Proverbs 28:8
He that by usury and unjust gain increases his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
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(8) He that by usury . . . increaseth his substance.—See above on Proverbs 6:1.

He shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.—The “pound” is taken from him who knows not how to use it (Luke 19:24), and given to one who does. (Comp. 1Samuel 15:28.)

Proverbs 28:8. He that by usury, &c., increaseth his substance — Hebrew, By usury and increase, that is, by any kind of usury whereby the poor are oppressed, or by any unrighteous practices; he shall gather it, &c. — It shall not long continue with him or his, but shall, by God’s righteous and powerful providence, be committed to more just and merciful hands, who will pity, and relieve the poor.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.Unjust gain - Omit "unjust:" "usury and gain" make up the notion of "gain derived from usury." Ill-gotten gains do not prosper, after a time they pass into hands that know how to use them better. 8. usury … unjust gain—(Compare Margin). The two terms, meaning nearly the same, may denote excessive interest. God's providence directs the proper use of wealth. By usury and unjust gain, Heb. by usury and (or, or) increase, i.e. by any kind of usury, whereby the poor are oppressed, as is implied from the opposite clause; or by any unrighteous practices. See more of these words and of this thing on Exodus 22:25 Leviticus 25:35,36 Psa 15:5 Ezekiel 18:8.

Shall gather it for him that will pity the poor; it shall not long continue with him or his, but shall by God’s righteous and powerful providence be disposed into more just and merciful hands. He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance,.... By biting and oppressing the poor; letting him have money at an exorbitant interest, and goods at an exorbitant price, and so increases his substance in this scandalous manner; hence usury is in Leviticus 25:36, called "increase", and by the Greeks a "birth", because money is the birth of money, as Aristotle (e) observes; and so by the Latins "foenus", as if it was "foetus" (f), "a birth". The word for usury here signifies biting; and so usury, with classical writers (g), is said to bite; and while it increases the substance of the usurer, it lessens and devours that of others;

he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor; not for himself, nor for his posterity; but for such, though not intentionally but eventually, as will make a good use of it, and distribute it to the necessities of the poor. The meaning is, that things should be so overruled by the providence of God, that what such an avaricious man gets in his dishonest way should not be enjoyed by him or his; but should be taken out of his hands, and put into the hands of another, that will do good with it, by showing mercy to the poor; see Job 27:16.

(e) Politic. l. 1. c. 10. (f) A. Gell. Noct. Attic. l. 16. c. 12. (g) Plauti Pseudolos, Acts 4. Sc. 7. v. 23, 24. "Habet argentum jam admordere hune mihi lubet", Lucan. l. 1. v. 131. "Vorax usura."

He that by interest and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather {c} it for him that will pity the poor.

(c) For God will take away the wicked usurer, and give his goods to him that will bestow them well.

8. unjust gain] Rather, increase, as A.V. marg. and R.V. text, μετὰ τόκων καὶ πλεονασμῶν, LXX. Comp. Leviticus 25:36-37.

The idea of its being “unjust” is implied by the word “usury” with which it is associated. The R.V. gives augmenteth, instead of increaseth, in the former part of the verse, as the Heb. word is not the same, as it there renders increase.Verse 8. - He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance. "Usury" (neshek) is interest on money lent taken in money; "unjust gain" (tarbith) is interest taken in kind, as if a man, having lent a bushel of corn, exacted two bushels in return. All such transactions were forbidden by the Law of Moses, at any rate between Israelites (see Leviticus 25:36, 37, "Thou shalt not give thy brother thy money upon usury (neshek), nor lend him thy victuals for increase [marbith, equivalent to tarbith, which is used in ver. 36] "). Septuagint, Μετὰ τόκων καὶ πλεονασμῶν, "With interest and usury." (For censure of usury, see Psalm 109:11; Ezekiel 18:13; and, contrast Psalm 15:5; Ezekiel 18:8.) He shall gather it for him that will pity the poor. He shall never enjoy it himself, and shall fall into the hands of one who will hake a better use of it (see on Proverbs 22:16; and comp Proverbs 13:22; Job 27:16, etc.). In our Lord's parable the pound is taken from one who made no good use of it and is given to a more profitable servant (Luke 19:24). There now follows a royal proverb, whose key-note is the same as that struck at Proverbs 25:2, which states how a country falls into the οὐκ ἀγαθόν of the rule of the many:

Through the wickedness of a land the rulers become many;

And through a man of wisdom, of knowledge, authority continues.

If the text presented בּפשׁע as Hitzig corrects, then one might think of a political revolt, according to the usage of the word, 1 Kings 12:19, etc.; but the word is בּפּשׁע,

(Note: Thus to be written with Gaja here and at Proverbs 29:6, after the rule of Metheg-Setzung, 42.)

and פּשׁע (from פּשׁע, dirumpere) is the breaking through of limits fixed by God, apostasy, irreligion, e.g., Micah 1:5. But that many rulers for a land arise from such a cause, shows a glance into the Book of Hosea, e.g., Hosea 7:16 : "They return, but not to the Most High (sursum); they are become like a deceitful bow; their princes shall then fall by the sword;" and Hosea 8:4 : "They set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not." The history of the kingdom of Israel shows that a land which apostatizes from revealed religion becomes at once the victim of party spirit, and a subject of contention to many would-be rulers, whether the fate of the king whom it has rejected be merited or not. But what is now the contrast which 2b brings forward? The translation by Bertheau and also by Zckler is impossible: "but through intelligent, prudent men, he (the prince) continueth long." For 2a does not mean a frequent changing of the throne, which in itself may not be a punishment for the sins of the people, but the appearance at the same time of many pretenders to the throne, as was the case in the kingdom of Israel during the interregnum after the death of Jeroboam II, or in Rome at the time of the thirty tyrants; יאריך must thus refer to one of these "many" who usurp for a time the throne. בּאדם may also mean, Proverbs 23:28, inter homines; but אדם, with the adjective following, e.g., Proverbs 11:7; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 17:18; Proverbs 21:16, always denotes one; and that translation also changes the כּן into a "so," "then" introducing the concluding clause, which it altogether disregards as untranslatable. But equally impossible is Bttcher's: "among intelligent, prudent people, one continues (in the government)," for then the subject-conception on which it depends would be slurred over. Without doubt כּן is here a substantive, and just this subject-conception. That it may be a substantive has been already shown at Proverbs 11:19. There it denoted integrity (properly that which is right or genuine); and accordingly it means here, not the status quo (Fleischer: idem rerum status), but continuance, and that in a full sense: the jurisdiction (properly that which is upright and right), i.e., this, that right continues and is carried on in the land. Similarly Heidenheim, for he glosses כן by מכון הארץ; and Umbreit, who, however, unwarned by the accent, subordinates this כן [in the sense of "right"] to ידע as its object. Zckler, with Bertheau, finds a difficulty in the asyndeton מבין ידע. But these words also, Nehemiah 10:29, stand together as a formula; and that this formula is in the spirit and style of the Book of Proverbs, passages such as Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 29:7

(Note: The three connected words ובאדם מבין ידע have, in Lwenstein, the accents Mercha, Mercha, Mugrash; but the Venetian, 1515, 20, Athias, v. d. Hooght, and Hahn, have rightly Tarcha, Mercha, Mugrash, - to place two Merchas in Ben-Naphtali's manner.)

show. A practical man, and one who is at the same time furnished with thorough knowledge, is thus spoken of, and prudence and knowledge of religious moral character and worth are meant. What a single man may do under certain circumstances is shown in Proverbs 21:22; Ecclesiastes 9:15. Here one has to think of a man of understanding and spirit at the helm of the State, perhaps as the nearest counsellor of the king. By means of such an one, right continues long (we do not need to supply להיות after "continues long"). If, on the one side, the State falls asunder by the evil conduct of the inhabitants of the land, on the other hand a single man who unites in himself sound understanding and higher knowledge, for a long time holds it together.

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