Proverbs 10:7
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
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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.Covereth ... - The meaning is perhaps, the violence which the wicked has done is as a bandage over his mouth, reducing him to a silence and shame, like that of the leper Leviticus 13:45; Micah 3:7 or the condemned criminal Esther 7:8, whose "face is covered." 7. blessed—literally, "for a blessing," or praise.

shall rot—literally, "be worm-eaten," useless and disgusting.

Is blessed, i.e. honourable and acceptable to those who mention them. Compare Job 31:20 Psalm 62:5.

Shall rot; shall perish, and be cursed and detestable amongst men, shall stink above ground.

The memory of the just is blessed,.... Men to whom he has been useful, either in temporals or spirituals, bless him, or wish all blessings to him while alive, whenever they make mention of his name; and after death they speak well of him, and pronounce him blessed; for such are had in everlasting remembrance; the memory of them is sweet and precious; their name is famous and valuable, and always spoken of with honour and commendation; see Psalm 112:6. The Jewish writers take it for a command, and render it, "let the memory of the just be blessed"; and say, that he that transgresses it breaks an affirmative precept; they make an abbreviation of the word by the initial letters, and join them to the names of their celebrated men;

but the name of the wicked shall rot; shall be forgotten, be buried in oblivion, and never mentioned: and though they may call their houses, lands, and cities, by their own names, in order to transmit their memory to posterity; yet these, by one means or another, are destroyed, and their memorials perish with them; see Ecclesiastes 8:10; and if their names are mentioned after they are gone, it is with detestation and abhorrence, as things putrefied are abhorred; so they leave an ill savour behind them, when the good name of the righteous is as precious ointment, Ecclesiastes 7:1. It is a saying of Cicero (a), that

"the life of the dead lies in the memory of the living.''

(a) Orat. 51. Philip. 9.

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall {d} perish.

(d) Shall be vile and abhorred both by God and man, contrary to their own expectation, who think to make their name immortal.

Verse 7. - The memory. The lasting, fragrant perfume of a holy life is contrasted with the noisomeness and quick decay of an evil name (comp. Psalm 72:17). As a commentator asks, "Who ever thinks of calling a child Judas or Nero?" Proverbs 10:7Thus, as Proverbs 10:6 says how it goes with the righteous and the wicked in this life, so this verse tells how it fares with them after death:

The memory of the righteous remains in blessings,

And the name of the godless rots.

The tradition regarding the writing of זכר with five (זכר) or six points (זכר) is doubtful (vid., Heidenheim in his ed. of the Pentateuch, Mer Enajim, under Exodus 17:14); the Cod. 1294 and old printed copies have here זכר. Instead of לברכה, יברך might be used; the phrase היה לברכה (opp. היה לקללה, often used by Jeremiah), subordinate to the substantival clause, paraphrases the passive, for it expresses a growing to something, and thus the entrance into a state of endurance. The remembrance of the righteous endures after his death, for he is thought of with thankfulness (צל''ז equals זכר צדיק לברכה, the usual appendix to the name of an honoured, beloved man who has died), because his works, rich in blessing, continue; the name of the godless, on the contrary, far from continuing fresh and green (Psalm 62:1-12 :17) after his departure, becomes corrupt (רקב, from רק, to be or to become thin, to dissolve in fine parts, tabescere), like a worm-eaten decayed tree (Isaiah 40:20). The Talmud explains it thus, Joma 38b: foulness comes over their name, so that we call no one after their name. Also the idea suggests itself, that his name becomes corrupt, as it were, with his bones; the Mishnah, at least Ohaloth ii. 1, uses רקב of the dust of corruption.

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