|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:18. Uprightness will give men holy security in the worst times; but the false and dishonest are never safe. 19. Those who are diligent, take the way to live comfortably. 20. The true way to be happy, is to be holy and honest; not to raise an estate suddenly, without regard to right or wrong. 21. Judgment is perverted, when any thing but pure right is considered. 22. He that hastens to be rich, never seriously thinks how quickly God may take his wealth from him, and leave him in poverty. 23. Upon reflection, most will have a better opinion of a faithful reprover than of a soothing flatterer.
Verse 23. - He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour. The word rendered "afterwards" (postea, Vulgate), אַחֲרַי (acharai), creates a difficulty. The suffix cannot be that of the first person singular, which would give no sense; hence most interpreters see in it a peculiar adverb attached to the following verb, "shall afterwards find." Delitzsch. Lowenstein, end Nowack take it for a noun with the termination -ai, and translate, "a man that goeth backward," "a backslider" (as Jeremiah 7:24). Hence the translation will run, "He who reproveth a backsliding man," i.e. one whom he sees to be turning away from God and duty. He shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue (comp. Proverbs 27:6; Proverbs 29:5). A faithful counsellor, who tells a man his faults, brings them home to his conscience, and checks him in his downward course, will be seen to be a true friend, and will be loved and respected both by the one whom he has warned and advised and by all who are well disposed. James 5:19, "If any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him. let him know that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and stroll hide a multitude of sins." "Laudat adulator, sed non est verus amator." The flatterer says only what is agreeable to the man whom he flatters, and thus makes him conceited and selfish and unable to see himself as he really is: the true friend says harsh things, but they are wholesome and tend to spiritual profit, and show more real affection than all the soft words of the fawning parasite. Septuagint, "He that reproveth a man's ways shall have more thanks than he who flattereth with the tongue."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that rebuketh a man,.... His friend and acquaintance, for any fault committed by him; which reproof he gives in a free and faithful manner, yet kind, tender, and affectionate. The word rendered "afterwards", which begins the next clause, according to the accents belongs to this, and is by some rendered, "he that rebuketh a man after me" (b); after my directions, according to the rules I have given; that is, after God, and by his order; or Solomon, after his example, who delivered out these sentences and instructions. The Targum so connects the word, and renders the clause,
"he that rebukes a man before him;''
openly, to his thee: but rather it may be rendered "behind"; that is, as Cocceius interprets it, apart, alone, privately, and secretly, when they are by themselves; which agrees with Christ's instructions, Matthew 18:15;
afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue; for though the reproofs given him may uneasy upon his mind at first, and may be cutting and wounding, and give him some pain, and so some dislike to the reprover; yet when he coolly considers the nature and tendency of the reproof, the manner in which it was given, and the design of it, he will love, value, and esteem his faithful friend and rebuker, more than the man that fawned upon him, and flattered him with having done that which was right and well; or, as the Targum, than he that divideth the tongue, or is doubletongued; and so the Syriac version; see Proverbs 27:5.
(b) "post me", Montanus, Tigurine version, Baynus; so some in Vatablus and Michaelis, R. Saadiah Gaon; "ut sequatur me", Junius & Tremellius.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. (Compare Pr 9:8, 9; 27:5). Those benefited by reproof will love their monitors.
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