Proverbs 21:7
The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.
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(7) The robbery of the wicked.—Or, their violence. See above on Proverbs 1:19. (Comp. Psalm 9:15.)

Proverbs 21:7-8. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them — The injury which they do to others shall, either by God or men, be returned upon their own heads; because they refuse to do judgment — They wilfully and obstinately give up themselves to unrighteous practices. The way of man — The course of man’s life, of the life of every man, as he is by nature, or in his corrupt state; is froward and strange — Perverse and estranged from God, and from man’s primitive integrity, and from the rule which God hath given him whereby to direct his actions, namely, reason and Scripture; but as for the pure, his work is right — His conversation, his tempers, words, and works; his designs and undertakings are agreeable to that rule.21:1 The believer, perceiving that the Lord rules every heart as he sees fit, like the husbandman who turns the water through his grounds as he pleases, seeks to have his own heart, and the hearts of others, directed in his faith, fear, and love. 2. We are partial in judging ourselves and our actions. 3. Many deceive themselves with a conceit that outward devotions will excuse unrighteousness. 4. Sin is the pride, the ambition, the glory, the joy, and the business of wicked men. 5. The really diligent employ foresight as well as labour. 6. While men seek wealth by unlawful practices, they seek death. 7. Injustice will return upon the sinner, and will destroy him here and for ever. 8. The way of mankind by nature is froward and strange.Robbery - Probably the "violence" which the wicked practice.

Shall destroy them - More literally, carries them away.

7. robbery—or, "destruction," especially oppression, of which they are authors.

shall destroy—literally, "cut with a saw" (1Ki 7:9), that is, utterly ruin them. Their sins shall be visited on them in kind.

to do judgment—what is just and right.

The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; the injury which they do to others shall either by God or men be returned upon their own heads. They refuse to do judgment; they wilfully and obstinately give up themselves to unrighteous practices. The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them,.... Or cut them, so Ben Melech: dissect or "saw" (s) them; cut them to the heart; that is, when the sins they have been guilty of, in robbing God of his due, or doing injury to men in their properties, cheating them or stealing from them, are set home on their consciences, they are in the utmost agonies and distress; it is as if a saw was drawn to and fro over them, and will be their case for ever without true repentance: this is the worm that never dies, and the fire that is never quenched; this is everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and is very just and righteous;

because they refuse to do judgment; to do that which is just between man and man, to let everyone enjoy his own property: as it is true of private robbers, so of men in public offices, whose business it is to defend men in the quiet possession of property; which, if they refuse to do, as it is a refusal to do judgment, it is in effect a robbery of them; and will be charged on their consciences at one time or another.

(s) "dissecabit eos", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "serrabit eos", Aben Ezra & Kimchi in Mercer. Michaelis; "gravem ipsis uterum trahit", Schultens.

The {d} robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; because they refuse to do judgment.

(d) He means this chiefly of judges and princes who leave that calling, to which God has called them, and impoverish their subjects to maintain their lusts.

7. robbery] Rather, violence.

destroy them] Rather, sweep them up, or catch them, as fishes, for example, in a net. Comp. Habakkuk 1:15, where the same Heb. word is used.Verse 7. - The robbery of the wicked shall destroy them; Vulgate, rapinae impiorum detrahenteos; Revised Version, "The violence of the wicked shall sweep them away," like chaff before the wind. The violence with which they treat others shall rebound on themselves, shall bring its own punishment; they shall sink in the pit that they made, and their foot shall be taken in the net which they hid (Psalm 9:15; comp. Proverbs 1:18, 19). Septuagint, "Destruction shall sojourn as guest (ἐπιξενωθήσεται) with the ungodly." The reason of this fate is given in the concluding hemistich: Because they refuse to do judgment. This is a judicial retribution on them for wilfully declining (ver. 25) to do what is right. The group, like the preceding one, now closes with a proverb of the king.

A king's heart in Jahve's hand is like brooks of water;

He turneth it whithersoever He will.

Brook and canal (the Quinta: ὑδραγωγοί) are both called פּלג, or פּלג, Job 20:17, Arab. falaj (from פּלג, to divide, according to which Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, διαρέσεις; Venet. διανομαί; Jerome, divisiones); Jkt has the explanation of the word: "falaj is the name given to flowing water, particularly the brook from a spring, and every canal which is led from a spring out over flat ground." Such brooks of water are the heart of a king, i.e., it is compared to such, in Jahve's hand. The second line contains the point of comparison: He inclines it, gives to it the direction (הטּה, causat. of נטה, Numbers 21:15) toward whatever He will (חפץ denotes willing, as a bending and inclining, viz., of the will; vid., at Proverbs 18:2). Rightly Hitzig finds it not accidental that just the expression "brooks of water" is chosen as the figure for tractableness and subjection to government. In Isaiah 32:2, the princes of Judah are compared to "rivers of water in a dry place" with reference to the exhaustion of the land during the oppression of the Assyrian invasion; the proverb has specially in view evidences of kindness proceeding from the heart, as at Proverbs 16:15 the favour of the king is compared to clouds of latter rain emptying themselves in beneficent showers, and at Proverbs 19:12 to the dew refreshing the plants. But the speciality of the comparison here is, that the heart of the king, however highly exalted above his subjects, and so removed from their knowledge he may be, has yet One above it by whom it is moved by hidden influences, e.g., the prayer of the oppressed; for man is indeed free, yet he acts under the influence of divinely-directed circumstances and divine operations; and though he reject the guidance of God, yet from his conduct nothing results which the Omniscient, who is surprised by nothing, does not make subservient to His will in the world-plan of redemption. Rightly the Midrash: God gives to the world good or bad kings, according as He seeks to bless it or to visit it with punishment; all decisions that go forth from the king's mouth come לכתחלה, i.e., in their first commencement and their last reason they come from the Holy One.

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