|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:19. Great care must be taken to prevent quarrels among relations and those under obligations to each other. Wisdom and grace make it easy to forgive; but corruption makes it difficult. 20. The belly is here put for the heart, as elsewhere; and what that is filled with, our satisfaction will be accordingly, and our inward peace. 21. Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue. 22. A good wife is a great blessing to a man, and it is a token of Divine favour. 23. Poverty tells men they must not order or demand. And at the throne of God's grace we are all poor, and must use entreaties. 24. Christ Jesus never will forsake those who trust in and love him. May we be such friends to others, for our Master's sake. Having loved his own, which were in the world, he loved them unto the end; and we are his friends if we do whatever he commands us, Joh 15:14.
Verse 22. - Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing. A good wife is meant (as the Septuagint has it, γυναῖκα ἀγαθήν; mulierem bonam, Vulgate), a virtuous, prudent helpmate, as in Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 19:14; and 31. The epithet is omitted, because the moralist is thinking of the ideal wife, the one whoso union is blessed, who alone deserves the holy name of wife. Thus in ver. 4 we had the ideal man spoken cf. Septuagint, εϋρε χάριτας," findeth graces," viz. peace, union, plenty, ruder (see a different view, Ecclesiastes 7:26-28). And obtaineth favour of the Lord (Proverbs 8:35; Proverbs 12:2); or, hath obtained (Proverbs 3:13), as shown by the consort whom God has given him. Ratson, "good will," "favour," is rendered by the Septuagint ἱλαρότητα, and by the Vulgate, jucunditatem, "cheerfulness," "joyousness" (see on Proverbs 19:12). Ecclus. 26:1, etc., "Blessed is the man that hath a good wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous (ἀνδρεία) woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A good wife is a good portion which shall be given in the portion of them that fear the Lord." "A good wife," says the Talmud. "is a good gift; she shall be given to a man that feareth God." And again, "God did not make woman from man's head, that she should not rule over him; nor from his feet, that she should not be his slave; but from his side, that she should be near his heart" (Dukes, p. 69). A Greek gnome runs -
Γυνή δικαζα τοῦ βίου σωτηρία The Septuagint and Vulgate here introduce a paragraph which is not in the Hebrew, and only partly in the Syriac. It seems to be a further explanation of the statement in the text, founded on the practice prevalent at the time when the Septuagint Version was composed, which appears to have made divorce a recognized necessity in the case of adultery: "He who casteth away a good a wife casteth away good things; but he who retaineth an adulteress is a fool and impious." The advice of Siracides concerning a wicked wife is austere: "If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh" (Ecclus. 25:26). Nothing is here said about the marriage of divorced persons; but the absolute indissolubility of the marriage bond was never held among the Jews, a certain laxity being allowed because of the hardness of their heart (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:8, etc.). The original intently of the marriage contract was re-established by Christ.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whoso findeth a wife,.... A good one; so the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, supply it; and so the Targum, though it leaves out the word good in the last clause; and no other can be meant, even a good natured one, wise, prudent, careful, and industrious; a proper helpmeet, a virtuous woman, as in Proverbs 31:10; whoso seeks after such an one, and finds one, especially one that has the grace of God, which he should seek after among his friends, and by their assistance, and by prayer to God:
findeth a good thing; that will be good for him, both upon a civil and spiritual account; the Septuagint version adds,
"he that casts out a good wife casts out good things, but he that retains a whore is foolish and ungodly;''
which is followed by the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions, but is not in the Hebrew text. Jarchi interprets it of the law in a mystic sense, but, according to the literal sense, of a good wife;
and obtaineth favour of the Lord; it is from the Lord, and under his direction and guidance in seeking, that he finds a good wife; and which he ought to esteem as a favour from the Lord, and as an evidence of his favour to him, and may encourage himself to hope for others of him (z) Hesiod says, a man cannot obtain anything better than a good wife.
(z) Opera & Dies, l. 2. v. 323.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. The old versions supply "good" before the "wife," as the last clause and Pr 19:14 imply (compare Pr 31:10).
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