Isaiah 32:6
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.
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(6) The vile person will speak villany.—Another echo, like that of Isaiah 28:23-29, of the teaching of the Book of Proverbs. In that better day men would learn to see men as they are, and not as they pretend to be. “By their fruits ye shall know them” was to be one of the blessings of the reign of the true king (Matthew 7:20).

To utter error against the Lord.—The “error” is either that of “heresy,” or of hollow profession, or of open scoffing. In either case it finds its practical outcome, like the hypocrisy of the Pharisees (Matthew 23:14), in violence and wrong towards the poor and weak.

32:1-8 Christ our righteous King, and his true disciples, are evidently here intended. The consolations and graces of his Spirit are as rivers of water in this dry land; and as the overhanging rock affords refreshing shade and shelter to the weary traveller in the desert, so his power, truth, and love, yield the believer the only real protection and refreshment in the weary land through which he journeys to heaven. Christ bore the storm himself, to keep it off from us. To him let the trembling sinner flee for refuge; for he alone can protect and refresh us in every trial. See what pains sinners take in sin; they labour at it, their hearts are intent upon it, and with art they work iniquity; but this is our comfort, that they can do no more mischief than God permits. Let us seek to have our hearts more freed from selfishness. The liberal soul devises liberal things concerning God, and desires that He will grant wisdom and prudence, the comforts of his presence, the influence of his Spirit, and in due time the enjoyment of his glory.For the vile person - Hebrew, 'The fool.' This word more properly expresses the idea than 'vile person.' The Hebrews Used the name fool to denote not only one destitute of understanding, but a knave, a dishonest man - regarding sin as the highest folly (see 1 Samuel 25:25; 2 Samuel 3:33; Job 2:10).

Will speak villainy - Hebrew, 'Will speak folly.' That is, he will act in accordance with his nature; it is his nature to speak folly, and he will do it. Under a wicked and unjust administration such persons might be the subjects flattery Isaiah 32:5, and might be raised to office and power. But under the administration of a virtuous king they would not be admitted to favor; and the reason was, that they would act out their nature, and would corrupt all around them. A monarch, therefore, who regarded the honor of his own throne, and the welfare of his subjects, would exclude them from his counsels.

To make empty the soul of the hungry - Probably this refers to spiritual hunger and thirst; and means that such a person would take away the means of knowledge from the people, and leave them to error, ignorance, and want. The sense is, that if such persons were raised to office, they would corrupt the nation and destroy their confidence in God; and this was a reason why a virtuous prince would exclude them from any participation in his government.

6. vile … villainy—rather, "the (irreligious) fool … (his) folly."

will speak—rather, "present"; for (so far is the "fool" from deserving the epithet "noble-minded") the fool "speaketh" folly and "worketh," &c.

hypocrisy—rather, "profligacy" [Horsley].

error—impiety, perverse arguments.

hungry—spiritually (Mt 5:6).

For the vile person will speak villany: so this is a reason of the assertion, Isaiah 32:5; either thus, Such shall not be advanced to places of trust and dignity; for if they were, they would abuse them by unjust sentences and practices. Or thus, Men shall no longer be miscalled; for every one will discover what he is by his Words and actions; which also shall be narrowly observed. But these and the following words are and may be otherwise rendered: But (as this particle oft signifies) he shall be called or said to be (which words are easily understood out of the former verse, as is very frequent in Scripture) a fool, who (which relative particle is understood in very many places) shall speak villany, and whose heart shall work iniquity, &c.

His heart will work iniquity; he will, from time to time, be devising wickedness, that he may execute it when he hath opportunity.

To practise hypocrisy: to, do bad things, but with a pretence of religion and justice, which he shall use to keep himself from the disfavour of his prince, and from the lash of the law. Or, to practise profaneness or wickedness, as this word, at least sometimes, seems to signify.

To utter error against the Lord; to pass unjust sentences, which is directly contrary to the will and command of God.

To make empty the soul of the hungry, and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail; whereby they take away the bread and drink of the poor, and give it to their rich oppressors.

For the vile person will speak villainy,.... Or, "a fool will utter folly" (g); a man that has no understanding of Gospel truths himself can not deliver them to others; he will only speak foolish things, concerning the purity of human nature, the power of man's free will, the sufficiency of his own righteousness to justify him, and the merits of good works, and the like; and therefore such a man is a very improper one to be a guide and governor in the church of God:

and his heart will work iniquity; forge and devise it within himself; will form schemes of false doctrine, discipline, and worship, disagreeable to the word of God:

to practise hypocrisy; to make men believe he is a very devout and religious man, when he has no good thing in him, and to put others upon a profession of religion that have none; which things are commonly done by foolish and ignorant preachers:

and to utter error against the Lord; such doctrines as are contrary to the free, rich, sovereign grace of God; to the deity, personality, sonship, offices, blood, sacrifice, and righteousness of Christ, and so to the person and operations of the blessed Spirit:

to make empty the soul of the hungry; and he will cause the drink of the thirsty to fail; the "hungry" and "thirsty" are such as hunger and thirst after, and earnestly desire, the sincere milk of the word for their spiritual nourishment and growth; whose "souls" become "empty", and their "drink" fails, when the doctrines of grace are not dispensed unto them, but false and unedifying doctrines are delivered, so that their souls sink and faint, and are ready to die away, for want of the bread of the Gospel; agreeably to this sense, the Targum paraphrases the words thus,

"to make the soul of the righteous weary, who desire doctrine, as a hungry man bread; and the words of the law, which are as water to him that is thirsty, they think to cause to cease.''

(g) "nam stultus stultitiam loquetur", Pagninus, Montanus.

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.
6. The characteristics of the “fool.” Render: For a fool speaks folly and his heart works (LXX. “meditates”) mischief, to practise impiety (cf. Isaiah 9:17) and to speak error (Isaiah 29:24) against Jehovah, &c. The fool here depicted is a free thinker, a practical atheist, as in Psalm 14:1; the baneful effect of his principles is seen in his conduct towards his fellow-men, in his pitiless and cruel selfishness.

to make empty …] to deprive the destitute of their scanty subsistence.

6–8. The two types contrasted in their conduct.

Verse 6. - For the vile person will speak villany, etc.; rather, for the fool speaketh folly, and his heart doeth wickedness, practising profanity and uttering error against Jehocab, making empty the soul of the hungry - yea, the drink of the thirsty will he cause to fail. The prophet seems to have the portrait of Nabal in his mind, and to take him as the type of a class. Isaiah 32:6A third fruit of the blessing is the naming and treating of every one according to his true character. "The fool will no more be called a nobleman, nor the crafty a gentleman. For a fool speaks follies, and his heart does godless things, to practise tricks and to speak error against Jehovah, to leave the soul of hungry men empty, and to withhold the drink of thirsty ones. And the craft of a crafty man is evil, who devises stratagems to destroy suffering ones by lying words, even when the needy exhibits his right. But a noble man devises noble things, and to noble things he adheres." Nobility of birth and wealth will give place to nobility of character, so that the former will not exist or not be recognised without the latter. Nâdı̄bh is properly one who is noble in character, and then, dropping the ethical meaning, one who is noble by rank. The meaning of the word generosus follows the same course in the opposite direction. Shōă‛ is the man who is raised to eminence by the possession of property; the gentleman, as in Job 34:19. The prophet explains for himself in what sense he uses the words nâbhâl and kı̄lai. We see from his explanation that kı̄lai neither signifies the covetous, from kūl (Saad.), nor the spendthrift, from killâh (Hitzig). Jerome gives the correct rendering, viz., fraudulentus; and Rashi and Kimchi very properly regard it as a contraction of nekhı̄lai. It is an adjective form derived from כּיל equals נכיל, like שׂיא equals נשׂיא (Job 20:6). The form כּלי in Isaiah 32:1 is used interchangeably with this, merely for the sake of the resemblance in sound to כּליו (machinatoris machinae pravae). In Isaiah 32:6, commencing with ki (for), the fact that the nâbhâl (fool) and kı̄lai (crafty man) will lose their titles of honour, is explained on the simple ground that such men are utterly unworthy of them. Nâbhâl is a scoffer at religion, who thinks himself an enlightened man, and yet at the same time has the basest heart, and is a worthless egotist. The infinitives with Lamed show in what the immorality ('âven) consists, with which his heart is so actively employed. In Isaiah 32:6, ūbhedabbēr ("and if he speak") is equivalent to, "even in the event of a needy man saying what is right and well founded:" Vâv equals et in the sense of etiam ((cf., 2 Samuel 1:23; Psalm 31:12; Hosea 8:6; Ecclesiastes 5:6); according to Knobel, it is equivalent to et quidem, as in Ecclesiastes 8:2; Amos 3:11; Amos 4:10; whereas Ewald regards it as Vav conj. (283, d), "and by going to law with the needy," but את־אביון would be the construction in this case (vid., 2 Kings 25:6). According to Isaiah 32:8, not only does the noble man devise what is noble, but as such (הוּא) he adheres to it. We might also adopt this explanation, "It is not upon gold or upon chance that he rises;" but according to the Arabic equivalents, qūm signifies persistere here.
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