|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
20:30. Severe rebukes sometimes do a great deal of good. But such is the corruption of nature, that men are loth to be rebuked for their sins. If God uses severe afflictions, to purify our hearts and fit us for his service, we have cause to be very thankful.
Verse 30. - The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil. So the Vulgate, Livor vulneris absterget mala. Chaburoth means "stripes," and the proverb says that deep-cutting stripes are the only effectual cure of evil; i.e. severe punishment is the best healing process in cases of moral delinquency (Proverbs 19:29). Painful remedies, incisions, cauteries, amputations, are often necessary in the successful treatment of bodily ailments; spiritual sickness needs sterner, more piercing, remedies. So do stripes the inward parts of the belly; or better, and strokes that reach, etc. The stings of conscience, warnings and reproofs which penetrate to the inmost recesses of the heart, chastisement which affects the whole spiritual being. - these are needful to the correction and purification of inveterate evil. Aben Ezra connects this verse with the preceding thus: as strength gives a glory to young men, and hoar hairs adorn an old man, so wounds and bruises, so to speak, ornament the sinner, mark him out, and at the same time heal and amend him. It may also be connected with ver. 27. If a man will not use the lamp which God has given him for illumination and correction, he must expect severe chastisement and sternest discipline. Septuagint, "Bruises (ὑπώπια) and contusions befall bad men, and plagues that reach to the chambers of the belly." St. Gregory, 'Moral.,' 23:40, "By the blueness of a wound he implies the discipline of blows on the body. But blows in the secret parts of the belly are the wounds of the mind within, which are inflicted by compunction. For as the belly is distended when filled with food, so is the mind puffed up when swollen with wicked thoughts. The blueness, then, of a wound, and blows in the secret parts of the belly, cleanse away evil, because both outward discipline does away with faults, and compunction pierces the distended mind with the punishment of penance. But they differ from each other in this respect, that the wounds of blows give us pain, the sorrows of compunction have good savour. The one afflict and torture, the others restore when they afflict us. Through the one there is sorrow in affliction, through the other there is joy in grief" (Oxford transl.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The blueness of a wound cleanseth away evil,.... Rubs it off and scours it away, as the word (m) signifies, or is a clearing and rubbing it off; some men must be beaten black and blue, or must have very sore correction, before they can be reclaimed and reformed from their evil ways; so some interpret it of the evil man (n): sanctified afflictions to God's people are the means of purging away their iniquities, their dross, and their sin; but there is nothing so effectually cleanses from sin as the blood of Jesus, or heals or cures of it as his blue wounds and stripes; see Isaiah 27:9;
so do stripes the inward part of the belly; or heart and conscience; by means of corrections and chastisement men are brought to an inward sense of sin; they are shown their transgressions wherein they have exceeded, and are commanded to return from iniquity, Job 36:9; they lament and mourn over sin, confess it and forsake it; and then may the inwards of the heart, the mind and conscience, defiled with them, be said to be cleansed from them; especially when led by these stripes and corrections to the stripes, wounds, and blood of Christ which, being applied, cleanse from all, sin inwardly and outwardly.
(m) "abstesio", Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius; "detersio", Montanus, Michaelis; "effricatio", Schultens. (n) "in malo, sub, homine", Vatablus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "in malo (homine nequam)", Schultens, so Aben Ezra.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. blueness—literally, "joining," the process of uniting the edges of a wound throws off purulent matter.
stripes … belly—So punishment provides healing of soul (Pr 18:8), by deterring from evil courses.
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