Proverbs 29:8
Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.
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(8) Scornful men.—See above on Proverbs 1:22.

Bring a city into a snare.—Rather, excite the passions of; literally, fan, as a flame.

Wise men turn away wrath.—By their gentle counsels.

Proverbs 29:8. Scornful men — That mock at religion, the obligations of conscience, the fears of another world, and every thing that is sacred and serious; who when employed in the business of the state do things with precipitation, because they scorn to deliberate and take time for consultation; who do things illegal and unjustifiable, because they scorn to be bound and shackled by laws and constitutions; who provoke the people, because they scorn to please them; bring a city into a snare — Expose it to God’s wrath, and to destruction, by their self-conceit and wilfulness, by their wicked counsels and practices, whereby they seduce and infect the generality of the people; by their contempt of God, of his just laws and righteous judgments, and of the opinion and advice of wise men; but wise men — Who do not scorn, but hearken to, the counsels of God, and of prudent men; turn away wrath — The wrath of God or of men, who were enraged against it.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.Scornful men - The men who head political or religious revolutions, who inflame (literally as in the margin) the minds of the people against the powers that be. 8. Scornful men—those who contemptuously disregard God's law.

bring—(Compare Margin), kindle strife.

turn away wrath—that is, "abate wrath."

Bring a city into a snare; expose it to God’s wrath and to destruction by their self-conceit and wilfulness, by their wicked counsels and courses, whereby they seduce and infect the generality of the people, by their contempt of God, of his just laws and righteous judgments, and of the opinions and advice, of wise men.

Wise men, who do not scorn, but hearken to the counsels of God and of prudent men, turn away wrath; the wrath of God or of men, who were enraged against it. Scornful men bring a city into a snare,.... Such as despise dominion, speak evil of dignities; proud and haughty men, that speak Loftily, and with a contempt of their superiors; or who make a mock at religion, and scoff at all that is good and serious; these bring the inhabitants of a city into a snare, to rebel against their governors, and so into mischief and ruin: or, they "burn a city", as the Septuagint and Syriac versions (o); they inflame it, or blow it up into a flame; raise a combustion in it, and fill it with strifes and contentions; and bring down the wrath of God upon it, like fire: or, they "blow upon a city" (p); raise storms and tempests in it; turn all things upside down, and throw it into the utmost confusion, or blow it up;

but wise men turn away wrath; the wrath of men, by their wise counsels and advice, and appease tumults and seditions, and restore things to a quiet and settled state; or the wrath of God, by interposing with their prayers between him and a sinful people, as Moses did, Psalm 106:23.

(o) "Inflammant urbem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (p) "suffiant, vel periflant civitatem", Gejerus; "diffiant civitatem", Gussetius, p. 667. "exsuffiant civitatem", Cocceius, Schultens.

Scornful men bring a city into a snare: but wise men turn away wrath.
8. bring a city into a snare] Rather, set a city on fire, A. V. marg., or, in a flame, R.V.; ἐξέκαυσαν, LXX. Comp. Proverbs 20:10; Proverbs 26:21; and, for an illustration of the proverb, the story of Sheba the son of Bichri and the wise woman, 2 Samuel 20.Verse 8. - Scornful men bring a airy into a snare. "Men of derision" (Isaiah 28:14) are those who despise and scoff at all things great and high, whether sacred or profane (see on Proverbs 1:22). These are the persons who raise rebellion in a country and excite opposition to constituted authority. The rendering of יָפִיתיּ, "bring into a snare," as in the Authorized Version, is supported by some of the Jewish versions and commentaries; but the more correct rendering is "blow into a blaze, inflame," as the Revised Version (comp. Job 20:26; Ezekiel 22:20, 21). These scorners excite the populace to acts of fury, when all respect for piety and virtue is lost; they fan the passions of the fickle people, and lead them to civil discord and dangerous excesses (comp. Proverbs 22:10). Septuagint, "Lawless men burn up a city." But wise men turn away wrath; by their prudent counsels allay the angry passions roused by those evil men (see Ver. 11 and Proverbs 15:1, 18). The general ethical proverb is here followed by one that is political:

2 When the righteous increase, the people rejoice;

   And when a godless man ruleth, the people mourn.

Regarding 'בּרבות צדּ (Aquila rightly, ἐν τῷ πληθῦναι δικαίους), vid., at Proverbs 28:28. If the righteous form the majority, or are in such numbers that they are the party that give the tone, that form the predominant power among the people (Fleischer, cum incrementa capiunt justi), then the condition of the people is a happy one, and their voice joyful (Proverbs 11:10); if, on the contrary, a godless man or (after Proverbs 28:1) godless men rule, the people are made to sigh (יאנח עם, with the Gaja, according to rule). "There is reason," as Hitzig remarks, "why עם should be placed first with, and then without, the article." In the first case it denotes the people as those among whom there is such an increase of the righteous; in the second case, the article is wanting, because it is not generally used in poetry; and, besides, its absence makes the second line consist of nine syllables, like the first.

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