Fools and villains (Isa 32:5-32:8)

“A fool will no longer be called noble.

A villain will not be said to be honorable.

Fools speak folly.

Their mind plots iniquity.

They practice ungodliness.

They utter error concerning Yahweh.

They leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied.

They deprive the thirsty of drink.

The villainies of villains are evil.

They devise wicked devices.

They ruin the poor with lying words,

Even when the plea of the needy is right.

But those who are noble

Plan noble things.

They stand by noble things.”

This Isaiah poem about the fools and the villains is like later wisdom literature. A fool should not be called noble. Neither should a villain be called honorable. The fools naturally speak folly, as they plot iniquity and practice ungodliness. They speak erroneously about Yahweh as they leave the hungry unsatisfied and the thirsty without drink. The villains are the same. They are devising wicked things as they ruin the lives of the poor with lying words, even when the poor are right. On the other hand, the real noble people plan noble things and stand by them.

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