Proverbs 16:15
In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain.
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(15) A cloud of the latter rain.—This fell at the end of March, maturing the barley and wheat crops before the harvest in April. It was eagerly looked for as of great importance. (Comp. Psalm 72:6 for the same figure.)

16:12. The ruler that uses his power aright, will find that to be his best security. 13. Put those in power who know how to speak to the purpose. 14,15. Those are fools, who, to obtain the favour of an earthly prince, throw themselves out of God's favour. 16. There is joy and satisfaction of spirit, only in getting wisdom. 17. A sincerely religious man keeps at a distance from every appearance of evil. Happy is the man that walks in Christ, and is led by the Spirit of Christ. 18. When men defy God's judgments, and think themselves far from them, it is a sign they are at the door. Let us not fear the pride of others, but fear pride in ourselves. 19. Humility, though it exposes to contempt in the world, is much better than high-spiritedness, which makes God an enemy. He that understands God's word shall find good. 21. The man whose wisdom dwells in his heart, will be found more truly prudent than many who possess shining talents. 22. As waters to a thirsty land, so is a wise man to his friends and neighbours. 23. The wise man's self-knowledge, always suggests something proper to be spoken to others. 24. The word of God cures the diseases that weaken our souls. 25. This is caution to all, to take heed of deceiving themselves as to their souls. 26. We must labour for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, or we must perish.The "latter rain" is that which falls in March or April just before the harvest. The "cloud" which brings it, immediately screening people from the scorching sun, and bringing plenty and blessing, is a fit type of the highest favor. 15. light of … countenance—favor (Ps 4:6).

life—preserves it, or gives blessings which make it valuable.

the latter rain—fell just before harvest and matured the crop; hence specially valuable (De 11:14).

In the light of the king’s countenance is life; his favour and smiling countenance is most sweet and refreshing, especially to him that was under a sentence of death, Proverbs 16:14.

His favour is as a cloud of the latter rain; as acceptable as those clouds which bring the latter rain, whereby the fruits are filled and ripened a little before the harvest; of which see Deu 11:14 Job 29:23 Jam 5:7.

In the light of the king's countenance is life,.... When he looks with a pleasant smiling countenance on a person that has been under his displeasure, and especially if under a sentence of death, it is as life from the dead: so the light of the countenance of God, the King of kings; the discoveries of his love, the manifestations of himself, his gracious presence, communion with him, the comforts of his Spirit, the joys of his salvation, are life unto his people, invigorate their graces, quicken their souls, and make them cheerful; see Psalm 30:5. And how delightful and pleasant is the countenance of Christ; which is like Lebanon, excellent as the cedars; and is as the sun when it shineth in its strength; and who himself is the sun of righteousness, that arises on his people with healing in his wings! How reviving his love! how comfortable fellowship with him! his absence is as death, his presence gives life;

and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain: which falling a little before harvest, as was usual in Judea, revived the corn and filled it: and such is the favour of God in Christ, which is free, distinguishing, and undeserved, as rain is; the objects of it are very unworthy; and it is given often unasked for, as well as undeserved, in great abundance, and causes great cheerfulness and fruitfulness: and such is the layout of Christ, in coming into the world in the last days to save sinners his coming is said to be as the former and the latter rain, Hosea 6:3. He came from heaven, as that does; is the free gift of God, as that is; is in consequence of a decree, as that; and came suddenly, and with great acceptance to those, who knew him and waited for him; and his spiritual coming unto his people, and the discoveries of his love and free favour to them, are very reviving, cheering, and refreshing; see Psalm 72:6.

In the light of a king's countenance is life; and his favour is {i} as a cloud of the latter rain.

(i) Which is most comfortable to the dry ground.

15. the latter rain] i.e. the spring rain, which swelled and matured the corn for harvest, just as the “former” or autumn rain prepared the ground, after the drought of summer, for the sowing. Such a cloud was big with the double blessing of the fertilizing shower and the consequent harvest. Comp. the description by “The sweet Psalmist of Israel”:

“One that ruleth over men righteously,

That ruleth in the fear of God,

He shall be as the light of the morning when the sun riseth,

A morning without clouds;

When the tender grass springeth out of the earth,

Through clear shining after rain.”—2 Samuel 23:3-4, R.V.

And again:

“He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass,

As showers that water the earth.”—Psalm 72:6.

Verse 15. - In the light of the king's countenance is life (Proverbs 15:30; Psalm 4:6). As the king's anger and the darkening of his countenance are death (ver. 14), so, when his look is cheerful and bright, it sheds joy and life around, as the rain refreshes the parched ground. A cloud of the latter rain. The former rain in Palestine falls about the end of October or the beginning of November, when the seed is sown; the latter rain comes in March or April, and is absolutely necessary for the due swelling and ripening of the grain. It is accompanied, of course) with cloud, which tempers the heat, while it brings fertility and vigour. To this the king's favour is well compared. "He shall come down," says the psalmist, "like the rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth" (Psalm 72:6). The LXX., reading בני (beni) for פני (peni), translates, "In the light of life is the son of the king; and they who are acceptable to him are as a cloud of the latter rain." Proverbs 16:1515 In the light on the king's countenance there is life,

     And his favour is as a cloud of the latter rains.

Hitzig regards אור as the inf. (cf. Proverbs 4:18), but one says substantively אור פּני, Job 29:24, etc., and in a similar sense מאור עינים, Proverbs 15:30; light is the condition of life, and the exhilaration of life, wherefore אור החיּים, Psalm 56:14, Job 33:30, is equivalent to a fresh, joyous life; in the light of the king's countenance is life, means that life goes forth from the cheerful approbation of the king, which shows itself in his face, viz., in the showing of favour, which cheers the heart and beautifies the life. To speak of liberality as a shower is so common to the Semitic, that it has in Arab. the general name of nadnâ, rain. 15b conforms itself to this. מלקושׁ (cf. Job 29:23) is the latter rain, which, falling about the spring equinox, brings to maturity the barley-harvest; on the contrary, מורה (יורה) is the early rain, which comes at the time of ploughing and sowing; the former is thus the harvest rain, and the latter the spring rain. Like a cloud which discharges the rain that mollifies the earth and refreshes the growing corn, is the king's favour. The noun עב, thus in the st. constr., retains its Kametz. Michlol 191b. This proverb is the contrast to Proverbs 16:14. Proverbs 20:2 has also the anger of the king as its theme. In Proverbs 19:12 the figures of the darkness and the light stand together as parts of one proverb. The proverbs relating to the king are now at an end. Proverbs 16:10 contains a direct warning for the king; Proverbs 16:12 an indirect warning, as a conclusion arising from 12b (cf. Proverbs 20:28, where יצּרוּ is not to be translated tueantur; the proverb has, however, the value of a nota bene). Proverbs 16:13 in like manner presents an indirect warning, less to the king than to those who have intercourse with him (cf. Proverbs 25:5), and Proverbs 16:14 and Proverbs 16:15 show what power of good and evil, of wrath and of blessing, is given to a king, whence so much the greater responsibility arises to him, but, at the same time also, the duty of all to repress the lust to evil that may be in him, and to awaken and foster in him the desire for good.

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