The light of the eyes rejoices the heart: and a good report makes the bones fat.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The light of the eyes . . .—It does the heart good to see one whose eyes are sparkling with happiness.
A good report.—Good news, affecting either oneself or others.Proverbs 15:30. The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart, &c. — “In the same manner that the sensible light rejoices a sound eye, and diffuses its pleasure through the whole soul, so a good reputation gives pleasure, and contributes to the health of the body. The wise man frequently advises his disciple to labour for a good reputation: see Proverbs 10:7; Proverbs 22:1. He often proposes to him human motives, and reasons of private interest, to incline him to virtue and his own good: weak minds have need of this sort of succours. They raise them, by little and little, to more elevated sentiments, and to the most pure and sacred motives.” — See Calmet.Proverbs 16:15.
good report—or, "doctrine" (Isa 28:9; 53:1),
maketh … fat—or, "gives prosperity" (Pr 3:13-17; 9:11). The last clause is illustrated by the first.The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart; the light which we see with our eyes, and by the help of which we see many other pleasant objects, is a great comfort and refreshment. Compare Ecclesiastes 11:7, Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun; which is a good comment upon this place.
A good report; either,
1. Glad tidings. Or rather,
2. A good name, which is a more lasting thing, and makes deeper impression.
Maketh the bones fat; not only cheereth a man for the present, but gives him such solid and stable comfort as doth both revive his soul, and give health and rigour to his body. So he compares two senses together, seeing and hearing, with respect to their several objects, and prefers the latter before the former. Ecclesiastes 11:7, "and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun", which is a proper comment on this text: and much more pleasant and delightful, cheering and rejoicing, must be the spiritual light of the eyes of the understanding, when opened by the Spirit of God at conversion; it is marvellous light souls are then called into, and wonderful things do they then behold, which rejoice their hearts; as Christ the sun of righteousness himself, the light of the world, the glories of his person and office, the fulness of grace that is in him, pardon of sin by his blood, justification by his righteousness, and free and full salvation through him for the worst and chief of sinners: in the light which is thrown into them they see light; the light of God's countenance, his face and favour, which put gladness into them; the light of the divine word, and the precious truths of it; yea, the light, joy, and happiness of the world to come, in the hope of which their hearts rejoice. Jarchi mystically interprets this of the light of the eyes in the law; but it is much better to understand it of the light of the eyes in the Gospel, and the mysteries of it;
and a good report maketh the bones fat; or "a good hearing" (w); not the sense of hearing, or a quick exercise of that, though a very great blessing; but things heard. Some understand this of a good or "fame" (x), which is sometimes the sense of the phrase; either a good report which a man hears of himself, which makes his spirit cheerful; and this affects his body and the juices of it, which fill his bones with marrow, and cover them with fatness; or which he hears of his friends, and is pleasing to him, as it was to the Apostle John that Demetrius had a good report of all men, 3 John 1:12. But rather this is to be understood of the good news, or good hearing, from a far country, as the same phrase is rendered in Proverbs 25:25; and here in the Arabic version is so translated, even the Gospel, which is a report; see Isaiah 53:1; a report concerning God, the perfections of his nature, the purposes of his heart, the covenant of his grace, his love, grace, and mercy towards men in Christ Jesus; a "report" concerning Christ, concerning his person and offices, concerning his incarnation, obedience, sufferings, and death; concerning his resurrection, ascension, sitting at the right hand of God, intercession for his people, and second coming to judgment; and concerning salvation, peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life by him; a report concerning the good land, the heavenly Canaan, and the glories of it, the way unto it, and the persons that shall possess it: and this is a "good" report; it is good tidings of good things, a report of good things laid up in covenant, which are come by Christ the great High Priest, which saints are interested in, and shall partake of here and hereafter; it is a true report, and to be believed, since it is made by God himself, by Jesus Christ the faithful witness, and by the apostles of Christ, who were eye and ear witnesses of the things they reported; and such a report being heard, received, and embraced, greatly contributes to the spiritual health and prosperity of the children of God, it makes them fat and flourishing; such pleasant words are as the honeycomb, sweet to the soul, make glad the heart, and are marrow and health to the bones; see Proverbs 3:8.The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart: and a good report maketh the bones fat.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)30. The light of the eyes] This is sometimes understood to mean the beaming eyes of kindly regard with which others look upon us (comp. the phrase “the light of the countenance,” Psalm 4:6 [Hebrews 7]; Proverbs 16:15). “We all want to see that light in the eyes of our friends, which rejoices the heart,” Horton. Occurring, however, in a proverb, the phrase may well have a wider meaning: whatever gives light acts as a luminary (the Heb. word is rather light-bearer, φωστήρ, comp. Genesis 1:14-16, than light, φῶς) to the eyes, casting light and brightness upon them, extends through them its influence to the heart; just as, in the following clause, whatever charms the ear (lit. good hearing), be it “good tidings,” R.V., or the pleasant voice of a friend, or the tender accents of affection, or the sweet strains of music, refreshes and invigorates the whole bodily frame. By the gateway of the eye and of the ear alike the citadel of the heart may be reached for good.Verse 30. - The light of the eyes rejoiceth the heart (Proverbs 16:15). The beaming glance that shows a pure, happy mind and a friendly disposition, rejoices the heart of him on whom it is turned. There is something infectious in the guileless, joyful look of a happy man or child, which has a cheering effect upon those who observe it. The LXX. makes the sentiment altogether personal: "The eye that seeth what is good rejoiceth the heart." A good report (good tidings) maketh the bones fat; strengthens them and gives them health (comp. Proverbs 3:8; Proverbs 16:24). Sight and hearing are compared in the two clauses, "bones" in the latter taking the place of "heart" in the former. The happy look and good news alike cause joy of heart.
24 The man of understanding goeth upwards on a way of life,
To depart from hell beneath.
The way of life is one, Proverbs 5:6; Psalm 16:11 (where, notwithstanding the want of the article, the idea is logically determined), although in itself forming a plurality of ארחות, Proverbs 2:19. "A way of life," in the translation, is equivalent to a way which is a way of life. למעלה, upwards (as Ecclesiastes 3:21, where, in the doubtful question whether the spirit of a man at his death goes upwards, there yet lies the knowledge of the alternative), belongs, as the parallel משּׁאול מטּה shows, to ארח חיּים as virtual adj.: a way of life which leads upwards. And the ל of למשׂכּיל is that of possession, but not as of quiet possession (such belongs to him), but as personal activity, as in דּרך לו, he has a journey equals he makes a journey, finds himself on a journey, 1 Kings 18:27; for למען סוּר is not merely, as לסוּר, Proverbs 13:14; Proverbs 14:27, the expression of the end and consequence, but of the subjective object, i.e., the intention, and thus supposes an activity corresponding to this intention. The O.T. reveals heaven, i.e., the state of the revelation of God in glory, yet not as the abode of saved men; the way of the dying leads, according to the O.T. representation, downwards into Shel; but the translations of Enoch and Elijah are facts which, establishing the possibility of an exception, break through the dark monotony of that representation, and, as among the Greeks the mysteries encouraged ἡδυστέρας ἐλπίδας, so in Israel the Chokma appears pointing the possessor of wisdom upwards, and begins to shed light on the darkness of Shel by the new great thoughts of a life of immortality, thus of a ζωὴ αἰώνιος (Proverbs 12:28) (Psychologie, p. 407ff.), now for the first time becoming prominent, but only as a foreboding and an enigma. The idea of the Shel opens the way for a change: the gathering place of all the living on this side begins to be the place of punishment for the godless (Proverbs 7:27; Proverbs 9:18); the way leading upwards, εἰς τὴν ζωὴν, and that leading downwards, εἰς τὴν ἀπωλειαν (Matthew 7:13.), come into direct contrast.
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