|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:6. An honest desire to do right, preserves a man from fatal mistakes, better than a thousand fine-drawn distinctions. 7. Some who are really poor, trade and spend as if they were rich: this is sin, and will be shame, and it will end accordingly. Some that are really rich, would be thought to be poor: in this there is want of gratitude to God, want of justice and charity to others. There are many hypocrites, empty of grace, who will not be convinced of their poverty. There are many fearing Christians, who are spiritually rich, yet think themselves poor; by their doubts, and complaints, and griefs, they make themselves poor. 8. Great riches often tempt to violence against those that possess them; but the poor are free from such perils. 9. The light of the righteous is as that of the sun, which may be eclipsed and clouded, but will continue: the Spirit is their Light, he gives a fulness of joy: that of the wicked is as a lamp of their own kindling, easily put out. 10. All contentions, whether between private persons, families, churches, or nations, are begun and carried forward by pride. Disputes would be easily prevented or ended, if it were not for pride. 11. Wealth gotten by dishonesty or vice, has a secret curse, which will speedily waste it. 12. The delay of what is anxiously hoped for, is very painful to the mind; obtaining it is very pleasant. But spiritual blessings are chiefly intended.
Verse 9. - The light of the righteous rejoiceth; laetificat, Vulgate. But the verb is intransitive, and means "burn joyfully," bright and clear, as the sun rejoices as a strong man to run a race (Psalm 19:5). This light (or) is the grace and virtue which adorn the good man's life, and which beam through all his actions with a cheerful, kindly radiance (comp. Proverbs 4:18, 19). This is a true light, kindled in his heart by God, different from the lamp (ner) of the wicked, which is devised and lighted by themselves, and has no element of permanence, but soon shall be put out (Proverbs 24:20; comp. Proverbs 20:20; Job 18:5; John 1:8; John 5:35, where the distinction between "light" and "lamp" is maintained). The lamp of the wicked is the false show of wisdom or piety, which may glimmer and deceive for a time, but is ere long detected and brought to naught. There may be here an allusion to a common custom in the East. "No house, however poor," says Dr. Geikie ('Holy Land,' 1:117), "is left without a light burning in it all night; the housewife rising betimes to secure its continuance by replenishing the lamp with oil. If a lamp goes out, it is a fatal omen" (comp. 1 Kings 15:4; Jeremiah 25:10; Revelation 18:23). Septuagint, "The light of the righteous is everlasting; but the light of sinners is quenched." Then is introduced a couplet not found in the Hebrew, of which the latter part is borrowed from Psalm 37:21 or Psalms 112:5, "Crafty souls go astray in sins; righteous men show mercy and pity." The Vulgate inserts this paragraph after ver. 13.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The light of the righteous rejoiceth,.... The light of joy and gladness, which is sown for them, and arises to them; the light of spiritual knowledge and experience they have; the light of sound doctrine; the light of good works, and a Gospel conversation; all this, as it is delightful to themselves and others, so it is increasing more and more to the perfect day, and it continues: so the Septuagint and Arabic versions, "light is always for the righteous"; especially it will be in the latter day, and particularly in the New Jerusalem state, when there will be no night, Revelation 21:23;
but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out; the light of the righteous is like that of the sun, bright and pleasant; but the light of the wicked is like that of a lamp, lesser and not so agreeable, nor will it last; their prosperity is short lived, their joy is but for a moment; the pleasures of sin are but for a season; their candle soon goes out; it is put out in obscure darkness, and they themselves are reserved to blackness of darkness, Job 18:5; as prosperous and flourishing as the kingdom of antichrist has been or is, it will be full of darkness, Revelation 16:12.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. light … lamp—prosperity; the first, the greater, and it
rejoiceth—burns brightly, or continues, while the other, at best small, soon fails.
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