|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:1 It seems hard to believe that men of the greatest abilities, as well as the ignorant, should render themselves fools and madmen, merely for the taste or excitement produced by strong liquors. 2. How formidable kings are to those who provoke them! how much more foolish then is it to provoke the King of kings! 3. To engage in quarrels is the greatest folly that can be. Yield, and even give up just demands, for peace' sake. 4. He who labours and endures hardship in his seed-time for eternity, will be properly diligent as to his earthly business.
Verse 1. - Wine is a mocker; or, scorner, the word (luts) being taken up from the last chapter. The liquor is, as it were, personified, as doing what men do under its influence. Thus inebriated persons scoff at what is holy, reject reproof, ridicule all that is serious. Septuagint, Ἀκόλαστον οϊνος, "Wine is an undisciplined thing;" Vulgate, Luxuriosa res, vinum. Strong drink is raging; a brawler, Revised Version. Shekar, σίκερα (Luke 1:15), is most frequently employed of any intoxicating drink not made from grapes, e.g. palm wine, mead, etc. The inordinate use of this renders men noisy and boisterous, no longer masters of themselves or restrained by the laws of morality or decency. Septuagint, Υβιστικὸν μέθη, "Drunkenness is insolent." Theognis has some sensible lines on this matter ('Parch.,' 479) -
Ος δ α}ν ὑπερβάλλῃ πόσιος μὲτρον οὐκέτι
Τῆς αὐτοῦ γλώσσης καρτερὸς οὐδὲ νόου
Μυθεῖται δ ἀπάλαμνα τὰ νήφοσι γίγνεται αἰσχρά
Αἰδεῖται δ ἕρδων οὐδὲν ὅταν μεθύῃ
Τὸ πρὶν ἐὼν σώφρων τότε νήπιος Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. No one who reels under the influence of, is overpowered by, wine is wise (Isaiah 28:7). Septuagint, "Every fool is involved in such." Says a Latin adage -
"Ense cadunt multi, perimit sed crapula plures." More are drowned in the wine cup than in the ocean, say the Germans (comp. Proverbs 23:29, etc.; Ephesians 5:18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging,.... Wine deceives a man; it not only overcomes him before he is aware, but it promises him a pleasure which it does not give; but, on the contrary, excessive drinking gives him pain, and so mocks him; yea, it exposes him to reproach and disgrace, and to the mockery and derision of others; as well as it sets him to scoff at his companions, and even to mock at religion, and all that is good and serious; see Hosea 7:5; and strong drink not only disturbs the brain, and puts the spirits in a ferment, so that a man rages within, but it sets him a raving and quarrelling with his company, and everybody he meets with; such generally get into broils and contentions, and get woe, sorrow, and wounds, Proverbs 23:29. Aben Ezra gives this as the sense of the words,
"a man of wine''
(that is, one that is given to wine, a wine bibber), so Ben Melech,
"is a mocker, and he cries out for strong drink, that it may be given him;''
which is not a bad sense of the words.
and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise; whosoever gives himself to it, is not on his guard against it, but is overcome by it, does not act a wise but an unwise part: wine besots as well as deceives men. This may be applied to the wine of fornication, or to the false doctrine and superstition of the church of Rome; with which the nations of the earth are deceived and made drunk, and which puts them upon blaspheming God, deriding his people, and using cruelty to them, Revelation 17:2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1. mocker—scorner. Such men are made by wine.
strong drink—made by spicing wine (compare Isa 5:11, 22); and it may include wine.
raging—or boisterous as a drunkard.
deceived—literally, "erring," or reeling.
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