Isaiah 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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(11) Tremble, ye women that are at ease . . .—The words find at once a parallel and a contrast in those spoken to the daughters of Jerusalem in Luke (Luke 23:28-30). The call to repentance includes their stripping themselves of their costly finery, and putting on the “sackcloth” (the word is implied, though not expressed in the Hebrew), which was the outward symbol of repentance (Jonah 3:5-8). The words, it may be noted, are masculine, the call not being limited to the women.

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 stubbornness! 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.Strip ye, and make ye bare - That is, take off your joyful and splendid apparel, and put on the habiliments of mourning, indicative of a great calamity.

And gird sackcloth - (See the note at Isaiah 3:24).

11. strip you—of your gay clothing. (See Isa 2:19, 21). Strip you, and make you 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.

Tremble, ye women that are at ease,.... Which may be considered either as an exhortation to repentance for their sins, of which, if a due sense was impressed on their hearts, would cause a trembling of body and mind, under a fearful expectation of divine wrath; or as a prediction, that though they were now quite tranquil and easy, and nothing disturbed them, yet such calamities would come upon them as would make them tremble:

be troubled, ye careless ones; or, "confident ones" (l); that live securely, trusting in their present wealth and riches, and confident that things will always continue as they are; be it known to you that trouble will come, and better it would be for you if you were now troubled for your sins, and truly repented of them, that the judgments threatened, and coming, might be prevented:

strip ye, and make you bare; of your fine clothes, and beautiful ornaments, in which they prided themselves, which used to be done in time of mourning, Ezekiel 7:27 or it signifies that this should be their case, they would be stripped not only of their richest clothes and decorating jewels, but of their ordinary apparel, and left bare and naked by the enemy:

and gird sackcloth upon your loins; as a token of mourning; see Genesis 37:34 the word "sackcloth" is supplied, as it is by Kimchi, and in the Syriac and Arabic versions; though some understand it as a direction to gird their loins for servile work, signifying what would be their condition and circumstances when taken and carried captive by the enemy; they would no longer live at ease, and in pleasure, as mistresses, but would serve as handmaids.

(l) "confidentes", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.

Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
11. The speaker calls on his female auditors at once to assume the garb of mourners; so certain is the calamity. The word for “tremble” is in the masc. gender in the original, a not uncommon irregularity (Amos 4:1; Micah 1:13, &c.). Indeed the next verse presents an example.

strip ye, and make ye bare]—as Arabian women occasionally do in a paroxysm of grief or terror.

gird (sc. sackcloth) upon your loins] Cf. ch. Isaiah 3:24; 1 Kings 21:27; 2 Kings 6:30; Job 16:15.

The words “be troubled,” “strip,” “make bare” and “gird” represent anomalous forms in the Hebrew, which are the despair of grammarians. The imperative no doubt gives the right sense.

Verse 11. - Tremble... be troubled. The repetition of this verse is, as usual, emphatic. Its object is to impress those whom the prophet is addressing with the certainty of the coming judgment. Strip you, and make you bare; i.e. "bare your breasts," in preparation for the beating which is to follow (see the comment on the next verse). Isaiah 32:11This short address, although rounded off well, is something more than a fragment complete in itself, like the short parabolic piece in Isaiah 28:23-29, which commences in a similar manner. It is the last part of the fourth woe, just as that was the last part of the first. It is a side piece to the threatening prophecy of the time of Uzziah-Jotham (Isaiah 3:16.), and chastises the frivolous self-security of the women of Jerusalem, just as the former chastises their vain and luxurious love of finery. The prophet has now uttered many a woe upon Jerusalem, which is bringing itself to the verge of destruction; but notwithstanding the fact that women are by nature more delicate, and more easily affected and alarmed, than men, he has made no impression upon the women of Jerusalem, to whom he now foretells a terrible undeceiving of their carnal ease, whilst he holds out before them the ease secured by God, which can only be realized on the ruins of the former.

The first part of the address proclaims the annihilation of their false ease. "Ye contented women, rise up, hear my voice; ye confident daughters, hearken to my speech! Days to the year: then will ye tremble, confident ones! for it is all over with the vintage, the fruit harvest comes to nought. Tremble, contented ones! Quake, ye confident ones! Strip, make yourselves bare, and gird your loins with sackcloth! They smite upon their breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. On the land of my people there come up weeds, briers; yea, upon all joyous houses of the rejoicing city. For the palace is made solitary; the crowd of the city is left desolate; the ofel and watch-tower serve as caves for ever, for the delight of wild asses, for the tending of flocks." The summons is the same as in Genesis 4:23 and Jeremiah 9:19 (comp. Isaiah 28:23); the attributes the same as in Amos 6:1 (cf., Isaiah 4:1, where Isaiah apostrophizes the women of Samaria). שׁאנן, lively, of good cheer; and בּטח, trusting, namely to nothing. They are to rise up (qōmnâh), because the word of God must be heard standing (Judges 3:20). The definition of the time "days for a year" (yâmı̄m ‛al-shânâh) appears to indicate the length of time that the desolation would last, as the word tirgaznâh is without any Vav apod. (cf., Isaiah 65:24; Job 1:16-18); but Isaiah 29:1 shows us differently, and the Vav is omitted, just as it is, for example, in Daniel 4:28. Shânâh is the current year. In an undefined number of days, at the most a year from the present time (which is sometimes the meaning of yâmı̄m), the trembling would begin, and there would be neither grapes nor fruit to gather. Hence the spring harvest of corn is supposed to be over when the devastation begins. ימים is an acc. temporis; it stands here (as in Isaiah 27:6, for example; vid., Ewald, 293, 1) to indicate the starting point, not the period of duration. The milel-forms פּשׁטה, ערה, חגרה ,ערה , are explained by Ewald, Drechsler, and Luzzatto, as plur. fem. imper. with the Nun of the termination nâh dropped - an elision that is certainly never heard of. Others regard it as inf. with He femin. (Credner, Joel, p. 151); but קטלה for the infinitive קטלה is unexampled; and equally unexampled would be the inf. with He indicating the summons, as suggested by Bttcher, "to the shaking!" "to the stripping!" They are sing. masc. imper., such as occur elsewhere apart from the pause, e.g., מלוכה (for which the keri has מלכה) in Judges 9:8; and the singular in the place of the plural is the strongest form of command. The masculine instead of the feminine appears already in הרדוּ, which is used in the place of חרדנה. The prophet then proceeds in the singular number, comprehending the women as a mass, and using the most massive expression. The He introduced into the summons required that the feminine forms, רגזי, etc., should be given up. ערה, from ערר, to be naked, to strip one's self. חגרה absolute, as in Joel 1:13 (cf., Isaiah 3:24), signifies to gird one's self with sackcloth (saq). We meet with the same remarkable enall. generis in Isaiah 32:12. Men have no breasts (shâdaim), and yet the masculine sōphedı̄m is employed, inasmuch as the prophet had the whole nation in his mind, throughout which there would be such a plangere ubera on account of the utter destruction of the hopeful harvest of corn and wine. Shâdaim (breasts) and שׂדי (construct to sâdōth) have the same common ring as ubera and ubertas frugum. In Isaiah 32:13 ta‛ăleh points back to qōts shâmı̄r, which is condensed into one neuter idea. The ki in Isaiah 32:13 has the sense of the Latin imo (Ewald, 330, b). The genitive connection of עלּיזה קריה with משׂושׂ בּתּי (joy-houses of the jubilant city) is the same as in Isaiah 28:1. The whole is grammatically strange, just as in the Psalms the language becomes all the more complicated, disjointed, and difficult, the greater the wrath and indignation of the poet. Hence the short shrill sentences in Isaiah 32:14 : palace given up (cf., Isaiah 13:22); city bustle forsaken (i.e., the city generally so full of bustle, Isaiah 22:2). The use of בּעד is the same as in Proverbs 6:26; Job 2:4. ‛Ofel, i.e., the south-eastern fortified slope of the temple mountain, and the bachan (i.e., the watch-tower, possibly the flock-tower which is mentioned in Micah 4:8 along with ‛ofel), would be pro speluncis, i.e., would be considered and serve as such. And in the very place where the women of Jerusalem had once led their life of gaiety, wild asses would now have their delight, and flocks their pasture (on the wild asses, perâ'ı̄m, that fine animal of the woodless steppe, see at Job 24:5; Job 39:5-8). Thus would Jerusalem, with its strongest, proudest places, be laid in ruins, and that in a single year, or ever less than a year.

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