|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
25:1-3 God needs not search into any thing; nothing can be hid from him. But it is the honour of rulers to search out matters, to bring to light hidden works of darkness. 4,5. For a prince to suppress vice, and reform his people, is the best way to support his government. 6,7. Religion teaches us humility and self-denial. He who has seen the glory of the Lord in Christ Jesus, will feel his own unworthiness. 8-10. To be hasty in beginning strife, will bring into difficulties. War must at length end, and might better be prevented. It is so in private quarrels; do all thou canst to settle the matter. 11,12. A word of counsel, or reproof, rightly spoken, is especially beautiful, as fine fruit becomes still more beautiful in silver baskets. 13. See what ought to be the aim of him that is trusted with any business; to be faithful. A faithful minister, Christ's messenger, should be thus acceptable to us. 14. He who pretends to have received or given that which he never had, is like the morning cloud, that disappoints those who look for rain. 15. Be patient to bear a present hurt. Be mild to speak without passion; for persuasive language is the most effectual to prevail over the hardened mind. 16. God has given us leave to use grateful things, but we are cautioned against excess.
Verse 8. - A tristich with no parallelism. Go not forth hastily to strive. The idea is either of one entering into litigation with undue haste, or of one hurrying to meet an adversary. St. Jerome, taking in the final words of the previous verse, renders, Quae viderunt oculi tui, ne proferas in jurgio cito, "What thine eyes have seen reveal not hastily in a quarrel." This is like Ver. 9 below, and Christ's injunction, "If thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone" (Matthew 18:15). Lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof. The Hebrew is elliptical, "Lest by chance (פֶן) thou do something (bad, humiliating) in the end thereof." But Delitzsch, Nowack, and others consider the sentence as interrogative (as 1 Samuel 20:19), and translate, "That it may not be said in the end thereof, What wilt thou do?" Either way, the warning comes to this - Do not enter hastily upon strife of any kind, lest thou be utterly at a loss what to do. When thy neighbour hath put thee to shame, by putting thee in the wrong, gaining his cause, or getting the victory over thee in some way. Septuagint, "Fall not quickly into a contest, lest thou repent at the last." There is an English proverb, "Anger begins with folly and ends with repentance;" and "Haste is the beginning of wrath, its end is repentance."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Go not forth hastily to strive,.... To go to law with a neighbour; think well of it beforehand; consider the nature of the cause, whether right or wrong; or whether it is a matter of such moment as to go to law about; whether it will not be deemed a frivolous and vexatious suit; whether able to bear the expenses of it, and what may probably be the success of it;
lest thou know not what to do in the end thereof; for a livelihood, having spent all thy substance in the lawsuit, and so reduced to poverty as not to know how to live, or how and where to show thy face, through the disgrace that shall fall upon time by losing the cause;
when that neighbour hath put thee to shame; in open court, and proved himself to be in the right, and that thou art in the wrong; himself an honest man, and thee a litigious person.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. (Compare Pr 3:30).
lest … shame—lest you do what you ought not, when shamed by defeat, or "lest thou art shut out from doing any thing."
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