Proverbs 26:25
When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart.
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(25) Seven abominations.—See above on Proverbs 26:16, and comp. “seven spirits” (Matthew 12:45) and “seven devils” (Mark 16:9).

26:24-26. Always distrust when a man speaks fair unless you know him well. Satan, in his temptations, speaks fair, as he did to Eve; but it is madness to give credit to him. 27. What pains men take to do mischief to others! but it is digging a pit, it is rolling a stone, hard work; and they prepare mischief to themselves. 28. There are two sorts of lies equally detestable. A slandering lie, the mischief of this every body sees. A flattering lie, which secretly works ruin. A wise man will be more afraid of a flatterer than of a slanderer.Seven abominations - Compare Proverbs 26:16 note. Here "seven" retains, perhaps, its significance as the symbol of completeness. Evil has, as it were, gone through all its work, and holds its accursed Sabbath in the heart in which all things are "very evil." 25. Sentiment of Pr 26:24 carried out.

seven abominations in his heart—that is, very many (compare Pr 24:16).

No text from Poole on this verse.

When he speaketh fair, believe him not,.... Gives good words, flatters with his lips, pretends great kindness and favour, expresses himself in a very gracious and amiable manner, in order to gain attention and respect; or when he delivers himself in a submissive and suppliant way, with great humility and deference; or in a mournful and pitiful strain, as if he had the most tender affection and concern; be not too credulous; do not suffer yourselves to be imposed upon by him; be upon your guard, distrust him, suspect a snake in the grass;

for there are seven abominations in his heart; a multitude of wicked purposes, schemes, and designs, which he has formed there against you, and which he only waits a proper time to put in execution; things abominable to God and men. Aben Ezra thinks reference is had to the seven abominations in Proverbs 6:16.

When he speaketh kindly, believe him not: for there are {l} seven abominations in his heart.

(l) Meaning many: he uses a certain number for the uncertain.

Verse 25. - When he speaketh fair, believe him not. When he lowers his voice to a winning, agreeable tone, put no trust in him. Septuagint, "If thine enemy entreat thee with a loud voice, be not persuaded." For there are seven abominations in his heart. His heart is filled with a host of evil thoughts (see on ver. 16), as if seven devils had entered in and dwelt there (Matthew 12:45; Mark 16:9). Ecclus. 12:10, etc. "Never trust thine enemy; for like as iron rusteth, so is his wickedness. Though he humble himself, and go crouching, yet take good heed and beware of him." Plato's verdict concerning hypocrisy is often quoted, Ἐσχάτη ἀδικία δοκεῖν δίκαιον εϊναι μὴ ὄντα "It is the very worst form of injustice to appear to be just without being so in reality" ('De Rep.,' 2, p. 361, A). With this Cicero agrees ('De Offic.,' 1:13), "Totius injustitiae nulla capitalior est quam eorum, qui tum cum maxime fallunt id agunt ut viri boni esse videantur." Proverbs 26:25Proverbs 26:24 and Proverbs 26:25 form a tetrastich.

24 With his lips the hater dissembleth,

     And in his heart he museth deceit.

25 If he maketh his voice agreeable, believe him not,

     For seven abominations are in his heart.

All the old translators (also the Venet. and Luther) give to יגּכר the meaning, to become known; but the Niph. as well as the Hithpa. (vid., at Proverbs 20:11; Genesis 47:17) unites with this meaning also the meaning to make oneself known: to make oneself unknown, unrecognisable equals (Arab.) tanakkr, e.g., by means of clothing, or by a changed expression of countenance.

(Note: Vid., de Goeje's Fragmenta Hist. Arab. ii.((1871), p. 94. The verb נכר, primarily to fix one's attention, sharply to contemplate anything, whence is derived the meanings of knowing and of not knowing, disowning. The account of the origin of these contrasted meanings, in Gesenius-Dietrich's Lexicon, is essentially correct; but the Arab. nakar there referred to means, not sharpness of mind, from nakar equals הכּיר, but from the negative signification prevailing in the Arab. alone, a property by which one makes himself worthy of being disowned: craftiness, cunning, and then also in bonam partem: sagacity.)

The contrast demands here this latter signification: labiis suis alium se simulat osor, intus in pectore autem reconditum habet dolum (Fleischer). This rendering of ישׁית מרמה is more correct than Hitzig's ("in his breast) he prepares treachery;" for שׁית מרמה is to be rendered after שׁית עצות, Psalm 13:3 (vid., Hupfeld's and also our comm. on this passage), not after Jeremiah 9:7; for one says שׁית מוקשׁים, to place snares, שׁית ארב, to lay an ambush, and the like, but not to place or to lay deceit. If such a dissembler makes his voice agreeable (Piel of חנן only here, for the form Psalm 9:14 is, as it is punctuated, Kal), trust not thyself to him (האמין, with ב: to put firm trust in anything, vid., Genesis, p. 312)

(Note: The fundamental idea of firmness in האמין is always in the subject, not the object. The Arabic interpreters remark that âman with ב expresses recognition, and with ל submission (vid., Lane's Lexicon under âman); but in Hebr. האמין with ב fiducia fidei, with ל assensus fidei; the relation is thus not altogether the same.)

for seven abominations, i.e., a whole host of abominable thoughts and designs, are in his heart; he is, if one may express it, after Matthew 12:45, possessed inwardly of seven devils. The lxx makes a history of 24a: an enemy who, under complaints, makes all possible allowances, but in his heart τεκταίνεται δόλους. The history is only too true, but it has no place in the text.

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