The Torah is Vital for the Establishment of the Nuclear Family, ישעיהו לב:ח-יד / Isaiah 32:8-14

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Isaiah 32:8-14

The narratives that we read throughout the תָּנָ״ךְ (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim) it is clear that mankind brings destruction upon himself due to men trusting in self as opposed to trusting in God. The message the תָּנָ״ךְ reveals to us that the restoration and renewal is by the mercy that God has on His people. Here Isaiah uses the agricultural imagery because these are agricultural people, and it is by the blessings and the curses that one is able to observe the status of one’s relationship with God. For example, if the people are walking in their own ways, have made idols and serve other gods then the land will become desolate and forsaken as Isaiah had said in Isaiah 5:5-6, 16:8-10, 24:4-9, and 34:13-15. Here in Isaiah 32:9-14 he speaks to a group of women who take part in the harvest festival. The Psalmist writes about those who are foolish in the following way:

ספר תהילים פרק עד
יח   זְכָר-זֹאת אוֹיֵב חֵרֵף | יְהֹוָה וְעַם-נָבָל נִאֲצוּ שְׁמֶךָ: 

Tehillim / Psalm 74:18 
74:18 Remember this, O Lord, how the enemy scoffs, and a foolish people reviles your name. (ESV)

Note how the עַם-נָבָל (foolish people) נִאֲצוּ שְׁמֶךָ “dishonor / disrespect Your name.” The women are addressed here because women have a significant influence upon men, which may lead to complacency and short-sightedness of the outcome of their choices and sins. It is important to note that the nation of Israel along with Judah, and Jerusalem are prone to these defects because they had deceived themselves that they were in right standing with God even while they served their idols. (Jeremiah 7:1-12) The call of God should lead us to turn from our former ways and return to the ways of God. This is a major theme in the Torah with the people being delivered from Egypt. Paul writes describing these things in the following way according to 1 Corinthians 5:7-8.

1 Corinthians 5:7–8  
5:7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 5:8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (KJV 7 ἐκκαθάρατε ⸆ τὴν παλαιὰν ζύμην, ἵνα ἦτε νέον φύραμα,* καθώς ἐστε ἄζυμοι· καὶ γὰρ τὸ πάσχα ἡμῶν ⸇ ἐτύθη Χριστός. 8 ὥστε ἑορτάζωμεν μὴ ἐν ζύμῃ παλαιᾷ ⸀μηδὲ ἐν ζύμῃ κακίας καὶ ⸁πονηρίας ἀλλʼ ἐν ἀζύμοις εἰλικρινείας καὶ ἀληθείας.*)

Here Paul uses the Passover as an illustration along with leaven in bread which is used for causing bread to rise. Leaven is worked throughout the bread manually, and the yeast produces CO2 which rises the bread after which the bread is baked. Sometimes starter bread is used from a previous batch to leaven the entire new batch of bread. The leaven represents the old way of life, which is filled with idolatry, sinfulness, and ungodliness. These concepts are drawn together to represent how when we enter into a covenant relationship with God through faith in Yeshua the Messiah our lives change, and our former lives have the tendency to continue to draw us back to sin. Paul writes that we are to purge out these former ways. This means that we need to break habits, leave the culture of sin and rebellion, and start over fresh like a batch of unleavened bread. The Passover draws in how the children of Israel left Egypt and their former ways and the culture of sin and death. As we read the Torah narrative, we observe how much of the Egyptian culture remained in their lives, and they even had the desire to return to Egypt, to their bondage simply for the sake of their stomachs, so they could eat whatever they wanted, and live however they wanted, etc. These truths have so much application for our lives today as Egypt represents that former life, and the unleavened bread is supposed to symbolize this newness of life that we receive by faith in the Messiah Yeshua, and in living for the Lord God Almighty according to His Word. This is how Paul describes our relationship with God as we leave Egypt when deliverance is brought through the Messiah of God. Our faith leads us to starting over, to Teshuva (Repentance) and getting new lives where we leave the former ways behind us. Sin in our lives comes in a variety of ways, through entertainment, habits, friends, television, and is a function of our attitudes towards authority (God’s authority). Isaiah draws in these concepts of the rebellious people desiring to return to Egypt, something the Torah commands specifically against doing! (Devarim / Deuteronomy 17:16) What these things reveal to us is how we are set free from the bondages of Egypt, and we are given a second chance to start over, to eliminate what we have done in the past and begin new. Our new way of life is to walk in God’s ways, and the Bible provides for us a detailed picture of how God wants us to live, and how we can bring honor and glory to the Lord God our Father in heaven! Paul’s exhortation suggests that we are to be intentional in turning from sin and create new patterns of behavior that are based upon the Word of God. The Lord God sets us free from the past, and so we now need to be active in setting aside those things that enslave us and begin living in the newness of life in the Messiah Yeshua! All of these things may be why Isaiah speaks to a group of women who are taking part in a harvest festival. We are not to be complacent or short-sighted concerning these things. When we take a Torah based perspective on the book of Isaiah, the reasons Isaiah writes the way he does makes a lot more sense! Isaiah is thinking about these things, and because of the extended length of the people’s sin and rebellion, this new day that Isaiah is speaking of should not come with complacency and a business-as-usual attitude to life! We need to take our faith seriously, and consider who it is that we serve, a powerful, holy, and righteous God! 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 31:8.

ספר ישעיה פרק לב
ח   וְנָדִיב נְדִיבוֹת יָעָץ וְהוּא עַל-נְדִיבוֹת יָקוּם:

Isaiah 32:8 states, “But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand. (וְנָדִיב נְדִיבוֹת יָעָץ וְהוּא עַל-נְדִיבוֹת יָקוּם)” Here Isaiah writes using the word נָדִיב meaning “noble” which can refer to social standing and refers to one’s character. From the Hebrew text the verse means “But the noble has noble plans, and he will raise / be established / stand on his nobility” The KJV however translates this as “liberal” which can be slightly confusing based upon our modern culture. When the KJV uses liberal its definition appears to be noble and righteous, but when we look a little deeper it is not. Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on the rights of the individual, liberty, consent of the governed, political equality and equality before the law. Now this may sound very noble and good, but the outcome of this philosophy leads to sinful and godless leaders promoting and encouraging sinful lifestyles and ungodliness under the disguise of equity and equal rights! This is in direct opposition of what Isaiah is trying to say here. Because of our modern culture, the KJV can be confusing due to the discontinuity we find in our culture as opposed to what Isaiah is trying to say. The text comparison of the TgJ and LXX draws out why this is so based upon the translation of this verse.

The LXX translates saying, 8 οἱ δὲ εὐσεβεῖς συνετὰ ἐβουλεύσαντο, καὶ αὕτη ἡ βουλὴ μενεῖ. 8 But pious people have planned intelligent things, and this counsel will remain. (LES) and the TgJ translates saying, וְצַדִיקַיָא קוּשטָא מִתמַלכִין וְאִנוּן עַל קֻשטְהֹון יִתקַיְימוּן׃ 8 But the righteous counsel truth, and in their truth they shall be established. (TgJ) Notice how both the LXX and the TgJ translate  נָדִיב for “noble” as being a character trait of piousness and righteousness. Quite different from the modern understanding of the word “liberal.” Here the Hebrew text speaks of someone who is generous, large-hearted, and who knows the wise plans of God how the Lord God is the one who supplies his needs. Something to note here about reading the English translations, we must be very careful to properly interpret what is being said, especially with the old English language that is used in the KJV. Remember, righteousness, holiness, mercy, godliness, generosity, large-heartedness, etc these are consistently taught throughout the Scriptures from beginning to the end. The modern liberal woke ideologies being taught today are the exact opposite of what God’s word says!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 32:9-10.

ספר ישעיה פרק לב
ט   נָשִׁים שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת קֹמְנָה שְׁמַעְנָה קוֹלִי בָּנוֹת בֹּטְחוֹת הַאְזֵנָּה אִמְרָתִי: י   יָמִים עַל-שָׁנָה תִּרְגַּזְנָה בֹּטְחוֹת כִּי כָּלָה בָצִיר אֹסֶף בְּלִי יָבוֹא: 

Isaiah 32:9 states, “Rise up, ye women that are at ease; hear my voice, ye careless daughters; give ear unto my speech. (נָשִׁים שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת קֹמְנָה שְׁמַעְנָה קוֹלִי בָּנוֹת בֹּטְחוֹת הַאְזֵנָּה אִמְרָתִי)” Isaiah 32:10 “Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. (יָמִים עַל-שָׁנָה תִּרְגַּזְנָה בֹּטְחוֹת כִּי כָּלָה בָצִיר אֹסֶף בְּלִי יָבוֹא)” The Torah states the following in Shemot / Exodus 19:3.

ספר שמות פרק יט
א   בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַשְּׁלִישִׁי לְצֵאת בְּנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם בַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה בָּאוּ מִדְבַּר סִינָי: ב   וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרְפִידִים וַיָּבֹאוּ מִדְבַּר סִינַי וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּמִּדְבָּר וַיִּחַן-שָׁם יִשְֹרָאֵל נֶגֶד הָהָר: ג   וּמֹשֶׁה עָלָה אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו יְהוָֹה מִן-הָהָר לֵאמֹר כֹּה תֹאמַר לְבֵית יַעֲקֹב וְתַגֵּיד לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: 

Shemot / Exodus 19:1–3  
19:1 In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai. 19:2 For they were departed from Rephidim, and were come to the desert of Sinai, and had pitched in the wilderness; and there Israel camped before the mount. 19:3 And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; (KJV)

Here the Lord God told Moshe to tell the people to prepare themselves for Matan Torah, the giving of the Torah. This phrase particularly is very interesting, כֹּה תֹאמַר לְבֵית יַעֲקֹב וְתַגֵּיד לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל “Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob and tell the children of Israel.” The question is why does the Lord say לְבֵית יַעֲקֹב “to the house of Jacob” and then לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל “to the children of Israel?” Does this speak of two groups of people here? The Sages say that when God said לְבֵית יַעֲקֹב (to the house of Jacob) he was referring to the women, and when he said לִבְנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל (to the children of Israel) he was referring to the men (see Rashi’s commentary on this). The order here implies a certain priority, that women are in charge of the house and raising the children. The priority of women here illustrates how the instructions in God’s Torah are important for the establishment of the nuclear family, how the Torah is to be taught to the family and to children, so they remember the Lord God and His holy ways! This also illustrates how both men and women are given the Torah as a standard for life and is to be the context for living and walking in the ways of God as a standard for contemporary society. This is why the title for this week’s study is the Torah is vital for the establishment of the nuclear family. The Torah based perspective highlights why Isaiah is now directing his attention to the women calling them to listen, to give ear, and to not be careless daughters of God. The Scriptures provide us with a basis for trusting in the Lord God in heaven and in His Messiah Yeshua! The point of obeying the Torah is not about manipulating God, but rather we listen and obey because of the mercy, grace, love, and kindness that God has shown to us, and most of all for His sending His Son Yeshua to die for our sins! 

Isaiah’s statements in Isaiah 32:10, יָמִים עַל-שָׁנָה תִּרְגַּזְנָה בֹּטְחוֹת כִּי כָּלָה בָצִיר אֹסֶף בְּלִי יָבוֹא 32:10 Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless women: for the vintage shall fail, the gathering shall not come. (KJV) speak of יָמִים עַל-שָׁנָה “days upon years” that there will be a length of time of disappointment after disappointment, troubles and hardships, if one does not with all of his or her intent seek the God of Israel and His holy ways. The harvest imagery is provided to illustrate a number of things, first is to physically observe God’s blessing, and second to recognize that our confidence should be placed upon the Lord in patience and long suffering. We trust that the Lord God can raise us up above our circumstances, and provide a way out from the uncertainty of our daily lives. We note that this is how Paul wrote concerning these things in the following way:

2 Corinthians 4:16–18  
4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (KJV 16 Διὸ οὐκ ⸀ἐγκακοῦμεν*, ἀλλʼ εἰ καὶ ὁ ἔξω ἡμῶν ἄνθρωπος διαφθείρεται, ἀλλʼ ὁ ⸂ἔσω ἡμῶν⸃ ἀνακαινοῦται ἡμέρᾳ καὶ ἡμέρᾳ*. 17 τὸ γὰρ παραυτίκα ⸆ ἐλαφρὸν τῆς θλίψεως °ἡμῶν καθʼ ὑπερβολὴν εἰς ὑπερβολὴν αἰώνιον βάρος δόξης κατεργάζεται ἡμῖν*, 18 μὴ σκοπούντων ἡμῶν τὰ βλεπόμενα ἀλλὰ τὰ μὴ βλεπόμενα·* τὰ γὰρ βλεπόμενα πρόσκαιρα, τὰ δὲ μὴ βλεπόμενα αἰώνια.)

Here Paul speaks of how we are renewed day by day, notice how this parallels יָמִים עַל-שָׁנָה “days upon years” as a process of the Lord God working in our lives if we are seeking Him to do this. Paul speaks of affliction as a process of refinement that has eternal weight and glory in the Lord. The external things lead to the awareness of the internal which are eternal, meaning that God is working something in our lives for the purpose of refining us, calling us to live for His glory, and changing us on the inside, how these things give us confidence of the Lord God being with us! Note that we are not given a reason for why trials, temptations, or troubles come, and this is for the reason of our self-evaluation and examination, we take God’s Word and examine our lives based upon these things and sift out what is not of the Lord. This is the kind of setting that God had brought against Israel by the invading Assyrian army. The people should have instantly sought the counsel of God and corrected their ways. 

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 32:11-13.

ספר ישעיה פרק לב
יא   חִרְדוּ שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת רְגָזָה בֹּטְחוֹת פְּשֹׁטָה וְעֹרָה וַחֲגוֹרָה עַל-חֲלָצָיִם: יב   עַל-שָׁדַיִם סֹפְדִים עַל-שְֹדֵי-חֶמֶד עַל-גֶּפֶן פֹּרִיָּה: יג   עַל אַדְמַת עַמִּי קוֹץ שָׁמִיר תַּעֲלֶה כִּי עַל-כָּל-בָּתֵּי מָשֹוֹשֹ קִרְיָה עַלִּיזָה: 

Isaiah 32:11 states, “Tremble, ye women that are at ease; be troubled, ye careless ones: strip you, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. (חִרְדוּ שַׁאֲנַנּוֹת רְגָזָה בֹּטְחוֹת פְּשֹׁטָה וְעֹרָה וַחֲגוֹרָה עַל-חֲלָצָיִם)” Isaiah 32:12 “They shall lament for the teats, for the pleasant fields, for the fruitful vine. (עַל-שָׁדַיִם סֹפְדִים עַל-שְֹדֵי-חֶמֶד עַל-גֶּפֶן פֹּרִיָּה)” 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: (עַל אַדְמַת עַמִּי קוֹץ שָׁמִיר תַּעֲלֶה כִּי עַל-כָּל-בָּתֵּי מָשֹוֹשֹ קִרְיָה עַלִּיזָה)” Here Isaiah calls the women to mourn for the people and to not feel confident in their carelessness. Isaiah provides this feminine imagery of the land being destroyed by the invading armies and speaks of thorns and briers growing which is synonymous to the land and homes being vacated. We note how women are commonly characterized by being gentle, kind, and giving. This is how the woman orchestrates the home environment providing encouragement, keeping the home running, and motivating both her husband and her children. The idea of חינוך chinuch (education) is the development of having a personal connection with the subject matter. This may be why Isaiah draws in the imagery of the breasts and the desolation of the land and mourning. The text comparison with the LXX and TgJ shows the following:

Both the LXX and the TgJ demonstrate this development of personal connection to the subject matter. The LXX translates saying, 11 ἔκστητε, λυπήθητε, αἱ πεποιθυῖαι, ἐκδύσασθε, γυμναὶ γένεσθε, περιζώσασθε σάκκους τὰς ὀσφύας 12 καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν μαστῶν κόπτεσθε ἀπὸ ἀγροῦ ἐπιθυμήματος καὶ ἀμπέλου γενήματος. 13 ἡ γῆ τοῦ λαοῦ μου ἄκανθα καὶ χόρτος ἀναβήσεται, καὶ ἐκ πάσης οἰκίας εὐφροσύνη ἀρθήσεται, πόλις πλουσία, 11 Be astounded; grieve, you confident women; strip; become exposed; gird your loins 12 and strike yourselves on your breasts because of a yearning for a field and the produce of the vine. 13 The land of my people will come up thorns and grass, and from every house cheer will be taken away. Wealthy city, (LES) The TgJ translates saying, יא   אִיתְבַרוּ דְיָתְבִין שְלֵיוָא זָעוּ דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן שְלַחוּ וְאִתעַרטַלוּ וְאֵיסַרוּ עַל חַרצִין׃ יב   עַל תַדִין סָפְדִין עַל חַקלֵי חַמדָתָא עַל גוּפנִין טַעָנִין׃ יג   עַל אְרַע עַמִי דְהוּבאֵי וּבוּר תַסֵיק אְרֵי עַל כָל בָתֵי דְיָץ קִריָא תַקִיפָא׃ 11 They that dwell at ease shall be broken, they that dwell in safety shall tremble; strip ye, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. 12 They beat the breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruit-laden vines. 13 Upon the land of my people thorns and thistles shall come up, yea, in all the houses of joy in the fortified city. (TgJ) The TgJ seems to generalize the narrative not speaking to women, but to both men and women beating their chest due to the afflictions that are taking place and to wake up to why these things are happening, again providing a dimension to these things so that both the people in Isaiah’s day and those centuries later can identify with these things making them relevant to our lives. We note that this is the purpose of the Torah and the Moedim, to draw the worshiper into the narrative and to take part in the narrative such as in Chag Pesach and Shavuot, the participation in these Moedim each year causes us to consider that we too were delivered from Egypt are are not to return that way, and we too were standing at the foot of the mountain for Matan Torah. The point is that we are always being called back to the Lord, we are a people who are in harmony with God (see Isaiah 1:7, 5:6, and 7:23). The idea of thorns and briers growing, draws in the curse on the earth due to disobedience (See Bereshit / Genesis 3:18) Isaiah is always drawing in the Torah narrative, and emphasizes the importance of living for the Lord as opposed to living for self. Therefore, the starting place for our understanding of all of the Scriptures is the Torah of God, the five books of Moshe!

Isaiah goes on saying the following according to Isaiah 32:14.

ספר ישעיה פרק לב
יד   כִּי-אַרְמוֹן נֻטָּשׁ הֲמוֹן עִיר עֻזָּב עֹפֶל וָבַחַן הָיָה בְעַד מְעָרוֹת עַד-עוֹלָם מְשֹוֹשֹ פְּרָאִים מִרְעֵה עֲדָרִים:

Isaiah 32:14 states, “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; (כִּי-אַרְמוֹן נֻטָּשׁ הֲמוֹן עִיר עֻזָּב עֹפֶל וָבַחַן הָיָה בְעַד מְעָרוֹת עַד-עוֹלָם מְשֹוֹשֹ פְּרָאִים מִרְעֵה עֲדָרִים)” Isaiah continues with a picture of desolation and abandonment where the land, the cities become the places for animals to graze. Here Isaiah speaks of the city of God being empty and Israel being abandoned except for a remnant, which parallels the Babylonian exile per the book of Jeremiah. Note how Isaiah says that the cities, the forts, and even the towers will be for wild donkeys and pasture for flocks. This illustrates how the high and mighty will be brought low. We note that the truly important aspect of what is being said here, and especially in the verses that follow, is how the true blessing is the righteous life, holiness, and justice that comes with a faithful people. Our security and hope is in God and in His Messiah Yeshua! Isaiah is emphasizing how the hope and security of a people is not in their cities, their towers, or even in their fields and crops, but that their hope is in the Lord! The imagery that is being maintained here, and what we find throughout the Scriptures (from Genesis to Revelation) is that of resting in the Lord, seeking His mercy, turning from our sinful ways, and entrusting all that we have to the Lord because everything that we have is a gift from God. These are the central and most important things that we can learn from Isaiah thus far, that in whom, or in what do we trust?

Rabbinic Commentary

The Targum Jonathan is an Aramaic and Rabbinic translation of the book of Isaiah and therefore it is a valuable resource for our continuing to study the book of Isaiah!

תרגום יונתן בן עוזיאל אל ישעיה פרק לב:ח-יד
ז   וְרַשִיעַיָא דְעוּבָדֵיהֹון בִישִין וְאִינוּן עַל עֵיצַת חְטִין מִתמַלכִין לְחַבָלָא עִנוְתָנַיָא בְמִלֵי שְקַר וּפִתגָמֵי חַשִיכַיָא בְדִינָא׃ ח   וְצַדִיקַיָא קוּשטָא מִתמַלכִין וְאִנוּן עַל קֻשטְהֹון יִתקַיְימוּן׃ ט   מְדִינָן דְיָתְבָן שְלֵיוָא קוּמָא שְמַעָא קָלִי כַרכִין דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן אַצִיתוּ לְמֵימְרִי׃ י   יֹומִין עִם שְנִין יְזוּעוּן דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן אְרֵי סָף עְבוּרָא עַלְלָא לֵית לְמִכנַש׃ יא   אִיתְבַרוּ דְיָתְבִין שְלֵיוָא זָעוּ דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן שְלַחוּ וְאִתעַרטַלוּ וְאֵיסַרוּ עַל חַרצִין׃ יב   עַל תַדִין סָפְדִין עַל חַקלֵי חַמדָתָא עַל גוּפנִין טַעָנִין׃ יג   עַל אְרַע עַמִי דְהוּבאֵי וּבוּר תַסֵיק אְרֵי עַל כָל בָתֵי דְיָץ קִריָא תַקִיפָא׃ יד   אְרֵי בֵית מַקדְשָא חָרוּב הְמֹון קִרוַיָא דַהְוַאָה פָלחָן בֵיה צַדִיאָה בֵית תוּקפַנָא וּמַטמוּרַנָא אִתבְלֵיש כַדוּ חְרוּב וּצדִי עַד זְמָן אְתַר דַהְוָה בֵיה חַדוָא חֵירוּ לְמַלכַיָא כַדוּ הְוָה מִיבַז לְמַשרְיָן׃

Targum Jonathan son of Uziel Isaiah 32:8-14-7
32:8 But the righteous counsel truth, and in their truth they shall be established. 32:9 Ye provinces that dwell at ease: arise, hear my voice. Ye cities that dwell in safety, listen to my word. 32:10 Those who dwell at ease shall be agitated for days and years, because the corn is come to an end, and there is no fruit to gather. 32:11 They that dwell at ease shall be broken, they that dwell in safety shall tremble; strip ye, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. 32:12 They beat the breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruit-laden vines. 32:13 Upon the land of my people thorns and thistles shall come up, yea, in all the houses of joy in the fortified city. 32:14 For the house of the sanctuary shall be laid waste; the noisy city shall be desolate, in which they worship: the house of our strength and hiding place shall be searched out, dug up, desolate and waste unto a time. The place which was a house of joy and gladness for kings is now become a spoil for armies. TgJ)

Here the TgJ translates saying that the righteous take counsel in truth. The apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him. (KJV, 29 ἐὰν ♦⸀εἰδῆτε ὅτι δίκαιός ἐστιν, γινώσκετε ὅτι °καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται.*) Here John writes καὶ πᾶς ὁ ποιῶν τὴν δικαιοσύνην ἐξ αὐτοῦ γεγέννηται. “every one that doeth righteousness is born of him” where the word γεγέννηται is understood as a causal form of γίνομαι (thus “to cause to be”) so it can be used of the mother, “to bear, give birth.” We note that the Torah speaks of Israel as God’s firstborn (Shemot / Exodus 4:22) and of God as the Father and the Israelites as his sons. John uses the passive form of γεννάω to describe the spiritual origin of the believer. Those who have been “born of God” (1 John 3:9 etc) know that their true existence does not belong to this world; their beginning and end are in God through the Messiah Yeshua. This provides a nice context for Isaiah’s words here in the TgJ which state, ח   וְצַדִיקַיָא קוּשטָא מִתמַלכִין וְאִנוּן עַל קֻשטְהֹון יִתקַיְימוּן׃ 32:8 But the righteous counsel truth, and in their truth they shall be established. (TgJ) We note that both righteousness and truth are said to cause a person to be established. Only those who seek the righteousness of God in His Messiah are able to comprehend their true origin being brought into the kingdom of God (John 3:5). Peter writes in his epistle saying it is through the word of the living God that has been preached (1 Peter 1:23) men believe and are called to the newness of life. This new life is identified as “a living hope” (1 Peter 1:3) and as “love” (1 Peter 1:22). New birth is not something that human beings can take up and dispose of as they please. It is something that is given by God in His “great mercy” and “power” towards us (1 Peter 1:3-5). The power of the newness of life is demonstrated in the resurrection of the Messiah, in the destruction of what is earthly and the creation of what is new and incorruptible! The rabbinic commentary Tanya, Part IV; Iggeret HaKodesh 32:1 writes the following concerning these things.

Tanya, Part IV; Iggeret HaKodesh 32:1
THIRTY-TWO. May the L–rd bless their substance, and may the work of their hand be acceptable, *Par. Deuteronomy 33:11. that they may be accepted before the L–rd at all times. *Par. Exodus 28:38. So may the L–rd give and do so yet further to encourage them among the valiant. *Par. Amos 2:16. And he who is noble should ever persist by noble things, *Par. Isaiah 32:8. to be great in causing others to do *See below, note 10. in every city and congregation, *Lit., minyan; see above, Epistle 1, note 55. and it will be accounted to him for righteousness (tzedakah). *Par. Psalms 106:31.

The rabbis draw in the Torah perspective, noting that in Devarim / Deuteronomy 28:1-13 the Lord God blesses the substance of the work of their hands because they are seeking the righteousness of God. This is for the purpose of causing encouragement to walk in God’s ways, and to recognize the Lord working in our lives! We note a very important concept that is illustrated here from Isaiah 32:8, that the one who is noble will influence others for righteousness’ sake, and their righteous deeds will be accounted to him for righteousness. This results in a NT parallel; the righteousness of an individual being credited to someone else. We note that this concept of the righteousness of another being credited to us is a concept that exists in Judaism! For more examples, search on www.sefaria.org for the merit of our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Paul writes about this in the following way concerning the merit of Yeshua the Messiah. 

Romans 3:21–26  
3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (KJV 21 Νυνὶ δὲ χωρὶς νόμου δικαιοσύνη θεοῦ πεφανέρωται μαρτυρουμένη ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου καὶ τῶν προφητῶν*, 22 δικαιοσύνη δὲ θεοῦ διὰ πίστεως °Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ⸂εἰς πάντας⸃ τοὺς πιστεύοντας*. οὐ γάρ ἐστιν διαστολή, 23 πάντες γὰρ ἥμαρτον καὶ ὑστεροῦνται τῆς δόξης τοῦ θεοῦ* 24 δικαιούμενοι δωρεὰν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι διὰ τῆς ἀπολυτρώσεως τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ·* 25 ὃν προέθετο ὁ θεὸς ἱλαστήριον ⸂διὰ [τῆς] πίστεως⸃ ἐν τῷ αὐτοῦ αἵματι εἰς ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ διὰ τὴν πάρεσιν τῶν προγεγονότων ἁμαρτημάτων* 26 ἐν τῇ ἀνοχῇ τοῦ θεοῦ, πρὸς τὴν ἔνδειξιν τῆς δικαιοσύνης αὐτοῦ ἐν τῷ νῦν καιρῷ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν δίκαιον °καὶ δικαιοῦντα τὸν ἐκ πίστεως ⸀Ἰησοῦ.)

Paul writes that based upon the Torah, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. And since we have all fallen short of God’s glory, it is by His mercy and grace that we are forgiven through the redemption provided by Yeshua the Messiah. When we have faith in Yeshua, the righteousness of the Messiah is attributed to us through our faithfulness in His righteous deeds and in the mercy and grace of God our Father in heaven. The commentary references Tehillim / Psalms 106:28-31 which states the following concerning Parashat Pinchas.

ספר תהילים פרק קו
כח   וַיִּצָּמְדוּ לְבַעַל פְּעוֹר וַיֹּאכְלוּ זִבְחֵי מֵתִים: כט   וַיַּכְעִיסוּ בְּמַעַלְלֵיהֶם וַתִּפְרָץ-בָּם מַגֵּפָה: ל   וַיַּעֲמֹד פִּינְחָס וַיְפַלֵּל וַתֵּעָצַר הַמַּגֵּפָה: לא   וַתֵּחָשֶׁב לוֹ לִצְדָקָה לְדֹר וָדֹר עַד-עוֹלָם: 

Tehillim / Psalm 106:28–31  
106:28 They joined themselves also unto Baal-peor, And ate the sacrifices of the dead. 106:29 Thus they provoked him to anger with their inventions: And the plague brake in upon them. 106:30 Then stood up Phinehas, and executed judgment: And so the plague was stayed. 106:31 And that was counted unto him for righteousness Unto all generations for evermore. (KJV 1900)

Here a Torah example is provided from Parashat Pinchas concerning the righteousness of Pinchas being credited to all of his generations that followed. There is a parallel to these things in Yeshua the Messiah. Note that in Pinchas’ case, his righteous deed was effectual for all of his generations. We are told according to Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49 that Yeshua’s righteous deeds affect all of mankind, for all of those who would believe in him.  These rabbinic concepts are explained by Paul to the gentiles according to his epistle in 1 Corinthians. Paul reasons that Adam was created here on earth, and how the Messiah had come down from heaven as the living Word of God (see John 1:1-14). Paul uses this to explain how we here on earth are from Adam being born in his likeness, so too who who believe will be born in the likeness of the Messiah (1 Corinthians 15:48-49). This follows from the concept of being credited with His righteousness. Isaiah says that the righteous will dwell at ease, in peace, and will hear God’s voice, and listen to His word according to Isaiah 32:9 from the TgJ, ט   מְדִינָן דְיָתְבָן שְלֵיוָא קוּמָא שְמַעָא קָלִי כַרכִין דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן אַצִיתוּ לְמֵימְרִי׃ 32:9 Ye provinces that dwell at ease: arise, hear my voice. Ye cities that dwell in safety, listen to my word. (TgJ) The commentary Shenei Luchot HaBerit, Torah Shebikhtav, Ki Teitzei, Torah Ohr 72 writes extensively on this saying the following. 

Shenei Luchot HaBerit, Torah Shebikhtav, Ki Teitzei, Torah Ohr 72
Let me explain this subject at greater length: Our sages (Berachot 32b) have said that as of the day the Temple was destroyed the gates of prayer have been locked. We know this from Lamentations 3,8: Even though I cry and plead, He shuts out my prayer.” Our portion revolves around this problem. Let me first quote something from the book קול בוכים on Lamentations 5,11: “They have ravished women in Zion.” The author comments as follows: We find in the Zohar that the plural “women” which Jeremiah refers to in this verse refers to two specific women, paragons of seduction, i.e. Lilith and Machalat (daughter of Ishmael). Kabbalists write that Lilith is accompanied by 480 groups of destructive agents corresponding to the numerical value of her name לילית. They follow her and indulge in wailing, etc. Machalat is accompanied by 478 groups of destructive agents corresponding to the numerical value of her name מחלת. All these 478 groups follow their mistress dancing and generally making merry. These two women never collide with one another throughout the year; they do not inflict harm on each other though there is constant warfare between them. [their philosophical outlook. Ed.] The only day in the year when they are confrontational is the Day of Atonement. Due to the confrontation these two women and their followers are engaged in on the Day of Atonement they have no time to interfere with our prayers enabling our prayers to rise heavenwards. Usually, whenever a person sins these women are alerted and told “why are you at peace at a time when there sin is about? Arise and destroy the universe!” This is the meaning of Isaiah 3,12: נשים משלו בו, “Women ruled over him” (the people of Israel). I have heard from my teacher that the women referred to in the verse in Isaiah are the wives of the two spies. They are the two “spies” of the earth mentioned in the Zohar which are identical with the two male goats used in the service on the Day of Atonement. As soon as Joshua wanted to enter the land of Israel these two “spies” submitted to the authority of Joshua, prostrated themselves before him and offered to be his servants. Joshua expressed his dissatisfaction with this arrangement, insisting that he would only use the services of Pinchas and Caleb as spies to reconnoiter the land of Canaan. However, he asked these two “spies” to spread feelings of demoralization among the inhabitants of the land of Canaan in order to facilitate the conquest of the land by the Jewish people. The “spies” agreed and complied with Joshua’s instructions. We can derive all this from the text in the relevant verses in the Book of Joshua. In Joshua 2,3 the spies Joshua sent out are described as having come לחפור את הארץ, “To spy out the land,” whereas in actual fact we do not find any word in the whole story about their having performed the mission of spying out the country. The inhabitants simply seem to have melted away much as wax melts in the presence of fire. The spies are reported as having arrived in Jericho by climbing the outer wall of the house of Rachav. They immediately became aware that the whole country was demoralized at the prospect of being invaded by the Israelites. The inhabitants simply had no backbone left. The Talmud Zevachim 116b derives from the statement of Rahav – the city’s most prominent harlot – that: ולא קמה עוד רוח באיש מפניכם, “that the men of the country had all become incapable of having an erection due to their fear of the Israelites.” Clearly then the two “spies” had performed their task in advance of the arrival of Pinchas and Caleb.

The commentary speaks of following the destruction of the Temple the doors to prayer have been locked. The examples provided are the two daughters of Ismael, how these women have a spiritual power to stop prayers during Yom Kippur, the wives of the spies who rejected entering into the promised land, in the Zohar the two goats are the wives of the two spies, and how they were sent into the promised land to sow demoralization among the inhabitants of the land that would help to facilitate the conquest of the land. Rahav the prostitute is mentioned and illustrated to describe the fear of God leading to one losing his ability to be with a woman. These things describe what happens when one turns from righteousness. Note Ishmael turned from the covenant of God, and we know the end result of doing this. The women are mentioned in this commentary because Isaiah was addressing the women according to Isaiah 32:8-9. The gates of prayer being closed is an interesting analogy being paralleled to the righteous, this suggests that those who do not have the righteousness of God are unable to pray or have their prayers heard. This illustrates the importance of receiving the righteousness of the Messiah! This also illustrates what Yeshua said according to John 14:13-14.

John 14:13–14  
14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14:14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (KJV 13 καὶ ὅ ⸂τι ἂν⸃ ⸀αἰτήσητε ⸆ ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου τοῦτο ποιήσω,* ἵνα δοξασθῇ ὁ πατὴρ ἐν τῷ υἱῷ.* 14 ⸋ἐάν τι αἰτήσητέ °με ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου ⸀ἐγὼ ποιήσω.⸌)

When we pray, we ask our Father in heaven in the name of His Messiah (Yeshua), the Messiah opens the doors to heaven so our Father can hear our prayers. We also note that faith in Yeshua who is the light of the world, he brings to light our sins, and leads us to Teshuva (Repentance) and guides us in the ways of our Father according to His Word when we walk in His footsteps. There are many parallels here in the Rabbinic and NT texts.  

Isaiah goes on in Isaiah 32:10 saying, י   יֹומִין עִם שְנִין יְזוּעוּן דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן אְרֵי סָף עְבוּרָא עַלְלָא לֵית לְמִכנַש׃ 32:10 Those who dwell at ease shall be agitated for days and years, because the corn is come to an end, and there is no fruit to gather. יא   אִיתְבַרוּ דְיָתְבִין שְלֵיוָא זָעוּ דְשָרַן לְרוּחצָן שְלַחוּ וְאִתעַרטַלוּ וְאֵיסַרוּ עַל חַרצִין׃ 32:11 They that dwell at ease shall be broken, they that dwell in safety shall tremble; strip ye, and make you bare, and gird sackcloth upon your loins. (TgJ) Rashi writes the following concerning these verses:

Rashi on Isaiah 32,9 Part 1-2
נשים שאננות. מדינן דיתבן שליון:
Complacent women Provinces that dwell in tranquility [from Jonathan].
בנות בוטחות. כרכין דיתבין לרוחצן:
confident daughters Walled cities that dwell confidently [from Jonathan].

Rashi on Isaiah 32,10 Part 1-2
ימים על שנה. כמו (לעיל כט) ספו שנה על שנה ותמיד עונותיכם מתגברין וסוף תרגזנה אלו שהן עכשיו לבטח כי יכלה מהם בציר הענבים ואוסף התבואה לא יבוא אל הבית:
Year after year (lit., ‘days upon a year.’) Comp. (supra 29:1) “Add year to year,” and your sins are constantly becoming more serious, until eventually you shall be troubled, those who are now confident, for the vintage of the grapes shall be over for them, and the ingathering of the grain shall not come into the house.
אוסף. שם דבר לכך טעמו למעלה ונקוד פתח:
the ingathering (אֹסֶף) This is a noun; therefore, its accent is on the first syllable and it is vowelized with a ‘pattah’ (now called a ‘segol’).

Rashi speaks of sins becoming more and more serious. This is one of the major issues with sin if left unchecked, meaning that one is not seeking to repent and turn from his or her sins. At first one may dwell in tranquility believing that their sins do not harm, but with time ימים על שנה (year after year) troubles will come and even walled cities will not cause one to have peace. The only true peace is found in the Messiah, believing and trusting in what he has done. Paul speaks of these things according to 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 and Colossians 1:18-20.

Colossians 1:18–20  
1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 1:19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. (KJV καὶ αὐτός ἐστιν ἡ κεφαλὴ τοῦ σώματος τῆς ἐκκλησίας· ὅς ἐστιν ἀρχή, πρωτότοκος ἐκ τῶν νεκρῶν, ἵνα γένηται ἐν πᾶσιν αὐτὸς πρωτεύων, ὅτι ἐν αὐτῷ εὐδόκησεν πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα κατοικῆσαι καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ ἀποκαταλλάξαι τὰ πάντα εἰς αὐτόν, εἰρηνοποιήσας διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ σταυροῦ αὐτοῦ, [διʼ αὐτοῦ] εἴτε τὰ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς εἴτε τὰ ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς.)

2 Corinthians 5:18–19  
5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 5:19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (KJV 18 τὰ δὲ πάντα ἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ καταλλάξαντος ἡμᾶς ἑαυτῷ διὰ Χριστοῦ καὶ δόντος ἡμῖν τὴν διακονίαν τῆς καταλλαγῆς*, 19 ὡς ὅτι θεὸς ἦν ἐν Χριστῷ κόσμον καταλλάσσων ἑαυτῷ*, μὴ λογιζόμενος αὐτοῖς τὰ παραπτώματα αὐτῶν καὶ θέμενος ἐν ἡμῖν ⸂τὸν λόγον⸃ τῆς καταλλαγῆς.)

In Colossians 1:18-19 we are told that Yeshua being resurrected was the firstborn from the dead, he holds preeminence (a leader) due to this. We are also told of Yeshua’s divinity, that the fullness of God dwelled in him, and in doing so God had reconciled men to himself through the sacrifice that Yeshua had made giving or laying his life down for ours. Paul goes on to speak of these things in 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 again that God had reconciled us to Himself by the Messiah, and that the Lord God Almighty was in the Messiah working and doing these things. This is how peace is brought through faith in Yeshua. Our faith will not leave our sins unchecked, and we are given eyes to see and ears to hear to be able to understand these things and search ourselves out such that we repent and turn from sin. The people in Isaiah’s day did not have eyes to see and ears to hear, so they continued in their sins and did not repent. This led to a failure to harvest what God provides, as Isaiah says according to the TgJ, יב   עַל תַדִין סָפְדִין עַל חַקלֵי חַמדָתָא עַל גוּפנִין טַעָנִין׃ 32:12 They beat the breasts for the pleasant fields, for the fruit-laden vines. יג   עַל אְרַע עַמִי דְהוּבאֵי וּבוּר תַסֵיק אְרֵי עַל כָל בָתֵי דְיָץ קִריָא תַקִיפָא׃ 32:13 Upon the land of my people thorns and thistles shall come up, yea, in all the houses of joy in the fortified city. יד   אְרֵי בֵית מַקדְשָא חָרוּב הְמֹון קִרוַיָא דַהְוַאָה פָלחָן בֵיה צַדִיאָה בֵית תוּקפַנָא וּמַטמוּרַנָא אִתבְלֵיש כַדוּ חְרוּב וּצדִי עַד זְמָן אְתַר דַהְוָה בֵיה חַדוָא חֵירוּ לְמַלכַיָא כַדוּ הְוָה מִיבַז לְמַשרְיָן׃ 32:14 For the house of the sanctuary shall be laid waste; the noisy city shall be desolate, in which they worship: the house of our strength and hiding place shall be searched out, dug up, desolate and waste unto a time. The place which was a house of joy and gladness for kings is now become a spoil for armies. (TgJ) Note that Isaiah says that thorns and thistles will rise up in the houses, as opposed to the fields. The people’s sins will lead to the sanctuary being laid waste and the noise of worship becoming silent. All of the treasures that God has blessed His people become spoils for the enemy. Rashi comments on Isaiah 32:14 saying the following:

Rashi on Isaiah 32,14 Parts 1-6
כי ארמון. היכל המלך מלך יהודה נוטש: For the palace The king’s palace has been forsaken.
והמון עיר. גלה: the multitude of the city has been exiled.
עופל ובחן. בית מקדשי שהיה להם למבצר: rampart and tower My Temple, which was a fortification for them.
היה בעד מערות. יהיה בתוך חורבות מערת ל’ ערו ערו (תהילים קל״ז:ז׳), ובעד כמו הבעד ערפל ישפוט (איוב כ״ב:י״ג): are amidst ruins (הָיָה בְּעַד מְעָרוֹת), shall be amidst ruins. מְעָרוֹת is an expression similar to (Psalms 137:7) “Raze it, raze it (עָרוּ עָרוּ).” בְּעַד is like “(Job 22:13) Can He judge through (הַבְעַד) a thick cloud?”
עד עולם. עד עת קץ עופל ובחן. שניהם ל’ מבצר: forever Until the time of the end.
משוש פראים. לתאות ישמעאל (ולמרעה אדום) ולחיילותיו: a joy for wild donkeys For the lust of Ishmael and his hosts.

The outcome of unrepentant sin is that everything that one has may be lost. The unrepentant persons are those who refuse to seek God for forgiveness and turn away from sin. The unrepentant show no remorse for their wrongdoing and do not feel there is a need to change. We read in the Torah that God is merciful, and in the exodus from Egypt, God tested the people through His mercy to determine whether they would be faithful or not according to Shemot / Exodus 16:4.

ספר שמות פרק טז
ד   וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה הִנְנִי מַמְטִיר לָכֶם לֶחֶם מִן-הַשָּׁמָיִם וְיָצָא הָעָם וְלָקְטוּ דְּבַר-יוֹם בְּיוֹמוֹ לְמַעַן אֲנַסֶּנּוּ הֲיֵלֵךְ בְּתוֹרָתִי אִם-לֹא: 

Shemot / Exodus 16:4  
16:4 Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no. (KJV 1900)

Here we see the mercy of God being demonstrated through raining down bread from heaven, and the people going to gather the food. We note again that unrepentance is a willful desire to continue to sin. Repentance is not just a change of mind but also a change of action. Repentance leads to life (Acts 11:18) and it is a necessary part of redemption, salvation, and deliverance. What Isaiah is teaching us is how we are to humble our hearts and our lives to listen to God calling us to Himself through His word. Yeshua calls and leads us to repentance and reconciles us to God our Father in heaven. The significant point is when one turns from faith in Yeshua, he turns from reconciliation with God our Father in heaven, and all that is left is the path of repentance. As the midrash states, “the gates of prayer have been locked” and they will remain locked until one repents and returns to faith in the one whom God had sent to save and deliver us. Just as Paul wrote, we must believe in the one who reconciles us to God. When we believe in Yeshua then God our Father does not count our sins against us. And because of this we seek to have changed lives so that what is done in heaven is also done here on earth in our lives, and we live for the glory of God!