The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The proud—who trust in their own strength; while He will “establish the border,” or landmark, of the helpless widow, who has none to cry to but Him. The frequently threatened punishment against one who removes his neighbour’s landmark, shews the offence to have been a common form of oppression. (Comp. Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; Proverbs 22:28; Job 24:2; Hosea 5:10.)Proverbs 15:25. The Lord will destroy the house of the proud — Of the most mighty oppressors, who suppose themselves to be immoveably fixed; or the family of haughty men, who, forgetting him, trample upon their inferiors; but he will establish the border of the widow — The estate, the border being often used for the land within the borders: he will preserve her in her right, who hath no helper, even though such insolent and powerful persons invade it. Trust not, therefore, in riches and power, but in the great Lord of the world, who possesses and disposes of all things.Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 68:5, the widow, as the most extreme type of desolation, stands as the representative of a class safer in their poverty under the protection of the Lord, than the proud in the haughtiness of their strength.
border—or, "boundary for possessions" (Ps 78:54).Of the proud; of the most mighty oppressors, who conceit themselves to be unmovably fixed.
The border; either,
1. The estate, the border being oft used for the land within the borders, as Psalm 105:31,33, and elsewhere. Or,
2. The border by which lands were then bounded and distinguished, which those proud persons endeavoured to remove contrary to God’s law, Deu 19:14 27:17. Revelation 11:18;
but he will establish the border of the widow; whose advocate, judge, and defender he is; when men, rich, proud, and oppressive, attempt to remove the landmark of the widow's border, and so lessen her land and enlarge their own, God will not suffer it to be done, but will establish it in its place; that is, such who are weak and helpless, as widows are, and cannot defend themselves and their property, he will protect them and secure it for them. So the church of Christ, during the reign of antichrist, being obliged to flee into the wilderness, looks like a widow deprived of her husband, and has but "little strength" to support and defend herself, as is said of the church of Philadelphia, Revelation 3:8; yet the Lord will secure and preserve her, and firmly settle and establish her, yea, enlarge her borders, and make them of pleasant stones; spread the kingdom of Christ from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Frequent mention is made of the establishing of the church in the latter day, Psalm 48:8, Isaiah 2:2.The LORD will destroy the house of the proud: but he will establish the border of the widow.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. destroy] Rather, root up, R.V., in contrast with establish in the next clause.
widow] As typical of the humble and poor. Comp. Psalm 68:5, and for the sentiment 1 Peter 5:5.Verse 25. - The Lord will destroy the house of the proud (ch. 12:7; 14:11; 16:18). The proud, self-confident man, with his family and household and wealth, shall be rooted up. The heathen saw how retribution overtook the arrogant. Thus Euripides says ('Heracl.,' 387) -
Ὁ Ζεὺς κολαστὴς τῶν ἄγαν ὑπερφρόνων
"Zeus, the chastiser of too haughty thoughts." But he will establish the border of the widow. He will take the widow under his protection, and see that her landmark is not removed, and that her little portion is secured to her. The widow is taken as the type of weakness and desolation, as often in Scripture (comp. Deuteronomy 10:18; Psalm 146:9). In a country where property was defined by landmarks - stones or some such objects - nothing was easier than to remove these altogether, or to alter their position. That this was a common form of fraud and oppression we gather from the stringency of the enactments against the offence (see Deuteronomy 19:14; Deuteronomy 27:17; and comp. Job 24:2; Proverbs 22:28). In the Babylonian and Assyrian inscriptions which have been preserved, there are many invoking curses, curious and multifarious, against the disturbers of boundaries. Such marks were considered sacred and inviolable by the Greeks and Romans (see Plato, 'De Leg.,' 8:842, 843; Ovid, 'Fast.,' 2:639, etc.).
But the path of the righteous is paved.
Hitzig misses the contrast between אצל (slothful) and ישׁרים (upright), and instead of the slothful reads עריץ, the tyrannical. But is then the slothful ישׁר? The contrast is indeed not that of contradiction, but the slothful is one who does not act uprightly, a man who fails to fulfil the duty of labour common to man, and of his own special calling. The way of such an one is כּמשׂכת חדק, like a fencing with thorns (from חדק, R. חד, to be pointed, sharp, distinguished from Arab. hadḳ, to surround, and in the meaning to fix with the look, denom. of khadaḳt, the apple of the eye), so that he goes not forwards, and sees hindrances and difficulties everywhere, which frighten him back, excusing his shunning his work, his remissness of will, and his doing nothing; on the contrary, the path of those who wait truly and honestly on their calling, and prosecute their aim, is raised up like a skilfully made street, so that unhindered and quickly they go forward (סלוּלה, R. סל, aggerare, cf. Jeremiah 18:15 with Isaiah 49:11 and Isaiah 49:4 :8, סלסל, which was still in use in the common language of Palestine in the second cent., Rosch haschana, 26b).
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