Proverbs 24:24
He that said to the wicked, You are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
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24:17,18. The pleasure we are apt to take in the troubles of an enemy is forbidden. 19,20. Envy not the wicked their prosperity; be sure there is no true happiness in it. 21,22. The godly in the land, will be quiet in the land. There may be cause to change for the better, but have nothing to do with them that are given change. 23-26. The wisdom God giveth, renders a man fit for his station. Every one who finds the benefit of the right answer, will be attached to him that gave it. 27. We must prefer necessaries before conveniences, and not go in debt.Belong to the wise - Either "are fitting for the wise, addressed to them," or (as in the superscriptions of many of the Psalms) "are written by the wise." Most recent commentators take it in the latter sense, and look on it as indicating the beginning of a fresh section, containing proverbs not ascribed to Solomon's authorship. Compare the introduction to Proverbs. 24, 25. of which an example is justifying the wicked, to which is opposed, rebuking him, which has a blessing. He that saith, to wit, publicly, and in judgment, as he now said, and as appears by the publicness of the curse following upon it, for people or nations do neither observe nor hate every man who saith thus privately.

Thou art righteous, that justify wicked men in their unrighteous courses.

Nations shall abhor him, partly for the grossness and odiousness of the crime, and partly for the great and general mischief which such practices bring to civil societies. He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous,.... Not in a private way, or as giving his opinion or character of a man that is wicked, whom either through ignorance or flattery another may call righteous; which may be done and not resented by people and nations; but in an open court of judicature pronounced by the judge, justifying the wicked for reward, and condemning the just, which is an abomination unto the Lord; see Proverbs 17:15; nor should the ministers of the Gospel flatter the wicked, and call them righteous and good men, and strengthen their hands in their wickedness, promising them life though they continue in their evil ways; for though God justifies the ungodly, man should not; nor does he justify them in, but from, their ungodliness; see Ezekiel 13:2;

him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him; the people of the land shall curse him as an unjust judge, as a patron of wickedness aunt wicked men; as an enemy to justice, and a discourager of truth and honesty, and all good men; and even nations that have not so immediate a concern in the affair, yet hearing of it shall express their indignation at him and abhorrence of him.

He that saith unto the wicked, Thou are righteous; him shall the people curse, nations shall abhor him:
24. the people &c.] Rather, peoples shall curse him; nations shall abhor him, R.V. From this it appears that it is to rulers and judges that the proverb primarily, though not necessarily exclusively, applies. In Proverbs 17:15 the divine, as here the human, estimate of such conduct is affirmed.Verse 24. - He that saith unto the wicked, Thou art righteous. The judge is supposed to be acquitting a guilty person. Him shall the people curse. The Hebrew is "peoples," as Septuagint and Vulgate, maledicient eis populi. Nations shall abhor him. Not individuals, nor families only, but the whole community, wherever such an iniquitous ruler is found, shall execrate and hate him. The voice of the people is universally against him; no one is so blind and degraded as openly to applaud his nets. The verb nakab, "to curse," means primarily "to bore or pierce;" hence some have translated it here, "him shall the peoples stab." But the word is used in the sense of distinguishing by a mark or brand, and thence passes into the sense of cursing, as at Proverbs 11:26; Leviticus 24:11; Job 3:8. In Proverbs 17:15 the unjust judge is called an abomination to the Lord. In this case the vox populi is vox Dei. Warning against a vindictive disposition, and joy over its satisfaction.

17 At the fall of thine enemy rejoice not,

     And at his overthrow let not thine heart be glad;

18 That Jahve see it not, and it be displeasing to Him,

     And He turns away His anger from Him.

The Chethı̂b, which in itself, as the plur. of category, אויביך, might be tolerable, has 17b against it: with right, all interpreters adhere to the Kerı̂ אויבך (with i from ē in doubled close syllable, as in the like Kerı̂, 1 Samuel 24:5). וּבבּשׁלו, for וּבהכּשׁלו, is the syncope usual in the inf. Niph. and Hiph., which in Niph. occurs only once with the initial guttural (as בּעטף) or half guttural (לראות). רעו is not adj. here as at 1 Samuel 25:3, but perf. with the force of a fut. (Symmachus: καὶ μὴ ἀρέσῃ ἐνώπιον αὐτοῦ). The proverb extends the duty of love even to an enemy; for it requires that we do good to him and not evil, and warns against rejoicing when evil befalls him. Hitzig, indeed, supposes that the noble morality which is expressed in Proverbs 24:17 is limited to a moderate extent by the motive assigned in 18b. Certainly the poet means to say that God could easily give a gracious turn for the better, as to the punishment of the wicked, to the decree of his anger against his enemy; but his meaning is not this, that one, from joy at the misfortune of others, ought to desist from interrupting the process of the destruction of his enemy, and let it go on to its end; but much rather, that one ought to abstain from this joy, so as not to experience the manifestation of God's displeasure thereat, but His granting grace to him against whom we rejoice to see God's anger go forth.

(Note: This proverb, according to Aboth iv. 24, was the motto of that Samuel with the surname הקטן, who formulated ברכת המינים (the interpolation in the Schemone-Esre prayer directed against the schismatics): he thus distinguished between private enemies and the enemies of the truth.)

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