|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 12. - They shall lament for the teats, etc.; rather, they shall beat upon the breasts for the pleasant fields, etc. (so the LXX., the Vulgate, Jarchi, Gesenius, Ewald, Maurer, Knobel, Delitzsch, and Mr. Cheyne). Dr. Kay prefers the rendering of the Authorized Version, understanding by "the teats" such "dry breasts" as Hosea speaks of (Hosea 9:14). But nothing has been said in this place of any such affliction. For the pleasant fields, etc.; i.e. for their loss (see ver. 10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
They shall lament for the teats,.... Either of the beasts of the field, that should be dried up, and give no milk, through the great drought that should be upon the land; or through the waste of the herbage by the enemy; or else of the women, their breasts and paps, which should afford no milk for their infants, through the famine that should press them sore, which would occasion great lamentation, both in mothers and children; though some think are to be understood of the fields, and are explained by them in the next clause; the fruitful earth being compared to a woman, its fields are like breasts or paps, which yield food and nourishment, but now should not afford any, and therefore there would be cause of lamentation. Jarchi interprets it, "they shall beat upon their breasts" (m) a gesture used in lamentation to express exceeding great grief and sorrow, Luke 18:13 some, because the word rendered "lament" is of the masculine gender, and so not applicable to women, render the words in connection with the preceding verse Isaiah 32:11 thus,
"gird sackcloth on your loins, and on your mourning breasts'' (n);
though they may be interpreted indefinitely, "there shall be lamentation for the teats", among all sorts of people, men, women, and children:
for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine; as the fields are when covered with corn and grass, and the vines with clusters of grapes, but now should not be, either through drought, or by being foraged and trampled on by the enemy.
(m) So it is explained in T. Bab. Moed Katon, fol. 27. 2.((n) So Castalio.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
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.
Isaiah 32:12 Parallel Commentaries
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