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David Guzik :: Study Guide for Proverbs 29

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Rulers, Servants, and the Fear of Man


Proverbs 29:1

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck,
Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

a. He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck: As in many places in the Bible, the hard neck is used as a figure of speech to speak of the stubborn attitude that resists and disobeys God. This proverb speaks about the man who is often rebuked but doesn’t listen to the rebuke; instead he hardens his neck.

i. “The opposite of the stiff neck would be a bending neck, i.e., submission.” (Ross)

b. Will suddenly be destroyed: This stubborn, rebellious man continues in his disobedience for a long time, until he is suddenly…destroyed—and there will be no hope for him (that without remedy). This describes the kind of person who thinks little of God’s merciful patience and assumes judgment will never come for his continual rejection of wisdom and stubborn heart against God.

i. “When the door of opportunity to repent finally shuts, probably at death, the incorrigible fool is beyond all hope of a cure.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 29:2

When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.

a. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: It is to the benefit of the community or nation when the righteous are in authority. This shows that when the righteous governs, it should be for the benefit of the entire community, not only their own interests.

b. When a wicked man rules, the people groan: The community or the nation suffers when the wicked rule. Lawlessness increases and freedoms diminish. The rule of the wicked is bad for both the righteous and the wicked in the community or nation.

i. The people groan: “Both for the oppressions and mischiefs which they feel, and for the dreadful judgments of God which they justly fear.” (Poole)

ii. “The sentiment of this proverb often recurs. On the surface it hardly appears to be true. To observe long issues is to be convinced of the absolute accuracy of the sentiment.” (Morgan)

Proverbs 29:3

Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice,
But a companion of harlots wastes his wealth.

a. Whoever loves wisdom makes his father rejoice: Children of any age bring happiness to their parents when they love and live wisdom. It gives the parents a justified pride in their children and gives peace about their children’s future.

b. A companion of harlots wastes his wealth: This is one example of a foolish life, someone who chooses harlots and others of low character as their companions. This fool wastes his wealth on the harlots and other similar interests, showing they are the opposite of the one who loves wisdom.

i. Comparing the first line of this proverb to the second line, Ross observed: “it would break a father’s heart to see his son become a pauper through vice.”

ii. Adam Clarke asked a simple question in regard to Proverbs 29:3: “Has there ever been a single case to the contrary?”

Proverbs 29:4

The king establishes the land by justice,
But he who receives bribes overthrows it.

a. The king establishes the land by justice: A nation can only expect strength and progress when it is ruled with justice. When a community or nation sees evildoers punished and restrained, fairness in the legal system, and agreements honored, there will be justice and a foundation for growth and blessing.

b. He who receives bribes overthrows it: There are many ways that justice can be abused, but this one of the worst ways. Bribes destroy the foundations of fairness and equality before the law. It means that the rich and devious prosper.

i. “The best laws are of little use when they are badly administered. Partiality and injustice make them null and void. And yet it requires great integrity and moral courage to withstand the temptations of worldly policy and self-interest.” (Bridges)

ii. “This was notoriously the case in this kingdom, before the passing of the Magna Charta, or great charter of liberties…I have met with cases in our ancient records where, in order to get his right, a man was obliged almost to ruin himself in presents to the king, queen, and their favourites, to get the case decided in his favour.” (Clarke)

iii. The Puritan commentator John Trapp wrote of Proverbs 29:4: “This one piece of Solomon’s politics hath much more good advice in it than all Lypsius’s Beehive, or Machiavel’s Spider web.”

Proverbs 29:5

A man who flatters his neighbor
Spreads a net for his feet.

a. A man who flatters his neighbor: In this sense, to flatter is to excessively praise or give attention to a neighbor with the hope of gaining influence or status.

i. A man who flatters his neighbor: “A smooth boots, as the word signifies, a butterspoken man, {see Isaiah 3:12} or a divided man, for a flatterer’s tongue is divided from his heart.” (Trapp)

b. Spreads a net for his feet: Such flattery is a trap. It is a trap that the wise man knows how to avoid, and that catches the fool.

i. “Beware of a flatterer; he does not flatter merely to please you, but to deceive you and profit himself.” (Clarke)

ii. “Oh, it is a cruel thing to flatter. The soul is often more exhausted and injured by disentangling itself from these nets than by the hottest contest with principalities and powers.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 29:6

By transgression an evil man is snared,
But the righteous sings and rejoices.

a. By transgression an evil man is snared: A man may be evil in his character, yet it is his actual acts of transgression that ruin him. Most evil men think they are celebrating life and freedom through their transgression, but it will be a trap and a snare to them.

i. “The wicked man’s jollity is but the hypocrisy of mirth; it may wet the mouth, but not warm the heart – smooth the brow, but not fill the breast. We may be sure, that as Jezebel had a cold heart under a painted complexion, so many a man’s heart aches and quakes within him when his face counterfeits a smile.” (Trapp)

b. The righteous sings and rejoices: If transgression belongs to the evil man, then singing and rejoicing belong to the righteous. The singing and rejoicing is an expression of what is inside them, just as much as the transgression is an expression of what is inside the evil man.

i. “Knox supplies the implicit comparison: ‘innocence goes singing and rejoicing on its way.’” (Kidner)

Proverbs 29:7

The righteous considers the cause of the poor,
But the wicked does not understand such knowledge.

a. The righteous considers the cause of the poor: One mark of the righteous man or woman is that they care for the poor. It is more than the response of feelings of pity; he considers the cause of the poor. It is thoughtful compassion in action.

b. The wicked does not understand such knowledge: Those who are wicked, rebellious against God and His wisdom, can’t even understand such compassion. Since it doesn’t directly serve their self-interest, they can’t understand it.

i. “His ignorance and lack of understanding is not an intellectual defect but the expression of an evil perversion.” (Waltke)

Proverbs 29:8

Scoffers set a city aflame,
But wise men turn away wrath.

a. Scoffers set a city aflame: In the family of fools, the scoffers are some of the worst offenders. They are so settled in their combative, cynical rejection of God and His wisdom that they may bring the judgment of God and fury of man against their own city.

i. “Mocking is catching [contagious], as the pestilence, and no less pernicious to the whole country.” (Trapp)

ii. “Such scoffers make dangerous situations worse, whereas the wise calm things down and ensure peace in the community. See the account of the rebellion of Sheba the son of Bicri and how the wise woman averted disaster (2 Samuel 20).” (Ross)

b. Wise men turn away wrath: The opposite of the scoffer is the wise man. Collectively, wise men have the understanding, character, and righteousness that may turn away God’s wrath.

i. G. Campbell Morgan said that Proverbs 29:8 was “A fine motto for engraving on the walls of the Foreign Office of any nation.”

Proverbs 29:9

If a wise man contends with a foolish man,
Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace.

a. If a wise man contends with a foolish man: Solomon considered some kind of argument or dispute between the wise and the foolish, likely set in a court of law. Since the two have different foundations and principles for living, it isn’t a surprise that they would contend with each other.

i. “The setting of v. 9 is the court, in which the recklessness of the fool is given full vent.” (Garrett)

b. Whether the fool rages or laughs, there is no peace: When two such different people contend, normally there will be no peace. The fool will respond with either anger or mocking, but neither will lead to peace. This should teach the wise man to be cautious about contending with the foolish man.

i. There is no peace: “No end or fruit of the debate, the fool will not be satisfied nor convinced.” (Poole)

Proverbs 29:10

The bloodthirsty hate the blameless,
But the upright seek his well-being.

a. The bloodthirsty hate the blameless: There is a fundamental opposition between the bloodthirsty and the blameless. Those given to violence and brutality (the bloodthirsty) simply hate the blameless, both because the life and message of the blameless convicts the bloodthirsty and because the bloodthirsty hate all the blameless stand for.

i. John Trapp thought of some examples of the bloodthirsty in history: “Charles IX of France, author of the Parisian Massacre, looking upon the dead carcase of the admiral, that stank by being long kept unburied, uttered this most stinking speech: Quam suaviter olet cadaver inimiei! – How sweet is the smell of an enemy’s carcase! And the queen mother of Scotland, beholding the dead bodies of her Protestant subjects, whom she had slain in battle, said that she never saw a finer piece of tapestry in all her life.”

b. The upright seek his well-being: The upright men or women seek and care for the well-being of the blameless. This is a great contrast to the bloodthirsty.

Proverbs 29:11

A fool vents all his feelings,
But a wise man holds them back.

a. A fool vents all his feelings: It is the nature of a fool to think that everyone is interested in all his feelings and that he has some obligation to inflict all his feelings on others. This is a foolish offense to self-respect, self-restraint, and courtesy towards others.

b. A wise man holds them back: The wise man knows that there is a time and place to vent one’s feelings, but one should never imitate the fool in exposing all his feelings.

i. Holds them back: “The verb (used in Psalm 89:9 of the stilling of a storm) speaks of anger overcome, not merely checked.” (Kidner)

ii. “Or, In an inner room, in the bottom and bosom of his mind, till he see a fit season; as knowing well that all truths are not fit for all times, but discretion must be used.” (Trapp)

Proverbs 29:12

If a ruler pays attention to lies,
All his servants become wicked.

a. If a ruler pays attention to lies: Anyone in authority will have many who want to use his or her power and position for their own advancement. Some of those may use lies to influence, frighten, manipulate, or simply deceive that ruler. The wise ruler pays no attention to lies.

i. “A king, a president, or any chief executive officer must set a high standard and rigorously maintain it or face the consequences of corruption running rampant in his administration.” (Garrett)

b. All his servants become wicked: When the servants see that the ruler can be influenced by lies, it encourages them to lie. Deception is rewarded and telling the truth is discouraged. The atmosphere around that ruler and his servants becomes poisonous and incompetent.

i. Become wicked: “Partly because he chooseth only such for his service; and partly because they are either corrupted by his example, or engaged by their place and interest to please him, and comply with his base lusts.” (Poole)

ii. “Courtiers adjust themselves to the prince—when they see that deception and court flattery win the day, they learn how the game is played.” (Ross)

Proverbs 29:13

The poor man and the oppressor have this in common:
The Lord gives light to the eyes of both.

a. The poor man and the oppressor have this in common: It is difficult to think of two greater contrasts than the poor man and the oppressor. Despite their great differences, they have something in common.

b. The Lord gives light to the eyes of both: God gives some kind of light, some kind of revelation in creation and conscience, to every person (Romans 1:19-21). One may obey or reject God’s message in that light, but God gives light to the eyes of both.

i. “That is to say, all intelligence is a divine gift, whether it be used in righteousness or in wickedness. Sin is always the prostitution of a God-given power to base purposes.” (Morgan)

Proverbs 29:14

The king who judges the poor with truth,
His throne will be established forever.

a. The king who judges the poor with truth: Part of the responsibility of a king or any leader is to make judgments, and sometimes those regarding the poor and disadvantaged. That king or leader must be careful to not show partiality against (or for) the poor, but to make judgment according to truth.

b. His throne will be established forever: That king who refuses to show partiality and judges the poor according to truth can expect to have a long reign. Their reign will be blessed by God and received by the people.

i. “The poor are no less created in the image of God than the rich, and they have God as their avenger should the rich fail in their duty. For this reason the security of a king’s reign depends on equitably dispensing justice.” (Garrett)

ii. John Trapp thought of how this pointed to the throne of Jesus Messiah, established forever: “Lo, such a prince shall sit firm upon his throne; his kingdom shall be bound to him with chains of adamant, as Dionysius dreamt that his was; he shall have the hearts of his subjects, which is the best life-guard, and God for his protection; for he is professedly the poor man’s patron, [Psalms 9:18-19] and makes heavy complaints of those that wrong them. [Isaiah 3:13-15; Isaiah 10:1-3; Amos 5:11-12; Amos 8:4-6; Zephaniah 3:12].”

Proverbs 29:15

The rod and rebuke give wisdom,
But a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

a. The rod and rebuke give wisdom: We learn through correction. Jesus Himself learned through suffering (Hebrews 5:8) so we should not despise God’s use of either the rod or the rebuke. No one is above learning through discipline.

i. “Discipline is the order of God’s government. Parents are his dispensers of it to their children. Let correction be first tried, and if it succeeds, let the rod be spared. If not, let the rod do its work.” (Bridges)

b. A child left to himself brings shame to his mother: The principle of the first line of this proverb is especially true regarding children. Children who are never trained with loving correction often bring shame to their parents.

i. “His mother, and father too; but he names only the mother, either because her indulgence oft spoils the child, or because children commonly stand in least awe of their mothers, and abuse the weakness of their sex, and tenderness of their natures.” (Poole)

Proverbs 29:16

When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases;
But the righteous will see their fall.

a. When the wicked are multiplied, transgression increases: There is something of a multiplication effect in the advance of wickedness. In some way, when the number of wicked people is doubled, then it seems transgression increases four or five times over.

b. The righteous will see their fall: This is welcome assurance when it seems that transgression increases. The righteous must not despair; God is still in control. Though the wicked are multiplied, God will not allow them to triumph in the end and they will fall.

i. “The faithful Christian minister, conscious of his inability to stem the ever-flowing torrent of iniquity, would sink in despair but for the assured confidence that he is on the conquering side, that his cause, being the cause of his Lord, must eventually prevail.” (Bridges)

Proverbs 29:17

Correct your son, and he will give you rest;
Yes, he will give delight to your soul.

a. Correct your son, and he will give you rest: Many proverbs speak of the importance of correcting and training our children. If we leave them to themselves, to their peers, or to the culture around them and fail to correct them, they will be an ongoing source of trouble and strive, giving us no rest.

b. Yes, he will give delight to your soul: Every parent wants this delight of soul. There is a sense in which God appeals to our own self-interest. If you won’t correct your son because it is good for him, then do it because it is good for you!

Proverbs 29:18

Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;
But happy is he who keeps the law.

a. Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint: The revelation in mind here is not the spontaneous word from a purported prophet. It is God’s great revelation, His revealed word through the Hebrew prophets and later the apostles and prophets who gave us the New Testament. When God’s word is unavailable or rejected, the people cast of restraint. They no longer have a standard greater than they own feelings or current opinions.

i. Other translations (such as the King James Version) express this in these words: where there is no vision, the people perish. This has often been taken to say, “Where there is no visionary leadership, people and enterprises fail.” That is often a true principle, but not what Solomon wrote here. There is little doubt that the Hebrew word hazon means “God’s revelation,” and not “visionary leadership.” “In sum, hazon refers here to the sage’s inspired revelation of wisdom.” (Waltke)

ii. “The word hazon refers to divine communication to prophets (as in 1 Samuel 3:1) and not to individual goals that are formed.” (Ross)

iii. “Vision (AV, RV) is to be taken in its exact sense of the revelation a prophet receives.” (Kidner)

iv. “Where Divine revelation, and the faithful preaching of the sacred testimonies, are neither reverenced nor attended, the ruin of that land is at no great distance.” (Clarke)

v. “No greater calamity, therefore, can there be than the removal of the revelation…Where revelation is withdrawn from a church, the people perish in ignorance and delusion.” (Bridges)

b. The people cast off restraint: This principle was lived out in Israel’s history. Judges 17:6, 21:25 and 1 Samuel 3:1 all describe such times when God’s word was abandoned and the people lived with no restraint.

i. Cast off restraint: “Or, is made naked; stripped of their best ornaments, God’s favour and protection, as this word is taken, Exodus 32:25.” (Poole)

c. Happy is he who keeps the law: In contrast, there is happiness and contentment for the one who keeps the law. In this sense, the Bible is something like a guide given to us by our owner and creator, telling us how to live a wise and blessed life. It is within restraint, but not in an oppressive sense. Only a fool thinks that all restraint is oppressive.

i. He who keeps the law: “Although the want of God’s word be sufficient for men’s destruction, yet the having, and hearing, or reading of it is not sufficient for their salvation, except they also keep or obey it.” (Poole)

Proverbs 29:19

A servant will not be corrected by mere words;
For though he understands, he will not respond.

a. A servant will not be corrected by mere words: The idea is not of someone who has an honorable, servant like heart. The idea is of someone of menial service who has slave-like mentality that can’t be lifted above his or her present misery. That person is unlikely to be corrected by mere words. Tough life experience and discipline will be more likely to teach them.

i. “In this democratic age the idea that one should have this kind of authority over someone is perhaps offensive, but in any age workers can become undisciplined and unreliable if some kind of authority and discipline procedure is not established.” (Garrett)

ii. “The verse is probably a general observation on the times; doubtless there were slaves who did better (e.g., Joseph in Egypt; Daniel in Babylon).” (Ross)

b. Though he understands, he will not respond: This shows that the problem with such a one is not mental or intellectual. He understands well enough; the problem is that he will not respond. It will take more than words to get him or her to respond and learn wisdom.

i. Will not respond: “Either by words, expressing his readiness; or by deeds, speedily and cheerfully performing thy commands; but will neglect his duty, pretending that he did not hear or understand thee.” (Poole)

Proverbs 29:20

Do you see a man hasty in his words?
There is more hope for a fool than for him.

a. Do you see a man hasty in his words? Proverbs often teaches us that a mark of a fool is that they don’t have control over what they say. They are hasty in their words.

b. There is more hope for a fool than for him: To Solomon, the man hasty in his words was a special kind of a fool, a super-fool. Lacking wisdom, his impulsive speech sets him beyond the hope of even the normal fool.

Proverbs 29:21

He who pampers his servant from childhood
Will have him as a son in the end.

a. He who pampers his servant from childhood: The idea is of a man who is overly soft and generous towards his servant. He worries too much about making life easy and pleasant for his servant.

i. “A master that would be, as he ought, both loved and feared by his servants, must see to two things: – (1.) The well-choosing; and (2.) The well using of them.” (Trapp)

b. Will have him as a son in the end: This isn’t always in a good sense. The one who pampers his servant will make the servant so attached to him that he will end up with another obligation and another person who expects an inheritance.

i. “This is a simple statement of a fact. Whether it be one of blessing or of evil depends on the Christian’s servant. An evil servant treated well assumes the position of a son in arrogance. A good servant treated well assumes the position of a son in devotion.” (Morgan)

ii. “Such persons are generally forgetful of their obligations, assume the rights and privileges of children, and are seldom good for any thing.” (Clarke)

iii. There is some dispute about the word here translated a son. Ross had an alternative idea: “The proverb says that if someone pampers his servant from youth, in the end (of this procedure) he will have ‘grief’ (manon).”

Proverbs 29:22

An angry man stirs up strife,
And a furious man abounds in transgression.

a. An angry man stirs up strife: It is in the nature of the angry man to spread his strife to others. With peace lacking in his own soul, it’s easy to put his inner strife upon others.

i. “‘Anger’ describes his outward visage of snorting nostrils, and ‘wrath’ [furious], his inner heat of boiling emotions of resentment.” (Waltke)

b. A furious man abounds in transgression: When the angry or furious man spreads his strife, it makes transgression abound. Sin abounds in the atmosphere is marked by a lack of self-control.

i. “His furious spirit is always carrying him into extremes, and each of these is a transgression.” (Clarke)

Proverbs 29:23

A man’s pride will bring him low,
But the humble in spirit will retain honor.

a. A man’s pride will bring him low: Because God resists the proud (James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5), pride will naturally bring a man low. Like Satan, the one who hoped to rise higher through his pride will fall (Isaiah 14:13-15).

i. Waltke points out that the Hebrew word translated “‘Pride’ derives from a root meaning ‘to be high’ and so constitutes a precise antithetical parallel of ‘lowly.’”

b. The humble in spirit will retain honor: Just as much as God resists the proud, He also gives grace to the humble (again, James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5). God’s gracious blessing to the humble in spirit means they will gain and retain honor.

i. “Thus honour, like a shadow, flees from them that pursue it, and follows them who flee from it.” (Poole)

Proverbs 29:24

Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life;
He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.

a. Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life: To partner with a thief is to reject wisdom and embrace folly. The one who steals from others will steal from you, and perhaps with violence threatening your own life.

i. “The law makes no distinction between the thief and the accomplice. Consenting to sin, receiving the stolen goods, involves us in the guilt and punishment.” (Bridges)

ii. “Paradoxically, the partner joined the thief to satisfy the greed of his swollen appetites, but instead he loses that very life with its drives and appetites.” (Waltke)

b. He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing: The partner to the thief is the kind of man who will repeatedly vow to tell the truth, but reveals nothing about his partner’s criminal activity. He places loyalty to his friend above his loyalty to God.

i. “The call to testify is actually a curse pronounced on anyone who will not testify. This proverb, using the same word for oath or curse, describes someone who has befriended a thief, becomes aware of his wrongdoing, but remains silent when he hears a call to come forward and give evidence. He has brought a curse down on his own head.” (Garrett)

Proverbs 29:25-26

The fear of man brings a snare,
But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe.
Many seek the ruler’s favor,
But justice for man comes from the Lord.

a. The fear of man brings a snare: Many people of good heart but not enough courage live in bondage to the fear of man. They worry far too much about what people think, instead of first being concerned about what God and wisdom say, and what integrity would lead them to do. This is a snare that traps many people.

i. “The ‘fear of man’ describes any situation in which one is anxious about not offending another person. For example, someone might be afraid to oppose the unethical actions of a superior out of fear of losing a job. This verse tells the reader to do what is right and trust the outcome to Yahweh.” (Garrett)

ii. “And therefore they do not ask, ‘What should I do?’ but ‘What will my friends think of me?’ They cannot brave the finger of scorn… Oh, for deliverance from this principle of bondage.” (Bridges)

iii. The fear of man: Saul, Aaron, and Peter are examples of men who were stained by the fear of man. “How often has this led weak men, though sincere in their general character, to deny their God, and abjure his people!” (Clarke)

iv. “It was the fear of man that caused Pilate’s name to become infamous in the history of the world and of the Church of God, and it will be infamous to all eternity. The fear of man led him to slay the Savior; take care that it does not lead you to do something of the same kind.” (Spurgeon)

v. “Why, I have known some who were afraid even to give away a tract; they were as much alarmed as though they had to put their hand into a tiger’s mouth.” (Spurgeon)

vi. “There is one sin which I believe I have never committed; I think that I have never been afraid of any of you, and I hope, by the grace of God, that I never shall be. If I dare not speak the truth upon all points, and dare not rebuke sin, what is the good of me to you? Yet I have heard sermons which seemed to me to have been made to the order of the congregation. But honest hearers want honest preaching; and if they find that the preachers message comes home to them, they thank God that it is so.” (Spurgeon)

b. But whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe: The contrast to the fear of man is he who trusts in the Lord. That person will be in the safest place imaginable—safe in the care of a loving, powerful God.

i. “Release from such bondage comes when people put their faith in the Lord alone. See Proverbs 10:27; 12:2; and the example of the apostles in Acts 5:29.” (Ross)

ii. “It is not, ‘He that trusteth in himself;’ not, ‘He that trusteth in a priest;’ not, ‘He that performs good works, and trusts in them,’ but, ‘whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.’ The man who is trusting in the blood and righteousness of Jesus may not always be happy, but he is safe; he may not always be singing, but he is safe; he may not always have the joy of full assurance, but he is safe. He may sometimes be distressed, but, he is always safe; he may sometimes question his interest in Christ, but he is always safe.” (Spurgeon)

c. Many seek the ruler’s favor: This is presented as a simple fact. There are many who long for the benefit that a ruler may give them. This relates to the fear of man mentioned in the previous verse; those who depend on the ruler’s favor for their security and prosperity must fear and seek the ruler’s favor.

d. But justice for man comes from the Lord: When we depend upon man for our justice, our security, or our prosperity, we will be disappointed. Such justice and its benefits come from the Lord, not primarily through even the mightiest ruler. If the ruler does give out justice, he does it as God’s agent.

i. “Verse 26 does not forbid seeking relief from injustice through the legal system, but it does state that one should place more faith in Yahweh than in human institutions.” (Garrett)

Proverbs 29:27

An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked.

a. An unjust man is an abomination to the righteous: An unjust man does not please those among God’s righteous. They share God’s regard of the wicked, seeing them as an abomination for their sins against God and man.

i. “Who yet hates, non virum sed vitium, not the person of a wicked man, but his sin – as the physician hates the disease, but loves the patient, and strives to recover him – he abhors that which is evil, perfectly hates it.” (Trapp)

b. He who is upright in the way is an abomination to the wicked: It works both ways. The upright man or woman is seen as an abomination to the wicked. Their righteous life is an unwelcome rebuke to the wicked.

i. “A statement of the necessary and abiding antipathy between righteousness and unrighteousness.” (Morgan)

ii. “Here is the oldest, the most rooted, the most universal quarrel in the world. It was the first fruit of the Fall (Genesis 3:15). It has continued ever since and will last to the end of the world.” (Bridges)

iii. “This proverb…serves as an apt summation of the whole Hezekiah text. Righteousness and immorality are mutually exclusive. One must follow one path or the other (Jeremiah 6:16).” (Garrett)

©2017 David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

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