Proverbs 28:5
Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
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(5) Evil men understand not judgment.—Or, what is right. For God reveals Himself only to those who fear Him (Psalm 25:14, comp. 1Corinthians 2:11; 1John 2:20); they, by following the light they have, are “guided into all truth(John 16:13); the evil, by continually shutting their eyes to the light, at last can not see it, even if they would (John 12:39, sqq.).

Proverbs 28:5. Evil men understand not judgment — Because their minds are naturally blind, and are further blinded by their prejudices and passions, and by the god of this world, who rules in them, they understand not what is just and right, and what is their duty in all cases and conditions; but they that seek the Lord — By diligent study of his word, and by fervent prayer to him for divine illumination; understand all things — Which are necessary to be known by them, either for the discharge of their present duties to God and men: or for their everlasting happiness.

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 deep interdependence of morality and intellect. We have a right judgment in all things in proportion as our hearts seek to know God. Compare James 1:23-24. 5. (Compare Joh 7:17). Ignorance of moral truth is due to unwillingness to know it. Understand not, because their minds are naturally blind, and are further blinded by their own prejudices and passions, and by the god of this world, who rules in and over them.

Judgment, i.e. what is just and right; what is their duty in all cases and conditions, as judgment is frequently understood.

That seek the Lord, by diligent study of his word, and by fervent prayers to him for advice. All things which are necessary to be known by them, either for the discharge of all their present duties to God and men, or for their everlasting happiness.

Evil men understand not judgment,.... Or, "men of wickedness" (b); that are under the governing power of it; who are given up and give up themselves unto it; who, like Ahab, sell themselves to work wickedness: these know not what is just and right between man and man, at least not to do it; they know it not practically; they are wise to do evil, but to do good have no knowledge, Jeremiah 4:22; they know not the law of God, the rule of judgment, justice, and equity; at least not the extensiveness and spirituality of it, Jeremiah 8:7; and much less the Gospel of Christ, which is sometimes so called, Isaiah 42:1. Nor do they notice, as they should, to the judgments of God in the earth; they do not consider his work, and the operation of his hand; the vengeance he takes on wicked men, so Jarchi interprets it; nor do they take any notice of the judgment to come, at which they must appear, and into which they will be brought, and all things done by them;

but they that seek the Lord understand all things; this character describes all good men that seek the Lord, in private and in public, that seek him by prayer and supplication, that wait upon him in the ordinances of his house; and all sensible sinners, who seek to Christ for righteousness, for rest, for life and salvation, for more grace from him, for more communion with him, for a greater degree of knowledge of him, and for immortality and eternal life, his kingdom and glory. And such "understand all things"; not in the most full and absolute sense; for this is proper and peculiar to God: nor all things natural and civil, which truly righteous persons, generally speaking, have the least share of, as arts, sciences, languages, trade and commerce in all its branches; and indeed universal knowledge of these things does not belong to anyone alan: nor all things in a religious sense; not all the difficult passages of Scripture, in which there are many things hard to be understood; but all things necessary to salvation; all things relating to their fallen, depraved, and miserable state and condition by nature, and to the way and means of their recovery and salvation by Christ; all things relating to a spiritual and saving knowledge of God in Christ; and to the knowledge of the person, offices, and grace of Christ; and to the work of the Spirit of God upon the heart; and of the doctrines of the Gospel, according to the measure of the gift of Christ, and so as to be food for their souls: and which understanding is given them, and they attain unto and increase in, by seeking the Lord, and using the means of knowledge, the word and ordinances; see 1 Corinthians 2:15. The Targum and Syriac version render it,

"that understand all good things;''

and so Aben Ezra interprets it: the Arabic version is, "they understand it in all things"; that is, judgment, justice, and equity, in all its branches, and practise it.

(b) "viri mali, (in genitivo casu)", Mercerus; "vel malitiae", Baynus, Gejerus.

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
5. The intellectual condition depends upon the moral and spiritual. “Obedience is the organ of spiritual knowledge.” Comp. John 7:17.

Verse 5. - Evil men understand not judgment; or, what is right. An evil man's moral conception is perverted, he cannot distinguish between right and wrong; the light that was in him has become darkness (comp. Proverbs 29:7). Many men, by giving themselves over to wickedness, awe judicially blinded, according to John 12:89, 40. They who seek the Lord understand all things. These who do God's will, seeking him in prayer, know what is morally right is every circumstance, have a right judgment in all things (comp. Ecclesiastes 8:5; 1 Corinthians 2:15). So 1 John 2:20, "Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things;" and our Lord has (declared, "If any man willeth to do his will, he shall know of the doctrine" (John 7:17). Proverbs 28:5A similar antithetic distich:

Wicked men understand not what is right;

But they who seek Jahve understand all.

Regarding the gen. expression אנשׁי־רע, vid., under Proverbs 2:14. He who makes wickedness his element, falls into the confusion of the moral conception; but he whose end is the one living God, gains from that, in every situation of life, even amid the greatest difficulties, the knowledge of that which is morally right. Similarly the Apostle John (1 John 2:20): "ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things" (οἴδατε πάντα): i.e., ye need to seek that knowledge which ye require, and which ye long after, not without yourselves, but in the new divine foundation of your personal life; from thence all that ye need for the growth of your spiritual life, and for the turning away from you of hostile influences, will come into your consciences. It is a potential knowledge, all-comprehensive in its character, and obviously a human relative knowledge, that is here meant.

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