|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
8:32-36 Surely we should hearken to Christ's voice with the readiness of children. Let us all be wise, and not refuse such mercy. Blessed are those who hear the Saviour's voice, and wait on him with daily reading, meditation, and prayer. The children of the world find time for vain amusements, without neglecting what they deem the one thing needful. Does it not show contempt of Wisdom's instructions, when people professing godliness, seek excuses for neglecting the means of grace? Christ is Wisdom, and he is Life to all believers; nor can we obtain God's favour, unless we find Christ, and are found in him. Those who offend Christ deceive themselves; sin is a wrong to the soul. Sinners die because they will die, which justifies God when he judges.
Verse 36. - He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul. So Septuagint and Vulgate. And the truth stated is obvious - he who refuses to obey Wisdom, and transgresses her wholesome rules, will smart for it. Every sin involves punishment, injures the spiritual life, and demands satisfaction. But Delitzsch and others take חֹטְאִי, "my sinning one," "my sinner," in the older sense of "missing," as Job 5:24, the derived meaning of "sinning" springing naturally from the idea of deviating from the right way or failing to hit the mark. So here the translation will be "he who misseth me," which is a good contrast to "whoso findeth me," of ver. 35. He who takes a path which does not lead to wisdom is guilty of moral suicide. All that hate me love death (Proverbs 7:27). "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). They who will not hearken to Wisdom, and who scorn her counsels, do virtually love death, because they love the things and the practices which lead to death, temporal and spiritual Job 12:10, "They that sin are enemies to their own life" (comp. Wisd. 1:12).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
But he that sinneth against me,.... Or misses the mark, as the word (b) signifies; and which is observed by Aben Ezra; see Judges 20:16. Christ is the mark and scope of the counsels of God; of the covenant of grace; of the Scriptures; of the Gospel, the truths and promises of it; of the graces of the Spirit, and of all spiritual duties and services; and to whom we are to look for heaven and eternal happiness, Philippians 3:14; and such miss the mark who look for salvation elsewhere, either by the light of nature; or by the law of Moses; or by any moral performances, or any religious exercises; or by a mere profession of religion, even the best. The word is frequently used for sinning; which is an aberration or straying from, or missing, the mark of the law. Some sin against Christ doctrinally, who say he is not come in the flesh, or that Jesus is not the Christ; who deny his proper deity, his divine and eternal Sonship; and treat his blood, righteousness and salvation, with any degree of contempt: they sin against him practically that slight his Gospel, neglect his ordinances, transgress his laws, and evilly treat his people. Sinning against him is very aggravating; it is against him in whom all grace and mercy is, and from whom it comes to the sons of men; who is the Saviour of men from sin, and in whom alone salvation is. Wherefore everyone that thus sins against him
wrongeth his own soul; is injurious to it, and to the spiritual and eternal welfare of it; all sin is hurtful to the souls of men, especially sins against Christ; since there is no other Saviour but him, no other sacrifice for sin but his; and therefore to such there can be no other than a fearful looking for of judgment, that trample him under foot, and treat his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in a contemptuous manner, Hebrews 10:26;
all they that hate me; as do the seed of the serpent, the whole world that lies in wickedness, all unregenerate persons, and even many professors of religion; they hate him privately, being without love to him, or loving others more than him; and positively and practically, by despising his Gospel, or not walking worthy of it; by disclaiming doctrines, casting off his yoke, and maltreating his people; all which arise from the corruption of their nature; for this hatred or enmity is original and natural; it is deeply rooted in their minds, and irreconcilable without the grace of God, and is always undeserved. Wherefore such are said to
love death; not formally and intentionally, for death in any shape cannot be desirable; not a corporeal death, and much less an eternal one; but interpretatively and consequentially, as they love that which brings death upon them both in body and soul, and so are reckoned to love death itself.
(b) "qui vero aberraverit a me", Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
36. sinneth … me—or better, "missing me," as opposed to "finding" [Pr 8:35].
love death—act as if they did (compare Pr 17:9).
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