For their heart studies destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
A lesson given before, now combined with another. True followers after wisdom will admit neither envy of evil on the one hand, nor admiration or fellowship with it on the other.
They have stricken me - Though beat and abused, full of pain, and exhibiting a frightful figure; yet so drunk was he, as to be insensible who had struck him: still, after all this abuse and disgrace, he purposes to embrace the next opportunity of repeating his excesses! Sin makes a man contemptible in life, miserable in death, and wretched to all eternity. Is it not strange, then, that men should Love it?
For their heart studieth destruction,.... To others; to good men, that separate from them, and reprove them, or are in their way; or any ways hinder them in the prosecution of their wicked designs; as Haman's heart studied the destruction of the Jews: or their hearts study to draw men into their destructive methods of living, and therefore should be shunned and avoided. Moreover, their hearts study destruction to themselves; they study what they shall eat and drink, which they pursue to intemperance; and how they shall compass their lewd designs, and which issue in their ruin; destruction and misery are in all the ways they devise and walk in;
and their lips talk of mischief; which they study in their hearts against others; as are their hearts, so are their lips; out of the abundance of the wickedness of their hearts their mouths speak mischievous things; and which, though they design for others, oftentimes fall upon themselves. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief.
talk … mischief—Their expressed purposes are to do evil.
The author passes from the sin of uncleanness to that of drunkenness; they are nearly related, for drunkenness excites fleshly lust; and to wallow with delight in the mire of sensuality, a man, created in the image of God, must first brutalize himself by intoxication. The Mashal in the number of its lines passes beyond the limits of the distich, and becomes a Mashal ode.
29 Whose is woe? Whose is grief?
Whose are contentions, whose trouble, whose wounds without cause?
Whose dimness of eyes?
30 Theirs, who sit late at the wine,
Who turn in to taste mixed wine.
31 Look not on the wine as it sparkleth red,
As it showeth its gleam in the cup,
Glideth down with ease.
32 The end of it is that it biteth like a serpent,
And stingeth like a basilisk.
33 Thine eyes shall see strange things,
And thine heart shall speak perverse things;
34 And thou art as one lying in the heart of the sea,
24:1,2 Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! 3-6. Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom. 7-9. A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. 10. Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart. 11,12. If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it? 13,14. We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation. 15,16. The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.Verse 2.
- For their heart studieth destruction
. The grounds of the warning arc here given, as in Proverbs 1:15
. "Destruction" (shod
); Vulgate, rapinas
, "violence" of all kinds, e.g.
, robbery, murder. Their lips talk of mischief; utter lies and slanders which may injure other people or bring themselves profit. Admiration of such men and intercourse with them must be repugnant to every religious soul. The LXX. refers the verse to evil imaginations issuing in evil talk; "For their heart meditates falsehoods, and their lips speak mischiefs (πόνους
Proverbs 24:8 He that devises to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
Proverbs 6:14 Frowardness is in his heart, he devises mischief continually; he sows discord.
1 Samuel 23:9 And David knew that Saul secretly practiced mischief against him; …
Esther 3:6,7 And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had …
Job 15:35 They conceive mischief, and bring forth vanity, and their belly prepares deceit.
Psalm 7:14 Behold, he travails with iniquity, and has conceived mischief, and …
Psalm 10:7 His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue …
Psalm 28:3 Draw me not away with the wicked, and with the workers of iniquity, …
Psalm 36:4 He devises mischief on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is …
Psalm 64:4-6 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot …
Psalm 140:2 Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered …
Isaiah 59:4 None calls for justice, nor any pleads for truth: they trust in vanity, …
Micah 7:3 That they may do evil with both hands earnestly, the prince asks, …
Matthew 26:3,4 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the …
Luke 23:20-21 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spoke again to them…
Acts 13:10 And said, O full of all subtlety and all mischief, you child of the …
24:2 Destruction - How they may oppress and destroy others.
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