Proverbs 28:17
A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(17) A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person.—Rather, that is burdened with his blood, has wilfully murdered any one.

Shall flee to the pit.—Fulfilling the curse of Genesis 9:6.

Let no man stay himi.e., attempt to rescue him from the punishment he has deserved.

Proverbs 28:17. A man that doeth violence, &c. — That sheds any man’s blood, or takes away his life by any unjust proceedings; shall flee to the pit — Shall speedily be destroyed, being pursued by divine vengeance, the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the avengers of blood; let no man stay him — None should desire or endeavour to save him from his deserved punishment.

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.The case of willful murder, not the lesser crime of manslaughter for which the cities of refuge were appointed. One, with that guilt on his soul, is simply hasting on to his own destruction. Those who see him must simply stand aloof, and let God's judgments fulfill themselves. 17. doeth violence … blood, &c.—or, that is oppressed by the blood of life (Ge 9:6), which he has taken.

to the pit—the grave or destruction (Pr 1:12; Job 33:18-24; Ps 143:7).

stay him—sustain or deliver him.

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person, that sheddeth any man’s blood, or taketh away his life unjustly,

shall flee to the pit; shall speedily be destroyed, being pursued by Divine vengeance, and the horrors of a guilty conscience, and the avengers of blood.

Let no man stay him: so it is a prohibition that no man should endeavour to save the life of a wilful murderer, either by intercession, or by offering satisfaction, or any other way; of which see Genesis 9:6 Exodus 21:14 Numbers 35:31. Or, as the ancient and many other interpreters render it, no man shall stay him; none shall desire or endeavour to save him from his deserved punishment; he shall die without pity, being an object of public hatred.

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person,.... That sheds the blood of any in a violent manner; that lays violent hands upon a club, and takes away his life, contrary to the law in Genesis 9:6. Or, "that is pressed because of the blood of any person" (q); pressed in his own mind; filled with horror, and tortured in his conscience, for the innocent blood he has shed: the letter "daleth" in the word "Adam" is lesser than usual; and Vitringa, on Isaiah 34:6; observes, that it signifies a man red with blood, oppressed in his conscience, and depressed by God, which this minute letter is a symbol of; and thinks it applicable to Edom or Rome: or it signifies one pressed, pursued, and dose followed by the avenger of blood;

shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him; support or help him. When such a murderer flees, and is pursued, and unawares falls into a pit, or is like to do so, let no man warn him of it, or help him out of it; or if he flees to a pit to hide himself, let no man hold him or detain him there, or suffer him to continue in such a lurking place, but discover him or pluck him out; or, if he is a fugitive and a vagabond all his days, as Cain, the murderer of his brother, was, till he comes to the pit of the grave, let no man yield him any support or sustenance.

(q) "pressus propter sanguinem animae", Amama, Cartwright; so R. Joseph Kimchi in D. Kimchii Sepher Shorash rad.

A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man {i} sustain him.

(i) No one will be able to deliver him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
17. doeth violence to] Rather, is laden with, R.V. See Genesis 9:6.

Verse 17. - A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit. This should be, a man oppressed (Isaiah 38:14), burdened, with the blood of anyone. The wilful murderer, with his guilt upon his soul, flies in vain from remorse; his crime pursues him even to the grave. For inadvertent manslaughter the cities of refuge offered an asylum, but for deliberate murder there was no safe refuge, either from the stings of conscience or from the avenger of blood, but death. The homicide, like Cain (Genesis 4:14), must be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth. "Pit" (bor), some take to mean any hiding place, "a cave, or well;" but it is very commonly found in the sense of sepulchre (Psalm 28:1; Isaiah 14:19, etc.), and is so explained here by most commentators. Let no man stay him. We had in Proverbs 24:11, etc., an injunction to save human life; but the case was quite different from this of wilful murder. Here it is directed that no one attempt to save him from the punishment which he has incurred, or to comfort him under the remorse which he suffers. Let him be left alone to meet the fate which he has merited. The LXX. gives a different idea to the gnome, "He who becomes bail for a man charged with murder shall be banished and shall not be in safety." They add a verse which we shall meet again, almost in the same words (Proverbs 29:17, 18), "Chasten thy son, and he will love thee, and will give honour to thy soul; he shall not obey a sinful nation." Proverbs 28:1717 A man burdened with the guilt of blood upon his soul

     Fleeth to the pit; let no one detain him.

Luther translates: "A man that doeth violence to the blood of any one," as if he had read the word עשׁק. Lwenstein persuades himself that עשׁק may mean "having oppressed," and for this refers to לבוּשׁ, having clothed, in the Mishna נשׁוּי, רבוּב, Lat. coenatus, juratus; but none of all these cases are of the same nature, for always the conduct designated is interpreted as a suffering of that which is done, e.g., the drawing on, as a being clothed; the riding, as a being ridden, etc. Of עשׁק, in the sense of the oppression of another, there is no such part. pass. as throws the action as a condition back upon the subject. This is valid also against Aben Ezra, who supposes that עשׁק means oppressing after the forms אנוּר, שׁדוּד, שׁכוּן, for of שׁכוּן, settled equals dwelling, that which has just been said is true; that אנוּר is equivalent to אגר, cf. regarding it under Proverbs 30:1, and that שׁדוּד, Psalm 137:8, is equivalent to שׁדד, is not true. Kimchi adds, under the name of his father (Joseph Kimchi), also שׁחוּט, Jeremiah 9:7 equals שׁוחט; but that "slaughtered" can be equivalent to slaughtering is impossible. Some MSS have the word עשׂק, which is not inadmissible, but not in the sense of "accused" (Lwenstein), but: persecuted, exposed to war; for עשׁק signifies to treat hostilely, and post-bibl. generally to aspire after or pursue anything, e.g., עסוק בּדברי תורה, R. עשׂ (whence Piel contrectare, cf. Isaiah 23:2, according to which עשׁק appears to be an intensifying of this עשׂה). However, there is no ground for regarding עשׁק

(Note: Bttcher supposes much rather עשּׁק equals מעשּׁק; also, Proverbs 25:11, דבּר equals מדבּר; but that does not follow from the defectiva scriptio, nor from anything else.)

as not original, nor in the sense of "hard pressed;" for it is not used of avenging persecution, but: inwardly pressed, for Isaiah 38:14 עשׁקה also signifies the anguish of a guilty conscience. Whoever is inwardly bowed down by the blood of a man whom he has murdered, betakes himself to a ceaseless flight to escape the avenger of blood, the punishment of his guilt, and his own inward torment; he flees and finds no rest, till at last the grave (בור according to the Eastern, i.e., the Babylonian, mode of writing בּר) receives him, and death accomplishes the only possible propitiation of the murderer. The exhortation, "let no one detain him," does not mean that one should not lay hold on the fugitive; but, since תּמך בּ does not mean merely to hold fast, but to hold right, that one should not afford him any support, any refuge, any covering or security against the vengeance which pursues him; that one should not rescue him from the arm of justice, and thereby invade and disturb the public administration of justice, which rests on moral foundations; on the other side, the Book of Prov; Proverbs 24:11., has uttered its exhortation to save a human life whenever it is possible to do so. The proverb lying before us cannot thus mean anything else than that no one should give to the murderer, as such, any assistance; that no one should save him clandestinely, and thereby make himself a partaker of his sin. Grace cannot come into the place of justice till justice has been fully recognised. Human sympathy, human forbearance, under the false title of grace, do not stand in contrast to this justice. We must, however, render אל־יתמכו־בו not directly as an admonition against that which is immoral; it may also be a declaration of that which is impossible: only let no one support him, let no one seek to deliver him from the unrest which drives him from place to place. This is, however, in vain; he is unceasingly driven about to fulfil his lot. But the translation: nemine eum sustinente (Fleischer), is inadmissible; a mere declaration of a fact without any subjective colouring is never אל reven si g seq. fut.

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