Proverbs 2:21
For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it.
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(21) The upright shall dwell in the land—i.e., of Canaan, according to the old promise made to Abraham, renewed in the fifth commandment, and constantly repeated in the prophets.

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?Noticeable here is the Hebrew love of home and love of country. To "dwell in the land" is (compare Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 25:18, etc.) the highest blessing for the whole people and for individual men. contrast with it is the life of the sinner cut off from the land (not "earth") of his fathers. 21, 22. (Compare Ps 37:3, 9, 22, 27). Shall have a peaceable and comfortable abode in the land of Canaan, which also is a type of their everlasting felicity. See Psalm 37:3,9,18,29. For the upright shall dwell in the land,.... Such as are upright in heart, who have a right spirit renewed in them; whose hearts are right with God, have the truth of grace in them; whose faith is unfeigned, their love without dissimulation, and their hope without hypocrisy; and who are upright in their lives and conversations; these being Israelites according to the flesh, as well as Israelites indeed in a spiritual sense, shall dwell in the land of Canaan, which the Lord promised to such, and which good men enjoyed by virtue of it: or the sense is, that such shall dwell peaceably and quietly in the world, and possess the good things of it, though in a small quantity, in such a comfortable manner, with the love of God and a sense of it, as wicked men do not; or else they shall inhabit the world to come, as Jarchi interprets it; not only a future state of happiness in heaven, but the Messiah's kingdom on earth, the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, 2 Peter 3:13;

and the perfect shall remain in it; or "be left in it" (a); or shall be "strengthened" (b), confirmed, and established in it; or they shall dwell in it as a tent or tabernacle, bound with strong cords; see Isaiah 33:20; or continue there, when others should have no place in it, as follows. By the "perfect" are meant such as have all grace seminally implanted in them, though it is not come up to maturity; who have a perfection of parts, but not of degrees; are properly men in Christ, though they are not arrived to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; are perfectly holy in Christ, though not in themselves; and are perfectly justified by his righteousness, and perfectly comely through his comeliness, though as yet imperfect in themselves; and those that shall dwell in the new heavens and new earth, and remain there a thousand years, shall be entirely perfect in soul and body, wholly without sin; and complete in knowledge, holiness, and peace: the Targum renders it, who are "without spot", undefiled persons; such who are not defiled with women, with the strange woman before mentioned; whose garments are not defiled, and who are free from the pollution of false doctrine, will worship, superstition, and idolatry, Revelation 3:4.

(a) "superstites erunt", Tigurine version, Mercerus; "superstitabunt", Cocceius; "reliqui fient", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "relinquentur", Michaelis. (b) "Nervabuntur", Schultens.

For the upright shall dwell in the {o} land, and the perfect shall remain in it.

(o) They will enjoy the temporal and spiritual promises of God, as the wicked will be void of them.

21, 22. land … earth] The Heb. word is the same, and should have the same rendering, either land or earth, in both verses. To a Jew this would of course mean “the land which the Lord, thy God, giveth thee” (Exodus 20:12; comp. Psalms 37 passim); but in a Book, the colouring of which is not Jewish, but which addresses itself to all mankind, it is open to us to render, earth, with R.V. marg. See Proverbs 11:31.Verse 21. - For the upright shall dwell in the land. Much the same language is met with in Psalm 37:29, "The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever." It is the secure and peaceful dwelling in the land which is intended (cf. Proverbs 10:30). To dwell in the land was always put forward as the reward of obedience to God's commandments (see Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 25:18; Leviticus 26:5), and the phrase conveyed to the Hebrew mind the idea of one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of all temporal blessings. The love of country was a predominant characteristic of the race. Elster, quoted by Zockler, remarks, "The Israelite was beyond the power of natural feeling, which makes home dear to every one, more closely bound to the ancestral soil by the whole form of the theocracy; torn kern it, he was in the inmost roots of life strained and broken. Especially from psalms belonging to the period of the exile this patriotic feeling is breathed out in the fullest glow and intensity." The land (אָרֶצ arets) was the promised land, the land of Canaan. The word is not used here in the wider sense in which it occurs in Matthew 5:5, "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." And the perfect shall remain in it; i.e. they shall not, as Rabbi Levi remarks, be driven thence nor caused to migrate. The perfect (תְמִימִים th'mimim), the holy (LXX., ὅσιοι), the spotless (immaeulati, Targum), those without a staid (qui sine labe, Syriae), the guileless (simplices, Vulgate). Shall remain; יִוָּתְרוּ (yivrath'ru), niph. future of יָתַר (yathar), properly "to be redundant," and in the niph. form, "to be left," or "to remain." LXX., ὑπολειφθήσαντι "shall remain;" permanebunt, Vulgate. In this verse the regimen of the מן, 12b, is to be regarded as lost; the description now goes on independently. Whoever does not shrink back from evil, but gives himself up to deceit, who finally is at home in it as in his own proper life-element, and rejoices, yea, delights in that which he ought to shun as something destructive and to be rejected. The neut. רע is frequently an attributive genit., Proverbs 6:24; Proverbs 15:26; Proverbs 28:5; cf. טוב, Proverbs 24:25, which here, since תּהפּכות are those who in themselves are bad, does not separate, but heightens: perversitates non simplices aut vulgares, sed pessimae et ex omni parte vitiosae (J. H. Michaelis). With אשׁר (οἵτινες), Proverbs 2:15, this part is brought to a conclusion. Fleischer, Bertheau, and others interpret ארחתיהם, as the accus. of the nearer definition, as σκολιὸς τὸν νοῦν, τὰς πράξεις; but should it be an accus., then would we expect, in this position of the words, עקּשׁוּ (Isaiah 59:8; Proverbs 10:8, cf. Proverbs 9:15). עקּשׁים is the pred.; for ארח, like דּרך, admits of both genders. וּנלוזים carries in it its subject הם; לוּז, like the Arab. l'd, l'dh, is a weaker form of לוּץ, flectere, inclinare, intrans. recedere: they are turned aside, inclined out of the way to the right and left in their walk (בּ as Proverbs 17:20).
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