|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.
Verse 4. - By humility and the fear of the Lord, etc. This does not seem to be the best rendering of the original. The word rendered "by" (עֵקֶב ekeb), "in reward of," is also taken as the subject of the sentence: "The reward of humility ['and,' or, 'which is'] the fear of God, is riches," etc. There is no copulative in the clause, and a similar asyndeton occurs in ver. 5; so there is no reason why we should not regard the clause in this way. Thus Revised Version, Nowack, and others. But Delitzsch makes the first hemistich a concluded sentence, which the second member carries on thus: "The reward of humility is the fear of the Lord; it [the reward of humility] is at the same time riches," etc. Vulgate, Finis modestiae timor Domini, divitiae et gloria et vita; Septuagint, "The generation (γενεὰ) of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and wealth," etc. It is preferable to translate as above, taking the two expressed virtues as appositional, thus: "The reward of humility, the fear of the Lord." Humility brings with it true religion, which is expressed by "the fear of the Lord." The feeling of dependence, the lowly opinion of self, the surrender of the will, the conviction of sin, all effects which are connected with humility, may well be represented by this term, "the fear of God," which, in another aspect, is itself the source of every virtue and every blessing; it is riches, and honour, and life. These are God's gifts, the guerdon of faithful service (see notes on Proverbs 3:16 and Proverbs 21:21; and comp. Proverbs 8:18). The Easterns have a pretty maxim, "The bending of the humble is the graceful droop of the branches laden with fruit." And again, "Fruitful trees bend down; the wise stoop; a dry stick and a fool can be broken, not bent" (Lane).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
By humility and the fear of the Lord,.... Some render it, "the reward of humility, which is the fear of the Lord" (r); so the Targum; an humble man is blessed with it. Jarchi's note is,
"because of humility, the fear of the Lord comes;''
humility leads on to the fear of the Lord; he that behaves humbly towards man comes at length to fear the Lord, and be truly religious: though these are rather to be considered as the graces of the Spirit of God, which go together where there is one, there is the other; he that is humbled under a sense of sin, and his own unworthiness, fears the Lord; and he that fears the Lord, and his goodness, will walk humbly before him; they both flow from the grace of God, are very ornamental, and attended with the following happy consequences;
are riches, and honour, and life; spiritual riches, the riches of grace and glory; honour with God and men now, and everlasting life in the world to come.
(r) "praemium mansuetudinis, quae est reverentia Jehovae", Schultens; "merces humilitatis timor Domini", Baynus; "praemium humilitatis est timor Domini": Tigurine version; so Vatablus, Mercerus, Cocceius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. humility and the fear of the Lord—are in apposition; one produces the other. On the results, compare Pr 3:16; 8:18.
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