The instruments also of the churl are evil: he devises wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaks right.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)To destroy the poor with lying words . . .—The words, though perfectly generic in their form, are probably not without an implied reference to those who had thus acted towards Isaiah himself, making even him an “offender for a word” (Isaiah 29:21).Isaiah 32:7-8. The instruments also of the churl are evil — Hebrew, כלי, the vessels. It is a word of a very general signification among the Hebrews, and signifies any person or thing which is employed in a man’s service. The sense is, that such covetous or wicked princes most willingly choose and employ wicked men in their affairs, because such men will, without any regard to conscience or justice: serve all their exorbitant desires. It includes, however, his counsels, practices, and arts, which are here declared to be generally evil. He deviseth wicked devices — He uses all his understanding and art to do injuries to others; to destroy the poor with lying words — With false and unrighteous decrees. When the needy speaketh right — When their cause is just and good. But the liberal deviseth liberal things — He who is truly liberal and virtuous, will show it by designing and practising liberal or virtuous actions. And by liberal things shall he stand — He who does so will not destroy himself thereby, as wicked men falsely suppose, but establish and advance himself. “The Christian reader need not be told how exactly the particulars, expressed in these verses, belong to Christ’s kingdom, who is a hiding-place from the storm of sin and the world, John 16:33; whose kingdom is a kingdom of light, of faith, of love; all whose subjects are enlightened by the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ; who gave eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, tongues to the dumb, and, by his divine grace, changed the most churlish and illiberal dispositions into generosity and love.” Vitringa.
Are evil - He will make use of any unprincipled means, any wicked plan or device, to accomplish his purpose. "With lying words." With false representations; or with deceitful promises and assurances. His aim would be particularly directed to the poor and humble, as more easily deprived of their rights than the rich and powerful. It was also of greater importance to defend the rights of the poor, and therefore the prophet says that such a person should not be in the employ of a just and virtuous ruler.
Even when the needy speaketh right - That is, although the cause of the needy is one of truth and equity. When this would be manifest, the unprincipled man in power would deprive him of his rights, and, therefore, under a wise and virtuous administration, such a person should not be employed.
speaketh right—pleadeth a just cause (Isa 29:21); spiritually, "the poor man's cause" is the divine doctrine, his rule of faith and practice.The instruments also of the churl are evil, Heb. The vessels, &c., which is a word of a very general signification among the Hebrews, and signifies any person or thing which is employed in a man’s use and service. I say person, for the name of vessel is given to such persons as are instrumental to another, as to the Babylonians, who were God’s instruments in executing his vengeance, Isaiah 13:5 to God’s ministers, Acts 9:15 2 Corinthians 4:5; and to useful Christians, 2 Timothy 2:20; and to wives, 1 Peter 3:7. And so it may be here noted, that such covetous or wicked princes most willingly choose and employ wicked men in their affairs, because such men will, without any regard to conscience or justice, serve all their exorbitant desires or lusts. But withal, it seems to include his counsels, and practices, and arts, which are here declared to be generally evil. But this verse is and may be otherwise rendered, as the former was; And (repeat, he shall be called) a churl (as indeed he is one) whose instruments are evil, and who deviseth, &c.; which agrees with the order of the words in the Hebrew text, and with the order of the foregoing verses: for as he speaks of the vile person, and of the churl, Isaiah 32:6; so he gives a description of the vile person, Isaiah 32:6, and then of the churl, in this verse.
He deviseth wicked devices; he useth all his wit and art to do injury to others, without any inconvenience to himself.
With lying words; with false and unrighteous decrees.
When the needy speaketh right; when their cause is just and good. Zechariah 11:15 and may signify the evil ways and methods which covetous pastors or shepherds take to fleece the flock, and to increase their own gain:
he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right; he consults, contrives, and forms schemes with all craft and cunning, on purpose, to corrupt, as the word (h) signifies, the poor and meek, humble and afflicted souls, with false doctrines; even when these poor and needy ones, who want to have sound and comfortable doctrine delivered to them, speak and ask for that which is right and just, agreeably to the oracles of God, and the analogy of faith, but can not have it; wherefore such a man is unfit to be a ruler in the house of God.The instruments also of the churl are evil: he deviseth wicked devices to destroy the poor with lying words, even when the needy speaketh right.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. The instruments] i.e. the weapons or methods, of the knave. The word is chosen because of its close similarity to that for “knave” (kçlai—kçlâv). On these machinations of the knave, see ch. Isaiah 29:21.
even when the needy speaketh right] in a forensic sense (= “speaks with right on his side”).Verse 7. - The instruments. Mr. Cheyne translates, "the machinations," which gives a better sense; but the rendering is scarcely borne out by any parallel use of the term c'li in Scripture or elsewhere. C'li properly means "vessels," "weapons," "implements." He deviseth wicked devices; rather, he deviseth plots. The word "he" is emphatic. Unlike the fool, who passively does evil through thoughtlessness, the niggard actively devises crafty plans against his fellow-men. He seeks to cheat the poor out of their rights by false witness (comp. Isaiah 1:17, 23; Isaiah 3:14, 15; Isaiah 5:28, etc.), Even when the needy speaketh right; i.e. "has right on his side." The translation in the text is to be preferred to that in the margin. Psalm 16:3 and Ecclesiastes 9:4), the exponent of the usual casus abs. (Ges. 146, 2); and the two other Lameds are equivalent to κατά, secundum (as in Jeremiah 30:11). The figures in Isaiah 32:2 are the same as in Isaiah 25:4. The rock of Asshur (i.e., Sennacherib) has departed, and the princes of Asshur have deserted their standards, merely to save themselves. The king and princes of Judah are now the defence of their nation, and overshadow it like colossal walls of rock. This is the first fruit of the blessing.
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