Proverbs 29:10
The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.
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(10) The bloodthirsty hate the upright.—Or, perfect man. “for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness” (2Corinthians 6:14); the life of the perfect man is a continual reproach to them.

But the just (or upright) seek his souli.e. care for the life of the perfect; their uprightness shows itself in active help-giving.

Proverbs 29:10. The blood-thirsty hate the upright — And consequently seek their ruin, as may be inferred from the following clause; but the just seek his soul — To preserve it. Schultens renders this verse, Bloody men hate the upright, and seek the life of the just.

29:1 If God wounds, who can heal? The word of God warns all to flee from the wrath to come, to the hope set before us in Jesus Christ. 2. The people have cause to rejoice or mourn, as their rulers are righteous or wicked. 3. Divine wisdom best keeps us from ruinous lusts. 4. The Lord Jesus is the King who will minister true judgment to the people. 5. Flatterers put men off their guard, which betrays them into foolish conduct. 6. Transgressions always end in vexations. Righteous men walk at liberty, and walk in safety. 7. This verse is applicable to compassion for the distress of the poor, and the unfeeling disregard shown by the wicked. 8. The scornful mock at things sacred and serious. Men who promote religion, which is true wisdom, turn away the wrath of God. 9. If a wise man dispute with a conceited wrangler, he will be treated with anger or ridicule; and no good is done. 10. Christ told his disciples that they should be hated of all men. The just, whom the blood-thirsty hate, gladly do any thing for their salvation.Seek his soul - i. e., "Care for, watch over, his life" (compare Psalm 142:4). 10. bloodthirsty—(Compare Margin), murderers (Ps 5:6; 26:9).

hate, &c.—(Pr 1:11; Ge 3:4).

seek … soul—that is, to preserve it.

Hate the upright, and consequently seek their ruin, as is implied from the following clause.

Seek his soul; either,

1. To require his soul or life at the hands of those who have taken it away. Or,

2. To preserve it from those who attempt to take it away, as this phrase is taken, Psalm 142:4, though commonly it signify to seek to destroy it.

The bloodthirsty hate the upright,.... Cain did Abel; and as the wicked world hate all good men, and persecute them, even unto death;

but the just must seek his soul; either the soul of the bloodthirsty, and that either the good of their souls; seek their spiritual welfare, and pray for it, even though they are so cruel and inhuman: or just magistrates will seek after such persons, to punish them for shedding the blood of the upright. Or else the meaning is, that just persons seek the soul of the upright, and make inquisition for the blood of such, to punish for it; which comes to the same sense, as Aben Ezra observes: or rather, such seek to defend and preserve the soul or life of upright men from those that hate and persecute them. Jarchi illustrates it by 1 Samuel 22:23; the Targum is,

"men that shed blood hate integrity; but the upright seek it.''

The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul.
10. seek] i.e. care for, as R.V. marg. Comp. Psalm 142:4 [Hebrews 5], where however the Hebrew word, seek, is not the same as here. It is more in accordance with the use of the phrase to seek the life, to render, with R.V. text,

The bloodthirsty hate him that is perfect:

And as for the upright they seek his life.

The LXX. however has: οἱ δὲ εὐθεῖς εὐθεῖς ἐκζητήσουσι ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ; and the Vulg. justi autem quærunt animam ejus.

Verse 10. - The bloodthirsty hate the upright; him that is perfect, Revised Version; ὅσιον, Septuagint. His life is a tacit reproach to men of blood, robbers, murderers, and such like sinners, as is finely expressed in the Book of Wisdom 2:12, etc. (comp. 2 Corinthians 6:14). But the just seek his soul. The explanation of this hemistich is doubtful. The following interpretations have been offered:

(1) The just seek the soul of the upright to deliver him from death temporal and spiritual (comp. Proverbs 12:6; Psalm 142:4).

(2) The just seek the murderer's life, take vengeance on him (comp. Psalm 63:9, 10).

(3) "As for the just, they (the murderers) attempt his life," where the change of subject, though by no means unparalleled, is awkward (comp. Psalm 37:14). The second explanation makes the righteous the executioners of vengeance on the delinquents, which does not seem to be the idea intended, and there is no confirmation of it in our book. The interpretation first given has against it the fact that the phrase, "to seek the soul," is used of attempts against the life, not of preserving it. But this is not fatal; and the above seems to be the most likely explanation offered, and gives a good antithesis. Men of blood hate a virtuous man, and try to destroy him; the righteous love him, and do their utmost to defend and keep him safe. If this interpretation is rejected, the third explanation is allowable, the casus pendens - "the just, they seek his life" - may be compared with Genesis 26:15; Deuteronomy 2:23. Septuagint, "But the upright will seek (ἐκζητήσουσι) his life." Proverbs 29:10We now group together Proverbs 29:10-14. Of these, Proverbs 29:10 and Proverbs 29:11 are alike in respect of the tense used; Proverbs 29:12-14 have in common the pronoun pointing back to the first member.

10 Men of blood hate the guiltless

     And the upright; they attempt the life of such

The nearest lying translation of the second line would certainly be: the upright seek his soul (that of the guiltless). In accordance with the contrasted ישׂנאו, the Aram. understand the seeking of earnest benevolent seeking, but disregarding the נפשׁ in לנפשׁו;

(Note: The Targum translates תם, guiltlessness, and the Venet. (μισοῦσι) γνῶσιν, turning to Proverbs 1:22.)

Symmachus (ἐπιζητήσουσι), Jerome (quaerunt), and Luther thus also understand the sentence; and Rashi remarks that the phrase is here לשׁון חבּה, for he rests; but mistrusting himself, refers to 1 Samuel 21:1-15 :23. Ahron b. Josef glosses: to enter into friendship with him. Thus, on account of the contrast, most moderns, interpreting the phrase sensu bono, also Fleischer: probi autem vitam ejus conservare student. The thought is, as Proverbs 12:6 shows, correct; but the usus loq. protests against this rendering, which can rest only on Psalm 142:5, where, however, the poet does not say אין דּורשׁ נפשׁי, but, as here also the usus loq. requires, לנפשׁי. There are only three possible explanations which Aben Ezra enumerates: (1) they seek his, the bloody man's, soul, i.e., they attempt his life, to take vengeance against him, according to the meaning of the expressions as generally elsewhere, used, e.g., at Psalm 63:10; (2) they revenge his, the guiltless man's, life (lxx ἐκζητήσουσιν), which has fallen a victim, after the meaning in which elsewhere only בּקּשׁ דּם and דּרשׁ נפשׁ, Genesis 9:5, occur. This second meaning also is thus not in accordance with the usage of the words, and against both meanings it is to be said that it is not in the spirit of the Book of Proverbs to think of the ישׁרים [the upright, righteous] as executors of the sentences of the penal judicature. There thus remains

(Note: For εὐθεῖς δὲ συνάξουσιν (will bring away?) τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτῶν, understood after Jeremiah 45:5, lies linguistically yet further off.)

the interpretation (3): the upright - they (the bloody men) seek the soul of such an one. The transition from the plur. to the sing. is individualizing, and thus the arrangement of the words is like Genesis 47:21 : "And the people (as regards them), he removed them to the cities," Gesen. 145. 2. This last explanation recommends itself by the consideration that תם and ישׁרים are cognate as to the ideas they represents-let one call to mind the common expression תּם וישׁר [perfect and upright, e.g., Job 1:1; Job 2:3], - that the same persons are meant thereby, and it is rendered necessary by this, that the thought, "bloody men hate the guiltless," is incomplete; for the same thing may also be said of the godless in general. One expects to hear that just against the guiltless, i.e., men walking in their innocence, the bloody-mindedness of such men is specially directed, and 10b says the same thing; this second clause first brings the contrast to the point aimed at. Lutz is right in seeking to confute Hitzig, but he does so on striking grounds.

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