The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he brings it with a wicked mind?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)How much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?—Plotting at the same time future wickedness, or thinking to make God, by the sacrifice, overlook his sin, and so become, as it were, his confederate.Proverbs 21:27. The sacrifice of the wicked — All the most glorious and costly services which they offer to God; is abomination — God rejects and abhors them, because they are offered by such men, and in such a manner, as God justly abhors; how much more when — Hebrew, אŠ כי, because, or, even because, as all the ancient translators render it; he bringeth it with a wicked mind — With a hypocritical and impenitent heart, or from a bad motive; not in obedience to God’s command, and with a desire and intention to glorify him; but either to cover, or countenance, or promote some wicked design or practice, which, notwithstanding all his professions of religion, he is not determined to relinquish. Proverbs 15:8. The wicked man may connect his devotion with his guilt, offer his sacrifice and vow his vow (as men have done under paganism or corrupted Christianity) for success in the perpetration of a crime.
wicked mind—or, "design" (Pr 1:4).The sacrifice; all the most glorious and costly services which they offer to God.
Is abomination; God rejects and abhors them, because they are offered by such men and in such manner as God justly abhors.
When; or, because, as all the ancient translators render it, the Hebrew particle aph being expletive; or, even because; so the following clause gives the reason of the former proposition.
With a wicked mind; with a hypocritical and impenitent heart, or with a bad design, not in obedience to God’s command, and with respect to his honour and service; but either to cover, or countenance, or promote some wicked intention or course, which notwithstanding all his professions of religion he is resolved to prosecute. Proverbs 15:8; and as it is here added in the Septuagint and Arabic versions;
how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? the Arabic version is, "with a mind alien from the law"; or when it is not brought according to law; when it is a corrupt thing, that which is torn, lame, or sick, or robbery for burnt sacrifice; when it is done with an evil intention, to cover sin, to atone for without repenting of it or forsaking it; that they may go on in sin with impunity, and be allowed to commit it; for which cause Balak and Balsam offered sacrifices, which is the instance Jarchi produces; and indeed every religious action not done in faith, and love, and sincerity, and with a view to the glory of God, but in hypocrisy and with selfish views, in order to procure acceptance with God and justification in his sight; setting aside the righteousness, sacrifice, and satisfaction of the son of God, is done with a wicked mind, and is an abomination to the Lord. Some render it, "even though he brings it diligently", or "with great art and skill" (i); is constant at his devotion, and carries it so artfully, and with such a show of religion, as to deceive men, yet he cannot deceive the Lord.The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. with a wicked mind] In any case the sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination, even when he brings it in a mere formal spirit, because of the moral character of the offerer (Proverbs 15:8; Isaiah 1:13-15). But when he bringeth it with a wicked mind, or intent, to purchase immunity by it from the punishment of sin (to atone for wickedness, R.V. marg.) it is much more so. The sacrifice of Cain was an abomination, because he was wicked (Genesis 4:5; 1 John 3:12). How much more hateful would it have been, if he had brought it with the wicked intention of atoning by it for the murder of his brother? Comp. Sir 34:18-20.Verse 27. - The first hemistich occurs in Proverbs 15:8 (where see note). How much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind! rather, for evil, equivalent to "in order to atone for wickedness." The sacrifice of the sinner is abominable, as offered formally without repentance and faith; much more abominable, when he brings his offering to win, as it were, God's connivance in the sin which he commits and has no intention of renouncing, - brings it as a kited of bribe and recompense to compensate or his transgression. Such an outrage on God's purity and justice may well be called an abomination. Septuagint, "The sacrifices of the ungodly are abomination unto the Lord, for they. offer them wickedly (παρανόμως)." The notion of propitiating the Deity by sharing with him the proceeds of sin is expressed in proverbial language. We have the homely saw, "Steal the goose, and give the giblets in alms;" and the Spaniards say, "Huerto el puerco, y dar los pies por Dios," "Steal the pig, and give away the pettitoes for God's sake" (Kelly). (See Ecclus. 31:18, etc.)
Will obtain life, righteousness, and honour.
How we are to render צדקה וחסד is seen from the connection of Proverbs 21:3 and Hosea 6:7 : tsedakah is conduct proceeding from the principle of self-denying and compassionate love, which is the essence of the law, Micah 6:8; and hesed is conduct proceeding from sympathy, which, placing itself in the room of another, perceives what will benefit him, and sets about doing it (cf. e.g., Job 6:14 : to him who is inwardly melted disheartened חסד is due from his neighbour). The reward which one who strives thus to act obtains, is designated 21b by חיּים and כּבוד. Honour and life stand together, Proverbs 22:4, when עשׁר precedes, and here צדקה stands between, which, Proverbs 8:18, Psalm 24:5, is thought of as that which is distributed as a gift of heaven, Isaiah 45:8, which has glory in its train, Isaiah 58:8; as Paul also says, "Whom He justified, them He also glorified." The lxx has omitted tsedakah, because it can easily appear as erroneously repeated from 21a. But in reality there are three good things which are promised to those who are zealous in the works of love: a prosperous life, enduring righteousness, true honour. Life as it proceeds from God, the Living One, righteousness as it avails the righteous and those doing righteously before God, honour or glory (Psalm 29:3) as it is given (Psalm 84:12) by the God of glory. Cf. with חיים צדקה, Proverbs 10:2, and with צדקה, especially James 2:13, κατακαυχᾶται ἔλεος κρίσεως.
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