Proverbs 20:22
Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
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(22) Wait on the Lord and he shall save thee.—Do not look for vengeance on enemies (for they are to be forgiven), but for deliverance from their attacks; forget their malice, remember only God’s love for thee, and trust in Him. (Comp. 1Peter 3:13, Romans 8:28.)

Proverbs 20:22. Say not thou, I will recompense evil — While we live in the world, we must expect to have injuries done us, affronts given, and much trouble wrongfully created to us. But we must not revenge ourselves; no, not so much as design or think of any such thing. We must not say, no, not in our hearts, I will return evil for evil; but must wait on the Lord, to whom it belongs to execute vengeance, and to deliver his people from all their enemies. We must refer ourselves to him, and leave it to him to plead our cause, or reckon with those that do us wrong, in such a way and manner as he shall think fit, and in his own due time.

20:7. A good man is not liable to uneasiness in contriving what he shall do, or in reflecting on what he has done, as those who walk in deceit. And his family fare better for his sake. 8. If great men are good men, they may do much good, and prevent very much evil. 9. Some can say, Through grace, we are cleaner than we have been; but it was the work of the Holy Spirit. 10. See the various deceits men use, of which the love of money is the root. The Lord will not bless what is thus gotten. 11. Parents should observe their children, that they may manage them accordingly. 12. All our powers and faculties are from God, and are to be employed for him. 13. Those that indulge themselves, may expect to want necessaries, which should have been gotten by honest labour. 14. Men use arts to get a good bargain, and to buy cheap; whereas a man ought to be ashamed of a fraud and a lie. 15. He that prefers true knowledge to riches, follows the ways of religion and happiness. If we really believed this truth, the word of God would be valued as it deserves, and the world would lose its tempting influence. 16. Those ruin themselves who entangle themselves in rash suretiship. Also those who are in league with abandoned women. Place no confidence in either. 17. Wealth gotten by fraud may be sweet, for the carnal mind takes pleasure in the success of wicked devices; but it will be bitter in the reflection. 18. Especially we need advice in spiritual warfare. The word and Spirit of God are the best counsellors in every point. 19. Those dearly buy their own praise, who put confidence in a man because he speaks fairly. 20. An undutiful child will become very miserable. Never let him expect any peace or comfort. 21. An estate suddenly raised, is often as suddenly ruined. 22. Wait on the Lord, attend his pleasure, and he will protect thee.God's awarding to everyone according to his works, is the true check to the spirit of vindictiveness (compare Romans 12:17, Romans 12:19). Note that man is not told to wait on the Lord in expectation of seeing vengeance on his enemies, but "He shall save thee." The difference of the two hopes, in their effect upon the man's character, is incalculable. 22. (Compare Ps 27:14; Ro 12:17-19). Say not thou in thy heart; give not way to any such evil thoughts or purposes.

Wait on the Lord, to whom it belongs to execute vengeance, and to deliver his people from all their enemies.

Say not thou, I will recompense evil,.... With evil; do an injury to one that has done one to you; private revenge is not to be taken, but should be left to God, to whom vengeance belongs, Deuteronomy 32:35;

but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee; commit thyself and cause to God; leave it with him to avenge thy wrongs; wait upon him in the way of thy duty, and wait his own time to do thee justice; he will at the proper season, and in his own way, save thee from thine enemy, and make a righteous retribution to him.

Say not thou, I will recompense evil; but wait on the LORD, and he shall save thee.
22. Comp. Romans 12:17; Romans 12:19.

Verse 22. - Say not thou, I will recompense evil (Proverbs 24:29). The jus talonis is the natural feeling of man, to do to others as they have done unto you, to requite evil with evil. But the moralist teaches a better lesson, urging men not to study revenge, and approaching nearer to Christ's injunction, which gives the law of charity, "Whatsoever ye would (οπσα α}ν θέλητε) that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12). The Christian rule is expounded fully by St. Paul (Romans 12:14, 17, etc). It was not unknown to the Jews; for we read in Tobit 4:15, "Do that to no man which thou hatest;" and Hillel enjoins, "Do not thou that to thy neighbour which thou hatest when it is done to thee." Even the heathens had excogitated this great principle. There is a saying of Aristotle, preserved by Diogenes Laertius, "Act towards your friends as you would wish them to act towards you." The Chinese have a proverb, "Water does not remain on the mountain, or vengeance in a great mind." Wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee. The pious writer urges the injured person to commit his cause to the Lord, not in the hope of seeing vengeance taken on his enemy, but in the certainty that God will help him to bear the wrong and deliver him in his own good time and way. The Christian takes St. Peter's view, "Who is he that will harm you if ye be followers of that which is good?" (1 Peter 3:13), knowing that "all things work together for good to them that love God" (Romans 8:28; comp. Ecclus. 2:2, 6). Septuagint, "Say not, I will avenge myself on my enemy, but wait on the Lord, that (ἵνα) he may help thee." The last clause may be grammatically rendered thus, but it is more in accordance with the spirit st' the proverb, as Delitzsch observes, to regard it as a promise. Vulgate, et liberabit te. Proverbs 20:2222 Say not: I will avenge the evil;

     Hope in Jahve, so will He help thee.

Men ought always to act toward their neighbours according to the law of love, and not according to the jus talionis, Proverbs 24:29; they ought not only, by requiting good with evil (Proverbs 16:13; Psalm 7:5, Psalm 35:12), not to transgress this law of requital, but they ought to surpass it, by also recompensing not evil with evil (vid., regarding שׁלּם, and synon. to Proverbs 17:13); and that is what the proverb means, for 22b supposes injustice suffered, which might stir up a spirit of revenge. It does not, however, say that men ought to commit the taking of vengeance to God; but, in the sense of Romans 12:17-19; 1 Peter 3:9, that, renouncing all dependence on self, they ought to commit their deliverance out of the distress into which they have fallen, and their vindication, into the hands of God; for the promise is not that He will avenge them, but that He will help them. The jussive וישׁע (write וישׁע, according to Metheg-setzung, 42, with Gaja as העמדה, with the ע to secure distinct utterance to the final guttural) states as a consequence, like, e.g., 2 Kings 5:10, what will then happen (Jerome, Luther, Hitzig) if one lets God rule (Gesen. 128, 2c); equally possible, syntactically, is the rendering: that He may help thee (lxx, Ewald); but, regarded as a promise, the words are more in accordance with the spirit of the proverb, and they round it off more expressively.

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