Isaiah 32:9
Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech.
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(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 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.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.

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." Isaiah 32:9This 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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