Withhold not good from its owners, When thy hand is toward God to do it.
Proverbs 3:27 Additional TranslationsKeil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
The first illustration of neighbourly love which is recommended, is readiness to serve:
27 Refuse no manner of good to him to whom it is due
When it is in thy power to do it.
28 Say not to thy neighbour, "Go, and come again,
To-morrow I will give it," whilst yet thou hast it.
Regarding the intensive plur. בּעליו with a sing. meaning, see under Proverbs 1:19. The form of expression without the suffix is not בּעלי but בּעל טוב; and this denotes here, not him who does good (בעל as Arab. dhw or ṣaḥab), but him to whom the good deed is done (cf. Proverbs 17:8), i.e., as here, him who is worthy of it (בעל as Arab. âhl), him who is the man for it (Jewish interp.: מי שׁהוא ראוי לו). We must refuse nothing good (nothing either legally or morally good) to him who has a right to it (מנע מן as Job 22:7; Job 31:16),
(Note: Accentuate אל־תמנע טוב, not אל־תמנע־טוב. The doubling of the Makkeph is purposeless, and, on the contrary, the separating of טוב from מבעליו by the Dechi (the separating accent subordinate to Athnach) is proper. It is thus in the best MSS.)
if we are in a condition to do him this good. The phrase ישׁ־לאל ידי, Genesis 31:29, and frequently, signifies: it is belonging to (practicable) the power of my hand, i.e., I have the power and the means of doing it. As זד signifies the haughty, insolent, but may be also used in the neuter of insolent conduct (vid., Psalm 19:14), so אל signifies the strong, but also (although only in this phrase) strength. The Keri rejects the plur. ידיך, because elsewhere the hand always follows לאל in the singular. But it rejects the plur. לרעיך (Proverbs 3:28) because the address following is directed to one person. Neither of these emendations was necessary. The usage of the language permits exceptions, notwithstanding the usus tyrannus, and the plur. לרעיך may be interpreted distributively: to thy fellows, it may be this one or that one. Hitzig also regards לרעיך as a singular; but the masc. of רעיה, the ground-form of which is certainly ra‛j, is רעה, or shorter, רע. לך ושׁוּב does not mean: forth! go home again! but: go, and come again. שׁוּב, to come again, to return to something, to seek it once more.
(Note: Thus also (Arab.) raj' is used in Thaalebi's Confidential Companion, p. 24, line 3, of Flgel's ed. Admission was prevented to one Haschmid, then angry he sought it once more; he was again rejected, then he sought it not again (Arab. flm yraj'), but says, etc. Flgel has misunderstood the passage. Fleischer explains raj', with reference to Proverbs 3:28, by revenir la charge.)
The ו of ישׁו אתּך is, as 29b, the conditional: quum sit penes te, sc. quod ei des. "To-morrow shall I give" is less a promise than a delay and putting off, because it is difficult for him to alienate himself from him who makes the request. This holding fast by one's own is unamiable selfishness; this putting off in the fulfilment of one's duty is a sin of omission - οὐ γὰρ οἶδας, as the lxx adds, τὶ τέξεται ἡ ἐπιοῦσα.
Proverbs 3:27 Parallel CommentariesAct Deserve Due Good Hand Owners Power Right WithholdAct Deserve Due Good Hand Owners Power Right WithholdThe ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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