|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 4. - Many of the proverbs in this chapter seem to suit the time of Jeroboam II. (see on Proverbs 28:3). The king by judgment establisheth the land. The king, the fountain of justice, by his equitable government brings his country into a healthy and settled condition (1 Kings 15:4; comp. Ver. 14; Proverbs 16:12; Proverbs 25:5). In the security of the throne the land and people participate. He that receiveth gifts overthroweth it. The expression, אִישׁ תְּרוּמות (ish terumoth), "man of offerings," "man of gifts," is ambiguous: it may mean "the taker of bribes," the unrighteous ruler who sells justice (Proverbs 15:27), or it may signify "the imposer of taxes" (Ezekiel 45:13, etc.) or forced benevolences. Aquila and Theodotion have ἀνὴρ ἀφαιρεμάτων, "man of heave offerings," and Wordsworth regards him as a man who claims and receives gifts, as if he were a deity on earth. Whichever sense we give to the phrase, the contrast lies between the inflexibly upright ruler and the iniquitous or extortionate prince. The Septuagint gives παράνομος, "a transgressor;" Vulgate, vir avarus.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The king by judgment establisheth the land,.... By executing, judgment and justice among his subjects, he establishes the laws of the land, and the government of it; he secures its peace and prosperity, and preserves his people in the possession at their properties and privileges; and makes them rich and powerful, and the state stable and flourishing, so that it continues firm to posterity; such a king was Solomon, 2 Chronicles 9:8;
but he that receiveth gifts overthroweth it; that, is, a king that does so; Gersom observes that he is not called a king, because such a man is not worthy of the name, who takes gifts and is bribed by them to pervert judgment and justice; whereby the laws of the nation are violated, and the persons and properties of his subjects become the prey of wicked men; and so the state is subverted and falls to ruin: it is in the original text, "a man of oblations" (k); the word is generally used of the sacred oblations or offerings under the law; hence some understand it of a sacrilegious prince who of his own arbitrary power converts sacred things to civil uses. The Targum, Septuagint, Syriac and Arabic versions render it, a wicked and ungodly man; and the Vulgate Latin version, a covetous man; as such a prince must be in whatsoever light he is seen, whether as a perverter of justice through bribes, or as a sacrilegious man; though it may be rendered, "a man of exactions" (l), for it is used of the oblation of a prince which he receives from his people, Ezekiel 45:9; as Aben Ezra observes; and so it may be interpreted of a king that lays heavy taxes upon his people, and thereby brings them to distress and poverty, and the state to ruin.
(k) "vir oblationam", Montanus, Baynus, Grotius, Gejerus, Schultens. (l) "Vir exactionum", Mercerus; "qui levat exactiones", Munster; "qui tributa imponit", so some in Vatablus; "qui tribbuta extorquet", Tigurine version.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. by judgment—that is, righteous decisions, opposed to those procured by gifts (compare Pr 28:21), by which good government is perverted.
Proverbs 29:4 Parallel Commentaries
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