Then the desert will become an orchard
and the orchard will be considered a forest. 2
32:16 Justice will settle down in the desert
and fairness will live in the orchard. 3
and result in lasting security. 5
1 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.
2 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.
3 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.
4 tn Heb “and the product of fairness will be peace.”
5 tn Heb “and the work of fairness [will be] calmness and security forever.”