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Isaiah 32:3-8


32:3 Eyes 1  will no longer be blind 2 

and ears 3  will be attentive.

32:4 The mind that acts rashly will possess discernment 4 

and the tongue that stutters will speak with ease and clarity.

32:5 A fool will no longer be called honorable;

a deceiver will no longer be called principled.

32:6 For a fool speaks disgraceful things; 5 

his mind plans out sinful deeds. 6 

He commits godless deeds 7 

and says misleading things about the Lord;

he gives the hungry nothing to satisfy their appetite 8 

and gives the thirsty nothing to drink. 9 

32:7 A deceiver’s methods are evil; 10 

he dreams up evil plans 11 

to ruin the poor with lies,

even when the needy are in the right. 12 

32:8 An honorable man makes honorable plans;

his honorable character gives him security. 13 

Isaiah 32:15-20


32:15 This desolation will continue until new life is poured out on us from heaven. 14 

Then the desert will become an orchard

and the orchard will be considered a forest. 15 

32:16 Justice will settle down in the desert

and fairness will live in the orchard. 16 

32:17 Fairness will produce peace 17 

and result in lasting security. 18 

32:18 My people will live in peaceful settlements,

in secure homes,

and in safe, quiet places. 19 

32:19 Even if the forest is destroyed 20 

and the city is annihilated, 21 

32:20 you will be blessed,

you who plant seed by all the banks of the streams, 22 

you who let your ox and donkey graze. 23 

1 tn Heb “Eyes that see.”

2 tn The Hebrew text as vocalized reads literally “will not gaze,” but this is contradictory to the context. The verb form should be revocalized as תְּשֹׁעֶינָה (tÿshoenah) from שָׁעַע (shaa’, “be blinded”); see Isa 6:10; 29:9.

3 tn Heb “ears that hear.”

4 tn Heb “the heart of rashness will understand knowledge”; cf. NAB “The flighty will become wise and capable.”

5 tn Or “foolishness,” in a moral-ethical sense. See 9:17.

6 tn Heb “and his heart commits sin”; KJV, ASV “his heart will work iniquity”; NASB “inclines toward wickedness.”

7 tn Heb “in order to do [or “so that he does”] what is godless [or “defiled”].”

8 tn Heb “so that he leaves empty the appetite [or “desire”] of the hungry.”

9 tn Heb “and the drink of the thirsty he causes to fail.”

10 tn Heb “as for a deceiver, his implements [or “weapons”] are evil.”

11 tn Or “he plans evil things”; NIV “he makes up evil schemes.”

12 tn Heb “to ruin the poor with words of falsehood, even when the needy speak what is just.”

13 tn Heb “and he upon honorable things stands.”

14 tn Heb “until a spirit is emptied out on us from on high.” The words “this desolation will continue” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic purposes. The verb עָרָה (’arah), used here in the Niphal, normally means “lay bare, expose.” The term רוּחַ (ruakh, “spirit”) is often understood here as a reference to the divine spirit (cf. 44:3 and NASB, NIV, CEV, NLT), but it appears here without an article (cf. NRSV “a spirit”), pronominal suffix, or a genitive (such as “of the Lord”). The translation assumes that it carries an impersonal nuance “vivacity, vigor” in this context.

15 sn The same statement appears in 29:17b, where, in conjunction with the preceding line, it appears to picture a reversal. Here it seems to depict supernatural growth. The desert will blossom into an orchard, and the trees of the orchard will multiply and grow tall, becoming a forest.

16 sn This new era of divine blessing will also include a moral/ethical transformation, as justice and fairness fill the land and replace the social injustice so prevalent in Isaiah’s time.

17 tn Heb “and the product of fairness will be peace.”

18 tn Heb “and the work of fairness [will be] calmness and security forever.”

19 tn Or “in safe resting places”; NAB, NRSV “quiet resting places.”

20 tn Heb “and [?] when the forest descends.” The form וּבָרַד (uvarad) is often understood as an otherwise unattested denominative verb meaning “to hail” (HALOT 154 s.v. I ברד). In this case one might translate, “and it hails when the forest is destroyed” (cf. KJV, ASV, NASB, NIV). Perhaps the text alludes to a powerful wind and hail storm that knocks down limbs and trees. Some prefer to emend the form to וְיָרַד (vÿyarad), “and it descends,” which provides better, though not perfect, symmetry with the parallel line (cf. NAB). Perhaps וּבָרַד should be dismissed as dittographic. In this case the statement (“when the forest descends”) lacks a finite verb and seems incomplete, but perhaps it is subordinate to v. 20.

21 tn Heb “and in humiliation the city is laid low.”

22 tn Heb “by all the waters.”

23 tn Heb “who set free the foot of the ox and donkey”; NIV “letting your cattle and donkeys range free.”

sn This verse seems to anticipate a time when fertile land is available to cultivate and crops are so abundant that the farm animals can be allowed to graze freely.

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