|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:10 Slander not a servant to his master, accuse him not in small matters, to make mischief. 11-14. In every age there are monsters of ingratitude who ill-treat their parents. Many persuade themselves they are holy persons, whose hearts are full of sin, and who practise secret wickedness. There are others whose lofty pride is manifest. There have also been cruel monsters in every age. 15-17. Cruelty and covetousness are two daughters of the horseleech, that still cry, Give, give, and they are continually uneasy to themselves. Four things never are satisfied, to which these devourers are compared. Those are never rich that are always coveting. And many who have come to a bad end, have owned that their wicked courses began by despising their parents' authority. 18-20. Four things cannot be fully known. The kingdom of nature is full of marvels. The fourth is a mystery of iniquity; the cursed arts by which a vile seducer gains the affections of a female; and the arts which a vile woman uses to conceal her wickedness. 21-23 Four sorts of persons are very troublesome. Men of low origin and base spirit, who, getting authority, become tyrants. Foolish and violent men indulging in excesses. A woman of a contentious spirit and vicious habits. A servant who has obtained undue influence. Let those whom Providence has advanced from low beginnings, carefully watch against that sin which most easily besets them.
Verses 11-31 contain six groups of four sentences each, each quaternion having a certain connection in language and concinnity of idea. First (vers. 11-14) come four generations that are evil - four being taken as the symbol of universality. The sins herein specified had become so general that they affected the whole generation. Verse 11. - There is a generation that eurseth their father. The words, "there is," are not found in the Hebrew, and the four subjects are without a predicate. Delitzsch calls the group "a mutilated priamel," which is explained to be a kind of gnomic poetry containing a series of antecedents or subjects followed by an epigrammatic conclusion applicable to all the antecedents. In the present ease the conclusion is wanting, so that we are left in doubt whether the author meant merely to de. scribe classes of men in his own time or to affirm that such are abominable. Septuagint, "A wicked generation curseth its father (ἔκγονον κακόν)," which expression is repeated at each of the four verses. The first sin is that which offends against the commandment to honour and obey parents. This was judged worthy of death under the old Law (Exodus 21:17; see Proverbs 20:20, and note there). And doth not bless their mother. This is a litotes, "not to bless" being equivalent to "to curse."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
There is a generation that curseth their father,.... A sort of men that neither fear God nor regard men; and are so inhuman as to be without natural affections to their parents; have no reverence of them, love to them, nor give them any honour or obedience; so far from it, that they curse their father that begot them; imprecate on him all the evils in life they can think of, and wish him out of the world;
and doth not bless their mother; cannot give her a good word, who bore them, and brought them up in the most tender and indulgent manner; yea, so unnatural as to curse her also, for that is intended by this way of speaking; see Proverbs 30:17.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11-14. Four kinds of hateful persons—(1) graceless children, (2) hypocrites, (3) the proud, (4) cruel oppressors (compare on Pr 30:14; Ps 14:4; 52:2)—are now illustrated; (1) Pr 30:15, 16, the insatiability of prodigal children and their fate; (2) Pr 30:17, hypocrisy, or the concealment of real character; (3 and 4) Pr 30:18-20, various examples of pride and oppression.
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