Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
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(12) Hatred stirreth up strifes . . .—Hatred rakes up again old feuds which have slumbered, but love covers up and refuses to look at any wrong done to it. A similar expression occurs in 1Peter 4:8 and James 5:20, though probably in a somewhat different sense. (See the note on the former passage.)

Proverbs 10:12. Hatred stirreth up strife — Upon every slight occasion, by filling men’s minds with suspicions and surmises, whereby they imagine faults where there are none, and aggravate every small offence; but love covereth all sins — Either doth not severely observe, or willingly forgives and forgets the injuries and offences of others, and so prevents contention and mischief.

10:7. Both the just and the wicked must die; but between their souls there is a vast difference. 8. The wise in heart puts his knowledge in practice. 9. Dissemblers, after all their shuffling, will be exposed. 10. Trick and artifice will be no excuse for iniquity. 11. The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. 12. Where there is hatred, every thing stirs up strife. By bearing with each other, peace and harmony are preserved. 13. Those that foolishly go on in wicked ways, prepare rods for themselves. 14. Whatever knowledge may be useful, we must lay it up, that it may not be to seek when we want it. The wise gain this wisdom by reading, by hearing the word, by meditation, by prayer, by faith in Christ, who is made of God unto us wisdom. 15. This refers to the common mistakes both of rich and poor, as to their outward condition. Rich people's wealth exposes them to many dangers; while a poor man may live comfortably, if he is content, keeps a good conscience, and lives by faith. 16. Perhaps a righteous man has no more than what he works hard for, but that labour tends to life. 17. The traveller that has missed his way, and cannot bear to be told of it, and to be shown the right way, must err still. 18. He is especially a fool who thinks to hide anything from God; and malice is no better. 19. Those that speak much, speak much amiss. He that checks himself is a wise man, and therein consults his own peace. 20,21. The tongue of the just is sincere, freed from the dross of guile and evil design. Pious discourse is spiritual food to the needy. Fools die for want of a heart, so the word is; for want of thought.Love covereth all sins - i. e., First hides, does not expose, and then forgives and forgets all sins. 12. strifes—or, "litigations."

covereth—by forgiveness and forbearance.

Hatred stirreth up strifes upon every slight occasion, by filling men with suspicions and surmises, whereby they imagine faults where there are none, and aggravate every small offence.

Love covereth all sins; either doth not severely observe, or doth willingly forget and forgive, the offences or injuries of others, and so preventeth contention and mischief.

Hatred stirreth up strifes,.... A man, whose heart is full of hatred and malice against his neighbour, will stir up, or awake, as the word (d) signifies, contentions and quarrels which were happily laid asleep; these he renews by tale bearing, and whisperings, and evil surmises; by raising lies, spreading false reports and calumnies, and by virulent reproaches and slanders;

but love covereth all sins; not its own, but others; in imitation of the pardoning love and grace of God, which covers all the sins of his people with the blood and righteousness of his Son. Love spreads its mantle over the sins of its fellow creatures and Christians, and forgives them, even all of them: instead of exposing them, hides and conceals them; and, instead of loading and aggravating the infirmities of others, puts the best constructions on them, hopes and bears, and believes all things, 1 Corinthians 13:7; see 1 Peter 4:8; where the apostle seems to have respect to this passage. This is not to be understood as conniving at or suffering sin upon others, or as contrary to Christian reproofs and rebukes for it.


Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
12. love covereth &c.] See 1 Peter 4:8, where the use of charity for love in A.V. obscures the fact that it is probably a quotation of this proverb. The LXX., however, has here a different reading (πάντας δὲ τοὺς μὴ φιλονεικοῦντας καλύπτει φιλία), so that the Apostle must either have quoted from the Hebrew, or taken the proverb as it was then in common use. Comp. James 5:20.

Verse 12. - Hatred stirreth up strife (Proverbs 6:14). Love covereth all sins (Proverbs 17:9). The reference is primarily to the blood feud, the existence of which led to the establishment of the cities of refuge. Hatred keeps alive the old feeling of revenge, and seeks opportunities of satisfying it; but love puts aside, forgets and forgives all offences against itself. This sentiment comes very near the great Christian principle, "Love covereth a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8; comp. 1 Corinthians 13:4; James 5:20). The Talmud pronounces, "To love a thing makes the eye blind, the ear deaf;" and the Arab says, "Love is the companion of blindness." Septuagint, "Love (φιλία) covereth all those who love not strife." Proverbs 10:12Another proverb of the different effects of hatred and of love:

Hate stirreth up strife,

And love covereth all transgressions.

Regarding מדנים, for which the Kerı̂ elsewhere substitutes מדינים, vid., under Proverbs 6:14. Hatred of one's neighbour, which is of itself an evil, has further this bad effect, that it calls forth hatred, and thus stirreth up strife, feuds, factions, for it incites man against man (cf. ערר, Job 3:8); on the contrary, love covers not merely little errors, but also greater sins of every kind (כּל־פּשׁעים), viz., by pardoning them, concealing them, excusing them, if possible, with mitigating circumstances, or restraining them before they are executed. All this lies in the covering. James, however, gives it, James 5:20, another rendering: love covers them, viz., from the eyes of a holy God; for it forgives them to the erring brother, and turns him from the error of his way. The lxx improperly translate πάντας δὲ τοὺς μὴ φιλονεικοῦντας κελόπτει φιλία; but Peter (1 Peter 4:8) as well as James, but none of the Greek versions; ἡ ἀγάπη καλύψει πλῆθος ἁμαρτιῶν. The Romish Church makes use of this passage as a proof for the introduction of the fides formata, viz., caritate, in justification, which is condemned in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession; and, indeed, the multitudo peccatorum is not meant of the sins of him who cherishes love, but of the sins of the neighbour. Sin stirs up hatred in men in their relation to one another; but love covers the already existing sins, and smooths the disturbances occasioned by them.

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