Proverbs 11:7
When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 11:7-8. When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish — All his hope and felicity, which he placed wholly in earthly things, are lost and gone with him; and the hope of unjust men, &c. — This clause, according to this translation, is a mere repetition of the former: but the word אונים, here rendered unjust men, is generally translated strengths, or powers, as indeed it properly means. Divers, therefore, interpret the clause, The hope of their strengths, that is, which they place in their riches, children, friends, and other carnal props and defences, perisheth. So this is added by way of aggravation. The righteous are delivered out of trouble — When, perhaps, he hardly expected it, or even was ready to despair of it; and the wicked cometh in his stead — Is, by God’s providence, brought into the same miseries, which the wicked either designed against, or had formerly inflicted on the righteous, but which were now lately removed from them. Thus Mordecai was saved from the gallows, Daniel from the lions’ den, and Peter from the prison, and their persecutors came in their stead. Israel was delivered out of the Red sea, and the Egyptians drowned in it.

11:1 However men may make light of giving short weight or measure, and however common such crimes may be, they are an abomination to the Lord. 2. Considering how safe, and quiet, and easy the humble are, we see that with the lowly is wisdom. 3. An honest man's principles are fixed, therefore his way is plain. 4. Riches will stand men in no stead in the day of death. 5,6. The ways of wickedness are dangerous. And sin will be its own punishment. 7. When a godly man dies, all his fears vanish; but when a wicked man dies, his hopes vanish. 8. The righteous are often wonderfully kept from going into dangerous situations, and the ungodly go in their stead. 9. Hypocrites delude men into error and sin by artful objections against the truths of God's word. 10,11. Nations prosper when wicked men are cast down. 12. A man of understanding does not judge of others by their success. 13. A faithful man will not disclose what he is trusted with, unless the honour of God and the real good of society require it. 14. We shall often find it to our advantage to advise with others. 15. The welfare of our families, our own peace, and our ability to pay just debts, must not be brought into danger. But here especially let us consider the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in becoming Surety even for enemies. 16. A pious and discreet woman will keep esteem and respect, as strong men keep possession of wealth. 17. A cruel, froward, ill-natured man, is vexatious to those that are, and should be to him as his own flesh, and punishes himself. 18. He that makes it his business to do good, shall have a reward, as sure to him as eternal truth can make it. 19. True holiness is true happiness. The more violent a man is in sinful pursuits, the more he hastens his own destruction. 20. Nothing is more hateful to God, than hypocrisy and double dealing, which are here signified. God delights in such as aim and act with uprightness. 21. Joining together in sin shall not protect the sinners. 22. Beauty is abused by those who have not discretion or modesty with it. This is true of all bodily endowments. 23. The wicked desire mischief to others, but it shall return upon themselves. 24. A man may grow poor by not paying just debts, not relieving the poor, not allowing needful expenses. Let men be ever so saving of what they have, if God appoints, it comes to nothing. 25. Both in temporal and spiritual things, God commonly deals with his people according to the measure by which they deal with their brethren. 26. We must not hoard up the gifts of God's bounty, merely for our own advantage. 27. Seeking mischief is here set against seeking good; for those that are not doing good are doing hurt, even to themselves.Significant words, as showing the belief that when the righteous died, his "expectation" (i. e., his hope for the future) did not perish. The second clause is rendered by some, "the expectation that brings sorrow." 7. expectation … perish—for death cuts short all his plans (Lu 16:25).

hope of unjust—better, "hope of wealth," or "power" (compare Isa 40:29, Hebrew). This gives an advance on the sentiment of the first clause. Even hopes of gain die with him.

His expectation shall perish; all his hope and felicity, which he placed wholly in earthly things, is lost and gone with him.

The hope of unjust men; so it is a repetition of the same thing in other words. Or, as divers render it, the hope of their strengths, i.e. which they place in their carnal strengths, their riches, children, friends, &c. So this is added by way of aggravation.

When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish,.... His expectation of a longer life, of getting more riches, attaining to more honour, enjoying more pleasure here, and of having happiness hereafter, and of being delivered from wrath to come; he will then find, when he comes to die, that his expectations in this world are vain, and those which respect happiness in another world are ill-grounded; or when he dies, the expectation of others that depended on him, trusted in him, and looked for great things from him, will then be at an end;

and the hope of unjust men perisheth; which is as the giving up of the ghost, and expires when a man does; it is only in this life, or however it ceases when that does; he has no hope in his death, as the righteous man has; if he does not live without hope in the world, he has none when he goes out of it, or that will be of any use unto him: moreover, the hope of "unjust" men to oppress and injure others ceases when they die, Job 3:17. The word rendered unjust men is by some (h) understood of strength, substance, riches; and so the meaning may be, that such a hope that is placed in strength and riches perishes at death. Jarchi interprets it of children, which are a man's substance; as if the sense was, that the hope of the children of such persons is then cut off.

(h) "expectatio virium", Gejerus; "spes in viribus collocata", Michaelis; "spes confidentium in divitiis", Munster; so some in Vatablus; "divitiarum", Pagniaus, Baynus; "roborum", Montanus, Amama.

When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. unjust men] iniquity, R.V. Comp. Hosea 9:4, where the expression “bread of mourners” (the same Heb. word) may be “the emblem of utter impurity,” because everything connected with death involved ceremonial defilement. See note there in this Series.

Others render, with R.V. marg., strong men, or better, strength, i.e. wealth or worldly resources. The expectation of (i.e. based upon) such strength shall perish. Comp. for the sentiment Proverbs 11:4 above.

The proverb obviously implies, as a matter of popular knowledge and belief, that there is an expectation which does not perish at death; an expectation, which for the true children of Abraham, as for Abraham himself (Hebrews 11:9-10), reached beyond remembrance on earth in fame or family, “to all generations” (Psalm 49:11).

Verse 7. - His expectation; that which he hoped for and set his heart upon, worldly prosperity, long life, impunity, - all are cut off, and the moral government of God is confirmed, by his death (Psalm 73:17-19). (For "the hope of the ungodly," see the forcible expressions in Wisd. 5:14.) Of unjust men; Vulgate sollicitorum; Septuagint, τῶν ἀσεβῶν. The word seems to mean "vanities," i.e. "men of vanity" - abstract for concrete. Others translate, "godless hope," or "expectation that bringeth grief," or "strong, self-confident men;" "men in the fulness of their vigour." But the rendering of the Authorized Version is well supported, and the two clauses are coordinate. The Septuagint, in order to accentuate the implied antithesis, has seemingly altered the text, and introduced a thought which favours the immortality of the soul, "When a righteous man dieth, hope perisheth not; but the boast of the wicked perisheth" (Wisd. 3:18). Proverbs 11:7Three proverbs regarding destruction and salvation:

7 When a godless man dies, his hope cometh to nought,

   And the expectation of those who stand in fulness of strength is destroyed.

We have already remarked in the Introduction that אדם is a favourite word of the Chokma, and the terminological distinction of different classes and properties of men (vid., pp. 40, 42); we read, Proverbs 6:12, אדם בּליּעל, and here, as also Job 20:29; Job 27:13, אדם רשׁע, cf. Proverbs 21:29, אישׁ רשׁע, but generally only רשׁע is used. A godless man, to whom earthly possessions and pleasure and honour are the highest good, and to whom no means are too base, in order that he may appease this his threefold passion, rocks himself in unbounded and measureless hopes; but with his death, his hope, i.e., all that he hoped for, comes to nought. The lxx translate τελευτήσαντος ἀνδρὸς δικαίου οὐκ ὄλλυται ἐλπίς, which is the converse of that which is here said, 7a: the hope of the righteous expects its fulfilment beyond the grave. The lxx further translate, τὸ δὲ καύχημα (וּתהלּת) τῶν ἀσεβῶν ὄλλυται; but the distich in the Hebr. text is not an antithetic one, and whether אונים may signify the wicked (thus also the Syr., Targ., Venet., and Luther), if we regard it as a brachyology for אנשׁי אונים, or as the plur. of an adj. און, after the form טוב (Elazar b. Jacob in Kimchi), or wickedness (Zckler, with Hitzig, "the wicked expectation"), is very questionable. Yet more improbable is Malbim's (with Rashi's) rendering of this אונים, after Genesis 49:3; Psalm 78:51, and the Targ. on Job 18:12, of the children of the deceased; children gignuntur ex robore virili, but are not themselves the robur virile. But while אונים is nowhere the plur. of און fo . in its ethical signification, it certainly means in Psalm 78:51, as the plur. of און, manly strength, and in Isaiah 40:26, Isaiah 40:29 the fulness of strength generally, and once, in Hosea 9:4, as plur. of און in its physical signification, derived from its root-meaning anhelitus (Genesis 35:18, cf. Habakkuk 3:7), deep sorrow (a heightening of the און, Deuteronomy 26:14). This latter signification has also been adopted: Jerome, expectatio solicitorum; Bertheau, "the expectation of the sorrowing;" Ewald, "continuance of sorrow;" but the meaning of this in this connection is so obscure, that one must question the translators what its import is. Therefore we adhere to the other rendering, "fulness of strength," and interpret אונים as the opposite of אין אונים, Isaiah 40:29, for it signifies, per metonymiam abstracti pro concr., those who are full of strength; and we gain the meaning that there is a sudden end to the expectation of those who are in full strength, and build their prospects thereon. The two synonymous lines complete themselves, in so far as אונים gains by אדם רשׁע the associated idea of self-confidence, and the second strengthens the thought of the first by the transition of the expression from the fut. to the preterite (Fl.). ותוחלת has, for the most part in recent impressions, the Mugrash; the correct accentuation, according to codices and old impressions, is ותוחלת אונים (vid., Baer's Torath Emeth, p. 10, 4).

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