In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)His children.—Either, the children of the man who fears the Lord, as the blessing of Abraham (Genesis 17:7-8) and David (Jeremiah 33:20-21) descended to their children; or the pronoun may refer to God’s children, i.e., those who look up to Him as a father, an expression which occurs in the Old Testament (e g., Psalm 73:15), but is brought forward more prominently in the New Testament.Strong confidence; a sure ground of confidence; or a strong refuge, as the next clause explains it.
His children; either,
1. God’s children. Or,
2. The children of them that fear God, who are sufficiently understood out of the former clause. Genesis 31:42; he is a strong tower, a place of defence to those that fear him and trust in him, Proverbs 18:10;
and his children shall have a place of refuge; the children of God, as those that fear him are; the Lord is a place of refuge to them, from the avenger of blood, from the vindictive justice of God; from the storm and tempest of divine wrath, and from the curses of a righteous law; as well as from the rage and persecutions of men.In the fear of the LORD is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. his] i.e. the Lord’s. Ewald and others render, to his children (who feareth Jehovah) he (Jehovah) will be &c. Comp. R.V. marg.: the children of him that hath it (sc. the fear of the Lord) shall have, &c.Verse 26. - In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence. The fear of God casts out all fear of man, all despairing anticipations of possible evil, and makes the believer confident and bold. St. Gregory ('Moral.,' 5:33), "As in the way of the world fear gives rise to weakness, so in the way of God fear produces strength. In truth, our mind so much the more valorously sets at naught all the terrors of temporal vicissitudes, the more thoroughly that it submits itself in fear to the Author of those same temporal things. And being stablished in the fear of the Lord, it encounters nothing without it to fill it with alarm, in that whereas it is united to the Creator of all things by a righteous fear, it is by a certain powerful influence raised high above them all." Comp. Psalm 27:1 and St. Paul's words, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31). Septuagint, "In the fear of the Lord is hope of strength." And his children shall have a place of refuge (Psalm 46:1). There is an ambiguity as to whose children are meant. The LXX. renders, "And to his children he will leave a support." Thus many refer the pronoun to the Lord named in the first clause - God's children, those who love and trust him, and look up to him as a Father, an expression used more specially in the New Testament than in the Old. But see Psalm 73:15, and passages (e.g. Hosea 11:1) where God calls Israel his son, a type of all who are brought unto him by adoption and grace. Others, again, refer the pronoun to "the fear of the Lord," "its children," which would be quite in conformity with Hebrew idiom; as we have "sons of wisdom," "children of obedience," equivalent to "wise," "obedient," etc. But most modern commentators explain it of the children of the God-fearing man, comparing Exodus 20:6 and Psalm 103:17. Such a one shall confer lasting benefits upon his posterity (ch. 13:22; 20:7). So God blessed the descendants of Abraham and David; so he shows mercy unto thousands i.e. the thousandth generation of them that love him and keep his commandments (see Genesis 17:7, etc.; Exodus 34:7; 1 Kings 11:12, etc.; Jeremiah 33:20, etc.).
20 The poor is hated even by his neighbour;
But of those who love the rich there are many.
This is the old history daily repeating itself. Among all people is the saying and the complaint:
Donec eris felix multos numerabis amicos,
Tempora si fuerint nubilia solus eris.
(Note: Ovid, Trist. i.8.)
The Book of Proverbs also speaks of this lamentable phenomenon. It is a part of the dark side of human nature, and one should take notice of it, so that when it goes well with him, he may not regard his many friends as all genuine, and when he becomes poor, he may not be surprised by the dissolution of earlier friendship, but may value so much the higher exceptions to the rule. The connection of the passive with ל of the subject (cf. Proverbs 13:13), as in the Greek with the dative, is pure Semitic; sometimes it stands with מן, but in the sense of ἀπό, Sol 3:10, before the influence of the West led to its being used in the sense of ὑπό (Ges. 143, 2); ישּׂנא, is hated (Cod. 1294: ישּׂנא, connects with the hatred which is directed against the poor also the indifference which makes him without sympathy, for one feels himself troubled by him and ashamed.
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