Whoever keeps the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shames his father.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)James 1:8.
riotous men—or, "gluttons" (Pr 23:20, 21).Is a wise son; and consequently a credit and comfort to his father, as hath been oft noted before.
Is a companion of riotous men; which is both a manifest violation of God’s law, which forbids this society, and is the ready way to a total and final apostacy from God, and from his law.
Shameth his father, because he is a foolish son. Deuteronomy 4:6; Or that observes the law or commandments of his parents, which they enjoin him; see Proverbs 6:20; and particularly the law of God, which requires honour and obedience to be given to parents, and which turns to the account of children; it is well with them, and their days are prolonged on earth, and therefore they are wise that keep it, Ephesians 6:1; and such a wise son makes a glad father, as the contrary brings shame to him, as in the next clause;
but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father: that keeps company with gluttons, and indulges his sensual appetite with them; that "feeds" (d) such persons and himself, as some render the word; that gives up himself to an epicurean life: he brings himself at last to disgrace and poverty, and so causes shame to his father; who will be charged with neglecting his education, and indulging him in such a luxurious way of living; see Proverbs 10:5.Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)7. riotous] Rather, gluttonous. See Proverbs 23:20, note.Verse 7. - Whoso keepeth the Law is a wise son. "Law" is torah, as ver. 4; but it seems here to include not only the Decalogue, but also the father's instruction and commands. Such an obedient and prudent son brings honour and joy to a parent's heart (see Proverbs 10:1; Proverbs 29:3). He that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father; literally, he that feedeth, hath fellowship with, gluttons (Proverbs 23:20). The son who herds with debauchers, and wastes his substance in riotous living, brings shame on, wounds, and insults, all connected with him. Such a one transgresses the Law and his father's commands, and brings them into contempt (comp. Proverbs 27:11). Hence the antithesis of the two clauses. Septuagint, "He that cherishes debauchery (ποιμαίνει ἀσωτίαν) dishonours his father." Ἀσωτία occurs only in 2 Macc. 6:4, but is common in the New Testament; e.g., Ephesians 5:18; Titus 1:6.
But the righteous are bold like a lion.
We would misinterpret the sequence of the accents if we supposed that it denoted רשׁע as obj.; it by no means takes ואין־רדף as a parenthesis. רשׁע belongs thus to נסוּ as collective sing. (cf. e.g., Isaiah 16:4);
(Note: The Targum of Proverbs 28:1 is, in Bereschith rabba, c. 84, ערק רשּׁיעא ולא רריפין להּ; that lying before us is formed after the Peshito.)
in 1b, יבטח, as comprehensive or distributive (individualizing) singular, follows the plur. subject. One cannot, because the word is vocalized כּכפיר and not כּכּפיר, regard יבטח as an attributive clause thereto (Ewald, like Jerome, quasi leo confidens); but the article, denoting the idea of kind, does not certainly always follow כ. We say, indifferently, כּארי or כּארי, כּלּביא or כּלביא, and always כּאריה, not כּאריה. In itself, indeed, יבטח may be used absolutely: he is confident, undismayed, of the lion as well as of the leviathan, Job 40:23. But it is suitable thus without any addition for the righteous, and נסו and יבטח correspond to each other as predicates, in accordance with the parallelism; the accentuation is also here correct. The perf. נסו denotes that which is uncaused, and yet follows: the godless flee, pursued by the terrible images that arise in their own wicked consciences, even when no external danger threatens. The fut. יבטח denotes that which continually happens: the righteous remains, even where external danger really threatens, bold and courageous, after the manner of a young, vigorous lion, because feeling himself strong in God, and assured of his safety through Him.
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