|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 17. - He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man; qui diligit epulas, Vulgate; for feasts are chiefly, though not exclusively, intended. He shall become "a man of want" (machesor) as Proverbs 11:24. He that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. "Wine and oil" were the usual adjuncts of banquets (Psalm 23:5; Psalm 104:15). Some unguents used for anointing honoured guests were very costly. The pound of spikenard expended by Mary of Bethany was worth more than three hundred pence - the wages of a labourer for nearly a whole year (see John 12:3; Matthew 20:2). Indulgence in such luxuries would be a token of prodigality and extravagance, which are the sure precursors of ruin; while, on the other hand, according to the trite proverb, Magnum vectigal est parsimonia. That fulness of meat and luxurious habits tend to spiritual poverty and the loss of grace, need not be insisted on. Septuagint, "A man in want (ἐνδεὴς) loveth mirth, loving wine and oil unto wealth (εἰς πλοῦτον)." Some translate the last words, "in abundance," as if the meaning was that the poor endeavours to mitigate the severity of his lot by getting all the pleasure he can from creature comforts however procured. Others think that a negative has fallen out of the Greek, which should be, "not unto wealth," i.e. he shall not be enriched thereby.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man,.... Or "sport" (c) and pastime, music and dancing, cards and dice, hunting and hawking, and other sensual gratifications; a man that indulges himself in these things, and spends his time and his money in such a way, is very likely to be a poor man, and generally is so in the issue;
he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich; that is, that loves them immoderately; otherwise in moderation they may be both loved and used; "wine" and "oil" are put for high living, luxurious feasts, costly entertainments; which being so, and continually made, will not suffer a man to be rich. The sense is, that an epicure, one that makes a god of his belly, that is both a winebibber and a glutton, that indulges to rich eating and drinking, in course lessens his substance, and leaves little for his heir: and this holds good with respect to spiritual as to temporal things; such persons are poor, and not rich in spiritual things, that indulge to carnal pleasure, and the gratification of their sensual appetite.
(c) "laetitiam", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. Costly luxuries impoverish.
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