Proverbs 23:8
The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.
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(8) Shalt thou vomit up.—Shalt be disgusted at having partaken of hospitality which was not freely offered to thee.

And lose thy sweet words.—All thy civil speeches and thanks for the cold welcome thou hast had.

23:1-3 God's restraints of the appetite only say, Do thyself no harm. 4,5. Be not of those that will be rich. The things of this world are not happiness and a portion for a soul; those that hold them ever so fast, cannot hold them always, cannot hold them long. 6-8. Do not make thyself burdensome to any, especially those not sincere. When we are called by God to his feast, and to let our souls delight themselves, Isa 25:6; 55:2, we may safely partake of the Bread of life. 9. It is our duty to take all fit occasions to speak of Divine things; but if what a wise man says will not be heard, let him hold his peace. 10,11. The fatherless are taken under God's special protection. He is their Redeemer, who will take their part; and he is mighty, almighty.Thinketh - The Hebrew verb is found here only, and probably means, "as he is all along in his heart, so is he (at last) in act." 8. The morsel … words—that is, disgusted with his true character, all pleasant intercourse will be destroyed. When thou perceivest his churlish disposition and carriage, his meat will be loathsome to thee, and thou wilt wish either that thou hadst never eaten it, or that thou couldst vomit it up again.

Thy sweet words; thy pleasant discourse, wherewith thou didst adorn his table, and design both to delight and profit him, is lost, and of no effect to him, and thou wilt be ready to repent of it.

The morsel which thou hast eaten, shalt thou vomit up,.... It shall turn in thy stomach, thou shall not be able to keep it, when thou understandest thou art not welcome; or thou wilt wish thou hadst never eaten a bit, or that thou couldest vomit up what thou hast; so disagreeable is the thought of being unwelcome, or when this appears to be the case;

and lose thy sweet words; expressed in thankfulness to the master of the feast, in praise of his food, in pleasantry with him, and the other guests at table; all which are repented of when a man finds he is not welcome.

The {f} morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.

(f) He will not cease till he has done you some harm, and his flattering words will come to no use.

8. The feast will be in every way a failure: the food that should nourish will nauseate thee, and thy attempts at pleasant conversation will be wasted.

Verse 8. - The morsel which thou hast eaten shall thou vomit up. Food thus grudgingly bestowed will only create disgust, and do thee no good; thou wilt feel annoyed to have eaten it, and wilt long to get rid of it. And lose thy sweet words. You will have expended in vain your civil speeches and thanks for the entertainment provided for you; you really owe no gratitude for fare so grudgingly bestowed. Some think that by the "sweet words" are meant the conversation at table with which you have endeavoured to amuse your host - the witty sayings, enigmas, and apothegms, which entered so largely into the programme of a good talker. All such efforts are thrown away on the jealous, morose host. But the former explanation is more agreeable to the context. Proverbs 23:8There now follows a proverb with unequally measured lines, perhaps a heptastich:

6 Eat not the bread of the jealous,

   And let not thyself lust after his dainties;

7 For as one who calculates with himself, so is he:

   "Eat and drink," saith he to thee;

   But his heart is not with thee.

8 Thy morsel which thou hast enjoyed wilt thou cast up,

   And hast lost thy pleasant words.

As טוב עין, Proverbs 22:9, benignus oculo, denotes the pleasantness and joy of social friendship; so here (cf. Deuteronomy 15:9; Matthew 15:15) רע עין, malignus oculo, the envy and selfishness of egoism seeking to have and retain all for itself. The lxx ἀνδρὶ βασκάνῳ, for the look of the evil eye, עין רע, עינא בישׁא (cattivo occhio), refers to enchantment; cf. βασκαίνειν, fascinare, to bewitch, to enchant, in modern Greek, to envy, Arab. 'an, to eye, as it were, whence ma‛jûn, ma‛ı̂n, hit by the piercing look of the envious eye, invidiae, as Apuleius says, letali plaga percussus (Fleischer). Regarding תּתאו with Pathach, vid., the parallel line 3a. 7a is difficult. The lxx and Syr. read שׂער [hair]. The Targ. renders תּרעא רמא, and thus reads שׁער [fool], and thus brings together the soul of the envious person and a high portal, which promises much, but conceals only deception behind (Ralbag). Joseph ha-Nakdan reads

(Note: In an appendix to Ochla We-Ochla, in the University Library at Halle, he reads שׂער, but with פליגא [doubtful] added.)

שׂער with sn; and Rashi, retaining the schn, compares the "sour figs," Jeremiah 29:17. According to this, Luther translates: like a ghost (a monster of lovelessness) is he inwardly; for, as it appears in שׂער, the goat-like spectre שׂעיר hovered before him. Schultens better, because more in conformity with the text: quemadmodum suam ipsius animam abhorret (i.e., as he does nothing to the benefit of his own appetite) sic ille (erga alios multo magis). The thought is appropriate, but forced. Hitzig for once here follows Ewald; he does not, however, translate: "like as if his soul were divided, so is it;" but: "as one who is divided in his soul, so is he;" but the verb שׁער, to divide, is inferred from שׁער, gate equals division, and is as foreign to the extra-bibl. usus loq. as it is to the bibl. The verb שׁער signifies to weigh or consider, to value, to estimate. These meanings Hitzig unites together: in similitudinem arioli et conjectoris aestimat quod ignorat, perhaps meaning thereby that he conjecturally supposes that as it is with him, so it is with others: he dissembles, and thinks that others dissemble also. Thus also Jansen explains. The thought is far-fetched, and does not cover itself by the text. The translation of the Venet. also: ὡς γὰρ ἐμέτρησεν ἐν ψυχῇ οἱ οὕτως ἐστίν (perhaps: he measures to others as penuriously as to himself), does not elucidate the text, but obscures it. Most moderns (Bertheau, Zckler, Dchsel, etc.): as he reckons in his soul, so is he (not as he seeks to appear for a moment before thee). Thus also Fleischer: quemadmodum reputat apud se, ita est (sc. non ut loquitur), with the remark that שׁער (whence שׁער, measure, market value, Arab. si'r), to measure, to tax to as to determine the price, to reckon; and then like חשׁב, in general, to think, and thus also Meri with the neut. rendering of ita est. But why this circumlocution in the expression? The poet ought in that case just to have written כי לא למו דבּר בשׂפתיו כן הוא, for he is not as he speaks with his mouth. If one read שׁער (Symmachus, εἰκάζων), then we have the thought adapted to the portrait that is drawn; for like one calculating by himself, so is he, i.e., he is like one who estimates with himself the value of an object; for which we use the expression: he reckons the value of every piece in thy mouth. However, with this understanding the punctuation also of שׁער as finite may be retained and explained after Isaiah 26:18 : for as if he reckoned in his soul, so is he; but in this the perf. is inappropriate; by the particip. one reaches the same end

(Note: We may write כּן הוּא: the Mehuppach (Jethb) sign of the Olewejored standing between the two words represents also the place of the Makkeph; vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 20.)

by a smoother way. True, he says to thee: eat and drink (Sol 5:1), he invites thee with courtly words; but his heart is not with thee (בּל, like Proverbs 24:23): he only puts on the appearance of joy if thou partakest abundantly, but there lurks behind the mask of liberal hospitality the grudging stubborn calculator, who poisons thy every bite, every draught, by his calculating, grudging look. Such a feast cannot possibly do good to the guest: thy meal (פּת, from פּתת; cf. κλᾶν τὸν ἄρτον, Aram. פּרס לחמא, to divide and distribute bread, whence פּרנס, to receive aliment, is derived) which thou hast eaten thou wilt spue out, i.e., wilt vomit from disgust that thou hast eaten such food, so that that which has been partaken of does thee no good. פּתּך is also derived from פּתּה:

(Note: Immanuel makes so much of having recognised the verb in this פּתּך (and has he persuaded thee), that in the concluding part of his Divan (entitled Machberoth Immanuel), which is an imitation of Dante's Divina Commedia, he praises himself on this account in the paradise of King Solomon, who is enraptured by this explanation, and swears that he never meant that word otherwise.)


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