|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
5:15-23 Lawful marriage is a means God has appointed to keep from these destructive vices. But we are not properly united, except as we attend to God's word, seeking his direction and blessing, and acting with affection. Ever remember, that though secret sins may escape the eyes of our fellow-creatures, yet a man's ways are before the eyes of the Lord, who not only sees, but ponders all his goings. Those who are so foolish as to choose the way of sin, are justly left of God to themselves, to go on in the way to destruction.
Verses 22, 23. - The fearful end of the adulterer. From the universal statement of God's omniscience and the Divine judgment, the teacher passes to the fate of the profligate. His end is inevitable ruin and misery. The deep moral lesson conveyed is that sin carries with it its own Nemesis. Adultery and impurity, like all sin of which they are forms, are retributive. The career of the adulterer is a career begun, continued, and ended in folly (comp. Proverbs 1:31, 32; Proverbs 2:5; Proverbs 18:7; Proverbs 29:6; and Psalm 9:15). Verse 22. - His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself; i.e. his manifold sins shall overtake and arrest him. The imagery is borrowed from the snare of the fowler. The emphatic form of the original, "His sins shall overtake him, the impious man," point conclusively to the adulterer. It is "his" sins that shall overtake him, not those of another, and they shall fall upon his own head; and further, his character is depicted in the condemning clause, "the impious man;" for such he is. Shall take. The verb lakad is literally "to take or catch animals in a snare or net," properly "to strike with a net." The wicked man becomes entangled and caught in his own sins; he is struck down and captured by them, just as the prey is struck by the snare of the fowler. The verb is, of course, used metaphorically, as in Job 5:13. The wicked (Hebrew, eth-harasa); in the original introduced as explanatory of the object, "him." And he shall be holden with the cords of his sins. The Authorized Version follows the LXX. and Vulgate in rendering "his sins," instead of the original "his sin" (khattatho). It is not so much every sin of man which shall hold him, though this is true, as the particular sin treated of in the address, viz. adultery, which shall do this. The expression, "the cords of his sin" (Hebrew, khavley khattatho), means the cords which his sin weaves around him. Nothing else will be requisite to bind and hold him fast for punishment (cf. "cords of vanity," in Isaiah 5:18).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself,.... As in a snare or net, as Gersom observes; in which the adulterer is so entangled that he cannot extricate himself; he may fancy that when he grows old his lusts will be weakened, and he shall be able to get clear of them, and have repentance for them, but he will find himself mistaken; he will become but more and more hardened by them and confirmed in them, and will have neither will nor power to repent of them, and shake off those shackles with which he is bound: and it may be understood of the guilt and punishment of his sins; that the horrors of a guilty conscience shall seize him, there will be no need of any others to arrest him, these will do that office; or diseases shall come upon him for his sins, and bring him to the dust of death, and so to everlasting destruction;
and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins; which he has been all his life committing and twisting together, and made as it were cords of, which by constant practice become strong as such; with the guilt of which he is bound as a malefactor, and will be brought to justice, being reserved in these cords, as the angels that sinned in their chains, unto the judgment of the great day; the phrase denotes the strength of sin, the impotency of man to get rid of it, and the sure and inevitable ruin that comes by it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22, 23. and He will cause sin to bring its punishment.
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