King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 32

Times of peace and happiness. (1-8) An interval of trouble, yet comfort and blessings in the end. (9-20)

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Times of peace and happiness

1 Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment.

2 And a man shall be as an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.

3 And the eyes of them that see shall not be dim, and the ears of them that hear shall hearken.

4 The heart also of the rash shall understand knowledge, and the tongue of the stammerers shall be ready to speak plainly.

5 The vile person shall be no more called liberal, nor the churl said to be bountiful.

6 For the vile person will speak villany, and his heart will work iniquity, to practise hypocrisy, and to utter error against the LORD, to make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail.

7 The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.

8 But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.

An interval of trouble, yet comfort and blessings in the end

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

10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come.

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.

12 They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine.

13 Upon the land of my people shall come up thorns and briers; yea, upon all the houses of joy in the joyous city:

14 Because the palaces shall be forsaken; the multitude of the city shall be left; the forts and towers shall be for dens for ever, a joy of wild asses, a pasture of flocks;

15 Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest.

16 Then judgment shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

18 And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places;

19 When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place.

20 Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. King. Ezechias or Josias, as figures of Jesus Christ, who is meant. C. — They and their counsellors only foreshewed the advantages derived from Christ and his apostles in a more abundant manner. S. Jer. — Judgment and justice. These words have a higher meaning than what is assigned to them by philosophers. In God, the former implies the preparation of the means for man’s redemption, as the latter does the execution; and in man, judgment denotes the selection of what is right, and justice implies the putting it willingly in practice. Thus Christ will fulfill all the he has graciously purposed, with the two other divine persons; and the princes, his pastors, shall discern what is good for their own and people’s eternal welfare. W.

Ver. 2. Land. Ezechias and Josias were both a defence to their subjects.

Ver. 3. Dim. True prophets shall speak, while false ones shall be silent. C.

Ver. 4. Plain. Some parts of the prediction relate literally to the Old Test. But this alludes to the New, when the mysteries of religion are clearly confessed in the Catholic Church. W. — Even the most illiterate are guided with security, if they will but hear the Church. H.

Ver. 5. Deceitful. Heb. “miser be called liberal.” Lu. xxii. 25. These good princes are contrasted with Achaz, who had oppressed his subjects.

Ver. 7. Vessels. Arms, (C.) or all the words and actions of the miser are bent on evil. H. — The ministers of wicked princes resemble them. M.

Ver. 9. Women. Great cities. He announces the impending dangers.

Ver. 10. Year. After a long time; or the prophet speaks two years before the arrival of Sennacherib, after the vintage was ended. C. xxx. 20. and 4 K. xix. 29. C.

Ver. 12. Mourn. Sept. “beat.” H. — Breasts, suckling infants. In mourning, women beat and uncovered their breasts, which, on any other occasion, would have been deemed very indecent. C. Ezec. xxiii. 34. Herod. ii. 84.

Ver. 13. Up. Being uncultivated for two years. This was still more the case during the captivity. C. — How. Sept. “from every house joy shall be taken away, thou rich city.” H.

Ver. 14. Ever. Some palaces had been demolished by Sennacherib, though this seems to refer to the Babylonian captivity.

Ver. 15. High, as Ezechiel (xxxvii. 10.) saw the dry bones rise again. Under this idea prosperity is frequently described. The rest of the chapter may very well be explained of the propagation of the gospel. — Forest. Carmel was a fertile spot. Judea shall flourish, and Assyria shall be laid waste. The synagogue will be rejected, while the Gentiles, (C.) formerly so barren, shall embrace the faith and true piety. H.

Ver. 17. Peace. The just shall enjoy peace, under Ezechias.

Ver. 19. Hail. God’s judgment shall overtake Babylon, or rather Ninive.

Ver. 20. Waters. Fruitful soils, abounding with cattle. C. — Both Jews and Gentiles shall submit to Christ. Clem. Strom. vi. S. Jer.