Isaiah 32:7
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.
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(7) 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.

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.The instruments also - In the Hebrew here there is a paronomasia which cannot be imitated in a translation. The word 'instruments' here denotes evidently the means by which the churl accomplishes his object; whether it be by words, by judicial decisions, or by crafty devices. This is also a kind of proverbial expression, and is given as a further reason why such a person would not be employed by a wise and virtuous prince.

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.

7. churl—"the fraudulent"; this verse refers to the last clause of Isa 32:5; as Isa 32:6 referred to its first clause.

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.

The instruments also of the churl are evil,.... Not his vessels or measures he sells by, which are small and deficient, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it; nor his servants, his tools in doing his wickedness, which are fit for his purpose, wicked men; but rather these are much the same with "the instruments of the foolish shepherd", 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.

(h) "ad corrumpendum afflictos in eloquiis falsitaits", Montanus.

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.
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 stubborn 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. Isaiah 32:7A 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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