|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 23. - This and the following verse, and the first two verses of the next chapter, are not found in the chief manuscripts of the Septuagint, though in later codices they have been supplied from the version of Theodotion. The Codex Venetus Marcianus (23, Holmes and Parsons) is the only uncial that contains them. The poor useth intreaties; but the rich answereth roughly. The irony of the passage is more strongly expressed by Siracides: "The rich man hath done wrong, and yet he threateneth withal: the poor is wronged, and he must intreat also" (Ecclus. 13:3). The rich man not only does wrong, but accompanies the injury with passionate language and abuse, as if he were the sufferer; while the poor man has humbly to ask pardon, as if he were in the wrong. Thus the Roman satirist writes -
"Libertas pauperis haec est:
Pulsatus rogat et pugnis concisus adorat,
Ut liceat paucis cum dentibus inde reverti."
(Juv., 'Sat.,' 3:299.) Aben Ezra explains the verse as denoting that a poor man making a submissive request from a rich man is answered cruelly and roughly. The hardening effect of wealth is seen in our Lord's parables of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16), and the Pharisee and the publican (Luke 18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The poor useth entreaties,.... Or "supplications" (a); he is an humble supplicant to others for favours he asks in a submissive and lowly manner; he does not demand anything, nor prescribe what shall be done for him, but modestly tells his case, and submits it; so such who are poor in spirit are humble supplicants at the throne of grace;
but the rich answereth roughly; being proud and haughty, lifted up with their riches, and in fear of none, they answer others with hard and rough words, especially their inferiors, and particularly the poor. This is not what ought to be, but what commonly is. This verse and Proverbs 18:24 are not in the Arabic version.
(a) "supplicationes", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. the rich … roughly—He is tolerated because rich, implying that the estimate of men by wealth is wrong.
Proverbs 18:23 Parallel Commentaries
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