|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:7-17 The same almighty power can, for repenting sinners, easily turn affliction and sorrow into prosperity and joy, and as easily turn the prosperity of daring sinners into utter darkness. Evil times will not bear plain dealing; that is, evil men will not. And these men were evil men indeed, when wise and good men thought it in vain even to speak to them. Those who will seek and love that which is good, may help to save the land from ruin. It behoves us to plead God's spiritual promises, to beseech him to create in us a clean heart, and to renew a right spirit within us. The Lord is ever ready to be gracious to the souls that seek him; and then piety and every duty will be attended to. But as for sinful Israel, God's judgments had often passed by them, now they shall pass through them.
Verse 13. - Even while he speaks, the prophet feels that his reproof is useless (comp. Jeremiah 7:27, etc.; Hosea 4:1, 17). In that time; at such a time as this, the man who acts wisely holds his peace, because it is a time of moral corruption and of personal danger. But the prophet cannot restrain his call (comp. Ezekiel 33:3, etc.). In Micah 2:3 the "evil time" is one of calamity.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Therefore the prudent shall keep silence at that time,.... Not the prophets of the Lord, whose business it was at all times to reprove, and not hold their peace, let the consequence be what it would; though the Targum calls them teachers; but private persons, whose wisdom it would be to say nothing; since reproof would do no good to these persons, and they would bring a great deal of hatred ill will, and trouble upon themselves as well as would hear the name of God blasphemed, which would be very afflictive to them: or the sense is, they would not speak to God on the behalf of these wicked men, knowing the decree was gone forth; nor say one murmuring word at it, believing it was in righteousness; and being struck also with the awfulness of God's righteous judgments:
for it is an evil time; in which sin abounded, and miseries and calamities on account of it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. the prudent—the spiritually wise.
shall keep silence—not mere silence of tongue, but the prudent shall keep himself quiet from taking part in any public or private affairs which he can avoid: as it is "an evil time," and one in which all law is set at naught. Eph 5:16 refers to this. Instead of impatiently agitating against irremediable evils, the godly wise will not cast pearls before swine, who would trample these, and rend the offerers (Mt 7:6), but will patiently wait for God's time of deliverance in silent submission (Ps 39:9).
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