The fear of the LORD tends to life: and he that has it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The fear of the Lord tendeth to life.—To life in this world, the reward of uprightness promised to the Israelites of old (Isaiah 37:29); and to life in the next (Mark 10:30).
He shall not be visited with evil.—(Comp. Leviticus 26:6.) A higher blessing is promised in the New Testament; not immunity from trouble, for trouble may be needed for advance in holiness (Romans 8:28), but protection in it (1Peter 3:13; Romans 8:35, sqq.).
abide—or, "remain contented" (1Ti 4:8).
not visited with evil—(Pr 10:3; Ps 37:25), as a judgment, in which sense visit is often used (Ps 89:32; Jer 6:15).Shall abide satisfied; shall want nothing, and shall be fully contented with God’s favour and blessing.
With evil; with any destructive affliction. 1 Timothy 4:8, the fear of God is the beginning of a spiritual life; and it leads to eternal life, as Gersom observes, and is connected with it;
and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; with his lot and portion in this life; with the good things of it he has, being content therewith and "godliness with contentment is great gain", 1 Timothy 6:6, such a man has enough; he has all things in a spiritual sense; he is full of the blessings of goodness; he is blessed with all spiritual blessings; his mouth is satisfied, and his mind is filled with good things; and so he rests and abides night after night, and day after day;
he shall not be visited with evil; nothing shall hurt him; all his afflictions, his worst things, his evil ones: work together for his good; and they shall never separate from the love of God, nor anything that befalls him in this life, Romans 8:28; see Psalm 91:10.The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 23. - The fear of the Lord tendeth to life (Proverbs 14:27). True religion, obedience to God's commandments, was, under a temporal dispensation, rewarded by a long and happy life in this world, an adumbration of the blessedness that awaits the righteous in the world to come. And he that hath it shall abide satisfied. The subject passes from "the fear" to its possessor. Perhaps better, and satisfied he shall pass the night, which is the usual sense of לוּן (lun), the verb here translated "abide" (so Proverbs 15:31). God will satisfy the good man's hunger, so that he lays him down in peace and takes his rest (comp. Proverbs 10:3). Vulgate, In plenitudine commorabitur, "He shall dwell in abundance." He shall not be visited with evil, according to the, promises (Leviticus 26:6: Deuteronomy 11:15, etc.). Under our present dispensation Christians expect not immunity from care and trouble, but have hope of protection and grace sufficient for the occasion, and conducive to edification and advance in holiness. The LXX. translates thus: "The fear of the Lord is unto life for a man; but he that is without fear (ὁ δὲ ἄφοβος) shall sojourn in places where knowledge is not seen;" i.e. shall go from bad to worse, till he ends in society where Divine knowledge is wholly absent, and lives without God in the world. The Greek interpreters read דּע (dea), "knowledge," instead of רע (ra), "evil." Proverbs 19:21, than that Proverbs 19:22 is analogous to Proverbs 19:17, and thus presents itself to us as an initial verse.
17 He lendeth to Jahve who is compassionate to the lowly,
And his bounty He requites to him.
As at Proverbs 14:31, חונן is part. Kal. The Masoretically exact form of the word is חונן (as ואוזל, Proverbs 20:14) with Mercha on the first syllable, on which the tone is thrown back, and the העמדה on the second. The Roman legal phrase, mutui datione contrahitur obligatio, serves to explain the fundamental conception of לוה, mutuo accipere, and הלוה, mutuum dare (vid., Proverbs 22:7). The construction, Exodus 22:24, "to make any one bound as a debtor, obligare," lies at the foundation of the genitive connection 'מלוה ה (not מלוה). With 17b cf. Proverbs 12:14, where the subject of ישׁיב (Kerı̂) remains in the background. גמלו (not גמלּו) is here his work done in the sense of good exhibited. "Love," Hedinger once said, "is an imperishable capital, which always bears interest." And the Archbishop Walther: nam Deo dat qui dat inopibus, ipse Deus est in pauperibus. Dr. Jonas, as Dchsel relates, once gave to a poor man, and said, "Who knows when God restores it!" There Luther interposed: "As if God had not long ago given it beforehand!" This answer of Luther meets the abuse of this beautiful proverb by the covetous.
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