Isaiah 32:5

5 1The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.

Isaiah 32:5 Meaning and Commentary

Isaiah 32:5

The vile person shall be no more called liberal
Or "Nabal" (a fool) "shall no more be called Nadib" F5 (a prince); or have this name put upon him, or be advanced to honour and dignity, or be flattered with such a title, so unbecoming him. The sense seems to be, that, in Gospel times, such who are fools as to the knowledge of spiritual things, that have no spiritual and experimental knowledge of the truths of the Gospel, but are quite ignorant of them, shall not be made princes, or spiritual rulers, and governors in the house of God; nor the churl said [to be] bountiful;
or called a lord, as Jarchi interprets the word; which, he says, is used of such an one, because all men look to him, and respect him F6; but now a covetous and tenacious man, that withholds more than is meet, that keeps, all he has to himself, without communicating to others, and scarcely allows himself the necessaries of life, being so sordidly avaricious, such an one shall not be a pastor, or ruler, in the church of God; such were the Scribes and Pharisees among the Jews in Christ's time, and therefore rejected, ( Matthew 23:14 ) ( Luke 16:14 Luke 16:15 ) folly and covetousness are both bad things in a minister of the word, and greatly disqualify a man for that work and office: or else the sense of the whole is, that there should be such a discerning of men in Gospel times, and such faithfulness used towards them, that a wicked man should not be taken for a good man, nor in a flattering way be called one; but the precious and the vile should be distinguished, and called by their right names. The Targum is,

``the wicked man shall be no more called just, and they that transgress his word shall not be called mighty.''


F5 (bydn lbnl dwe arqy al) "Nabal non vocabitur Nadib", Gataker.
F6 Kimchi makes it to be the same with (Nrtw) , a "prodigal person"; and so Ben Melech; but Elias, in his Tishbi, p. 93, 95. says there is a difference between them; (Nrtw) , he says, is one that squanders his money in eating and drinking, and the like, which is a bad custom; but (ewv) is an honourable person, who gives his money to good purposes, and more than is meet, which is a good custom; and he is more praiseworthy than the liberal man.

Isaiah 32:5 In-Context

3 Then the eyes of those who see will not be closed, and the ears of those who hear will give attention.
4 The heart of the hasty will understand and know, and the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak distinctly.
5 The fool will no more be called noble, nor the scoundrel said to be honorable.
6 For the fool speaks folly, and his heart is busy with iniquity, to practice ungodliness, to utter error concerning the LORD, to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied, and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
7 As for the scoundrel--his devices are evil; he plans wicked schemes to ruin the poor with lying words, even when the plea of the needy is right.

Cross References 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.