Proverbs 1:18
And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privately for their own lives.
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(18) And they lay wait.—Yet they cannot see that in truth they are laying wait, not for the innocent, but for themselves, as God will deliver him, and bring the mischief they designed for him upon their own head.

Proverbs 1:18-19. And they lay wait, &c. — Assure thyself, such men are working their own ruin, and, as it were, lying in wait for themselves, when they lie in wait to take away the lives of others; for, in the end, they shall not escape the hand of justice, but be overtaken and suffer, either by a special vengeance of God, or by human punishment, what they have deserved. Let the young and unexperienced, who are entering into the paths of the world, treasure up this in their memories; let them write it on the table of their hearts; and, whenever they are solicited by any of their companions to do what their own conscience tells them is evil, let them not hesitate to bid such persons adieu that moment, for they spread snares for their destruction. So are the ways — The actions and courses; of every one that is greedy of gain — That seeks gain by unrighteous and wicked practices; which taketh away, &c. — Which greediness, or, rather, which gain, taketh away the life of the owners thereof — Brings sudden and certain destruction upon those who had made themselves masters and possessors of it.1:10-19 Wicked people are zealous in seducing others into the paths of the destroyer: sinners love company in sin. But they have so much the more to answer for. How cautious young people should be! Consent thou not. Do not say as they say, nor do as they do, or would have thee to do; have no fellowship with them. Who could think that it should be a pleasure to one man to destroy another! See their idea of worldly wealth; but it is neither substance, nor precious. It is the ruinous mistake of thousands, that they overvalue the wealth of this world. Men promise themselves in vain that sin will turn to their advantage. The way of sin is down-hill; men cannot stop themselves. Would young people shun temporal and eternal ruin, let them refuse to take one step in these destructive paths. Men's greediness of gain hurries them upon practices which will not suffer them or others to live out half their days. What is a man profited, though he gain the world, if he lose his life? much less if he lose his soul?Strictly speaking, this is the first proverb (i. e., similitude) in the book; a proverb which has received a variety of interpretations. The true meaning seems to be as follows: "For in vain, to no purpose, is the net spread out openly. Clear as the warning is, it is in vain. The birds still fly in. The great net of God's judgments is spread out, open to the eyes of all, and yet the doers of evil, willfully blind, still rush into it." Others take the words as pointing to the failure of the plans of the evil-doers against the innocent (the "bird"): others, again, interpret the proverb of the young man who thinks that he at least shall not fall into the snares laid for him, and so goes blindly into them. 17-19. Men warned ought to escape danger as birds instinctively avoid visibly spread nets. But stupid sinners rush to their own ruin (Ps 9:16), and, greedy of gain, succeed in the very schemes which destroy them (1Ti 6:10), not only failing to catch others, but procuring their own destruction. And, or but, or yet, or so; for all these ways this particle is used; which is more fully expressed in the next verse.

They lay wait for their own blood; the destruction which they design to others falls upon themselves. Their blood answers to their feet, Proverbs 1:16, and belongs to the same persons. And they lay wait for their own blood,.... While they lie in wait for the blood of others, they lie in wait for their own; and when they shed the blood of innocent persons, it in the issue comes upon their own heads, and is the cause of their own blood being shed; vengeance pursues them, and justice will not suffer them to live;

they lurk privily for their own lives: while they are lurking in secret places to take away, the lives of others, they are laying snares for their own souls; and the consequence of it will be, that they will be brought to a shameful and untimely end here, or, however, to everlasting ruin and destruction hereafter.

And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for {o} their own lives.

(o) He shows that there is no reason to move these wicked to spoil the innocent, aside from their malice and cruelty.

Verse 18. - And they lay wait for their own blood, etc. The third reason or argument why the teacher's warning should be followed, drawn from the destruction which overtakes the sinners themselves. "Lay wait," and "lurk privily," as in ver. 11, from which this verse is evidently borrowed. They propose, as they say, to lay wait for the blood of others; but it is, says the teacher, for their own blood. לְדָמָם (l'dhammam), contra sanguinem suum; they lurk privily. as they say, for the innocent, but in reality it is for their own lives; לְנַפְשֹׁתָם (l'naph'shotham); contra animus suas (Vulgate); or, as the LXX. puts it, Αὐτοὶ γὰρ οἱ φόνον μετέχοντες θησαυρίζουσιν ἑαυτοῖς κατὰ, "For they who take part in murder treasure up evils for themselves;" that is, they am bringing a heavier and surer destruction upon themselves than they can ever inflict upon others (Wardlaw). The LXX. adds, at the close of the verse, Ἡ δὲ καταστροφὴ ἀνδρῶν παρανόμων κακή, "And the overthrowing or destruction of transgressors is wrest, or evil." The Arabic Version has a similar addition. The first clause of this verse Hitzig translates: "as the pit (swallows) that which lives." This is untenable, because כּ with the force of a substantive (as instar, likeness) is regarded as a preposition, but not a conjunction (see at Psalm 38:14.). חיּים (the living) is connected with נבלעם, and is the accus. of the state (hâl, according to the terminology of the Arab. grammarians) in which they will, with impunity, swallow them up like the pit (the insatiable, Proverbs 27:20; Proverbs 30:16), namely, while these their sacrifices are in the state of life's freshness,

(Note: Only in this sense is the existing accentuation of this verse (cf. the Targ.) to be justified.)

"the living," - without doubt, like Psalm 55:16; Psalm 63:10; Psalm 124:3, in fact and in expression an allusion to the fate of the company of Korah, Numbers 16:30, Numbers 16:33. If this is the meaning of חיים, then תּמימים as the parallel word means integros not in an ethical sense, in which it would be a synonym of נקי of Proverbs 1:11 (cf. Proverbs 29:10 with Psalm 19:14), but in a physical sense (Graec. Venet. καὶ τελείους; Parchon as Rashi, בריאים ושלמים, vid., Bttcher, De Inferis, 293). This physical sense is claimed for תּם, Job 21:23, for תּם probably, Psalm 73:4, and why should not תמים, used in the law regarding sacrifices (e.g., Exodus 12:5, "without blemish") of the faultlessness of the victim, also signify such an one אשׁר אין־בּו מתם (Isaiah 1:6)? In the midst of complete external health they will devour them like those that go down to the grave (cf. Psalm 28:1; Psalm 88:5, with Isaiah 14:19), i.e., like those under whose feet the earth is suddenly opened, so that, without leaving any trace behind, they sink into the grave and into Hades. The connection of the finite with the accus. of place, Psalm 55:16, lies at the foundation of the genitive connection יורדי בור (with the tone thrown back): those that go down to the grave.

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