|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:10-15 The rule was certain; however there might be national prosperity or trouble, it would be well with the righteous and ill with the wicked. Blessed be God, there is abundant encouragement to the righteous to trust in him, and for sinners to repent and return to him. It was time for the Lord to show his might. He will call men to a strict account for all the wealth and power intrusted to and abused by them. If it is sinful to disregard the necessities of the poor, how odious and wicked a part do they act, who bring men into poverty, and then oppress them!
Verse 10. - Say ye to the righteous. The mention of the fact that the men of Jerusalem have permanently injured their moral natures by sin, and thus "rewarded evil to themselves," leads the prophet to declare at this point, parenthetically, the general law, which extends alike to the evil and the good - that men receive in themselves the recompense of their deeds. The righteous raise their moral nature, become better, and, in becoming better, become happier. "It is well with them, for of the fruit of their doings they eat." The wicked deprave and corrupt themselves, lower their moral nature, become worse than they were, and, in becoming worse, become more miserable. "Woe unto them! with them it is ill; for the achievement of their hands is given them."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Say ye to the righteous, that it shall be well with him,.... The Lord always has some righteous ones, in the worst of times, whom he can and does distinguish, single out, and take care of; and it is his will that they should be comforted by his prophets and ministers, who seem to be the persons to whom these words are directed, lest they should be distressed with what is said unto, and what they see is coming upon, the world, or upon a nation in general: and it will be, and is well with such, when calamities are on a nation, in a time of famine, war, or pestilence, under any affliction whatever at death, and at judgment, and to all eternity; the Lord has the highest regard for them; Christ's righteousness, by which they are denominated righteous, secures them from wrath, and entitles them to glory; they are blessed now, and will be happy hereafter. So the Targum,
"say ye to the righteous, ye are blessed,''
pronounce them such as they are: some render it, "say to the righteous, that he do good" (i); exhort him, excite and encourage him, to it; such who have believed in Christ for righteousness ought to be careful to maintain good works: others, "say to the righteous", own him, speak well of him, "for it is good"; or say to him, "that he is good" (k), a happy man. The Septuagint and Arabic versions, very foreign from the text, and sense of it, render the words, "saying, let us bind the just man, for he is unprofitable to us"; as if they were the words of the wicked Jews, respecting Christ, the just One, so called sarcastically by them: and the reason of the righteous man's happiness follows:
for they shall eat the fruit of their doings: both of what Christ has done for them, as their Head and representative, by whose righteousness they are justified; and of what they have done themselves, under the influence of his Spirit and grace; which being done from a principle of grace, are rewarded with a reward of grace, and not of debt; such enjoy a peace of conscience now, which is the work and effect of righteousness, and shall receive the reward of the inheritance, which is not of the law, but by promise, and of faith, and so by grace.
(i) "quod bene agat", Vatablus. (k) "Dicite justum, quod bonus beatusque est", Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. The faithlessness of many is no proof that all are faithless. Though nothing but croaking of frogs is heard on the surface of the pool, we are not to infer there are no fish beneath [Bengel]. (See Isa 1:19, 20).
fruit of doings—(Pr 1:31) in a good sense (Ga 6:8; Re 22:14). Not salvation by works, but by fruit-bearing faith (Isa 45:24; Jer 23:6). Gesenius and Weiss translate, Declare as to the righteous that, &c. Maurer, "Say that the righteous is blessed."
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