Isaiah (Ch 31-32)

Many believe Russia was and still is the main threat to the United States. Others, like warmonger John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, give incredible speeches around the world saying China is the main enemy.

And Mearsheimer brilliantly emphasizes the United States are protected by fish to the left and fish to the right, but foolishly negates to address America’s broken border in the South; and that the Scriptures say that America’s main “enemy” comes from the unprotected and porous South! (for more, click here)

Isaiah 31

Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help, and depend upon horses and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord! — woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; or “O ye that go down.” Such were their rulers and people, or ambassadors sent to the king of Egypt, to supply them with men and horses against the king of Assyria, contrary to the express command of God;

— and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; having their dependence upon, and placing their confidence in, the strength and numbers of the cavalry of the Egyptians.

Yet He also is wise, and will bring evil, and will not call back His words, but will arise against the house of the evildoers and against the help of them that work iniquity. — Yet he also is wise; that is, God, the Holy One of Israel, whom they disregarded; and wiser too than the Egyptians; so wise as to know all their schemes, and able to confound them, as well as most certainly and fully to complete his own; and it would have been therefore the highest wisdom to have attributable to him and not to men;

— and will bring evil; the punishment or affliction on wicked men which he has warned and which they could in no wise escape; and will not call back his words; his warnings delivered by the prophets: these, as he does not repent of, he will not revoke or make void, but fulfil and accomplish;

— but will arise against the house of evildoers; against the ten tribes of Israel, against the Jews, or it may be the royal family, chiefly concerned in sending the embassy to Egypt, or in advising to it; though it may be for the plural, as the Septuagint renders it “the houses” and so may design all those great families are therefore called “evildoers”

— and against the help of them that work iniquity; that is, against the Egyptians, the helpers of the Jews, who were workers of iniquity, and therefore their help and hope in it would also be in vain; who were wicked and idolatrous and so not to be sought unto for help or trusted in, since God being against them, it would be to no purpose as he is against all workers of iniquity.

Now the Egyptians are men, and not God; and their horses flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord shall stretch out His hand, both he that helpeth shall fall and he that is helped shall fall down, and they all shall fail together. — now the Egyptians are men, and not God; be it that they are mighty before men, but not before God; and indeed they are but frail, feeble, mortal, and mutable men, and therefore not to be trusted in, and depended on; or to be put upon an equality with God;

— and the Jews that are helped shall fall down; helped by the Egyptians, who should also fall and be destroyed, though not now; yet hereafter by the Chaldeans as they were: and they all shall fail together; both the Egyptians and the Jews.

For thus hath the Lord spoken unto me: As the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey, when a multitude of shepherds is called forth against him, he will not be afraid of their voice, nor abase himself for the noise of them; so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion and for the hill thereof. — like the lion and the young lion roaring on his prey; or “growling over his prey” for the lion roars when he is hungry and wants a prey and not when he has got one; but when he has one and feeding upon it, he makes a lower noise, a growling one;

— so shall the Lord of hosts come down to fight for Mount Zion; that is, he shall come down from heaven with his angel and fight against the Assyrian army, in favour of the inhabitants of Zion or Jerusalem and deliver them; and there will be no more withstanding him or putting him off from his purpose, or preventing his good designs and resolutions than the shepherds are able to divert a lion from his prey.

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending, also He will deliver it; and passing over, He will preserve it. — as birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; as birds in the air at a distance, especially the eagle, have their eye upon their nests and their young ones in them and when in danger fly to their assistance and hover over them to keep off those that would hurt them, so the Lord, on high sees his people when in distress and hastens to surround, protect and defend them.

Turn ye unto Him from whom the children of Israel have deeply revolted. — turn ye unto him from the Egyptians to whom they sought for help unto the Lord, whom they had neglected; from evil ways and practices, idolatry and impiety to the true worship of God, to his word and ordinances, statutes and commands. The Targum says, “turn to the law” which they had rejected and broken. 

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. — every man shall cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold; with contempt and abhorrence of them; every man “his” own idol and even those that were of the greatest value, which were made of gold and silver;

— which your own hands have made; their idols were the work of their own hands and were made by them in order to commit sin with, the sin of idolatry; for the punishment which your hands have made; it was a sin to make such idols especially with a view to worship them.

“Then shall the Assyrian fall by the sword, but not of a mighty man; and the sword, not of a lowly man, shall devour him; but he shall flee from the sword, and his young men shall be discomfited. — then shall the Assyrian fall with the sword, not of a mighty man; that is, the Assyrian army under Sennacherib their king, which besieged Jerusalem in Hezekiah’s time; which as soon as the people were brought to a sense of their sin and cast away their idols as a proof of it, were utterly destroyed; but not in battle, not by the sword of Hezekiah, nor any of his valiant generals;

— and the sword, not of a mean man shall devour him; neither the sword of a general, nor of a private soldier, nor indeed of any man but of an angel; see II Kings 19:35;

— but he shall flee from the sword; from the drawn sword of the angel, who very probably appeared in such a form as in 1 Chronicles 21:16 which Sennacherib king of Assyria seeing, as well as the slaughter made in his army by him, fled from it; in the Hebrew text it is added, “for himself” he fled for his life, for his own personal security; see II Kings 19:36;

— and his young men shall be discomfited; his choice ones, the flower of his army, they “melt away” through fear; or die by the stroke of the angel upon them.

And he shall pass over to his stronghold for fear, and his princes shall be afraid of the ensign,” saith the Lord, whose fire is in Zion and His furnace in Jerusalem. — and the king of Assyria shall pass over to his stronghold in fear; this is of departing in haste from the siege of Jerusalem to some stronghold in his own country, particularly his strong city Nineveh, for fear of the angel and destruction following him; nor could he think himself safe until he had got there;

— others render it (and the original will bear it), “and his rock shall pass over for fear” his mighty men, his men of valour, in whom he trusted who were his strength upon which he depended; these as many as were left of them, fled away. So the Targum says, “his princes shall flee for fear.”

Isaiah 32

1 Behold, a King shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgement. — behold, a King shall reign in righteousness; not Hezekiah; at least only as a type, but rather the Son of God, the Christ himself, who is also the “King” not only of Judah, but the whole world, and in particular is King of all the saints; and who “reigns” in and over his Kingdom and people, being set as King by his Father over his holy hill of Zion;

— and princes, the elects of God, shall rule in judgement: who are set over the Kingdom and who rule with righteous judgement when they rule according to the word of God; they who shall teach the truth and administer ordinances, statues and the law.

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 a man; evidently, the princes referred to in the previous verse; shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, a place where one may take refuge from a violent wind and tempest.

— a covert, a place of shelter and security. Wind and tempest are emblematic of calamity and oppression; and the sense is, that the princes would be the protector of other people and would save them from the calamities to which they had been subjected to in former reigns.

And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. — and the eyes of them that see; that there shall be, under the reign of this wise and pious prince, on the part of the prophets and teachers, a clear view of divine truth, and on the part of the people who hear, a disposition to hearken and to attend to it.

The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly. — the heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge; who have been hasty and who have not given themselves time to consider what they have read or heard, and have hastily received every thing that has been suggested to them, especially by carnal sense and reason, shall now sit down, and coolly consider things, and so gain an understanding of divine and deeper spiritual knowledge, of the knowledge of God, his Son, the Messiah, the Christ, of his person, offices, his righteousness and redemption.

— and the tongue of the stammerer shall be ready to speak plainly; or “shall make haste to speak neatly” elegantly and politely; such who hesitated in speech, and spoke in a blundering manner, or scarcely intelligibly, especially when they spoke of divine and spiritual things, yet now, without the least hesitation, in the freest and most ready manner, with all plainness and propriety shall talk of these things, to the great delight, satisfaction and use of those that hear them.

The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful. — the vile person; the base and worthless men shall be no more called liberal; they shall no longer be reputed honourable, because of their high and honourable places, but wickedness shall be discovered wherever it is, and virtue manifested and rewarded;

— nor the churl said to be bountiful, the sordid and covetous man; but under this one vice all vices are understood, as under the opposite virtue of bountifulness all virtues are comprehended.

For the vile person will speak villainy, and his heart will work iniquity, to practice 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. — for the vile person will speak villany; men shall no longer be miscalled; for every one will discover what he is by his words and actions. And will work iniquity; he will, from time to time, be devising wickedness, that he may execute it when he hath opportunity. To practise hypocrisy; to do bad things, though with a pretence of religion and justice. To utter error; to pass unjust sentences, directly contrary to the command of God. To cause the drink, whereby they take away the bread and drink of the poor.

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. — the instruments also of the churl are evil; a word that signifies any person or thing which is employed in a man’s service; the sense is that such covetous or wicked princes most willingly choose and employ wicked men in their affairs, because such men will, without any regard to conscience or justice: serve all their exorbitant desires;

— he devises wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaks right; he consults, contrives and forms schemes with all craft and cunning, on purpose, to corrupt the poor and meek, humble and afflicted souls, with false doctrines; even when these poor and needy ones, who want to have sound and comfortable doctrine delivered to them, speak and ask for that which is right and just, agreeably to the oracles of God; therefore such a man is unfit to be a ruler in the house of God.

But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. — liberal, or rather “noble-minded” – he who is truly liberal and virtuous will show it by designing and practising liberal or virtuous actions;

— liberal, who devises liberal things, and persists or continues in liberal things. But the liberal; the word ‘liberal’ means generous, noble, benevolent; a man of large views and of public spirit; a man above covetousness, and self-seeking; a man who is willing to devote himself to the welfare of his country, and to the interests of his fellow-men. It is implied here that such persons would be selected to administer the affairs of the government I under the wise and virtuous prince of whom the prophet speaks.

Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. — ye women that are at ease; they who are surrounded by the comforts which affluence gives, and that have no fear of being reduced to other than a princess.

— ye careless daughters – Hebrew, ‘Daughters confiding;’ that is, those who felt no alarm, and who did not regard God and his warnings and threats.

10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women; for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. — many days and years shall ye be troubled, or “days above a year” – a year and somewhat more, or days upon a year, year upon year, one year after another; and so denotes a long duration of their troubles; and so the troubles of the Jews, before their utter destruction by the Romans lasted a great while;

— for the vintage shall fail – A large part of the wealth and the luxury of the nation consisted in the vintage. When the vine failed, there would be, of course, great distress. The sense is that in consequence of the invasion of the Assyrians, either the people would neglect to cultivate the lands or they would fail to collect the harvest. This might occur either from the dread of the invasion or because the Assyrian would destroy everything in his march.

11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones. Strip you and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins; — tremble, ye women that are at ease; the call to repentance includes their stripping themselves of their costly finery, and putting on the “sackcloth” and put on the habiliments of mourning, indicative of a great calamity.

12 they shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. — they shall lament for the teats; either of the beasts of the field, that should be dried up; or else of the women, their breasts and teats, which should afford no milk for their infants, through the famine that should press them sore, which would occasion great lamentation, both in mothers and children.

13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers, yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city. — upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; the curse of the earth, being uncultivated, and this through want of men, they being destroyed or carried captive by the enemy; this is to be understood of the land of Judea and of Samaria; which is mentioned to show the apostasy of both houses, for which ruin came upon their land;

— upon all the houses of joy; that is, Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth; and the “houses of joy.”

14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken, the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks, — because the palaces shall be forsaken; the palaces of the princes and nobles shall be forsaken; they being obliged to flee from the enemy or being taken and either slain or carried captive. The word in the Hebrew is in the singular number, “the palace”, meaning the royal palace; and so of the king’s palace; though the Targum paraphrases it the house of the sanctuary, or the temple;

— a pasture of flocks; where flocks of sheep feed, instead of being inhabited by men; for the desire or at the will of the Ishmaelites and their army and certain it is that Jerusalem now is in the hands of the Ishmaelites, Turks or Moslems. The Targum says, “the place which was a house of joy and gladness for kings is now become a spoil for armies.”

15 until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. — until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high; that is, Jerusalem shall lie in ruins until the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which, as it was before the destruction of the city by the Romans, so the desolation it was brought on until the fulness of the Gentiles are fulfilled;

— and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest; this will be the consequence, fruit and effect of the effusion of the Spirit in the latter day; that such parts of the world as were like a wilderness, barren and unfruitful, producing nothing but the briers and thorns of impiety, infidelity, superstition and idolatry, should now become like a fruitful field.

16 Then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field. — then judgement shall dwell in the wilderness; in the desert part of the world, inhabited by Gentiles where the Scriptures, the rule of judgement and where the Gospel, sometimes called the judgement of the Lord had no place, now they shall have one and such as do justice and judgement shall dwell there.

17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever. — and the work of righteousness; that which righteousness produces; or the effect of the prevalence of righteousness on the nation; shall be peace; there shall be no internal agitation and no conflicts with foreign nations.

18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings and in quiet resting places — in a peaceable habitation and in sure dwellings; where they may dwell safely and confidently, secure from all enemies, in no fear of them and free from all hurt and danger by them:

— and in quiet resting places where they may sleep and rest quietly and none to disturb them and make them afraid; and where they shall enjoy much spiritual prosperity and safety, great peace and quietness, comfort and rest;

19 when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place. — when, or rather, and it shall hail; as my blessings shall be poured down upon my people, who, from a wilderness, are turned into a fruitful field so my judgements shall fall upon them who were a fruitful field but are turned into a forest;

— and the city, Jerusalem, which, though now it was the seat of God’s worship and people, yet he foresaw would be the great enemy of the Messiah; shall be low in a low place; that is, shall be greatly humbled or brought very low.

20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass. — blessed are ye that sow beside all waters; a golden age of agriculture receives its final touch: the whole land should be irrigated by calmly flowing streams and men should cast their seed broadcast and the oxen and the asses should draw the plough over a rich and fertile land. Amen.

~ by Joel Huan on March 14, 2022.

One Response to “Isaiah (Ch 31-32)”

  1. […] Study of Chapters 31 and 32 HERE~ —— […]

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