Proverbs 14:31
He that oppresses the poor reproaches his Maker: but he that honors him has mercy on the poor.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) Reproacheth his Maker.—For having placed him in such a lowly condition. The equality of all men, as being all of them the work of God, is taught by Genesis 1:27; Job 31:15; Proverbs 22:2. The duty of aiding the poor is in Matthew 25:40 based on the still higher ground of the union of Christ with His people, which makes Him regard good done to them as done to Himself.

But he that honoureth him . . .—This would be better rendered, but he that hath mercy on the poor honoureth Him.

Proverbs 14:31. He that oppresseth the poor — That uses the poor man hardly, as the Syriac renders it: that withholdeth from him that which is his due, either by the rules of strict justice, or by the great law of charity, of which see Proverbs 3:27; reproacheth his Maker — Whose image the poor man bears, by whose counsel and providence he is made poor, and who hath declared himself to be the protector and avenger of the poor; but he that honoureth him — That honoureth God’s image, and works, and laws; hath mercy on the poor — Does not only forbear oppressing or injuring the poor man, but affords him his pity and help.14:18. Sin is the shame of sinners; but wisdom is the honour of the wise. 19. Even bad men acknowledge the excellency of God's people. 20. Friendship in the world is governed by self-interest. It is good to have God our Friend; he will not desert us. 21. To despise a man for his employment or appearance is a sin. 22. How wisely those consult their own interest, who not only do good, but devise it! 23. Labour of the head, or of the hand, will turn to some good account. But if men's religion runs all out in talk and noise, they will come to nothing. 24. The riches of men of wisdom and piety enlarge their usefulness. 25. An upright man will venture the displeasure of the greatest, to bring truth to light. 26,27. Those who fear the Lord so as to obey and serve him, have a strong ground of confidence, and will be preserved. Let us seek to this Fountain of life, that we may escape the snares of death. 28. Let all that wish well to the kingdom of Christ, do what they can, that many may be added to his church. 29. A mild, patient man is one that learns of Christ, who is Wisdom itself. Unbridled passion is folly made known. 30. An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health. 31. To oppress the poor is to reproach our Creator. 32. The wicked man has his soul forced from him; he dies in his sins, under the guilt and power of them. But godly men, though they have pain and some dread of death, have the blessed hope, which God, who cannot lie, has given them. 33. Wisdom possesses the heart, and thus regulates the affections and tempers. 34. Piety and holiness always promote industry, sobriety, and honesty. 35. The great King who reigns over heaven and earth, will reward faithful servants who honour his gospel by the proper discharge of the duties of their stations: he despises not the services of the lowest.Honoureth him - i. e., God, who is the Maker of poor and rich alike. 31. reproacheth his Maker—who is the God of such, as well as of the rich (Pr 22:2; Job 31:15; and specially 1Sa 2:8; Ps 113:7). He that oppresseth the poor; that useth him hardly, as the Syriac renders it; that withholdeth from him that which is his due, either by the rules of strict justice, or by the great law of charity, of which see Proverbs 3:27, and so it is opposed to having mercy in the next clause.

Reproacheth his Maker; whose image the poor man bears, which might challenge respect, Job 31:15; by whose counsel and providence he is made poor, 1 Samuel 2:7 Proverbs 22:2, and who hath declared himself to be their protector and avenger.

He that honoureth him, his image, and works, and laws,

hath mercy on the poor; doth not only forbear oppressing or injuring of him, but affords him his pity and help. He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker,.... That does him any injury, either by scoffing at him, and reproaching him for his poverty; or by vexatious law suits; or by withholding from him his wages; or not giving him that relief which he ought: such an one not only injures the poor man; but reproaches God that made him, not only a man, but a poor man; and who is the Maker of the rich man also, Proverbs 22:2;

but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor; he that is desirous of honouring God, and glorifying him, will give of his substance to the poor; having compassion on him in his necessitous circumstances, will relieve him; and in so doing he honours God, whose image the poor man bears, and who has commanded him so to do. The words may be rendered, "he that hath mercy on the poor honoureth him"; that is, his Maker: so the Targum,

"he that hath mercy on him that suffers injury honoureth him.''

He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker: but he that honoureth him hath mercy on the poor.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. he that honoureth &c.] Rather, he that hath mercy on the needy honoureth him, R.V. Comp. Proverbs 17:5; Matthew 25:40.Verse 31. - He that oppresseth the poor reproacheth his Maker, even God. who hath placed men in their several conditions (Proverbs 17:5; Proverbs 22:2). "The poor shall never cease out of the land" (Deuteronomy 15:11); "The poor ye have always with you," said Christ (Matthew 26:11); therefore to harass and oppress the poor because he is in this lowly condition, is virtually to arraign the providence of God, who is the Father of all, and has made all men brothers, however differing in worldly position. Christ puts the duty of aiding the poor on the high ground of his solidarity with his people (Matthew 25:40, 45), how that in ministering unto the least of these his brethren men are ministering unto him. "Prosperity and adversity, life and death, poverty and riches, come of the Lord" (Ecclus. 11:14). Even the heathen could say -

Ἀεὶ νομίζονθ οἱ πένητες τῶν Θεῶν.

Deem ever that the poor are God's own gift." Septuagint, "He that calumniates (συκοφανῶν; calumniatur, Vulgate) the poor angers him who made him." This version refers to oppression of the poor by means of calumny or false and frivolous accusation. But he that honoureth him - the Lord - hath mercy on the poor; or, better, he that hath mercy upon the poor honoureth him; for he shows that he has proper regard to God's ordinance, acts on high motives, and is not led astray by worldly considerations. Christ himself has consecrated poverty by coming in low estate (2 Corinthians 8:9), and they who love and honour him are glad to minister to his brethren in their poverty and distress (comp. James 1:27). 25 A witness of truth delivereth souls;

     But he who breathes out lies is nothing but deception.

When men, in consequence of false suspicions or of false accusations, fall into danger of their lives (דיני נפשׁות is the designation in the later language of the law of a criminal process), then a tongue which, pressed by conscientiousness and not deterred by cowardice, will utter the truth, saves them. But a false tongue, which as such (vid., Proverbs 14:5) is a יפח כזבים (after the Masora at this place ויפח, defective), i.e., is one who breathes out lies (vid., regarding יפיח at Proverbs 6:19), is mere deception (lxx, without reading מרמּה [as Hitzig does]: δόλιος). In Proverbs 12:17 מרמה is to be interpreted as the object. accus. of יגיד carried forward, but here to carry forward מצּיל (Arama, Lwenstein) is impracticable - for to deliver deceit equals the deceiver is not expressed in the Hebr. - מרמה is, as possibly also Hebrews 12:16 (lxx δόλιος), without אישׁ or עד being supplied, the pred. of the substantival clause: such an one is deception (in bad Latin, dolositas), for he who utters forth lies against better knowledge must have a malevolent, deceitful purpose.

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