Proverbs 10:3
The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casts away the substance of the wicked.
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(3) The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.—Comp. David’s experience (Psalm 37:25), and the great promise of our Lord to those who “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). (Comp. also below, Proverbs 13:25.)

He casteth away the substance of the wicked.—Rather, He repels (the word is used in 2Kings 4:27, of Gehazi “thrusting away” the Shunammite) the eager, passionate desire of the wicked. However much they long for it, they get it not, “because they ask amiss” (James 4:3).

Proverbs 10:3. The Lord will not suffer the righteous to famish — Will preserve them from famine, according to his promises, Psalm 34:10, (on which see the note,) and elsewhere; but he casteth away the substance — So הות, the word here used, sometimes signifies; or, the wickedness, that is, the wealth gotten by wickedness, as it is rendered Psalm 52:7; of the wicked — Who by that means shall be exposed to want and famine. The instructions in these last two verses about getting, keeping, and using riches aright, very properly follow what was observed, Proverbs 10:1, that a curse may not be entailed upon riches through a contrary conduct respecting them, and descend with them unto our children.10:1 The comfort of parents much depends on their children; and this suggests to both, motives to their duties. 2,3. Though the righteous may be poor, the Lord will not suffer him to want what is needful for spiritual life. 4. Those who are fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, are likely to be rich in faith, and rich in good works. 5. Here is just blame of those who trifle away opportunities, both for here and for hereafter. 6. Abundance of blessings shall abide on good men; real blessings.Casteth away ... - Better, "overturns, disappoints the strong desire of the wicked." Tantalus-like, they never get the enjoyment they thirst after. 3. (Compare Ps 37:16-20). The last clause is better: "He will repel the greedy desires of the wicked." Will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish; will preserve them from famine, according to his promises, Psalm 34:10, and elsewhere, which, as other temporal promises, is not to be understood simply and universally, but with this limitation, except this be necessary for God’s glory, which in all reason should overrule the creatures’ good, and for their own greater benefit. For, to say nothing of eternal felicities which follow every good man’s death, it is certainly in some times and eases a less evil for men to be killed with famine, than to survive to see and feel those miseries which are coming upon them, and upon the land where they live.

The substance, as this word is used, Psalm 52:7, or the wickedness, i.e. the wealth gotten by wickedness; as righteousness, Proverbs 10:2, is by divers understood of an estate got with righteousness.

Of the wicked; who by that means shall be exposed to want and famine. The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish,.... Or to perish by famine: not but that good men may be afflicted with it, as Jacob and his sons were, when the famine was in Egypt and in other lands; and as the apostles, particularly the Apostle Paul, were often in hunger and thirst, yet not so as to be destroyed by it; for in "famine" the Lord redeems such from death; though the young lions lack and suffer hunger, they that fear the Lord shall not want any good thing; at least whatever they may suffer this way does not arise from the wrath of God, nor does it nor can it separate from the love of God and Christ, Job 5:20. Moreover, the souls of such shall not be famished for want of spiritual food; shall not have a famine of the word and ordinances; their souls shall be fed, as with marrow and fatness, with the finest of the wheat, and with honey out of the rock: the church, though in the wilderness, is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, Revelation 12:14;

but he casteth away the substance of the wicked; that which is got in a wicked way; as sometimes he causes it to diminish by little and little; at other times he forcibly and suddenly drives it away, and causes it to take wings and fly away; though it has been swallowed down with great greediness and in great abundance, he makes them throw it up again, and casts it out of their belly, whether they will or not, so that it does not profit them, Job 20:15.

The LORD will {b} not allow the soul of the righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.

(b) Though he permits the just to want for a time, yet he will send him comfort in due season.

3. to famish] Comp. Psalm 37:25; and for the soul’s highest hungering, Matthew 5:6.

casteth away the substance] Rather, thrusteth away (as Gehazi would have done the Shunammite, 2 Kings 4:27) the desire, R.V.Verse 3. - The Lord will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish (comp. Proverbs 19:23). The soul is the life (comp. Proverbs 13:25). So the psalmist says (Psalm 37:25), "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging their bread." Christ speaks of the providence that watches over the lower creatures, and draws thence a lesson of trust in his care of man. concluding, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:26, 33). But he casteth away the substance of the wicked; Septuagint, "He will overthrew the life of the wicked;" Vulgate, "He overturns the plots of sinners." The word rendered "substance" (havvah) is better understood as "desire." God frustrates the eager longing (for food or other good things) of the wicked; they are never satisfied, and get no real enjoyment out of what they crave (comp. Proverbs 13:25). The poet now brings before us another figure, for he personifies Folly working in opposition to Wisdom, and gives her a feminine name, as the contrast to Wisdom required, and thereby to indicate that the seduction, as the 13th proverbial discourse (chap. 7) has shown, appears especially in the form of degraded womanhood:

13 The woman Folly [Frau Thorheit] conducts herself boisterously,

     Wantonness, and not knowing anything at all;

14 And hath seated herself at the door of her house,

     On a seat high up in the city,

15 To call to those who walk in the way,

     Who go straight on their path.

The connection of אשת כּסילוּת is genitival, and the genitive is not, as in אשׁת רע, Proverbs 6:24, specifying, but appositional, as in בת־ציון (vid., under Isaiah 1:8). הומיּה [boisterous] is pred., as Proverbs 7:11 : her object is sensual, and therefore her appearance excites passionately, overcoming the resistance of the mind by boisterousness. In 13b it is further said who and how she is. פּתיּוּת she is called as wantonness personified. This abstract פּתיּוּת, derived from פּתי, must be vocalized as אכזריּוּת; Hitzig thinks it is written with a on account of the following u sound, but this formation always ends in ijjûth, not ajjûth. But as from חזה as well חזּיון equals חזיון as חזון is formed, so from פּתה as well פּתוּת like חזוּת or פּתוּת like לזוּת, רעוּת, as פּתיוּת (instead of which פּתיּוּת is preferred) can be formed; Kimchi rightly (Michlol 181a) presents the word under the form פּעלוּת. With וּבל (Proverbs 14:7) poetic, and stronger than לאו, the designation of the subject is continued; the words וּבל־ידעה מּה (thus with Mercha and without Makkeph following, ידעה is to be written, after Codd. and old editions) have the value of an adjective: and not knowing anything at all (מה equals τὶ, as Numbers 23:3; Job 13:13, and here in the negative clause, as in prose מאוּמה), i.e., devoid of all knowledge. The Targ. translates explanatorily: not recognising טבתּא, the good; and the lxx substitutes: she knows not shame, which, according to Hitzig, supposes the word כּלמּה, approved of by him; but כלמה means always pudefactio, not pudor. To know no כלמה would be equivalent to, to let no shaming from without influence one; for shamelessness the poet would have made use of the expression ובל־ידעה בּשׁת. In וישׁבה the declaration regarding the subject beginning with הומיה is continued: Folly also has a house in which works of folly are carried one, and has set herself down by the door (לפּתח as לפי, Proverbs 8:3) of this house; she sits there על־כּסּא. Most interpreters here think on a throne (lxx ἐπὶ δίφρου, used especially of the sella curulis); and Zckler, as Umbreit, Hitzig, and others, connecting genitiv. therewith מרמי קרת, changes in 14b the scene, for he removes the "high throne of the city" from the door of the house to some place elsewhere. But the sitting is in contrast to the standing and going on the part of Wisdom on the streets preaching (Evagrius well renders: in molli ignavaque sella); and if כסא and house-door are named along with each other, the former is a seat before the latter, and the accentuation rightly separates by Mugrash כסא from מרמי קרת. "According to the accents and the meaning, מרמי קרת is the acc. loci: on the high places of the city, as Proverbs 8:2." (Fl.). They are the high points of the city, to which, as Wisdom, Proverbs 9:3, Proverbs 8:2, so also Folly, her rival (wherefore Ecclesiastes 10:6 does not appertain to this place), invites followers to herself. She sits before her door to call לעברי דרך (with Munach, as in Cod. 1294 and old editions, without the Makkeph), those who go along the way (genitive connection with the supposition of the accusative construction, transire viam, as Proverbs 2:7), to call (invite) המישּׁרים (to be pointed with מ raphatum and Gaja going before, according to Ben-Asher's rule; vid., Methegsetz. 20), those who make straight their path, i.e., who go straight on, directly before them (cf. Isaiah 57:2). The participial construction (the schemes amans Dei and amans Deum), as well as that of the verb קרא (first with the dat. and then with the accus.), interchange.

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