Proverbs 28:12
When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) When righteous men do rejoice—i.e., prosper, or triumph.

There is great glory.—Men rejoice, and array themselves in their gayest attire.

A man is hidden.—Literally, is sought for. They hide themselves for fear (comp. Proverbs 28:28), and must be sought for, in order to be found.

Proverbs 28:12. When righteous men rejoice — Are encouraged and promoted to places of trust and power; there is great glory — In that commonwealth. The state of that kingdom is honourable, comfortable and safe, so that good men can show their faces with courage and confidence; but when the wicked rise — Are advanced to honour and authority; a man is hidden — The state of that nation is so shameful and dangerous, that wise and good men withdraw themselves into obscure places. Or, as יחפשׂ אדםis rendered by many, both ancient and later interpreters, a man is sought out, that is, sober and good men, who had retired into secret places, are searched for and brought forth as sheep to the slaughter, as being most suspected, hated, and feared by bloody tyrants.

28:1 Sin makes men cowards. Whatever difficulties the righteous meet in the way of duty, they are not daunted. 2. National sins disturb the public repose. 3. If needy persons get opportunities of oppressing, their extortion will be more severe than that of the more wealthy. 4. Wicked people strengthen one another in wicked ways. 5. If a man seeks the Lord, it is a good sign that he understands much, and it is a good means of understanding more. 6. An honest, godly, poor man, is better than a wicked, ungodly, rich man; has more comfort in himself, and is a greater blessing to the world. 7. Companions of riotous men not only grieve their parents, but shame them. 8. That which is ill got, though it may increase much, will not last long. Thus the poor are repaid, and God is glorified. 9. The sinner at whose prayers God is angry, is one who obstinately refuses to obey God's commands. 10. The success of ungodly men is their own misery. 11. Rich men are so flattered, that they think themselves superior to others. 12. There is glory in the land when the righteous have liberty. 13. It is folly to indulge sin, and excuse it. He who covers his sins, shall not have any true peace. He who humbly confesses his sins, with true repentance and faith, shall find mercy from God. The Son of God is our great atonement. Under a deep sense of our guilt and danger, we may claim salvation from that mercy which reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord. 14. There is a fear which causes happiness. Faith and love will deliver from the fear of eternal misery; but we should always fear offending God, and fear sinning against him. 15. A wicked ruler, whatever we may call him, this scripture calls a roaring lion, and a ranging bear. 16. Oppressors want understanding; they do not consult their own honour, ease, and safety. 17. The murderer shall be haunted with terrors. None shall desire to save him from deserved punishment, nor pity him.There is great glory - Men array themselves in festive apparel, and show their joy conspicuously.

A man is hidden - Better, men hide themselves, they shrink and cower for fear, and yet are hunted out.

12. great glory—or, cause for it to a people, for the righteous rejoice in good, and righteousness exalts a nation (Pr 14:34).

a man … hidden—that is, the good retire, or all kinds try to escape a wicked rule.

When righteous men do rejoice, are encouraged and promoted to places of trust and power, there is great glory in that commonwealth. The state of that kingdom is honourable, and comfortable, and safe, so as good men can show their faces with courage and confidence.

When the wicked rise, are advanced to honour and authority,

a man is hidden; the state of that nation is so shameful and dangerous, that wise and good men, who only are worthy of the name of men, withdraw themselves, or run into corners and obscure places; partly out of grief and shame to behold the wickedness which is publicly and impudently committed; and partly to avoid the rage and injuries of wicked oppressors, and the judgments of God, which commonly follow such persons and their confederates in sin. Or, as others, both ancient and later interpreters, render it, a man is sought out. Sober and good men, who had retired themselves, are searched for, and brought forth like sheep to the slaughter, as being most suspected, and hated, and feared by bloody tyrants.

When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory,.... When it is well with them; when they are in prosperous circumstances; when they are countenanced and encouraged by the government under which they are; when they have the free exercise of their religion; and especially when they are advanced to places of profit, honour, and trust, which must make them cheerful and joyful; it is a glory to a land, it adds greatly to the glory of it, and a fine prospect there is of the increase and continuance of it;

but when the wicked rise: to honour and dignity, and are set in high places, and are in great power and authority, which they exercise to the distress of the righteous and all good men:

a man is hidden: a good man; he hides himself, as in Proverbs 28:28; he withdraws himself from court, from city, from company, from commerce, and business, because of the tyranny and persecution of wicked men; and flees to distant places, and wanders in deserts and mountains, in caves and dens of the earth; as some saints, under the Old Testament, did, and as the Church, in Gospel times, fled from the tyranny of antichrist into the wilderness, to hide herself: or, "a man is" or "shall be sought for" (i), and searched out; as wicked persecutors are very diligent to search for and find out such persons that hide themselves, and fetch them out of their hiding places, and cruelly use them.

(i) "investigabitur", Pagninus, Montanus; "exploratur", Tigurine version; "explorabitur", Baynus; "pervestigatur", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Michaelis.

When righteous men rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man {f} is hidden.

(f) He is known by his doings to be wicked.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. a man is hidden] Rather, men hide themselves, R.V. “Heb. must be searched for,” marg. Comp. Proverbs 28:28.

Verse 12. - When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory (comp. Proverbs 29:2; Proverbs 11:10). "Rejoice," rather triumph, as conquerors, right prevailing and wickedness being overcome. Then there is great show of joy, and, as the expression implies, men put on their festal garments to do honorer to the occasion: See the description of Solomon's time (1 Kings 4:20, 25). If we take this verse in connection with ver. 2, we may see in it the triumph of order after a period of confusion and anarchy. Septuagint, "Through the help of righteous men great glory arises." But when the wicked rise, a man is hidden (comp. ver. 28, where, however, the verb is different). The Authorized Version m, one that when the wicked rise to power, people have to hide themselves in order to escape danger to life and property. The verb is more literally rendered, "are searched for," i.e. they have betaken themselves to hiding places, and have to be looked for; they fear oppression and injury, and venture no longer into the streets and open places. Vulgate,Regnantibus impiis ruinae hominum, "When evil men are m power, there is general ruin;" Septuagint, "In the places of the ungodly men are caught." Other interpretations of the proverb have been suggested, though none is so satisfactory as that given above. Thus some take the searching out to mean testing, in the sense that evil times try men's characters, and bring out their true nature (1 Corinthians 11:19). Others explain that, under the reign of the impious, men do not come forward to take part in public affairs, but retire sullenly into private life. Proverbs 28:12We take Proverbs 28:12-20 together. A proverb regarding riches closes this group, as also the foregoing is closed, and its commencement is related in form and in its contents to Proverbs 28:2 :

12 When righteous men triumph, the glory is great;

     And when the godless rise, the people are searched for.

The first line of this distich is parallel with Proverbs 29:2; cf. Proverbs 11:10, Proverbs 11:11 : when the righteous rejoice, viz., as conquerors (cf. e.g., Psalm 60:8), who have the upper hand, then תּפארת, bright prosperity, is increased; or as Fleischer, by comparison of the Arab. yawm alazynt (day of ornament equals festival day), explains: so is there much festival adornment, i.e., one puts on festival clothes, signum pro re signata: thus all appears festal and joyous, for prosperity and happiness then show themselves forth. רבּה is adj. and pred. of the substantival clause; Hitzig regards it as the attribute: "then is there great glory;" this supposition is possible (vid., Proverbs 7:26, and under Psalm 89:51), but here it is purely arbitrary. 28a is parallel with 12b: "if the godless arise, attain to power and prominence, these men are spied out, i.e., as we say, after Zephaniah 1:12, they are searched for as with lamps. יחפּשׂ אדם is to be understood after Obadiah, Obadiah 1:6, cf. Proverbs 2:4 : men are searched out, i.e., are plundered (in which sense Heidenheim regards חפשׂ as here a transposition from חשׂף), or, with reference to the secret police of despotism: they are subjected to espionage. But a better gloss is יסּתר אדם 28a: the people let themselves be sought for, they keep themselves concealed in the inside of their houses, they venture not out into the streets and public places (Fleischer), for mistrust and suspicion oppress them all; one regards his person and property nowhere safer than within the four walls of his house; the lively, noisy, variegated life which elsewhere rules without, is as if it were dead.

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