|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
16:4. God makes use of the wicked to execute righteous vengeance on each other; and he will be glorified by their destruction at last. 5. Though sinners strengthen themselves and one another, they shall not escape God's judgments. 6. By the mercy and truth of God in Christ Jesus, the sins of believers are taken away, and the power of sin is broken. 7. He that has all hearts in his hand, can make a man's enemies to be at peace with him. 8. A small estate, honestly come by, will turn to better account than a great estate ill-gotten. 9. If men make God's glory their end, and his will their rule, he will direct their steps by his Spirit and grace. 10. Let kings and judges of the earth be just, and rule in the fear of God. 11. To observe justice in dealings between man and man is God's appointment.
Verse 5. - (For the first member, see Proverbs 6:17; Proverbs 8:13.) Says the maxim -
Ἀλαζονείας οὔ τις ἐκφεύγει δίκην
"Pride hath its certain punishment." We read in the Talmud, "Of every proud man God says, He and I cannot live in the world together." A mediaeval jingle runs -
"Hoc retine verbum, frangit Deus omne superbum." Septuagint, "Impure in the sight of God is every high-hearted man (ὑψηλοκάρδιος)." The second member is found in Proverbs 11:21, and must be taken as a form of adjuration. Septuagint, "Putting hands on hand unjustly, he shall not be innocent;" i.e. one who acts violently and unjustly shall be held guilty - which seems a trite truism. Many commentators interpret the clause as if it meant that the cooperation and combination of sinners in evil practices will not save them from retribution. But hand clasping hand in token of completing a bargain or alliance is scarcely an early Oriental custom. There is an analogous saying in Greek which implies mutual assistance -
Ξεὶρ χεῖρα νίπτει δακτυλός τε δάκτυλον
"Hand washes hand, and finger finger." The LXX. has here two distiches, the first of which occurs in the Vulgate, but the second is not found there. Neither appears in our present Hebrew text. "The beginning of the good way is to do what is just; this is more acceptable to God than to sacrifice sacrifices. He who seeketh the Lord shall find knowledge with righteousness; and they who seek him rightly alkali find peace."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord,.... Though he may dissemble his pride, and not discover it in his looks, by his words and gestures; yet the Lord sees and knows the heart, the naughtiness of it, and the pride that is in it: and only a proud look, but a proud heart, is abominable to him: everyone that is so arrogant as to arraign the decrees of God, and quarrel with him about them, to whom the apostle says, "Nay, but, O man", O proud vain man, "who art thou, that repliest against God?" Romans 9:19; every proud Pharisee, that trusts in himself that he is righteous, and despises others, that justifies himself before men, is an abomination in the sight of God, Luke 18:9; particularly antichrist, who has not only a proud look, a look more stout than his fellows, but a proud heart; exalts himself above all that is called God; and not only speaks big words against the most High, but has it in his heart to change times and laws; and proudly imagines he shall always continue in his grandeur and prosperity, Daniel 7:25;
though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished; though he endeavours with both hands, with all his might and main, to secure himself and prevent his ruin, he shall not be able to do it; though he enters into confederacy with, and calls in the kings of the earth to his assistance, it will be of no avail, both he and they shall be destroyed; or out of hand, immediately, his destruction will come upon him, Revelation 16:14; See Gill on Proverbs 11:21; The Targum is,
"from evil he shall not be cleared;''
and the Syriac version,
"he that stretcheth out his hand against his neighbour shall not be cleared from evil.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. (Compare Pr 3:32).
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