Proverbs 10:15
The rich man's wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) The rich man’s wealth is his strong cityi.e., an actual protection to him against his enemies, for by it he can get aid; or (as Proverbs 18:11) it gives him the consciousness of power, courage: whereas poverty drags a man down, and prevents his advance in life, or makes him timid, and unable to defend himself.

Proverbs 10:15. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city — It often redeems him from dangers and calamities: or it is such in his own imagination, as it is explained Proverbs 18:11. It makes him confident and secure. The destruction of the poor — The cause of their destruction; is their poverty — Which often renders them friendless, defenceless, and exposed to the injuries of the malicious and cruel. Or, as מחתתmay be rendered, it is their terror, or consternation. It deprives them of courage and confidence, sinks their spirits, and fills them with fear and despair. Thus it destroys their comforts; whereas they might live very comfortably, although they had but little to live on, if they would but be content, keep a good conscience, and live by faith in the providence and promises of God.

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.Destruction - That which crushes, throws into ruins. Wealth secures its possessors against many dangers; poverty exposes men to worse evils than itself, meanness, servility, and cowardice. Below the surface there lies, it may be, a grave irony against the rich; see Proverbs 18:11. 15. Both by trusting in "uncertain riches" (1Ti 6:17), or by the evils of poverty (Pr 30:9), men, not fearing God, fall into dangers. Is his strong city; either,

1. Really, as money is called a defence, Ecclesiastes 7:12, because it ofttimes redeems a man from dangers and calamities. Or,

2. In his own conceit, as it is explained, and fully expressed, Proverbs 18:11. It makes him secure and confident.

The destruction; it is the cause of their ruin. Or, the contrition, or the terror, or consternation, as others, both ancient and modern, render it. Their poverty takes away their spirit and courage, and fills them with fear and despair.

The rich man's wealth is his strong city,.... What a fortified city is to persons in time of war, that is a rich man's wealth to him; by it he can defend himself from the injuries of others, and support himself and family in times of public calamity; for money is a defence, and answers all things, Ecclesiastes 7:12. Or his wealth is so in his own apprehension and conceit; he puts his trust and confidence in it, and thinks himself safe and secure by it; when he is trusting to uncertain riches, which will fail him; these may fly away from him in life, and leave him exposed to distress and danger; and, however, will not secure him at death from the wrath of God and everlasting destruction. Or he is lifted up with his riches, is in high spirits, and despises others; thinking himself safe, as in a strong castle, and fears nothing, distresses, diseases, or death;

the destruction of the poor is their poverty: or their poverty is their consternation, as the word (h) signifies, it frightens them; they, knowing their circumstances, are afraid of everybody and of every thing; not being able to defend themselves against their enemies, or support themselves in times of public calamity, as war, famine, or pestilence.

(h) "consternatio", Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis.

The rich man's wealth is his {h} strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

(h) And so makes him bold to do evil, while poverty bridles the poor from many evil things.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. destruction] The Heb. word is the same as in Proverbs 10:14. If we take it here, too, to denote a tottering building, ready to fall upon its tenant and bury him beneath its ruins, the parallelism is complete.

We have here an instance of the candour and sobriety of the moral teaching of this Book. Wealth has its advantages and poverty its drawbacks, and the fact is honestly stated. There is nothing of the unreality which represents poverty as in itself desirable, or wealth as in itself to be avoided. Comp. Proverbs 18:11.

Verse 15. - His strong city (Proverbs 18:11). Wealth is a help in many ways, securing from dangers, giving time and opportunity for acquiring wisdom, making one independent and free in action (Ecclesiastes 7:12; Ecclus. 40:25, etc.). The destruction of the poor is their poverty. The poor are crushed, exposed to all kinds of evil, moral and material, by their want of means. The word for poor is here dal, which implies weakness and inability to help one's self; the other word commonly used for "poor" is rash, which signifies rather "impecuniosity," opposed to "wealthy." So in the present passage the LXX. renders ἀσθενῶν, "the feeble." The poor were but lightly regarded till Christ pronounced the benediction, "Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20). The view of Theoguis ('Paraen.,' 177) will speak the experience of many -

Καὶ γὰρ ἀνὴρ πενίῃ δεδμημένος οὔτέ τι εἰπεῖν Οὔθ ἕρξαι δύναται γλῶσσα δὲ οἱ δέδεται

"A man, by crushing poverty subdued,
Can freely nothing either say or do -
His very tongue is tied."
Proverbs 10:15A pair of proverbs regarding possession and gain.

Regarding possession:

The rich man's wealth is his strong city;

The destruction of the poor is their poverty.

The first line equals Proverbs 18:11. One may render the idea according to that which is internal, and according to that which is external; and the proverb remains in both cases true. As עז may mean, of itself alone, power, as means of protection, or a bulwark (Psalm 8:3), or the consciousness of power, high feeling, pride (Judges 5:21); so קרית עזּו may be rendered as an object of self-confidence, and מחתּה, on the contrary, as an object of terror (Jeremiah 48:39): the rich man, to whom his estate (vid., on הון, p. 63) affords a sure reserve and an abundant source of help, can appear confident and go forth energetically; on the contrary, the poor man is timid and bashful, and is easily dejected and discouraged. Thus e.g., Oetinger and Hitzig. But the objective interpretation is allowable, and lies also much nearer: the rich man stands thus independent, changes and adversities cannot so easily overthrow him, he is also raised above many hazards and temptations; on the contrary, the poor man is overthrown by little misfortunes, and his despairing endeavours to save himself, when they fail, ruin him completely, and perhaps make him at the same time a moral outlaw. It is quite an experienced fact which this proverb expresses, but one from which the double doctrine is easily derived: (1) That it is not only advised, but also commanded, that man make the firm establishing of his external life-position the aim of his endeavour; (2) That one ought to treat with forbearance the humble man; and if he always sinks deeper and deeper, one ought not to judge him with unmerciful harshness and in proud self-exaltation.

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