Proverbs 18:3
When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt, and with ignominy reproach.
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(3) When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt.—Comp. the whole burden of Psalms 106, that sorrow and shame follow sin.

Proverbs 18:3. When the wicked cometh — Into any place or company; then cometh also contempt — Either, 1st, He is justly contemned by those who converse with him: or rather, 2d, He despiseth and scorneth all instruction and reproof, neither fearing God nor reverencing man; and with ignominy reproach — And he not only contemns others in his heart, but shows his contempt of them by ignominious and reproachful expressions and actions. Bishop Patrick takes this verse in a somewhat different sense, namely, “Into whatsoever company or society (suppose into the schools of wisdom) a profane person comes, he brings along with him contempt of God and religion, and good men; and (as one wickedness grows out of another) that contempt improves into affronts, and reproachful language of them.”

18:1 If we would get knowledge and grace, we must try all methods of improving ourselves. 2. Those make nothing to purpose, of learning or religion, whose only design is to have something to make a show with. 3. As soon as sin entered, shame followed.With ignominy - Better, "together with baseness comes reproach." The outer shame follows close upon the inner. 3. So surely are sin and punishment connected (Pr 16:4).

wicked, for "wickedness," answers to

ignominy, or the state of such; and

contempt, the feeling of others to them; and to

reproach, a manifestation of contempt.

When the wicked cometh into any place or company,

then cometh also contempt; either,

1. Passively; he is justly contemned and reproached by those who converse with him. Or rather,

2. Actively; he despiseth and scorneth all instruction and reproof, neither fearing God nor reverencing man; for he seems here to note his sin rather than his punishment.

And with ignominy reproach; and he doth not only contemn others in his heart, but showeth his contempt of them by ignominious and reproachful expressions and carriages.

When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt,.... When he comes into the world, as Aben Ezra; as soon as he is born, he is liable to contempt, being born in sin; but this is true of all: rather, as the Vulgate Latin, and with which the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions agree, when he cometh into the depth of sin, or to the height of his wickedness; he commences a scoffer at, and condemner of all that is good: when he comes into the house of God, it may be said, "there comes contempt"; for he comes not to hear the word, in order to receive any profit by it, but to contemn it, and the ministers of it;

and with ignominy reproach: or, "with the ignominious man reproach" (l): he that despises all that is good, and treats divine things in a ludicrous way, will not spare to reproach the best of men, and speak evil of them falsely, for the sake of religion. Or the meaning of the whole is, that wicked men, sooner or later, come into contempt, ignominy, and reproach, themselves; they that despise the Lord are lightly esteemed by him; and a vile person is contemned in the eyes of a good man: such bring shame and disgrace upon themselves and families while they live; and, when they die, they are laid in the grave with dishonour; an infamy rests upon their memories, and they wilt rise to everlasting shame and contempt.

(l) "viro ignominioso, venit opprobriunu", Pagninus; "cum ignominioso probrum", Junis & Tremeilius; "cum probroso opprobrium", Schultens, so Vatablus, Mercerus, Gejerus.

When the wicked cometh, then cometh also {c} contempt, and with ignominy reproach.

(c) Meaning, such a one as condemns all others.

3. with ignominy reproach] Or, with ignominy cometh reproach. As shame is inseparable from wickedness, so is reproach from ignominy, i.e. ignominious character and conduct (“a shameful deed,” Gesen.; “turpi mores, turpiter facta,” Maur.).

The rendering, however, of A.V. gives a good sense: when the wicked cometh, all these evil things, contempt, ignominy and reproach, come with him.

Verse 3. - When the wicked cometh, then cometh also contempt. The contempt here spoken of is not that with which the sinner is regarded, but that which he himself learns to feel for all that is pure and good and lovely (Psalm 31:18). As the LXX. interprets, "When the wicked cometh into the depth of evil, he despiseth," he turns a despiser. So the Vulgate. Going forward in evil, adding sin to sin, he end by casting all shame aside, deriding the Law Divine and human, and saying in his heart, "There is no God." St. Gregory, "As he who is plunged into a well is confined to the bottom of it; so would the mind fall in, and remain, as it were, at the bottom, if, after having once fallen, it were to confine itself within any measure of sin. But when it cannot be contented with the sin into which it has fallen, while it is daily plunging into worse offences, it finds, as it were, no bottom to the well into which it has fallen, on which to rest. For there would be a bottom to the well, if there were any bounds to his sin. Whence it is well said, 'When a sinner hath come into the lowest depth of sins, he contemneth.' For he puts by returning, because he has no hope that he can be forgiven. But when he sins still more through despair, he withdraws, as it were, the bottom from the well, so as to find therein no resting place" ('Moral.,' 26:69, Oxford transl.). Even the heathen could see this terrible consequence. Thus Juvenal is quoted ('Sat.,' 13:240, etc.) -

"Nam quis
Peccandi finem posuit sibi? quando receipt
Ejectum semel attrita de fronte ruborem?
Quisnam hominum est, quem tu contentum videris uno
And with ignominy cometh reproach. Here again it is not the reproach suffered by the sinner that is meant (as in Proverbs 11:2), but the abuse which he heaps on others who strive to impede him in his evil courses. All that he says or does brings disgrace, and he is always ready to revue any who are better than himself. Both the Septuagint and the Vulgate make the wicked man the victim instead of the actor, thus: "but upon him there cometh disgrace and reproach." The Hebrew does not well admit this interpretation. Proverbs 18:3The group beginning with Proverbs 18:3 terminates in two proverbs (Proverbs 18:6 and Proverbs 18:7), related to the concluding verse of the foregoing:

3 If a godless man cometh, then cometh also contempt;

   And together with disgrace, shame.

J. D. Michaelis, and the most of modern critics, read רשׁע; then, contempt etc., are to be thought of as the consequences that follow godlessness; for that קלון means (Hitzig) disgracefulness, i.e., disgraceful conduct, is destitute of proof; קלון always means disgrace as an experience. But not only does the Masoretic text punctuate רשׁע, but also all the old translators, the Greek, Aramaic, and Latin, have done so. And is it on this account, because a coming naturally seems to be spoken of a person? The "pride cometh, then cometh shame," Proverbs 11:2, was in their recollection not less firmly, perhaps, than in ours. They read רשׁע, because בוּז does not fittingly designate the first of that which godlessness effects, but perhaps the first of that which proceeds from it. Therefore we adhere to the opinion, that the proverb names the fiends which appear in the company of the godless wherever he goes, viz., first בוז, contempt (Psalm 31:19), which places itself haughtily above all due subordination, and reverence, and forbearance; and then, with the disgrace [turpitudo], קלון, which attaches itself to those who meddle with him (Isaiah 22:18), there is united the shame, הרפּה (Psalm 39:9), which he has to suffer from him who has only always expected something better from him. Fleischer understands all the three words in the passive sense, and remarks, "עם־קלון חרפה, a more artificial expression for קלון וחרפה, in the Turkish quite common for the copula wāw, e.g., swylh ṭbrâk, earth and water, 'wrtylh âr, the man and the woman." But then the expression would be tautological; we understand בוז and חרפה of that which the godless does to others by his words, and קלון of that which he does to them by his conduct. By this interpretation, עם is more than the representative of the copula.

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