As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Good news from a far country.—This is suggestive of the little communication which in old times took place between distant countries.Proverbs 25:25. As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country — “Good and certain news, especially from a far country, (from whence it is hard to have any true intelligence,) is as grateful to him that longed to hear of his friends there, as cool water is to a thirsty traveller; especially when he meets with it in remote and uninhabited places, where he did not expect it.” — Bishop Patrick.
good news—that is, of some loved interest or absent friend, the more grateful as coming from afar.
so is good news from a far country; so acceptable is it to hear from a friend in a distant part of the world, and particularly to hear good news of him. Such is the Gospel; it is good news, and glad tidings of good things; it brings the good news of the grace, and favour, and good will of God to men; of his appointment and provision of a Saviour for them; of the incarnation of Christ; of salvation being wrought out by him for the chief of sinners, which is free, full, and for ever; and of peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, through him, And this comes "from a far country"; from heaven, the better country than Canaan, which was a type of it, or any country in this world, and which is afar from hence; the Gospel comes from God in heaven, and it is a report concerning that; it is good news to saints, of an estate they have there, an inheritance, a house, a city and kingdom prepared for them there: this news is brought by the prophets of the Old Testament, who diligently inquired of salvation by Christ; by the angels at Christ's incarnation; by John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ; by Christ himself, who was anointed to preach good tidings to the meek; and by his apostles, and all the faithful ministers of the word: and the message they bring is good news; not to carnal and self-righteous persons, but to sensible sinners; and to them it is as cold waters to a weary or thirsty soul; it assuages the heat of the law, and the wrath that works in the conscience; it quenches the thirst of carnal things, and after a man's own righteousness; it revives and refreshes his weary drooping spirits, and fills him with a joy unspeakable and full of glory; as Jacob's spirits were revived on hearing the good news of Joseph, Genesis 45:26.As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)25. As cold waters, &c.] Comp.
“quale per æstum
Dulcis aquæ saliente sitim restinguere rivo.”
Virg. Ecl. 25:46, 47.
good news, &c.] Comp. Proverbs 15:30, and for illustration, “The heart of Jacob their father revived,” when he heard the good news from a far country, “Joseph is yet alive.” Genesis 45:25; Genesis 45:27. This proverb again admits of the highest reference.Verse 25. - As cold waters to a thirsty soul. The particle of comparison is not in this first clause in the Hebrew. (For "cold waters," comp. Jeremiah 18:14.) So is good news from a far country. The nostalgia of an exile, and the craving for tidings of him felt by his friends at home, are like a parching thirst. The relief to the latter, when they receive good news of the wanderer, is as refreshing as a draught of cool water to a fainting, weary man. We do not know that the Hebrews were great travellers in those days; but any communication from a distant country would be very uncertain in arriving at its destination, and would at any rate take a long time in transmission, in most cases there would be nothing to rest upon but vague report, or a message carried by some travelling merchant. There is a somewhat similar proverb found at Ver. 13 and Proverbs 15:30. The ancient commentators have seen in this news from a distant country the announcement of Christ's birth by the angels at Bethlehem, or the preaching of the gospel that tells of the joys of heaven, the land that is very far off (Isaiah 33:17).
Trust in a faithless man in the day of need.
The form רעה (with Mercha on the antepenult), Isaiah 29:19, takes the place of an inf. absol.; רעה here (about the tone syllable of which Dech does not decide, thus without doubt Milra) is certainly not a subst.: tooth of breaking (Gesen.); for how strange such a designation of a worthless tooth! שׁן is indeed mas. in 1 Samuel 14:5, but it can also be used as fem., as רגל, which is for the most part fem., also occurs as mas., Gttche. 650. Bttcher, in the new Aehrenlese, and in the Lehrbuch, takes רעה as fem. of an adj. רע, after the form חל; but חל is not an adj., and does not form a fem., although it means not merely profanity, but that which is profane; this is true also of the Aram. חוּל; for חוּלתּא, Esther 2:9, Targ., is a female name mistaken by Buxtorf. Are we then to read רעה, with Hitzig, after the lxx? - an unimportant change. We interpret the traditional רעה, with Fleischer, as derived from רועעה, from רועע, breaking to pieces (crumbling), in an intransitive sense. The form מוּעדת is also difficult. Bttcher regards it as also, e.g., Aben Ezra after the example of Gecatilia as part. Kal. equals מועדת, "only on account of the pausal tone and the combination of the two letters מע with instead of ." But this vocal change, with its reasons, is merely imaginary. מוּעדת is the part. Pual, with the preformative מ struck out, Ewald 169d. The objection that the part. Pual should be ממעד, after the form מבער, does not prove anything to the contrary; for מועדת cannot be the fem. so as not to coincide with the fem. of the part. Kal, cf. besides to the long the form without the Dagesh יוּקשׁים, Ecclesiastes 9:12 equals מיקּשׁים (Arnheim, Gramm. p. 139). רגל מוּעדת is a leg that has become tottering, trembling. He who in a time of need makes a faithless man his ground of confidence, is like one who seeks to bite with a broken tooth, and which he finally crushes, and one who supports himself on a shaking leg, and thus stumbles and falls. The gen. connection מבטח בוגד signifies either the ground of confidence consisting in a faithless man, or the confidence placed in one who is faithless. But, after the Masora, we are to read here, as at Psalm 65:6, מבטח, which Michlol 184a also confirms, and as it is also found in the Venice 1525, Basel 1619, and in Norzi. This מבטה is constr. according to Kimchi, notwithstanding the Kametz; as also משׁקל, Ezra 8:30 (after Abulwald, Kimchi, and Norzi). In this passage before us, מבטח בוגד may signify a deceitful ground of confidence (cf. Habakkuk 2:5), but the two other passages present a genit. connection of the words. We must thus suppose that the ā of מבטח and משׁקל, in these three passages, is regarded as fixed, like the of the form (Arab.) mif'âl.
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