|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:4. Flatterers, especially false teachers, are welcome to those that live in sin. 5. Those that laugh at poverty, treat God's providence and precepts with contempt. 6. It is an honour to children to have wise and godly parents continued to them, even after they are grown up and settled in the world. 7. A fool, in Solomon's Proverbs, signifies a wicked man, whom excellent speech does not become, because his conversation contradicts it.
Verse 5. - Whoso mocketh the poor (see Proverbs 14:31, which is nearly identical). He that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished (Proverbs 11:21; Proverbs 24:17, 18). The particular calamity primarily intended seems to be that which reduces a person to poverty. Delight in others' misfortunes, even those of enemies, is a most detestable form of selfishness and malice. Job, testifying to his own integrity, was thankful to think that he was free from this vice (Job 31:29). The Greeks had a name for it, and called it ἐπιχαιρεκακία, which is used by Aristotle ('Eth. Nic.,' 2:6. 18). The pious author looks for retributive punishment on such spitefulness. The LXX. tries to improve the contrast by resorting a gloss, "He who rejoices at one who perishes shall not go unpunished; but he who hath compassion shall obtain mercy," which is remarkably like Christ's sentence, "Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker,.... He that mocks the poor for his poverty, Upbraids him with his mean appearance, scoffs at the clothes he wears or food he eats, such an one reproaches his Creator; or, as the Targum,
"provokes his Creator to anger;''
him who is his own Creator as well as the poor man's; him who made the poor man, both as a man and as a poor man; and who could have made him rich if he would, as well as the man that mocks at him; whose riches are not of himself, but of God; and who can take them away, and give them to the poor man if he pleases; and therefore rich men should be careful how they mock the poor; for, as Gersom observes, he that derides a work derides the workman;
and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished; or "at calamity" (c); at the calamity of another, as the Vulgate Latin; and so Gersom; for no man rejoices at his own calamity; at the calamity of the poor, as Aben Ezra; or of his neighbour or companion, as the Targum; or at the calamity of any of his fellow creatures, as the Edomites rejoiced at the calamity of the Jews, but were in their turn destroyed; and as the Jews rejoiced when the Christians were persecuted by Nero, and at length were destroyed themselves by the Romans; and as the Papists will rejoice when the witnesses are slain, and quickly after seven thousand men of name will be slain of them, and the rest frightened, Revelation 11:10.
(c) "ad calamitatem", Schultens; "ob calamitatem", Cocceius; "calamitate", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. (Compare Pr 14:31).
glad at calamities—rejoicing in others' evil. Such are rightly punished by God, who knows their hearts.
Proverbs 17:5 Parallel Commentaries
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