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The Adam Clarke Commentary

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 Chapter 31
Chapter 33
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Chapter 32

Prophecy of great prosperity under Hezekiah; but, in its highest sense, applicable to Christ, 1-8. Description of impending calamities, 9-14. Rejection of the Jews, and calling of the Gentiles, 15. The future prosperity of the Church, 16-20.

Notes on Chapter 32

Verse 1. 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
ve-sarim, without lamed, to; so the ancient Versions. An ancient MS. has vesaraiv, and his princes.

Verse 2. As the shadow of a great rock
The shadow of a great projecting rock is the most refreshing that is possible in a hot country, not only as most perfectly excluding the rays of the sun, but also as having in itself a natural coolness, which it reflects and communicates to every thing about it.

Speluncaeque tegant, et saxea procubet umbra. VIRG. Georg. iii. 145.

"Let the cool cave and shady rock protect them."

επεικεφαληνκαιγουνατασειριοςαζει αυαλεοςδετεχρωςαποκαυματοςαλλατοτηδη ειηπετραιητεσκινκαιβιβλινοςοινος HESIOD. ii. 206.

"When Sirius rages, and thine aching head, Parched skin, and feeble knees refreshment need; Then to the rock's projected shade retire, With Biblin wine recruit thy wasted powers."

Verse 3. And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim-"And him the eyes of those that see shall regard"
For velo, and not, Le Clerc reads velo, and to him, of which mistake the Masoretes acknowledge there are fifteen instances; and many more are reckoned by others. The removal of the negative restores to the verb its true and usual sense.

Verse 5. The vile person shall no more be called liberal
The different epithets here employed require minute explanation.

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.

Liberal- nadib; the generous, openhearted, princely man, who writes on all his possessions, For myself and mankind, and lives only to get and to do good.

The churl- kilai, the avaricious man; he who starves himself amidst his plenty, and will not take the necessaries of life for fear of lessening his stock.

Thus he differs from nabal, who feeds himself to the full, and regards no one else; like the rich man in the Gospel. The avaricious man is called kilai, from ki, for, li, myself; or contracted from col, all, and li, to myself: all is mine; all I have is my own; and all I can get is for myself: and yet this man enjoys nothing; he withholds

From back and belly too their proper fare:- O cursed lust of gold, when for thy sake The wretch throws up his interest in both worlds, First starved in this, then damned in that to come!

Bountiful- shoa, he who is abundantly rich; who rejoices in his plenty, and deals out to the distressed with a liberal hand.

Verse 6. The vile person will speak villany-"The fool will still utter folly"
A sort of proverbial saying, which Euripides (Bacchae, 369) has expressed in the very same manner and words: μωραγαρμωροςλεγει "The fool speaks folly." Of this kind of simple and unadorned proverb or parable, see De S. Poes, Hebr. Praelect. xxiv.

Against the Lord-"Against JEHOVAH"
For El, two MSS. read al, more properly; but both are of nearly the same meaning.

Verse 7. The instruments also of the churl are evil-"As for the niggard, his instruments are evil"
His machinations, his designs. The paronomasia, which the prophet frequently deals in, suggested this expression vechelai kelaiv. The first word is expressed with some variety in the MSS. Seven MSS. read vekili, one vechol, another vecoli.

To destroy the poor with lying words-"To defeat the assertions of the poor in judgment"
A word seems to have been lost here, and two others to have suffered a small alteration, which has made the sentence very obscure. The Septuagint have happily retained the rendering of the lost word, and restored the sentence in all its parts: καιδιασκεδασαιλογουςταπεινωνενκρισει ulehapher dibrey ebyon bemishpat, "And disperse the words of the poor in judgment." They frequently render the verb haphar by διασκεδασαι, A MS. reads uledabber, which gives authority for the preposition lamed, to, necessary to the sense, and the Septuagint, Syriac, and Chaldee read bemishpat, IN judgment.

Verse 8. Liberal things-"Generous purposes"
"Of the four sorts of persons mentioned Isaiah 32:5, three are described, ; 32:6-8, but not the fourth."-SECKER. Perhaps for vehu, and he, we ought to read veshoa, the bountiful.

Verse 9. Rise up, ye women-"ye provinces." Ye careless daughters-"ye cities."-Targum.

From this verse to the end of the fourteenth, the desolation of Judea by the Chaldeans appears to be foretold.

Verse 11. Gird sackcloth
sak, sackcloth, a word necessary to the sense, is here lost, but preserved by the Septuagint, MSS. Alex. and Pachom., and I. D. II., and edit. Ald. and Comp., and the Arabic and Syriac.

Tremble-be troubled-strip you
peshotah, regazah, he, according to Schultens, Institut. Ling. Hebr. p. 453, and are to be taken in an imperative sense.

Verse 12. They shall lament-for the pleasant fields-"Mourn ye for the pleasant field"
The Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate read siphdu, mourn ye, imperative; twelve MSS., (five ancient,) two editions, the Septuagint, Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion, Syriac, and Vulgate, all read sadeh, a field; not shedey, breasts.

Verse 13. Shall come up thorns and briers-"The thorn and the brier shall come up"
All the ancient Versions read veshamir, with the conjunction. And an ancient MS. has taaleh bo, "shall come up in it," which seems to be right; or rather bah: and there is a rasure in the place of bo in another ancient MS.

Yea, upon all the houses of joy
For ki, the ancient Versions, except the Vulgate, seem to have read ve. ki may perhaps be a mistake for bo, or bah, in it, above mentioned. It is not necessary in this place.

The description of impending distress which begins at Isaiah 32:13 belongs to other times than that of Sennacherib's invasion, from which they were so soon delivered. It must at least extend to the ruin of the country and city by the Chaldeans. And the promise of blessings which follows was not fulfilled under the Mosaic dispensation; they belong to the KINGDOM of Messiah. Compare Isaiah 32:15with ; 29:17, and see the note there.

Verse 14. The palaces shall be forsaken
The house of the sanctuary (the temple) shall be destroyed.-Targum.

The forts-"Ophel"
It was a part of Mount Zion, rising higher than the rest, at the eastern extremity, near to the temple, a little to the south of it; called by Micah, Micah 4:8, "Ophel of the daughter of Zion." It was naturally strong by its situation; and had a wall of its own, by which it was separated from the rest of Zion.

Verse 15. And the fruitful field
vehaccarmel. So fifteen MSS., six ancient, and two editions; which seems to make the noun an appellative.

Verse 17. The work of righteousness
Righteousness works and produces peace.

The effect of righteousness
abodath, the culture. Righteousness, cultivated by peace, produces tranquillity of mind and permanent security. Reader, hast thou the principle? If so, dost thou cultivate it? If thou dost, thou hast peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, and a sure and certain hope of everlasting life.

Verse 19. The city shall be low in a low place.-"The city shall be laid level with the plain."
For ubashephelah, the Syriac reads ukeshephelah. The city-probably Nineveh or Babylon: but this verse is very obscure. Saltus; Assyriorum regnum: civitas; magnifica Assyriorum castra. Ephrem Syr. in loc. For ubarad, a MS. has vaiyered; and so conjectured Abp. Secker, referring to Zechariah 11:2.

Verse 20. That sow beside all waters-"Who sow your seed in every well-watered place"
Sir John Chardin's note on this place is:-"This exactly answers the manner of planting rice; for they sow it upon the water, and before sowing, while the earth is covered with water, they cause the ground to be trodden by oxen, horses, and asses, who go mid-leg deep; and this is the way of preparing the ground for sowing. As they sow the rice on the water, they transplant it in the water." Harmer's Observ. vol. i. p. 280. "Rice is the food of two-thirds of mankind." Dr. Arbuthnot. "It is cultivated in most of the eastern countries." Miller. "It is good for all, and at all times." Sir J. Chardin, ib. "Le ris, qui est leur principal aliment et leur froment (i.e., des Siamois,) n'est jamais assez arrose; il croit au milieu de l'eau, et les campagnes ou on le cultive ressemblent plutot a de marets que non pas a des terres qu'on laboure aver la charue. Le ris a bien cette force, que quoy qu'il y ait six ou sept pieds d'eau sur lui, il pousse toujours sa tige au dessus; et le tuyau qui le porte s'eleve et croit a proportion de la hauteur de l'eau qui noye son champ. Voyage de l'Eveque de Beryte, p. 144. Paris, 1666.-L. "Rice, which is the principal grain and aliment of the Siamese, can never be too much watered. It grows in the water, and the fields where it is sown resemble marshes rather than fields cultivated by ploughing. Rice has that property that although it be covered with water six or seven feet deep, yet it raises its stalk above it; and this grows long in proportion to the depth of the water by which the field is inundated."

Copyright Statement
The Adam Clarke Commentary is a derivative of an electronic edition prepared by

Bibliography Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Isaiah 32". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". <>. 1832.  


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