|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
24:17,18. The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an enemy is forbidden. 19,20. Envy not the wicked their prosperity; be sure there is no true happiness in it. 21,22. The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them that are given change. 23-26. The wisdom God giveth, renders a man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the right answer, will be attached to him that gave it. 27. We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt.
Verses 19, 20. - A warning against envying the prosperity of the wicked. Verse 19. - Fret not thyself because of evil men (comp. Ver. 1 and Psalm 37:1). The verb (charah) means "to burn," "to be angry;" so here we may render, "Be not enraged on account of evil doers." The anger would arise on account of the apparent inequitable distribution of blessings. St. Jerome has, Ne contendas cum pessimis; Septuagint, "Rejoice not over (ἐπὶ) evildoers." Neither be thou envious at the wicked; i.e. do not fancy that their prosperity is to be desired, nor be led to imitate their doings in order to secure like success. The new verse shows the solemn reason for this warning.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Fret not thyself because of evil men,.... Because of their outward prosperity and worldly happiness, any more than rejoice at their adversity; neither do the one nor the other; where the one prevails, the other does also; by the frequent repetition of this advice, it looks as if this evil is what good men are prone to, and which was very common in Solomon's time, and in the time of his father David, from whom he seems to have borrowed these words, Psalm 37:1; see Proverbs 23:17;
neither be thou envious at the wicked; though they may stand when thou fallest, or be in prosperity when thou art in adversity; the reasons follow.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19, 20. (Ps 37:1, 38; 18:28).
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