Isaiah 32: Musical Worship Hinders the Meat of the Word

The vile teacher used music to take away the keys to knowledge in Amos and Isaiah 32. Isaiah compared this to Paul's discussion of the "gospel only" which meant that people were too carnal to understand doctrine. As a result, the nation went into captivity as they hungered and thirsted for the Word but could not find it.

See Isaiah Chapter Five

See Chapter 28 and the speaking in tongues connection

See Isaiah 30, Molech and Musical Punishment

See Isaiah 32 and the Vileness of musical worship which perverts


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

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

Jameson, Fawcett, Brown notes:

1. 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 (Ho 3:5 Zec 9:9; see on Isa 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 (Eze 21:27 Da 7:13,14).

princes--subordinate; referring to all in authority under Christ in the coming kingdom on earth, for example, the apostles, &c.; (Lu 22:30 1Co 6:2 2Ti 2:12 Re 2:26,27 3:21).

And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind (evil spirit), and a covert (cover) from the tempest (overflowing waters); as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Isaiah 32:2

2. a man--rather, the man Christ [LOWTH]; it is as "the Son of man" He is to reign, as it was as Son of man He suffered (Mt 26:64 Joh 5:27 19:5). Not as MAURER explains, "every one of the princes shall be," &c.;

rivers--as refreshing as water and the cool shade are to the heated traveller (Isa 35:6,7 41:18).

And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken. Isaiah 32:3

3. them that see--the seers or prophets.

them that hear--the people under instruction (Isa 35:5,6).

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

4. rash--rather, "the hasty"; contrast "shall not make haste" (Isa 28:16); the reckless who will not take time to weigh religious truth aright. Or else, the well-instructed [HORSLEY].

stammers--those who speak confusedly on divine things (compare Ex 4:10-12 Jer 1:6 Mt 10:19,20). Or, rather, those drunken scorners who in stammering style imitated Isaiah's warnings to mock them [MAURER]

But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way (staggering under new wine); the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. Isaiah 28:7

Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine?

them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. Isaiah 28:9

For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: Isaiah 28:10

For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. Isaiah 28:11

Laeg (h3934) law-ayg'; from 3932; a buffoon; also a foreigner: - mocker, stammering.

With hypocritical mockers in feasts, they gnashed upon me with their teeth. Psa 35:16

Feasts are: Maowg (h4580) maw-ogue'; from 5746; a cake of bread (with 3934 a table-buffoon, i. e. parasite): - cake, feast.

Leag (h3932) law-ag'; a prim. root; to deride; by impl. (as if imitating a foreigner) to speak unintelligibly: - have in derision, laugh (to scorn), mock (on), stammering.

Before Paul prescribed teaching the Word rather than singing, he warned that Buffoons are supernatural signs of God pouring out His wrath:

BE ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; Ephesians 5:1

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. Ephesians 5:2

But fornication (girl ogling), and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Ephesians 5:3

Jesting or being a stand-up commedien is a sign of the "strong deluder" always necessary to bring strong delusions:

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Ephesians 5:4

Morologia (g3473) mo-rol-og-ee'-ah; from a comp. of 3474 and 3004; silly talk, i.e. buffoonery: - foolish talking.

Moros (g3474) mo-ros'; prob. from the base of 3466; dull or stupid (as if shut up), i.e. heedless, (mor.) blockhead, (appar.) absurd: - fool (-ish, * -ishness).

3004 is the Logos or preaching.

For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Ephesians 5:5

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:6

Orge (g3709) or-gay'; from 3713; prop. desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), i.e. (by anal) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorence); by impl. punishment: - anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.

But the comedians are the ones who have pared the gospel down to the core.

For those who pretend to preach just "Christ and Him Crucified" Isaish would say that neither the preacher nor his audience is ready to understand doctrine which is the "meat" of the word:

AND I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 1 Cor 2:1

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. Rev 19:10

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 1 Cor 2:2

AND I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 1 Cor 3:1

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 1 Cor 3:2

Those who refuse to teach doctrine will come to their end:

And in that day shall the deaf hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity, and out of darkness. Isaiah 29:18

The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 29:19

For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut off: Isaiah 29:20

That make a man an offender for a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought. Isaiah 29:21

in this view, translate, "speak uprightly" (agreeably to the divine law); not as English Version, referring to the distinctness of articulation, "plainly."

The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl (withholding) said to be bountiful (freedom). Isaiah 32:5

"The vile person- nabal, the pampered, fattened, brainless fellow, who eats to live, and lives to eat; who will scarcely part with any thing, and that which he does give he gives with an evil eye and a grudging heart. Adam Clark

Euripides Bacchae makes a similar statement. And connects to the Bacchic rites. this involes merry festivals, new wine and instrumental music.


Touch me not, away to thy Bacchic rites thyself! never try to infect me with thy foolery!

Vengeance will I have on the fellow who teaches thee such senselessness. Away one of you without delay! seek yonder seat where he observes his birds, wrench it from its base with levers, turn it upside down, o'erthrowing it in utter confusion, and toss his garlands to the tempest's blast. For by so doing shall I wound him most deeply.

Others of you, range the city and hunt down this girl-faced stranger, who is introducing a new complaint amongst our women, and doing outrage to the marriage tie.

And if haply ye catch him, bring him hither to me in chains, to be stoned to death, a bitter ending to his revelry in Thebes.

5. vile--rather, "fool" [LOWTH]; that is, ungodly (Ps 14:1 74:18).

liberal--rather, "noble-minded."
churl--rather, "fraudulent" [GESENIUS].
bountiful--religiously. The atheistic churl, who envies the believer his hope "full of immortality,"

shall no longer be held as a patriot struggling for the emancipation of mankind from superstition [HORSLEY].

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. Isaiah 32:6

6. vile ... villainy--rather, "the (irreligious) fool ... (his) folly."

will speak--rather, "present"; for (so far is the "fool" from deserving the epithet "noble-minded") the fool "speaketh" folly and "worketh," &c.;

hypocrisy--rather, "profligacy" [HORSLEY].

error--impiety, perverse arguments.

hungry--spiritually (Mt 5:6).

And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish (vile) shepherd. Zech 11:15

Instruments (h3627) kel-ee'; from 3615; something prepared, i. e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon): - armour ([-bearee]), artillery, bag, carriage, / furnish, furniture, instrument, jewel, that is made of, one from another, that which pertaineth, pot, / psaltery, sack, stuff, thing, tool, vessel, ware, weapon, / whatsoever.

For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still:

but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. Zech 11:16

Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened. Zech 11:17

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. John 10:11

But he that is an hireling (wage worker), and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. John 10:12

The SCORPION scatters and is the same as SCATTERETH:

Skorpios (g4651) skor-pee'-os; prob. from an obsol. skerpo, (perh. strengthened from the base of 4649 and mean. to pierce); a "scorpion" (from its sting): - scorpion

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Lu.10:19

And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power. Re.9:3

And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months Re.9:10

Guess what! They are not INSECTS but:

Skopos (h4649) skop-os' ("scope"); from skeptomai , (to peer about ["skeptic"]; perh. akin to 4626 through the idea of concealment; comp. 4629); a watch (sentry or scout), i.e. (by impl.) a goal: - mark

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. John 10:13

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. John 10:14

The Vile person is empty like the familiar spirit or a harp:

Vile is: Nabal (h5036) naw-bawl'; from 5034; stupid; wicked (espec. impious): - fool (-ish, -ish man, -ish woman), vile person.

Nebel (h5035) neh'-bel; from 5034; a skin- bag for liquids (from collapsing when empty); hence a vase (as similar in shape when full); also a lyre (as having a body of like form): - bottle, pitcher, psaltery, vessel, viol

This is why God didn't want instruments as "familiar spirits" or the homes of the gods or the actual idols to be used in religious festivals:

Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. Am.5:23

That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; Am.6:5

Chant is: Parat (h6527) paw-rat'; a prim. root; to scatter words, i. e. prate (or hum): - chant.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. Ge.11:9

Viol (not vile) is from:

Nabal (h5034) naw-bale'; a prim. root; to wilt; gen. to fall away, fail, faint; fig. to be foolish or (mor.) wicked; causat. to despise, disgrace: - disgrace, dishonour, lightly esteem, fade (away, - ing), fall (down, -ling, off), do foolishly, come to nought, * surely, make vile, wither.

This was the "praise" of David when he "made himself vile" trying to appease God:

Halal (h1984) haw-lal'; a prim. root; to be clear (orig. of sound, but usually of color); to shine; hence to make a show, to boast; and thus to be (clamorously) foolish; to rave; causat. to celebrate; also to stultify: - (make) boast (self), celebrate, commend, (deal, make), fool (- ish, -ly), glory, give [light], be (make, feign self) mad (against), give in marriage, [sing, be worthy of] praise, rage, renowned, shine.

Villany is:

Nebalah (h5039) neb-aw-law'; fem. of 5036; foolishness, i. e. (mor.) wickedness; concr. a crime; by extens. punishment: - folly, vile, villany.

Because they have committed villany in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbours wives, and

have spoken lying words in my name,
which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the Lord. Je.29:23

And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the Lord unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more. Amos 8:2

And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord God: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence. Amos 8:3

Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail, Amos 8:4

Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit? Amos 8:5

And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day. Amos 8:10

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: Amos 8:11

> And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it. Amos 8:12

In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst. Amos 8:13

They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beer-sheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again. Amos 8:14

> And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts:

I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Am.5:21

but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands. Is.5:12

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13

> And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? Is.8:19

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. Isaiah 8:20

Distressed and hungry, they will roam through the land; when they are famished, they will become enraged and, looking upward, will curse their king and their God. Isaiah 8:21

The instruments [sword or psaltery) also of the churl (withholding instructions) are evil (afflicting): he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying (sham) words, even when the needy speaketh right. Isaiah 32:7

7. churl--"the fraudulent"; this verse refers to the last clause of Isa 32:5; as Isa 32:6 referred to its first clause.

Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail; and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb. 1 Sam 25:3

malitio-sus , a, um, adj. [malitia] ,

I. full of wickedness, wicked, knavish, crafty, malicious.

I. In gen. (class.): homo, Cic. Off. 3, 13, 57 : malitiosissimus, Front. ad M. Caes. 4, 3 .--Of things: juris interpretatio, Cic. Off. 1, 10, 33 .--

II. As nom. prop.: Silva Malitiosa, a forest in the Sabine territory, Liv. 1, 30, 9 ; = hul kakourgos, Dion. 3, 33. --Hence, adv.: ma(li(ti(o-se- , wickedly, knavishly, perfidiously: quicquam agi dolose, aut malitiose, Cic. Off. 3, 15, 61 : facere aliquid, id. Verr. 2, 2, 53, 132 .--Comp.: rem mandatam malitiosius gerere, Cic. Rosc. Am. 38, 111


miso-ponre ,

A. hate the wicked or wickedness, Lys.30.35, UPZ2.25 (ii B.C.), Plb.9.39.6, LXX 2 Ma.4.49, D.S.13.2; m. tisin huper hn diksan J.AJ13.10.2 , cf. Vit.27.

knikos , , on, ( [kun] ) dog-like, X.Cyr.5.2.17 (v.l. for hukon); to k. kai thrides tn orexen Plu.2.133b ; k. spasmos unilateral facial paralysis, Cels.4.3.1, Gal.18(2).930; k. kaumata heat of the dogdays, Polyaen.2.30.3: metaph., ho anthrpos k. currish, churlish, Vulgate 1 Sa 25.3 (?). Adv. -ks, spmenoi Heliod. ap. Orib.48.38 tit.; in doglanguage, opp. boks, etc., Porph.Abst.3.3.

Vulgate 1 Samuel 15: [3] Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail; and the woman was of good understanding, and of a beautiful face: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb. [4]

II. Kunikos, ho, Cynic, as the followers of the philosopher Antisthenes were called, from the gymnasium ( [Kunosarges] ) where he taught, D.L.6.13; or from their resemblance to dogs in several respects, Diog.Cyn. ap. eund.6.60, Metrod.16, Polystr.p.20 W., Elias in Cat.111.2, etc.; Kratti ti k. Men.117 ; k. hairesis, asksis, philosophia, Ph.1.352, J.AJ6.13.6, Jul.Or.6.187a; parrsia k. Plu.2.69c ; to k. ts parrsias Id.Brut. 34 . Adv. Comp. -teron Id.2.601e.

speaketh right--pleadeth a just cause (Isa 29:21); spiritually, "the poor man's cause" is the divine doctrine, his rule of faith and practice.

The INSTRUMENT of the churl is:

Instruments (h3627) kel-ee'; from 3615; something prepared, i. e. any apparatus (as an implement, utensil, dress, vessel or weapon): - armour ([-bearee]), artillery, bag, carriage, / furnish, furniture, instrument, jewel, that is made of, one from another, that which pertaineth, pot, / psaltery, sack, stuff, thing, tool, vessel, ware, weapon, / whatsoever.

> That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David; Amos 6:5

> And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts:

but they regard not the work of the Lord,
neither consider the operation of his hands. Is.5:12

> And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument:

for they hear thy words, but they do them not Ezekiel 33:32

> And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war,

and instruments of his chariots. 1Sa 8:12

The young men would be forced to run before the king's chariot and toot everyone out of the way and lead him in triumph into the next city. In the classics the leading people rode in chariots with instrumental runners. In God's eyes, this was a curse.

Of Chanting:

"they employed on their light, enervating unmeaning music, and if they were in earnest enough, justified their inventions by the example of David... The word can mean no other than devise. He introduced into the Temple-service the use of the stringed instruments, the kinnor, (the lyre) and the nebel (the harp) in addition to the cymbals.

Whence these, in contrast to the trumpets, are called the instruments of David." (Barnes, Albert, Amos, p. 308

Improvizing: "It is commonly used with abstract nouns as, devices, evil, vanity; but always in the meaning of 'devising,' 'inventing.'... It is used also of war-like machines." (Barnes, Albert, Amos, p. 308

But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. Isaiah 32:8

8. liberal--rather, "noble-minded."

stand--shall be approved under the government of the righteous King.

Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. Isaiah 32:9

9-20. Address to the women of Jerusalem who troubled themselves little about the political signs of the times, but lived a life of self-indulgence (Isa 3:16-23); the failure of food through the devastations of the enemy is here foretold, being what was most likely to affect them as mothers of families, heretofore accustomed to every luxury. VITRINGA understands "women--daughters" as the cities and villages of Judea (Eze 16:1-63). See Am 6:1.

Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. Isaiah 32:10

Women were also among the false prophets

10. Many days and years--rather, "In little more than a year" [MAURER]; literally, "days upon a year" (so Isa 29:1).

vintage shall fail--through the arrival of the Assyrian invader. As the wheat harvest is omitted, Isaiah must look for the invasion in the summer or autumn of 714 B.C., when the wheat would have been secured already, and the later fruit "gathering," and vintage would be still in danger.

WOE to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came Am.6:1

11. strip you--of your gay clothing. (See Isa 2:19,21).

12. lament for ... teats--rather, shall smite on their breasts in lamentation "for thy pleasant fields" (Na 2:7) [MAURER]. "Teats" in English Version is used for fertile lands, which, like breasts, nourish life. The transition from "ye" to "they" (Isa 32:11,12) is frequent.

Caphad (h5594) saw-fad'; a prim. root; prop. to tear the hair and beat the breasts (as Orientals do in grief); gen. to lament; by impl. to wail: - lament, mourn (-er), wail.

Caphah (h5595) saw-faw'; a prim. root; prop. to scrape (lit. or shave; but usually fig.) together (i. e. to accumulate or increase) or away (i. e. to scatter, remove or ruin; intrans. to perish): - add, augment, consume, destroy, heap, join, perish, put.

WOE to Ariel, to Ariel, the city where David dwelt add ye year to year; let them kill sacrifices. Isa 29:1

Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be heaviness and sorrow: and it shall be unto me as Ariel. Isa 29:2

And I will camp against thee round about, and will lay siege against thee with a mount, and I will raise forts against thee. Isa 29:3

And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust. Isa 29:4

13. (Isa 5:6 7:23).

And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. Isaiah 5:6

For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry. Isaiah 5:7

Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them Isaiah 5:11

And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands Isaiah 5:12

Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst. Isaiah 5:13

And it shall come to pass in that day, that every place shall be, where there were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings, it shall even be for briers and thorns. Isa 7:23

houses of joy--pleasure-houses outside of Jerusalem, not Jerusalem itself, but other cities destroyed by Sennacherib in his march (Isa 7:20-25). However, the prophecy, in its full accomplishment, refers to the utter desolation of Judea and its capital by Rome, and subsequently, previous to the second coming of the King (Ps 118:26 Lu 13:35 19:38); "the joyous city" is in this view, Jerusalem (Isa 22:2).

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city: Isaiah 32:13

14. palaces--most applicable to Jerusalem (see on Isa 32:13).

multitude ... left--the noisy din of the city, that is, the city with its noisy multitude shall lie forsaken [MAURER].

forts--rather, "Ophel" (that is the mound), the term applied specially to the declivity on the east of Zion, surrounded with its own wall (2Ch 27:3 33:14 2Ki 5:24), and furnished with "towers" (or watchtowers), perhaps referred to here (Ne 3:26,27).

for ever--limited by thee, "until," &c.;, Isa 32:15, for a long time.

15. This can only partially apply to the spiritual revival in Hezekiah's time; its full accomplishment belongs to the Christian dispensation, first at Pentecost (Joe 2:28 Ac 2:17), perfectly in coming times (Ps 104:30 Eze 36:26 39:29 Zec 12:10), when the Spirit shall be poured on Israel, and through it on the Gentiles (Mic 5:7).

wilderness ... fruitful field ... forest--when Judea, so long waste, shall be populous and fruitful, and the land of the enemies of God shall be desolate. Or, "the field, now fruitful, shall be but as a barren forest in comparison with what it shall be then" (Isa 29:17). The barren shall become fruitful by regeneration; those already regenerate shall bring forth fruits in such abundance that their former life shall seem but as a wilderness where no fruits were.

16. judgment--justice.

wilderness--then reclaimed.

fruitful field--then become more fruitful (Isa 32:15); thus "wilderness" and "fruitful field" include the whole land of Judea.

17. work--the effect (Pr 14:34 Jas 3:18).

peace--internal and external.

Shaqat (h8252) shaw-kat'; a prim. root; to repose (usually fig.): - appease, idleness, (at, be at, be in, give) quiet (-ness), (be at, be in, give, have, take) rest, settle, be still.

Sheqet (h8253) sheh'-ket; from 8252; tranquillity: - quietness.

Wesley: 17. The work - The effect of this shall be prosperity. Quietness - Tranquility, both of mind and outward estate. Assurance - Of God's mercy, and the fulfilling of his promises.

18. sure ... quiet--free from fear of invasion.

19. Literally, "But it shall hail with coming down of the forest, and in lowness shall the city (Nineveh) be brought low; that is, humbled." The "hail" is Jehovah's wrathful visitation (Isa 30:30 28:2,17). The "forest" is the Assyrian host, dense as the trees of a forest (Isa 10:18,19,33,34 Zec 11:2).

Wesley: 19. 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 judgments (which are signified by hail, chap. xxviii, 2, 17, and elsewhere) shall fall upon them, who were a fruitful field,

but are turned into a forest, upon the unbelieving and rebellious Jews.
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.
Low - Hebrew. shall be humbled with humiliation: shall be greatly humbled, or brought very low.

John Wesley, the reputed founder of the Methodist Church, is quoted by Adam Clarke to have said: "I have no objection to instruments of music in our chapels, provided they are neither heard nor seen." Clarke's Commentary, Vol. 4, page 684.

20. While the enemy shall be brought "low," the Jews shall cultivate their land in undisturbed prosperity.

all waters--well-watered places (Isa 30:25). The Hebrew translation, "beside," ought rather to be translated, "upon" (Ec 11:1), where the meaning is, "Cast thy seed upon the waters when the river overflows its banks; the seed will sink into the mud and will spring up when the waters subside, and you will find it after many days in a rich harvest."

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

Before sowing, they send oxen, &c.;, into the water to tread the ground for sowing. CASTALIO thinks there is an allusion to the Mosaic precept, not to plough with an ox and ass together, mystically implying that the Jew was to have no intercourse with Gentiles; the Gospel abolishes this distinction (Col 3:11); thus the sense here is, Blessed are ye that sow the gospel seed without distinction of race in the teachers or the taught. But there is no need of supposing that the ox and ass here are yoked together; they are probably "sent forth" separately, as in Isa 30:24.

Wesley: 20. Blessed - As the barren forest shall be destroyed, so the fruitful field shall be improved, and bring forth much fruit; which is signified by a declaration of the blessedness of them that sow in it. Waters - In all moist grounds, which are like to yield good fruit. But this also is to be understood of the times of the gospel, and of the great and happy success of the ministers of it. The ox - Which they employed in plowing and sowing the ground.

Jesus sent the honest evangelist out into the fields to sow, till and harvest. Paul, in turn, allows the "oxen's" wages. This absolutely restricts the churls from Christ's kingdom.

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