|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:14. A wise man seeks to gain more wisdom, growing in grace and in the knowledge of Christ. But a carnal mind rests contented, flattering itself. 15. Some are much in affliction, and of a sorrowful spirit. Such are to be pitied, prayed for, and comforted. And others serve God with gladness of heart, and it prompts their obedience, yet they should rejoice with trembling.
Verse 15. - All the days of the afflicted are evil. "The days of the poor are evil," says the Talmud ('Dukes,' 73); but in our verse the contrasted clause restricts the sense of "the afflicted" to mental, not material, evil. The Vulgate pauperis gives a wrong impression. The persons intended are such as take a gloomy view of things, who are always in low spirits, and cannot rise superior to present circumstances. These never have a happy moment; they are always taking anxious thought (Matthew 6:25), and forecasting evil. The LXX., reading עיני for עני, translates, "At all times the eyes of the evil expect evil." But he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. The cheerful man's condition is a banquet unceasingly, a fixed state of joy and contentment. Septuagint, "But the righteous are at peace always;" Vulgate, "A secure mind is like a perpetual feast." "For," says St. Gregory ('Moral,' 12:44), "the mere repose of security is like the continuance of refreshment. Whereas, on the other hand, the evil mind is always set in pains and labours, since it is either contriving mischiefs that it may bring down, or fearing lest these be brought down upon it by others." Our own proverb says, "A contented mind is a continual feast."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
All the days of the afflicted are evil,.... And some are afflicted all their days, from their youth up; so that not only the days of old age are evil days, in which they have no pleasure, but even the days of their youth; all their days, as Jacob says, "few and evil have the days of the years of my life been", Genesis 47:9; because they had been filled up with affliction and trouble of one sort or another. Or, "all the days of the poor" (f); either in purse, who want many of the good things of life; or in knowledge, as Gersom and Aben Ezra observe;
but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast; a heart that has "the kingdom of God" in it, which lies "not in meat and drink, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost", Romans 14:17, which has the love of God shed abroad in it by the Spirit, where Christ dwells by faith; and that lives by faith on him, and on the provisions of his grace; all this is a constant continual feast to a gracious soul, made joyful hereby.
(f) "pauperis", V. L. Pagninus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
15. The state of the heart governs the outward condition.
evil—sad, contrasted with the cheerfulness of a feast.
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