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15 This desolation will continue[a] until new life is poured out on us from heaven.[b]
Then the wilderness will become an orchard[c]
and the orchard will be considered a forest.[d]

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  1. Isaiah 32:15 tn The words “The desolation will continue” refer to the previous context and have been added for smoothness.
  2. Isaiah 32:15 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 (ʿarah), 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.
  3. Isaiah 32:15 tn The term כַּרְמֶל (karmel) may refer to fertile land, an orchard, a garden of vines, a plantation of trees, or fresh grain. The dictionaries may subdivide these meaning under homonyms (see BDB 502, NIDOTTE 718, HALOT 499, The Concise DCH, 183). The picture of transformation is clearer when it is understood that a מִדְבָּר (midbar, “wilderness”) is an area that does not receive enough rainfall to support trees.
  4. Isaiah 32:15 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.

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