|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 15. - Until. The expression "until" modifies the previous "forever," showing that the desolation was not always to continue. The Spirit be poured upon us from on high. An effluence from the Holy Spirit of God on individuals of eminence, prophets, kings, artificers, to fit them for their tasks, is recognized in many of the earlier books of Scripture, and especially in the Davidical psalms. But a general effluence of the Spirit of holiness on a nation, to produce a change of heart, seems to be first announced by Isaiah. The nearly contemporary prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28, 29) is, perhaps, as wide in its scope, but limited to the prophetic gift, which is not necessarily conjoined with spiritual-minded-ness or holiness of life. Isaiah, the "evangelical prophet," first teaches that the conversion of a nation is God's work, effected by the Holy Spirit, and effectual to the entire change of the heart of a people. And the wilderness be a fruitful field; i.e. "the community long cursed with barrenness of good works" (ver. 10) "becomes once more fruitful of them." And the fruitful field be counted for a forest. An order of climax seems to be here intended. The midbar, the bare pasturage-ground, becomes a Carmel, i.e. carefully cultivated; the Carmel becomes like Lebanon, a rich and luxurious forest. There is no close parallel between this verse and ver. 17 of Isaiah 29. The prophet is not tied down by his previous metaphors.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high,.... That is, Jerusalem shall lie in ruins until this time comes; which therefore cannot be understood of the effusion of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which, as it was before the destruction of the city by the Romans, so the desolation it was brought to by the Chaldeans did not last so long; but must be interpreted of a pouring forth of the Spirit in his gifts and graces yet to come, which will bring on the fulness of the Gentiles, and the conversion of the Jews, and till that time comes Jerusalem will continue in a ruinous condition; the sense is the same with that of Luke 21:24 "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled". The Targum of the place is,
"until refreshing comes to us from the face of him, whose Shechinah, or Majesty, is in the highest heavens;''
with which may be compared Acts 3:19,
and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest; this will be the consequence, fruit, and effect of the effusion of the Spirit in the latter day; that such parts of the world as were like a wilderness, barren and unfruitful, producing nothing but the briers and thorns of impiety, infidelity, superstition, and idolatry, should now become like a fruitful field; the Gospel being now preached everywhere, multitudes of souls converted, churches raised and formed, and these filled with such as were laden with the fruits of righteousness; and such places where the Gospel had been preached and professed, and where churches had been planted, and there were some good degree of fruitfulness in word and works, now should be abundantly more fruitful, and the professors of religion more numerous, and look more like a forest, for number of trees, than a field. Kimchi says this whole paragraph shall be accomplished in the days of the Messiah.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. This can only partially apply to the spiritual revival in Hezekiah's time; its full accomplishment belongs to the Christian dispensation, first at Pentecost (Joe 2:28; Ac 2:17), perfectly in coming times (Ps 104:30; Eze 36:26; 39:29; Zec 12:10), when the Spirit shall be poured on Israel, and through it on the Gentiles (Mic 5:7).
wilderness … fruitful field … forest—when Judea, so long waste, shall be populous and fruitful, and the land of the enemies of God shall be desolate. Or, "the field, now fruitful, shall be but as a barren forest in comparison with what it shall be then" (Isa 29:17). The barren shall become fruitful by regeneration; those already regenerate shall bring forth fruits in such abundance that their former life shall seem but as a wilderness where no fruits were.
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