Proverbs 12:14
A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
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(14) A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth . . .—Even in this life the wise counsels and kindly deeds by which others are aided, the “bread cast upon the waters” (Ecclesiastes 11:1), return to the giver in the shape of love and respect, and. it may be, of similar aid; while the full recompense, “good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over,” will come later, at the great day of retribution.

12:14. When men use their tongues aright, to teach and comfort others, they enjoy acceptance through Christ Jesus; and the testimony of their conscience, that they in some measure answer the end of their being. 15. A fool, in the sense of Scripture, means a wicked man, one who acts contrary to the wisdom that is from above. His rule is, to do what is right in his own eyes.See Proverbs 13:2 note. 13, 14. The wicked is snared, &c.—The sentiment expanded. While the wicked, such as liars, flatterers, &c., fall by their own words, the righteous are unhurt. Their good conduct makes friends, and God rewards them. By the fruit of his mouth; by his pious and profitable discourses.

Of a man’s hands, i.e. of his works and actions, of which the hand is the great instrument; whereby also may be implied that God will not regard nor recompense good works, unless they be accompanied with a good conversation.

Shall be rendered unto him, to wit, by God, to whom the work of retribution belongs.

A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth,.... The wholesome advice, the good instruction, and sound doctrine he delivers to others, which are the fruit of his lips, and come forth by them from his heart; these redound to his own advantage, are not only a satisfaction to his mind upon reflection, but because of these he is filled with good things, even to satiety, both in this life and that to come; see 1 Timothy 4:6; or a "man shall be satisfied with good from the fruit of the mouth"; or "be satisfied from the fruit of the mouth of a man" (z); that is, of another man; either of a private man, by his prayers, by the account he gives of his own experience, by the conversation he has with him about the truths of the Gospel; or of a faithful minister of the word, who is the means of feeding the souls of men with good things, even to satisfaction, with the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ, with the sincere milk of the word, with the bread of life, even with the finest of the wheat;

and the recompence of a man's hand shall be rendered unto him; if his words turn to his account, much more his works; if he is filled with good things for the sake of the one, much more will he be recompensed in a way of grace on account of the other; and not for the one without the other, nor for words without works: or "the recompence of a man's hands", or of his works which his hands do, "he shall render to him" (a); that is, God, who renders to every man according to his works; which serves not to establish the doctrine of merit, but to show the goodness and grace of God in taking notice of and accepting the imperfect works of men through Christ, and for his sake.

(z) "de fructu oris viri", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Schultens. (a) "reddet ei", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "restituet ei", Munster, so Aben Ezra; "ei refundet", Schultens.

A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth: and the recompence of a man's hands shall be rendered unto him.
14. recompence] Rather, doings, R.V., as at once more literal and clearer. Comp. Matthew 7:2; Luke 6:37-38.

The point of the proverb is, that his speech and action have their consequences for a man himself, as well as for his neighbour.

Verse 14. - A man shall be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth (Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 14:14; Proverbs 18:20). A man's words are like seeds, and if they are wise and pure and kindly, they will bring forth the fruit of love and favour and respect. Christian commentaters see here a reference to the day of judgment, wherein great stress is laid on the words (Matthew 12:37). Of a man's hands. That which a man has done, his kindly actions, shall meet with full reward (comp. Isaiah 3:10, 11; Matthew 25:35, etc.; Romans 2:6). Proverbs 12:1414 From the fruit which the mouth of the man bringeth forth is he satisfied with good,

     And what the hands of the man accomplish returns back to him.

The proverb finds its final verification in the last judgment (cf. Matthew 12:37), but it is also illustrated in the present life. If the mouth of a man bringeth forth fruit - namely, the fruit of wholesome doctrine, of right guidance, of comforting exhortation, of peace-bringing consolation for others - this fruit is also to his own advantage, he richly enjoys the good which flows out of his own mouth, the blessing he bestows is also a blessing for himself. The same also is the case with the actions of a man. That which is done, or the service which is rendered by his hands, comes back to him as a reward or as a punishment. גּמוּל signifies primarily accomplishment, execution, and is a twofold, double-sided conception: a rendering of good or evil, and merit on the side of men (whether merited reward or merited punishment), as well as recompense, requital on the side of God. The first line is repeated, somewhat altered, at Proverbs 13:2; Proverbs 18:20. The whole proverb is prophetically echoed in Isaiah 3:10. The Kerı̂ ישׁיב has Jahve as the subject, or rather the subject remains undefined, and "one requites him" is equivalent to: it is requited to him. The Chethı̂b seems to us more expressive; but this use of the active with the undefined subject, instead of the passive, is certainly as much in the Mishle style (cf. Proverbs 13:21) as the development of the subject of the clause from a foregoing genitive.

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