Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Because I have called.—Wisdom’s call having been rejected, she now changes her tone from “mercy” to “judgment” (Psalm 101:1). (Comp. Romans 10:21 : “All day long I have stretched forth my hands,” &c.)Proverbs 1:24-28. Because I have called, &c. — By my ministers, my judgments, the motions of my Spirit, and your own consciences; and ye refused — To obey my call; I have stretched out my hand — Offering mercy and grace to you, and earnestly inviting you to accept of them; and no man regarded — Few or none complied with my will, and accepted my offers. But ye have set at naught all my counsel — Have despised or made void my design of doing you good, and have disregarded my commands, counsels, and exhortations; I also will laugh at your calamity — As you have scoffed at me and my ways, so I will not pity and relieve you, when sickness, pain, and death assault you, as they soon will do; I will mock when your fear cometh — The misery which you do or should fear. When your fear cometh as desolation — As the sword, or some desolating judgment, which quickly overruns a whole country; and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind — Which instantly spreads itself from place to place with great and irresistible violence, sweeping all before it, and making terrible destruction; when distress, outwardly, and anguish, inwardly, cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me — When it is too late, and would gladly be beholden to me for that mercy, which they now reject and make light of; but I will not answer — Because when I called they would not answer me: all the answer then will be, Depart from me, I know you not. This has been the case of some, even in this life, as of Saul, whom God answered not by Urim, or by prophets; but ordinarily, while there is life there is room for prayer, and hope of being answered; and therefore this must chiefly refer to the inexorable justice of the last judgment. Then those that slighted God will seek him early, that is, earnestly, and without delay, but in vain; they shall not find him, because they did not seek him when he might be found, Isaiah 55:6. The rich man, in torment, begged in vain for a drop of water to cool his tongue; and much more would he have been denied if he had begged to be released out of the infernal prison.Matthew 25:10, Matthew 25:30. I have called, by my ministers, and by my judgments upon you or others, and by the motions of my Spirit and your own consciences. Stretched out my hand; offering grace and mercy to you, and earnestly inviting you to accept of it. Lest through your deafness or distance from me you should not hear, I have beckoned to you with my hand, which this phrase signifies, Isaiah 13:2 65:2.
No man regarded; few or none complied with it. Matthew 20:16; and this may be refused and rejected, as it often is; as when men, notwithstanding that call, do not attend on the ministry of the word, or, if they do, it is in a negligent careless way; or, they show an aversion to it, despise, contradict, and blaspheme it, as the Jews did, who were the persons first called to hear it; see Matthew 22:2;
I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; this is a gesture of persons calling to others, as orators and preachers, requiring silence and attention; and when eager and fervent, and importunate in their discourses; it is attributed to Christ, Isaiah 65:2; but, notwithstanding all Wisdom's eagerness, zeal, warmth, and importunity, expressed by words and gestures, it was all disregarded; no attention was given to it, which is here complained of.Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)24. The abruptness of the transition from gracious invitation to awful threatening has led to the suggestion that a pause is to be introduced between the two divisions (Proverbs 1:20-33) of this appeal of Wisdom. But, as Maurer points out, Proverbs 1:22 (How long!) shews, as do these Proverbs 1:24-25, that this is rather the last appeal of Wisdom than the first. She has already “all day long stretched forth her hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Isaiah 65:2; Romans 10:21). This is indicated by the LXX. by the tense used, ἐκάλουν, ἐξέτεινον. The rejection of her overtures has been persistent and scornful; and now by the very abruptness and sternness of her address she makes a last effort to awaken and rescue.
“Save, Lord, by love or fear.”
Comp. Luke 13:24-28.Verse 24. - Because I have called, and ye refused. A pause may be imagined, and seems to be implied, between this and the preceding verses (22 and 23), when the address passes into a new phase - from that of invitation and promise to that of judgment and stern denunciation (vers. 24-27). In the subsection the antecedent clauses are vers. 24, 25, introduced by the conjunction "because" (יַעַן, yaan; quia, Vulgate), which expresses the reason or cause for the conclusion in vers. 26 and 27, introduced by "I also," to which the "because" answers. A similar grammatical construction and judgment is to be found in Isaiah: "I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I Spake, they did not hear" (Isaiah 66:4; see also Jeremiah 7:13). Refused; i.e. refused to hearken, as signified in the LXX. ὑπακούσατε. I have stretched out my hand. A forensic gesture to arrest attention. The expression is equivalent to "I have spread out my hands" (Isaiah 65:2); cf. "Then Paul stretched forth the hand (ἐκτείνας τὴν χεῖρα)" (Acts 26:1). Regarded (מַקְשִׁיב, mak'shiv). The original idea of the verb קַשַׁב (kashav), used here, is that of erecting or pricking up the ear, like the Latin arrigere, sc. aures, in Plaut., 'Rud.,' 5, 2, 6; and cf. "arrectisque auribus adstant" (Virgil, 'AEneid,' 1:153). Proverbs 1:16 and Proverbs 1:17 are coordinated; and there now follows, introduced by the conj. ו ("and"), a third reason for the warning:
And they lie in wait for their own blood,
They lay snares for their own lives.
The warning of Proverbs 1:16 is founded on the immorality of the conduct of the enticer; that of Proverbs 1:17 on the audaciousness of the seduction as such, and now on the self-destruction which the robber and murderer bring upon themselves: they wish to murder others, but, as the result shows, they only murder themselves. The expression is shaped after Proverbs 1:11, as if it were: They lay snares, as they themselves say, for the blood of others; but it is in reality for their own blood: they certainly lie in wait, as they say; but not, as they add, for the innocent, but for their own lives (Fl.). Instead of לדמם, there might be used לדמיהם, after Micah 7:2; but לנפשׁם would signify ipsis (post-biblical, לעצמם), while לנפשׁתם leaves unobliterated the idea of the life: animis ipsorum; for if the O.T. language seeks to express ipse in any other way than by the personal pronoun spoken emphatically, this is done by the addition of נפשׁ (Isaiah 53:11). המו was on this account necessary, because Proverbs 1:17 has another subject (cf. Psalm 63:10).
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