|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:1 If God wounds, who can heal? The word of God warns all to flee from the wrath to come, to the hope set before us in Jesus Christ. 2. The people have cause to rejoice or mourn, as their rulers are righteous or wicked. 3. Divine wisdom best keeps us from ruinous lusts. 4. The Lord Jesus is the King who will minister true judgment to the people. 5. Flatterers put men off their guard, which betrays them into foolish conduct. 6. Transgressions always end in vexations. Righteous men walk at liberty, and walk in safety. 7. This verse is applicable to compassion for the distress of the poor, and the unfeeling disregard shown by the wicked. 8. The scornful mock at things sacred and serious. Men who promote religion, which is true wisdom, turn away the wrath of God. 9. If a wise man dispute with a conceited wrangler, he will be treated with anger or ridicule; and no good is done. 10. Christ told his disciples that they should be hated of all men. The just, whom the blood-thirsty hate, gladly do any thing for their salvation.
Verse 1. - He that being often reproved hardeneth his neck; literally, a man of reproofs - one who has had a long experience of rebukes and warnings. Compare "a man of sorrows" (Isaiah 53:3). The hardening of the neck is a metaphor derived from obstinate draught animals who will not submit to the yoke (Deuteronomy 10:16; Jeremiah 2:20; Jeremiah 27:8). Christ calls his yoke easy, and bids his followers to bear it bravely (Matthew 11:29. etc.). The reproofs may arise from the Holy Spirit and the conscience, from the teaching of the past, or from the counsel of friends. The LXX. (as some other Jewish interpreters) takes the expression in the text actively, "A man who reproves (ἐλέγχων) is better than one of stiff neck." Shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy (Proverbs 6:15; Proverbs 15:10). The incorrigible and self-deluding sinners shall come to a fearful and sudden end, though retribution be delayed (comp. Job 34:20; Psalm 2:9; Jeremiah 19:11). And there is no hope in their end; despising all correction, they can have no possibility of restoration. We may refer, as an illustration, to that terrible passage in the Epistle to the Hebrews (Hebrews 6:4, etc.), and to the fate of the Jews unto the present day. Septuagint, "For when he is burning suddenly, there is no remedy."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He that being often reported hardeneth his neck,.... Or "a man of reproofs" (d); either a man that takes upon him to be a censurer and reprover of others, and is often at that work, and yet does those things himself which he censures and reproves in others; and therefore must have an impudent face and a hard heart a seared conscience and a stiff neck; his neck must be an iron sinew and his brow brass: or rather a man that is often reproved by others by parents by ministers of the Gospel, by the Lord himself, by the admonitions of his word and Spirit and by the correcting dispensations of his providence; and yet despises and rejects all counsel and admonition, instruction and reproofs of every kind, and hardens himself against them and shows no manner of regard unto them. The metaphor is taken from oxen, which kick and toss about and will not suffer the yoke to be put upon their necks. Such an one
shall suddenly be destroyed; or "broken" (e); as a potter's vessel is broken to pieces with an iron rod, and can never he put together again; so such persons shall be punished with everlasting destruction, which shall come upon them suddenly, when they are crying Peace to themselves notwithstanding the reproofs of God and men;
and that without remedy; or, "and there is no healing" (f); no cure of their disease, which is obstinate; no pardon of their sins; no recovery of them out of their miserable and undone state and condition; they are irretrievably lost; there is no help for them, having despised advice and instruction; see Proverbs 5:12.
(d) "vir increpationum", Vatablus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "vir correptionum", Piscator, Michaelis; "vir redargutionum", Schultens. (e) "conteretur", Pagninus, Montanus, Tigurine version, &c. "confringetur", Schultens; so Baynus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius. (f) "et non (erit) sanitas", Pagninus, Montanus, Baynus; "non sit curatio", Junius & Tremellius; "medicina", Piscator.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1. hardeneth … neck—obstinately refuses counsel (2Ki 17:14; Ne 9:16).
destroyed—literally, "shivered" or "utterly broken to pieces."
without remedy—literally, "without healing" or repairing.
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