Proverbs 29:25
The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the LORD shall be safe.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) The fear of man bringeth a snare.—Even, it may be, the loss of eternal life. (Comp. Matthew 10:28; John 12:25.)

Proverbs 29:25. The fear of man — Inordinate fear of harm or suffering from men, which is properly opposed to trust in God, because it arises from a distrust of God’s promises and providence; bringeth a snare — Is an occasion of many sins, and consequently of punishments from God: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord — Walks in God’s ways, and securely relies upon him, to protect him from the designs and malice of wicked men; shall be safe — Shall be preserved from all real evil, through God’s watchful providence over him.29:19. Here is an unprofitable, slothful, wicked servant; one that serves not from conscience, or love, but from fear. 20. When a man is self-conceited, rash, and given to wrangling, there is more hope of the ignorant and profligate. 21. Good usage to a servant does not mean indulgence, which would ruin even a child. The body is a servant to the soul; those that humour it, and are over-tender of it, will find it forget its place. 22. An angry, passionate disposition makes men provoking to one another, and provoking to God. 23. Only those who humble themselves shall be exalted and established. 24. The receiver is as bad as the thief. 25. Many are ashamed to own Christ now; and he will not own them in the day of judgment. But he that trusts in the Lord will be saved from this snare.The confusion and wretchedness in which the fear of what men can do entangles us, is contrasted with the security of one, who not only "fears" the Lord, so as to avoid offending Him, but trusts in Him as his protector and guide. 25. The fear … snare—involves men in difficulty (compare Pr 29:6).

shall be safe—(Compare Margin; Pr 18:10).

The fear of man, inordinate fear of harm or mischief from men, which is fitly opposed to trust in God, because it comes from a distrust of God’s promise and providence,

bringeth a snare; is an occasion of many sins, and of great danger, both of injuries from men, and of sore punishments from God.

Putteth his trust in the Lord; keeping God’s way, and securely relying upon God to protect him from the designs and rage of wicked men. The fear of man bringeth a snare,.... Either that which is subjectively in man; not a divine fear, or the fear of God, that grace which is put into the heart, for that leads to no snare, but tends to life; but a human fear, a servile one, a distrust of the power and providence, grace and goodness, of God, which has torment in it; which brings into bondage, and into many distresses and difficulties, and is opposed to trust in the Lord: or objectively, which has man for its object; a fear of losing the favour and friendship of men, of not having honour and applause from them; and a fear of their reproaches and reviling; of the wrath of men, of persecution from them, and of sufferings by them, even death itself; which has been sometimes a snare to ministers of the word, to drop or conceal some truths of it; and to professors of religion, not to embrace, own, and profess them; as many, through fear of the Jews, would not profess Jesus to be the Messiah, though they knew he was, John 7:13; yea, such a fear has been a snare to the best of men, and leads into temptation and sin; as particularly Abraham and Peter, Genesis 12:12;

but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe; that trusts in the Lord as the God of nature and providence, and the God of all grace, for all mercies, spiritual, temporal, and eternal, and leaves himself and case with him; such an one is safe from men, and the fear of them, and from snares and temptations, and sin and mischief, which come by them: or, "shall be lifted up on high" (d); he is upon a high rock, firm and sure; he dwells on high, his place of defence is the munition of rocks; he is in a high tower which is impregnable, in a city of refuge where he is safe; he is as immovable as Mount Zion; he is above the fear of man, or danger from him; he is out of the reach of all his enemies, men or devils; see Proverbs 18:10.

(d) "sublevabitur", V. L. "elevabitur", Pagninus, Montanus; "exaltabitar", Vatablus; "in edito collocatur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "sublimabitur", Cocceius, Michaelis; "celsa in arce locabitur", Schultens, so Ben Melech.

The fear of man bringeth a {f} snare: but he who putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe.

(f) He who fears man more than God falls into a snare and is destroyed.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. shall be safe] “Heb. shall be set on high” (marg. of A.V. and R.V.), as on an inaccessible rock, or in an impregnable fortress. Comp. Proverbs 18:10.Verse 25. - The fear of man bringeth a snare. He who, through fear of what man may do to him, think or say of him, does what he knows to be wrong, lets his moral cowardice lead him into sin, leaves duty undone, - such a man gets no real good from his weakness, outrages conscience, displeases God. See our Lord's words (Matthew 10:28; Mark 8:38; and comp. Isaiah 51:12, etc). Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe (Proverbs 18:10). Such trust carries a man safe through all dangers; fearing to offend God, living as always under his eye, he feels Divine protection, and knows that whatever happens is for the best. The LXX. joins this to the preceding verse, thus: "He who shareth with a thief hateth his own soul; and if, when an oath is offered, they who hear it give, no information, they fearing and reverencing men, are overthrown, but he that trusteth in the Lord shall rejoice." They add another rendering of the last verse, "Ungodliness causeth a man to stumble, but he who trusts in the Lord (ἐπὶ τῷ δεσπότῃ 2 Peter 2:1) shall be saved." Δεσπότης is used for Jehovah in the New Testament, e.g., Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24. From the discipline of the people this series of proverbs again returns to the discipline of home:

19 With words a servant will not let himself be bettered;

     For he understandeth them, but conformeth not thereto.

The Niph. נוסר becomes a so-called tolerative, for it connects with the idea of happening that of reaching its object: to become truly bettered (taught in wisdom, corrected), and thus to let himself be bettered. With mere words this is not reached; the unreasonable servant needs, in order to be set right, a more radical means of deliverance. This assertion demands confirmation; therefore is the view of von Hofmann (Schriftbew. ii. 2. 404) improbable, that 19b has in view a better-disposed servant: supposing that he is intelligent, in which case he is admonished without cause, then the words are also lost: he will let them pass over him in silence without any reply. This attempted explanation is occasioned by this, that מענה can signify nothing else than a response in words. If this were correct, then without doubt its fundamental meaning would correspond with כּי; for one explains, with Lwenstein, "for he perceives it, and may not answer," i.e., this, that a reply cut off frustrates the moral impression. Or also: for he understands it, but is silent - in praefractum se silentium configit (Schultens); and thus it is with the ancients (Rashi). But why should not ואין מענה itself be the expression of this want of any consequences? מענה cannot certainly mean humiliation

(Note: The Syr. and Targ. also think on ענה, for they translate: "for he knows that he receives no strokes.")

(Meri, after Exodus 10:3, הכנעה), but why as an answer in words and not also a response by act (Stuart: a practical answer)? Thus the lxx ἐὰν γὰρ καὶ νοήσῃ, ἀλλ ̓ οὐχ ὑπακούσεται, according to which Luther: for although he at once understands it, he does not yet take it to himself. That מענה tahT . may mean obedience, the Aram. so understood, also at Proverbs 16:4. It denoted a reply in the most comprehensive meaning of the word, vid., at Proverbs 16:1. The thought, besides, is the same as if one were to explain: for he understands it, and is silent, i.e., lets thee speak; or: he understands it, but that which he perceives finds no practical echo.

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