The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
The way he should go - Or, according to the tenor of his way, i. e., the path especially belonging to, especially fitted for, the individual's character. The proverb enjoins the closest possible study of each child's temperament and the adaptation of "his way of life" to that.Ruleth over the poor, to wit, with rigour and tyranny, taking advantage of his necessities.
Is servant to the lender; is at his mercy, and therefore forced to comply with his pleasure. The design of the proverb is partly to correct this miscarriage of the rich, and partly to oblige all men to diligence, whereby they may deliver themselves from this servitude.
and the borrower is servant to the lender; being under obligation to him, he is forced to be subject to him, and comply with his humours, and do and say as he would have him; it was a happiness promised to the Israelites, that they should lend to many nations, but not borrow, Deuteronomy 15:6; compare with this Nehemiah 5:4.The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. servant] not necessarily by being sold to him as a slave (Leviticus 25:30. Comp. Jeremiah 34:13; Jeremiah 34:17); but more generally as being compelled to do his bidding.Verse 7. - The rich ruleth over the poor. "The rich man (singular) will rule over the poor" (plural); for there are many poor for one rich (see on ver. 3). This is the way of the world (Proverbs 18:23). Aben Ezra explains the gnome as showing the advantage of wealth and the inconvenience of poverty; the former bringing power and pre-eminence, the latter trouble and servitude; and hence the moralist implies that every one should strive and labour to obtain a competency, and thus avoid the evils of impecuniosity. The borrower is servant to the lender. (For the relation between borrower and louder, or debtor and creditor, see on Proverbs 20:16; and comp. Matthew 18:25, 34.) Delitzsch cites the German saying, "Borghart (borrower) is Lehnhart's (leader's) servant." We have the proverb, "He that goes a-borrowing goes a-sorrowing." The Septuagint departs from the other versions and our Hebrew text, translating, "The rich will role over the poor, and household servants will lend to their own masters" - a reading on which some of the Fathers have commented.
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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