Proverbs 22:1
A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
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(1) Loving favour.—Or, favour is better than silver and gold. “Favour” may signify the grace which wins love, as well as the favour gained thereby.

Proverbs 22:1. A good name — A good reputation among wise and good men; is rather to be chosen than great riches — That is, we should be more careful to pursue that course of life, and do those things, by which we may obtain and retain a good name, than that way and those things by which we may raise and increase a great estate. For great riches bring great cares with them, and expose men to danger, but add no real value to a man. A fool and a knave may have great riches, but a good name, which supposes a man to be wise and honest, redounds to the glory of God, and gives a man a greater opportunity of doing good. By great riches we may relieve men’s bodily wants; but, by a good name, we may recommend religion to them; and loving favour — Hebrew חן שׂוב, good grace, or favour; that is, an interest in the esteem and affections of all about us, or hearty love and kindness from them; rather than silver and gold — Is a blessing much more to be prized than the possession of abundance of gold and silver.

22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.Omit "good." The word is an insertion. To the Hebrew, "name" by itself conveyed the idea of good repute, just as "men without a name" (compare Job 30:8 margin) are those sunk in ignominy. The margin gives a preferable rendering of the second clause of this verse. CHAPTER 22

Pr 22:1-29.

1. A good name—(Job 30:8, Hebrew); "good" is supplied here from Ec 7:1.

loving favour—kind regard, that is, of the wise and good. A good name, Heb. name put for good name, as Ecclesiastes 7:1, the word good being easily understood out of the next clause, in which it is expressed in the Hebrew text. A good reputation amongst wise and good men.

Is rather to be chosen than great riches; partly, because it is a most special blessing from God, being appropriated to worthy persons, whereas God commonly throws away riches upon the basest of men; partly, because it gives a man that tranquillity and satisfaction of mind, and that content and comfort in his condition, which no riches can purchase; and partly, because as it is commonly an evidence of a man’s virtue and piety, so it is accompanied with God’s love and favour, whereas riches are oft given by God in wrath, and to the hurt of the owner.

Loving favour; or, good grace or favour; a good report among men, especially among good men, and that hearty love and kindness which attends upon it.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches,.... The word "good" is not in the text, but is rightly supplied, as it is by the Targum, Septuagint, and Vulgate Latin versions; for it is not any name that is more eligible than riches; nor is it a need name among any sort of persons; for to have a good name with some turns to a man's reproach rather than to his credit; but a good name among good men, a name in the house of God, which is better than sons and daughters; a new name, the name of the children of God, which no man knoweth but he that receiveth it; this is to be preferred to a multitude of riches: it is not to be procured by them, and is where they are not, or are lost, but this continues; see Ecclesiastes 7:1;

and loving favour rather them silver and gold; favour with God and man, especially with God, whose loving kindness is better than life, and all the enjoyments of it: or, as it may be rendered, "grace is better than silver and gold" (p); the grace of God through Christ, the grace of Christ, in whom all fulness of it dwells, the grace of the Spirit of Christ; faith is more precious than gold that perisheth; and if a man would give all the substance of his house for love it would be contemned; the Spirit and his grace are not to be purchased for money.

(p) "gratia melior", Munster, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Michaelis; so Schultens.

A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and {a} loving favour rather than silver and gold.

(a) Which comes by well doing.

1. A good name] Heb. a name, as in Ecclesiastes 7:1. Comp. Sir 41:12 :

“Have regard to thy name;

For it continueth with thee longer than a thousand great treasures of gold.”

loving favour rather than] Or, favour is better than, A.V. and R.V. marg.

Verse 1. - A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches. It will be observed that "good" in the Authorized Version is in italics, showing that the epithet is not expressed in the Hebrew, which is simply שֵׁם (shem), "name." But this word carried with it the notion of good repute, as in Ecclesiastes 7:1; for being well known implied honour and reputation, while being nameless (Job 30:8) signified not only obscurity, but ignominy and discredit. Hence the versions have ὄνομα καλόν, nomen bonum, and Ecclus. 41:12, "Have regard to thy name (περὶ ὀνόματος), for that shall continue with thee above a thousand great treasures of gold. A good life," the moralist continues, "hath but few days; but a good name endureth forever" (contrast Proverbs 10:7). And loving favour rather than silver and gold; or, more accurately, and before gold and silver grace is good; i.e. grace is far better than gold. Grace (chen) is the manner and demeanour which win love, as well as the favour and affection gained thereby; taken as parallel to "name," in the former hemistich, it means here "favour," the regard conceived by others for a worthy object. Publ. Syr., "Bona opinio hominum tutier pecunia est." The French have a proverb, "Bonne renommee vaut mieux que ceinture doree." The latter hemistich gives the reason for the assertion in the former - a good name is so valuable because it wins affection and friendship, which are far preferable to material riches, Proverbs 22:131 The horse is harnessed for the day of battle;

     But with Jahve is the victory,

i.e., it remains with Him to give the victory or not, for the horse is a vain means of victory, Isaiah 33:17; the battle is the Lord's, 1 Samuel 17:47, i.e., it depends on Him how the battle shall issue; and king and people who have taken up arms in defence of their rights have thus to trust nothing in the multitude of their war-horses (סוּס, horses, including their riders), and generally in their preparations for the battle, but in the Lord (cf. Psalm 20:8, and, on the contrary, Isaiah 31:1). The lxx translates התּשׁוּעה by ἡ βοήθεια, as if the Arab. name of victory, naṣr, proceeding from this fundamental meaning, stood in the text; תשׁועה (from ישׁע, Arab. ws', to be wide, to have free space for motion) signifies properly prosperity, as the contrast of distress, oppression, slavery, and victory (cf. e.g., Psalm 144:10, and ישׁוּעה, 1 Samuel 14:45). The post-bibl. Heb. uses נצח (נצּחון) for victory; but the O.T. Heb. has no word more fully covering this idea than תשׁועה (ישׁועה).

(Note: In the old High German, the word for war is urlag (urlac), fate, because the issue is the divine determination, and nt (as in "der Nibelunge Not"), as binding, confining, restraint; this nt is the correlate to תשׁועה, victory; מלחמה corresponds most to the French guerre, which is not of Romanic, but of German origin: the Werre, i.e., the Gewirre [complication, confusion], for נלחם signifies to press against one another, to be engaged in close conflict; cf. the Homeric κλόνος of the turmoil of battle.)

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