Isaiah 32:8
But the liberal devises liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
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(8) The liberal deviseth liberal things . . .—Better, as before, noble.

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.But the liberal - This seems also to have the force of a proverbial expression. The word 'liberal' means generous, noble, large-hearted, benevolent; a man of large views and of public spirit; a man above covetousness, avarice, and self-seeking; a man who is willing to devote himself to the welfare of his country, and to the interests of his fellow-men. It is implied here that such persons would be selected to administer the affairs of the government I under the wise and virtuous prince of whom the prophet speaks.

Deviseth liberal things - He purposes those things which will tend to promote the public welfare, and not those merely which will conduce to his private ends and gratification.

And by liberal things shall he stand - Margin, 'Be established.' That is, according to the connection, he shall be confirmed, or approved in the government of the virtuous king referred to. It is, however, a proposition in a general form, and means also that a man by a liberal course shall be established; that is, his character, reputation, hopes, shall be established by it. This is true now. If a man wishes to obtain permanent peace and honor, the esteem of his fellow-men, or the evidence of divine approbation, it can be best done by large and liberal schemes to advance the happiness of a dying world. He who is avaricious and narrow-minded has no happiness, and no durable reputation; he who is large-hearted and benevolent, has the approbation of the wise and good, the favor of God, and a firm and unshaken support in the trials of life, and in the agonies of death.

8. liberal—rather, "noble-minded."

stand—shall be approved under the government of the righteous King.

He who is truly liberal and virtuous will show it by designing and practising liberal or virtuous actions; and he who doth so will not destroy himself thereby, as wicked men falsely suppose, but establish and advance himself. But this verse also, as Well as the former, is and may be otherwise rendered; And (repeat, he shall be called, as before)

liberal, who deviseth liberal things, and persisteth or continueth in liberal things. If it be thought strange that so many verses should be spent in affirming that which in effect was said Isaiah 32:5, it must be considered that these verses do not only contain an affirmation, that they should be called vile persons, or churls, or liberal that were so; but also a description of their qualities and practices, which was useful for their conviction, and for the instruction of others. But the liberal man deviseth liberal things,.... The man of a princely spirit consults and contrives, and delivers out things worthy of a prince and governor in the church of God; he that is one of a free spirit, that is made free by the Spirit of God, and is led into the doctrines of free grace, will study to deliver out the same to others, and, as he has freely received, he will freely give, and without any sinister, selfish, and mercenary ends and views:

and by liberal things shall he stand; or, "be established" (i); both by the doctrines of free grace he dispenses to others, to be established by and with which is a good thing; and by the free communications of the gifts and grace of the Spirit to him, to supply and furnish him yet more and more for his work; by the discoveries of the free favour of God unto him; by the enjoyment of his gracious presence in private and in public; by the blessings of a free and well ordered covenant; and, at last, by being brought to eternal glory and happiness, in which he will be settled to all eternity; or, "on liberal things shall he stand"; grace here, and glory hereafter. The Targum is,

"the righteous consult truth, and they upon truth shall stand.''

(i) "stabilietur", Gataker.

But the liberal deviseth liberal things; and by liberal things shall he stand.
8. But the liberal (the noble man) deviseth liberal (noble) things—and thereby evinces genuine nobility.

by liberal things …] Better: in noble things doth he continue (nearly as R.V.). His generous impulses are sustained in his conduct.Verse 8. - By liberal things shall he stand; or, to liberal things. The Hebrew will bear either sense. SECTION IX. FURTHER DENUNCIATIONS OF ISRAEL, JOINED WITH PROMISES (Isaiah 32:9-20). For Judah, sifted, delivered, and purified, there now begins a new ear. Righteous government, as a blessing for the people, is the first beneficent fruit. "Behold, the king will reign according to righteousness; and the princes, according to right will they command. And every one will be like a shelter from the wind, and a covert from the storm; like water-brooks in a dry place, like the shadow of a gigantic rock in a languishing land." The kingdom of Asshur is for ever destroyed; but the kingdom of Judah rises out of the state of confusion into which it has fallen through its God - forgetting policy and disregard of justice. King and princes now rule according to the standards that have been divinely appointed and revealed. The Lamed in ūlesârı̄m (and the princes) is that of reference (quod attinet ad, as in 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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