Isaiah 32:13
Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:
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Isaiah 32:13-14. Upon the land, &c., shall come up thorns and briers — If any of you think there is no great cause for such trembling and lamentation, on account of a calamity which shall last but for a year and some days, know that this affliction by the Assyrians is but an earnest of further and sorer judgments. For the time is coming when this land shall be laid desolate; and, instead of vines and other fruits, it shall yield nothing but briers and thorns. Yea, upon all the houses of joy — Upon that ground where now your houses stand, in which you take your fill of mirth and pleasure. Because the palaces — Hebrew, ארמון, the palace, the king’s house, and other magnificent buildings in the city, shall be forsaken

Shall be destitute of inhabitants. The multitude of the city shall be left — Shall be forsaken of God and given up into their enemies’ hands. The forts, &c., shall be for dens for ever — For a long time; a joy of wild asses — Desolate places, in which wild asses delight to be. “This description,” says Bishop Lowth, “of impending distresses 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.”

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.Upon the land of my people - A description similar to this, in regard to the consequences of the invasion of Sennacherib, is given in Isaiah 7:20-25 (see the notes at that passage).

Yea, upon all the houses of joy - Margin, 'Burning upon.' The marginal readling has originated from the supposition that the word כי kı̂y is derived from כיה kâvâh, "to be burned." This conjecture has been adopted by Junius and Tremellius, and by some others. But it is evidently mere conjecture, and is not demanded. The word 'yea' will express the sense, meaning that desolation, indicated by the growth of thorns and briers, would come upon the cities that were then filled with joy. This does not refer to Jerusalem, which was not taken by Sennacherib, but to the other cities that were destroyed by him in his march, and this account accords with the statement in Isaiah 7:20-25.

13. (Isa 5:6; 7:23).

houses of joy—pleasure-houses outside of Jerusalem, not Jerusalem itself, but other cities destroyed by Sennacherib in his march (Isa 7:20-25). However, the prophecy, in its full accomplishment, refers to the utter desolation of Judea and its capital by Rome, and subsequently, previous to the second coming of the King (Ps 118:26; Lu 13:35; 19:38); "the joyous city" is in this view, Jerusalem (Isa 22:2).

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers. If any of you think there is no great cause for such trembling and lamentation, which shall last but for a year and some days, know that this calamity by the Assyrians is but an earnest of further and sorer judgments; for the time is coming when this land shall be laid desolate, and instead of vines and other fruits, it shall yield nothing but briers and thorns; of which see on Isaiah 7:23,24.

Upon all the houses of joy; upon that ground where now your houses stand, in which you delight, and take your fill of mirth and pleasure.

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers,.... The curse of the earth, the spontaneous productions of it, being uncultivated, and this through want of men, they being destroyed or carried captive by the enemy; this is to be understood of the land of Judea, and not Samaria, as Aben Ezra; where the professing and covenant people of God dwelt; which is mentioned to show the apostasy of this people, for which ruin came upon their land, and the aggravation of it, as well as the goodness of God to them, which continued to the last, still considering them as his people. This respects not the desolation of the country by the Assyrian army, nor by the Chaldeans, but rather by the Romans, even their last destruction:

yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city; not Samaria, the head of the ten tribes, as some; but Jerusalem, the joy of the whole earth, as Jarchi; and the "houses of joy" in it mean not public houses, as taverns, and the like, where persons meet to revel and carouse, but the houses of nobles, princes, and rich men, who lived voluptuously, in great sensuality and carnal mirth, drinking wine in bowls, and chanting to the sound of the viol, and using all instruments of music; but now their houses, in which they enjoyed so much pleasure, should be demolished, and briers and thorns should grow upon the spot where they stood. Some render the word "burning", as in Isaiah 3:24 "burning shall be on all the houses" (o), &c.; and think it refers to the burning of the city of Jerusalem, and the palaces or houses of nobles and rich men in it, which was done both by the Chaldeans and by the Romans.

(o) Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius.

Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:
13. Upon the land … briers] It is perhaps better to take this as continuing Isaiah 32:12, rendering thus: For the (cultivated) land of my people, which goes up in thorns and briers (cf. ch. Isaiah 5:6); yea, for all, &c. (The verb “goes up” is fem. and must have as its subj. the fem “land”; “thorns” and “briers” are masc.)

the joyous city] (see on ch. Isaiah 22:2) may be a genitive depending on “houses,” or may be a parallel phrase, governed by “for.”

Verses 13-20. - A FURTHER MINGLING OF THREATS WITH COMFORTING PROMISES. The women require, like the men, to be both warned and comforted, wherefore the prophet addresses to them, as to the men in Isaiah 30. and 31, an intermixture of threatening (vers. 13, 14) with promise (vers. 15-20). Verse 13. - Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briars. This was the punishment with which the unfruitful vineyard was threatened in Isaiah 5:6. It may be understood either literally or of the wickedness that would abound when the time of judgment came. Yea, upon all the houses of joy (comp. Isaiah 5:9). If Sennacherib carried off, as he declares (G. Smith, 'Epenym Canon,' p. 134), more than two hundred thousand captives from Judaea, he must have left many houses without inhabitants. The solitude begun by him was completed by the Babylonians. The joyous city (see Isaiah 22:2). The word used has generally the sense of unholy mirth (comp. Isaiah 23:7; Isaiah 24:8; Zephaniah 2:15; Zephaniah 3:11). Isaiah 32:13This 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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