|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:14-27 The way of evil men may seem pleasant, and the nearest way to compass some end; but it is an evil way, and will end ill; if thou love thy God and thy soul, avoid it. It is not said, Keep at a due distance, but at a great distance; never think you can get far enough from it. The way of the righteous is light; Christ is their Way, and he is the Light. The saints will not be perfect till they reach heaven, but there they shall shine as the sun in his strength. The way of sin is as darkness. The way of the wicked is dark, therefore dangerous; they fall into sin, but know not how to avoid it. They fall into trouble, but never seek to know wherefore God contends with them, nor what will be in the end of it. This is the way we are bid to shun. Attentive hearing the word of God, is a good sign of a work of grace begun in the heart, and a good means of carrying it on. There is in the word of God a proper remedy for all diseases of the soul. Keep thy heart with all diligence. We must set a strict guard upon our souls; keep our hearts from doing hurt, and getting hurt. A good reason is given; because out of it are the issues of life. Above all, we should seek from the Lord Jesus that living water, the sanctifying Spirit, issuing forth unto everlasting life. Thus we shall be enabled to put away a froward mouth and perverse lips; our eyes will be turned from beholding vanity, looking straight forward, and walking by the rule of God's word, treading in the steps of our Lord and Master. Lord, forgive the past, and enable us to follow thee more closely for the time to come.
Verse 17. - For (ki, equivalent to the Greek γὰρ) is here explanatory. It serves not so much to introduce another independent statement, as one which accounts for the statement made in the preceding verse, that the wicked sleep not unless they have done mischief, i.e. it states the reason why they are so conditioned. There is no comparison expressed in the original, as the rendering adopted by Schultens and others implies, "For wickedness do they eat as bread, and violence do they drink as wine," which is evidently based on Job 15:16, "Which drinketh up iniquity like water," and Job 34:7, "Who drinketh up scorning like water." The literal rendering is, for they eat the bread of wickedness, and the wine of violence do they drink. The bread of wickedness (lekhem resha) is not bread which consists in wickedness, but bread which is obtained by wickedness, just as the wine of violence (yiyin khamasim) is not the wine which produces violence, but the wine that is procured by violent dee,is. Their support, what they eat and drink, is obtained by wickedness and injustice. They live by wrong. For such expressions as "the bread of wickedness" and "the wine of violence," cf. Deuteronomy 16:3, "the bread of affliction;" Psalm 127:2, "the bread of sorrows;" and Amos 2:8, "the wine of the condemned." There is a charade of tense in the verbs, the first being perfect, "they have eaten," and the second future, "they shall drink," which Delitzsch explains as representing the twofold act - first eating the bread, and then washing it down with wine.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For they eat the bread of wickedness,.... Either that is gotten by wicked and unlawful means, or wickedness itself is bread unto them; it is that to their minds as bread is to their bodies; they feed upon it with as much eagerness, appetite, gust, and pleasure; it is a sweet morsel to them; it is meat, drink, sleep, and everything to them; they take the highest satisfaction and the utmost delight in it;
and drink the wine of violence: either that which is obtained by rapine and violence; or they as greedily commit such acts of oppression and injury as a man drinks a glass of wine; they do not drink up iniquity like water only, but even like wine, the most generous and delicious. Wherefore all society with such men should be avoided.
Proverbs 4:17 Parallel Commentaries
Proverbs 4:17 NIV
Proverbs 4:17 NLT
Proverbs 4:17 ESV
Proverbs 4:17 NASB
Proverbs 4:17 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible