|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Verse 13. - Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor. A twofold retribution is threatened on the unmerciful man. He also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard. He himself shall tall into distress, and shall appeal to his neighbours for help in vain. "With the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38). This is true also in spiritual matters and in the final judgment (see on Proverbs 14:21 and Proverbs 19:17; and comp. Matthew 18:28, etc.; Matthew 25:41, etc.; James 2:13).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor,.... For want of bread; or, "of the weak", as the Septuagint and other versions; for want of help and protection, when in the greatest distress; and, with the most pressing importunity, entreats his assistance, and yet refuses to hear him out: or, if he does, will not relieve him, which is all one as if he heard him not, or denied him a hearing;
he also shall cry himself; the Targum and Syriac version add, "unto God". The sense is, that even such an one shall be brought into the like distressed circumstances, when he shall make application to God, and to his fellow creatures, for relief and assistance:
but shall not be heard; a deaf ear will be turned to him by both: the same measure he has measured shall be measured to him again; no mercy shall be shown to an unmerciful man, either by God or man; see James 2:13.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
13. The principles of retribution, often taught (compare Ps 18:26; Mt 7:1-12).
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