Proverbs 13:13
Whoever despises the word shall be destroyed: but he that fears the commandment shall be rewarded.
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(13) Shall be destroyed.—Literally, brings ruin on himself. Or the sense may be, “is (still) bound to it,” even although he may contemptuously neglect it. Comp. the advice (Matthew 5:25), to “agree with our adversary quickly,” that is, satisfy the requirements of the law of God while there is time, lest it appear as our adversary at the day of judgment.

Proverbs 13:13-14. Whoso despiseth — Or wilfully and presumptuously disobeys, the word — Namely, the word of God, which is called the word, by way of eminence; shall be destroyed — Except he repent and return to obedience. But he that feareth the commandment — That hath a reverence to its authority, and is afraid to violate it; shall be rewarded — He makes God his friend, who will certainly reward him for his obedience. The law of the wise — The doctrine, instruction, or counsel of holy men, who are commonly called wise, as sinners are called fools, in this book; is a fountain of life — Sending forth streams of living water, and affording both refreshment and comfort to all that will partake thereof; to depart from the snares of death — Enabling them to repel the temptations of Satan, and keeping them at a distance from the snares of sin, and therefore from the snares of death, into which they run that forsake the law of the wise.13:13. He that stands in awe of God, and reverences his word, shall escape destruction, and be rewarded for his godly fear.When the desire cometh - The desire comes, it is a tree of life: i. e., the object of our desires is attained. Compare Proverbs 3:18. 13. the word—that is, of advice, or, instruction (compare Pr 10:27; 11:31). Despiseth; disobeyeth it wilfully and presumptuously. The word; the word of God, which is called the word by way of eminency, Deu 30:14, compared with Romans 10:18 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and elsewhere.

Shall be destroyed, except he repent, and return to his obedience.

That feareth the commandment; that hath a reverence to its authority, and is afraid to violate it. Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed,.... The word of God. Either Christ, the essential Word; which must be a great evil, considering the dignity of his person; great ingratitude, considering the grace of his office; very dangerous, considering what a quick, sharp, and powerful Word he is: and such may be said to despise him who despise his ministers, and the Gospel preached by them; and which may be meant by the word, that being the word of God and of truth, the word of righteousness, peace, life, and salvation; and is to them that perish foolishness; and to whom it is so, they shall perish, and be punished with everlasting destruction, for their contempt of it, and disobedience to it. Or the written word may be meant, the Scriptures, which are given by inspiration of God, and therefore ought to be had in the greatest reverence; and yet are greatly slighted and despised by the man of sin and his followers; who set up and prefer their unwritten traditions to them, and so make them of none effect: such are all false teachers, that despise or abuse them, they bring destruction to themselves; for so the words may be rendered, "shall bring destruction to himself", or shall receive detriment from it: so the Targum, from the word itself; the Syriac version, "by it"; and the Arabic version, "by the commandment itself"; by the threatenings in it, and according to them: or, "because of it"; because of the contempt of it;

but he that feareth the commandment; receives the word with reverence, trembles at it; fears God, and keeps his commandments, and fears to break them: he

shall be rewarded; with good, as the Targum adds; for in keeping the commandments of God there is great reward: or, "shall enjoy peace", or "be in safety" (k); for great peace have they which love the law of God, and serve it: or, "shall be sound, and in health" (l); when those that despise it "shall be corrupted" (m); as the word in the preceding clause may be rendered.

(k) "in pace versabitur", V. L. "fruetur pace", Vatablus; "donatur pace", Junius & Tremellius; "pacabitur", Cocceius; "salvabitur", Syriac version. (l) Sept. (m) "corrumpetur"; Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius.

Whoever despiseth {g} the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

(g) Meaning the word of God, by which he is admonished of his duty.

13. the word] sc. of God, as in Proverbs 16:20. The commandment, in the parallel clause, seems to make this clear, though the reference is not necessarily to the Law of Moses. See Introd. Ch. 1., p. 13.

The R.V. appears to suggest another rendering, handleth a matter negligently, by referring to Proverbs 16:20, where “he that giveth heed unto the word” in R.V. text is “he that handleth a matter wisely,” in R.V. margin, as in A.V. text. With this agrees ὄς καταφρονεῖ πράγματος, LXX. (adding a second form, however, of the proverb).

shall be destroyed] Rather, bringeth destruction upon himself, R.V. text.

The rendering, is bound by it (maketh himself a debtor thereto, R.V. marg.), i.e. cannot escape either from liability or from punishment, has much to commend it.Verse 13. - Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed. "The word" is either the commandment of God (Deuteronomy 30:14), or warning and instruction. He who despises and neglects this word "brings on himself destruction." Many good authorities take the latter verb in another sense, "is pledged by it;" as Revised Version in margin, "maketh himself a debtor thereto," i.e. is still bound to fulfil his obligations to it; he cannot escape duty by ignoring or despising it, but is pledged to do it, and will suffer for its neglect. Hence Christ's injunction to agree with our adversary quickly while we are in the way with him (Matthew 5:25). Vulgate, "He who disparages (detrahit) anything binds himself for the future." Septuagint, "He who despises a thing (πράγματος, τάγματυς, 'a command') shall be despised by it." Virtus se contemnentem contemnit. He that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded (Proverbs 11:31). The Vulgate rendering, "shall live in peace," and that of the Septuagint, "shall be healthful," are not so suitable. The "fearing the commandment" implies obedience to it; and reward is considered as fully pledged to obedience as punishment is to neglect. The Septuagint here adds a distich which Ewald regards as genuine, "Unto a crafty son there shall be nothing good; but to a wise servant all actions shall prosper, and his way shall be guided aright." This is also found in the Vulgate of Proverbs 14:15. The Vulgate here inserts the paragraph found in the Septuagint at ver. 9 (q.v.), Animae dolosae errant in peccatis; justi autem misericordes sunt et miserantur. Two proverbs of riches and poverty: -

There is one who maketh himself rich and hath nothing;

There is another who representeth himself poor amid great riches.

A sentence which includes in itself the judgment which Proverbs 12:9 expresses. To the Hithpa. התכּבּד (to make oneself of importance) there are associated here two others, in the meaning to make oneself something, without anything after it, thus to place oneself so or so, Ewald, 124a. To the clauses with ו there is supplied a self-intelligible לּו.

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