Isaiah 32:9
Rise up, you women that are at ease; hear my voice, you careless daughters; give ear to my speech.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Rise up, ye women that are at ease . . .—The beginning of a new section, probably a distinct sermon, or, as it were, pamphlet, against the evils of which the prophet had spoken in Isaiah 2:16-22, and which continued, it would seem, unabated, in spite of Hezekiah’s reformation. It probably finds a place here as painting the harem influence, which then, as in the policy of modern Eastern monarchies, Constantinople and elsewhere, lay behind the counsels of the king and his ministers. The whole tone is that of invective against the women of the pseudo-aristocracy that had been covertly attacked in the preceding verses.

Give ear unto my speech . . .—Another echo of the teaching of the Proverbs (Proverbs 2:1; Proverbs 3:1; Proverbs 4:1; Proverbs 6:1; Proverbs 6:20.)

Isaiah 32:9-12. Rise up, &c. — The prophet, to show the sinners and hypocrites in Zion, (Isaiah 33:14,) that they must not expect to receive blessings from God, such as he had just now predicted, while they remained in a state of impenitence, denounces against them the calamities which should come upon them; 1st, By the Assyrian, and then by the Babylonish destruction. Ye women that are at ease — That indulge yourselves in idleness and luxury; shake off your carelessness and sloth, and prepare yourselves to hear the sentence pronounced by God concerning you. Hear my voice, ye careless daughters — Hebrew, בשׂחות, ye confident and secure, who are insensible of your sin and danger. Many days and years — Hebrew, ימים על שׁנה, days above a year; that is, a year and some days: which, it seems, expresses the time of the continuance of the judgment by the Assyrians; that it should last some days above one year, as indeed it did, and no longer; for Hezekiah reigned in all but twenty-nine years, 2 Kings 18:2. And Sennacherib invaded the country in his fourteenth year; and, after his defeat and departure, God promised and added to him fifteen years more, 2 Kings 20:6. For the vintage shall fail — During the time of the Assyrian invasion. The gathering shall not come — Namely, of the other fruits of the earth; as that feast which was observed after the gathering of all the fruits was called the feast of ingathering, Exodus 23:16. Tremble, ye women, &c. — It seems probable, from these repeated addresses to the women, that those of Jerusalem especially, and, perhaps, also of many of the other towns in Judea, were, at that time, peculiarly vain, luxurious, dissipated, and wanton, and regardless of all religion. The prophet, therefore, especially addresses them, and warns them that a time of trouble awaited them. Strip ye and make ye bare — Put off your ornaments, as God commanded upon a like occasion, (Exodus 33:5,) that you may put on sackcloth instead of them, as mourners and penitents used to do. They shall lament for the teats — For the pleasant and fruitful fields which, like teats, yielded you plentiful and excellent nourishment.32:9-20 When there was so much provocation given to the holy God, bad times might be expected. Alas! how many careless ones there are, who support self-indulgence by shameful niggardliness! We deserve to be deprived of the supports of life, when we make them the food of lusts. Let such tremble and be troubled. Blessed times shall be brought in by the pouring out of the Spirit from on high; then, and not till then, there will be good times. The present state of the Jews shall continue until a more abundant pouring out of the Spirit from on high. Peace and quietness shall be found in the way and work of righteousness. True satisfaction is to be had only in true religion. And real holiness is real happiness now, and shall be perfect happiness, that is, perfect holiness for ever. The good seed of the word shall be sown in all places, and be watered by Divine grace; and laborious, patient labourers shall be sent forth into God's husbandry.Rise up ... - Rosenmuller supposes that this commences a new vision or prophecy; and that the former part Isaiah 32:9-14 refers to the desolation of Judea by the invasion of Sennacherib, and the latter Isaiah 32:15-20 to the prosperity which would succeed that invasion. It cannot be doubted that this is the general reference of the passage, but there does not seem to be a necessity of making a division here. The entire prophecy, including the whole chapter, relates in general to the reign of Hezekiah; and as these events were to occur during his reign, the prophet groups them together, and presents them as constituting important events in his reign. The general design of this portion of the prophecy Isaiah 32:9-14 is to show the desolation that would come upon the land of Judea in consequence of that invasion. This he represents in a poetical manner, by calling on the daughters of fashion and ease to arouse, since all their comforts were to be taken away.

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 wang (compare Isaiah 3:16-26).

Ye careless daughters - Hebrew, 'Daughters confiding;' that is, those who felt no alarm, and who did not regard God and his threatenings.

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. Rise up; bestir and prepare yourselves to hear, as it follows, and shake off sloth and carelessness.

That are at ease; that indulge yourselves in idleness and luxury.

Careless, Heb. confident or secure, who are insensible of your sin and danger.

Daughters; the same before called women; whom he here reproveth and threateneth for their sins, as he did the men before for seeking to Egypt for help, and divers other sins, whereof the men were most guilty. Rise up, ye women that are at ease,.... On beds of down, unconcerned about the present or future state of the nation; who had their share of guilt in the nation's sins, particularly pride, luxury, superstition, rejection of the Messiah, and contempt of his Gospel, and so should have their part in its punishment. Some think that the men of the nation are so called, because of their effeminacy. The Jews interpret them of the other cities of Judea, besides Jerusalem; the Targum explains it by provinces:

hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear to my speech; the words of the prophet concerning the future desolation of their country; here it is thought the lesser towns and villages are intended by daughters, who dwelt in confidence and security, having no thought and notion of destruction coming upon them; so Ben Melech interprets the "women" of cities, and the "daughters" of villages.

Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye {f} careless daughters; give ear to my speech.

(f) He prophecies of such calamity to come that they will not spare the women and children, and therefore wills them to take heed and provide.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. The women are addressed partly as representing best certain aspects of the public mind, luxury and complacent ease (ch. Isaiah 3:16 ff.; Amos 4:1 ff.); partly because of their function as mourners in seasons of calamity (Jeremiah 9:20).

that are at ease … careless] (or, confident) cf. Amos 6:1.

Ch. Isaiah 32:9-20 To the Women of Jerusalem

Like the previous sections (Isaiah 29:1 ff., Isaiah 29:15 ff., Isaiah 30, 31) this passage is divided into two parts,—the announcement of judgment on Jerusalem, and a description of the Messianic salvation (see the analysis below). It presents, however, two remarkable peculiarities: (1) there is no reference to the overthrow of the Assyrians, and (2) it contemplates a complete destruction of Jerusalem and a protracted desolation of the land. For these reasons some critics have been led to assign the prophecy to a period much earlier than the invasion of Sennacherib; and this would be plausible if it were possible to separate the two parts of which it is composed (9–14 and 15–20). But this is difficult on account of the close connexion established by Isaiah 32:15; and since the latter portion presents some literary affinities with the other members of this group of discourses (ch. 28–31) it will probably be safer to regard the whole as belonging to the same period. It is possible, no doubt, that the Messianic conclusion might have been written later than the address to the women; but even on that assumption we should have to admit that the prophet retained the conception of an indefinitely prolonged depopulation of the land, at a late stage of his career.

The contents of the prophecy are as follows:—

i. Isaiah 32:9-14. A threatening oration, addressed to the women of Jerusalem. The introduction (Isaiah 32:9) shews that what roused the ire of the prophet was the careless unconcern and indifference of the women in face of the reiterated warnings he had uttered. He endeavours to shake them out of their light-hearted security by the announcement that “the ingathering shall not come” (10). So clear is the vision of calamity that he calls on his hearers to adopt the attitude of mourners over the ravaged vineyards, the desolate fields, and the deserted palaces of the “jubilant city” (11–14).

ii. Isaiah 32:15-20. Out of this state of collapse and ruin there will ultimately arise, but after an indefinite period, a new world. Under the vivifying influence of the Divine spirit, external nature will be renewed (15), righteousness will dwell in the land (16), and its blessed fruits will be undisturbed peace and security (17, 18). An unexpected allusion to the judgment (19) somewhat mars the continuity of the passage, which ends with a prophetic felicitation of the peaceful and industrious peasantry who inherit the golden age (20).Verses 9-12. - A REBUKE OF THE WOMEN. It might seem at first sight as if we had here a detached utterance of the prophet, accidentally conjoined with the preceding passage (vers. 1-8). But vers. 15-18 furnish a link of connection between the two portions of the chapter, and make it probable that they were delivered at the same time. Mr. Cheyne supposes that the indifference of a knot of women, gathered at some little distance from the men to whom Isaiah had addressed vers. 1-8, provoked the prophet suddenly to turn to them, and speak to them in terms of warning. Verse 9. - Rise up. The "careless daughters" are sitting, or reclining upon couches, at their ease. The prophet bids them stand up, to hear a message from God (comp. Judges 3:10). Ye women that are at ease; i.e. "that are self-satisfied and self-complacent." The word employed has almost always a bad sense (see 2 Kings 19:28; Job 12:5; Psalm 123:4; Amos 6:1; Zechariah 1:15). Hear my voice. This clause should be attached to the first half of the verse. The order of the words in the original is, "Ye women that are at ease, rise up and hear my words; ye careless daughters, hearken unto my speech." The second is an opened understanding, following upon the ban of hardening. "And the eyes of the seeing no more are closed, and the ears of the hearing attend. And the heart of the hurried understands to know, and the tongue of stammerers speaks clear things with readiness." It is not physical miracles that are predicted here, but a spiritual change. The present judgment of hardening will be repealed: this is what Isaiah 32:3 affirms. The spiritual defects, from which many suffer who do not belong to the worst, will be healed: this is the statement in Isaiah 32:4. The form תּשׁעינה is not the future of שׁעה here, as in Isaiah 31:1; Isaiah 22:4; Isaiah 17:7-8 (in the sense of, they will no longer stare about restlessly and without aim), but of שׁעה equals שׁעע, a metaplastic future of the latter, in the sense of, to be smeared over to closed (see Isaiah 29:9; Isaiah 6:10; cf., tach in Isaiah 44:18). On qâshabh (the kal of which is only met with here), see at Isaiah 21:7. The times succeeding the hardening, of which Isaiah is speaking here, are "the last times," as Isaiah 6:1-13 clearly shows; though it does not therefore follow that the king mentioned in Isaiah 32:1 (as in Isaiah 11:1.) is the Messiah Himself. In Isaiah 32:1 the prophet merely affirms, that Israel as a national commonwealth will then be governed in a manner well pleasing to God; here he predicts that Israel as a national congregation will be delivered from the judgment of not seeing with seeing eyes, and not hearing with hearing ears, and that it will be delivered from defects of weakness also. The nimhârı̄m are those that fall headlong, the precipitate, hurrying, or rash; and the עלּגים, stammerers, are not scoffers (Isaiah 28:7., Isaiah 19:20), as Knobel and Drechsler maintain, but such as are unable to think and speak with distinctness and certainty, more especially concerning the exalted things of God. The former would now have the gifts of discernment (yâbhı̄n), to perceive things in their true nature, and to distinguish under all circumstances that which is truly profitable (lâda‛ath); the latter would be able to express themselves suitably, with refinement, clearness, and worthiness. Tsachōth (old ed. tsâchōth) signifies that which is light, transparent; not merely intelligible, but refined and elegant. תּמהר gives the adverbial idea to ledabbēr (Ewald, 285, a).
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