Whoever rewards evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)2 Samuel 17:8; 2 Kings 2:24.
evil—injury to another (Pr 13:21).Psalm 35:12; this is base ingratitude, contrary to the law and light of nature; worse than beastly, is really devilish;
evil shall not depart from his house; from him and his family; they shall be continually visited with one disease and calamity or another; so hateful and offensive is the sin of ingratitude to God, and therefore ought to be carefully avoided. This might be illustrated by the judgments of God on the nation of the Jews, for their ingratitude to Christ.Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 13. - Whoso rewardeth evil for good. This was David's complaint of the churlish Nabal (1 Samuel 25:21). Ingratitude shall surely he punished. Evil shall not depart from his house. Terribly has the ingratitude of the Jews been visited. They cried in their madness, "His blood be on us and on our children!" and their punishment is still going on. Injunctions on this subject are frequent in the New Testament (see Matthew 5:39; Romans 12:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9). The Talmud says, "Do not throw a stone into the well whose waters you have drunk." The Greeks felt the sting of ingratitude. Thus Leiodes complains to Ulysses ('Od.,' 22:319) -
Ὡς οὐκ ἔστι χάρις μετόπισθ εὐεργέων Two sayings of Publius Syrus are quoted ('Sent.,' vv. 219, 274): "Ingratus unus omnibus miseris nocet;" "Malignos fieri maxime ingrati docent." Proverbs 17:7-10, appear to be united acrostically by the succession of the letters ש (שׂ, שׁ) and ת.
7 It does not become a fool to speak loftily,
How much less do lying lips a noble!
As at Isaiah 32:5., נבל and נדיב are placed opposite to one another; the latter is the nobly magnanimous man, the former the man who thinks foolishly and acts profligately, whom it does not become to use lofty words, who thereby makes the impression of his vulgarity so much the more repulsive (cf. Job 2:10). שּׂפת יתר (not יתר, for the word belongs to those which retain their Pathach or Segol, in pausa) is neither elevated (soaring) (Ewald) nor diffuse (Jo. Ernst Jungius in Oetinger: lingua dicax ac sermonem ultra quam decorum verbis extendere solita), rather imperative (Bertheau), better presumptuous (Hitzig) words, properly words of superfluity, i.e., of superabundant self-consciousness and high pretension (cf. the transitive bearing of the Arab. watr with ὑβρίζειν, from ὑπέρ, Aryan upar, Job, p. 363). Rightly Meri, שׂפת נאוה ושׂררה. It produces a disagreeable impression, when a man of vulgar mind and of rude conduct, instead of keeping himself in retirement, makes himself of importance, and weighty in a shameless, impudent manner (cf. Psalm 12:9, where זלּוּת, vilitas, in a moral sense); but yet more repulsive is the contrast, when a man in whom one is justified in expecting nobility of mind, in accordance with his life-position and calling, degrades himself by uttering deceitful words. Regarding the אף כּי, concluding a minori ad majus, we have already spoken at Proverbs 11:31; Proverbs 15:11. R. Ismael, in Bereschith Rabba, at 44:8, reckons ten such conclusions a minori ad majus in the Scriptures, but there are just as many quanto magis. The right accentuation (e.g., in Cod. 1294) is here אף כי־לנדיב, transformed from אף כי־לנדיב, according to Accentuationssystem, xviii. 2.
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