|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
28:1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. 2. National sins disturb the public repose. 3. If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. 4. Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. 5. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. 6. An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. 7. Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. 8. That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. 9. The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God's commands. 10. The success of ungodly men is their own misery. 11. Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. 12. There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. 13. It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 14. There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. 15. A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. 16. Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. 17. The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him.
Verse 8. - He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance. "Usury" (neshek) is interest on money lent taken in money; "unjust gain" (tarbith) is interest taken in kind, as if a man, having lent a bushel of corn, exacted two bushels in return. All such transactions were forbidden by the Law of Moses, at any rate between Israelites (see Leviticus 25:36, 37, "Thou shalt not give thy brother thy money upon usury (neshek), nor lend him thy victuals for increase [marbith, equivalent to tarbith, which is used in ver. 36] "). Septuagint, Μετὰ τόκων καὶ πλεονασμῶν, "With interest and usury." (For censure of usury, see Psalm 109:11; Ezekiel 18:13; and, contrast Psalm 15:5; Ezekiel 18:8.) He shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. He shall never enjoy it himself, and shall fall into the hands of one who will hake a better use of it (see on Proverbs 22:16; and comp Proverbs 13:22; Job 27:16, etc.). In our Lord's parable the pound is taken from one who made no good use of it and is given to a more profitable servant (Luke 19:24).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance,.... By biting and oppressing the poor; letting him have money at an exorbitant interest, and goods at an exorbitant price, and so increases his substance in this scandalous manner; hence usury is in Leviticus 25:36, called "increase", and by the Greeks a "birth", because money is the birth of money, as Aristotle (e) observes; and so by the Latins "foenus", as if it was "foetus" (f), "a birth". The word for usury here signifies biting; and so usury, with classical writers (g), is said to bite; and while it increases the substance of the usurer, it lessens and devours that of others;
he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor; not for himself, nor for his posterity; but for such, though not intentionally but eventually, as will make a good use of it, and distribute it to the necessities of the poor. The meaning is, that things should be so overruled by the providence of God, that what such an avaricious man gets in his dishonest way should not be enjoyed by him or his; but should be taken out of his hands, and put into the hands of another, that will do good with it, by showing mercy to the poor; see Job 27:16.
(e) Politic. l. 1. c. 10. (f) A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 16. c. 12. (g) Plauti Pseudolos, Acts 4. Sc. 7. v. 23, 24. "Habet argentum jam admordere hune mihi lubet", Lucan. l. 1. v. 131. "Vorax usura."
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. usury … unjust gain—(Compare Margin). The two terms, meaning nearly the same, may denote excessive interest. God's providence directs the proper use of wealth.
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