Proverbs 24:8
He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
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Proverbs 24:8-9. He that deviseth, &c., shall be called mischievous — Hebrew, בעל מזמות, a master of crafts or mischiefs. Though he cover his wicked devices with fair pretences, and wishes to be better esteemed, he shall be branded with that infamy which is due to him. The thought of foolishness is sin — The very inward thought or contrivance of evil, of which he spake Proverbs 24:8, even before it break forth into action, is a sin in God’s sight, and is hateful to God; and the scorner — He who not only deviseth and practiseth wickedness, but obstinately persists in it, and rejects all admonitions against it; is an abomination to men — Is abominable not only to God, as all sinners are, but to all sober men.

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.In the gate - Compare the Proverbs 22:22 note. 8. So called even if he fails to do evil. Heb. a master of mischief. The sense is, Though he cover his wicked devices with fair pretences, and would be better esteemed, yet he shall be noted and branded with that infamy which is due to him.

He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person To do evil is natural to men, all are prone to it; being conceived and born in sin, and, from the womb, more or less commit it: but for a man to sit down and contrive evil, as some men are inventors of evil things; contrive new sins, or at least new methods of sinning, such as new oaths, new games, new ways of tricking and deceiving men; and are always studying and devising ways and means of committing sin, and doing that which is evil in the sight of God and men. Such a man, with great propriety, may be called, and will be called by those that know him, a mischievous man, a very pernicious one, and to be shunned and avoided as such; men will reckon him and call him a "master" or "author (d) of evil devices", as it may be rendered; a name agreeable to his character.

(d) "patronum malarum cogitationum", Montanus; "dominum", Mercerus, Gejerus; "auctorem", Michaelis.

He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person.
8. shall be called] Lit. they (men) shall call him. However secretly he works (comp. Psalm 64:6 [Hebrews 7]), his true character shall be found out, and his reputation shall accord with it.

Verse 8. - He that deviseth to do evil. He who shows a certain kind of misapplied cleverness (in contrast to the true wisdom) in planning and pursuing evil schemes. Shall be called. Defined and explained, as Proverbs 16:21 (comp. Proverbs 21:24). A mischievous person; literally, lord of mischief; i.e. owner, possessor of mischief. One must not be led by such a man's apparent astuteness to attribute; to him wisdom; he is an impostor, a mere intriguer, who is sure to be exposed ere long. Septuagint, "Death befalls the undisciplined." Proverbs 24:8From wisdom, which is a moral good, the following proverb passes over to a kind of σοφία δαιμονιώδης:

He that meditateth to do evil,

We call such an one an intriguer.

A verbal explanation and definition like Proverbs 21:24 (cf. p. 29), formed like Proverbs 16:21 from נבון. Instead of בּעל־מזמּות [lord of mischief] in Proverbs 12:2, the expression is 'אישׁ מ (cf. at Proverbs 22:24). Regarding מזמות in its usual sense, vid., Proverbs 5:2. Such definitions have of course no lexicographical, but only a moral aim. That which is here given is designed to warn one against gaining for himself this ambiguous title of a refined (cunning, versutus) man; one is so named whose schemes and endeavours are directed to the doing of evil. One may also inversely find the turning-point of the warning in 8b: "he who projects deceitful plans against the welfare of others, finds his punishment in this, that he falls under public condemnation as a worthless intriguer" (Elster). But מזמות is a ῥῆμα μέσον, vid., Proverbs 5:2; the title is thus equivocal, and the turning-point lies in the bringing out of his kernel: מחשּׁב להרע equals meditating to do evil.

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