|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:19. Confidence in an unfaithful man is painful and vexatious; when we put any stress on him, he not only fails, but makes us feel for it. 20. We take a wrong course if we think to relieve those in sorrow by endeavouring to make them merry. 21,22. The precept to love even our enemies is an Old Testament commandment. Our Saviour has shown his own great example in loving us when we were enemies. 23. Slanders would not be so readily spoken, if they were not readily heard. Sin, if it receives any check, becomes cowardly. 24. It is better to be alone, than to be joined to one who is a hinderance to the comfort of life. 25. Heaven is a country afar off; how refreshing is good news from thence, in the everlasting gospel, which signifies glad tidings, and in the witness of the Spirit with our spirits that we are God's children! 26. When the righteous are led into sin, it is as hurtful as if the public fountains were poisoned. 27. We must be, through grace, dead to the pleasures of sense, and also to the praises of men. 28. The man who has no command over his anger, is easily robbed of peace. Let us give up ourselves to the Lord, and pray him to put his Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in his statutes.
Verse 26. - Hebrew (see on Ver. 11), A troubled fountain, and a corrupted spring - a righteous man giving way to the wicked. A good man neglecting to assert himself and to hold his own m the face of sinners, is as useless to society and as harmful to the good cause as a spring that has been defiled by mud stirred up or extraneous matter introduced is unserviceable for drinking and prejudicial to those who use it. The mouth of the righteous should be "a well of life" (Proverbs 10:11), wholesome, refreshing, helpful; his conduct should be consistent and straightforward, fearless in upholding the right (Isaiah 51:12, etc.), uncompromising in opposing sin. When such a man, for fear, or favour, or weakness, or weariness, yields to the wicked, compromises principle, no longer makes a stand for truth and purity and virtue, he loses his high character, brings a scandal on religion, and lowers his own spiritual nature. It is this moral cowardice which Christ so sternly rebukes (Matthew 10:33), "Whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Some have assumed that the gnome is concerned with a good man's fall into misfortune owing to the machinations of sinners; but in this case the comparison loses its force; such persecution would not disturb the purity or lower the character of the righteous man; it would rather enhance his good qualities, give occasion for their exercise and development, and therefore could not be described as fouling a pure spring.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
A righteous man falling dozen before the wicked,.... Either falling into calamity and distress by means of the wicked man, through his malice and cunning, and which be seeing, rejoices at; or crouching unto him, bowing before him, yielding to him, not daring to oppose or reprove him; or falling into sin in his presence, which he ever after reproaches him for, and openly exposes him, so that his usefulness is lost; and especially if he joins with the wicked man in his course of living; and particularly if a civil magistrate, and acts unrighteously in his office: he
is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring; like a spring or fountain muddied with the feet of men or beasts; so that; he who was before as a clear spring of flowing water, a fountain of justice to his neighbours, from whom good doctrine and wholesome advice flowed, is now of no use by instruction or example, but the contrary.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
26. From troubled fountains and corrupt springs no healthy water is to be had, so when the righteous are oppressed by the wicked, their power for good is lessened or destroyed.
Proverbs 25:26 Parallel Commentaries
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