Proverbs 2:14
Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Delight in the frowardness of the wicked.—This positive taking pleasure in evil is mentioned by St. Paul (Romans 1:32) as the last stage of degradation.

2:10-22 If we are truly wise, we shall be careful to avoid all evil company and evil practices. When wisdom has dominion over us, then it not only fills the head, but enters into the heart, and will preserve, both against corruptions within and temptations without. The ways of sin are ways of darkness, uncomfortable and unsafe: what fools are those who leave the plain, pleasant, lightsome paths of uprightness, to walk in such ways! They take pleasure in sin; both in committing it, and in seeing others commit it. Every wise man will shun such company. True wisdom will also preserve from those who lead to fleshly lusts, which defile the body, that living temple, and war against the soul. These are evils which excite the sorrow of every serious mind, and cause every reflecting parent to look upon his children with anxiety, lest they should be entangled in such fatal snares. Let the sufferings of others be our warnings. Our Lord Jesus deters from sinful pleasures, by the everlasting torments which follow them. It is very rare that any who are caught in this snare of the devil, recover themselves; so much is the heart hardened, and the mind blinded, by the deceitfulness of this sin. Many think that this caution, besides the literal sense, is to be understood as a caution against idolatry, and subjecting the soul to the body, by seeking any forbidden object. The righteous must leave the earth as well as the wicked; but the earth is a very different thing to them. To the wicked it is all the heaven they ever shall have; to the righteous it is the place of preparation for heaven. And is it all one to us, whether we share with the wicked in the miseries of their latter end, or share those everlasting joys that shall crown believers?The evil-doers here include not robbers and murderers only Proverbs 1:10-16, but all who leave the straight path and the open day for crooked ways, perverse counsels, deeds of darkness. "To delight etc." Proverbs 2:14 is the lowest depth of all. 14. and that with pleasure, in ignorance of good and pursuit of evil.

frowardness—Not only their own perversity, but that of others is their delight. They love most the worst things.

Who rejoice to do evil; seeking and embracing occasions of sin with diligence and greediness, and pleasing themselves both in the practice and remembrance of sin; whereas upright men abhor and watch against all occasions of sin beforehand, and mourn bitterly for it afterwards.

Delight in the frowardness of the wicked; not only in their own sins, but in the sins of other wicked men, which shows a greater malignity of mind and love to sin. See Romans 1:32. Who rejoice to do evil,.... At the doing of it, or when they have done it; they are glad of an opportunity of doing mischief, and glory when they have done it; it is a sport and pastime to them, Proverbs 10:2; they take pleasure in the act of sin, and have no remorse of conscience afterwards; they speak of it in an exulting manner, and boast of it, and glory in their shame;

and delight in the frowardness of the wicked: of the wicked man, as Aben Ezra and Gersom supply it; in the perversities and contradictions of every wicked man; they not only take pleasure in their own sins, but in the sins of others, and in them that commit them; which is an aggravation of their wickedness, Romans 1:32; they delight to hear a man speak froward and perverse things; things against God, and Christ, and religion, against all good men, and everything that is good; against the Gospel, the doctrines and ordinances of it; and they delight to see him do things perverse and contrary to the will of God. The Vulgate Latin version renders it, "they exult in the worst things".

Who rejoice to do evil, and delight {h} in the frowardness of the wicked;

(h) When they see any given to evil as they are.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. of the wicked] Or, of evil, R.V. text, as in Proverbs 2:12.Verse 14. - Who rejoice to do evil. Another element is here brought forward, and the description increases in intensity. The wicked not only rejoice to do evil themselves, but they exult when they hear of evil in others (cf. Romans 1:32). Such may be the interpretation, though the latter part, of the verse is capable of a different and more general rendering as signifying exultation in evil generally, whether it appears in themselves or others. The expression rendered in the Authorized Version, in the frowardness of the wicked, is in the original (בְּתַחְפֻכות רַע b'thah'pucoth ra), in the perverseness of evil, or in evil perverseness, where the combination of the two nouns serves to give force to the main idea, which is that of perverseness. This rendering is adopted in the LXX., ἐπὶ διαστροφῇ κακῇ, "in evil distortion;" in the Vulgate, in pessimis rebus; in the Targum, Syriac, and Arabic, in conversatione mala, "in a bad course of conduct;" and in the Targum, in malitiae perversione, "in the perversion of wickedness." It is not perverseness in its simple and common form that these men exult in. but in its worst and most vicious form (for a similar construction, see Proverbs 6:24; Proverbs 15:26; and Proverbs 28:5). How widely different is the conduct of charity, which "rejoiceth not in iniquity" (1 Corinthians 13:6)! Instead of כּי אם there is an old אל תקרי

(Note: Regarding this formula, see Strack's Prolegomena, pp. 66-70.)

(read not so, but thus), כי אם (if thou callest understanding mother), which supposes the phrase כי אם (lxx) as traditional. If אם were intended (according to which the Targ. in the Bibl. rabbinica, but not in Norzi's text, translates), then 3b would correspond; vid., Proverbs 7:4, cf. Job 17:14. Thus: Yea, if thou callest for understanding, i.e., callest her to thee (Proverbs 18:6), invitest her to thee (Proverbs 9:15). The ק of בּקּשׁ is, with the exception of the imper. (e.g., בּקּשׁוּ), always without the Dagesh. Proverbs 2:4 belongs to the ideas in the Book of Job found in these introductory discourses, cf. Job 3:21, as at Proverbs 2:14, Job 3:22 (Ewald, Sprche, p. 49). חפשׂ (חפּשׂ), scrutari, proceeds, as חפס shows, from the primary meaning of a ditch, and is thus in its root-idea related to חפר (to dig, search out). In the principal clause of Proverbs 2:5 the 'יראת ה, as Psalm 19:10, is the fear of Jahve as it ought to be, thus the reverence which is due to Him, the worshipping of Him as revealed. 'ה and אלהים are interchanged as קדשׁים and 'ה at Proverbs 9:10. דּעת is knowledge proceeding from practice and experience, and thus not merely cognition (Kenntnis), but knowledge (Erkenntnis). The thoughts revolve in a circle only apparently. He who strives after wisdom earnestly and really, reaches in this way fellowship with God; for just as He gives wisdom, it is nowhere else than with Him, and it never comes from any other source than from Him. It comes (Proverbs 2:6) מפּיו (lxx erroneously מפּניו ylsuoe), i.e., it is communicated through the medium of His word, Job 22:22, or also (for λὀγος and πνεῦμα lie here undistinguished from one another) it is His breath (Book of Wisdom 7:25: ἀτμὶς τῆς τοῦ Θεοῦ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀπόῤῥοια τῆς τοῦ παντοκράτορος δόξης εἰλικρινής); the inspiration (נשׁמת) of the Almighty (according to Job 32:8) gives men understanding. In Proverbs 2:7, whether וצפן (Chethı̂b) or יצפּן (Kerı̂) is read, the meaning is the same. The former is the expression of the completed fact, as ἡτοίμασεν, 1 Corinthians 2:9, and is rightly preferred by lxx and Syr., for one reluctantly misses the copula (since the thought is new in comparison with Proverbs 2:6). לישׁרם should be written with the accent Dech. The Chokma-word (besides in Proverbs and Job, found only in Micah 6:9 and Isaiah 28:29) תּוּשׁיּה is a Hiphil formation (with the passing over of into , as in תּוּגה) from הושׁה (whence the pr. names יושׁה and יושׁויה) equals (Arab.) wasy and âsy, to re-establish, to advance, Hiph. of ישׁה equals ושׁה, to stand, and thus means furtherance, i.e., the power or the gift to further, and concretely that which furthers and profits, particularly true wisdom and true fortune.

(Note: I was formerly in error in regarding the word as a Hophal formation, and in assigning to it the primary signification of being in a state of realized existence, of reality, in contradistinction to appearance only. The objection of J. D. Michaelis, Supplem. p. 1167, Non placent in linguis ejusmodi etyma metaphysica, etc., does not apply here, since the word is a new one coined by the Chokma, but all the shades of meaning are naturally derived from the fundamental signification "furtherance" (cf. Seneca, Deus stator stabilitorque est). "תושׁיה, from Arab. âsy and wasy, to further by word and deed, to assist by counsel and act, to render help, whence the meanings auxilium, salus, and prudens consilium, sapientia, easily follow; cf. Ali's Arab. proverb, "He furthers thee, who does not trouble himself about thee.")

The derivation from ישׁ (Proverbs 8:21) is to be rejected, because "the formation would be wholly without analogy, so much the more because the י of this word does not represent the place of the ו, as is seen from the Arab. l-ys and the Syr. lyt" (Fl.);

(Note: The Arab. ‛aysa (almost only in the negative la-ysa equals לא ישׁ), of the same signification as ישׁ, with which the Aram. אית (איתי) is associated, presupposes an ‛âsa ( equals ‛âssa), to be founded, to found, and is rightly regarded by the Arabs as an old segolate noun in which the verbal force was comprehended.)

and the derivation of ושׁה equals שׁוה, to be smooth (Hitzig), passes over without any difficulty into another system of roots.

(Note: The Arab. wsy and swy are confounded in common usage (Wetstein, Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitschr. xxii. 19), but the roots וש and שו are different; וש and אש, on the contrary, are modifications of one root.)

In the passage under consideration (Proverbs 2:7), תּוּשׁיּה signifies advancement in the sense of true prosperity. The parallel passage 7a clothes itself in the form of an apposition: (He) a shield (מגן, n. instr. of גּנן, to cover) for הלכי תּם, pilgrims of innocence (Fl.), i.e., such as walk in the way (the object-accus., as Proverbs 6:12, for which in Proverbs 10:9 בּ) of innocence. תּם is whole, full submission, moral faultlessness, which chooses God with the whole heart, seeks good without exception: a similar thought is found in Psalm 84:12. לנצר, 8a, is such an inf. of consequence as להקשׁיב (Proverbs 2:2), and here, as there, is continued in the finite. The "paths of justice" are understood with reference to those who enter them and keep in them; parallel, "the way of His saints" (חסיד, he who cherishes חסד, earnest inward love to God), for that is just ארח־צדקה (Proverbs 12:28): they are הלכי צדקות (Isaiah 33:15). Instead of the Mugrash, the conjunctive Tarcha is to be given to ודרך.

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