|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1 However men may make light of giving short weight or measure, and however common such crimes may be, they are an abomination to the Lord. 2. Considering how safe, and quiet, and easy the humble are, we see that with the lowly is wisdom. 3. An honest man's principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain. 4. Riches will stand men in no stead in the day of death. 5,6. The ways of wickedness are dangerous. And sin will be its own punishment. 7. When a godly man dies, all his fears vanish; but when a wicked man dies, his hopes vanish. 8. The righteous are often wonderfully kept from going into dangerous situations, and the ungodly go in their stead. 9. Hypocrites delude men into error and sin by artful objections against the truths of God's word. 10,11. Nations prosper when wicked men are cast down. 12. A man of understanding does not judge of others by their success. 13. A faithful man will not disclose what he is trusted with, unless the honour of God and the real good of society require it. 14. We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others. 15. The welfare of our families, our own peace, and our ability to pay just debts, must not be brought into danger. But here especially let us consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in becoming Surety even for enemies. 16. A pious and discreet woman will keep esteem and respect, as strong men keep possession of wealth. 17. A cruel, froward, ill-natured man, is vexatious to those that are, and should be to him as his own flesh, and punishes himself. 18. He that makes it his business to do good, shall have a reward, as sure to him as eternal truth can make it. 19. True holiness is true happiness. The more violent a man is in sinful pursuits, the more he hastens his own destruction. 20. Nothing is more hateful to God, than hypocrisy and double dealing, which are here signified. God delights in such as aim and act with uprightness. 21. Joining together in sin shall not protect the sinners. 22. Beauty is abused by those who have not discretion or modesty with it. This is true of all bodily endowments. 23. The wicked desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves. 24. A man may grow poor by not paying just debts, not relieving the poor, not allowing needful expenses. Let men be ever so saving of what they have, if God appoints, it comes to nothing. 25. Both in temporal and spiritual things, God commonly deals with his people according to the measure by which they deal with their brethren. 26. We must not hoard up the gifts of God's bounty, merely for our own advantage. 27. Seeking mischief is here set against seeking good; for those that are not doing good are doing hurt, even to themselves.
Verse 22. - This is the first instance of direct "similitude" in the book. As a jewel [a ring] of gold in a swine's snout. The greatest incongruity is thus expressed. Women in the East wore, and still sometimes wear, a ring run through the nostril, and hanging over the mouth, so that it is necessary to hold it up when taking food. Such a nezem Abraham's servant gave to Rebekah (Genesis 24:22; comp. Isaiah 3:21; Ezekiel 16:12). The Septuagint has ἐνώτιον, "an earring." So is a fair woman which is without discretion; without taste, deprived of the faculty of saying and doing what is seemly and fitting. The external beauty of such a woman is as incongruous as a precious ring in the snout of a pig. Lesetre quotes an Arab proverb: "A woman without modesty is food without salt." Whether swine in Eastern countries were "ringed," as they are with us nowadays, is unknown; if they were thus treated, the proverb is still more vivid.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout,.... The allusion seems to be to the ringing of swine, to prevent their rooting up the earth; which is usually done by putting an iron ring into their snout; which is much more proper and suitable than a gold ring, or a jewel set in gold, which is very unbecoming such a creature; and is soon had to the dunghill, or to some miry place, and there defiled;
so is a fair woman which is without discretion; or, "has departed from taste" (y); from a taste of virtue and honour; lost all sense of modesty and chastity; forsaken her husband, and given up herself to the embraces of others. As her beauty is fitly expressed by a "jewel of gold", which is valuable and desirable, and, rightly placed and used, is ornamental; so she is properly represented by a swine, wallowing in the impurities of lust; to which her beauty was the snare, and whereby it is quickly sullied and lost. Jarchi applies this to a disciple of a wise man, or a scholar that departs from the good way, or from the law; which he explains by taste or sense: but it may be better applied to the scarlet whore, or apostate church of Rome; which has departed from Christ, once her professed husband; from the doctrines of the Gospel, and the ordinances of it; from all taste and savour of true religion; and even from common sense and right reason, as in the affair of transubstantiation, and other things; and may be fitly compared to a swine with a jewel of gold in its snout, being "decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls"; and yet "drunk with the blood of the saints", and "martyrs of Jesus"; and wallowing in all the faith of fornication, of idolatry, and superstition; as well as in all manner of other sins and iniquities, Revelation 17:4.
(y) Heb. "recedens a gusta", Piscator; "cujus recessit sapor", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Jewels were often suspended from the nose (Ge 24:47; Isa 3:21). Thus adorned, a hog disgusts less than a fair and indiscreet woman.
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