Proverbs 24:1
Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
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Proverbs 24:1-2. Be not thou envious, &c. — The proneness of good men, especially while they are weak, and only in the beginnings of their course of piety and virtue, to be dejected at the prosperity of the ungodly, and so to be tempted to imitate them, is the reason that the admonition which we here meet with is so often repeated; neither desire to be with them — Desire not their company, nor to imitate their manner of life. For their heart studieth destruction — How they may oppress and destroy others, which yet, at last, fails upon their own heads.

24:1,2 Envy not sinners. And let not a desire ever come into thy mind, Oh that I could shake off restraints! 3-6. Piety and prudence in outward affairs, both go together to complete a wise man. By knowledge the soul is filled with the graces and comforts of the spirit, those precious and pleasant riches. The spirit is strengthened for the spiritual work and the spiritual warfare, by true wisdom. 7-9. A weak man thinks wisdom is too high for him, therefore he will take no pains for it. It is bad to do evil, but worse to devise it. Even the first risings of sin in the heart are sin, and must be repented of. Those that strive to make others hateful, make themselves so. 10. Under troubles we are apt to despair of relief. But be of good courage, and God shall strengthen thy heart. 11,12. If a man know that his neighbour is in danger by any unjust proceeding, he is bound to do all in his power to deliver him. And what is it to suffer immortal souls to perish, when our persuasions and example may be the means of preventing it? 13,14. We are quickened to the study of wisdom by considering both the pleasure and the profit of it. All men relish things that are sweet to the palate; but many have no relish for the things that are sweet to the purified soul, and that make us wise unto salvation. 15,16. The sincere soul falls as a traveller may do, by stumbling at some stone in his path; but gets up, and goes on his way with more care and speed. This is rather to be understood of falls into affliction, than falls into actual sin.A lesson given before, now combined with another. True followers after wisdom will admit neither envy of evil on the one hand, nor admiration or fellowship with it on the other. CHAPTER 24

Pr 24:1-34.

1, 2. (Compare Pr 23:3, 17; Ps 37:1). Their company or manner of life.

Be not thou envious against evil men,.... Or, "men of evil" (b). Such who are addicted to evil, and given up to it, whose principles and practices are bad; such as are before described in the preceding chapter; gluttons and drunkards, men given to women and wine: envy not their present prosperity, or seeming pleasure they have in the gratification of their sensual appetites; since woe and sorrow, wounds and strife, now attend them, and poverty and want will follow them; as well as everlasting ruin and destruction will be their portion hereafter; See Gill on Proverbs 23:17; and compare with this Proverbs 24:21;

neither desire to be with them; to be in their company; to have any conversation and fellowship with them, which is very infectious, dangerous, and pernicious; nor even to be in the same state, condition, and circumstances they are in; much less to do as they do, and imitate them in their sinful courses; as you would not choose to be with them in hell hereafter, do not desire to be with them here.

(b) "viros mali", Baynus, Michaelis.

Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
1. Be not thou envious] Comp. Proverbs 23:17.

Verse 1. - We return here to the more usual form, the tetrastich. Be not thou envious against evil men (see on Proverbs 23:17, where a similar warning is given, and comp. Ver. 19 below). "Men of wickedness," wholly given over to evil. Neither desire to be with them. Their company is pollution, and association with them makes you a partner in their sinful doings. The Septuagint prefaces the paragraph with the personal address, υἱέ "son." Proverbs 24:1After this divergence (in Proverbs 23:29-35) from the usual form of the proverb, there is now a return to the tetrastich:

1 Envy not evil men,

   And desire not to have intercourse with them.

2 For their heart thinketh of violence,

   And their lips speak mischief.

The warning, not to envy the godless, is also found at Proverbs 3:31; Proverbs 23:17; Proverbs 24:19, but is differently constructed in each of these passages. Regarding תּתאו with Pathach, vid., at Proverbs 23:3. אנשׁי רעה (cf. רע, Proverbs 28:5) are the wicked, i.e., such as cleave to evil, and to whom evil clings. The warning is grounded in this, that whoever have intercourse with such men, make themselves partners in greater sins and evil: for their heart broodeth (write כּי שׁד, Munach Dech) violence, i.e., robbery, plunder, destruction, murder, and the like. With שׁד (in the Mishle only here and at Proverbs 21:7, cf. שׁדּד, Proverbs 19:26) connects itself elsewhere חמס, here (cf. Habakkuk 1:3) עמל, labor, molestia, viz., those who prepare it for others by means of slanderous, crafty, uncharitable talk.

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