|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:13-17 See what care and pains wicked men take to compass their wicked designs; let it shame our negligence and slothfulness in doing good. See what pains those take, who make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts of it: pains to compass, and then to hide that which will end in death and hell at last. Less pains would mortify and crucify the flesh, and be life and heaven at last. Shame came in with sin, and everlasting shame is at the end of it. See the misery of sinners; they are exposed to continual frights: yet see their folly; they are afraid of coming under the eye of men, but have no dread of God's eye, which is always upon them: they are not afraid of doing things which they are afraid of being known to do.
Verse 17. - For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death. They hate the morning light. It is associated in their minds with the idea of detection; for when it breaks in upon them unexpectedly in the midst of their ill deeds, detection commonly follows; and detection is a true "shadow of death," for it commonly means the gallows. If one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death; rather, for they know the terrors of the shadow of death (see the Revised Version). It is a familiar experience to them; as, whenever crime is severely punished, it is to the criminal class generally.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the morning is to them even as the shadow of death,.... It is as disagreeable, and as hateful, and as terrible to them as the grossest and thickest darkness can be to others. The word is to be rendered either "alike" or "altogether", and not "even", as in our version: "the morning is to them equally" or "together" (w); that is, to the murderer, robber, thief, adulterer, and housebreaker, "as the shadow of death"; alike disagreeable to them all; or "the shadow of death is to them together" or "alike as the morning"; what the morning is to others, exceeding pleasant and delightful, that to them is the shadow of death, or the darkest night; they love darkness rather than light:
if one know them, they are in the terrors of the shadow of death; they are frightened unto death, they are in as great terror as a man is to whom death is the king of terrors; and who is sensible of the near approach of it, the plain and manifest symptoms of it being upon him: this is the case of the murderer, adulterer, and thief, when they are caught in the fact; or are known by such who are capable of giving notice of them, detecting them, and bearing witness against them: or "he", each and everyone of these, "knows the terrors of the shadow of death" (x); the darkest night, which strikes terrors into others, is known by them, is delighted in by them, is familiar with them, and friendly to them, and is as pleasing as the brightest day to others.
(w) Pariter, Pagninus, Montanus, &c. (x) "agnoscit terrores umbrae mortis", Mercerus, Cocceius; so Codurcus, Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. They shrink from the "morning" light, as much as other men do from the blackest darkness ("the shadow of death").
if one know—that is, recognize them. Rather, "They know well (are familiar with) the terrors of," &c. [Umbreit]. Or, as Maurer, "They know the terrors of (this) darkness," namely, of morning, the light, which is as terrible to them as darkness ("the shadow of death") is to other men.
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