|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:10-22 The miserable condition of the wicked man in this world is fully set forth. The lusts of the flesh are here called the sins of his youth. His hiding it and keeping it under his tongue, denotes concealment of his beloved lust, and delight therein. But He who knows what is in the heart, knows what is under the tongue, and will discover it. The love of the world, and of the wealth of it, also is wickedness, and man sets his heart upon these. Also violence and injustice, these sins bring God's judgments upon nations and families. Observe the punishment of the wicked man for these things. Sin is turned into gall, than which nothing is more bitter; it will prove to him poison; so will all unlawful gains be. In his fulness he shall be in straits, through the anxieties of his own mind. To be led by the sanctifying grace of God to restore what was unjustly gotten, as Zaccheus was, is a great mercy. But to be forced to restore by the horrors of a despairing conscience, as Judas was, has no benefit and comfort attending it.
Verse 10. - His children shall seek to please the poor. Another rendering is, "The poor shall oppress his children," since the meaning of the verb יְרַצּוּ is doubtful. But the translation of the Authorized Version seems preferable. His children will curry favour with the poor, either by making restitution to them on account of their father's injuries, or simply because they are friendless, and desire to ingratiate themselves with some one. And his hands shall restore their goods (comp. vers. 15 and 18). He himself will be so crushed and broken in spirit that he will give back with his own hands the goods whereof he has deprived the poor. The restitution, i.e., will be made, in many cases, not by the oppressor's children, but by the oppressor himself.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
His children shall seek to please the poor,.... In this and some following verses the miserable state of a wicked man is described, and which begins with his children, who are often visited in wrath for their parents' sins, especially when they tread in their steps, and follow their example; and it is an affliction to parents to see their children in distress, and particularly on their account, and even to be threatened with it. According to our version, the sense of this clause is, that after a wicked man's death his children shall seek to gain the good will and favour of the poor who have been oppressed by him, that they may not reproach them, or take revenge on them, or apply to the civil magistrate to have justice done them; but Jarchi renders the words,
"the poor shall oppress or destroy his children;''
and so the margin of our Bible, who, being enraged with the ill usage of their parents, shall fall upon them in great wrath, and destroy them, Proverbs 28:3; and the same Jewish writer restrains the words to the men of Sodom, who were oppressive and cruel to the poor; or rather the sense is, that the children of the wicked man shall be reduced to such extreme poverty, that they shall even seek relief of the poor, and supplicate and entreat them to give them something out of their small pittance; with which others in a good measure agree, who render the words, "his children shall please, being poor" (n); it shall be a pleasure and satisfaction to those they have been injurious to, to see their children begging their bread from door to door, see Psalm 109:5;
and his hands shall restore their goods: or "for his hands", &c. (o); and so are a reason why his children shall be so reduced after his death as to need the relief of others, because their parent, in his lifetime, was obliged to make restitution of his ill gotten goods, so that in the end he had nothing to leave his children at his death; for this restitution spoken of is not voluntary, but forced. Sephorno thinks reference is had to the Egyptians lending jewels and other riches to the Israelites, whereby they were obliged to repay six hundred thousand men for their service.
(n) "filii ejus placabunt, mendici", Montanus. (o) So the English annotator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. seek to please—"Atone to the poor" (by restoring the property of which they had been robbed by the father) [De Wette]. Better than English Version, "The children" are reduced to the humiliating condition of "seeking the favor of those very poor," whom the father had oppressed. But Umbreit translates as Margin.
his hands—rather, "their (the children's) hands."
their goods—the goods of the poor. Righteous retribution! (Ex 20:5).
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