He that gives to the poor shall not lack: but he that hides his eyes shall have many a curse.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack.—See above on Proverbs 11:24.
Shall have many a curse.—With this comp. Ecclesiasticus 4:5-6.Proverbs 28:27. He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack — Shall not empoverish himself by it, as covetous men imagine or pretend, but shall be enriched, which is implied; but he that hideth his eyes — Lest he should see poor and miserable persons, and thereby be moved to pity, or obliged to relieve them; shall have many a curse — Partly from the poor, whose curses, being not causeless, shall come upon him, and partly from God, who will curse his very blessings, and bring him to extreme want and misery.Isaiah 1:15.
hideth his eyes—as the face (Ps 27:9; 69:17), denotes inattention.Shall not lack; shall not impoverish himself by it, as covetous men imagine or pretend; but shall be enriched, which is implied.
That hideth his eyes, lest he should see poor and miserable men, and thereby be moved to pity or obliged to relieve them. So he cunningly avoids the beginnings, and occasions, and provocations to charity; teaching us to use the same caution against sin.
Shall have many a curse; partly from the poor, whose curses, being not causeless, shall come upon him, and partly from God, who will curse his very blessings, and bring him to extreme want and misery.
but he that hideth his eyes; that is, from the poor, as the Targum and Syriac version add; that does not care to see his person, to behold his miseries, or know his case, lest his heart should be moved with compassion, and should draw out anything from him; see Isaiah 58:7. Such an one
shall have many a curse; not only from the poor he hardens himself against, but from other persons, who observe his miserable and covetous disposition; and from the Lord himself, who abhors such persons, and curses their very blessings now, and will bid them depart from him as accursed persons hereafter.He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)27. hideth his eyes] in neglect or disgust. Comp. Isaiah 1:15; and see Sir 4:5-6.Verse 27. - He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack (see Proverbs 11:24, etc.; Proverbs 19:17). God in some way compensates what is spent in almsdeeds by shedding his blessing on the benevolent. "Der Geiz," runs the German maxim, "sammlet sich arm, die Milde giebt sich reich," "Charity gives itself rich; covetousness hoards itself poor" (Trench). "Alms," said the rabbis, "are the salt of riches." But he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse (Proverbs 11:26). The uncharitable man either turns away his eyes that he may not see the misery around him, or pretends not to notice it, lest his compassion should be claimed. The expression, "hiding the eyes," occurs in Isaiah 1:15, "When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you." The unmerciful man meets with the curses of those whom he has neglected to relieve when he had the power, and such curses are ratified and fulfilled because they are deserved, and Divine retribution attends them (see the opposite view, Ver. 20). "Turn not away thine eye from the needy," says the Son of Sirach, "and give him none occasion to curse thee; for if be curse thee in the bitterness of his soul, his prayer shall be heard of him that made him" (Ecclus 4:4, etc.; comp. Tobit 4:7). So in the 'Didache,' ch. 4, we have, Οὐκ ἀποστραφήσῃ τὸν ἐνδεόμενον, "Thou shalt not turn thyself from one in need." Septuagint, "lie that turneth away his eye shall be in great distress;" Vulgate, Qui despicit deprecantem sustinebit penuriam. Proverbs 24:23, a new group commences:
21 Respect of persons is not good;
And for a morsel of bread a man may become a transgressor.
Line first refers to the administration of justice, and line second - the special generalized - to social life generally. The "morsel of bread," as example of a bribe by means of which the favour of the judge is purchased, is too low a conception. Hitzig well: "even a trifle, a morsel of bread (1 Samuel 2:36), may, as it awakens favour and dislike within us, thus in general call forth in the will an inclination tending to draw one aside from the line of strict rectitude." Geier compares A Gellius' Noct. Att. i. 15, where Cato says of the Tribune Coelius: Frusto panis conduci potest vel ut taceat vel ut loquatur.
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