|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 10. - The bloodthirsty hate the upright; him that is perfect, Revised Version; ὅσιον, Septuagint. His life is a tacit reproach to men of blood, robbers, murderers, and such like sinners, as is finely expressed in the Book of Wisdom 2:12, etc. (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:14). But the just seek his soul. The explanation of this hemistich is doubtful. The following interpretations have been offered:
(1) The just seek the soul of the upright to deliver him from death temporal and spiritual (comp. Proverbs 12:6; Psalm 142:4).
(2) The just seek the murderer's life, take vengeance on him (comp. Psalm 63:9, 10).
(3) "As for the just, they (the murderers) attempt his life," where the change of subject, though by no means unparalleled, is awkward (comp. Psalm 37:14). The second explanation makes the righteous the executioners of vengeance on the delinquents, which does not seem to be the idea intended, and there is no confirmation of it in our book. The interpretation first given has against it the fact that the phrase, "to seek the soul," is used of attempts against the life, not of preserving it. But this is not fatal; and the above seems to be the most likely explanation offered, and gives a good antithesis. Men of blood hate a virtuous man, and try to destroy him; the righteous love him, and do their utmost to defend and keep him safe. If this interpretation is rejected, the third explanation is allowable, the casus pendens - "the just, they seek his life" - may be compared with Genesis 26:15; Deuteronomy 2:23. Septuagint, "But the upright will seek (ἐκζητήσουσι) his life."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The bloodthirsty hate the upright,.... Cain did Abel; and as the wicked world hate all good men, and persecute them, even unto death;
but the just must seek his soul; either the soul of the bloodthirsty, and that either the good of their souls; seek their spiritual welfare, and pray for it, even though they are so cruel and inhuman: or just magistrates will seek after such persons, to punish them for shedding the blood of the upright. Or else the meaning is, that just persons seek the soul of the upright, and make inquisition for the blood of such, to punish for it; which comes to the same sense, as Aben Ezra observes: or rather, such seek to defend and preserve the soul or life of upright men from those that hate and persecute them. Jarchi illustrates it by 1 Samuel 22:23; the Targum is,
"men that shed blood hate integrity; but the upright seek it.''
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. bloodthirsty—(Compare Margin), murderers (Ps 5:6; 26:9).
hate, &c.—(Pr 1:11; Ge 3:4).
seek … soul—that is, to preserve it.
Proverbs 29:10 Parallel Commentaries
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