Lange Commentary on the Holy Scriptures
c) Against unscrupulous, unlawful dealing (especially of the rich with the poor)
1 The wicked flee when no man pursueth,
but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 In the rebellion of a land its princes become many,
but through wise, prudent men one (the prince) continueth long.
3 A man who is poor and oppresseth the lowly
is (like) a rain flooding and (bringing) no food.
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked,
but they that keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment,
but they that seek Jehovah understand all.
6 Better (is) a poor man that walketh in his uprightness,
than he that walketh in crooked ways and is rich.
7 He that keepeth the law is a wise son,
but the companion of profligates causeth his father shame.
8 He that increaseth his wealth by interest and usury
gathereth it for one that pitieth the poor.
9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
10 He that leadeth the righteous astray in an evil way,
in his own pit shall he fall;
but the upright shall inherit good.
11 The rich man thinketh himself wise,
but a poor man that hath understanding searcheth him out.
12 When righteous men exult there is great glory,
but when wicked men arise the people hide themselves.
13 He that hideth his sins shall not prosper,
but he that confesseth and forsaketh them shall find mercy.
14 Happy is the man that feareth always;
but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into evil.
15 A roaring lion and a ravening bear
is a wicked ruler over a poor people.
16 O prince, poor in understanding and abounding in oppressions;
he that hateth unjust gain shall prolong his days!
17 A man laden with the blood of a soul
fleeth to the pit; let them not detain him!
18 He that walketh uprightly shall be delivered;
but he that walketh in crooked ways shall fall suddenly.
19 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread,
but he that followeth vanity shall have poverty enough.
20 A faithful man aboundeth in blessings;
but he that hasteth to be rich shall not go unpunished.
21 To have respect of persons is not good,
and (yet) for a piece of bread (many) a man will transgress.
22 He that hath an evil eye hasteth after riches,
and knoweth not that want shall come upon him.
23 He that reproveth a man shall afterward find favor
more than he that flattereth with his tongue.
24 He that robbeth his father and his mother,
and saith it is no wrong,
he is companion to one that destroyeth.
25 He that is of a covetous heart stirreth up strife,
but he that trusteth in Jehovah shall be richly rewarded.
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool,
but he that walketh in -wisdom, shall be delivered.
27 He that giveth to the poor (suffereth) no want,
but he that covereth his eyes hath abundance of curses.
28 When wicked men rise men hide themselves,
but when they perish the righteous increase.
GRAMMATICAL AND CRITICAL
Proverbs 28:2. פשע might perhaps be more correctly read as an Infinitive; בִּפְשֹׁעַ—Comp. HITZIG on this passage. As the words of the original Hebrew now stand, we can supply a subject for יַאֲרִיךְ only the singular שִׂר (“the true prince”); in like manner the בְ in וּבְאָדָם must be taken in the sense of בִּהְיוֹת “when there is at hand;” the כֵּן however must be taken as an introduction to the concluding clause, like our “then” or “so.” In all this there is indeed the difficulty remaining that the participles מֵבִין and יֹדֵעַ stand side by side without a copula—an anomaly that is hardly removed by referring to Proverbs 22:4 (BERTHEAU) And yet the construction thus brought out is, in spite of the manifold anomalies which it involves, after all better than, e.g. that of UMBREIT, who takes כֵּן as a substantive in the sense of “right” as dependent on יֹדֵעַ,—or than HITZIG’S violent emendation (יִדְעַךְ מָדוֹן instead of יֹדֵעַ כֵּן יַאֲרִיךְ), the meaning resulting from which “but through a man of understanding contention ceases,” does not agree very well with the context. [The E. V. takes כֵּן as a noun: “the state thereof,” etc. So H. and M. (the stability”). N. without this specific rendering reaches the same result by finding for the verb “shall prolong its days, or endure” the subject “it” (the state) suggested in clause a. S. follows UMBREIT. BÖTT. (§ 935, β) regards the verb as furnishing an example of what he calls “concrete impersonals,” having a general subject “one,” a construction not uncommon, where reference is made to public offices or functions. This reaches Z’s. result by a different path.—A.]
Proverbs 28:17.—[The participle עָשֻׁק BÖTT. prefers an account of its peculiar vocalization to regard as a mutilated Pual part, deprived of its initial מְ, and would therefore point עֻשָּׁק; so 25:11, etc. See § 994, 6, 10.—A.]
Proverbs 28:18.—נֶעְקַשׁ דְּרָכַיִם is equivalent to עִקֵּשׁ דְּרָכַיִם in Proverbs 28:6.
Proverbs 28:23.—אַחֲרַי a somewhat stronger form in its vowel elements than אַחֲרֵי, used here as אַחַר is elsewhere.
1. Proverbs 28:1–5. Of the general contrast between the righteous and the ungodly (unscrupulous transgressors, men of violence).—The wicked flee when no man pursueth. “The wicked” (singular) is on the ground of its collective, or more exactly its distributive meaning, subject of a plural verb; compare similar constructions, κατὰ σύνεσιν. Job 8:19; Isa. 16:4; and also below, Proverbs 28:4 of the present chapter; 1 Tim. 2:15 (γυνὴ—ἐὰν μείνωσιν), etc. [See EWALD Lehrb. § 309, a, and other grammars].—But the righteous are bold as a lion. יִבְטָח is to be explained as a relative clause and referred to the preceding “as a lion”—“which is confident, rests quietly” in the consciousness of its superior strength and the security which results from it, see the same figure in Gen.49:9. [This seems to be needlessly artificial; according to a common Hebrew construction the verb may be a distributive singular after a plural, “the righteous.” See e.g. GREEN, § 275, 6.—A.]
Proverbs 28:2. In the rebellion of a land its princes become many. For this use of “transgression” in the sense of “rebellion, revolt,” comp. the verb employed in this sense in 2 Kings 1:1; also Ex. 23:21, etc. The allusion is plainly to the uprising of many petty chiefs or tyrants, or many pretenders to the throne, or usurpers opposing each other, in lands which, through revolt from the lawfully reigning house, have fallen a prey to political anarchy, as e.g. the Kingdom of Israel, especially in the period after Jeroboam II.,—to which the author of the proverb now under consideration might very well have had special reference. [On account of the form of clause b we prefer, with KAMPH., to understand the allusion to be to a rapid succession of half established kings, rather than to a number of competing claimants. THOMSON, Land and Book, I., 498, cites an Arabic proverb: “May Allah multiply your sheikhs!” as embodying in its intense malediction a constant Oriental experience of fearful calamity. It is only incidentally illustrative of the proverb before us.—A.]—But through wise, prudent men he (the prince) continueth long. [See Critical notes.]
Proverbs 28:3. A man who is poor and oppresseth the poor. We are to think of some magistrate who is originally poor, an upstart, who seeks to enrich himself rapidly by oppression of his subjects. This man is in clause b very appropriately described as a “rain” that floods the sowed field or the fruitful district, and thus destroys the prosperous condition of the crops. [Here again, and more appropriately, THOMSON (ubi supra) illustrates, both from natural and political experiences common in the East, the impressiveness of this proverb to an Oriental mind.—A.]
Proverbs 28:4. They that forsake the law praise the wicked, i.e. for his success; comp. Ps. 49:12, 19; 73:3, 10, 12.—But they that keep the law (29:18) contend with him; lit., “with them;” comp. remarks above on Proverbs 28:1. For this verb, “to contend or dispute,” comp. Jer. 50:24; Dan. 11:10, etc.
Proverbs 28:5. Evil men (lit., “men of evil,” comp. remarks on 6:23) do not understand judgment; their wickedness darkens their understanding likewise, which is especially the faculty for distinguishing between good and evil; comp. Proverbs 29:7. In contrast with them “they who seek God understand everything,” i. e. everything that relates to the investigation and determination of right; comp. Eccles. 8:5.
2. Proverbs 28:6–12. Against wanton oppression of the poor by the rich.—With Proverbs 28:6 compare the quite similar proverb Proverbs 19:1.—Than he that walketh in crooked ways; lit., “than one who is crooked in the two ways,” or, “than one who is perverse in a double way” (the dual of the noun is used here as in Proverbs 28:18 [see GREEN, Gram. § 203, 3]), i.e. one who unskilfully and way wardly passes from one way to another, one who, with divided heart, stands midway between the right path and the bypath of immorality; comp. Ecclesiast. 2:12; James 1:6.
Proverbs 28:7. With clause a compare 10:1; 29:3.—But the companion of profligates. For the verb רעה, to cherish, to cultivate intercourse with some one, comp. 13:20. For the term “profligate or waster,” comp. 23:21.
Proverbs 28:8. He that increaseth his wealth by interest and usury. The “interest” and “usury” are so distinguished according to Lev. 25:36, 37, that the former denotes the annual revenue of a sum of money loaned out, the latter an exaction in other things, especially in natural products. The former is then fœnus pecuniarium, the latter fœnus naturale sive reale. [Here again Orientals, ancient and modern, have a peculiarly deep and painful experience of the enormities of usury.—A.]—He gathereth it for one that pitieth the poor, i.e. for an heir who will at length show himself more liberal and compassionate toward the poor; comp. 13:22, and also Job 27:16, 17. MERCERUS, EWALD, BERTHEAU, ELSTER take the לְחוֹנֵן as an Infinitive of the intensive form: “ad largiendum pauperibus,” for bestowal upon the poor, to show himself merciful to the poor. But such an involuntary giving is a harsh idea, difficult to realize; and the meaning, “to bestow, largiri,” חנן has elsewhere only in the Kal conj., the participle of which corresponds best with the general context before us.
Proverbs 28:9. Comp. 15:8; and with clause a in particular Isa. 13:15.
Proverbs 28:10. He that leadeth the righteous astray in an evil way. The “evil way” is unquestionably a way of sin and ungodliness, whether the רע be taken as a neuter substantive in the genitive (as in Proverbs 28:5; 6:24), or, which is perhaps to be preferred here, as an adjective. With clause b compare 26:27; with c, 2:21. The “pit” in b is naturally the way of sin into which one betrays the upright, not as it is in itself, but in its ruinous issues to which he is finally brought. Comp. chap: 11:6, 8.
Proverbs 28:11. With a compare 26:16.—But a poor man that hath understanding searcheth him out; i.e. he sees through him, and accordingly knows his weaknesses, and therefore outstrips him in the struggle for true prosperity in life.
Proverbs 28:12. When righteous men exult (triumph). עלץ, lit., “to rejoice,” here expresses the idea of the victory of the good cause over its opposers, in which victory “all the people” (according to 29:2) sympathize with great exultation. HITZIG’S alteration is unnecessary (בַּעֲלֹץ into בֵּחָלֵץ, suggested by the διὰ βοήθειαν of the LXX): “when righteous men are delivered.”—But when wicked men rise, come up, attain to power. Compare, with respect to this as well as the people’s anxious “hiding themselves,” Proverbs 28:28.
3. Proverbs 28:13–18. Against the secret service of sin, hardening of the heart, tyranny, and thirst for blood.—With Proverbs 28:13 comp. Ps. 32:1–5.
Proverbs 28:14. Happy is the man that feareth always, i.e. he who lives in a holy dread of transgressing the will of God by sins of any kind whatsoever; comp. 2 Cor. 5:11; Phil. 2:12, etc. The antithesis to this man “who feareth always” is the “confident,” the carnally presumptuous, hardened in the service of sin; Proverbs 28:26 and also Proverbs 16:14.—With b comp. Ps. 95:8; Prov. 17:20.
Proverbs 28:15. A roaring lion and a ravening bear. שׁוֹקֵק the ancient translators (LXX: διψῶν; Vulg. esuriens, etc.), already give with a substantial correctness, when they interpret it of the raging hunger or the blood-thirstiness of the bear; comp. Isa. 29:8; Ps. 107:9. Not so well BERTHEAU and ELSTER (following KIMCHI, LEVI, COCCEIUS, etc., [GESEN., FUERST, E. V., H., S., while LUTHER, DE W., K., N., M., RÖD., etc., agree with our author]): “a roaming, ranging bear,”—for which rendering neither Joel 2:9 nor Isa. 23:4 can be adduced as decisive supports.
Proverbs 28:16. O prince poor in understanding (lit., in “discernments”) and abounding in oppression. This conception of the first clause as an animated appeal to a tyrant (EWALD, BERTHEAU, ELSTER, etc.), seems to correspond better with the second clause than HITZIG’S view, according to which clause a is a nominative absolute, not to be resumed by a suffix in b, or than STIER’S still more forced translation: “A prince who lacks understanding—so much more does he practice oppression,” etc. [LUTHER, E. V., DE W., H., N., M. make the general relation of the clauses antithetic, each clause having its normal subject and predicate, although H., e.g., admits the want of precision in the antithesis. K. agrees with HITZIG’S abrupt sundering of the clauses; while S. makes the first a synecdochical clause, “as to a prince,” etc. Our author’s rendering if animated is certainly unusual.—A.]—He that hateth unjust gain shall prolong his days. For the generalizing plural שׂנְאֵי, which stands here quite as appropriately as e.g. 3:18; 27:16, the K’ri unnecessarily calls for the singular שׂנֵא. [So BÖTT., § 702, ε].
Proverbs 28:17. A man laden with the blood of a soul. For this participle, “burdened, loaded” (with the sense of guilt), comp. Isa. 38:14. [The E. V. loses the passive form and force of the expression; so LUTHER and H.; while DE W., K., N., S., M., W. agree with Z.—A.]—Fleeth to the pit, is restless and a fugitive (like Cain, Gen. 4:14), even to the terrible destruction toward which he is hastening by God’s righteous decrees, and from which no human exertion is able to hold him back. Hence the warning exclamation at the end: “let no one detain him,” i.e. let no one attempt the impossible, after all to recover him who is irrecoverably lost!
Proverbs 28:18 forms an antithesis to the preceding verse, cast in a somewhat general form.—He that walketh uprightly (comp. Ps. 15:2; Mic. 2:7) shall be delivered, but he that walketh in crooked ways shall fall suddenly. Comp. “the perverse in a double way,” in Proverbs 28:6. The “suddenly, at once,” points to the fact that the one or the other of the two perverse ways which the ungodly alternately pursues, must bring him at last to ruin.
4. Proverbs 28:19–28. Various warnings and cautions, directed mainly against avarice and violence.—With Proverbs 28:19 comp. 12:11.—.… is surfeited with poverty. A stronger and more direct antithesis to a than the “is void of understanding” in 12:11 b.
Proverbs 28:20. A faithful man aboundeth in blessings. For the “man of fidelities,” comp. the similar expression in Proverbs 20:6; also 2 Kings 12:16; 22:7, etc.—But he that hasteth to be rich, naturally, in unfaithful, dishonorable ways. Comp. 20:21; 21:5; and for the concluding phrase, 4:29.
Proverbs 28:21. With a compare the somewhat more complete expression, 24:23.—And (yet) even for a piece of bread (many) a man will transgress. The morsel of bread (1 Sam. 2:36) probably stands here not as an example of a peculiarly insignificant bribe, but as the concrete designation of a trifle, a very slight value or advantage of any sort. Comp. A. GELLIUS, Noct. Att. I., 15, where CATO says in proverbial phrase of the tribune Cælius, “frusto panis conduci potest, vel ut taceat, vel ut loquatur” [with a crust of bread he can be hired either to keep silence or to speak].
Proverbs 28:22. He that hath a covetous eye hasteth after riches, lit., “with an evil eye,” and therefore the envious; comp. 23:6. For the idea of hastening after riches comp. 20:21.—And knoweth not that want shall come upon him.—Instead of חֶסֶר “want” (comp. Job 30:3 and a kindred term in Eccles. 1:15) the LXX read חֶסֶד (so likewise the Edit. Bomberg., 1525, and the Plantin., 1566). If this reading were original, then we must undoubtedly render in accordance with Proverbs 14:34; 25:10; by “shame, reproach.” Yet the Masoretic reading also gives a good sense, as a comparison of 6:11; 23:5, and other passages that refer to the vanity and perishableness of riches teaches.
Proverbs 28:23. He that reproveth a man findeth afterward more favor, etc.—“Later, afterward,” in the general sense, and not possibly with ABEN EZRA, J. H. MICHAELIS, to be taken in the sense of “after me, i.e., according to my precepts.” With the flattering “smoothness of the tongue” in b compare 29:5; Ps. 5:10; 140:4; Rom. 3:13.
Proverbs 28:24. He that robbeth his father and his mother.—Comp. 19:26; also Mal. 1:8; Mark 7:11 sq.; and for the expression “companion of a destroyer” in clause c, chapter 18:9.
Proverbs 28:25. The covetous kindleth strife.—רְחַב נֶפֶשׁ is certainly not the “proud” (Vulg., LUTHER, EWALD, BERTHEAU, ELSTER [GESEN., FUERST, DE W., E. V., N., S., M.], etc.), but the man of large cupidity (comp. Is. 5:14; Hab. 2:5), the avaricious and insatiable, ά̓πληστος (LXX, UMBREIT, STIER, HITZIG [K., H.]). By his covetous grasping and his overreaching others, he “kindles strife” (comp. 15:18; 29:22), instead of living like the man who patiently trusts in the Lord’s help in peaceful quietness and with the prosperous development of his possessions as they multiply under the Divine blessing. For the expression “shall be made fat,” i.e., shall be richly rewarded, compare 11:25; 13:4.
Proverbs 28:26. He that trusteth in his own heart—i.e., not “he who relies on his own immediate feelings” (UMBREIT, ELSTER), but he who suffers himself to be guided solely by his own spirit (comp. Jer. 30:21), by his own inconsiderate, defiant impulse to act, and therefore follows exclusively his own counsel (27:9). Comp. HITZIG and STIER on the passage.
Proverbs 28:27. He that giveth to the poor (suffereth) no want.—For the sentiment comp. 11:24; for the elliptical construction (the omission of the pronoun “to him” with the “no want”), Proverbs 27:7 b.—He that covereth his eyes, i.e., turns them unsympathizingly away from such as need help, that he may not see their wretchedness; comp. Is. 1:15, as well as the similar expressions, Deut. 31:17; 1 John 3:17 (κλείειν τὰ σπλάγχνα).—Hath abundance of curses—of imprecations from the oppressed poor; the opposite, therefore, of Proverbs 28:20.
Proverbs 28:28. Comp. 12 b.—But when they perish the righteous increase;—i.e., the righteous who were before oppressed and chased away come out to view again on all sides and form once more a numerous and strong party. Comp. 29:2; and also 11:10, 21.
DOCTRINAL AND ETHICAL
A peculiar “religious complexion” belongs not merely to the first half of the chapter, Proverbs 28:1–16 (as HITZIG asserts, who separates this portion from its older surroundings as a peculiar interpolation originating after the exile), but to the whole section, as is shown with reference to the second part, particularly by Proverbs 28:18, 20, 24, 25. That which gives to the chapter its specifically religious character is, the repeated admonitions to hear and keep the Divine law (Proverbs 28:4, 7, 9), to seek Jehovah (Proverbs 28:5), to trust in Him, (Proverbs 28:25, 26), to a walking in “faithfulness” (Proverbs 28:20), and in blamelessness or innocence (Proverbs 28:18), and therefore in a general consecration,—to fear of God’s sacred anger (Proverbs 28:14); and also in no less degree the warnings against wanton and flattering suppression of the consciousness of sin (Proverbs 28:13, 24), against a hardening in the service of sin (Proverbs 28:14), and against the betrayal of others into sin (Proverbs 28:10). Undoubtedly it is the desire to exhibit as the “root of all evil” and as a main radical form of ungodliness and lawlessness in general, the vice which is most sharply censured and opposed, that of covetousness, or the mighty rapacity of the wicked,—and accordingly to warn against it in the most emphatic way,—that led the compiler to accumulate just in the passage before us so many thoughts with respect to the religious relation of men to God. For beside these admonitory and warning proverbs which refer directly to this relation, the substance of the chapter is made up almost exclusively of warnings against wicked violence on the part of rulers in their dealing with the lowly (Proverbs 28:1, 3, 12, 15, 16, 28), of rich with the poor (Proverbs 28:6, 8, 11, 24), and of the covetous and greedy of gain in their relation to the inoffensive and unsuspecting (Proverbs 28:19–22, 25, 26). A logically developed progress of thought, it is true, is wanting; the combination is mixed of many colors, in the style of the “strings of pearls” in the gnomic poetry of the East, in which it is rather external than internal contacts and analogies that determine the concatenation of the several proverbs or groups of proverbs.
HOMILETIC AND PRACTICAL
Homily on the entire chapter. Of avarice as the foulest stain on the conscience, or as the mother of all vices (1 Tim. 6:10).—Or, on walking in the fear of the Lord and a good conscience, and also on the chief dangers that threaten such a devout conscientious life.—Comp. STÖCKER: On the second hinderance to the attainment of true wisdom: an evil, terrified, timorous conscience; its source and characteristics, as well as the remedies for it (in a similar style, WOHLFARTH).
Proverbs 28:1 sq. LUTHER (marginal comment on Proverbs 28:1); One’s own conscience is more than a thousand witnesses.—CRAMER: An evil conscience makes timid (Job 15:21); but faith and a good conscience make the heart joyous, so that it is not terrified before death and the devil (Ps. 91:7).—[ARNOT: No man pursueth; and yet a pursuer is on the track of the fugitive, otherwise he would not flee. When they escape from man, God is the pursuer of the guilty. By conscience chiefly God apprehends us—thereby chiefly we apprehend God].—LANGE (on Proverbs 28:2): When subjects are oppressed and vexed, they are not to rebel or curse the authorities, but seek the causes of such judgments in themselves, turn and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.—VON GERLACH (on Proverbs 28:5): To the understanding of the law there belongs a disposition to fear God, otherwise the clearest knowledge of the letter is of no avail; while men that fear God attain a sure comprehension of all.—[MUFFET: Albeit there is some light in the wicked man which is sufficient to make him inexcusable, yet he is always so blinded by natural ignorance and malice that both Christ and the law to him is a mystery.—BRIDGES: When knowledge stands in the stead of faith; when the man reasons instead of submitting to Divine teaching; knowledge abused becomes a positive hinderance to a correct understanding.]
Proverbs 28:6–12. CRAMER (on Proverbs 28:6): As his riches do not help the rich man at all toward blessedness, so his poverty does not harm the poor in that direction.—(On Proverbs 28:8): God often rewards even here kindness shown to the poor, though it may show itself first to the children of the benefactors.—Würtemberg Bible (on Proverbs 28:9): He that would be heard by God in his prayer must first hear God in His word and subject himself to its direction.—[BP. HOPKINS: God stops His ears against their prayers who stop their ears against His law. And this is but equity with God.]—VON GERLACH: Even the best that man can do becomes a sin to him when he does it with a disposition of disobedience to the Divine word.—(On Proverbs 28:11): Trust in outward blessings easily brings with it false self-confidence, and it is very natural for the rich to wish to lay claim likewise to inward excellencies and advantages. The poor man standing by unconcerned and simple, nevertheless overlooks and searches him through, and by his very poverty has more of spiritual superiority.—STARKE (on Proverbs 28:12): A large proportion of subjects conform to the conduct of their superiors. Blessed is the land whose rulers govern piously and praiseworthily!—[TRAPP (on Proverbs 28:10): Heaven is kept for the upright, and they for heaven; how then should they miss of it?]
Proverbs 28:13–19. MELANCHTHON (on Proverbs 28:13): As in all conversion repentance must be the first thing, i.e., recognition of transgression and guilt, combined with a sore change of disposition,—so here confession of sin is demanded, and such a one as leads to sincere reformation of the feelings and conduct, like that of Paul, 1 Cor. 15:9, 10. For necessarily in confession of sin every evil purpose must be given up, because with persistence in these penitence is no true penitence.—Comp. the Absolution-sermon on Proverbs 28:13 by WELCKER (Sonntagsfeier, 1839): Be not ashamed to confess, for he only who confesses will obtain mercy, and no competitor is crowned except he strive lawfully.—[LAWSON: To endeavor to shelter ourselves under coverings that are not of God’s Spirit, is an additional provocation to the eyes of his glory.—TRAPP: Sin is a deformity that must be uncovered, or God will never cover it; see it we must to confession, or see it we shall to our confusion. No man was ever kept out of heaven for his confessed badness; many are for their supposed goodness.—ARNOT: Sin cast forth from the heart is harmless. It cannot then pollute the life; and it will not then remain an element of treasured wrath.—BATES (on Proverbs 28:14): Blessed is the man who considers that God’s eyes are always upon him in order to judgment, and whose eyes are always upon God in order to acceptance.—J. HOWE: It is a very hopeful character upon you when you are really afraid lest a controversy should still depend, and not be taken up between God and you.—J. EDWARDS: A saint is apt to be sensible of his spiritual dangers, jealous of himself, full of fear when he cannot see his way plain before him, afraid to be left alone, and to be at a distance from God.]—STARKE: Searing and hardening the heart is a heavy judgment. If thou wouldst not fall into it, then hear betimes the grace that knocks at thy door.—(On Proverbs 28:18): There is only one way to eternal life; he that turns from that to the right or to the left, and would make himself sidepaths, will fall into ruin.—VON GERLACH (on Proverbs 28:19): As a reward for his vain striving the simple receives only vanity.—[LAWSON (on Proverbs 28:17): The murderer of his neighbor is his own murderer.]
Proverbs 28:20 sq. [LORD BACON (on Proverbs 28:21): In a judge facility of disposition is more pernicious than bribery; for it is not every one that offers a bribe, but there is scarcely a case wherein something may not be found to bias the mind of the judge, if he be a respecter of persons.]—CRAMER (on Proverbs 28:20–22): Striving after riches has become to many a one a cause of many sins; and these are the very tares which (according to Luke 8:14) choke the word of God.—Tübingen Bible (on Proverbs 28:23): Speak the truth always, even though thou see that it is bitter. The future will show that thou still farest better with this than do shameful flatterers.—(On Proverbs 28:24): To take any thing from parents the Spirit of God calls a theft, robbing the children of all prosperity and all blessing.—[FLAVEL (on Proverbs 28:23): There is no better way to secure our own interest in any man’s heart, than to fasten it in his conscience by our faithfulness, and by being willing to hazard it for God’s glory.—SOUTH (on Proverbs 28:26): Of, all the fallacies and scurvy cheats put upon men by their trusting others, there are none so shameful, and indeed pernicious, as the baffles which men sustain by trusting themselves.]—GEIER (on Proverbs 28:26): In our own important affairs we should never rely upon ourselves alone, but ever hearken to others’ counsel. Does not even a physician in his sickness employ the counsel of other physicians?—WOHLFARTH: Trust not in thine heart, but in the Lord.
The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.