Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuses instruction: but he that regards reproof shall be honored.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 13:18. Poverty, &c., shall be to him, that refuseth instruction — Whereby he might have been preserved from destructive and dishonourable courses; but he that regardeth reproof — That considers it seriously, receives it kindly, and reforms himself by it; shall be honoured — And enriched, which is to be inferred from the former branch. Not indeed that it is always the case, but commonly, and when God sees it will be good for a man. Or, if he do not gain riches, he shall certainly have honour both from God and good men. Deuteronomy 21:4; Micah 6:2). This may be applied as here to the hard dry rock, to running streams, or to stagnant pools. In either case, the idea is that of the barren dry soil, or the impassable marsh, in contrast with the fountain of life, carrying joy and refreshment with it. Instruction; whereby he might have been kept from destructive and dishonourable courses.
He that regardeth reproof, that considers it seriously, receiveth it kindly, and reformeth himself by it, shall be honoured, and enriched, which is implied from the former branch. Not that it is so always, but commonly, and when God sees it good for a man. Or if he do not always gain riches, he shall certainly have honour both from God and men. Proverbs 5:11;
but he that regardeth reproof; the reproof of the word, and of the ministers of it, and of all good men, and takes it kindly, and acts according to it,
shall be honoured; with riches and reputation; if not with the riches of this world, yet with the riches of grace and glory; and shall have honour among the saints, and from the Lord himself; who will honour those that honour him, as they do who regard the reproof and instruction of his word, 1 Samuel 2:30.Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 18. - Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction; correction, discipline. Nowack takes the two nouns as predicates: "He that refuseth discipline is poverty and shame," i.e. they are his lot. Such a one indulges his own lusts and passions, is headstrong in pursuing his own plans, and thus dissipates his fortune and acquires the contempt of all good men. Septuagint, "Discipline taketh away poverty and disgrace." He that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. To listen to rebuke and to profit thereby is a proof of humility and self-knowledge, which wins respect from others. Lesetre refers to Theodosius's submission to the sentence imposed upon him by St. Ambrose as a real honour and glory to him (comp. Proverbs 12:1; Proverbs 15:5, 32). Proverbs 13:12 and Proverbs 13:14 require us to take along with them the intermediate verse (Proverbs 13:13).
12 Deferred waiting maketh the heart sick,
And a tree of life is a wish accomplished.
Singularly the lxx Κρείσσων ἐναρχόμενος βοηθῶν καρδίᾳ, followed by the Syr. (which the Targ. Transcribes):
(Note: That the Targum of the Proverbs is a Jewish elaboration of the Peshito text, vid., Nldeke in Merx' Archiv, Bd. ii. pp. 246-49.)
Better is he who begins to help than he who remains in hesitating expectation, by which תחלת is doubled, and is derived once from הוחיל, to wait, and the second time from החל, to begin. If the lxx, with its imitators, deteriorates to such a degree proverbs so clear, beautiful, and inviolable, what may one expect from it in the case of those not easily understood! משּׁך signifies also, Isaiah 18:2, to be widely extended (cf. Arab. meshaḳ), here in the sense of time, as נמשׁך, to prolong, Isaiah 13:22, and post-bibl. משׁך הזּמן, the course of time. Regarding תּוחלת, vid., at Proverbs 10:28, where as Proverbs 11:27 תּקות, here תּאוה, as also Psalm 78:29 of the object of the wish, and with בוא in the sense of being fulfilled (cf. Joshua 21:43), as there with הביא in the sense of accomplishing or performing. Extended waiting makes the heart sick, causes heart-woe (מחלה, part. fem. Hiph. of חלה, to be slack, feeble, sick; R. חל, to loosen, to make loose); on the contrary, a wish that has been fulfilled is a tree of life (cf. p. 23), of a quickening and strengthening influence, like that tree of paradise which was destined to renew and extend the life of man.
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