|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.
Verse 22. - For a servant when he reigneth; or, under a slave when he becometh king. This startling vicissitude was not uncommon in Eastern states; and even if the slave was not preferred to regal power, he was often advanced by unwise favouritism to high position, for which he was wholly unfitted, and which he used only to aggrandize himself at the expense and to the injury of others, This incongruity has been already noticed at Proverbs 19:10 (where see note). And a fool when he is filled with meat. "Fool" is here nabal, a low, profligate fellow, who is rich and without care. When such a one rises to high position, or has power over others, he becomes arrogant, selfish, unbearable (comp. ver. 9; Proverbs 28:12; Proverbs 29:2).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For a servant, when he reigneth,.... Being unfit for it through his education, not having been trained up in and learned the arts of government and maxims of it; and through the disposition of his mind, which is mean, abject, and servile; and as he has been used himself when a servant, so he will use others (c) and through his circumstances, being poor, he will take oppressive methods to become rich; and being raised from a low estate, he is the more imperious, proud, and haughty (d); all which and more make his reign intolerable; see Proverbs 19:10. This may be applied to antichrist, the "servus servorum", who in a haughty, tyrannical, and insolent manner, exalts himself above all that is called God: and reigns over the kings of the earth, at least has done so, and that in such a manner as was unbearable; deposing kings at pleasure, disposing of their kingdoms, and trampling upon their necks, and making their subjects his vassals; see 2 Thessalonians 2:4;
and a fool, when he is filled with meat; as Nabal at his feast, when he behaved so intolerably in his cups towards David and his messengers, that he determined on his destruction, had not Abigail interposed, 1 Samuel 25:10; and there are many such fools, who having their bellies full of food, and their heads full of liquor, are very overbearing in company, and give their tongues such a loose as is very disturbing: or this may intend such fools, or wicked men, who are full of wealth and riches, and being purse proud, are exceeding haughty and insolent; set their mouths against the heaven, and blaspheme God that is in it; and their tongues walk through the earth, and spare none, but lash all in an insufferable manner. These disquiet families, neighbourhoods, communities, and commonwealths; see Psalm 73:7.
(c) "Nec bellua tetrior ulla est, quam servi rabies in libera colla furentis", Claudian. in Eutrop. l. 1. v. 183, 184. (d) "Asperius nihil est humili, cum surgit in altum", Claudian. ib. v. 181.
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