|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 17. - He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord. English Church people are familiar with this distich, as being one of the sentences of Scripture read at the Offertory. The word for "poor" is here dal, "feeble" (see on vers. 1 and 4). It is a beautiful thought that by showing mercy and pity we are, as it were, making God our debtor; and the truth is wonderfully advanced by Christ, who pronounces (Matthew 25:40), "Inasmuch as ye have done it mite one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me" (see on Proverbs 11:24; 28:27). St. Chrysostom ('Hom.,' 15, on 1 Corinthians 5), "To the more imperfect this is what we may say, Give of what you have unto the needy. Increase your substance. For, saith he, 'He that giveth unto the poor lendeth unto God.' But if you are in a hurry, and wait not for the time of retribution, think of those who lend money to men; for not even these desire to get their interest immediately; but they are anxious that the principal should remain a good long while in the hands of the borrower, provided only the repayment be secure, and they have no mistrust of the borrower. Let this be done, then, in the present case also. Leave them with God, that he may pay thee thy wages manifold. Seek not to have the whole here; for if you recover it all here, how will you receive it back there? And it is on this account that God stores them up there, inasmuch as this present life is full of decay. But he gives even here also; for, 'Seek ye,' saith he, 'the kingdom of heaven, and all these things shall be added unto you.' Well, then, let us look towards that kingdom, and not be in a hurry for the repayment of the whole, lest we diminish our recompense. But let us wait for the fit season. For the interest in these cases is not of that kind, but is such as is meet to be given by God. This, then, having collected together in great abundance, so let us depart hence, that we may obtain beth the present and the future blessings" (Oxford transl.). That which he hath given will he pay him again; Vicissitudinem suam reddet ei, Vulgate, "According to his gift will he recompense him." גִּמוּל (gemul), "good deed" (Proverbs 12:14, where it is rendered "recompense"). Ecclus. 32(35):10, etc., "Give unto the Most High according as he hath enriched thee; and as thou hast gotten give with a cheerful eye. For the Lord recompenseth, and will give thee seven times as much." There are proverbs rife in other lands to the same effect. The Turk says, "What you give in charity in this world you take with you after death. Do good, and throw it into the sea if the fish does not know it, God does." And the Russian, "Throw bread and salt behind you, you get them before you" (Lane).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that hath pity unto the poor lendeth unto the Lord,.... A man, whose heart is full of compassion to the poor, and whose hands distribute to their necessities, from a true principle of love and charity to men, and with a view to the glory of God, and not from any selfish principle and with a end; such a man's gift to the poor is a loan to the Lord; it is not cast away upon the creature, but is a "depositum" in the hands of God, and shall be returned with advantage;
and that which he hath given will, he pay him again; either in this life, in things temporal and spiritual, increasing his worldly substance, blessing his posterity, granting him larger measures of grace, indulging him with his gracious presence, and giving him peace of mind, which passeth all understanding; or in the world to come; not as a reward of debt, but of grace; see Ecclesiastes 11:1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. (Compare Pr 14:21; Ps 37:26).
hath pity—shown by acts (compare Margin).
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