For better it is that it be said to you, Come up here; than that you should be put lower in the presence of the prince whom your eyes have seen.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)In the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen, and whose place thou hast shamelessly taken. The same lesson was repeated by our Lord in Luke 14:10, sqq., and enforced on the ground of His own example. (Matthew 20:25, sqq.)Luke 14:8-10, which is one of the few instances in which our Lord's teaching was fashioned, as to its outward form, upon that of this book. For better it is, it is more for thy credit and comfort,
that it be said unto thee, by some public officer, or by the king himself. Whom thine eyes have seen; into whose presence and acquaintance thou hast so boldly intruded thyself, who as before he observed thy impudence, so now he sees and suffers this public disgrace to be cast upon thee.
than that thou shouldest be put lower, in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen; than that thou shouldest be thrust away with a severe rebuke for thy boldness and arrogance, in approaching too near the king's person, and taking the place of some great man, which did not become thee, and be forced down to a lower place, to thy great mortification; and the more, as this will be in the presence of the prince thou hadst the curiosity of seeing, and the ambition of making thyself acceptable to, by a gay and splendid appearance; and now with great disgrace turned out of his presence, or at least driven to a great distance from him. Our Lord seems to refer to this passage, in Luke 14:8.For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. Come up hither] Comp. Luke 14:8-10, and Introd. p. 33.
whom thine eyes have seen] This aggravates the disgrace: you have pressed presumptuously into the inner circle, so as to stand face to face with the prince, and there “in his presence” shalt thou be humiliated.Verse 7. - For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither. It is better for the prince to select you for elevation to a high post; to call you up near his throne. The reference is not necessarily to position at a royal banquet, though the maxim lends itself readily to such application. This warbling against arrogance and presumption was used by our blessed Lord in enforcing a lesson of humility and self-discipline (Luke 14:7, etc ). Septuagint, "For it is better for thee that it should be said, Come up unto me (ἀνάβαινε πρὸς μέ)" (προσανάβηθι ἀνώτερον, Luke 14:7). Than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen. The last words have been variously interpreted: "to whom thou hast come with a request for preferment;" "into whose august presence thou hast been admitted, so as to see his face" (2 Samuel 14:24); "who knows all about thee, and will thus make thee feel thy humiliation all the more." But nadib, rendered "prince," is not the king, but any noble or great man; and what the maxim means is this - that it is wise to save yourself from the mortification of being turned out of a place which you have knowingly usurped. Your own eyes see that he is in the company; you are aware of what is his proper position; you have occupied a post which belongs to another; justly you are removed, and all present witness your humiliation. The moralist knew that the bad spirit of pride was fostered and encouraged by every act of self-assertion; hence the importance of his warning. The Septuagint makes a separate sentence of these last words, "Speak thou of what thine eyes saw," or, perhaps, like St. Jerome, the Syriac, and Symmachus, attach them to the next verse.
Which the men of Hezekiah the king of Judah have collected.
Hezekiah, in his concern for the preservation of the national literature, is the Jewish Pisistratos, and the "men of Hezekiah" are like the collectors of the poems of Homer, who were employed by Pisistratos for that purpose. גּם־אלּה is the subject, and in Cod. 1294, and in the editions of Bomberg 1515, Hartmann 1595, Nissel, Jablonsky, Michaelis, has Dech. This title is like that of the second supplement, Proverbs 24:23. The form of the name חזקיּה, abbreviated from יחזקיּהוּ (חזקיּהוּ), is not favourable to the derivation of the title from the collectors themselves. The lxx translates: Αὗται αἱ παιδεῖαι Σαλωμῶντος αἱ ἀδιάκριτοι (cf. James 3:17), ἃς ἐξεγράψαντο οἱ φίλοι Ἐζεκίου, for which Aquila has ἃς μετῆραν ἄνδρες ἐζεκίου, Jerome, transtulerunt. העתיק signifies, like (Arab.) nsaḥ, נסח, to snatch away, to take away, to transfer from another place; in later Heb.: to transcribe from one book into another, to translate from one language into another: to take from another place and place together; the Whence? remains undetermined: according to the anachronistic rendering of the Midrash מגניזתם, i.e., from the Apocrypha; according to Hitzig, from the mouths of the people; more correctly Euchel and others: from their scattered condition, partly oral, partly written. Vid., regarding העתיק, Zunz, in Deutsch-Morgenl. Zeitsch. xxv. 147f., and regarding the whole title, vol. i. pp. 5, 6; regarding the forms of proverbs in this second collection, vol. i. p. 17; regarding their relation to the first, and their end and aim, vol. i. pp. 25, 26. The first Collection of Proverbs is a Book for Youth, and this second a Book for the People.
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