|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.
Verse 32. - The wicked is driven away in his wickedness. So the Greek and Latin Versions. In his very act of sin, flagrante delicto, the wicked is defeated, driven from hope and life; as the Revised Version renders, "The wicked is thrust down in his evil doing;" i.e. there is some element of weakness in an evil deed which occasions its discovery and punishment, sooner or later. Thus "murder will out," we say. But the contrast is better emphasized by taking ra in its other sense of "calamity," "misfortune," thus: "In his calamity the wicked is cast down" (Proverbs 24:16). When misfortune comes upon him, he has no defence, no hope; he collapses utterly; all his friends forsake him; there is none to comfort or uphold him (comp. Matthew 7:26, 27). But the righteous hath hope in his death (comp. Ecclus. 1:13). Primarily, the clause means that even in the greatest danger the good man loses not his trust in God. It is like Job's word (if our reading is correct, Job 13:15), "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him;" and the psalmist, "Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" (Psalm 23:4). Thus the Christian martyrs went joyfully to the stake, and gentle women and little children smiled on the sword which sent them home. It is natural to see in this clause a belief in a future life, and a state of rewards and punishments; and some commentators, holding that this doctrine was net known in pre-exilian days, have taken occasion from its plain enunciation in this paragraph to affix a very late date to our book. There are two answers to be made to this assertion. First, it is capable of proof that the belief in the immortality of the soul, with its consequences in another state, was held, however vaguely, by the Jews long before Solomon's time (see note, Proverbs 12:28); secondly, the present passage is by some read differently, whence is obtained another rendering, which removes from it all trace of the doctrine in question. Thus Ewald and others would read the clause in this way: "The righteous hath hope, or taketh refuge, from his own deeds." There can be no reasonable doubt that the usual reading and translation are correct; but the above considerations show that no argument as to the date of the Proverbs can be safely founded on this verse. The LXX. has a different reading for במותו, "in his death," and translates, "But he who trusteth in his own holiness is just" - which looks like a travesty of Scripture, but probably refers to the consciousness of having a heart right with God and obedient to the requirements of the Divine Law.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The wicked is driven away in his wickedness,.... That is, at death, as the opposite clause shows; he is driven out of the world, his heart is so much set on; from all the good things of it, which are his all, his portion; from the place of his abode, which will know him no more; and from all his friends and acquaintance, with whom he has lived a merry and jovial life; he shall be driven out of light into darkness, even into outer darkness; into hell, which is a place of torment, a prison, a lake burning with fire and brimstone; he shall be driven as a beast is, driven: and such is the man of sin, who shall go into perdition; and such are his followers, and that will be their end, Revelation 13:1; he shall be driven sore against his will; the righteous depart, and desire to depart; but the wicked are driven, and go unwillingly, with reluctance; they would fain flee out of the hand of God, and yet they have no power to withstand; go they must, they are driven forcibly and irresistibly: and it may also denote the suddenness of their death, and the swiftness of their destruction. The driver is not mentioned; it may be understood of the Lord himself, who, in and by a storm of his wrath, hurls them out of their place; or of death, as having a commission from him, when a man has no power over his spirit to retain it; or of angels, good or bad, employed by the Lord in driving their souls to hell upon their separation from their bodies. The circumstance, "in his wickedness", may denote their dying in their sins, unrepented of, unforgiven, and without faith in Christ; in the midst of them, in their full career of sin, under the power, faith, and guilt of it; and as sometimes, in the horror of a guilty conscience, in black despair, without any hope or view of pardon, the reverse of the righteous man; and so will have all their wickedness to answer for, it being not taken away, but found upon them: or this may be expressive of the cause of the wicked man's being driven away, namely, his wickedness; for so it may be rendered and interpreted, "because of his wickedness" (n) it is for that he shall die and go to hell: or it may be rendered, "into his evil" (o); and so denote the everlasting punishment into which he shall go, being driven;
but the righteous hath hope in his death; not in the death of the wicked man, as Aben Ezra, when he shall be delivered, and he can do him no more hurt; but in his own death; he dies as other men; his righteousness, though it delivers him from eternal death, yet not from a corporeal one; though the death of a righteous man is different from others; he dies in Christ, in the faith of him, and in hope of eternal life by him; and to die his death is very desirable: he has a hope of interest in the blessings of grace and glory; which is a good hope through grace; is wrought in him at regeneration; and is founded on that righteousness from whence he is denominated righteous, even the righteousness of Christ; and is of singular use and advantage to him in life: and this grace he exercises at death; it carries him through the valley of death, and above the fears of it; he hopes, though he dies, he shall rise again; and he hopes to be in heaven and happiness, immediately upon his dissolution, and to all eternity; he hopes to see God, be with Christ, angels and good men, for evermore. Jarchi's note is,
"when he dies, he trusts he shall enter into the garden of Eden, or paradise.''
(n) "propter suam malitiam", Pagninus, Mercerus, Gejerus. (o) "In malam suum", Junius & Tremellius, Amama, so some in Mercerus.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
32. driven—thrust out violently (compare Ps 35:5, 6).
hath hope—trusteth (Pr 10:2; 11:4; Ps 2:12), implying assurance of help.
Proverbs 14:32 Parallel Commentaries
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