Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done you no harm.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Proverbs 3:30-32. Strive not — Either by words before the magistrate, or otherwise by thine actions; with a man without cause — Without just and necessary cause; if he have done thee no harm — Whereby it is clearly implied, that, in case of injury, a man may, by all lawful means, defend himself. Envy thou not the oppressor — For his impunity and success in his wicked designs, and the wealth which he gains by unrighteous practices; and choose none of his ways — For what men envy in others they seek to obtain for themselves. For the froward — Or, perverse, who walks in crooked and sinful paths, as the oppressor last mentioned, opposed to the upright man, who is called right, or straight, Proverbs 29:27; is an abomination to the Lord — And therefore, sooner or later, must be miserable. But his secret is with the righteous — They are his friends and favourites, to whom he familiarly imparts, as men use to do to their friends, his mind and counsels, or his secret favours and comforts, to which other men are strangers.Judges 18:7, Judges 18:27.Strive not; either by words before the magistrate; or otherwise by thine actions.
Without cause; without just and necessary cause.
If he have done thee no harm; whereby he clearly implies that in case of injury a man may by all lawful means defend himself. Matthew 12:19;
if he have done thee no harm; no real hurt to thy person, nor injury to thy substance; if he has not abused nor defrauded thee, nor taken any thing from thee by force or fraud, nor withheld from thee what is thy right and due. But otherwise the laws of God and man ought to take place; right may be sought for, and justice should be done.Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 30. - The meaning of the precept in this verse is clear. We are nat to strive or quarrel with a man unless he has first given us offence. So Le Clerc, "Nisi injuria prior lacessiverit." The admonition is directed against those who, from spite, jealousy, or other reasons, "stir up strife all the day long" with those who are quiet and peaceable. Strive. The Keri here reads tariv for the Khetib taruv, but without any change of meaning. The verb ruv, from which taruv, is "to strive or contend with the hand and with blows," as in Deuteronomy 33:7; or with words, as in Psalm 103:9 (cf. the Vulgate, ne contendas; and the LXX, μὴ φιλεχθήσης, "Do not exercise enmity," from the unusual φιλεχθρέω. Ruv is here followed by עִם (im), as in Job 9:3; Job 40:2; and Genesis 26:30 Its forensic sense, "to contend with in law," does not strictly apply here, though the precept may be taken as discouraging litigation (Lapide). Without cause (khinnam); LXX., ματήν, equivalent to δωρεάν, in John 15:25; Vulgate, frustra; further explained in the concluding clause (see on Proverbs 1:17). If he have done thee no harm. The phrase, gumal raah, is to bring evil upon any one (Schultens). The verb gamal signifies "to do, to give, to show to any one." Holdea renders, "Surely he will return thee evil," in the sense that unprovoked attack ensures retaliation.]gut this is to ignore the negative force of im-lo, "if not." The verb sometimes means "requiting," but not in the passage before us, nor in Proverbs 11:17; Proverbs 31:12. The Vulgate renders as the Authorized Version, Cum ipse tibi nihil mali fecerit. It is to be remarked that this precept falls below the moral standard of the New Testament teaching (see Matthew 5:39-41; Romans 12:17-21; 1 Corinthians 6:6-8), and of the example of our Lord, of whom it was predicted that "When he was reviled, be reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not" (see Isaiah 53).
23 Then shalt thou go thy way with confidence,
And thy foot shall not stumble.
24 When thou liest down, thou are not afraid,
But thou layest thyself down and hast sweet sleep.
25 Thou needest not be afraid of sudden alarm,
Nor for the storm of the wicked when it breaketh forth.
26 For Jahve will be thy confidence
And keep thy foot from the snare.
The לבטח (cf. our "bei guter Laune" equals in good cheer), with ל of the condition, is of the same meaning as the conditional adverbial accusative בּטח, Proverbs 10:9; Proverbs 1:33. Proverbs 3:23 the lxx translate ὁ δὲ πούς σου οὐ μὴ προσκόψῃ, while, on the contrary, at Psalm 91:12 they make the person the subject (μήποτε προσκόψῃς τὸν κ.τ.λ.); here also we retain more surely the subject from 23a, especially since for the intrans. of נגף (to smite, to push) a Hithpa. התנגּף is used Jeremiah 13:16. In Proverbs 3:24 there is the echo of Job 11:18, and in Proverbs 3:25 of Job 5:21. Proverbs 3:24 is altogether the same as Job 5:24 : et decumbes et suavis erit somnus tuus equals si decubueris, suavis erit. The hypothetic perf., according to the sense, is both there and at Job 11:18 (cf. Jeremiah 20:9) oxytoned as perf. consec. Similar examples are Proverbs 6:22; Genesis 33:13; 1 Samuel 25:31, cf. Ewald, 357a. ערבה (of sleep as Jeremiah 31:26) is from ערב, which in Hebr. is used of pleasing impressions, as the Arab. ‛ariba of a lively, free disposition. שׁנה, somnus (nom. actionis from ישׁן, with the ground-form sina preserved in the Arab. lidat, vid., Job, p. 284, note), agrees in inflexion with שׁנה, annus. אל, Proverbs 3:25, denies, like Psalm 121:3, with emphasis: be afraid only not equals thou hast altogether nothing to fear. Schultens rightly says: Subest species prohibitionis et tanquam abominationis, ne tale quicquam vel in suspicionem veniat in mentemve cogitando admittatur. פּחד here means terror, as Proverbs 1:26., the terrific object; פּתאם (with the accus. om) is the virtual genitive, as Proverbs 26:2 חנּם (with accus. am). Regarding שׁאה, see under Proverbs 1:27. The genitive רשׁעים may be, after Psalm 37:18, the genit. subjecti, but still it lies nearer to say that he who chooses the wisdom of God as his guiding star has no ground to fear punishment as transgressors have reason to fear it; the שׁאה is meant which wisdom threatens against transgressors, Proverbs 1:27. He needs have no fear of it, for wisdom is a gift of God, and binds him who receives it to the giver: Jahve becomes and is henceforth his confidence. Regarding ב essentiae, which expresses the closest connection of the subject with the predicate which it introduces, see under Psalm 35:2. As here, so also at Exodus 18:4; Psalm 118:7; Psalm 146:6, the predicate is a noun with a pronominal suffix. כּסל is, as at Psalm 78:7; Job 31:24, cognate to מבטה and מקוה,
(Note: According to Malbim, תּקוה is the expectation of good, and כּסל, confidence in the presence of evil.)
the object and ground of confidence. That the word in other connections may mean also fool-hardiness, Psalm 49:14, and folly, Ecclesiastes 7:25 (cf. regarding כּסיל, which in Arab. as belı̂d denotes the dull, in Hebr. fools, see under Proverbs 1:22), it follows that it proceeds from the fundamental conception of fulness of flesh and of fat, whence arise the conceptions of dulness and slothfulness, as well as of confidence, whether confidence in self or in God (see Schultens l.c., and Wnsche's Hosea, p. 207f.). לכד is taking, catching, as in a net or trap or pit, from לכד, to catch (cf. Arab. lakida, to fasten, III, IV to hold fast); another root-meaning, in which Arab. lak connects itself with nak, nk, to strike, to assail (whence al-lakdat, the assault against the enemy, Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitsch. xxii. 140), is foreign to the Hebr. Regarding the מן of מלכד, Fleischer remarks: "The מן after the verbs of guarding, preserving, like שׁמר and נצר, properly expresses that one by those means holds or seeks to hold a person or thing back from something, like the Lat. defendere, tueri aliquem ab hostibus, a perculo."
(Note: Hitzig rejects Proverbs 3:22-26 as a later interpolation. And why? Because chap. 3, which he regards as a complete discourse, consists of twice ten verses beginning with בּני. In addition to this symmetry other reasons easily reveal themselves to his penetration. But the discourses contained in chap. 1-9 do not all begin with בני (vid., Proverbs 1:20); and when it stands in the beginning of the discourse, it is not always the first word (vid., Proverbs 1:8); and when it occurs as the first word or in the first line, it does not always commence a new discourse (vid., Proverbs 1:15 in the middle of the first, Proverbs 3:11 in the middle of the fourth); and, moreover, the Hebr. poetry and oratory does not reckon according to verses terminated by Soph Pasuk, which are always accented distichs, but they in reality frequently consist of three or more lines. The rejected verses are in nothing unlike those that remain, and which are undisputed; they show the same structure of stichs, consisting for the most part of three, but sometimes also only of two words (cf. Proverbs 3:22 with Proverbs 1:9, Proverbs 1:10), the same breadth in the course of the thoughts, and the same accord with Job and Deuteronomy.)
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