Proverbs 22:8
He that sows iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Vanity—i.e., calamity, trouble.

The rod of his anger shall fail.—When his time comes, and his iniquity is full, he shall himself suffer the punishment he brought on others, as Babylon did (Isaiah 14:6), Assyria (Isaiah 30:31).

Proverbs 22:8. He that soweth iniquity — Or, unrighteousness; he, whose common practice it is to wrong or oppress others; shall reap vanity — Or trouble, or misery, as the word אוןcommonly signifies, and as many here render it. The mischief which he hath done to others shall be returned to himself by God’s righteous sentence; and the rod of his anger shall fail — That power which he used with fury and cruelty shall be taken from him.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.The rod of his anger - That with which he smites others (compare Isaiah 14:6). The King James Version describes the final impotence of the wrath of the wicked. 8. (Compare Pr 11:18; Ps 109:16-20; Ga 6:7, 8).

the rod … fail—His power to do evil will be destroyed.

He that soweth iniquity, or unrighteousness, whose common practice it is to wrong or oppress others,

shall reap vanity; or, trouble or misery, as this word is commonly used, and as divers here render it. The mischief which he hath done to others shall be returned to him by God’s righteous sentence.

The rod of his anger shall fail; that power which he used with fury and cruelty shall be taken away from him. He that soweth iniquity (u) shall reap vanity,.... He that practises sin, and is frequent in the commission of it; indulges to it in a profuse way, as the sower plentifully scatters his seed; such shall reaper possess nothing but sin and wickedness; for, what a man sows, that shall he reap; he shall eat the fruit of his doings, and have the reward of his works; see Job 4:8; or "nothing" (w), mere emptiness; it shall not answer; he shall have in the end neither pleasure nor profit, but the contrary; "shall reap evil things", as the Septuagint, Arabic, and Vulgate Latin versions render it;

and the rod of his anger shall fail; with which he has ruled and smitten others in an angry and cruel manner; this shall be taken from him; his authority shall fail, and he shall become subject to others, and be used in like manner; see Isaiah 14:4. R. Joseph Kimchi interprets it of "the rod of the increase" of the earth, or the rod or flail with which the fruits of the earth are threshed or beaten out, which should fail before they were reaped; and Schultens (x) has reference to the same, and gives the sense, that a wicked man that sows iniquity, when he thinks his harvest is ripe, shall be beaten with the flail, by which he shall be consumed; and he that threshed others shall be threshed himself.

(u) So, "serere fallaciam", in Plauti Poenulo, l. 1. v. 67. (w) "inanitatem ac nihilum", Michaelis. (x) "Et virga in eum desaevitura, erit decretoria".

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the {e} rod of his anger shall fail.

(e) His authority by which he oppressed others, will be taken from him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. vanity] Better, with R.V. text, calamity; κακὰ, LXX.; mala, Vulg.

the rod of his anger] i.e. his power to vent his wrath upon others. Comp. Isaiah 14:6.

The LXX. add to this verse ἄνδρα ἱλαρὸν καὶ δότην εὐλογεῖ ὁ Θεὸς, which is quoted by St Paul, 2 Corinthians 9:7.Verse 8. - He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity; shall gain nothing substantial, shall have nothing to show for his pains. But aven also means "calamity," "trouble," as Proverbs 12:21; so the gnome expresses the truth that they who do evil shall meet with punishment in their very sins - the exact contrast to the promise to the righteous (Proverbs 11:18). "To him that soweth righteousness shall be a sure reward." Thus we have in Job 4:8, "They that plough iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same;" and the apostle asserts (Galatians 6:7, etc), "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." Eastern proverbs run, "As the sin, so the atonement:" "Those who sow thorns can only reap prickles" (comp. Proverbs 12:14). And the rod of his anger shall fail. The writer is thinking especially of cruelty and injustice practised on a neighbour, as Delitzsch has pointed out, and he means that the rod which he has raised, the violence intended against the innocent victim, shall vanish away or fall harmlessly. Ewald and others think that the rod is the Divine anger, and translate the verb (kalah) "is prepared," a sense which here it will not well bear, though the LXX. has lent some countenance to it by rendering, "And shall fully accomplish the plague (πληγὴν,? 'punishment') of his deeds." The rendering, "shall fail." "shall be consumed, or annihilated," is confirmed by Genesis 21:15; Isaiah 1:28; Isaiah 16:4, etc. The Septuagint adds a distich here, of which the first member is a variant of ver. 9a. and the second another rendering of the latter hemistich of the present verse: "A cheerful man and a giver God blesseth (ἄνδρα ἱλαρὸν καὶ δότην εὐλογεῖ ὁ Θεός): but he shall bring to an end (συντελεσεῖ) the vanity of his works." The first hemistich is remarkable for being quoted by St. Paul (2 Corinthians 9:7), with a slight variation, Ἱλαρὸν γὰρ δότην ἀγαπᾷ ὁ Θεός. So Ecclus. 32 (35):9, "In all thy gifts show a cheerful countenance (ἱλάρωσον τὸ πρόσθπόν σου)." 2 The rich and the poor meet together;

   The creator of them all is Jahve.

From this, that God made them all, i.e., rich and poor in the totality of their individuals, it follows that the meeting together is His will and His ordinance; they shall in life push one against another, and for what other purpose than that this relationship of mutual intercourse should be a school of virtue: the poor shall not envy the rich (Proverbs 3:31), and the rich shall not despise the poor, who has the same God and Father as himself (Proverbs 14:31; Proverbs 17:5; Proverbs 31:15); they shall remain conscious of this, that the intermingling of the diversities of station is for this end, that the lowly should serve the exalted, and the exalted should serve the lowly. Proverbs 29:13 is a variation; there also for both, but particularly for the rich, lies in the proverb a solemn warning.

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