For as he thinks in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, said he to you; but his heart is not with you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.—He is not really friendly and hospitable, as his words would imply, but he grudges every morsel thou takest, calculating its cost.
evil eye—or purpose (Pr 22:9; De 15:9; Mt 6:23).As he thinketh in his heart, so is he: you are not to judge of him by his words, for so he professeth kindness, as it follows; but by the constant temper of his mind, which he hath fully discovered to all that know him by the course of his life.
His heart is not with thee; he hath no sincere kindness to thee, but inwardly grudgeth thee that which he outwardly offers to thee.
eat and drink, saith he to thee, but his heart is not with thee; he bids you eat and drink, but he does not desire you should, at least but very sparingly; it is only a mere compliment, not a hearty welcome.For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. thinketh in his heart] Rather, reckoneth within himself, R.V. Not by his liberal words, “eat and drink,” but by the mercenary reckoning of his heart, which is calculating meantime and grudging the cost, is he to be estimated.Verse 7. - For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. The verb here used is שָׁעַר (shaar), "to estimate, ....to calculate," and the clause is best rendered, For as one that calculates with himself, so is he. The meaning is that this niggardly host watches every morsel which his guest eats, and grudges what he appears to offer so liberally. In the Authorized Version the word "heart" occurs twice in this verse, but the Hebrew words are different. The first is nephesh, "breath," equivalent to "mind;" the second is leb, "heart." The Vulgate paraphrases the clause, Quoniam in similitudinem arioli et conjectoris, aestimat quod ignorat, "For like a soothsayer or diviner he conjectures that of which he is ignorant." Eat and drink, saith he to thee. He professes to make you welcome, and with seeming cordiality invites you to partake of the food upon his table. But his heart is not with thee. He is not glad to see you enjoy yourself, and his pressing invitation is empty verbiage with no heart in it. The Septuagint, pointing differently, translates, "For as if one should swallow a hair, so he eats and drinks." The Greek translators take the gnome to apply to one who invites an envious man to his table, and finds him eating his food as if it disgusted him. They go on, "Bring him not in to thee, nor eat thy morsel with him; for (ver. 8) he will vomit it up, and outrage thy fair words." In agreement with the gnome above, we find in the Talmud, "My son, eat not the bread of the covetous, nor sit thou at his table. The bread of the covetous is only pain and anguish; the bread of the generous man is a source of health and joy." Proverbs 22:29, which speaks of a high position near the king, is appropriately followed by a hexastich referring to the slipperiness of the smooth ground of the king's court.
1 When thou sittest to eat with a ruler,
Consider well whom thou hast before thee.
2 And put thy knife to thy throat
If thou art a man of good appetite.
3 Be not lustful after his dainties,
Because it is deceitful food.
The ל of ללחום is that of end: ad cibum capiendum, thus as one invited by him to his table; in prose the expression would be לאכל לחם; לחם, to eat, is poet., Proverbs 4:17; Proverbs 9:5. The fut. תּבין clothes the admonition in the form of a wish or counsel; the infin. intens. בּין makes it urgent: consider well him whom thou hast before thee, viz., that he is not thine equal, but one higher, who can destroy thee as well as be useful to thee. With ושׂמתּ the jussive construction begun by תבין is continued. Zckler and Dchsel, after Ewald and Hitzig, translate incorrectly: thou puttest..., the perf. consec. after an imperf., or, which is the same thing, a fut. meant optatively (e.g., Leviticus 19:18 with לא, and also Leviticus 19:34 without לא) continues the exhortation; to be thus understood, the author ought to have used the expression שׂכּין שׂמתּ and not ושׂמת שׂכין. Rightly Luther: "and put a knife to thy throat," but continuing: "wilt thou preserve thy life," herein caught in the same mistake of the idea with Jerome, the Syr., and Targ., to which נפשׁ here separates itself. שׂכּין (סכּין) (Arab. with the assimilated a sikkı̂n, plur. sekâkı̂n, whence sekâkı̂ni, cutler) designates a knife (R. סך שך, to stick, vid., at Isaiah 9:10). לוע, from לוּע, to devour, is the throat; the word in Aram. signifies only the cheek, while Lagarde seeks to interpret בּלעך infinitively in the sense of (Arab.) bwlw'ak, if thou longest for (from wl'a); but that would make 2b a tautology. The verb לוּע (cf. Arab. l'al', to pant for) shows for the substantive the same primary meaning as glutus from glutire, which was then transferred from the inner organ of swallowing (Kimchi, בית הבליעה, Parchon; הוּשׂט, aesophagus) to the external. "Put a knife to thy throat, is a proverbial expression, like our: the knife stands at his throat; the poet means to say: restrain thy too eager desire by means of the strongest threatening of danger - threaten as it were death to it" (Fleischer). In בּעל נפשׁ, נפשׁ means, as at Proverbs 13:2, desire, and that desire of eating, as at Proverbs 6:30. Rightly Rashi: if thou art greedy with hunger, if thou art a glutton; cf. Sir. 34:12 (31:12), "If thou sittest at a great table, then open not widely thy throat (φάρυγγα), and say not: There is certainly much on it!" The knife thus denotes the restraining and moderating of too good an appetite.
In 3a the punctuation fluctuates between תתאו (Michlol 131a) and תתאו; the latter is found in Cod. 1294, the Erfurt 2 and 3, the Cod. Jaman., and thus it is also to be written at Proverbs 23:6 and Proverbs 24:1; ויתאו, 1 Chronicles 11:17 and Psalm 45:12, Codd. and older Edd. (e.g., Complut. 1517, Ven. 1515, 1521) write with Pathach. מטעמּות, from טעם, signifies savoury dishes, dainties, like (Arab.) dhwâkt, from dhâk (to taste, to relish); cf. sapores, from sapere, in the proverb: the tit-bits of the king burn the lips (vid., Fleischer, Ali's Hundred Proverbs, etc., pp. 71, 104). With והוּא begins, as at Proverbs 3:29, a conditioning clause: since it is, indeed, the bread of deceit (the connection like עד־כּחבים, Proverbs 21:28), food which, as it were, deceives him who eats it, i.e., appears to secure for him the lasting favour of princes, and often enough herein deceives him; cf. the proverb by Burckhardt and Meidani: whoever eats of the sultan's soup burns his lips, even though it may be after a length of time (Fleischer). One must come near to a king, says Calovius, hitting the meaning of the proverb, as to a fire: not too near, lest he be burned; nor too remote, so that he may be warmed therewith.
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