|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:28. The true believer is a branch of the living Vine. When those that take root in the world wither, those who are grafted into Christ shall be fruitful. 29. He that brings trouble upon himself and his family, by carelessness, or by wickedness, shall be unable to keep and enjoy what he gets, as a man is unable to hold the wind, or to satisfy himself with it. 30. The righteous are as trees of life; and their influence upon earth, like the fruits of that tree, support and nourish the spiritual life in many. 31. Even the righteous, when they offend on earth, shall meet with sharp corrections; much more will the wicked meet the due reward of their sins. Let us then seek those blessings which our Surety purchased by his sufferings and death; let us seek to copy his example, and to keep his commandments.
Verse 31. - The righteous shall be recompensed in the earth. Them are two ways of understanding this verse. The word rendered "recompensed," שַׁלַַ(shalam), is a vox media, and can be taken either in a good or bad sense. So the meaning will be, "The righteous meets with his reward upon earth, much more the sinner," the "reward" of the latter being, of course, punishment. But the versions lead to another interpretation, by which "recompensed" is rendered "chastised;" and the meaning is - if even the righteous shall be punished for their trespasses, as Moses, David, etc., how much more the wicked! The Septuagint, quoted exactly by St. Peter (1 Peter 4:18) has, "If the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?"
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth,.... Which Aben Ezra understands of the recompence of their good works. There is a reward for the righteous, and which they have now in keeping, though not "for" keeping, the commandments of God; they have the promise of this life, as well as of that which is to come, and which is made good to them; they have every good thing now which is proper and convenient for them; and they shall be recompensed in the new earth, in which only righteous persons will dwell. But it seems better, with Jarchi, to interpret it of the recompence of their sins and transgressions; that is, of their chastisements and afflictions, with which they are chastised by their heavenly Father, when they sin against him; which are all in love and for their good; and which they have only here on earth, while they are in this world; they will be all over in another, when there will be no more sin, and no more chastisement for it, much less condemnation; see 1 Corinthians 11:32;
much more the wicked and the sinner; who shall not only be punished on earth as they often are, but in hell to all eternity. The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, render the whole thus; "if the righteous be scarcely saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" Which words are used by the Apostle Peter, to show, that if judgment or chastisement begin at the house of God, or with the righteous, that the end of the wicked must be very bad; which entirely agrees with the sense of this passage; see 1 Peter 4:17; a "behold" is prefixed to the whole, as a note, either of admiration, or rather of attention to what is sure and certain, and worthy of regard and consideration. The Targum is,
"behold, the righteous are strengthened in the earth; but the wicked and the sinners shall be consumed out of the earth;''
which seems to agree with Aben Ezra's sense of the words; see Psalm 104:35.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. Behold—Thus calling attention to the illustrations (compare Pr 11:23), the sentiment of which is confirmed even in time, not excluding future rewards and punishments.
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