Notes for Isa 32:1LEB

"will reign according to fairness."


"will rule according to justice."


Notes for Isa 32:2LEB

"a man," but אִישׁ (’ish) probably refers here to "each" of the officials mentioned in the previous verse.


Notes for Isa 32:3LEB

"Eyes that see."


The Hebrew text as vocalized reads literally "will not gaze," but this is contradictory to the context. The verb form should be revocalized as תְּשֹׁעֶינָה (téshoenah) from שָׁעַע (shaa’, "be blinded"); see Isa 6:10LEB; Isa 29:9LEB.


"ears that hear."


Notes for Isa 32:4LEB

"the heart of rashness will understand knowledge"; cf. NAB "The flighty will become wise and capable."


Notes for Isa 32:6LEB

Or "foolishness," in a moral-ethical sense. See Isa 9:17LEB.


"and his heart commits sin"; KJV, ASV "his heart will work iniquity"; NASB "inclines toward wickedness."


"in order to do [or "so that he does"] what is godless [or "defiled"]."


"so that he leaves empty the appetite [or "desire"] of the hungry."


"and the drink of the thirsty he causes to fail."


Notes for Isa 32:7LEB

"as for a deceiver, his implements [or "weapons"] are evil."


Or "he plans evil things"; NIV "he makes up evil schemes."


"to ruin the poor with words of falsehood, even when the needy speak what is just."


Notes for Isa 32:8LEB

"and he upon honorable things stands."


Notes for Isa 32:9LEB

Or "self-assured"; NASB, NRSV "who are at ease."


Or "self-confident"; NAB "overconfident."


Notes for Isa 32:10LEB

"days upon a year."


Or perhaps, "olive." See Isa 24:13LEB.


Notes for Isa 32:11LEB

The imperatival forms in v. 11 are problematic. The first (חִרְדוּ, khirdu, "tremble") is masculine plural in form, though spoken to a feminine plural addressee (שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת, shaanannot, "complacent ones"). The four imperatival forms that follow (ְגָזָה, régazah, "shake with fear"; פְּשֹׁטָה, péshotah, "strip off your clothes"; עֹרָה, ’orah, "expose yourselves"; and חֲגוֹרָה, khagorah, "put on") all appear to be lengthened (so-called "emphatic") masculine singular forms, even though they too appear to be spoken to a feminine plural addressee. GKC 131-32 §48.i suggests emending חִרְדוּ (khirdu) to חֲרָדָה (kharadah) and understanding all five imperatives as feminine plural "aramaized" forms.


Notes for Isa 32:12LEB

The Hebrew text has "over mourning breasts." The reference to "breasts" would make sense in light of v. 11, which refers to the practice of women baring their breasts as a sign of sorrow (see J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 1:585). However, one expects the preposition עַל (’al) to introduce the source or reason for mourning (see vv. 12b–13a) and the participle סֹפְדִים (sofedim, "mourning") seems odd modifying "breasts." The translation above assumes a twofold emendation: (1) שָׁדַיִם (shadayim, "breasts") is emended to [ם]שָׂדַי (saday[m], "field," a term that also appears in Isa 56:9LEB). The final mem (ם) would be enclitic in this case, not a plural indicator. (The Hebrew noun שָׂדֶה (sadeh, "field") forms its plural with an וֹת- [-ot] ending). (2) The plural participle סֹפְדִים is emended to סְפֹדָה (séfodah), a lengthened imperatival form, meaning "mourn." For an overview of various suggestions that have been made for this difficult line, see Oswalt, 586, n. 12).


Notes for Isa 32:13LEB

"Mourn" is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text vv. 12–13 are one long sentence.


"indeed, over all the houses of joy." It is not certain if this refers to individual homes or to places where parties and celebrations were held.


This same phrase is used in Isa 22:2LEB.


Notes for Isa 32:14LEB

Or "noisy" (NAB, NIV, NCV).


Hebrew עֹפֶל (’ofel), probably refers here to a specific area within the city of Jerusalem. See HALOT 861 s.v. II עֹפֶל.


The Hebrew text has בְעַד מְעָרוֹת (ad arot). The force of בְעַד, which usually means "behind, through, round about," or "for the benefit of," is uncertain here. HALOT 616 s.v. מְעָרָה takes מְעָרוֹת (arot) as a homonym of "cave" and define it here as "cleared field." Despite these lexical problems, the general point of the statement seems clear – the city will be uninhabited.


"the joy of wild donkeys, a pasture for flocks."


Notes for Isa 32:15LEB

"until a spirit is emptied out on us from on high." The words "this desolation will continue" are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic purposes. The verb עָרָה (’arah), used here in the Niphal, normally means "lay bare, expose." The term רוּחַ (ruakh, "spirit") is often understood here as a reference to the divine spirit (cf. Isa 44:3LEB and NASB, NIV, CEV, NLT), but it appears here without an article (cf. NRSV "a spirit"), pronominal suffix, or a genitive (such as "of Yahweh"). The translation assumes that it carries an impersonal nuance "vivacity, vigor" in this context.


The same statement appears in Isa 29:17LEB, where, in conjunction with the preceding line, it appears to picture a reversal. Here it seems to depict supernatural growth. The desert will blossom into an orchard, and the trees of the orchard will multiply and grow tall, becoming a forest.


Notes for Isa 32:16LEB

This new era of divine blessing will also include a moral/ethical transformation, as justice and fairness fill the land and replace the social injustice so prevalent in Isaiah’s time.


Notes for Isa 32:17LEB

"and the product of fairness will be peace."


"and the work of fairness [will be] calmness and security forever."


Notes for Isa 32:18LEB

Or "in safe resting places"; NAB, NRSV "quiet resting places."


Notes for Isa 32:19LEB

"and [?] when the forest descends." The form וּבָרַד (uvarad) is often understood as an otherwise unattested denominative verb meaning "to hail" (HALOT 154 s.v. I ברד). In this case one might translate, "and it hails when the forest is destroyed" (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV). Perhaps the text alludes to a powerful wind and hail storm that knocks down limbs and trees. Some prefer to emend the form to וְיָרַד (véyarad), "and it descends," which provides better, though not perfect, symmetry with the parallel line (cf. NAB). Perhaps וּבָרַד should be dismissed as dittographic. In this case the statement ("when the forest descends") lacks a finite verb and seems incomplete, but perhaps it is subordinate to v. 20.


"and in humiliation the city is laid low."


Notes for Isa 32:20LEB

"by all the waters."


"who set free the foot of the ox and donkey"; NIV "letting your cattle and donkeys range free."


This verse seems to anticipate a time when fertile land is available to cultivate and crops are so abundant that the farm animals can be allowed to graze freely.