Is. 32:1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.
Is. 32:2 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 great rock in a weary land.
“a king shall reign in righteousness” = This phrase seems to have a direct tie to Isaiah 11:1-5.
Isaiah 11:1-5 And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots: And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD; And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.
It seems clear to me that Isaiah is referencing the coming reign of Messiah on planet earth. Verse 2, “And a” is not in the original. It would seem to me that the NLT states it best.
Isaiah 32:2 He will shelter Israel from the storm and the wind. He will refresh her as a river in the desert and as the cool shadow of a large rock in a hot and weary land.
In contrast to the previous chapters, no longer will His people be seeking help from other people. They will be looking to King Messiah for their security and protection. Jesus, King Messiah, is the only One who qualifies as The Source of refreshment, nourishment, shade, protection and strength.
Messiah will be The Authority on planet earth when He establishes His kingdom, but He will delegate authority to others to reign with Him. This is not because He needs any assistance but to fulfill His word. We know that the 12 apostles will rule with Him on thrones as judges over the 12 tribes of Israel.
Matthew 19:27-28 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Those that make up the body of believers, the church, have also been promised positions of authority as kings and priests.
Revelation 1:4-6 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne; And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father….
Revelation 5:8-10 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
Those believers who will be martyred during the tribulation are promised thrones as judges during the millennium.
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
Later on in the book of Isaiah, God speaks of a position as Priests for the people of Israel.
Isaiah 61:6 But ye shall be named the Priests of the LORD: men shall call you the Ministers of our God: ye shall eat the riches of the Gentiles, and in their glory shall ye boast yourselves.
One of the meanings for the word “Priests” in this verse in the Hebrew is prince.
Obviously, not all those in positions of authority will have the same level or type of authority; government always has different levels and types of authority. I would assume that one’s position of leadership will be a reward based on love and obedience to the Savior while on earth prior to the Messiah’s kingdom.
As I continue to look at these verses, questions come to mind, “Why the need for protection and security? Why is the land described as weary? Considering that those who will get to enter this kingdom have survived through the worst times ever on planet earth, protection and security from a strong, faithful and righteous King will be of great comfort. Christ will rule with a rod of iron, but men who enter the kingdom from the tribulation will still possess a sin nature and will give birth to children with a sin nature. It will be important to these people to see their King as a great rock of righteousness and protection. The land itself will also have suffered great destruction through the tribulation period. The Apostle Paul speaks of all creation groaning as it waits for renewal.
Romans 8:22-23 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Is. 32:3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.
Is. 32:4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.
Again, this is describing a time in direct contrast to the times of the prophet. When Messiah is on the throne, the people will see, hear and understand clearly. Those who proclaim His truth will speak clearly and boldly. I think these verses go hand in hand with the truth given in chapter 29.
Isaiah 29:18-19 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. The meek also shall increase their joy in the LORD, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.
I think the specific context here is referencing spiritual sight, hearing and understanding. Personally, I also think these verses have a double meaning. When Jesus is ruling on planet earth, there will be none that are physically blind, deaf, mute, etc. Jesus foreshadowed that truth as He healed all that came to Him for healing during His years of ministry. He even declared those healings to be a verification of Who He Was to John the Baptist.
Luke 7:22 Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.
Is. 32:5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.
The vile person is referencing the “stupid and morally wicked.” The Hebrew for liberal is referencing those considered as generous, magnanimous and noble. The churl is opposite to the liberal; he withholds; he is a “selfish miser” according to Webster’s. Bountiful is a reference to one who is free in giving gifts and favors.
I can’t help but think of society in general and America in particular today as I read these verses. Some of the most popular and admired people in the world are those who are morally depraved. Those who have much and make a point of publicizing a few acts of charity are honored for their generosity. They could really afford to give much, much more and still live in the lap of luxury in comparison to the rest of the world.
This verse is telling us that during the reign of the Messiah, this will no longer be the case. People will be seen for who and what they really are.
Is. 32:6 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.
Is. 32:7 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.
Is. 32:8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
One day people will be recognized for who and what they are. The vile person speaks wickedness, thinks wickedness, is a hypocrite, speaks lies against the Lord, and has no spiritual nourishment to offer others. Many of those who are amassing great fortune for themselves are doing so at the expense of others. In contrast those who are truly liberal—generous and noble—will be identified by their actions; their works will reflect their words.
Oh for that day!! How rampant is hypocrisy today—especially in the church. How many today in leadership as pastors and teachers of the word preach and teach lies concerning God’s truth! There are so many that claim His name and totally misrepresent Him. It is certainly considered more important today to be tolerant, inclusive and politically correct than it is to declare God’s word boldly and without apology, taking a stand against sin and in support of its truth.
Is. 32:9 Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
Is. 32:10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.
Is. 32:11 Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
Is. 32:12 They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.
Isaiah directs his remarks to the female population. This brings to mind the verses from chapter 3. Throughout his book Isaiah emphasizes that every person is accountable to the Lord—man and woman, rich and poor, ruler and layperson. Isaiah is addressing specifically those women who are enjoying a life of leisure with a false sense of security. I thought it was interesting that the word for ease included a haughty attitude.
“many days and years” – Most of the commentators and translations agree that this is a phrase referencing a time to come within a year or less. If that is true, it sounds like Isaiah is stating that the upcoming harvest will not materialize due to trouble to come—most likely from enemy attack. These women should prepare themselves to humble themselves before God (gird with sackcloth); they are going to experience a time of great need and distress.
“lament” = beat the breasts in mourning
“teats” = bulging breast (healthy, full of milk)
Is. 32:13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:
Is. 32:14 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;
Is. 32:15 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.
Isaiah continues his message of doom for Jerusalem/Judah/Israel (my people). This time of trouble will continue “until the spirit be poured upon us from on high.” As I think on these verses, it must include not only the invasion of Assyria and Babylon, but also the destruction by Rome and the dispersal of the people at that time (70AD). Only since 1948 has the wilderness of God’s land begun to be fruitful and again filled with trees. I don’t think this reflects the fulfillment of this scripture, but it certainly foreshadows the ultimate fulfillment when Messiah reigns. Personally, I believe it is a sign that we are nearing the time of His kingdom.
“Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high” - This phrase will not apply to Israel until the Lord comes to reign on His earthly throne. This is the time prophesied by Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 36:24-28 For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Is. 32:16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.
Is. 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
Is. 32:18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;
The wilderness is a reference to the land of Judah/Israel. When Messiah comes in the fullness of His Spirit, righteous judgment will prevail and the land and its people will prosper. As a result of Jesus’ righteous rule, the people of Israel (and the whole world) will finally experience true peace and security. They will be safe. No longer will the people of Israel or the world have to worry about suicide bombers and other acts of terror. No longer will they have to worry about roaming gangs or thieves or murderers etc.
Is. 32:19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.
Is. 32:20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.
I liked the phrasing from the Complete Jewish Bible for these verses:
Isaiah 32:19-20 Just as the forest will surely come down, the city will surely be laid low. Happy are you who sow by all streams, letting oxen and donkeys roam freely.
Isaiah seems to be saying that God’s word is sure and the prophesied destruction will come. Just as sure as the destruction will be the time of blessing to follow.