, since we do not allow God to rule over us. How shall this extraordinary kindness of God be enjoyed by men who are openly rebellious and profane, or by wicked hypocrites who cast God behind them, and cannot bear the yoke of Christ, through whom this prosperity and restoration of a declining Church is promised?

FT585 The singular mildness of the Roman Emperor Nerva, which made him personally beloved, was carried to such an excess as to impair the efficiency of his government, and compelled him to resign the throne to the able and excellent Trajan. On the other hand, Nero, whose name cannot be mentioned without awakening the remberance of his monstrous cruelty, held the reins with a firmer hand, and prevented the repetition of many disorders which had been committed under the reign of his amiable predecessor Nerva. — Ed

FT586Duquel il soit le chef.”

FT587 “The heart also of the rash. (Heb. hasty.)” — Eng.Ver. “The heart also of the hasty.” — Stock

FT588 This observation is founded on the Hebrew word נמהרים, (nimharim,) which our Author translates Fools, and which literally means Hasty. — Ed

FT589 The allusion would be better brought out by rendering it, “The fool will speak folly.” — Ed

FT590 Συμπάθεια, a more extensive term than the English word “sympathy,” literally denotes “fellow-feeling,” and is frequently employed by our Author to express that kind of feeling which every man ought to cherish towards his fellow-men. — Ed

FT591Quelque trahison;” — “Some treachery.”

FT592 “Even when the needy speaketh right;” or, “when he speaketh against the poor in judgment.” — Eng. Ver.

FT593 “Ye provinces that dwell at ease.” — Jarchi

FT594 “Ye cities that dwell carelessly.” — Jarchi. In this, as well as in the former case, he refers to Jonathan’s Targum. — Ed

FT595 “Many days and years; (Heb. days above a year.)” — Eng. Ver. “In a year and more.” — Alexander. “Shortly after a year; Heb. days upon a year: that is, the time will soon come after the expiration of one year, when ye shall be troubled with a dearth.” — Stock

FT596 “It may be better translated, striking your breasts, because of the pleasant fields and fruitful vines, which should be destroyed by the Assyrians. It was a common gesture used on all mournful occasions, to strike the breasts; though others think teats may be taken metaphorically for the pleasant fields and fruitful vine by which they subsisted, as infants by the mother’s paps.” — Samuel White

FT597 “For all that desolation shall be on all joyful houses.” — Jarchi

FT598 “And the wilderness become a fruitful field.” Such is the Author’s own translation of the clause, which corresponds to our authorized version. — Ed

FT599 See our Author’s Commentary on that passage. — Ed

FT600 “And the city shall be low in a low place;” or, “And the city shall be utterly abased.” — Eng. Ver.

FT601 “Some by the Forest understand Nineveh, some Babylon, some Jerusalem, and some the Assyrian army; but Gataker, and Vatablus before him, think the words may be rendered, he shall hail with hail on the forest, and cities shall be built in low places; as if he had said, God shall preserve the fruits of the earth from the injuries of unseasonable weather, and, when he sends a storm of hail, cause it to fall on the woods and deserts; and he shall give them so great security, that for the future they shall build their cities in low grounds, to shew that they are under no apprehension of being overrun any more by an enemy.” — White

FT602 “Happy ye who shall enjoy as great fertility as if all your lands lay on the side of a running stream. Your corn shall grow so thick and fast that ye shall be forced to let your cattle crop the luxuriant ears; a practice still in use among our husbandmen.” — White

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Calvin, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/isaiah-32.html. 1840-57.

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible

  1. Intro:
    1. Here is Isaiah’s 4th promise of a coming king.
  2. The King, His Spirit, & His Kingdom! (1-12)
    1. The King! (1-4)
    2. (1) What you need is a King in your life, the Lord himself who will rule in righteousness and justice.
      1. A King is the Big Boss!
    3. (2-4) What a difference it makes if you have a King in your life!
      1. The Lord himself will be to you like a "hiding place from the wind, a shelter in a storm, like refreshing streams of water in a dry place, a cool shade in a hot desert."
        1. Sometimes we need to get out of the glare & heat of life &slip into the restful shade of His presence!
          1. Ps.91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of theMost High Shall abide under the shadow of theAlmighty.”
        2. The Dove hiding in the cleft of the rock finds its safety there despite its worthiness! (It has nothing to do w/that huh?)
          1. Believer, you are safe in The Great Rock of Refuge &you are safe there forever!
        3. Q: Which of these do you reflect best in your life?
        4. Q: Do your friends feel safe in you as a hiding place w/their issues or problems?
        5. Q: Are you known as a shelter during their storms, or do you whip up more wind?
        6. Q: How can you refresh them like a cool stream?
        7. Q: Do you provide shade during their “Hot” times, or do you help to turn up the heat even hotter?
        8. Q: How can you become a shelter or refuge in your community?
        9. “This beautifully describes the refreshment of spirit that comes to those who, while walking in the midst of life and not trying to run away from it, feed their inner life with the strength and beauty of the Lord their God.”
      2. How wonderfully this describes the escape from the danger of a “misplaced confidence” (i.e. last chapter/Egypt).
    4. Moral Character! (5-8)
    5. (5-7) In a leader there should be no conflict between public duty & private morality.
      1. Also, we should pray for our society not to be led by fools!
        1. Read Paul Harvey’s editorial
    6. God is looking for those whose eyes, ears, hearts, are open to sp. truth.
    7. Generous/Noble = possessing excellent moral character.
    8. Complacency! (9-14)
    9. Here’s our text for our next men’s retreat! ☺
    10. (9-11) Isaiah had a special burden for the careless women of the land.
      1. Why? Women(wives, mothers, grandmothers) can have a great influence for good or for evil.
      2. They were living at ease…as God’s gavel was about to fall.
        1. They only had a year left (10) before Assyria strikes[701bc].
      3. God’s rule will demand an end to complacency!
        1. When you’re complacent you are at ease, or resting on false hopes.
      4. Instead of complacency, they should have repented by putting on sackcloth!
    11. (13) Their happy homes were about to be destroyed…but they didn’t seem to care.
    12. The Spirit’s Outpouring! (15)
    13. He describes the future kingdom that started with Pentecost.
    14. Q: Is He poured upon you? How do you know if He is? Are you filled w/Him? How do you know if you are?(Is he a liquid?) What does it feel like? What actually happens?
      1. The Bible never defines it really. It just points out people who were. (Adapted from Robertson McQuilkin; Life in the Spirit; ch’s 26-28)
      2. [1] John the Baptist - "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will also be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb.”
      3. [2] Stephen - " But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,”
      4. [3] Zechariah - "Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying:…”
      5. [4] Bezalel - "See, I have called by name Bezalel…And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, "to design artistic works,…”
    15. When we are “Filled Full” of the H.S. it encompasses 3 things: a completeness, a satisfaction, & a mystery.
    16. [1] A Completeness!
      1. My gas tank is full of gas; He is full of whiskey; She was filled w/fear; Judas was full of the devil; The book of Philip.’s is full of joy.
      2. We are full of the H.S., as Judas was full of the un-holy spirit/Devil.
        1. The main idea was that he was under the devil’s control!
      3. It isn’t physical then like a tank of gas.
      4. We’re talking about a relationship between 2 persons. A relationship where one might let the other dominate!
      5. Eph.5:18 “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,”
        1. When someone is under the influence they don’t have to tell you they’re drunk.
        2. They are full of alcohol. You can tell by their talk. There walk proves it!
        3. Isn’t that parallel to being filled w/the H.S. – Are you under the influence of the H.S.? - Is it evident?
      6. A Christian can answer “Am I filled w/the H.S.?”, with “yes I have yielded to the will of God, & given him full control.”
    17. [2] A Satisfaction!
      1. Another definition for full is when we say a child is full of mischief.
        1. This is highly visible.
        2. Most references of “filling” indicate some evidence or outcome of the filling. (people recognized the Spirit at work)
          1. The disciples preached w/power; they sang even while in prison; they met each crisis w/faith.
      2. You never hear of someone in Scripture claiming to be Spirit-filled!
        1. It was always someone noticing or seeing it.
      3. Being full of the Holy Spirit shows itself in the outward evidence of “producing fruit in our lives.”
        1. Oh, that we would produce a Bumper Crop of Jesus Fruit!
        2. A peach hanging off a tree points to what is inside…it is a peach tree! [thus, Jesus plants produce Jesus fruit!]
        3. Those around us become fruit inspectors: they can tell what’s on the inside, by what comes out!
        4. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them.” Mt.7:20.
        5. Hopefully you’re not happy with just a couple little shriveled pieces of fruit dangling from your life.
          1. Go for Bumper Crop of Jesus Fruit! “fruit, more fruit,much fruit!”
        6. Example: Pastor Kim attended the trial of a young man accused of killing his 2 sons in a communist insurrection. He asked the judge to pardon the murderer & turn the young man over to him to train to take the place of his sons in serving God. Only the spirit of God can produce that kind of “fruit”
      4. Q: Are we “Holy Spirit Effective” in our ministry/service to God? (i.e. things happening that can’t be explained w/our natural abilities)
        1. You teach & someone yields there life to Christ.
        2. You Show hospitality & someone is dawn to the church through their gracious hospitality.
        3. Evangelizing - & someone gets saved.
        4. Counseling – someone experiences healing & starts to become more like Jesus.
        5. Helping the poor – and through it someone is drawn toward Christ through your assistance.
        6. Encouraging – someone begins to draw strength from God.
      5. I picture a large schooner(a fast sailing ship) sails full of wind… when suddenly a gust of wind sweeps down & it surges the schooner forward under a really full sail!
        1. So it is w/the Holy Spirit! {An overdrive surge of power}
          1. Ex: A thought comes to mind how to do something right after you’ve prayed!
      6. If the Holy Spirit isn’t in our ministry…nothing of eternal value will happen!
      7. A Christian can answer “Am I filled w/the H.S.?”, with “You tell me! Do you see anything?”
    18. [3] A Mystery!
      1. ​​​​​​​This part defies analysis. It has to do w/inner feelings. Or, “an ecstatic inner sense of God’s presence!”
      2. Acts 13:52 “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
      3. It’s like marriage…is their outward evidence? Yes, children! But there’s also a mystery about feelings.
        1. Moments of shared ecstasy, but also shared agony.
        2. Jesus had joy, & agony!
        3. So w/us & the Spirit.
        4. Q: Have you had a recent surge of affection, or emotional response, to God’s presence lately? (ask for it!)
        5. The “inner sense of fullness” is not a constant but a periodic gift! (some mystics through the ages might have experienced more than you or I…but it isn’t the norm…but don’t you desire more? Tell him!)
      4. A Christian can answer “Am I filled w/the H.S.?”, with “Sometimes!”
    19. Be being filled w/the H.S. –
      1. Is a command to us – something I must do. But it is also in the passive form, something the Spirit does to me.
      2. Q: How do these go together? – I take the initiative & deliberately yield control! - Then I keep praying & expecting Him to produce the fruit of godliness!
        1. Keep in an abiding relationship! - Be in a steady-state of filling! - Stay tight with Him!
    20. Peace & Quiet! (16-20)
    21. In Heb.7 Melchizedek, a type of Christ, was known as "king of righteousness," and then also king of Salem, meaning "king of peace,"
      1. There can be no lasting peace w/o righteousness!
      2. There can be no short-cut to genuine peace!
    22. Peace - Lk.2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (all men?)
      1. Lk.2:14 NIV "and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
      2. True Peace & Biblical Rest do not belong to the unregenerate…it is a peculiar possession of the Lord’s people only.
      3. During the flood the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark. (Jesus – the ark of our salvation)
      4. Israel rested safely w/the sprinkled blood on their doorframes, while the death-angel flew bye.
      5. Today we rest in the promises of our faithful Father!
      6. We are not to be hiding in our own man made shelters:
        1. Like David hiding in the cave of Adullam.
        2. Nor like Jonah trying to find shade beneath is gourd!
        3. For no one can invade or destroy our shelter in Jesus!
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These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/isaiah-32.html. 2017.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

Chapter32

Now as we get into chapter32Isaiah jumps over a couple of millennia at least, as he looks forward. As God is going to come down and as a crouching lion roaring and so forth, over her prey, in verse Isaiah 32:4 going back to chapter31. As the Lord of hosts shall come down to fight for mount Zion, and for the hill thereof, He is likened unto a lion, a young lion that is roaring on his prey.

When you turn to the book of Revelation and you read there of the return of Jesus Christ, it declares in Revelation 10:3,"And He cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roars: and when he has cried, the seven thunders uttered their voices." So Christ in His returning is going to let forth a great cry like a lion that is roaring. Now here, of course, it declares it in Isaiah 31:4 . Also in Jeremiah 25:30 . Also in Joel, and in many places of the Old Testament is referring to the day that the Lord has come roaring as the lion.

And so He has come.

Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes will rule in judgment. And a man shall be as a 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. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly ( Isaiah 32:1-4 ).

There"s going to be a restoration when the King comes and reigns. No more will people be stuttering, stammer. Will speak plainly. And at this time,

The vile person shall be no more called liberal ( Isaiah 32:5 ),

I think that that"s a very interesting verse, because we hear of liberals today, and for the most part, especially a theological liberal is an extremely vile person. But yet, they sort of hide behind the term of, "Well, I"m a liberal." And they use that as a covering for their vileness. And in that day, "the vile person will no more be called liberal."

nor the churl said to be bountiful ( Isaiah 32:5 ).

A rude kind of a bullish person.

For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD ( Isaiah 32:6 ),

Now what an apt description this is of the liberals. Their hearts are seeking to work iniquity and to practice hypocrisy. And what tremendous hypocrisy there is. As in theology, the liberals are always redefining terms so that you don"t know what they"re talking about. And you have to ask them, "But what do you mean by born again?" Because they"ve even picked up the term born again. They use the terms charisma, and they use all kinds of terms and you listen to them talk and you say, "My, he"s right on! He was talking about Christ." Yes, but what does he mean when he says Christ? Does he mean an anointing that, you know, the Christ in me and the Christ in you? What does he mean when he says born again? And they"ve redefined these terms so that they can use the terms and you listen to them talk and you think, "My, he"s talking about being born again! Isn"t that wonderful?" But if you get a definition of their terminology, you"ll find what they mean by being born again is entirely different from what we understand what it is to be born again by the Spirit of God into a new spiritual life.

So the hypocrisy by changing the definition of words so that they can give forth their villainy, really, but you don"t understand what they"re saying because you don"t have the glossary that they are using. But, "they seek to utter error against the Lord."

to make empty the soul of the hungry; and will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail ( Isaiah 32:6 ).

The thing about the liberal church and the liberal theologians is that they do not satisfy a person"s real hunger for God. And people can go to church all their lives in these liberal churches and never really be satisfied. Their hunger for God"s Word and God"s truth never satisfied; their thirst for God never filled. Because the liberal theologians have absolutely nothing to offer of a true experience and relationship with God. Now they"re extremely clever in their argumentation. In the presenting of their point. But their purpose is to become involved more politically and the presentation of the social gospel and the emphasis upon the social gospel. And to listen to them it sounds so good. It sounds so right. And here Isaiah is speaking of the day when the King comes and these liberals will be called what they really are.

The instruments also of the churl are evil: he devises wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. Rise up ( Isaiah 32:7-9 ),

Now beginning with verse Isaiah 32:9 he turns now the attention and the thought to the women at this particular time in Jerusalem. And let me say that women are usually the true barometer of the moral state of a nation. Women are the ones who usually set the moral standards. And when the women become corrupted in their moral standards, there"s nothing left. And so the prophet speaks out again as he did in an earlier chapter against the women in Jerusalem.

Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip yourselves, make bare, and put on sackcloth on your loins ( Isaiah 32:9-11 ).

In other words, the time has come really not to just be looking for pleasure and ease but to really be seeking God and turning to God. Sackcloth was a garment of mourning and begin to mourn over the condition of the nation, the condition of the country. I think that the message of Isaiah to the women of that day is extremely important to the women of our day. For defiled womanhood means a defiled nation.

They shall lament ( Isaiah 32:12 )

And he speaks of the lamentation, and it brings to mind what Jesus said will take place during the Great Tribulation period when the time has come for those to flee from Jerusalem to the wilderness place. "Woe unto them," He said, "who in those days are nursing a child or who are pregnant." Woe unto them because it will be hard to flee from Jerusalem in a hurry to get away from the man of sin, the son of perdition who will be coming to defile the temple and to blaspheme God. So the women lamenting.

The land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: 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; 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 ( Isaiah 32:13-15 ).

Until God begins His work of restoration. Now it is interesting how that the land of Israel did remain for centuries wasted, desolate, wild. And how that under this modern Zionist movement and the establishing of the nation Israel the wilderness is being turned into a fruitful garden. The valleys of Sharon which were marshlands, the valley of Megiddo which was marshland has been drained and now cultivated and tremendous agricultural development there. And so he speaks of the desolation of the land which did take place, "until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high."

"In the last days," the Lord said, "I"m going to pour out my Spirit upon all flesh" ( Joel 2:28 ). Joel prophesied that. And God is getting ready for this final outpouring. "The wilderness will be a fruitful field, a fruitful field be counted for a forest."

Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness ( Isaiah 32:16-17 )

I love this verse.

The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever ( Isaiah 32:17 ).

What a beautiful verse. "The work of righteousness is peace; the effect of right living is just quietness and assurance for ever." I"ve done the right thing. I just rest in it. The quietness and the assurance. I"ve done the right thing. How beautiful it is.

And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass ( Isaiah 32:18-20 ). "

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Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Chuck Smith Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/csc/isaiah-32.html. 2014.

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

1-8. Characteristics of the future age.

9-14. A warning of coming desolation to the over-confident people.

15-20. Afterwards shall be a peaceful and prosperous future.

1. The ideal future.

2. Men will defend and protect their inferiors instead of oppressing them.

3. Cp. Isaiah 29:18.

5f. Moral confusion shall cease; men shall be taken at their true value, their character being clearly seen in their actions.

6. Hypocrisy] RV 'profaneness.'

8. By.. stand] RV 'in liberal things shall he continue.'

9-14. Cp. Isaiah 3:16-26.

10. Many.. years] RM 'Days above a year,' i.e. in little more than a year.

12. Lament.. teats] RV 'smite upon the breasts,' a gesture of despairing lamentation over the desolated vineyards.

14. Multitude.. city] RV 'populous city.'

15. A limit is set to the desolation. A bright future is in store, when the outward transformation of the country will correspond with the moral reformation (Isaiah 32:16). This change alike in man and in nature is attributed,' to an outpouring of the divine and life-giving spirit.

19. When] RV 'but': a judgment is to precede the time of peace just described.

Coming, etc.] RV 'in the downfall of the forest,' i.e. of the Assyrian. The city] Jerusalem too must be humbled.

20. Refers to the bright future again, when the land shortly to be desolate (Isaiah 32:13-14) shall be fully cultivated. Beside all waters] for the land will be everywhere irrigated (Isaiah 30:25).

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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/isaiah-32.html. 1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The king and the princes of the future will not panic but will rule righteously (cf. Isaiah 31:9). This is Messiah (chs9; 11) who embodies righteousness. His princes are His executives, His vice-regents. [Note: See Douglas K. Stuart, "The Prophetic Ideal of Government in the Restoration Era," in Israel"s Apostasy and Restoration: Essays in Honor of Roland K. Harrison, pp283-92.] They stand in contrast to the unrighteous princes of Judah who advocated alliance with Egypt (cf. Isaiah 29:15-16; Isaiah 30:1-2).

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-32.html. 2012.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Coming deliverance in the future32:1-8

Having introduced the eschatological day of the Lord ( Isaiah 31:7) and the interim day of the Lord ( Isaiah 31:8-9), Isaiah proceeded to reveal more about these times. He also contrasted the king of the Assyrians ( Isaiah 31:9) with the messianic King to come.

"The destruction of the Assyrian army points prophetically to the final world conflict, which will usher in the rule of Christ, the perfect King of Israel. Christ"s kingdom will fulfill God"s ideal of a holy commonwealth, administering a perfect righteousness throughout the earth. God"s King will provide complete shelter to all who seek refuge in him, and he will satisfy their thirsty souls with living water." [Note: Archer, p631.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/isaiah-32.html. 2012.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

XXXII.

(1) Behold, a king shall reign . . .—More accurately, the king. form a separate section, standing in the same relation to the foregoing chapter that the picture of the ideal king in Isaiah 11 does to the anti-Assyrian prophecy of Isaiah 10 “The king” is accordingly the true Anointed one of the future, not, of course without a reference to the character of Hezekiah as the partial and present embodiment of the idea. The addition of “princes” worthy of their king emphasises this reference. The words are as an echo of Proverbs 8:15-16.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/isaiah-32.html. 1905.

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Isaiah 32:20

The text of Coleridge"s Lay Sermon (1817), which he describes as "easy to be remembered from its briefness, likely to be remembered from its beauty".

References.—XXXII:20.—W. J. Hocking, ibid. vol. xxxvii1890, p396. J. Percival, Sermons at Rugby, p85. F. E. Paget, Sermons on Duties of Daily Life, p311; see also Plain Preaching to Poor People (6th Series), p121.

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/edt/isaiah-32.html. 1910.

F.B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary

A NOBLER FUTURE FOR THE NATION

Isaiah 31:1-9; Isaiah 32:1-8

Isaiah continues to denounce the contemplated alliance with Egypt. His compatriots put their trust in horses and chariots, and refused the help of their fathers’ God. Yet was He not so wise as the Egyptians, and equally as strong! And were they not running a fearful risk in rejecting One who would not recall His words of threatened punishment to those who refused His help? At best, the Egyptians were men, and not God, and their cavalry, flesh. If only they would trust Him, God would defy their foes, as a lion defies a company of unarmed shepherds, Isaiah 31:4. The mother-bird hovers over her brood to protect it from the kestrel; so would He spread His covering wing over Jerusalem, Isaiah 31:5. We may have deeply revolted, yet we may turn back to God with the certainty that He will receive and rescue us, Isaiah 31:6.

Sennacherib fell by the sword of his sons. Compare Isaiah 32:8 with 2 Kings 19:36-37. How different is our glorious King, whose many-sided nature meets all our needs! Isaiah 32:2. Before Him all men are unveiled in their true characters. Only those who are royal in heart shall stand before Him, Isaiah 31:8.

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Meyer, Frederick Brotherton. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "F. B. Meyer's 'Through the Bible' Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbm/isaiah-32.html. 1914.

Arno Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

CHAPTER 32 The Coming King and His Kingdom

1. The King and His rule (Isaiah 32:1-8) 2. The careless women addressed (Isaiah 32:9-12) 3. The judgment of the land and the city (Isaiah 32:13-14) 4. The hope of the future (Isaiah 32:15-20)The connection with the previous chapter is obvious. In Isaiah 31:4-9 the coming of the Lord for the deliverance of His people and the punishment of their enemies is predicted. “So shall the Lord of Hosts come down to fight Mount Zion and the hill thereof.” And now in the beginning of chapter 32 the coming King and His righteous reign is revealed. The King is the Man Christ Jesus, “a hiding place from the wind and a cover from the tempest.”

Isaiah 32:13-14 describe once more the judgment which rested upon the land and the city. But it is not permanent. “Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high.” This great outpouring of the Spirit connected with the restoration of Israel’s land has not yet taken place. It comes in that day. Read Joel 2:1-32.

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Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gab/isaiah-32.html. 1913-1922.

G. Campbell Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

In this message the prophet describes the reign of the coming King, and then suddenly appeals to the women. He describes the reign of the King as establishment of order and creation of refuge and refreshment for all in distress. The beneficent effects of such a reign are restoration of sensibility and a true sense of values, in which men will know violence and call it by its right name, and recognize true nobility. Evidently conscious of how different were the circumstances in which he was exercising his ministry from those described, he appeals to the women. He calls them to abandon their ease and gird themselves with sackcloth before the devastation of the city. This in order to be restored by the outpouring of the Spirit.

This recognition for the second time of the influence of women in the course of this volume is a revelation of the prophet's keen insight and accurate apprehension of one of the most prolific causes of national disaster. A degraded womanhood always creates a dissipated and enervated manhood.

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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "G. Campbell Morgan Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gcm/isaiah-32.html. 1857-84.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness,.... Not Hezekiah, as the Jewish writers; at least only as a type, as some writers interpret it; rather Christ himself, who is "King" not only of the whole world, and of the kings of it in general, but in particular is King of saints; and who "reigns" now in and over his church and people, being set as King by his Father over his holy hill of Zion, and, being exalted at his right hand, is made and declared Lord and Christ; and where he does and will reign until all enemies are put under his feet, and ere long will reign gloriously before his ancients in Jerusalem, Isaiah 24:23 and his reign is "in righteousness"; in a righteous manner, according to the rules of justice and equity: all his laws are just; his ways and methods of administration are right; his sceptre is a sceptre of righteousness: righteousness is the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins:

and princes shall rule in judgment: the ministers of the Gospel, pastors of churches, who are set over them in the Lord, and have the rule over them; and who rule well, and in judgment, when they rule according to the word of God; when they preach the Gospel, and administer ordinances, and do all the business of Christ's house, according to the instructions, laws, and rules he has given.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/isaiah-32.html. 1999.

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Isaiah 32:4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

Isaiah 32:4 — "the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly" - Comments- Two of the greatest ministers of the twentieth century, Oral Roberts 46] and Benny Hinn 47], both stuttered as children when they spoke. God miraculously healed both of them to preach the Gospel.

46] Oral Roberts, A Daily Guide to Miracles and Successful Living Through SEED-FAITH (Tulsa, Oklahoma: Pinoak Publications, c 1975, 1976), 29, 32, 76.

47] Benny Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit (Nashville: Tennessee, c 1990, 1997), 44-5.

Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

Isaiah 32:17Comments- Righteous leaders bring peace and assurance to a land. Note a parallel thought in 1 Timothy 2:2, "For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty."

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Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/isaiah-32.html. 2013.

Geneva Study Bible

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

(a) This prophecy is of Hezekiah, who was a figure of Christ, and therefore it should chiefly be referred to him.

(b) By judgment and justice is meant an upright government, both in policy and religion.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/isaiah-32.html. 1599-1645.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

King. Ezechias or Josias, as figures of Jesus Christ, who is meant. (Calmet) --- They and their counsellors only foreshewed the advantages derived from Christ and his apostles in a more abundant manner. (St. Jerome) --- Judgment and justice. These words have a higher meaning than what is assigned to them by philosophers. In God, the former implies the preparation of the means for man's redemption, as the latter does the execution; and in man, judgment denotes the selection of what is right, and justice implies the putting it willingly in practice. Thus Christ will fulfill all the he has graciously purposed, with the two other divine persons; and the princes, his pastors, shall discern what is good for their own and people's eternal welfare. (Worthington)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/isaiah-32.html. 1859.

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books

EXPOSITORY NOTES ON

THE PROPHET ISAIAH

By

Harry A. Ironside, Litt.D.

Copyright @ 1952

edited for 3BSB by Baptist Bible Believer in the spirit of the Colportage ministry of a century ago

ISAIAH CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

PREPARATIONS FOR THE COMING KINGDOM

BEFORE uttering the sixth woe, which is a proclamation of judgment upon Assyria, we have here a message of hope and comfort for the afflicted people of GOD, setting before them the glorious Messianic kingdom to be ushered in at the second advent of our Lord JESUS CHRIST. He Himself is brought definitely before us in the opening verses:

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 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" (verses 1, 2).

We have no difficulty in identifying the righteous King here spoken of. He can be none other than GOD's Anointed, who was rejected when He came to Israel telling of the kingdom then at hand. Refused by those He came to deliver, He has gone into the far country to receive for Himself a kingdom from the Father's hand and to return in due time (Luke 19:12). David foresaw His glorious reign as he exclaimed, "He that ruleth over men must be just; ruling in the fear of God" (2 Samuel 23:3).

When He returns to take over the reins of government He will associate with Himself as princes and judges certain ones taken from among those who have been faithful to Him in the time of His rejection.

He comes before us here, not only as a KING but as a Saviour. Beautiful are the figures used by the prophet as he declares, "a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest." It is CHRIST Himself bearing the brunt of the storm of judgment in order to provide shelter for all who flee to Him for refuge. Elsewhere we have seen Him as the Rock of Ages, in whose cleft the troubled soul can find a hiding

place. He is pictured, too, as a rock in a desert land, giving shelter from the fierce heat of the sun; another lovely illustration of that salvation which He provides so freely for all who put their trust in Him.

"And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall

hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly" (verses 3, 4).

Those who find in CHRIST an all-sufficient Saviour obtain their instruction through His Word whereby they grow in grace and knowledge and are kept from the path of the destroyer. No matter how simple or untaught one may be when he first comes to CHRIST, nor

how unaccustomed he may have been to receiving instruction and help through another, he will find all needed knowledge and wisdom in Him who delights to open up the truth to those who seek to be subject to His Word.

"The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. 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. 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. But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand" (verses 5-8).

On the other hand, the churl, that is, the crafty one, who plays fast and loose with divine truth, need not expect to find spiritual illumination as he pursues his self-chosen way. In the day of the Lord's power, all such persons will be dealt with in judgment and will no longer be acknowledged as teachers or directors of others. Their true character will be fully manifested and they will be judged accordingly.

These haughty despisers will no longer be permitted to mislead, whereas those who have learned of GOD the way of righteousness and found delight in walking in it will be honored of Him and find their place in His kingdom, there to be rewarded in accordance with the manner in which they have dispensed to others that which GOD has bestowed upon them. Our Lord has said, "freely ye have received, freely give."

"Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine" (verses 9-12).

In the third chapter the Lord had sternly rebuked the daughters of Zion who lived in vanity and frivolity, despising the Lord and thinking only of self-gratification. Now He speaks again to those whose consciences should have been active and who ought, therefore, to have guided others in the way of righteousness but who failed to realize that the judgments of GOD were soon to fall upon them and who lived only for the present moment, surrounding themselves with every luxury, and delighting themselves in worldly follies of every description.

The day was soon to come when poverty would rob them of all these things which had ministered to their selfish desires, and they would realize at last the folly of forgetting GOD and thinking only of carnal pleasure and self-indulgence. When the fields and vineyards should be destroyed by invading armies and other means of sustenance come to an end, they would realize

too late how foolish they had been in forgetting their responsibility to glorify GOD.

"Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: 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" (verses 13, 14).

Again we have a prophecy which was not fulfilled in Isaiah's day but looked beyond to the siege and fall of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar, and even later yet, to the grievous woes of the great tribulation. Jerusalem means, "Founded in peace," but this city has suffered more from war and strife than perhaps any other single city in the history of the world, and still greater horrors are in store for it in the future, immediately before the return of the Lord to reign as King on Mount Zion. It will never know lasting peace until that day.

"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. Then Judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place" (verses 15-19).

Scripture not only teaches a first and second coming of our Lord JESUS CHRIST it also predicts a first and second coming of the Holy Spirit. His first coming, to baptize believers into one body and empower them to carry His gospel throughout the world, occurred at Pentecost.

Peter applied the words of Joel 2 to what then took place, not as indicating that the prophecy was exhausted by that outpouring, but that it was of the same character as what was yet to come when Israel shall be brought back to GOD and the Spirit poured out upon them from on high and all the spared nations be blessed accordingly. It is of this the present passage speaks.

What a time of blessing it will be for this poor world when war and strife have come to an end; sickness and sorrow flee away; poverty and distress disappear; and men will enjoy the loving favor of the Lord and find every need met in abundance. So fruitful will the earth be at that time that a garden of herbs will become as a forest and the wilderness, as we are told elsewhere, will blossom as the rose. It is a great mistake to try to spiritualize all this and deny a coming literal fulfillment. There will, indeed, be great spiritual blessings at that time, but linked with the spiritual will be the literal fulfillment of this and other prophecies.

The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, will be the portion of those who enter the kingdom and enjoy the blessings of Messiah's reign, but we may be sure that the promise that they shall dwell in a peaceable habitation is to be taken in absolute literalness. There will be protection from every ill when Messiah takes over the reins of government.

"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass" (verse 20).

Until these promises of future blessing are all fulfilled, it is the responsibility of those who look for such things in faith to continue patiently sowing the seed of the Word of GOD and looking to Him to give an abundant harvest.

This last verse of the chapter may well be taken to heart by all of GOD's servants in the present dispensation, for the blessing is for us today as truly as for the remnant of Israel in the time of Jacob's trouble, as we go forth weeping, bearing precious seed,

assured that we shall come again with rejoicing, bringing our sheaves with us.

~ end of chapter 32 ~

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Bibliographical Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/isaiah-32.html. 1914.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Isaiah 32:1-20. Messiah‘s kingdom; Desolations, to be succeeded by lasting peace, the Spirit having been poured out.

The times of purity and happiness which shall follow the defeat of the enemies of Jehovah‘s people (Isaiah 32:1-8). The period of wrath before that happy state (Isaiah 32:9-14). The assurance of the final prosperity of the Church is repeated (Isaiah 32:15-20).

king — not Hezekiah, who was already on the throne, whereas a future time is contemplated. If he be meant at all, it can only be as a type of Messiah the King, to whom alone the language is fully applicable (Hosea 3:5; Zechariah 9:9; see on Isaiah 11:3-5). The kingdom shall be transferred from the world kings, who have exercised their power against God, instead of for God, to the rightful King of kings (Ezekiel 21:27; Daniel 7:13, Daniel 7:14).

princes — subordinate; referring to all in authority under Christ in the coming kingdom on earth, for example, the apostles, etc. (Luke 22:30; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:26, Revelation 2:27; Revelation 3:21).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/isaiah-32.html. 1871-8.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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

The times of purity and happiness which shall follow the defeat of the enemies of Yahweh's people (). Here the prophet passes from the type, Sennacherib's defeat and the establishment of Hezekiah's kingdom, to the establishment of Messiah's kingdom, on the overthrow of Antichrist. The period of wrath before that happy state (Isaiah 32:9-14). The assurance of the final prosperity of the Church is repeated (Isaiah 32:15-20).

Behold a king - not Hezekiah, who was already on the throne, whereas a future time is contemplated. If he be meant at all, it can only be as a type of Messiah the King, to whom alone the language fully applicable (Hosea 3:5; Zechariah 9:9 : see Isaiah 11:3-5 notes). The kingdom shall be transferred from the world-kings, who have exercised their power against God, instead of for God, to the rightful King of kings (Ezekiel 21:27; Daniel 7:13-14).

And princes shall rule in judgment - subordinate to the King: referring to all in authority under Christ in the coming kingdom on earth; e.g., the apostles, etc. (Luke 22:30; 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:26-27; Revelation 3:21.) The Chaldaic Targum paraphrases here, 'and the righteous, that they may take just vengeance on the peoples, shall be exalted to dignity.'

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/isaiah-32.html. 1871-8.

The People's Bible by Joseph Parker

Prophetic Warnings

Isaiah 31-33

Remember that. If on hearing that you choose to trust to Egypt, so be it; only, walk in the light, understand your position, make your choice deliberately, and abide by it. All that the Bible, a revelation from God, can do is to make distinctions, announce issues, address appeals to reason and to conscience, and there even an inspired volume ends its labour. The people imagined that Egypt was a sanctuary: the prophet said, It is Song of Solomon, in a very temporary and partial sense; it is a sanctuary of straw: if you care to seek protection in so frail a pavilion, so be it You are delighted when you see the strong horses of Egypt; they are strong for horses, but they are only horses of flesh, they are not steeds of fire, horses of spirit,—those mighty flying horses stabled in the sanctuary of the skies, and sent forth with swift messengers to the ends of the universe. Understand what you are buying: it is a horse of flesh; it will sicken, and die; it may be crippled, or poisoned; it may throw you: but if after hearing these things you choose to elect the horses of Egypt in preference to the steeds of God, so be it; you must answer for it all. The fool cannot come in like the wise man at the last, and say, Pray excuse me: I was mistaken. No! you were not mistaken; you were perverse, headstrong, self-determined; there was no mere mistake about it. Understand the terms, and then proceed. The Bible is the finest book of reason. It appeals to the understanding, to the judgment, asking that judgment to reserve itself until the light is perfectly clear and all the evidence is before it, and then saying, Now decide.

The Lord reveals himself under a vivid figure as the protector of those who put their trust in him. Egyptian horses cannot fly, but "as birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem" ( Isaiah 31:5). The image is clear and impressive. There lies the fair city, more a thought than a thing, a poem in architecture God"s poetry set forth in types and letters of stone, and the Lord himself is as a thousand birds, curling, circling, watching, protecting his loved Zion. No figure is to be driven to its furthest issues; we are to take out of it that which is substantial in reason and in truth: and from this figure we extract the doctrine that God hovers about his people, cares for them, watches them, sometimes sends a raven, it may be, to help them when they come out of their dream-sleep, wondering in daze and bewilderment what the universe was made for, and what they themselves can do. Any image that brings God nearer to us is an image that the memory should treasure. Hang up the picture in the halls of your imagination, and look upon it when your heart is sore and faint. The Lord knows what the issue of trusting in Egyptian horses will be, and what the end of all idolatry will be.

"For in that day every man shall cast away his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which your own hands have made unto you for a sin" ( Isaiah 31:7).

There is to be a day of awakening, a day memorable for its religious penetration; men are to see that they have been making idols where they thought they were making deities. When men become ashamed of their religion, and pray that its very name may not be mentioned to them; when they seek out of their secret places idols of silver and idols of gold, and say, Throw them anywhere—but let it be out of sight! then has come to pass the realisation of divinest prophecy. Who would have all his old ideas named to him? Though they be innocent, yet they be so imperfect, so poor, so shallow, so wanting in insight and sagacity, their own thinker would not hear of them any more, but would say with somewhat of penitence and shamefacedness, but with no sense of guilt, When I was a child, I thought as a child: I am a man now, and I have seized a wider philosophy: spare me the recollection of infantile thinking. But a man may become ashamed of his religion; he may have to say in plain terms: I have been a fool herein, for I have been bowing the knee to gold and silver, and fame and influence and office and position, and now they cannot help me one whit: when I am ill they never call to see me, and if they did call their comfort would be cold and their touch would be death: where is the true God, the living Spirit—call it by what name you may—God—or Holy Ghost—or dying Christ—or truth, complete and eternal? Where is the true deity, that knows me and can come into my heart and make it warm with love, that can come into my barren spirit, and make it grow with trees that bloom and blossom and fructify for the soul"s satisfaction? Preach to me the true gospel, that is as much a gospel in the darkness as in the light, in the winter as in the summer, the gospel that will sit up with me all night, see my last friend depart, and then say, Now they have all gone, let us talk it out in the music of absolute confidence. Do not be distressed about the living God. All the issue is mapped out. God himself is in no agitation; by right of eternity he is eternally calm. They who have the truth can wait until the lies all take fire, and burn themselves: meanwhile, all they have to do is to speak the truth, and deliver divine comfort to souls that want to be right; though they may have a thousand intellectual errors, still their supreme desire is to be right and good and true, and therein they shall conquer, though at the last their poor understanding be thickly sown with innumerable weeds. Herein is the mercy of God, that it recognises the supreme motive and purpose of life, and has an infinite charity for all intellectual aberration that is not inspired by moral obstinacy or moral selfishness.

Then the true king is predicted. We have had judgment upon judgment, great shocks of thunder; we have seen the horizon red as blood with the gathering storm, and we have heard God"s voice breaking out into ten thousand tones severe and awful: it is time we had a little music, somewhat of benediction, a hint of tenderness; the sky is never so blue as after the storm, the tempest seems to have cleared all the atmosphere, and dear, sweet, beautiful heaven looks down upon us like a smile that wants to come all the way if it could, and cover our lips with love. Isaiah has been dispensing woes; he has not done with maledictions yet: but who can always be comminatory, denunciatory? Who can be severe all the day? The prophet breaks down in tenderness, but rises in intellectual majesty when he says—

"Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 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. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly" ( .)

The war is now over: Asher has been crushed like a serpent, and this sweet voice is heard when the enemy has been driven out of the land—

"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass" ( Isaiah 32:20).

What wondrous music, then, we have heard in all these prophecies! Yet, as we have just pointed out, the maledictions have not altogether ceased. The prophet resumes his threnody in the thirty-third chapter; there he mourns, and in the course of his deliverance he uses one of those ironical expressions which come upon us again and again in Holy Writ. In the fourteenth verse he talks about "the sinners in Zion." What a contradiction in terms! what a shock to the fancy! Zion! fair Zion, a dewdrop, a glittering star, a garden of beauty, a sweet flower, porcelain without a flaw, honey without wax—Zion! Then, "sinners in Zion"—sinners out of place; they spoil the situation; they are an evil blot in the fair landscape. Sinners in the wilderness, sinners in polluted cities, sinners in hell,—there you have a kind of music that has an accord and consonance of its own; but sinners in Zion! And the sinners in Zion are afraid—"fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites." Yesterday their faces were bright, and their voices glad, and their feasts were merry; but in the nighttime something has happened that has struck the whole horde with fear and shame and distress. Now the question comes—"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" How often have preachers preached everlasting hell from these words! They have no relation whatever to the future life. We must keep to the meaning of the speakers and writers in Holy Writ, and not import into their words significations and dogmas of our own. The question is an awful one—"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?"—when God comes to judge the city, when he comes to judge Assyria or Jerusalem, or any land. "Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?"—when God tries man by fire. The fire shall not only try every man"s work, but shall try every man"s self. Our quality must be tested by flame. From these words how easy to dilate upon the horrors of the lost, the agonies of the damned! But the words were local, and they constitute a question to which a noble reply was made. The question is in the fourteenth verse, the answer is in the fifteenth. Read the question—

"Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings? He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; he shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure" ( ).

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Bibliographical Information
Parker, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". The People's Bible by Joseph Parker. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jpb/isaiah-32.html. 1885-95.

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 32:3. The eyes of them that see shall not be dim. The whole land shall be full of smiling affluence and joy; they shall have health of countenance, and look up with joy to a paternal throne. The passage applies farther to the Messiah, who opened the eyes of the blind, unstopped the ears of the deaf, and caused the dumb to publish his praise.

Isaiah 32:15. Till the Spirit be poured upon us from on high. The glory of the latter day is uniformly said to commence with an effusion of the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 44:3. Joel 2:28. While righteousness adorns the church, agriculture shall flourish by flocks on the hills, and harvests in the vales, as Isaiah 32:20.

REFLECTIONS.

This prophecy respecting the king who should reign in righteousness, was delivered before many of the preseding visions; and written, of course, before Uzziah’s death, as it refers directly to the reign of Hezekiah. This pious king, on ascending the throne, did most seriously endeavour to reform religion, and the administration of justice; and he proved a subject worthy of prophecy, being one of God’s most signal gifts to his country. But we have seen how David referred all his sorrows, and all his joys, to the sorrows and joys of the Messiah. So we may say in general, that all the prophets did the same. And though this prophecy be not expressly cited in the new testament, it is because the rock, the river, and refuge are themes of prophecy so common, and so often referred to by our Saviour and his apostles, that all passages of this kind could not be particularly quoted. Whenever the pious Hebrew was oppressed with idolatrous princes, he would console himself by looking forward to the age of righteousness. When the blasts of northern winds, or affliction came upon him, he would hope in the everliving One who sheltered his flock in a lieu or warm place.

When on a journey, or labouring far from the city, he saw a collection of clouds in the western sky, he would haste to a covert. Here he would see the forked lightnings illuminate the heavens, and the fire-balls leap along the plains, leaving peals of loudest thunder to announce their progress to the trembling earth. Here true piety would make an immediate reference to the Messiah, so far as prophecy allowed a knowledge of his sufferings; and here the gospel should put in full force the covert of his almighty wings. Our sins are those portentous clouds; the frowns of divine justice and the anathemas of a violated law are those flashes of lightning, and bursting thunders. The heavens, the moral heavens are gathering black over the sinner’s head, and vengeance makes a rapid approach. It is time to seek a refuge, and a covert for his guilty head. And where can he look? Afflictions and death assail his body, and the terrors of God assail his soul. Divine vengeance rains a horrible tempest on the wicked! Who then is able to protect the sinner? It is replied, A man shall be a hidingplace from the wind and a covert from the tempest. Jesus Christ in the garden, and on the cross, bore the tempest of divine justice, the rage of men, the fury of hell, and the utmost anguish of death. Hence as the covert receives the storm, and shelters those who seek its protection, so the Saviour gives strong consolation to those who flee to his encircling arms. Here the guilty find a pardon, the unholy are sanctified, and the dying live. Here, when the judgments of God are abroad in the earth, the redeemed of the Lord lift up their heads with joy, for their Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel.

When the pious Hebrew, droughty in the desert, came to streams of water, and laved his burning feet, and drank of the cooling stream, while his camels cropped the verdant meads, he could not but be reminded of the waters of the Spirit which are everywhere promised in the scriptures: Isaiah 12, 44. Ezekiel 47. Joel 2. This is the river that maketh glad the city of God, and which Christ promised to every believer.

The pious Hebrew, still pursuing his way through the wilderness, would sometimes find the shadow of a rock which raised its cheering head above the weary plains; and passing at once from the burning sands to the cooling shade, he would feel a sensation too pleasurable for language to describe. And associating his feelings with piety, he would say with David, Lead me to the rock that is higher than myself. This is the rock which the Lord hath laid in Zion for a sure foundation; and this is the rock on which Christ will build his church, that it may bid defiance to the powers of hell. Oh what repose, what comfort, what delights are found under the shadow of his protecting love.

At the ninth verse, as in Isaiah 3:16, we have a hard stroke at the women of Israel, who contributed very much by effeminacy and pride to the ruin of the state. God was resolved to punish their waste with want, their dissipation with poverty, and their fine dresses with sackcloth. The harvest and the vintage should fail, that sobriety and hunger might bring them to recollection. What then would this prophet have said to the ladies of Europe, who dash away in the brilliant circles of society? They rise a little before noon. What they are pleased to call the morning is spent in lounging, in attention to their person and dress, for they usually drink their cordial or take their breakfast in bed. If they do not take a ride, they spend their time in reading novels, whose authors were rakes and ruined women. At dinner, they sit the usual time, and keep but a glass in arrears with the men. Then they roll off to the theatre, or to other places of amusement, where persons of the finest voice or most accomplished address, damn their own souls, in giving pleasure to the concupiscence of the age. When the sabbath arrives, and when the bells of finest tone are inviting them towards noon to bow with repentance before the eternal throne, they fortify themselves with the maxims of infidelity detailed by their husbands, and abandon themselves to chambering and wantonness. Or if they go at all to the house of God, they require a preacher of soft address, who will expatiate on the divine clemency, pass the highest encomiums on virtue, and immerge his portrait in the sunbeams of Elysian felicity. Nor have they any great objection that he should now and then give a gentle stroke at vice, provided it be general, and not pointed. In a word, they require a preacher and a subject so accommodating, that if Satan for once was changed into an angel of light, and was to fill the pulpit, he would change neither the text nor the subject!—By and bye age and afflictions steal on, and death so often deprecated, makes his approach; then the conscience, instead of being enlightened by truth, and compassed by repentance, is lulled to slumber by opiates and night draughts. So these women, corrupt in principle, and haughty in habit, die in peace, or “sink with gay indifference down to everlasting fire.”

And thou, oh God, who didst punish the women of the east with sackcloth and hunger, who hast excluded the effeminate from thy kingdom; wilt thou punish all our crimes on the same scale, and with a hand equally severe? What then have we not to fear, when women crowd the broad way, and seem the foremost in leading us to destruction? Oh, ye court preachers, happy if I could rouse you to preach like this princely prophet, and to see converts among your hearers, like the noble Grecian ladies who attended the ministry of St. Paul. See on Acts 4. The sacred charge is the highest charge of heaven; you have a dread responsibility. Think of the state of your flock; think of your conscience. Socinianism can do nothing for you in death. Your new translations of the prophets, and your notes, are at issue with the prophets, as much as the common prayer is at issue with your sermons. The mitre will soon fade; and what account can you give to the bishop of souls? How will you appear before him whose glory you obscure?

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Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/isaiah-32.html. 1835.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Isaiah 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

Ver. 1. Behold a king.] Hezekiah in the type, Christ in the antitype.

Shall reign in righteousness.] Regiment without righteousness, is but robbery with authority.

Eν δε δικαιοσυνη συλληβοην πας αρετ εστι.”

And princes shall rule in judgment.] Not as Shebna, and those others placed in by wicked Ahaz, do now, while the king is young, and not so well able to weed them out. Evil junior rulers are a great mischief to a state. Nerva was a good emperor, and so was Aurelian; but so bought and sold by bad counsellors and inferior magistrates, that the people were in a worse case than when they were under Nero. Hezekiah would see to his princes that they were right; Christ hath none about him but such; "All his people are righteous," [Isaiah 60:21] his "ministers" and "officers" especially. These are "princes in all lands," [Psalms 45:16] yea, they are "kings," because "righteous ones"; [Matthew 13:17 Luke 10:24] ministers especially are plenipotentiaries under Christ. [Matthew 18:18-19 John 20:23]

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/isaiah-32.html. 1865-1868.

Keil & Delitzsch Old Testament Commentary

For Judah, sifted, delivered, and purified, there now begins a new ear. Righteous government, as a blessing for the people, is the first beneficent fruit. “Behold, the king will reign according to righteousness; and the princes, according to right will they command. And every one will be like a shelter from the wind, and a covert from the storm; like water-brooks in a dry place, like the shadow of a gigantic rock in a languishing land.” The kingdom of Asshur is for ever destroyed; but the kingdom of Judah rises out of the state of confusion into which it has fallen through its God - forgetting policy and disregard of justice. King and princes now rule according to the standards that have been divinely appointed and revealed. The Lamed in ūl e sârı̄m (and the princes) is that of reference ( quod attinet ad , as in Psalms 16:3 and Ecclesiastes 9:4), the exponent of the usual casus abs. ( Ges . §146, 2); and the two other Lameds are equivalent to κατά, secundum (as in Jeremiah 30:11). The figures in Isaiah 32:2 are the same as in Isaiah 25:4. The rock of Asshur (i.e., Sennacherib) has departed, and the princes of Asshur have deserted their standards, merely to save themselves. The king and princes of Judah are now the defence of their nation, and overshadow it like colossal walls of rock. This is the first fruit of the blessing.

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/isaiah-32.html. 1854-1889.

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

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 (Isa 32:1; cf. 2Sam 23:3; Jer 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. Gen 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 (Rev 5:10; Mt 19:28; 2Tim 2:12; Rev 20:6; Rev 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" (Mt 20:28).

Christ – He is meant with "a man" (Isa 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 (Mt 19:28).

From the rulers in Isa 32:1-2 the prophet passes to the people (Isa 32:3). Christ makes Himself known to His people in His Divine omnipotence when He heals the blind and deaf (Mt 11:2-6). 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 (Mt 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 (Isa 32:4; Isa 6:9-10). 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 (Isa 42:19; Isa 6:9-10; 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.

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No part of the publications may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author.
Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Isaiah 32:1". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kng/isaiah-32.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

A Government of Righteousness

v. 1. Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, namely, He who is Himself the Lord, our Righteousness, Jer_23:6, and princes, all those who hold positions of authority in the kingdom of Christ, in His Church, shall rule in judgment, applying justice in accordance with the will of the Lord.

v. 2. And a Man, or the Man, namely, the great Son of Man, Jesus Christ, shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, a Shelter against wind-storms, and a Covert from the tempest, a Protector against oppression; as rivers of water in a dry place, giving refreshment to the souls of the poor and wretched, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land, where dense shade brings welcome relief to the heated traveler. This sounds the merciful invitation of the Savior, extended to all those that are heavy laden, to come unto Him and find rest for their souls, Mat_11:28-30.

v. 3. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken, that is, the spiritual understanding of the Lord's people will he in proper order for realizing and appreciating the blessings of God's mercy.

v. 4. The heart also of the rash, such as judge hastily and superficially concerning the great facts of man's redemption, shall understand knowledge, so as to weigh religious truth aright, and the tongue of the stammerers, those who do not think and speak clearly on divine matters, but are always confused, shall be ready to speak plainly, in proper agreement with the Word of God.

v. 5. The vile person shall be no more called liberal, a fool, given to wickedness as he is, will no longer be called noble, nor the churl said to be bountiful, the swindler will no longer be called a baron. In the outward, visible form of the kingdom of Christ the fraudulent person, the hypocrite, may deceive himself and others, but in the estimation of Christ such a person will be given the position which his hypocrisy deserves.

v. 6. For the vile person will speak villainy, the wicked mocker cannot but give expression to the mockery of his heart, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice hypocrisy, profligacy and malice, and to utter error against the Lord, arguments of unbelief and impiety, which are intended to mislead, to make empty the soul of the hungry, taking away the foundation of belief which will satisfy the needs of the spiritually hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail, namely, of him who hungers and thirsts after the righteousness of the Lord.

v. 7. The instruments also of the churl, of the fraudulent, of the hypocrite, are evil; he deviseth wicked devices, plots of every kind, to destroy the poor with lying words, to bring destruction upon the afflicted with words of falsehood, even when the needy speaketh right, when he pleads with full justice, when his claims are just.

v. 8. But the liberal deviseth liberal things, and by liberal things shall he stand, that is, a person of noble mind and of high moral character will not only conceive noble things, but will also persevere in them, will carry them out, with the approval of the righteous King.

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Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/isaiah-32.html. 1921-23.

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal and Homiletical

             3. THE FALSE AND THE TRUE NOBILITY

  Isaiah 32:1-8

1 Behold, a king shall reign [FN1] in righteousness.

And princes shall rule a in judgment.

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 [FN2] great rock in a weary land.

3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be [FN3] dim,

And the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

4 The heart also of the [FN4] rash shall understand knowledge,

And the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak [FN5] plainly.

5 The [FN6] vile person shall no more be called [FN7] liberal,

Nor [FN8] the churl said to be bountiful.

6 For the c vile person will speak [FN9] villany,

And his heart will work iniquity,

To practise [FN10] 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 [FN11] churl are evil:

He deviseth wicked devices

To destroy the poor with lying words,

Even [FN12] when the needy speaketh right.

8 But the d liberal deviseth d liberal things;

And by d liberal things shall he [FN13] stand.

TEXTUAL AND GRAMMATICAL

[“The use of לְ here may have been intended to suggest, that he would reign not only justly, but for the very purpose of doing justice.” J. A. A.].—לְ before שׂרים=quod attinet ad, comp. Ecclesiastes 9:4. Manifestly this unusual construction is for the sake of having the L—sound maintained, which thus occurs consecutively in five words.—–שׂרר, from which the imperfect ישׂרו, Proverbs 8:16, occurs only here in Isaiah.

Isaiah 32:2. מַחֲבֵא, “hiding corner, place of hiding,” ἅπ. λεγ., comp. 1 Samuel 23:23.—סתר comp. Isaiah 16:4; Isaiah 28:17.—פלגי מ׳ comp. Isaiah 30:25.—צָיוֹן comp. Isaiah 25:5.—צל comp. Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 25:4-5.—ארץ עיפה again only Psalm 143:6.

Isaiah 32:3. תִּשְׁעֶינָה can hardly be derived from שָׁעָה. It comes nearer to take it in the sense of שׁעעoblinere, to close up; plaster up,” in which sense this latter verb often occurs in Isaiah 6:10; Isaiah 29:9.—קָשַׁב, probably kindred to קָצַב “to point, to prick” (the ears), occurs only here in Kal.

Isaiah 32:4. עִלֵּג, “balbus,” ἅπ. λεγ.—צֲחוֹת (comp. Isaiah 18:4) are nitentia, clara, clear, plain words.

Isaiah 32:5. Isaiah uses נבל only here; נבלה again Isaiah 9:16. כִּילַי written כֵּלַי in Isaiah 32:7 for the sake of similarity in sound with כֵּלָיו, is to be derived from נָכַל fraudulenter egit (Raschi, Kimchi, Gesen, and others), Genesis 37:18; Numbers 25:18; Psalm 105:25; Malachi 1:14, so that from נְכִיל, by rejecting the נ, as in שֹׂא,שֵׂאת,תֵּת, etc., there results כִּיל with the rare ending ־י- (comp. שַׁדַּי,גֹבַי,חֹרַי). See Green, § 194, 2, b.—שׁוֹעַ (from שׁוּעַamplus, dives fuit,” kindred to יָשַׁע) is the rich Prayer of Manasseh, independent on account of his means.

Isaiah 32:6. עָשָׂה אָוֶן occurs only here (comp. Isaiah 59:6); the idea is always expressed elsewhere by פעל און.—לעשׂות gerundive.——חֹנֶף, ἅπ. λεγ.; comp. הֲנֻפָה Jeremiah 23:15; substantive from חָנֵף Isaiah 9:16; Isaiah 10:6; Isaiah 33:14.—תּועָהerror,” comp. Isaiah 29:24; again only Nehemiah 4:2.—Hiph. החסיר again only Exodus 16:18.—The construction וְ־יַחְסִיר—לְהָרִיק is to be explained as a return of the subordinate form into the principal form.

Isaiah 32:7. A mutual attraction appears to have happened here: 1) כֵּלִים chosen for the sake of כִּילַי; 2) כִּילַי changed to כֵּלַי for the sake of כֵּלָיו—זִמָּהconsilium” ( Job 17:11) then especially consilium pravum. scelus,” occurs only here in Isaiah.—הַבֵּל “to destroy,” comp. Isaiah 13:5; Isaiah 54:16.

Isaiah 32:8. נְדִיבָה occurs again only Job 30:15.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

1. This passage, which strongly reminds one of Isaiah 29:18-24, and somewhat also of Isaiah 30:20 sqq, must necessarily be joined to what precedes, as it can neither stand alone, nor be regarded as belonging to what follows. We see in these verses an amplification of Isaiah 31:6-7. For the latter passage only presents to view in a negative way the turning back and abandonment of idolatry. But in our passage is set forth what positive forces of blessing will become operative in the entire ethical life of the nation, and especially in the relation of the powerful and nobles to the lowly. It is manifest that the Prophet, in enumerating what shall no more be, has in mind the irregularities of his own time. It is very probable that he even alludes to particular, concrete facts, in a way that his

2. Behold——speak plainly.

Isaiah 32:1-4. The king that will rule righteously must be the Messiah. For the time when Israel will be cleansed and purified, and live and be ruled according to truth and righteousness, is the Messianic time (comp. Isaiah 1:24 sqq.; Isaiah 9:6-7; Isaiah 11:11 sqq.; Isaiah 16:5; Isaiah 28:16 sqq.). Nothing justifies us in assuming that such a condition as our Isaiah 32:1-8 describe, will intervene before that time. In that time only the Messiah can be king. Of an under-king prophecy knows nothing. One must only say, that, in distinction from passages like Isaiah 9:6 sq.; Isaiah 11:1 sqq, the person of the Messianic king appears more in the background, and the Prophet depicts the admirable surrounding of the expected Messiah, rather than His personality. One may suppose that the state of things under Hezekiah furnished the occasion. The king himself was good; but his surroundings did not correspond. Hence the Prophet emphasizes here, that in the Messianic time, the glorious central figure, whom he only briefly names Isaiah 32:1, will have also a suitable environment. Thus the point of this passage is directed against the magnates that surrounded the king. Instead of oppressing the nation as heretofore ( Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 10:2; Isaiah 28:15; Isaiah 29:20), each of them (the princes) will himself be a protector of the oppressed, like a sheltering, covering place of concealment protects from wind-storm and rain. Yea, they will even afford positive refreshment to the poor and wretched, as water-brooks and dense shade do to the traveller in the hot desert. The eyes of them that see, the ears of them that hear ( Isaiah 32:3), are eyes and ears that can see and hear if they will. It is well-known that there are ways of plastering up such eyes, and of making such ears deaf ( Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 5:23; Isaiah 33:15). The like of that shall not be with these princes.

Delitzsch well remarks that, according to Isaiah 32:4, Israel shall be delivered also from faults of infirmity.

I would only so modify this remark as to make Isaiah 32:4, like that which precedes and follows, refer, not to Israel in general, but to the princes. Thus the נמהרים “the rash, reckless,” are such judges as are naturally inclined to judge hastily, and superficially (comp. on Isaiah 35:4). These will apply a reflecting scrutiny (comp. on Isaiah 11:2) in order to know what is right. The stammering are such as do not trust themselves to speak openly, because they are afraid of blundering out the truth that is known to them, and so bringing themselves into disfavor. Thus all the conditions for the exercise of right and justice will be fulfilled. The judges will be what they ought to be in respect to eyes, ears, heart and mouth.

3. The vile person—shall he stand.

Isaiah 32:5-8. From those in office the Prophet passes to the noble apart from office. In this respect there often exists in the present conditions the most glaring contradiction between inward and outward nobility. This contradiction will cease in the Messianic time. For then a fool will no longer be called a noble. A fool, נָבָל, Isaiah, according to Old Testament language, not one intellectually deficient, but one that practises gross iniquity; for sin in its essence is perverseness, contradiction, nonsense. The wicked surrenders realities of immeasurable value for a seeming good that is transitory; whereas the pious surrenders the whole world in order to save his soul, and this is at the same time the highest wisdom (comp. Deuteronomy 32:6; Jeremiah 17:11; Judges 19:23 sq.; Isaiah 20:6; 1 Samuel 25:25; 2 Samuel 13:12).—נָדִיב [Eng. Bibl.: “liberal”] undoubtedly involves originally the notion of voluntariness ( Exodus 25:2; Exodus 35:5; Exodus 35:21-22; Exodus 35:29, etc.). But he that does good from an inward, free impulse is a noble man. Thus gradually נדיב acquires the sense of noble, superior Prayer of Manasseh, and indeed so much without regard to inward nobility, that the word is used with a bad side-meaning ( Job 21:28). Isaiah uses it again only Isaiah 13:2. One will not call a swindler baron, the prophet proceeds to say, Isaiah 32:5 b.

By the following causal sentence, Isaiah 32:6, the Prophet proves the sentence “the fool will no more be called noble.” His argument may be represented by the following syllogism: In the Messianic time each will be called what he is. But in that time also there will be people that are fools. Therefore in that time these will also be called fools and not noblemen. [It is not the Prophet’s aim in Isaiah 32:6, to state what fools will do in that time, as if their doing then will be different from now, which obviously it will not be. He would say there will be fools, and they will be called fools, and nobles and they will be called nobles.—Tr.]. Of course for the Prophet the only important thought is that in the last time falsehood will no longer reign as in the present, and that accordingly a man’s being and name will no longer be in contrast, but in perfect harmony. One sees that it is a point with him to say to the cheats of his day and age how they ought to be called, if every man had his dues. The general thought of Isaiah 32:6 a, is particularized in what follows. One does and speaks folly when he practises unclean, shameful things (by which the land is defiled before God, Isaiah 24:5; Jeremiah 3:1), and utters error, (what misleads) against Jehovah. This doing and speaking is for the purpose of enriching one’s self by robbery of the poor and weak ( Isaiah 1:23). This is figuratively expressed: to make empty the soul of the hungry (i. e., to take away what can satisfy the need of the hungry, comp. Isaiah 29:8) and to “cause the drink,” etc.כלים, Isaiah 32:7, are properly instrumenta. Not the physical implements are meant here, but the ways and means in general of which the swindler makes use. [“He deviseth plots to destroy the oppressed (or afflicted) with words of falsehood, and (i. e, even) in the poor (man’s) speaking right (i. e., even when the poor-man’s claim is just, or in a more general sense, when the poor-man pleads his cause).”—J. A. Alexander].

In Isaiah 32:8 we must remark the same in regard to וְנָדִיב that we did in regard to נבל and כילי Isaiah 32:6-7. The Prophet will not in general give a characteristic of the נדיב, but he would say in what regard the namesנדיב and נבל will be held in the Messianic time. Thus Isaiah 32:6-8 are proof of Isaiah 32:5. According to these verses none will be given a name that does not become him. He that is called נבל “fool,” will also speak נבלה, and he that is called נדיב will certainly confirm his claim to this name by having noble thoughts, generosa meditatur.—קום על נדיבות can hardly mean “to stand on noble ground” (Meier), for נדיבּות are generose facta, the exhibitions of generosity, not this generosity as a moral fundamental habit. Otherwise the second נדיבות would have a meaning different from the first. Therefore יקום וגו׳ must mean: and he perseveres in his noble thoughts, i. e., he not only conceives them, but he carries them out. In bestowing the name, men will not be influenced only by the thoughts that proclaim themselves; men will make the name depend on one’s steadily adhering to them his whole life. קום often has this sense of continuing, persevering. Comp. Isaiah 40:8; Leviticus 25:30; Leviticus 27:19.

Footnotes:

FN#1 - according to.

FN#2 - Heb. heavy.

FN#3 - plastered up.

FN#4 - Heb. hasty.

FN#5 - Or, elegantly.

FN#6 - fool.

FN#7 - noble.

FN#8 - the cheat be called baron.

FN#9 - fully.

FN#10 - uncleanness.

FN#11 - cheat.

FN#12 - Or, when he speaketh against the poor in judgment.

FN#13 - Or, be established.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/isaiah-32.html. 1857-84.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The Reign of Justice. B. C. 726.

1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment. 2 And a man shall be as a 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. 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. 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.

We have here the description of a flourishing kingdom. "Blessed art thou, O land! when it is thus with thee, when kings, princes, and people, are in their places such as they should be." It may be taken as a directory both to magistrates and subjects, what both ought to do, or as a panegyric to Hezekiah, who ruled well and saw something of the happy effects of his good government, and it was designed to make the people sensible how happy they were under his administration and how careful they should be to improve the advantages of it, and withal to direct them to look for the kingdom of Christ, and the times of reformation which that kingdom should introduce. It is here promised and prescribed, for the comfort of the church,

I. That magistrates should do their duty in their places, and the powers answer the great ends for which they were ordained of God, Isaiah 32:1,2. 1. There shall be a king and princes that shall reign and rule for it cannot go well when there is no king in Israel. The princes must have a king, a monarch over them as supreme, in whom they may unite and the king must have princes under him as officers, by whom he may act, 1 Peter 2:13,14. They both shall know their place and fill it up. The king shall reign, and yet, without any diminution to his just prerogative, the princes shall rule in a lower sphere, and all for the public good. 2. They shall use their power according to law, and not against it. They shall reign in righteousness and in judgment, with wisdom and equity, protecting the good and punishing the bad and those kings and princes Christ owns as reigning by him who decree justice, Proverbs 8:15. Such a King, such a Prince, Christ himself is he reigns by rule, and in righteousness will he judge the world, Isaiah 9:7,11:4. 3. Thus they shall be great blessings to the people (Isaiah 32:2): A man, that man, that king that reigns in righteousness, shall be as a hiding-place. When princes are as they should be people are as they would be. (1.) They are sheltered and protected from many mischiefs. This good magistrate is a covert to the subject from the tempest of injury and violence he defends the poor and fatherless, that they be not made a prey of by the mighty. Whither should oppressed innocency flee, when blasted by reproach or borne down by violence, but to the magistrate as its hiding-place? To him it appeals, and by him it is righted. (2.) They are refreshed and comforted with many blessings. This good magistrate gives such countenance to those that are poor and in distress, and such encouragement to every thing that is praiseworthy, that he is as rivers of water in a dry place, cooling and cherishing the earth and making it fruitful, and as the shadow of a great rock, under which a poor traveller may shelter himself from the scorching heat of the sun in a weary land. It is a great reviving to a good man, who makes conscience of doing his duty, in the midst of contempt and contradiction, at length to be backed, and favoured, and smiled upon in it by a good magistrate. All this, and much more, the man Christ Jesus is to all the willing faithful subjects of his kingdom. When the greatest evils befal us, not only the wind, but the tempest, when storms of guilt and wrath beset us and beat upon us, they drive us to Christ, and in him we are not only safe, but satisfied that we are so in him we find rivers of water for those that hunger and thirst after righteousness, all the refreshment and comfort that a needy soul can desire, and the shadow, not of a tree, which sun or rain may beat through, but of a rock, of a great rock, which reaches a great way for the shelter of the traveller. Some observe here that as the covert, and the hiding-place, and the rock, do themselves receive the battering of the wind and storm, to save those from it that take shelter in them, so Christ bore the storm himself to keep it off from us.

II. That subjects should do their duty in their places.

1. They shall be willing to be taught, and to understand things aright. They shall lay aside their prejudices against their rulers and teachers, and submit to the light and power of truth, Isaiah 32:3. When this blessed work of reformation is set on foot, and men do their parts towards it, God will not be wanting to do his: Then the eyes of those that see, of the prophets, the seers, shall not be dim but God will bless them with visions, to be by them communicated to the people and those that read the word written shall no longer have a veil upon their hearts, but shall see things clearly. Then the ears of those that hear the word preached shall hearken diligently and readily receive what they hear, and not be so dull of hearing as they have been. This shall be done by the grace of God, especially gospel-grace for the hearing ear, and the seeing eyes, the Lord has made, has new-made, even both of them.

2. There shall be a wonderful change wrought in them by that which is taught them, Isaiah 32:4. (1.) They shall have a clear head, and be able to discern things that differ, and distinguish concerning them. The heart of those that were hasty and rash, and could not take time to digest and consider things, shall now be cured of their precipitation, and shall understand knowledge for the Spirit of God will open their understanding. This blessed work Christ wrought in his disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24:45), as a specimen of what he would do for all his people, in giving them an understanding, 1 John 5:20. The pious designs of good princes are likely to take effect when their subjects allow themselves liberty to consider, and to think, so freely as to take things right. (2.) They shall have a ready utterance: The tongue of the stammerers, that used to blunder whenever they spoke of the things of God, shall now be ready to speak plainly, as those that understand what they speak of, that believe, and therefore speak. There shall be a great increase of such clear, distinct, and methodical knowledge in the things of God, that those from whom one would not have expected it shall speak intelligently of these things, very much to the honour of God and the edification of others. Their hearts being full of this good matter, their tongues shall be as the pen of a ready writer, Psalm 45:1.

3. The differences between good and evil, virtue and vice, shall be kept up, and no more confounded by those who put darkness for light and light for darkness (Isaiah 32:5): The vile shall no more be called liberal.

(1.) Bad men shall no more be preferred by the prince. When a king reigns in justice he will not put those in places of honour and power that are ill-natured, and of base and sordid spirits, and care not what injury or mischief they do so they may but compass their own ends. Such as vile persons (as Antiochus is called, Daniel 11:21) when they are advanced they are called liberal and bountiful they are called benefactors (Luke 22:25): but it shall not always be thus when the world grows wiser men shall be preferred according to their merit, and honour (which was never thought seemly for a fool, Proverbs 26:1) shall no longer be thrown away upon such.

(2.) Bad men shall be no more had in reputation among the people, nor vice disguised with the colours of virtue. It shall no more be said to Nabal, Thou art Nadib (so the words are) such a covetous muck-worm as Nabal was, a fool but for his money, shall not be complimented with the title of a gentleman or a prince nor shall they call a churl, that minds none but himself, does no good with what he has, but is an unprofitable burden of the earth, My lord or, rather, they shall not say of him, He is rich for so the word signifies. Those only are to be reckoned rich that are rich in good works not those that have abundance, but those that use it well. In short, it is well with a people when men are generally valued by their virtue, and usefulness, and beneficence to mankind, and not by their wealth or titles of honour. Whether this was fulfilled in the reign of Hezekiah, and how far it refers to the kingdom of Christ (in which we are sure men are judged of by what they are, not by what they have, nor is any man's character mistaken), we will not say but it prescribes an excellent rule both to prince and people, to respect men according to their personal merit. To enforce this rule, here is a description both of the vile person and of the liberal and by it we shall see such a vast difference between them that we must quite forget ourselves if we pay that respect to the vile person and the churl which is due only to the liberal.

[1.] A vile person and a churl will do mischief, and the more if he be preferred and have power in his hand his honours will make him worse and not better, Isaiah 32:6,7. See the character of these base ill-conditioned men. First, They are always plotting some unjust thing or other, designing ill either to particular persons or to the public, and contriving how to bring it about and so many silly piques they have to gratify, and mean revenges, that there appears not in them the least spark of generosity. Their hearts will be still working some iniquity or other. Observe, There is the work of the heart, as well as the work of the hands. As thoughts are words to God, so designs are works in his account. See what pains sinners take in sin. They labour at it their hearts are intent upon it, and with a great deal of art and application they work iniquity. They devise wicked devices with all the subtlety of the old serpent and a great deal of deliberation, which makes the sin exceedingly sinful and the more there is of plot and management in a sin the more there is of Satan in it. Secondly, They carry on their plots by trick and dissimulation. When they are meditating iniquity, they practise hypocrisy, feign themselves just men, Luke 20:20. The most abominable mischiefs shall be disguised with the most plausible pretences of devotion to God, regard to man, and concern for some common good. Those are the vilest of men that intend the worst mischiefs when they speak fair. Thirdly, They speak villainy. When they are in a passion you will see what they are by the base ill language they give to those about them, which no way becomes men of rank and honour or, in giving verdict or judgment, they villainously put false colours upon things, to pervert justice. Fourthly, They affront God, who is a righteous God and loves righteousness: They utter error against the Lord, and therein they practise profaneness for so the word which we translate hypocrisy signifies. They give an unjust sentence, and then profanely make use of the name of God for the ratification of it as if, because the judgment is God's (Deuteronomy 1:17), therefore their false and unjust judgment was his. This is uttering error against the Lord, under pretence of uttering truth and justice for him and nothing can be more impudently done against God than to use his name to patronise wickedness. Fifthly, They abuse mankind, those particularly whom they are bound to protect and relieve. 1. Instead of supplying the wants of the poor, they impoverish them, they make empty the souls of the hungry either taking away the food they have, or, which is almost equivalent, denying the supply which they want and which they have to give. And they cause the drink of the thirsty to fail they cut off the relief they used to have, though they need it as much as ever. Those are vile persons indeed that rob the spital. 2. Instead of righting the poor, when they appeal to their judgment, they contrive to destroy the poor, to ruin them in their courts of judicature with lying words in favour of the rich, to whom they are plainly partial yea, though the needy speak right, though the evidence be ever so full for them to make out the equity of their cause, it is the bribe that governs them, not the right. Sixthly, These churls and vile persons have always had instruments about them, that are ready to serve their villainous purposes: All their servants are wicked. There is no design so palpably unjust but there may be found those that would be employed as tools to put it in execution. The instruments of the churl are evil, and one cannot expect otherwise but this is our comfort, that they can do no more mischief than God permits them.

[2.] One that is truly liberal, and deserves the honour of being called so, makes it his business to do good to every body according as his sphere is, Isaiah 32:8. Observe, First, The care he takes, and the contrivances he has, to do good. He devises liberal things. As much as the churl or niggard projects how to save and lay up what he has for himself only, so much the good charitable man projects how to use and lay out what he has in the best manner for the good of others. Charity must be directed by wisdom, and liberal things done prudently and with device, that the good intention of them may be answered, that it may not be charity misplaced. The liberal man, when he has done all the liberal things that are in his own power, devises liberal things for others to do according to their power, and puts them upon doing them. Secondly, the comfort he takes, and the advantage he has, in doing good: By liberal things he shall stand, or be established. The providence of God will reward him for his liberality with a settled prosperity and an established reputation. The grace of God will give him abundance of satisfaction and confirmed peace in his own bosom. What disquiets others shall not disturb him his heart is fixed. This is the recompence of charity, Psalm 112:5,6. Some read it, The prince, or honourable man, will take honourable courses and by such honourable or ingenuous courses he shall stand or be established. It is well with a land when the honourable of it are indeed men of honour and scorn to do a base thing, when its king is thus the son of nobles.

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Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/isaiah-32.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Christ our righteous King, and his true disciples, are evidently here intended. The consolations and graces of his Spirit are as rivers of water in this dry land; and as the overhanging rock affords refreshing shade and shelter to the weary traveller in the desert, so his power, truth, and love, yield the believer the only real protection and refreshment in the weary land through which he journeys to heaven. Christ bore the storm himself, to keep it off from us. To him let the trembling sinner flee for refuge; for he alone can protect and refresh us in every trial. See what pains sinners take in sin; they labour at it, their hearts are intent upon it, and with art they work iniquity; but this is our comfort, that they can do no more mischief than God permits. Let us seek to have our hearts more freed from selfishness. The liberal soul devises liberal things concerning God, and desires that He will grant wisdom and prudence, the comforts of his presence, the influence of his Spirit, and in due time the enjoyment of his glory.

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Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/isaiah-32.html. 1706.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

ISAIAH CHAPTER 32

Christ’s kingdom, and its blessings, Isaiah 32:1-8. Careless women shall be troubled, Isaiah 32:9-11, and the land laid waste, Isaiah 32:12-14, until a restoration, Isaiah 32:15-20.

This seems to me to be a distinct prophecy from the former, and delivered at another time, and probably before that which is related in the former chapters. For this is certain, and confessed by all, that the prophecies are not always set down in that order in which the prophets delivered them. The foregoing prophecy seems to have been delivered, not in the time of Ahaz, for he sent to the Assyrian, and not to the Egyptian, for help; but in the days of Hezekiah, who rebelled against the king of Assyria, as is said, 2 Kings 18:7, and was too prone to trust upon the staff of Egypt, as the Assyrian expressly chargeth him there, to which course it is likely he was drawn or tempted by some of his wicked princes and counsellors, whom the prophet therefore severely censures and condemns in the two foregoing chapters. And this seems to have been delivered in the time of Ahaz, and to speak of Hezekiah, and of his righteous and happy government. But withal, as Hezekiah and his reign was an eminent type of Christ, and of his kingdom; so this prophecy looks through Hezekiah unto Christ, as many other scriptures in their literal sense do unquestionably concern David, which yet have a mystical sense, and are also meant of Christ, in whom those things were more fully and eminently accomplished.

A king; Hezekiah, a type of Christ, and Christ typified by him.

Shall reign; therefore Hezekiah was not king when this prophecy was delivered. And whereas some say that he speaks of the good government of Hezekiah after the destruction of Sennacherib, it is easy to observe that his government was as good before that time as afterward; and that in the very beginning of his reign he ruled with righteousness and the fear of God, as the history plainly declareth.

Princes; the ministers of state, and justice, and war under the king. For a wise and good king will take care to have like ministers.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/isaiah-32.html. 1685.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

The Coming King (Isaiah 32:1-3).

The final result of Yahweh’s activity will be the rise of the righteous king and the establishment of the perfect kingdom. This can be compared with Isaiah 11:1-9.

Analysis.

· Behold a king will reign in righteousness, and princes will rule with justice (in wise and right judgment ) (Isaiah 32:1).

· And a man will be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest (Isaiah 32:2 a).

· As rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land (Isaiah 32:2 b).

· And the eyes of those who see will not be dim, and the ears of those who hear will listen (Isaiah 32:3).

In ‘a’ the king will reign in righteousness an his princes in justice, and in the parallel the eyes of all will be wide open, and the ears of all will listen. There will be perfect rule and perfect response. In ‘b’ ‘a man’ will be a hiding place from trouble, and in the parallel he will refresh men in a dry and hot land.

Isaiah 32:1-2

‘Behold a king will reign in righteousness,

And princes will rule with justice (in wise and right judgment ),

And a man will be as a 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.’

Beyond God’s judgments as expressed in His treatment of Assyria lies the coming of a King who will rule in righteousness, and Whose reign will epitomise true justice, (Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:1-5) so that all who serve under Him will be just and fair. (See Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:30). It will introduce the coming Paradise. As always no time limit is laid down, only that it is ‘in the future’.

Then comes the even better news. ‘A man’, someone unique and special but truly human, will be a hiding place, a covert, a river of water to the thirsty, the shadow of a great rock (note the contrast with Isaiah 31:9). Elsewhere such ideas are linked with God (see Isaiah 4:6; Isaiah 26:4; Isaiah 30:29; Isaiah 33:21 compare Psalms 46:4), but now they are applied to ‘a man’. And this can only be the One Who will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), for He must be a man and yet more than a man, or how could He do and be such things? He will be a shelter from wind, tempest and heat, and a provider of the water of life to those who thirst, the great Sustainer in the strength-sapping desert of life.

Some kings would partially fulfil the dream, kings such as Josiah, but none would make it a full actuality until the coming of Jesus, great David’s greater son. He alone could represent the future king in all His aspects. He did so when He offered men entrance under the Kingly Rule of God, and was there for them to meet their deepest needs, and especially so when, having sacrificed Himself on their behalf (see chapter 53) He was raised and seated on the throne at the right hand of God to watch over them permanently. So whatever wind blows, whatever tempest arises, whatever great heat makes weary His people, He is their shelter, their Protector, their hiding place, and the provider of the water of life (compare Isaiah 55:1; John 4:10; John 4:13-14; John 7:37-38).

Isaiah 32:3

‘And the eyes of those who see will not be dim,

And the ears of those who hear will listen.’

And in response to the righteous king will be a responsive people. They will see clearly and will hear the words of righteousness. The sad state of the people as in Isaiah 6:10 will have been reversed. For when this king reigns those who see will understand, their eyes will not be dim, those who hear will listen. This is in direct contrast to Isaiah 6:10 where the people were described as heavy of ear, closed of eye and fat in heart and thus unwilling to respond to Yahweh.

While we may possibly include the literal opening of the eyes of the blind and the ears of the deaf in the thought (compare Isaiah 35:5-6), the main intention is to stress the response of men’s hearts and lives to God. Jesus combined the two when He interpreted His healings as parables as well (Mark 7:32-36; Mark 8:22-26 with Isaiah 8:18).

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Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/isaiah-32.html. 2013.

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible

Isaiah 32. This chapter is regarded by some scholars as non-Isaianic on the ground of phraseology and ideas, but while it may have been interpolated, it is probably in the main Isaiah's work. It falls into two parts: (a) , (b) Isaiah 32:9-20. The date of the former is uncertain. It may belong to the same period as Isaiah 28-31. The address to the women which follows recalls the denunciation in Isaiah 3:16-24, but it does not necessarily belong to the same period. And it too may belong to the same period as Isaiah 28-31. There is no need to detach the Messianic passage, Isaiah 32:15-20, from it.

. The Blessedness of the Messianic Age.—A description of the Messianic time, though the figure of the Messiah is probably not present in the passage. King and princes will reign in righteousness, each of them a source of shelter and refreshment. The present failure in moral insight and responsiveness will be removed, the inconsiderate will gain judgment, the halting speaker the faculty of lucid expression. Men will be designated in harmony with their true character; the fool (pp. 344, 398) shall no longer be called noble (mg.), nor the swindler an aristocrat. For fool and swindler will act in accordance with their nature, but the noble will resolve on noble schemes and persist in their execution.

Isaiah 32:1. a king: i.e. whatever king is on the throne.

Isaiah 32:2. a man: render "each."

. Probably a later insertion.

. Startling Rebuke to the Women for their Indifference. Sore Calamity is at Hand, Ending only with the Coming of the Messianic Age.—This passage was perhaps spoken at a vintage festival, for Isaiah lays special stress on the failure of the vintage and the fruit. He addresses the women of the upper classes, who show an ostentatious indifference to his words; cf. Isaiah 3:16 to Isaiah 4:1. He startles them with the prediction that in little more than a year they will have cause for trouble; next year's vintage will not come. Let them put on mourning attire and lament for the failure of the fruit, for there will be an irremediable desolation of Jerusalem. Yet the desolation will not be permanent; the life-giving energy of God will be poured out, the wilderness will become fruitful, and what is now a fruitful field regarded as no better than woodland (Isaiah 29:17). Not only will the face of Nature be changed, but justice and righteousness, peace and confidence, will abound. Happy the people who can plant beside all waters, without fear that any will run dry or that the foe will reap what they have sown, and can let ox and ass roam at large, since there is danger neither of cattle-raiders nor of dearth.

Isaiah 32:14. Ophel (mg.): the southern side of the Temple hill.

Isaiah 32:19. Generally regarded as an insertion.

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Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/isaiah-32.html. 1919.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

CONTENTS

The prophet is soaring high in this chapter, and looking far into the blessed things to be brought to pass in gospel times. Under the reign of Christ's kingdom, he foretelleth the glorious events of it!

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-32.html. 1828.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

In some of our old Bibles, the reading is rendered more strong, by defining the person to whom this refers. Behold the king. What king? Surely him whom Jehovah himself saith, he hath set upon his holy hill of Zion, Psalms 2:6. And the same copies read, and that man? What man? Surely he that is to reign in righteousness when the man that is God's fellow, Zechariah 13:7. We sadly enervate scripture, when we mix up human things with divine. Some have supposed that this scripture is a prophecy concerning the reign of the good king; but how then could this be a prophecy, when it was delivered at the very time of Hezekiah's reign? Was it needful to tell the people by prophecy, of the goodness of a reign, when they were enjoying it? Moreover, those who fancy it hath the smallest allusion to Hezekiah, should show the fulfillment of it. So far was the reign of Hezekiah from being a fence and a security to the people, that the poor man himself was thrown into a terrible fright when the enemy came up to invade his land, Isaiah 37:1. And add to all these considerations, it must he confessed, that after all that can he said of the worth and goodness of Hezekiah, never could such things be said of him, nor indeed of any one among the fallen sons of men, as are here said of that king, whose reign was to be in righteousness. I hope I shall be forsaken if I err, but I cannot but conclude, that all the blessed events which are here spoken of, are wholly to be looked for under him, and his auspicious reign of grace in the hearts of his people, whose name is the Lord Our Righteousness; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 9:9; Psalms 45:1-6. And if we wholly set aside all thoughts of Hezekiah, and view Jesus, then we shall enter by faith, and under the leadings and teachings of the Holy Ghost, whose office it is to glorify the Lord Jesus, into a sweet enjoyment of what is said in this precious chapter. Then we shall see that this righteous King, this holy Man, is reigning indeed now, in the present hour, and his reign of grace is come. In his spiritual kingdom, he is a refuge against all the wind of spiritual temptations, persecutions, afflictions, and the like. And he is no less a fountain of waters, and streams from Lebanon, in the consolations of his Holy Spirit amidst all the dry and thirsty frames of his redeemed. Song of Solomon 4:15; Psalms 46:4; John 7:37-39.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/isaiah-32.html. 1828.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Isaiah 32:1. Behold, a king — Hezekiah, a type of Christ, and Christ typified by him, shall reign in righteousness — Therefore Hezekiah was not king when this prophecy was delivered. And whereas some say that he speaks of the good government of Hezekiah, after the destruction of Sennacherib, it is easy to observe, that his government was as good before that time as afterward; and that in the very beginning of his reign he ruled with righteousness and the fear of God. And princes — The ministers of state, judges, and magistrates under the king, shall rule in judgment — Shall execute their offices with integrity and faithfulness. “Ahaz and his princes had ruled very wickedly, but a king was about to mount the throne who would reign in righteousness, employ upright magistrates, and protect the people, both from internal oppression, by his equitable administration, and from external invaders, by his faith and prayers.” — Scott. But although these expressions are, in some sort, applicable to Hezekiah and his good reign, they are much more true of Christ and his reign, as are also several other expressions here used, especially those in the third and fourth verses, which evidently relate to happier times than Hezekiah lived to see. And therefore we may justly say, “That the reformation which Hezekiah made was but a shadow of those greater improvements in grace and holiness, which properly belong to the times of the gospel. — Lowth.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/isaiah-32.html. 1857.

Scofield's Reference Notes

king

(See Scofield "Isaiah 29:3").

In chapters 32-35. the same blended meanings of near and far fulfilments are found. The near view is still of Sennacherib's invasion, the far view of the day of the Lord. Isaiah 2:10-22; Revelation 19:11-21 and the kingdom blessing to follow.

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Isaiah 32:1". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/isaiah-32.html. 1917.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 32:1-8

Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness

Asayria and Judah

Such (Isaiah 31:8-9) will be the ignominious end of the proud battalions of Assyria.
For Judah a happier future immediately begins. There should be no break between the two chapters. The representation which follows (
Isaiah 32:1-8) is the positive complement to Isaiah 31:6 f., and is parallel to Isaiah 30:23-26, completing under its ethical and spiritual aspects the picture of which the external material features were there delineated. Society, when the crisis is past, will be regenerated. Kings and nobles will be the devoted guardians of justice, and great men will be what their position demands that they should be--the willing and powerful protectors of the poor. All classes, in other words, will be pervaded by an increased sense of public duty. The spiritual and intellectual blindness (Isaiah 29:10) will have passed away (Isaiah 30:3); superficial and precipitate judgments will be replaced by discrimination (Isaiah 30:4 a); hesitancy and vacillation will give way before the prompt and clear assertion of principle (Isaiah 30:4 b). The present confusion of moral distinctions will cease; men and actions will be called by their right names. (Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)

A new era

For Judah--sifted, rescued, cleansed--a new era opens.

I. JUST GOVERNMENT IN BLESSING TO THE PEOPLE is the first good fruit (Isaiah 32:1-2).

II. The second is AN OPEN UNDERSTANDING AFTER THE CURSE OF HARDNESS (Isaiah 32:3-4).

III. A third good fruit is CALLING AND TREATING EVERYONE ACCORDING TO HIS TRUE CHARACTER (Isaiah 32:5-8). Nobility of birth and riches will give place to nobility of disposition, so that the former will not be found, nor find recognition without the latter. (F. Delitzsch.)

A flourishing kingdom

It may be taken as a directory both to magistrates and subjects, what both ought to do. It is here promised and prescribed--

I. THAT MAGISTRATES SHOULD DO THEIR DUTY IN THEIR PLACES, and the powers answer the great ends for which they were ordained of God (Isaiah 32:1-2).

1. There shall be a king and princes that shall reign and rule; for it cannot go well when there is no king in Israel.

2. They shall use their power according to law, and not against it.

3. Thus they shall be great blessings to the people (Isaiah 32:2). “A man”--that man, that king that reigns in righteousness--“shall be as a hiding-place.”

II. THAT SUBJECTS SHALL DO THEIR DUTY IN THEIR PLACES.

1. They shall be willing to be taught, and to understand things aright (Isaiah 32:3). When this blessed work of reformation is set on foot, and men do their part towards it, God will not be wanting to do His. Then “the eyes of them that see”--of the prophets, the seers--“shall not be dim,” &c.

2. There shall be a wonderful change wrought in them by that which is taught them (Isaiah 32:4).

3. The differences between good and evil, virtue and vice, shall be kept up and no more confounded by those who put darkness for light, and light, for darkness (Isaiah 32:5). (Matthew Henry.)

Reformed society

Though Isaiah s words are only perfectly ful-filled in Jesus Christ, it was not concerning Christ that they were spoken. The prophet is speaking of the religious future and social progress of his people. He is presenting a picture of regenerated Judah. He points to the essential elements of all national stability and greatness. He speaks first of the righteousness that shall be exalted, and exemplified in the government of king and rulers; and then he goes on to speak of the moral conditions of real blessedness and progress, as they shall appear among the people. Great characters are the outstanding feature in the reformed society that he anticipates. Through them the progress of the nation is secured; in them the greatness of the nation will consist. But great characters can only exercise their full and proper influence when they move among those who are able to discern their greatness. Hence Isaiah declares that in that glorious time for which he confidently looks the moral blindness of the people, over which he had so often and so deeply mourned, the moral insensibility dulness, with all the confusion and false judgment it occasioned, shall have ceased (verse 3). Men shall know true manhood when they see it, and honour the manhood that they see. They shall no longer debase the moral currency, and make false use of terms denoting moral qualities. The great men shall be seen in all their greatness, and shall raise others to a moral elevation like their own. They shall protect the weak, and encourage the faint-hearted; they shall foster the growth of all goodness, and be an unfailing source of noblest inspiration. As they stand there in all their moral grandeur, rooted and grounded in the eternal righteoushess, they are indeed--and they are known to be--“as a 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 rook in a weary land.” (E. A. Lawrence.)

Isaiah’s Utopia

The first eight verses of this chapter are like the sudden opening of a window. The hall behind you resounds with the clamour of fierce contentions; the window before you frames in the prospect of a fair country, all bathed in rosy light, a land of corn and wine and oil, a land of plenty and peace. Isaiah is not the only politician who has found relief from the anxieties of a stormy time in a Utopia of his own imagining. The air was full of the noise of change, the Reformation was in full career on the Continent, and the ground-swell of the great movement already trembling on the shores of England, when Sir Thomas More wrote his description of the ideal state. When, as they think, everything is going wrong, men often have brightest visions of what the world would be if everything were going right. Isaiah’s Utopia has three grand characteristics:

1. The triumph of righteousness in government. His programme for the ruling power is this: “A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.”

2. The new state shall be broad-based, not upon the people’s will, but upon the people’s character. Men shall not be, as they have been, weak and unstable, and ungenerous; but, rock-like and river-like, they shall be strong and bountiful.

3. The ideal Israel, themselves judged justly, shall be just judges of others. They shall be able to discriminate character, and to recognise and honour the truly good. “The quack and the dupe,” says Carlyle, “are upper and under side of the same substance.” So, in the kingdom of the future, “the vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.” There will be no quacks, because there will be no dupes. Those who are liberal themselves are not likely to err in what constitutes liberality in others. (W. B. Dalby.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 32:1". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-32.html. 1905-1909. New York.

The Biblical Illustrator

Isaiah 32:1-8

Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness

Asayria and Judah

Such (Isaiah 31:8-9) will be the ignominious end of the proud battalions of Assyria.
For Judah a happier future immediately begins. There should be no break between the two chapters. The representation which follows (
Isaiah 32:1-8) is the positive complement to Isaiah 31:6 f., and is parallel to Isaiah 30:23-26, completing under its ethical and spiritual aspects the picture of which the external material features were there delineated. Society, when the crisis is past, will be regenerated. Kings and nobles will be the devoted guardians of justice, and great men will be what their position demands that they should be--the willing and powerful protectors of the poor. All classes, in other words, will be pervaded by an increased sense of public duty. The spiritual and intellectual blindness (Isaiah 29:10) will have passed away (Isaiah 30:3); superficial and precipitate judgments will be replaced by discrimination (Isaiah 30:4 a); hesitancy and vacillation will give way before the prompt and clear assertion of principle (Isaiah 30:4 b). The present confusion of moral distinctions will cease; men and actions will be called by their right names. (Prof. S. R. Driver, D. D.)

A new era

For Judah--sifted, rescued, cleansed--a new era opens.

I. JUST GOVERNMENT IN BLESSING TO THE PEOPLE is the first good fruit (Isaiah 32:1-2).

II. The second is AN OPEN UNDERSTANDING AFTER THE CURSE OF HARDNESS (Isaiah 32:3-4).

III. A third good fruit is CALLING AND TREATING EVERYONE ACCORDING TO HIS TRUE CHARACTER (Isaiah 32:5-8). Nobility of birth and riches will give place to nobility of disposition, so that the former will not be found, nor find recognition without the latter. (F. Delitzsch.)

A flourishing kingdom

It may be taken as a directory both to magistrates and subjects, what both ought to do. It is here promised and prescribed--

I. THAT MAGISTRATES SHOULD DO THEIR DUTY IN THEIR PLACES, and the powers answer the great ends for which they were ordained of God (Isaiah 32:1-2).

1. There shall be a king and princes that shall reign and rule; for it cannot go well when there is no king in Israel.

2. They shall use their power according to law, and not against it.

3. Thus they shall be great blessings to the people (Isaiah 32:2). “A man”--that man, that king that reigns in righteousness--“shall be as a hiding-place.”

II. THAT SUBJECTS SHALL DO THEIR DUTY IN THEIR PLACES.

1. They shall be willing to be taught, and to understand things aright (Isaiah 32:3). When this blessed work of reformation is set on foot, and men do their part towards it, God will not be wanting to do His. Then “the eyes of them that see”--of the prophets, the seers--“shall not be dim,” &c.

2. There shall be a wonderful change wrought in them by that which is taught them (Isaiah 32:4).

3. The differences between good and evil, virtue and vice, shall be kept up and no more confounded by those who put darkness for light, and light, for darkness (Isaiah 32:5). (Matthew Henry.)

Reformed society

Though Isaiah s words are only perfectly ful-filled in Jesus Christ, it was not concerning Christ that they were spoken. The prophet is speaking of the religious future and social progress of his people. He is presenting a picture of regenerated Judah. He points to the essential elements of all national stability and greatness. He speaks first of the righteousness that shall be exalted, and exemplified in the government of king and rulers; and then he goes on to speak of the moral conditions of real blessedness and progress, as they shall appear among the people. Great characters are the outstanding feature in the reformed society that he anticipates. Through them the progress of the nation is secured; in them the greatness of the nation will consist. But great characters can only exercise their full and proper influence when they move among those who are able to discern their greatness. Hence Isaiah declares that in that glorious time for which he confidently looks the moral blindness of the people, over which he had so often and so deeply mourned, the moral insensibility dulness, with all the confusion and false judgment it occasioned, shall have ceased (verse 3). Men shall know true manhood when they see it, and honour the manhood that they see. They shall no longer debase the moral currency, and make false use of terms denoting moral qualities. The great men shall be seen in all their greatness, and shall raise others to a moral elevation like their own. They shall protect the weak, and encourage the faint-hearted; they shall foster the growth of all goodness, and be an unfailing source of noblest inspiration. As they stand there in all their moral grandeur, rooted and grounded in the eternal righteoushess, they are indeed--and they are known to be--“as a 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 rook in a weary land.” (E. A. Lawrence.)

Isaiah’s Utopia

The first eight verses of this chapter are like the sudden opening of a window. The hall behind you resounds with the clamour of fierce contentions; the window before you frames in the prospect of a fair country, all bathed in rosy light, a land of corn and wine and oil, a land of plenty and peace. Isaiah is not the only politician who has found relief from the anxieties of a stormy time in a Utopia of his own imagining. The air was full of the noise of change, the Reformation was in full career on the Continent, and the ground-swell of the great movement already trembling on the shores of England, when Sir Thomas More wrote his description of the ideal state. When, as they think, everything is going wrong, men often have brightest visions of what the world would be if everything were going right. Isaiah’s Utopia has three grand characteristics:

1. The triumph of righteousness in government. His programme for the ruling power is this: “A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.”

2. The new state shall be broad-based, not upon the people’s will, but upon the people’s character. Men shall not be, as they have been, weak and unstable, and ungenerous; but, rock-like and river-like, they shall be strong and bountiful.

3. The ideal Israel, themselves judged justly, shall be just judges of others. They shall be able to discriminate character, and to recognise and honour the truly good. “The quack and the dupe,” says Carlyle, “are upper and under side of the same substance.” So, in the kingdom of the future, “the vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.” There will be no quacks, because there will be no dupes. Those who are liberal themselves are not likely to err in what constitutes liberality in others. (W. B. Dalby.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Isaiah 32:1". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/isaiah-32.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Isaiah 32:1-2. Behold, a king shall reign The prophet sets forth the two consequences of this gracious and glorious benefit; namely,—in these verses,—the flourishing and prosperous reign of Hezekiah, to shew forth itself at this time in all the authority and beauty of virtue and holiness, as a type of Jesus Christ, the most perfect king, who was to spring from him; such as he should shew himself in his kingdom, after having avenged his church by the rulers of the Roman empire, from the tyranny of Satan, opposing and endeavouring to extirpate it: and in Isaiah 32:3-8 he sets forth the repentance and conversion of many. There is no doubt that these words have their most complete and full verification in the Messiah. In Isaiah 32:2 we might read, and that man, namely, the king, shall be as a protection against the wind, &c.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/isaiah-32.html. 1801-1803.

Expositor's Bible Commentary

CHAPTER XV

A MAN: CHARACTER AND THE CAPACITY TO DISCRIMINATE CHARACTER

ABOUT 720 B.C.

Isaiah 32:1-8

THE Assyrians being thus disposed of, Isaiah turns to a prospect, on which we have scarcely heard him speak these twenty years, since Assyria appeared on the frontier of Judah-the religious future and social progress of his own people. This he paints in a small prophecy of eight verses, the first eight of chapter 32- Isaiah 32:9-20 of that chapter apparently springing from somewhat different conditions.

The first eight verses of chapter 32 (Isaiah 32:1-8) belong to a class of prophecies which we may call Isaiah’s "escapes." Like St. Paul, Isaiah, when he has finished some exposition of God’s dealings with His people or argument with the sinners among them, bursts upon an unencumbered vision of the future, and with roused conscience, and voice resonant from long debate, takes his loftiest flights of eloquence. In Isaiah’s book we have several of these visions, and each bears a character of its own, according to the sort of sinners from whom the prophet shook himself loose to describe it and the kind of indignation that filled his heart at the time. We have already seen how in some of Isaiah’s visions the Messiah has the chief place, while from others He is altogether absent. But here we come upon another inconsistency. Sometimes, as in chapter 11, Isaiah is content with nothing but a new dispensation-the entire transformation of nature, when there shall be no more desert or storm, but to the wild animals docility shall come, and among men an end to sorrow, fraud, and war. But again he limits his prophetic soul and promises less. As if, overcome by the spectacle of the more clamant needs and horrible vices of society, he had said, we must first get rid of these, we must supply those, before we can begin to dream of heaven. Such is Isaiah’s feeling here. This prophecy is not a vision of society glorified, but of society established and reformed, with its foundation firmly settled (Isaiah 32:1), with its fountain forces in full operation (Isaiah 32:2), and with an absolute check laid upon its worst habits, as, for instance, the moral grossness, lying, and pretence which the prophet has been denouncing for several chapters (Isaiah 32:3-8). This moderation of the prophecy brings it within the range of practical morals; while the humanity of it, its freedom from Jewish or Oriental peculiarities, renders it thoroughly modern. If every unfulfilled prophecy ought to be an accusing conscience in the breast of the Christian Church, there will be none more clamant and practical than this one. Its demands are essential to the social interests of today.

In Isaiah 32:1 we have the presupposition of the whole prophecy: "Behold, in righteousness shall a king reign, and princes-according to justice shall they rule." A just government is always the basis of Isaiah’s vision of the future. Here he defines it with greater abstractness than he has been wont to do. It is remarkable, that a writer, whose pen has already described the figure of the coming King so concretely and with so much detail, should here content himself with a general promise of a righteous government, regarding, as he seems to do, rather the office of kinghood, than any single eminent occupier of it. That the prophet of Immanuel, and still more the prophet of the Prince-of-the-Four-Names, [Isaiah 9:7] and of the Son of Jesse, [Isaiah 11:1] should be able to paint the ideal future, and speak of the just government that was to prevail in it, without at the same time referring to his previous very explicit promises of a royal Individual, is a fact which we cannot overlook in support of the opinion we have expressed in Isaiah 10:1 concerning the object of Isaiah’s Messianic hopes.

Nor is the vagueness of the first verse corrected by the terms of the second: "And a man shall be as a hiding-place from the wind," etc. We have already spoken of this verse as an ethical advance upon Isaiah’s previous picture of the Messiah. But while, of course, the Messiah was to Isaiah the ideal of human character, and therefore shared whatsoever features he might foresee in its perfect development, it is evident that in this verse Isaiah is not thinking of the Messiah alone or particularly. When he says with such simplicity a man, he means any man, he means the ideal for every man. Having in Isaiah 32:1 laid down the foundation for social life, he tells us in Isaiah 32:2 what the shelter and fountain force of society are to be: not science nor material wealth, but personal influence, the strength and freshness of the human personality. "A man shall be as a 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." After just government (Isaiah 32:1) great characters are the prophet’s first demand (Isaiah 32:2), and then (Isaiah 32:3-8) he will ask for the capacity to discriminate character. "Character and the capacity to discriminate character" indeed summarises this prophecy.

I. A MAN

(Isaiah 32:2)

Isaiah has described personal influence on so grand a scale that it is not surprising that the Church has leapt to his words as a direct prophecy of Jesus Christ. They are indeed a description of Him, out of whose shadow advancing time has not been able to carry the children of men, who has been the shelter and fertility of every generation since He was lifted up, and to whom the affections of individual hearts never rise higher than when they sing-

"Rock of ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee."

Such a rock was Christ indeed; but, in accordance with what we have said above, the prophet here has no individual specially in his view, but is rather laying down a general description of the influence of individual character, of which Christ Jesus was the highest instance. Taken in this sense, his famous words present us, first, with a philosophy of history, at the heart of which there is, secondly, a great gospel, and in the application of which there is, thirdly, a great ideal and duty for ourselves.

1. Isaiah gives us in this verse a philosophy of history. Great men are not the whole of life, but they are the condition of all the rest; if it were not for the big men, the little ones could scarcely live. The first requisites of religion and civilisation are outstanding characters.

In the East the following phenomenon is often observed. Where the desert touches a river-valley or oasis, the sand is in a continual state of drift from the wind, and it is this drift which is the real cause of the barrenness of such portions of the desert at least as abut upon the fertile land. For under the rain, or by infiltration of the river, plants often spring up through the sand, and there is sometimes promise of considerable fertility. It never lasts. Down comes the periodic drift, and life is stunted or choked out. But set down a rock on the sand, and see the difference its presence makes. After a few showers, to the leeward side of this some blades will spring up; if you have patience, you will see in time a garden. How has the boulder produced this? Simply by arresting the drift.

Now that is exactly how great men benefit human life. A great man serves his generation, serves the whole race, by arresting the drift. Deadly forces, blind and fatal as the desert wind, sweep down human history. In the beginning it was the dread of Nature, the cold blast which blows from every quarter on the barbarian, and might have stunted men to animals. But into some soul God breathed a great breath of freedom, and the man defied Nature. Nature has had her revenge by burying the rebel in oblivion. On the distant horizon of history we can see, merely in some old legend, the evidence of his audacity. But the drift was arrested; behind the event men took shelter, in the shelter grew free, and learned to think out what the first great resister felt.

When history had left this rock behind, and the drift had again space to grow, the same thing happened; and the hero this time was Abraham. He laid his back to the practice of his forefathers, and lifting his brow to heaven, was the first to worship the One Unseen God. Abraham believed; and in the shadow of his faith, and sheltered by his example, his descendants learned to believe too. Today from within the three great spiritual religions men look back to him as the father of the faithful.

When Isaiah, while all his countrymen were rushing down the mad, steep ways of politics, carried off by the only powers that were as yet known in these ways, fear of death and greed to be on the side of the strongest-when Isaiah stood still amid that panic rush, and uttered the memorable words, "In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength; in returning and rest shall ye be saved," he stopped one of the most dangerous drifts in history, and created in its despite a shelter for those spiritual graces, which have always been the beauty of the state, and are now coming to be recognised as its strength.

When in the early critical days of the Church, that dark drift of Jewish custom, which had overflown the barriers set to the old dispensation, threatened to spread its barrenness upon the fields of the Gentile world, already white to the harvest of Christ, and Peter and Barnabas and all the Apostles were carried away by it, what was it that saved Christianity? Under God, it was this: that Paul got up and, as he tells us, withstood Peter to the face.

And, again, when the powers of the Roman Church and the Roman Empire, checked for a little by the efforts which began the Reformation, gathered themselves together and rose in one awful front of emperor, cardinals, and princes at the Diet of Worms, what was it that stood fast against that drift of centuries, and proved the rock, under whose shelter men dared to read God’s pure word again, and preach His Gospel? It was the word of a lonely monk: "Here stand I. I cannot otherwise. So help me, God."

So that Isaiah is right. A single man has been as "a hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest." History is swept by drifts: superstition, error, poisonous custom, dust-laden controversy. What has saved humanity has been the upraising of some great man to resist those drifts, to set his will, strong through faith, against the prevailing tendency, and be the shelter of the weaker, but not less desirous, souls of his brethren. "The history of what man has accomplished in the world is at bottom the history of the great men who have worked there." Under God, personal human power is the highest force, and God has ever used it as His chief instrument.

2. But in this philosophy of history there is a Gospel. Isaiah’s words are not only man’s ideal; they are God’s promise, and that promise has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the most conspicuous example-none others are near Him-of this personal influence in which Isaiah places all the shelter and revival of society. God has set His seal to the truth, that the greatest power in shaping human destiny is man himself, by becoming one with man, by using a human soul to be the Saviour of the race. "A man," says Isaiah, "shall be as a hiding-place from the wind, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land"; and the Rock of Ages was a Man. The world indeed knew that personal character could go higher than all else in the world, but they never knew how high till they saw Jesus Christ, or how often till they numbered His followers.

This figure of a rock, a rock resisting drift, gives us some idea, not only of the commanding influence of Christ’s person, but of that special office from which all the glory of His person and of His name arises: that "He saves His people from their sins."

For what is sin? Sin is simply the longest, heaviest drift in human history. It arose in the beginning, and has carried everything before it since. "The oldest custom of the race," it is the most powerful habit of the individual. Men have reared against it government, education, philosophy, system after system of religion. But sin overwhelmed them all.

Only Christ resisted, and His resistance saves the world: Alone among human lives presented to our view, that of Christ is sinless. What is so prevalent in human nature that we cannot think of a human individual without it never stained Christ’s life. Sin was about Him; it was not that He belonged to another sphere of things which lay above it. Sin was about Him. He rose from its midst with the same frailty as other men, encompassed by the same temptations; but where they rose to fall, He rose to stand, and standing he became the world’s Saviour. The great tradition was broken; the drift was arrested. Sin never could be the same again after the sinless manhood of Christ. The old world’s sins and cruel customs were shut out from the world that came after. Some of them ceased so absolutely as scarcely to be afterwards named; and the rest were so curbed that no civilised society suffered them to pass from its constraint, and no public conscience tolerated them as natural or necessary evils.

What the surface of the world’s life bears so deeply, that does every individual, who puts his trust in Jesus, feel to the core. Of Jesus the believer can truly say that life on this side of Him is very different from life on that. Temptations keep far away from the heart that keeps near to Christ. Under the shadow of our Rock, for us the evil of the present loses all its suggestiveness, the evil of the past its awful surge of habit and guilty fear.

3. But there is not only a philosophy of history and a gospel in this promise of a man. There is a great duty and ideal for every one. If this prophecy distinctly reaches forward to Jesus Christ as its only perfect fulfilment, the vagueness of its expression permits of its application to all, and through Him its fulfilment by all becomes a possibility. Now each of us may be a rock, a shelter, and a source of fertility to the life around him in three modes of constant influence. We can be like Christ, the Rock, in shutting out from our neighbours the knowledge and infection of sin, in keeping our conversation so unsuggestive and unprovocative of evil, that, though sin drift upon us, it shall never drift through us. And we may be like Christ, the Rock, in shutting out blame from other men; in sheltering them from the east wind of pitiless prejudice, quarrel, or controversy; in stopping the unclean and bitter drifts of scandal and gossip. How many lives have lost their fertility for the want of a little silence and a little shadow! Some righteous people have a terribly northeastern exposure; children do not play about their doors, nor the prodigal stop there. And again, as there are a number of men and women who fall in struggling for virtue simply because they never see it successful in others, and the spectacle of one pure, heroic character would be their salvation, here is another way in which each servant of God may be a rock. Of the late Clerk Maxwell it was said, "He made faith in goodness easy to other men." "A man shall be as streams of water in a desert place."

II. CAPACITY TO DISTINGUISH CHARACTER

(Isaiah 32:3-8)

But after the coming of this ideal, it is not paradise that is regained. Paradise is farther off. We must have truth to begin with: truth and the capacity to distinguish character The sternness with which Isaiah thus postpones his earlier vision shows us how sore his heart was about the "lying" temper of his people. We have heard him deploring the fascination of their false minds by the Egyptian Pretence. Their falseness, however, had not only shown itself in their foreign politics, but in their treatment of one another, in their social fashions, judgments, and worships. In society there prevailed a want of moral insight and of moral courage. At home also the Jews had failed to call things by their right names. Therefore next in their future Isaiah desires the cure of moral blindness, haste, and cowardice (Isaiah 32:3-4), with the explosion of all social lies (Isaiah 32:5). Men shall stand out for what they are, whether they be bad-for the bad shall not be wanting (Isaiah 32:6-7)-or good (Isaiah 32:8). On righteous government (Isaiah 32:1) and influence of strong men (Isaiah 32:2) must follow social truthfulness (Isaiah 32:3-8). Such is the line of the prophet’s demands. The details of Isaiah 32:3-8 are exceedingly interesting.

"And not closed shall be the eyes of them that see, and the ears of them that hear shall be pricked up." The context makes it clear that this is spoken, not of intellectual, but of moral, insight and alertness. "And the heart of the hasty shall learn how to know, and the tongue of the stammerer be quick" (the verb is the same as the "hasty" of the previous clause) "to speak plain things. Startlingly plain things"-for the word literally means "blinding-white" and is so used of the sun-"startlingly plain," like that scorching epigram upon Egypt. The morally rash and the morally timid are equal fathers of lies.

In illustration Isaiah takes the conventional abuse of certain moral terms, exposes it and declares it shall cease: "The vile person shall no more be called liberal, nor the Churl said to be bountiful." "Liberal" and "bountiful" were conventional names. The Hebrew word for "liberal" originally meant exactly that-"openhearted, generous, magnanimous." In the East it is the character which above all they call princely. So like our words "noble" and "nobility," it became a term of rank, lord or prince, and was often applied to men who were not at all great-hearted, but the very opposite-even to the "vile person." "Vile person" is literally the "faded" or the "exhausted," whether mentally or morally-the last kind of character that could be princely. The other conventional terms used by Isaiah refers to wealth rather than rank. The Hebrew for "bountiful" literally means "abundant," a man blessed with plenty, and is used in the Old Testament both for the rich and the fortunate. Its nearest English equivalent is perhaps "the successful man." To this Isaiah fitly opposes a name, wrongly rendered in our version "churl," but corrected in the margin to "crafty"-the "fraudulent," "the knave." When moral discrimination comes, says Isaiah, men will not apply the term "princely" to "worn-out" characters, nor grant them the social respect implied by the term. They will not call the "fraudulent" the "fortunate," nor canonise him as successful, who has gotten his wealth by underhand means. "The worthless character shall no more be called princely, nor the knave hailed as the successful." But men’s characters shall stand out true in their actions, and by their fruits ye shall know them. In those magic days the heart shall come to the lips, and its effects be unmistakable. "For the worthless person, worthlessness shall he speak"-what else can he?-"and his heart shall do iniquity, to practise profaneness and to utter against the Lord rank error, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail. The tools, too, of the knave" (a play upon words here-"Keli Kelav"-the knave his knives) "are evil; low tricks he deviseth to destroy the poor with words of falsehood, even when the poor speaks justice "(that is, has justice as well as poverty to plead for him). "But the princely things deviseth, and he upon princely things shall stand"-not upon conventional titles or rank, or the respect of insincere hearts, but upon actual deeds of generosity and sacrifice.

After great characters, then, what society needs is capacity to discern character, and the chief obstacle in the way of this discernment is the substitution of a conventional morality for a true morality, and of some distinction of man’s making for the eternal difference which God has set between right and wrong.

Human progress consists, according to Isaiah, of getting rid of these conventions; and in this history bears him out. The abolition of slavery, the recognition of the essential nobility of labour, the abolition of infanticide, the emancipation of woman-all these are due to the release of men’s minds from purely conventional notions, and the courageous application in their place of the fundamental laws of righteousness and love. If progress is still to continue, it must be by the same method. In many directions it is still a false conventionalism, -sometimes the relic of barbarism, sometimes the fruit of civilisation, -that blocks the way. The savage notions which obstruct the enforcement of masculine purity have to be exposed. Nor shall we ever get true commercial prosperity, or the sense of security which is indispensable to that, till men begin to cease calling transactions all right merely because they are the customs of the trade and the means to which its. members look for profits.

But, above all, as Isaiah tells us, we need to look to our use of language. It is one of the standing necessities of pure science to revise the terminology, to reserve for each object a special name, and see that all men understand the same object by the same name. Otherwise confusion comes m, and science is impossible. The necessity, though not so faithfully recognised, is as imperative in morals. If we consider the disgraceful mistakes in popular morals which have been produced by the transference and degradation of names, we shall feel it to be a religious duty to preserve for these their proper meaning. In the interests of morality, we must not be careless in our use of moral terms. As Socrates says in the Phaedo: "To use words wrongly and indefinitely is not merely an error in itself; it also creates evil in the soul" What noxious misconceptions, what mistaken ideals of life, are due to the abuse of these four words alone: "noble," "gentleman," "honour" and "Christian"! By applying these, in flattery or deceit, to persons unworthy of them, men have not only deprived them of the virtue which originally the mere utterance of them was enough to instil into the heart, but have sent forth to the world under their attractiveness second-rate types of character and ideals. The word "gentleman"! How the heart sickens as it thinks what a number of people have been satisfied to aim at a shoddy and superficial life because it was labelled with this gracious name. Conventionalism has deprived the English language of some of its most powerful sermons by devoting terms of singular moral expressiveness to do duty as mere labels upon characters that are dead, or on ranks and offices, for the designation of which mere cyphers might have sufficed.

We must not forget, however, Isaiah’s chief means for the abolition of this conventionalism and the substitution of a true moral vision and terminology. These results are to follow from the presence of the great character, "A Man," whom he has already lifted up. Conventionalism is another of the drifts which that Rock has to arrest. Setting ourselves to revise our dictionaries or to restore to our words their original meanings out of our memories is never enough. The rising of a conspicuous character alone can dissipate the moral haze; the sense of his influence will alone fill emptied forms with meaning. So Christ Jesus judged and judges the world by His simple presence; men fall to His right hand and to His left. He calls things by their right names, and restores to each term of religion and morals its original ideal, which the vulgar use of the world has worn away.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Expositor's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/teb/isaiah-32.html.

The Pulpit Commentaries

SECTION VIII. A PROPHECY OF MESSIAH'S KINGDOM (Isaiah 32:1-8).

EXPOSITION

Isaiah 32:1-8

A PROPHECY OF MESSIAH'S KINGDOM. It is generally allowed that this prophecy is Messianic; but some critics insist that it is not so "in a narrow sense." They regard Isaiah as expecting Messiah's kingdom to follow immediately on the discomfiture of Sennacherib, and as looking to Hezekiah to inaugurate it. According to this view, Hezekiah, renovated in character, was to be the Messiah, and might have been so had he been "equal to the demands providentially made upon him." But he was not; and the task of establishing the kingdom fell to "another," at a later date. It is simpler to regard the prophet as looking for a greater than Hezekiah (comp. Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6), but ignorant how soon, or how late, his coming would be.

Isaiah 32:1

A king … princes. Delitzsch and Mr. Cheyne translate, "the king … the princes;" but the Hebrew gives no article. The announcement is vague, and corresponds to those of other prophets, as of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:5), "Behold, the days come that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a king shall reign and prosper;" and of Zechariah (Zechariah 9:9), "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion … behold, thy King cometh unto thee." The "princes" of the text are the minor authorities whom the king would set over his kingdom—i.e; the apostles and their successors. In righteousness … in judgment. Messiah's rule will be a rule of strict justice and right, offering the strongest contrast to that under which the Jews have been living since the time of Jehoshaphat (see Isaiah 1:15-23; Isaiah 3:1-12, etc.).

Isaiah 32:2

A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, etc. Modem critics mostly render, "each man"—i.e. the king, and each of his princes. But it is, to say the least, allowable—with Vitringa and Kay—to regard the word as referring to the king only (comp. Zechariah 6:12, where ish, a man, is used in the same vague way of One who is clearly the Messiah). There was never but one man who could be to other men all that is predicated in this verse of the "man" mentioned (comp. Isaiah 25:4, where nearly the same epithets are predicated of God). A covert; i.e. a protection against Divine wrath. Such is Messiah in his mediatorial character. Rivers of water; i.e. refreshing and invigorating (comp. Isaiah 55:1; John 4:14; John 7:37). The shadow of a great rook. At once refreshing and protecting (see Isaiah 25:4).

Isaiah 32:3

The eyes of them that see shall not be dim. In Messiah's kingdom there shall be no judicial blindness, such as that threatened in Isaiah 6:9, Isaiah 6:10, and described in Isaiah 29:10, Isaiah 29:11; but men shall see the truth clearly (comp. Isaiah 29:18; Isaiah 35:5; Matthew 13:16, etc.). The ears.; shall hearken; i.e. "shall both hear and understated" (compare "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear").

Isaiah 32:4

The heart also of the rash; i.e. of those who were rash and hasty, who would not give themselves time to understand the warnings addressed to them, or to think of the real character of their actions. These shall, in Messiah's kingdom, "have the gift of discernment to perceive things in their true nature" (Delitzsch). The tongue of the stammerers. The tongue of those who hitherto have spoken hesitatingly and inconsistently on moral and religions subjects shall be ready—i.e; prompt and eager—to speak upon them with clearness and elegance. The grace given to the uneducated fishermen of Galilee enabled them to preach and teach gospel truth, not only with clearness, but with refinement.

Isaiah 32:5

The vile person shall be no more called liberal; rather, the foolish person—as nabal is commonly translated (Deuteronomy 32:6; 2 Samuel 3:33; 2 Samuel 13:13; Psalms 14:1; Psalms 39:8; Psalms 74:22, etc.)—such a man as the "Nabal" of 1 Samuel 25:1-44. Men are apt to confound moral distinctions, and to call the "fools" who waste their substance in feasting and revelry "generous" or "liberal," and the niggards (churls) who hoard their riches "warm men," "wealthy men," "men well to do in the world" (see Isaiah 5:20; and comp. Arist.,' Eth. Nic.,' 2.8, § 3; Thucyd; 3.82). This perversion of truth shall not obtain in Messiah's kingdom. Bountiful; rather, wealthy (comp. Job 34:19, where the same word is translated "rich").

Isaiah 32:6

For the vile person will speak villany, etc.; rather, for the fool speaketh folly, and his heart doeth wickedness, practising profanity and uttering error against Jehocab, making empty the soul of the hungry—yea, the drink of the thirsty will he cause to fail. The prophet seems to have the portrait of Nabal in his mind, and to take him as the type of a class.

Isaiah 32:7

The instruments. Mr. Cheyne translates, "the machinations," which gives a better sense; but the rendering is scarcely borne out by any parallel use of the term c'li in Scripture or elsewhere. C'li properly means "vessels," "weapons," "implements." He deviseth wicked devices; rather, he deviseth plots. The word "he" is emphatic. Unlike the fool, who passively does evil through thoughtlessness, the niggard actively devises crafty plans against his fellow-men. He seeks to cheat the poor out of their rights by false witness (comp. Isaiah 1:17, Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 3:14, Isaiah 3:15; Isaiah 5:28, etc.), Even when the needy speaketh right; i.e. "has right on his side." The translation in the text is to be preferred to that in the margin.

Isaiah 32:8

By liberal things shall he stand; or, to liberal things. The Hebrew will bear either sense.

Isaiah 32:9-12

SECTION IX. FURTHER DENUNCIATIONS OF ISRAEL, JOINED WITH PROMISES (Isaiah 32:9-20).

A REBUKE OF THE WOMEN. It might seem at first sight as if we had here a detached utterance of the prophet, accidentally conjoined with the preceding passage (Isaiah 32:1-8). But Isaiah 32:15-18 furnish a link of connection between the two portions of the chapter, and make it probable that they were delivered at the same time. Mr. Cheyne supposes that the indifference of a knot of women, gathered at some little distance from the men to whom Isaiah had addressed verses 1-8, provoked the prophet suddenly to turn to them, and speak to them in terms of warning.

Isaiah 32:9

Rise up. The "careless daughters" are sitting, or reclining upon couches, at their ease. The prophet bids them stand up, to hear a message from God (comp. 3:10). Ye women that are at ease; i.e. "that are self-satisfied and self-complacent." The word employed has almost always a bad sense (see 2 Kings 19:28; Job 12:5; Psalms 123:4; Amos 6:1; Zechariah 1:15). Hear my voice. This clause should be attached to the first half of the verse. The order of the words in the original is, "Ye women that are at ease, rise up and hear my words; ye careless daughters, hearken unto my speech."

Isaiah 32:10

Many days and years shall ye be troubled; rather, in a year and days; i.e. "in less than two years." The object of the prophet is not to fix the duration of the trouble, but to mark the time of its commencement (comp. Isaiah 29:1). Shall ye be troubled; rather, shall ye tremble, or shudder (so Deuteronomy 2:25; Psalms 77:18; Psalms 99:1; Isaiah 5:25; Isaiah 64:2; Jeremiah 33:9, etc.). Ye careless women; rather, ye confident ones. The word is different from that employed in Isaiah 32:9 and Isaiah 32:11. The vintage shall fail; literally, has failed—"the perfect of prophetic certitude" (Cheyne). Some critics understand a literal failure, or destruction, of the vintage through the invasion of the Assyrians. Others suggest a refer-once to Isaiah 5:4-7. The vineyard of the Lord (Judah) has utterly failed to bring forth grapes—there is no ingathering—therefore destruction shall fall upon it.

Isaiah 32:11

Tremble … be troubled. The repetition of this verse is, as usual, emphatic. Its object is to impress those whom the prophet is addressing with the certainty of the coming judgment. Strip you, and make you bare; i.e. "bare your breasts," in preparation for the beating which is to follow (see the comment on the next verse).

Isaiah 32:12

They shall lament for the teats, etc.; rather, they shall beat upon the breasts for the pleasant fields, etc. (so the LXX; the Vulgate, Jarchi, Gesenius, Ewald, Maurer, Knobel, Delitzsch, and Mr. Cheyne). Dr. Kay prefers the rendering of the Authorized Version, understanding by "the teats" such "dry breasts" as Hosea speaks of (Hosea 9:14). But nothing has been said in this place of any such affliction. For the pleasant fields, etc.; i.e. for their loss (see verse 10).

Isaiah 32:13-20

A FURTHER MINGLING OF THREATS WITH COMFORTING PROMISES. The women require, like the men, to be both warned and comforted, wherefore the prophet addresses to them, as to the men in Isaiah 30:1-33. and 31; an intermixture of threatening (Isaiah 30:13, Isaiah 30:14) with promise (Isaiah 30:15-20).

Isaiah 32:13

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars. This was the punishment with which the unfruitful vineyard was threatened in Isaiah 5:6. It may be understood either literally or of the wickedness that would abound when the time of judgment came. Yea, upon all the houses of joy (comp. Isaiah 5:9). If Sennacherib carried off, as he declares, more than two hundred thousand captives from Judaea, he must have left many houses without inhabitants. The solitude begun by him was completed by the Babylonians. The joyous city (see Isaiah 22:2). The word used has generally the sense of unholy mirth (comp. Isaiah 23:7; Isaiah 24:8; Zephaniah 2:15; Zephaniah 3:11).

Isaiah 32:14

The palaces shall be forsaken; literally, the palace; but the word is used in a generic sense. The prophet sees in vision Jerusalem deserted by her inhabitants, the grand houses of the rich empty, the strongholds haunted by wild beasts, and the slopes of the hills fed on by sheep, and even occasionally visited by the timid and solitude-loving wild ass. The description suits well the time of the Babylonian captivity, but not any earlier period. Probably it was not revealed to the prophet how soon the condition would be reached. The multitude of the city shall be left. The real meaning is, as Bishop Lowth expresses it, "The populous city shall be left desolate." But the whole passage is. as Delitzsch observes, "grammatically strange, the language becoming more complicated, disjointed, and difficult, the greater the wrath and indignation of the poet." The forts and towers; rather, hill and tower, with (perhaps) a special reference to the part of Jerusalem called Ophel (2 Chronicles 27:3; Nehemiah 3:26, etc.), the long projecting spur from the eastern hill, which points a little west of south, and separates the Kedron valley from the Tyropoeon. Shall be for dens; literally, for caves; but dens for wild beasts seem to be meant (comp. Isaiah 13:21; Isaiah 34:14; Jeremiah 1:1-19 :39). For ever. This expression must not be pressed. Hyperbole is a recognized feature of poetry written under strong excitement. A joy of wild asses. The wild ass is not now found nearer Palestine than Mesopotamia, or perhaps Northern Syria. It is exceedingly shy, and never approaches the habitations of men.

Isaiah 32:15

Until. The expression "until" modifies the previous "forever," showing that the desolation was not always to continue. The Spirit be poured upon us from on high. An effluence from the Holy Spirit of God on individuals of eminence, prophets, kings, artificers, to fit them for their tasks, is recognized in many of the earlier books of Scripture, and especially in the Davidical psalms. But a general effluence of the Spirit of holiness on a nation, to produce a change of heart, seems to be first announced by Isaiah. The nearly contemporary prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28, Joel 2:29) is, perhaps, as wide in its scope, but limited to the prophetic gift, which is not necessarily conjoined with spiritual-minded-ness or holiness of life. Isaiah, the "evangelical prophet," first teaches that the conversion of a nation is God's work, effected by the Holy Spirit, and effectual to the entire change of the heart of a people. And the wilderness be a fruitful field; i.e. "the community long cursed with barrenness of good works" (verse 10) "becomes once more fruitful of them." And the fruitful field be counted for a forest. An order of climax seems to be here intended. The midbar, the bare pasturage-ground, becomes a Carmel, i.e. carefully cultivated; the Carmel becomes like Lebanon, a rich and luxurious forest. There is no close parallel between this verse and verse 17 of Isaiah 29:1-24. The prophet is not tied down by his previous metaphors.

Isaiah 32:16

Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness. In all parts of the kingdom of Christ, the lowest as well as the highest, "judgment" and "righteousness" shall prevail (comp. Isaiah 32:1).

Isaiah 32:17

The work of righteousness shall be peace. Peace—a true peace, not a false one (Jeremiah 6:14)—shall be the result of the reign of righteousness. War, quarrels, enmity, hostile feelings, are all of them the fruit of unrighteousness. In the kingdom of the Messiah, just so far forth as it is thoroughly established, "the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace" (James 3:18). The effect of righteousness; literally, the service of righteousness, which perhaps means here "the wages of righteousness." Quietness and assurance; or, quietness and confidence (comp. Isaiah 30:15). The final happiness of the blessed in Christ's kingdom is always spoken of as a state of "rest and quietness" (see Psalms 95:11; Job 3:17; Jeremiah 6:16; Matthew 11:28; Hebrews 4:9-11, etc.). The "confidence" felt would be an assured confidence, not a rash and foolish one, like that of the women of Isaiah 32:10, Isaiah 32:11.

Isaiah 32:19

When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; rather, but it shall hail in the coming down (i.e. the destruction) of the forest. "The forest" has commonly been regarded as Assyria, on the strength of Isaiah 10:18, Isaiah 10:19, Isaiah 10:33, Isaiah 10:34. Mr. Cheyne, however, suggests Judah, or the high and haughty ones of Judah, whose destruction was a necessary preliminary to the establishment of Christ's kingdom. May not God's enemies generally be meant? The city. Nineveh (Lowth, Gesenius, Rosenmüller); Jerusalem (Delitzsch, Knobel, Cheyne, Kay); "the city in which the hostility of the world to Jehovah will, in the latter days, be centralized" (Drechsler, Nagel)—the "world-power," in fact. The last view seems to give the best sense.

Isaiah 32:20

Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters. The idyllic picture, begun in Isaiah 32:15, terminates here. The people of the kingdom have a well-watered land (Isaiah 30:25), where they live peacefully, sowing their seed beside the water-courses, and having abundant pasture for their peaceful beasts—the ox and the ass (comp. Isaiah 30:24). A spiritual meaning doubtless underlies the literal sense.

HOMILETICS

Isaiah 32:1

Strict justice a characteristic of Messiah's kingdom.

Whatever may be said, and said with truth, of the Divine mercy, still there is no quality more characteristic of God's rule over man than his justice. "Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis 18:25); "God is a righteous Judge" (Psalms 7:11); "He shall judge the world in righteousness, and minister judgment to the people in uprightness (Psalms 9:8). If this were not so, the whole foundations of morality would fall. And Messiah's rule was to be like God's—was, in very truth, to be God's. It had, therefore, to be strictly just. What is most wonderful in that marvelous scheme of salvation, which infinite wisdom conceived and decreed from everlasting, is that in it a way was contrived whereby "mercy and truth' might "meet together," and "righteousness and peace kiss each other" (Psalms 85:10). Attributes of God, seemingly contradictory, obtained a wondrous reconciliation by means of the sacrifice of Christ, which, though its whole import may transcend our faculties, was beyond all doubt an integer in the equation wherein mercy and truth met together, and reconcilement was made between "the wrath of man" and "the righteousness of God." The justice of Messiah's kingdom was shown—

I. IN CHRIST'S SEVERE CONDEMNATION OF EVERY FORM OF MORAL EVIL. "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!" (Matthew 23:13); "Depart from me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23); "Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36); "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts … and these defile a man" (Matthew 15:19, Matthew 15:20). Christ made no compromise with sin. In his most signal act of mercy his words were, "Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more" (John 8:11).

II. IN THE STRICT DISCIPLINE AT FIRST ESTABLISHED IN HIS CHURCH. "Purge out … the old leaven" (1 Corinthians 5:7); "Put away from among yourselves that wicked person" (1 Corinthians 5:13); "Now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat" (1 Corinthians 5:11). The apostles "delivered to Satan' those who sinned grievously (1 Corinthians 5:5; 1 Timothy 1:20)—cut them off from the communion of the faithful (Galatians 5:12), and only restored them after confession and penance. "The princes ruled in judgment" (Isaiah 32:1).

III. IN THE SOLEMN DECLARATIONS MADE OF A FINAL JUDGMENT ACCORDING TO WORKS. "I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works" (Revelation 20:12, Revelation 20:13; comp. Matthew 7:23; Matthew 12:37; Matthew 13:39-43; Matthew 25:31-46, etc.).

Isaiah 32:2

What Christ is to his people.

The prophet enumerates (in Isaiah 32:2) some of the chief relations in which Messiah, when he came, would stand to his people. All his announcements are fulfilled in Christ.

I. CHRIST IS A HIDING-PLACE FROM THE WIND. When the winds of affliction blow, when "the blast of the terrible ones" is upon us, above all, when the breath of the wrath of God seems to sweep down on us and scorch us up, there is one Refuge only to which we can flee—one "Hiding-place"—Christ. In the time of natural grief and trouble, he lets us find a Refuge in him; when our enemies threaten, he "hides us in the secret of his presence from the pride of man," and "keeps us secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues" (Psalms 31:20); when we shrink from the thought of God's wrath, and the breath which is "like a stream of brimstone '(Isaiah 30:33), he offers himself to us as our Shelter. How many saints have not found comfort, unspeakable comfort, in the blessed words-

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee?"

II. CHRIST IS A COVERT FROM THE TEMPEST. Christ not only hides us away from wind and storm, tempest and evil of all kinds, but is himself our Coverture. He is "a Tabernacle for a Covert from storm and from rain" (Isaiah 4:6). His merits "cover up" our sins, and make atonement for them. His righteousness is the "white raiment" which clothes us, so that "the shame of our nakedness doth not appear" (Revelation 3:18).

III. CHRIST IS AS RIVERS OF WATER. Rivers give refreshment. They are the great source of life, fertility, delight, in a parched and desert land. In the wilderness of this life, in the dry arid waste which our tired feet have to traverse, any refreshment that we enjoy comes from Christ—is Christ. He pours upon us the refreshing "dew of his blessing." He gives us to drink out of himself; and then "out of our belly there flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37, John 7:38). The water that he imparts to us is "a well of water springing up into everlasting life '(John 4:14). He is unto us "a place of broad rivers and streams" (Isaiah 33:21), refreshing, life-giving, exhaustless.

IV. CHRIST IS AS THE SHADOW OF A GREAT ROCK IN A WEARY LAND. The world is "a weary land." We are travelers across its waste. A hot sun beats down upon our heads; a scorching soil is under our feet. But we have a Rock with us, a Rock which "follows us"—and "that Rock is Christ" (1 Corinthians 10:4). In the shadow of that Rock we may at any time, and at all times, find rest, renovation, refreshment, protection, delight. The traveler in the desert comes, once and again, upon "a great rock," as he plods his weary way over the vast solitude, and rejoices at the sight, and toils for hours to reach the blessed refuge of its shade. Our "Rock" is ready to give us shade whenever we please—it is near us constantly; we have but to flee to it, to cling to it, to remain in its shadow.

Isaiah 32:9-12

The need of rousing women in critical times from a state of self-satisfaction and self-complacency.

Women are less apprehensive than men, more inclined to suppose that the state of things to which they are accustomed will, as a matter el course, remain unchanged. They have, as a general rule, less historical knowledge than men, and less acquaintance with the condition of the world wherein they live. The self-complacency and unsuspiciousness of Marie Antoinette and the ladies of her court, when the French Revolution was drawing on, has been a matter of surprise to historians; but it is merely a striking instance of what is, in fact, the ordinary condition of things when great changes are imminent. Jezebel did not expect, or appreciate, the revolution initiated by Jehu; nor Athaliah that carried out under the auspices of Jehoiada the high priest (2 Kings 11:4-16). The instinctive belief in "continuance," of which Bishop Butler speaks ('Analogy,' part 1. Isaiah 1:1-31.), whereby we expect "all things to continue as we experience they are, in all respects, "and "to-morrow to be as to-day," only perhaps "more abundant' (Isaiah 56:12),—is especially strong in women, and explains their inapprehensiveness. The result is:

1. That reverses come upon them suddenly and unexpectedly, without their being prepared to encounter them, and are thus sorer trials, under which they often fall into despair and recklessness, to their great hurt.

2. That the men, who are their associates, through the contagion of their security, are rendered themselves less apprehensive, and consequently less inclined to realize the coming danger and guard against it by wise measures of precaution. Under these circumstances, it becomes the preacher's duty at such times to address himself especially to the rousing of the women from their "carelessness" and security, both for their own sakes, and still more for the sake of the community, whose prosperity or whose very existence they imperil.

Isaiah 32:15-17

The fruits of the Spirit in a community.

The first result of the effluence of the Holy Spirit on man is fruitfulness: "the wilderness becomes a fruitful field, and the fruitful field a forest." The dry ground of a stony heart is changed into a cultivated garden, which "brings forth much fruit." The heart which already bore some fruit is "purged, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:2). Then, when individuals have been thus changed and "purged" and perfected one by one, judgment and righteousness "dwell" in the land—the King "reigns in righteousness," and his "princes rule in judgment" far and wide there is a reign of justice, right, equity. Next comes a further consequence. "The work of righteousness is peace," peace subjective and objective, in the heart and in the life—the peace of quiet consciences assured of God's favor, knowing that their sins are atoned for, and feeling that they are at one with God; and the peace of internal concord and agreement among all members of the community, mutual respect of class towards class, and of man towards man, general good will of all towards all, kindliness, courtesy, ready aid, sympathy, consideration. The complete result has not been seen as yet, because men have resisted God's Spirit, and the copious outpouring of it, which he is willing to give, has never yet been given. But if this impediment were removed, if God's Spirit had free course, and a kingdom or society of perfectly virtuous men were once formed, then we should see such further consequences as are pointed out by Bishop Butler in his 'Analogy: '"In such a state there would be no such thing as faction; but men of the greatest capacity would, of course, all along have the chief direction of affairs willingly yielded to them; and they would share it among themselves without envy. Each of these would have the part assigned him to which his genius was peculiarly adapted; and others, who had not any distinguished genius, would be safe, and think themselves very happy, by being under the protection and guidance of those who had. Public determinations would really be the result of the united wisdom of the community; and they would be faithfully executed by the united strength of it. Some would in a higher way contribute, but all would in some way contribute, to the public prosperity; and in it, each would enjoy the fruits of his own virtue. And as injustice, whether by fraud or force, would be unknown among themselves, so they would be sufficiently secured from it in their neighbors. For cunning and false self-interest, confederacies in injustice, ever slight, and accompanied with faction and intestine treachery,—these, on one hand, would be found mere childish folly and weakness, when set in opposition against wisdom, public spirit, union inviolable, and fidelity on the other; allowing both a sufficient length of years to try their force. Add the general influence, which such a kingdom would have over the face of the earth, by way of example particularly, and the reverence which would be paid it. It would plainly be superior to all others, and the world must gradually come under its empire; not by means of lawless violence, but partly by what must be allowed to be just conquest, and partly by other kingdoms submitting themselves voluntarily to it, throughout a course of ages, and claiming its protection, one after another, in successive exigencies. The head of it would be a universal monarch, in another sense than any mortal has as yet been; and the Eastern style would be literally applicable to him, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him" (part 1. Isaiah 3:1-26. § 5).

HOMILIES BY E. JOHNSON

Isaiah 32:1-8

An ideal of political good.

When the Divine Spirit has been outpoured, when the idols have been cast away, and the Assyrian yoke has been cast off, happy days will dawn.

I. ROYALTY WILL BE SYNONYMOUS WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS. The King will be seen in his beauty—not the splendor of purple robes and lofty throne and brilliant court, but that of the equity and justice which imitate Heaven. God will call him by his name, will make him rich with hidden possessions, will go before him to make the crooked ways straight (Isaiah 45:1-4). In spite of all the failings of kings, the mass of the people bear a deep reverence and affection to royalty. Even in the counterfeit they recognize some relation to the real thing. "A divinity doth hedge a king;" this is not only poetically, but religiously true, if the king in any sort answer to the truth of his position. In happier days he will so answer.

II. THE UPPER CLASSES WILL BE THE SPIRITUAL SUPERIORS OF THE PEOPLE. Aristocracy began with personal worth, and by it only can be maintained. We see from the description what the nobility ought to be in relation to the people. Patrons, protectors; "hiding-places from the wind," a "covert from the rain-storm, rivulets in a parched land, the shadow of a huge cliff in a thirsty land." Noblesse oblige. They should be looked up to; every popular cause should find in them its defenders and active advocates; every philanthropic scheme in them its leaders; every misery of the poor in them its zealous redressers. High place without high qualities is a mockery; lofty station coupled with low manners, a scandal and an abuse. Alas! too often in the history of the "ruling classes" these truths have been forgotten, these relations have been reversed. Again and again God has called them to judgment: "You have eaten up the vineyards, the plunder of the afflicted is in your houses. What mean ye that crush my people, and grind the face of the afflicted?" Notably so at the time of the great French Revolution.

III. THE RESULTS OF A SPIRITUAL CHANGE. No reformation of manners, no happy reconciliation of class with class can come about, except by a change of mind and heart. And that change itself can only come whence all changes in the realm of nature and spirit come—from the creative, the re-creative energy of God. The body is the organ of the spirit in its manifold activities. Any fresh sensibility of the physical organs is typical, therefore, of an awakened and living conscience. The closed eye is typical of the blindness of those who will not see. To shut the eye to evil, to turn the head away from what disgusts,—this may seem for a time equivalent to canceling the evil itself. Not so; and reformation sets in from that hour when men are willing to face the most painful facts, to let the light into the darkest corners of existence. Ears were made to listen, not to be stopped. Let the bitter cry be hearkened to; its tones thrill through every fiber of our sympathetic being; nor let its pleading be dismissed until the question, What can I do? has found some distinct answer. The tongue was made, not to stammer, but to flow with truthful and gracious speech. Silence may mean that we have no help to offer; stuttering accents that we are of a divided mind, of obscure habits of thought. Lucidity is what we need—the lucidity of the single eye, the sensitive organism filled through and through with light. And what does our haste and feverish precipitation signify, but want of that deliberate forethought and that circumspection which is a constant duty? "The heart of the hasty shall perceive distinctly." Although we cannot refer all sin, like Socrates, to want of insight, yet no sin but implies that want. God's deepest, most far-reaching blessings must ever be for the heart, in that large sense in which Scripture uses the word—including every mental faculty or activity. Material improvements are not to be neglected. The sanity and weal of the body have a direct bearing on the weal of mind; yet, on the other hand, there will be no material improvements until the improving mind has been awakened and truly educated.

IV. THE CONSTITUTION OF THINGS NEEDING REFORMATION. It is a confusion which needs to be removed. It is a world turned upside down which needs to be righted. The foot and the knave may designate the ruling classes of the time. Fool! how weighty the condemnation, how deep-burning the brand, which belongs to the use of the word in Scripture! The world may call him par excellence the fool who minds all business but his own; the prophet calls him the fool who thinks of self, bat forgets his God. The sinner, in short, is the fool. His is the worst and least excusable ignorance. He may be called "noble" in the convention of society, he is contemptible in the judgment of God. The characteristics of the fool are that he speaks folly, and this "out of the abundance" of a wicked heart—a forge and workshop where the production of evil is ever going on; that he delights to propagate heresy and atheism as a center of religious darkness. Hungry souls look to those Nabals, and are not fed, but deprived of their sustenance; and the waters they point out prove to be as the mirage of the desert on near approach. The denunciation of such spurious leaders of the people reminds of Milton's invective—

"The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed;

But, swollen with wind and the rank mist they draw,

Rot inwardly and foul contagion spread."

And the knave, with his crafty plots and machinations, his insidious lies, drawing into his net the defenseless, honest poor. The age sorely needed true nobles, not of title and rank, but of God's own mint and stamp—men of principle; men as long-headed in their good devices as the others in evil; men of firm and constant heart; no time-serving, truckling, tide-waiting, opportunist, wavering spirits; but steady to their convictions, direct in their aims, consistent with themselves. Every time needs such men. God preserve to us the nobility of the land—the kind hearts that are worth more than coronets, the simple faith that is worth more than Norman blood; the holy seed, the vital element of a nation.—J.

Isaiah 32:9-20

Until the Spirit be poured out.

How constantly does Scripture speak of every happy reformation as due to the "outpouring of the Spirit," or the sending or breathing of the Spirit on human-kind! Language none the less expressive because mysterious. Those epochs cannot be forecast: no meteorology can explain to us these movements "from on high." But they may be waited for and prepared for, without fear of disappointment. Again and again they had come to the prophet's heart; and from his heart he knew they must some time come also in a wider sphere of operation.

I. UNTIL THENWHAT? The women are addressed, the daughters of Zion. The manners of the women must be a sure index of the state of a nation. New religious feeling kindles quickly in their hearts; they welcome and further revivals. Their indifference to spiritual things seems to belie their nature; atheism in woman is monstrous. The Jewish women are in a state of careless unconcern. This attitude of "ease," of apathetic nonchalance, arouses the indignation and the alarm of the prophets, perhaps more than vivacity in sin. It is an ominous symptom in the bodily life, not less so in the soul. It offers a dull prosaic resistance to enthusiasm of any kind, which it holds in smiling, sensuous contempt. A psalmist's soul is "exceedingly filled" with perturbation at this attitude (Psalms 123:4); Amos denounces woe (Amos 6:1), and Zechariah the great displeasure of Jehovah against them that "are at ease." Perhaps the vintage-harvest was over when the prophet spoke. The time would come when a shudder would pass through those luxurious frames; the outer garment would be torn off, the sackcloth assumed, the breasts that once heaved only with the sigh of pleasure be beaten in wild lament for the "days that are no more," for the pleasant fields and the fruitful vine. Those fields will be thorn and briar overgrown; the houses of the city deserted, its mirth quelled. The wild cattle will sport around the temple hill, the palaces be forsaken. Impossible to dissociate in our minds the desolation of once populous scenes from the sin of man and the withdrawal of the gracious Spirit of God. Take these descriptions as figures of the state of the soul; then power and beauty remain. The well-kept garden, the sweet fields in the harvest-time, the mirth of reapers and in-gatherers; these sights, these sounds, provide unsought expression for the soul that feels itself "at ease." The untilled fields, the signs of wild nature creeping to old ascendency over the works of man,—such sights carry symbolic meaning which depresses the most cheerful heart. "Until the Spirit be outpoured from on high"—that is our state, and that it must remain.

II. AFTER THENWHAT?

1. "Justice shall inhabit the pasture-country, and righteousness shall dwell in the garden-land." "Men ought not to be like cattle, which seek nothing but plenty of food and abundance of outward things. We should not, like hogs in a sty, judge of the happiness of life by abundance of bread and wine (Calvin). Righteousness alone exalts, righteousness alone can uplift a fallen nation.

2. "The fruit of righteousness shall be peace." This is inwardly and outwardly, subjectively and objectively, true. Peace in the heart is the companion of rectitude; it flows from right order in the home and family, and from just administration in the state. Peace, quietness, confidence: a triple blooming in one; a threefold band of prosperity and condition of all welfare. "Homes of peace, dwellings of confidence, easeful resting-places,—these are the pictures that all men draw in fancy; this the life for which they dream they were made. Such a state depends upon piety, upon personal and social morality. "It is as true now as it was in the time of Isaiah. True religion would put an end to strifes and litigations; to riots and mobs; to oppressions and tumults; to alarms and robbery; to battle and murder and conflict among the nations."

3. These blessings cannot come without suffering. The hail of judgment will fall upon forest and upon city. The refuge of lies and the hiding-place of falsehood must be swept away. Renewing and reforming forces work destructively on one side, as creatively on the other. Upon whom these judgments will fall is not evident from the text. Hail is an image of Divine judgment (Isaiah 28:2, Isaiah 28:17; Isaiah 30:30).

4. The happiness of the tiller. He sows beside all waters—a reference to the Oriental custom of casting the seed upon the waters of overflowing streams and rivers, so that, when the waters subside, it will be found again in the springing crop and the abundant harvest. The ox and the ass are employed to tread the moistened earth and prepare for the sowing (cf. Ecclesiastes 11:1, Ecclesiastes 11:6). In a figurative sense—happy those who go steadily on with useful work, the work that lies nearest them, the sowing which looks for a "far-off interest of good," amidst the most troubled times. No troubles of the lime should divert us from our daily task, or unsettle us from the habit of continuous useful labor.—J.

HOMILIES BY W.M. STATHAM

Isaiah 32:2

The soul's rest.

"The shadow of a great rock in a weary land." This is an Eastern picture. God is described as our Shade. In the glare of a too-garish day we become endangered; the sun of prosperity smites us. Sunlight has its penalties as well as its pleasures. So has success! The human heart cannot bear too much of brightness. We need shadows for the mind to rest under as well as for the body.

I. A MAN IS HERE DESCRIBED. The God-Man. One who, knowing our infirmities and temptations, is able to succor them that are tempted. The true King who is to reign in righteousness is prophesied of. "A man shall be." Christ has been the Refuge and the Rest of hearts wearied of the world and scorched with its radiant beams. We are led to Christ. Not to theological systems; not to human creeds; but to Christ. The shadow! Yes. Shadow of a cross, where we may find forgiveness and. peace. Shadow of brotherhood, where we may find true sympathy in our hours of loneliness and disappointment. Shadow, where we may recline and rest as the patriarch did under the oaks of Beersheba, and Moses did under the mountains of old. And Christ's Divinity is proclaimed in the words, "a great Rock" High as heaven, having its roots in God's own eternal years. So great that it offers shelter for all the weary hearts of men.

II. A PILGRIMAGE IS HERE IMPLIED. "A weary land" The pilgrims are passing on through the scorching heat, the camel-drivers walking then, as they do now, in the shadow cast by these "ships of the desert." Before them stretch miles on miles of burning sand. The blinding sun is above them. With their white cummerbunds and their light Eastern dress, they ease the heat-burden all they can. And now the great mountains come in sight. Some with gentle acclivities and some with sharp-cut rocks jutting out above the pilgrim-way. What blessed shadows they cast! Such shady places are our sabbaths and sacraments and sanctuaries, our holy moments of Divine fellowship, when God comes near and casts over us the protecting shadow of his gracious presence.

III. WEARINESS IS THE CHARACTERISTIC OF THE WAY, "A weary land." We are often tired. How many hearts have said, "O God, I am a-weary!" and then, instead of the sad cry, "O God, that I were dead!" we hear the voices of spiritual souls crying, "Oh that I knew where I might find him!" and the blessed answer comes from the lips of the incarnate God himself, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest"—weary with the load of sin; weary with the care and fret of daily life; weary with inward conflicts; weary with ceaseless watching, for our Arab enemies dash suddenly by, and point their rifle as they fly. Pain makes us weary. The loss of dear, true-hearted friends makes us weary. Doubt, with all our dark mental conflicts—doubt, which is sometimes the exquisite action of a sincere mind, makes us weary. So we come to the great Father, and rest in the gracious answer to the cry, "Lord, show us the Father," in the revelation vouchsafed unto us by our Divine Lord, who has taught us when we pray to say, "Our Father," and also has declared, "He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."—W.M.S.

HOMILIES BY W. CLARKSON

Isaiah 32:2

Refuge in Christ and in one another.

In this country we can hardly hope to feel all the three and beauty of this illustration. To do that we must have visited tropical regions. There, with the rays of the sun shining directly down, the heat becomes so intense and intolerable that it cannot be endured, and often "the shadow of a great rock" means, not merely refreshment, but salvation. And as with the heat, so with the storm—the whirlwind, the tempest, the simoom: what desolations do not these produce? what terrors do they not excite? How precious in such lands, on such occasions, the hiding-place from the wind, the covert from the storm! But lifting our thoughts from the illustration to the thing itself which is pictured here, to that human heart and life of which all visible nature only supplies the types and hints, we make no abatement for change of scene; for the scorching rays of temptation fall as fiercely and the winds of passion blow as furiously in England as in Judaea, or in Babylon, or in India. Indeed, such are the confusions and complications of our time, so subtle and so seductive are the temptations to err from the straight line of rectitude, that more rather than less is there need for a hiding-place for the heart, a covert from the storm of sorrow and of sin. A man shall be for a hiding-place! One man in particular? or any man at any time in any land? In both senses the words may be taken. We may consider—

I. CHRIST THE REFUGE OF THE HUMAN SOUL.

1. Such he was in the days of his flesh, For his disciples had to share something of the enmity and opposition he encountered, and they always found an effectual shield in his protection. As evangelists they brought their success and their disappointment to him, that the one might be sanctified and the other be relieved (Luke 10:17-20). When worsted by the enemy, they felt back on his power and found defeat swallowed up in victory (Matthew 17:14-20). When imminent danger threatened their lives, they made their appeal to his all-con-trolling voice (Matthew 8:23-27).

2. Such he became, in a deeper sense, after his ascension. It was expedient that he should go away. "Before his departure he was with them, afterwards he was in them." The death and the resurrection of the Lord enlightened their minds and changed their spirits. Then they went to him as they never could have done during his presence; they trusted in him, gave themselves to him, leaned on him, were lost in him, as they would not have been: he became, in a deeper and fuller sense, the Hiding-place of their hearts.

3. Such is he now to all believing hearts.

"Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in thee!"

"Jesus, Lover of my soul,

Let me to thy bosom fly!"

II. THE REFUGE WE MAY BE TO ONE ANOTHER. Any man may be, and every man should seek to be, a hiding-place, a covert. Oar domestic life shows us how this may be, and provides the first instance and best picture of human shelter. Our social life should provide us with many opportunities of succoring the needy and the tried. Our Church life should do the same; every Christian Church should be an asylum for the poor, the weak, the sad, the anxious-minded, the troubled of heart. Who would not like so to live, with such quick and ready sympathy of spirit, with such kindliness and hopefulness of word, with such friendliness of uplifting hand and sustaining arm, that his life should be suggestive of the words, "A man shall be a hiding-place?"—C.

Isaiah 32:3, Isaiah 32:4

Disabled and restored.

The words are suggestive of the spiritual incapacity of which Israel was too often guilty (see Ezekiel 12:2), and of the recovery which, in better days, they were to experience.

I. MAN DISABLED BY SIN. There are four directions in which we suffer sad deterioration and incapacity as the consequence of our sin.

1. Spiritual perception. After some transgressions, after continued disobedience and estrangement from God, we fail to "see light in his light;" our vision of his truth is less clear and full; sacred truths lose their true proportions in our view. Then come positive error, actual misconception, moral blindness; and finally comes that terrible mental distortion of which the Master spoke so sorrowfully and the prophet wrote so strongly (Matthew 6:22, Matthew 6:23; Isaiah 5:20).

2. Recognition of the Divine voice. The commission of sin ends in, first, a partial, and ultimately a complete, spiritual deafness. At first the quieter and more habitual tones in which God is speaking to us (daily loving-kindnesses, sabbath privileges, etc.) become inaudible to us, convey no message to us from God; then more distinct and unmistakable voices from heaven are unheeded and unheard; at last, the loudest demands which God ever makes fail to produce any impression on the ear of the soul.

3. The choice of that which is wise. The rash heart (of the text) is the heart which chooses precipitately, and therefore foolishly. Under the dominion of sin we come to choose the visible in preference to the invisible, the material to the spiritual, the transient to the abiding, the human to the Divine.

4. The utterance of Divine truth. The clouded vision naturally leads to the "stammering tongue." As man becomes more affected by the sin which dwells within and works upon him, he utters God's truth less plainly, less faithfully, more partially, with ever-widening divergence from the mind of the Eternal.

II. THE TOUCH OF DIVINE POWER. When man has become disabled there is no hope for him but in God. Human teaching is valuable enough, but it dues not avail. Only the awakening, reviving touch of the Divine power, brought into immediate contact with the soul, can call back these slumbering powers. But it can and does; God's renewing Spirit breaks upon the disabled mind, upon the degenerate nature, and that which was lost is regained; the faculties of the soul revive. Then we have—

III. SPIRITUAL RESTORATION. Revived by the power of God:

1. We see clearly. We apprehend the will of God in Jesus Christ concerning us, the excellency of his service, the beauties of holiness, the luxury of usefulness.

2. We hear distinctly the voice of God as he speaks to us in his Word, in his providence, in the privileges of the Christian Church.

3. We choose wisely. We become thoughtful, reflective, studious of the Divine desire, obedient, and therefore wise; we "understand knowledge."

4. We speak plainly. Discerning that which is acceptable in the sight of the Lord, we speak simply, faithfully, fearlessly, "with all boldness as we ought to speak," "the everlasting gospel"—both the elementary truths which make wise unto salvation, and those "deeper things of God," which enrich the mind and sanctify the spirit.—C.

Isaiah 32:5-8

A mark of good government, etc.

Three lines of thought are here laid down. We have—

I. A MARK OF GOOD GOVERNMENT. The displacement of the unworthy and the elevation of the good and wise. Under the reign of the righteous King (Isaiah 32:1) the "fool will no longer be called a nobleman," the man of mean character but lofty rank will be made to know his true place in the commonwealth; on the other hand, the man who has in him the qualities of nobility (Isaiah 32:8) shall have the opportunity of dealing graciously and bountifully. There is no surer sign of demoralization, no more certain indication of approaching ruin in any community, than the promotion of the unfit and the unworthy; and there is no healthier symptom than the advancement of the upright and the capable. Let nations, societies, Churches, look to it.

II. A HINT AS TO SIN'S LARGE DIMENSIONS.

1. Its tenacity of purpose. "The vile person will [continue to] speak villany, and his heart [to] work iniquity" (Isaiah 32:6). You may put him in a position in which you might hope that the commonest self-respect would ensure propriety of conduct, but you will be mistaken; the corrupt tree will bear evil fruit on any soil.

2. Its guilefulness. "To practice hypocrisy;" professing justice and purity, it enacts all that is unfair and evil.

3. Its falsity. "To utter error," etc. Sin, especially when found in high places, is most mischievous in that it scatters everywhere the fruitful seeds of error; it poisons the mind with misleading fancies, with shallow notions which may sound well but are essentially false and which conduct to wrong and ruin. Thus it leads men to act "against the Lord," for they pursue a path which he has forbidden, and they diffuse principles which are hostile to his reign.

4. Its heartlessness. (Isaiah 32:6.) What though the issue of those evil actions be that men's hearts are hungry and their souls athirst; what though they bring about impoverishment, destitution—bodily or spiritual, or both together,—let the cup be drained, let the game be played out!

5. Its unscrupulousness. Its "instruments are evil" (Isaiah 32:7).

6. Its effrontery. (Isaiah 32:7.) They whom it is wronging may be the poor, and therefore the appropriate objects of compassion; they may be the innocent, those who are in the right, and therefore the proper objects of regard; nothing but downright falsehood may suffice to prevail against them (Ahab and Naboth). No matter; let the case be established, let sentence be executed!

III. A COMMENDATION OF GENEROSITY. "The liberal deviseth liberal things," etc. (Isaiah 32:8).

1. A man of a noble nature will find opportunities for doing generous things. How well a man serves the Church or the world is not a question of circumstance half so much as a matter of character. Given a free, generous, open-hearted man, and you may confidently reckon on repeated and continuous acts of unselfish usefulness. 'Jesus "went about doing good, for God was with him," and because God was in him; because, in him, as in a perennial fountain, dwelt Divine love, pity, self-sacrifice. We need care comparatively little about arranging opportunities of service, though that is not a matter of indifference; what is of supreme consequence is that those we teach and train should have planted within them the sacred seeds of holy, Christian generosity.

2. Generous measures will give a noble heart stability: by them "he shall stand."

Isaiah 32:17, Isaiah 32:18

The peaceable fruit of righteousness.

Righteousness and peace may be supposed to be entirely separate things; by those who look only on the surface they may even be imagined to be opposed to one another. In fact, they are closely and even vitally related to each other.

I. THOSE WHO ARE INCAPABLE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS ARE UNRECEPTIVE OF PEACE. To them peace is simply incommunicable; it does not come within the range of their faculties. The horse, the swallow, the salmon, the unintelligent and irresponsible animal, may have quietude and comfort, but it cannot enjoy peace, in the fullest and truest sense in which we use that word. It is only capable of that sense of satisfaction which attends a perfect adjustment of its circumstances to its bodily nature; but that is not peace. Peace is that spiritual contentment which results from inward as well as outward harmony—from a sense of rectitude, a consciousness that everything is right in its most important, most sacred relationships. They who are beneath the sense of responsibility, and are therefore incapable of righteousness, can never possibly attain to the possession of peace; they are constitutionally below it.

II. THEY WHO HAVE LOST RIGHTEOUSNESS MUST REGAIN IT BEFORE THEY CAN HAVE THE HERITAGE OF PEACE.

1. This is so with the comer, unity. When the country, or the company, or the Church has fallen into disorder because it has fallen into error and the commission of wrong, there is but one way to regain the harmony which has been lost. Absolutism will never yield it. Force will not secure it. Compromise will not permanently restore it. Nothing will avail until righteousness is re-established. Justice must be done to those to whom it has been denied. Rights must be conceded to those who have fairly won them. Relations must be adjusted to changed conditions; every one and everything must make way for rectitude. In no other way whatever will the path of peace be found.

2. It is thus with the human soul. We have all wandered from the way of wisdom and of righteousness; we have refused to God the love, the reverence, the service which is his due and which it is our highest interest to render. We have thereby become disordered, disquieted, confused; instead of dwelling in "a peaceable habitation," in "quiet resting-places," we have become inhabitants of a realm of condemnation, reproach, peril,, agitation, misery. There is no way back to the home of rest which we have left behind us but by a return to righteousness; that is to say, by repentance, the turning our back on the sinful selfishness in which we have been living, and becoming right with God, accepting the gracious offer of his Son our Savior (Matthew 11:28, Matthew 11:29).

III. RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL ENSURE PEACE BOTH IN POSSESSION AND IS PROSPECT. It will effect:

1. Reconciliation with God, and the consequent "peace which passes understanding"—a blissful, satisfying "rest unto the soul," which is incomparably more precious than any earthly satisfaction to the body or the spirit.

2. The inward and abiding rest which belongs to spiritual harmony; this is the invariable consequence of the soul being in a right relation with the Supreme, and with its fellows, and of all its faculties being rightly related to one another.

3. A peaceful departure from the present life.

4. A home in the quiet resting-place of the heavenly land.—C.

Isaiah 32:20

Fruitful labor.

"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters." "There will he widespread desolation," says the prophet; "the fields will be untilled, the land will he covered with briars and thorns; but a glorious change shall come over the scene'—the 'wilderness shall become a fruitful field' (Isaiah 32:15), the happy scenes of industry will again be witnessed, the arts and industries of agriculture will revive and flourish in all their former fullness. Happy will be the land that shall put forth its whole strength in the field; 'blessed are they that sow beside all waters.' 'Two general truths spring from this passage.

I. THAT THEY ARE BLESSED WHO PUT FORTH ALL THE POWERS WITH WHICH THEY ARE ENDOWED. It should be the happiness of Israel in its time of restoration to leave no soil uncultivated that would yield produce; they would sow beside all waters. All its inhabitants, with all their agricultural implements, would be busy in the open fields; no strength left unexercised in the homes; no weapons left unused in the storehouses. Unhappy indeed is

II. THAT THEY ARE BLESSED WHO ARE ENGAGED IN REMUNERATIVE LABOR. This is peculiarly true of the Christian workman.

1. He had the very best seed to sow: truth, which God took centuries to prepare, which is the purchase of a Savior's tears and blood, which is exquisitely adapted to the soil for which it is intended.

2. He has well-watered, i.e. fertile, responsive soil in which to place it. He has, amongst others:

." A due discrimination of character would be made in the times of the Messiah, and persons and things would be called by their appropriate names (comp. Malachi 3:18; Matthew 23:13-33; Ephesians 5:5)" (Henderson). "The differences between good and evil, virtue and vice, shall be kept up, and no more confounded by those who put darkness for light and light for darkness" (Matthew Henry). These sentences show that the subject introduced is the influence of a righteous reign in helping men to see things as they really are, and to estimate persons according to their true worth, and not according to the mere show they may make. We deal specially with those confusions which come by false judgments of persons, and these take the following, among other forms.

I. ADMIRATION OF TALENTS BLINDS US TO BADNESS OF CHARACTER. What is thought to be "genius" is too often allowed to excuse all sorts of laxity. The men who can astonish and amuse us may be unclean, untruthful, injurious; but we readily pass all this by. When righteousness reigns, talent will have to go with character, or men will count it to be Satanic agency. What a man can do must never be separated from what the man is.

II. THE COMMAND OF WEALTH BRINGS FLATTERERS TO BAD MEN. There is no more painful sign of the moral deterioration of a race, than its worship of the rich because they are rich. Money can never make goodness. Wealth is not the stability of a nation. Its hope lies wholly in its good men. Yet the rich man may be violent, rude, masterful, cruel; nevertheless, multitudes will fawn on him, and call the "Vile person liberal." When righteousness reigns, that confusion will be rectified, and the rich man shall have worship only if he deserves it for what he is.

III. THE RANK AND SOCIAL POSITION OF MEN NOW BEWILDER THEIR FELLOWS, AND MAKE TRUE ESTIMATES NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. Well does Robert Burns remind us that

"The rank is but the guinea-stamp,

A man's a man for a' that."

No word of bitterness need be spoken concerning those to whom God has entrusted talents, or wealth, or social position. The point to enforce is simply the peril of letting these things confuse our ideas of moral character and moral worth. Evil is evil, and must be denounced as evil, in the genius, the man of wealth, and the man of title. Let Christ reign, and sin will be called sin, wherever it is found. He will strip all disguises off, and show us things as they are, and men as they are. The Lord hasten his coming!—R.T.

Isaiah 32:8

The stability of liberal men.

"The liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand," or, "be established." It is quite possible that Isaiah had in mind the good King Hezekiah, of whom very noble and generous things are narrated in 2 Chronicles 30:22-26. Passing away to Messianic times, we are to see that the true subjects of Messiah, the ideal Prince, the King who reigns in righteousness, will be distinguished by a noble-minded benevolence, contriving and persevering in the execution of enlarged schemes of charity. In Psalms 110:3 they are very strikingly described as "a people of voluntarinesses." The term here used, "liberal," is a comprehensive one and may fairly include—

I. THE NOBLE-MINDED MAN. That is the man who takes high, generous views; who does not make himself, and his own small interests, the measure of all his opinions and judgments. The man who is, everywhere and in everything, ruled by what is right, and not by what will pay. That man may often seem to be at disadvantage. Keenly self-interested men push him aside and push before him. It is not really so. God will give him the only true and eternal prosperities. He deviseth liberal things; in liberal things he perseveres; and by liberal things he shall stand.

II. THE BROAD-MINDED MAN. Who is not limited in his views by the sect or school to which he belongs, the class in society of which he forms part, or even by the bias which follows his own preferences in reading. The man who knows the "world is wide," and has room for all kinds of men and all varieties of opinion. The man who is quite sure there is a "soul of good somewhere, even in things evil." That man makes the best of life, gets honey everywhere. He is a "liberal soul, that shall be made fat."

III. THE CHARITABLY MINDED MAN. One who accepts cheerfully the great "law of service," and recognizes that all he has is for the use and benefit of others. It is all for spending, none for hoarding. "Even Christ pleased not himself." He could say, "I am among you as one that serveth." One who is sensitive to the wants and woes of his fellows, and has in him the soul of the Samaritan, who pities and hefts, rather than the soul of priest or of Levite, who pity and pass on. Such a man puts contrivance, care, and serf-denial into his service. And such a man "shall stand." "The providence of God will reward him for his liberality with a settled prosperity and an established reputation. The grace of God will give him abundance of satisfaction and confirmed peace in his own bosom" (comp. Psalms 112:5, Psalms 112:6).—R.T.

Isaiah 32:11

Folk who are at ease.

Special reference is made to the women of the upper classes in Jerusalem, who were living in self-indulgence and extravagance, and setting mischievous example to all the women of the land. The coming woes would affect them all the more seriously because of the luxuries which they had gathered round themselves, and which had become to them fancied necessities. No doubt the idle, self-indulgent, and too often profligate conduct of these women greatly added to the pressure of the existing evils. It is suggested to us to consider how greatly; in every age, women represent and augment the evils of their times. Many a man has been ruined by his efforts to feed the pride, vanity, and luxury of these ease-loving, careless wives and daughters. And nations have lost their manhood in the moral decay of the "mothers" of the race. "When a land goes to ruin a great part of the blame of it rests upon the women. For they are more easily prompted to evil, as they are to good." But this "being at ease" describes the condition of what is called a "high state of civilization," when money is accumulated in the hands of the few, and these few, having no need to work, give themselves up to self-indulgence, manufacturing wants, and constantly craving for some excitement to relieve the dreadful ennui of life.

I. MEN AND WOMEN SHOULD NOT BE AT EASE. There is work to be done. Work for all. It is put close to our hand. There are evils to fight—evils so gigantic that every man and woman may have a place in the soldier-ranks. God worketh hitherto; Christ works; and woe to all who, in negligence or in rebelliousness, refuse to bear the yoke!

II. MANY MEN AND WOMEN MUST MASTER THEMSELVES AND THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES IF THEY ARE TO CEASE TO RE AT EASE. For careless ways may have become fixed habits. We may have deceived ourselves into the idea that our "doing nothing," our busy idleness, is really doing something. We begin to take life into our hands for ordering, when we face the question, "What is life given me for? '

"Life is real, life is earnest."

III. GOD'S WOE SURELY COMES ON ALL WHO KEEP AT EASE, Our Lord pictured this in his parable of the "rich man and Lazarus." That rich man, living at ease, is not to be envied while he lived, for the woe of God lay on him, making bitterness for his many idle hours. Much less is he to be envied when his life is done, for the woe of God is on him there. "In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments." "Tremble, ye women that are at ease!"—R.T.

Isaiah 32:15

The Spirit as a quickening Rain.

The results produced by heavy rains in the East are so striking that these rains become a suggestive figure of the influence of God's Spirit on souls and on Churches. In times of prolonged drought, the ground is burnt up and chapped, and every sign of vegetation is destroyed. Then come the rains, the life in the soil responds, and in a few hours the world is green again. The figure of "pouring forth," or "pouring out," needs, however, to be very carefully used in relation to God's Spirit. It is only suited to the one aspect of the Spirit as an influence. It may be misconceived if applied to God the Spirit regarded, as a Person. When we use this term "pouring" nowadays, we should carefully keep in mind the figure of the rains, with which it is properly associated. The Jewish Church thought of the Spirit as an influence. The Christian Church has received the larger revelation, and knows of the Holy Ghost as a Divine Person, "dwelling with us, and being in us." He comes to us. We may grieve him. He may depart. But only as a figure can we now speak of him as being "poured on us." The figure of "pouring" is also given in Joel 3:1.

I. CHRIST'S CHURCH IS TOO OFTEN AS A DEAD THING. Illustrate from a parched field. Only noxious weeds can get vitality out of such a soil. Fields are dead because God withholds his rains. Souls are dead, Churches are dead, because God withholds his Spirit. Such withholding is done in judgment. The deadness of a Church is always begun in neglect of God, and self-indulgence. The first love fades out; and then spiritual death waits, "crouching at the door." Dead, for there are no expressions indicating the life of trust and love.

II. ONLY GOD CAN QUICKEN THE DEAD. This one thing is always and altogether out of human reach. Man can do much; but he cannot make anything live. God quickens dead souls, and dead Churches, by the gift of his Spirit. Life wakens life. The Spirit of God moved on the face of the waters, and brought forth life. That Spirit of God comes down, like refreshing rains, upon the thirsty fields. That Spirit of God enters the temple of a human soul, and the response is life, finding all due expression in activity: "The wilderness becomes a fruitful field." "The kingdom of Messiah was brought in, and set up, by the pouring out of the Spirit; and so it is still kept up, and will be to the end." Then, with unceasing constancy and earnestness it becomes us to pray for the quickening, reviving grace of God the Holy Ghost.—R.T.

Isaiah 32:17

Righteousness and peace.

Christianity means "righteousness," and "righteousness" is an active power, ever working towards the production of peace, quietness, and mutual confidence. "The element of peace is that by which order is established and perpetuated, people are brought to cordial agreement and willing submission, unity is made a living and growing fact, and all the arts of domestic life and of civilized communities are promoted." The great Napoleon said, "War is the business of barbarians." Our own Wellington said, "Men who have nice notions of religion have no business to be soldiers." Lord Brougham said, "I abominate war as unchristian. I hold it the greatest of human crimes. I deem it to include all others—violence, blood, rapine, fraud, everything that can deform the character, alter the nature, and debase the name of man." John Howe wrote in this way, "Very plain it is that war is a mark of the apostasy, and stigmatizes man as fallen from God, in a degenerated, revolted state; it is the horrid issue of men's having forsaken God, and of their being abandoned by him to the hurry of their own furious lusts and passions."

I. CHRISTIANITY IS, DISTINCTIVELY, RIGHTEOUSNESS. This is its essential characteristic, and its necessary work. In this it stands alone, differing from all other religions. Matthew Arnold finds an expression for God which, though it has been well scorned, is really suggestive and helpful. He speaks of him as "the Eternal which makes for righteousness," which is always working towards this end, and regards this as the highest of all attaiments. Other religions propose methods for propitiating God; in Christianity God proposes to make men good. Jesus Christ is the first, the model Christian, and he is good—"holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners." His requirement, of all his disciples, is personal character—righteousness. Apostles say of this religion, "Herein is the righteousness of God revealed, from faith to faith." Christ's personal call is, "Be ye holy, for I am holy." Christian growth is "changing into his image from glory to glory." We must "follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which none can see the Lord." Prophets pictured the Christian ages, and saw holiness so pervading that it was even engraven on the bells of the horses. Let the Christian faith come to our hearts, and it will work out into righteousness. Let it go forth into society, and it will establish right principles, show right ways, give right impulses, tone with a right spirit, and work on until righteousness flows over all the land, like the waves of the sea.

II. RIGHTEOUSNESS IS LINKED CLOSELY WITH PEACE. "The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace." These two things can never be separated. Find the one, and you will soon find also the other. Unrighteousness, uncharity, selfish passions, and war go naturally together, hand-in-hand. Begin "righteousness" anywhere, and you have started on its working an active power that makes for peace. Every soldier that walks our streets, every cannon forged in our arsenals, is a testimony that the sin-curse yet hangs over us. We are not yet "all righteous," or the sight and the sound of war would be heard no more. When, as individuals, we are set right with God, peace comes at once into our hearts, and peaceableness gives tone and character to all our relations. The inner conflicts are stayed; the struggles between the flesh and the spirit are checked; the fever-heat of ambition is soothed; charity and brotherhood bring us into peace with all men. The gospel comes, "preaching pence by Jesus Christ." Righteousness, thus getting round it the one small circle of a life, soon begins to widen its sphere. It rays out on every side. It flows forth, like a sweet scent, purifying the atmospheres wherever a man goes. Families would have a "peace passing understanding" if their members were "all righteous." Our Churches would cease to be the scenes of dissension, if the members were "all righteous." Social life would no longer witness the bitter antagonism of classes, if the people were "all righteous." Nations would soon turn wasteful war expenditure on armies and weapons into the fruitful channels of commerce, and gracious schemes of education and philanthropy, if righteousness did but pluck up ambitions, envyings, and rivalries, and plant in charity, brotherhood, and peace. Envy, hatred, malice, pride, ambition,—these unrighteous things bring forth war. Charity, meekness, self-denial,—these righteous things keep happy fellowship with gentle peace. "First pure, then peaceable." Alas that the prophetic picture should still seem to be but a vision of the distant future! But what a vision it is! and how our hearts spring towards it! Prophets paint it. Saints pray for it. God is working towards it. And it shall surely come. "The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness." "The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ [the Prince of Peace], and he shall reign forever and ever."—R.T.

Isaiah 32:18

Quiet resting-places.

The figure in this verse is connected with the relief afforded by the destruction of Sennacherib's army, and consequent retirement of Sennacherib to Assyria. Before the invaders all persons living in the country had to flee to the shelter of the walled cities, abandoning the property which they could not readily carry with them. On the removal of the invaders, the sense of security would return, and such persons would go home and find "quiet resting-places." We see in this passage an on-looking to the times when the Holy Ghost should be given, and. he, ruling in hearts and lives, would make for all trustful souls "quiet resting-places." Treating the text meditatively, we dwell on times when, for us, this promise is realized.

I. THE QUIET RESTING OF EVENING-TIME. Such it is for wearied bodies and worn minds. Soothing is the calmness of natural evening, when the winds fail, the sun throws level yellow beams and long shadows, and the thousand noises of earth are subdued. Evening has a gracious influence on our spirits. It is the time for meditation, with Isaac. Very precious to Christian hearts are the quiet places for meditation, when holy feeling can be nourished.

II. THE QUIET RESTING OF THE SABBATH. Its first idea is "rest." We feel quiet; as if a spell had been breathed over us. The strain of life is relaxed. The world is away. We belong to the eternal world. Life-bustle is stilled. We can give room to other thoughts, and so we rest, body, mind, and soul.

III. THE QUIET RESTING OF TIMES OF AFFLICTION. Such times come into all lives. Times when we must be still. In illness, and in convalescence, there are many quiet, lonely hours. These are the scenes to which Christ invites us when he says, "Come ye into a desert place, and rest awhile."

IV. THE QUIET RESTING-PLACE OF DEATH. The grave is spoken of as the "place where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest." And the place where there are memorials of the dead is often a most "quiet resting-place" for the living. This may be illustrated by the soothing, silencing, solemnizing influence exerted on us by a visit to Westminster Abbey. On earth there can hardly be found a more "quiet resting-place." Sometimes the chamber where we watch the dying of a saint of God is such a place. Beautiful to see the pain-worn face at last go into the repose of death. "When sinks the weary soul to rest." We may add that those who have found rest in God prove how graciously he gives restful moments in the very midst of the hurry and worry of life.—R.T.

Isaiah 32:20

Sowing freely.

This is part of the description of restored prosperity when the national troubles are removed. "While the enemy shall be brought low, the Jews shall cultivate their land in undisturbed prosperity." The Assyrians must have almost entirely stopped all agricultural processes, and this involved terrible losses and sufferings. In explanation of the figure of the text it is suggested that, where the seed is sown in the soil covered by water, it was customary to send oxen into the water to tread the ground before the seed was cast, so as to prevent it from being washed away by the subsidence of the waters. This, however, applies to such countries as Egypt, and to such crops as rice. The point set forth by the text seems to be that quiet and persistent continuance in duty, in daily toil, may be the most efficient expression of our trust in God. Regarding the sower as a type of the Christian worker, we may note the following things.

I. THE SOWER IS A MAN IN TRUST. He has the seed-corn for next year's harvest. The food of the people depends, in measure, on each one's faithfulness to his trust. The Christian is a man put in trust. He has what is for the blessing of men. Truth, more precious than seeds. Powers of sympathy and love that bring bountiful harvests. Wealth, and knowledge, and position, and opportunities, that may all prove life-giving to men. Above all, he has the trust of the gospel.

II. THE SOWER IS REQUIRED TO SOW ALL HE HAS IN TRUST. He is not to live on the seed. He is not to store it up safely. He is not to use it for any objects of his own. He must not delay in fulfilling his master's will with the seed. It was given to him that he might sow it all in the soil. So God would have the Christian put to use every talent, every trust, he has committed to him. In this our Lord is our example. Everything God gave him he gave away: love, truth, comfort, healing, pity, time, strength, character, life,—all, he gave away. In him there was no getting to keep; only getting to give.

III. THE SOWER IS REQUIRED TO SOW FREELY. "Beside all waters." Not too nicely examining the conditions of the soil; not selecting just the deep and prepared earth, but scattering freely, and scattering wide. The Christian never knows where, in God's fields, the richest harvests will be reaped. So he sows all over the field, sows in perseverance, and sows in faith.

In conclusion, it may be shown that the true sower is much more concerned with the excellence of his sowing than with the results that may attend it. These he must leave altogether in the hands of him who surely will not "let his work return unto him void."—R.T.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S; Spence-Jones, Henry Donald Maurice. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". The Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tpc/isaiah-32.html. 1897.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.
king
9:6,7; 40:1-5; 2 Samuel 23:3; 2 Chronicles 31:20,21; Psalms 45:1,6,7; 72:1,2; 99:4; Jeremiah 23:5,6; 33:15; Hosea 3:5; Zechariah 9:9; Romans 5:21; Hebrews 1:8,9; Revelation 19:11
princes
28:6; Revelation 17:14
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 25:1 - General1 Samuel 2:10 - he shall;  1 Kings 10:9 - to do;  1 Chronicles 18:14 - executed;  2 Chronicles 9:8 - to do judgment;  2 Chronicles 19:9 - in the fear;  Psalm 58:1 - Do;  Proverbs 8:15 - decree;  Proverbs 16:10 - A divine sentence;  Proverbs 20:8 - GeneralProverbs 29:2 - the righteous;  Proverbs 31:9 - GeneralIsaiah 1:26 - And I will;  Isaiah 11:4 - But with;  Isaiah 16:5 - judging;  Isaiah 33:5 - he hath;  Isaiah 33:17 - eyes;  Isaiah 42:6 - called;  Isaiah 60:17 - make;  Jeremiah 33:14 - GeneralEzekiel 45:8 - and my princes;  Ezekiel 46:18 - the prince;  Hosea 14:7 - that;  Zechariah 6:12 - behold;  Zechariah 12:5 - the governors;  Matthew 2:2 - born;  Matthew 25:34 - the King;  John 8:16 - yet;  Ephesians 1:12 - who;  Hebrews 6:18 - who;  Hebrews 7:2 - King of righteousness;  Revelation 15:3 - thou

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/isaiah-32.html.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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

Behold — This seems to be a distinct prophecy from the former, and delivered before that which is related in the former chapters. The prophecies are not always set down in that order, in which the prophets delivered them. The foregoing prophecy was delivered, not in the time of Ahaz for he sent to the Assyrian, not the Egyptian, for help; it was Hezekiah, who rebelled against the king of Assyria, and was too prone to trust upon the staff of Egypt. But this seems to have been delivered in the time of Ahaz.

A king — Hezekiah, a type of Christ, and Christ typified by him.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/isaiah-32.html. 1765.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

1.Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness — Who is he? Possibly the good, but yet imperfect, Hezekiah stands in the prophet’s foreground; but more probably he is depicting the surroundings of the expected Messiah.

 

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Isaiah 32:1". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/isaiah-32.html. 1874-1909.