|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 25. - The sentiment of the preceding verse is here carried on and confirmed. The liberal soul; literally, the soul of blessings, the man that blesses others by giving liberally. Shall be made fat (Proverbs 13:4; Proverbs 28:25). The term is used of the rich and prosperous (Psalm 22:29). Septuagint, "Every simple soul is blessed." He that watereth - benefits and refreshes others - shall be watered also himself; shall receive the blessing which he imparts. The Vulgate introduces another idea, Qui inebriat, ipse quoque inebriabitur, where the verb implies rather abundance than excess, as in Proverbs 5:19, etc. The Septuagint departs widely from the present text: "A passionate man is not graceful" (εὐσχήμων), i.e. is ugly in appearance and manner - a sentiment which may be very true, but it is not clear how it found its way into the passage. St. Chrysostom comments upon it in 'Hom.' 17, on St. John. There are some Eastern proverbs on the stewardship of the rich. When a good man gets riches, it is like fruit falling into the midst of the village. The riches of the good are like water turned into a rice field. The good, like clouds, receive only to give away. The rivers themselves drink not their water; nor do the trees eat their own sweet fruit, and the clouds eat not the crops. The garment in which you clothe another will last longer than that in which you clothe yourself. Who gives alms sows one and reaps a thousand.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The liberal soul shall be made fat,.... Or, "the soul of blessing" (c): that is, as the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "the soul which blesseth"; not that merely prays for a blessing upon others, and wishes them well, and gives them good words; but bestows blessings on them, gives good things unto them liberally, cheerfully, and plentifully; and so is a blessing to the poor, and receives a blessing from them again; as such also do from the Lord, by whom they are "made fat"; or are blessed with temporal and spiritual blessings; and are in thriving and flourishing circumstances, both in soul and body. So he that comes full fraught with the blessing of the Gospel of Christ to others is enriched with it himself, and becomes more and more flourishing in gifts and grace;
and he that watereth shall be watered also himself; he that largely shares with others, like a flowing fountain of water, shall have an abundance communicated to him again from God, the inexhaustible fountain of mercies. Watering the plants in Christ's vineyard is one part of the work of a Gospel minister; "I have planted, Apollos watered", &c. 1 Corinthians 3:6; and such who do their work well are watered, rewarded, refreshed, and comforted of God, being largely taught and richly furnished for such service by him; so the Targum,
"and he that teacheth, also he himself shall learn.''
(c) "anima benedictionis", Montanus, Baynus, Cocceius, Michaelis; "anima benedictioni dedita", Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
25. liberal soul—(Compare Margin).
made fat—prospers (Pr 28:25; De 32:15; Lu 6:38).
watereth … watered—a common figure for blessing.
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