Proverbs 3:35
The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
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(35) Shame shall be the promotion ‘of fools.—That is, dull, stupid people, who despise God’s threatenings (Proverbs 1:32), are distinguished from others by what is a disgrace to them (Philippians 3:19), and so are noticeable only as examples to be shunned by others. (See Note on Proverbs 14:29.)

3:27-35 Our business is to observe the precepts of Christ, and to copy his example; to do justice, to love mercy, and to beware of covetousness; to be ready for every good work, avoiding needless strife, and bearing evils, if possible, rather than seeking redress by law. It will be found there is little got by striving. Let us not envy prosperous oppressors; far be it from the disciples of Christ to choose any of their ways. These truths may be despised by the covetous and luxurious, but everlasting contempt will be the portion of such scorners, while Divine favour is shown to the humble believer.The margin conveys the thought that "fools" glory in that which is indeed their shame. Others take the clause as meaning "every fool takes up shame," i. e., gains nothing but that. 35. inherit—as a portion.

shame—or disgrace, as opposed to honor.

promotion—(Compare Margin); as honor for well-doing makes men conspicuous, so fools are signalized by disgrace.

Shall inherit glory; shall enjoy it not only for a season, as wicked men ofttimes do, but as an inheritance, constantly, and to perpetuity.

Shame shall be the promotion of fools; instead of that glory which they greedily seek, they shall meet with nothing but ignominy. Or, as it is in the margin, shame exalteth or lifteth up fools, i.e. it makes them manifest and notorious, as this very word is used Proverbs 14:29. Or, as the words lie in the Hebrew text fools take or carry away (as this word is here rendered by divers both ancient and modern translators, and as it is used Leviticus 6:10,15, and oft elsewhere) shame, to wit, as his proper portion or inheritance; which is here very fitly opposed to the portion or inheritance of the just. And although the verb be singular, yet it agrees well enough with the noun plural, because this is taken distributively, such constructions being very usual in the Hebrew text. The wise shall inherit glory,.... The wise are the same with the just and lowly before mentioned, to whom God gives grace, and to these he gives glory. The "wise" are such who are so, not in a natural, civil, or notional sense, or that are wise in the things of nature, in civil affairs and in speculative matters of religion; but in a spiritual sense, who are wise unto salvation; who know themselves, the sinfulness of their nature, their inability to do that which is good, and their want of righteousness to justify them before God; who are sensible of the sickness and diseases of their souls, their spiritual poverty, and their great folly and ignorance with respect to things of a spiritual nature; who know Christ, and him crucified, the way of peace, pardon, righteousness, and salvation by him; that know him, not only notionally, but so as to apply unto him, and rest on him for salvation; who build it on him the foundation, on him only, and give him all the glory of it; and who have also a competent knowledge of the Gospel, and a comfortable experience of the truths of it; and who take up a profession of religion upon such an experience, and hold it fast without depending on it, and have a conversation becoming it, walking circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise. Now these shall "inherit glory"; not the glory of this world, or honour among men in it; but the glory of another, of which the glory of this world, and of, he most excellent things in it, is but a faint resemblance: it is unseen, inconceivable, and incomparable; it is an eternal glory which Christ is entered into, and the same the Father has given him; and will lie in the vision of God, and communion with him; in beholding the glory of Christ, and in having a glory put upon them both in soul and body: and this they shall enjoy as an inheritance; not by purchase or acquisition, but by free gift; as a bequest of their Father; which comes to them as children, through the death of Christ the testator, and will be possessed for ever, as inheritances run;

but shame shall be the promotion of fools; not fools in a natural, but in a religious sense; such who know not themselves, nor the way of salvation; who mock at sin, and scoff at religion: these and everyone of these "shall take" or "lift up shame" (m), as their part and portion, alluding to the heave offering under the law, in opposition to the glory the wise shall inherit and possess. Or, "shame shall lift up fools" (n); hold them forth, and make them manifest and conspicuous: all the promotion they shall be raised unto will be only shame and confusion, if not in this world, yet in that to come; for, when they shall rise from the dead, it will be "to shame and everlasting contempt", Daniel 12:2. The Targum is,

"fools shall receive tribulation;''

that shall be their inheritance in the other world.

(m) "unusquisque stultorum suscipit, vel sustinet, ignominiam", Vatablus. (n) "Stolidos vero tollit ignominia", Junius & Tremellius.

The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools.
35. the promotion] There is force and irony in this rendering, which is retained in R.V. text, whereas the alternative of R.V. margin, fools carry away shame, though it may be thought to preserve the parallelism better, is insipid. Their glory is even now (Php 3:19), and in the day when all things become real shall be seen to be, their shame.Verse 35. - The wise shall inherit glory. Proverbs 11:2 indicates that "the wise" here are to be identified with "the lowly" of the preceding verse. Inherit; succeed to it as a matter of course by hereditary right as sons. Heirship implies sonship. Glory (kavod); or, honour; not merely earthly distinction and splendour, the glory of man, but the "glory of God." But shame shall be the promotion of fools; or, as margin, shame exalteth the fools. The rendering of the original, vuk'silim merim kalon, depends upon the meaning to be given to merim, the hiph. participle of rum, hiph. "to lift up, exalt;" and whether the plural, k'silim, in a distributive sense, as in ver. 18, or kalon, is the subject. Various interpretations have been given of the passage.

(1) The Vulgate renders, stultorum exaltatio ignominia; i.e. as in the Authorized Version, "shame exalts fools." They "glory in their shame" (Philippians 2:19); or shame renders them conspicuous as warning examples (Ewald); or, as Dathe explains it, "Stulti infamia sunt famosi," "Fools become famous by infamy;" or as Rabbi Levi, "Shame exalts them as into the air, and makes them vanish away."

(2) The LXX. renders, Αἱ ἀσεβεῖς ὕψωσαν ἀτιμίαν, i.e. "Fools exalt shame, prize what others despise" (Plumptre).

(3) Umbreit, Bertheau, Zockler, render, "Shame sweeps fools away," i.e. lifts them up in order to sweep away and destroy them (cf. Isaiah 57:14).

(4) The true rendering seems to be given by Michaelis, "Fools carry away shame" as their portion. So the Targum, Delitzsch, Hitzig, Wordsworth. They look for "promotion." They attain such as it is, but the end of their attainments is "shame and everlasting contempt." As the wise inherit glory, so fools get as their portion shame and ignominy.

A second illustration of neighbourly love is harmlessness:

Devise not evil against thy neighbour,

While he dwelleth securely by thee.

The verb חרשׁ, χαράσσειν, signifies to cut into, and is used of the faber ferrarius as well as of the τιγναριυς (Isaiah, p. 463), who with a cutting instrument (חרשׁ, Genesis 4:22) works with metal or wood, and from his profession is called חרשׁ. But the word means as commonly to plough, i.e., to cut with the plough, and חרשׁ is used also of a ploughman, and, without any addition to it, it always has this meaning. It is then a question whether the metaphorical phrase רעה חרשׁ signifies to fabricate evil, cf. dolorum faber, mendacia procudere, ψευδῶν καὶ ἀπατῶν τέκτων, and the Homeric κακὰ φρεὶ βυσσοδομεύειν (Fleischer and most others), or to plough evil (Rashi, Ewald, etc.). The Targ., Syriac, and Jerome translate חשׁב, without deciding the point, by moliri; but the lxx and Graecus Venet. by τεκταίνειν. The correctness of these renderings is not supported by Ezekiel 21:36, where חרשׁי משׁחית are not such as fabricate destruction, but smiths who cause destruction; also מחרישׁ, 1 Samuel 23:9, proves nothing, and probably does not at all appertain to חרשׁ incidere (Keil), but to חרשׁ silere, in the sense of dolose moliri. On the one hand, it is to be observed from Job 4:8; Hosea 10:13, cf. Psalm 129:3, that the meaning arare malum might connect itself with חרשׁ רעה; and the proverb of Sirach 7:12, μὴ ἀροτρία ψεῦδος ἐπ ̓ ἀδελφῷ σου, places this beyond a doubt. Therefore in this phrase, if one keeps before him a clear perception of the figure, at one time the idea of fabricating, at another that of ploughing, is presented before us. The usage of the language in the case before us is more in favour of the latter than of the former. Whether ישׁב את means to dwell together with, or as Bttcher, to sit together with, after Psalm 1:1; Psalm 26:4., need not be a matter of dispute. It means in general a continued being together, whether as sitting, Job 2:13, or as dwelling, Judges 17:11.

(Note: Accentuate והוא־יושׁב לבטח. It is thus in correct texts. The Rebia Mugrash is transformed, according to the Accentuationssystem, xviii. 2.)

To take advantage of the regardlessness of him who imparts to us his confidence is unamiable. Love is doubly owing to him who resigns himself to it because he believes in it.

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