|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
19:14. A discreet and virtuous wife is more valuable than house and riches. 15. A sluggish, slothful disposition makes men poor; it brings them to want. And this applies both to the present life and that which is to come. 16. If we keep God's word, God's word will keep us from every thing really hurtful. We abuse the doctrine of free grace, if we think that it does away the necessity and advantage of obedience. Those that live at random must die. This truth is clearly taught in words enough to alarm the stoutest sinner. 17. God has chosen the poor of this world, to be rich in faith, and heirs of his kingdom. 18. When parents keep under foolish tenderness, they do their best to render children a comfort to them, and happy in themselves.
Verse 16. - Keepeth his own soul. Obedience to God's commandments preserves a man's natural and spiritual life (comp. Proverbs 13:13; Proverbs 16:17). So we read in Ecclesiastes 8:5, "Whoso keepeth the commandment (mitsvah, as here) shall feel no evil thing." He that despiseth his ways shall die. He that cares nothing what he does, whether his life pleases God or not, shall perish. Ἀπολεῖται, Septuagint; mortificabitur, Vulgate. The result is understood differently. The Khetib reads, יוּמַת (iumath), "shall be punished with death" according to the penalties enacted in the Mosaic Law. The Keri reads, יָמוּת (iamuth), "shall die," as in Proverbs 15:10; and this seems more in agreement with what we find elsewhere in the book, as in Proverbs 10:21; Proverbs 23:13. This insensate carelessness leads to ruin, whether its punishment be undertaken by outraged law. or whether it be left to the Divine retribution.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that keepeth the commandment,.... Either of parents, as children ought to do; or of masters, as servants should; or of kings and princes, as is the duty of subjects in all things lawful: or rather of God; every command of his, whether of a moral or positive nature, which, though they cannot be perfectly kept, yet should as much as in man lies, in faith, from a principle of love, and to the glory of God: and such a man
keepeth his own soul, or "observes" (s) it; he shows that he has a concern for its welfare and peace; for though peace does not arise from keeping the commandments of God, yet such have great peace of soul who do love and keep the law of God; though there is no reward for, yet there is a reward in keeping the divine commands; though salvation is not hereby, yet blessed are they that do his commands; by which it appears they have a right to enter into the city, into eternal happiness, Psalm 119:165;
but he that despiseth his ways: which are at and proper for him to walk in, as Aben Ezra observes; or who is negligent of his ways, does not care in what ways he walks, or what is the issue of them; he walks in the ways of his own heart, and in the sight of his eyes; has his conversation according to the course of this world; walks with a multitude, with a crowd, to do evil, in the broad road which leads to destruction, and yet is quite careless about it: or that despises the ways of the commandment or word of God, which that directs to; for that is a lamp and a light, which men would do well to take heed to, as it shows them the ways in which they should walk; but these they neglect and contemn: or he that despises the ways of God, the ways he himself takes in the salvation of men, all whose ways are mercy and truth; that despises the ways of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by Jesus Christ: he
shall die; he is dead in sins already, and he shall die the second death, that neglects and despises so great salvation, and all the ways of the Lord, Hebrews 2:3. There is a "Keri", or marginal reading, which we follow; but the "Cetib", or written text, is, "he shall be killed", or put to death; and so the Syriac version; immediately, by the hand of heaven, by the Lord himself, before his time; or by the judges and civil magistrates; his sins being openly known, as Aben Ezra.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
16. (Compare Pr 10:17; 13:13).
despiseth … ways—opposed to keeping or observing, neglects (Pr 16:17) (as unworthy of regard) his moral conduct.
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