Proverbs 30:12
There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
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30:10 Slander not a servant to his master, accuse him not in small matters, to make mischief. 11-14. In every age there are monsters of ingratitude who ill-treat their parents. Many persuade themselves they are holy persons, whose hearts are full of sin, and who practise secret wickedness. There are others whose lofty pride is manifest. There have also been cruel monsters in every age. 15-17. Cruelty and covetousness are two daughters of the horseleech, that still cry, Give, give, and they are continually uneasy to themselves. Four things never are satisfied, to which these devourers are compared. Those are never rich that are always coveting. And many who have come to a bad end, have owned that their wicked courses began by despising their parents' authority. 18-20. Four things cannot be fully known. The kingdom of nature is full of marvels. The fourth is a mystery of iniquity; the cursed arts by which a vile seducer gains the affections of a female; and the arts which a vile woman uses to conceal her wickedness. 21-23 Four sorts of persons are very troublesome. Men of low origin and base spirit, who, getting authority, become tyrants. Foolish and violent men indulging in excesses. A woman of a contentious spirit and vicious habits. A servant who has obtained undue influence. Let those whom Providence has advanced from low beginnings, carefully watch against that sin which most easily besets them.The Pharisee temper (compare the marginal reference). 11-14. Four kinds of hateful persons—(1) graceless children, (2) hypocrites, (3) the proud, (4) cruel oppressors (compare on Pr 30:14; Ps 14:4; 52:2)—are now illustrated; (1) Pr 30:15, 16, the insatiability of prodigal children and their fate; (2) Pr 30:17, hypocrisy, or the concealment of real character; (3 and 4) Pr 30:18-20, various examples of pride and oppression. Who not only pretend to others, but conceit within themselves, that they are truly religious persons, when they live in the course of wickedness. There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes,.... Not in the eyes of God, who sees the heart, and all the impurities of it, as well as of life and conversation; nor in the eyes of others, though such may appear outwardly righteous before men; but in their own eyes, in their own conceit and imagination, trusting in themselves that they are righteous: but such have not their eyes opened or enlightened to see the plague of their own hearts, the spirituality of the law of God, the perfection of righteousness that requires; nor the righteousness and holiness of God himself; nor the imperfection and insufficiency of their own; did they, they would not seem pure and righteous to themselves. No man is pure by nature, or through anything done by them; but by the grace of God, and through the blood and righteousness of Christ; and such are far from being pure in their own eyes, or as considered in themselves: but those who are pure neither by nature nor by grace, yet think they are so. There were some such in Agur's time, and such were the Scribes and Pharisees in Christ's time; there were a generation of them; and there are of the same sort in our days, as Papists, Perfectionists, and all self-justiciaries; see Luke 18:9;

and yet is not washed from their filthiness; their native, original, and universal pollution by sin they have from their birth, and which is increased by numerous actual transgressions; and from which none are or can be washed but those who are born of water and of the Spirit, or are washed with the washing of regeneration; and are washed from their sins in the blood of the Lamb, whose blood cleanses from all sin; and are arrayed with the fine linen, clean and white, the righteousness of the saints, which is the righteousness of Christ imputed to them: whatsoever is short of these leaves men unwashed from their filthiness, whatever opinion they may have of themselves; see Job 9:30, Jeremiah 2:22.

There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Verse 12. - A generation that are pure in their own eyes (Proverbs 20:9). The second characteristic is hypocrisy and Pharisaical self-righteousness (see Luke 18:11). And yet are not washed from their filthiness; have not cleansed their heart by complete repentance, either because they have not examined themselves and know nothing of the real state of their conscience, or because they care nothing about it and will not regard it in its true light. There is a similar expression in Isaiah 4:4. Septuagint, "A wicked generation judgeth themselves to be just, but have not washed themselves clean (τὴν ἔξοδον αὐτοῦ οὐκ ἀπένιψεν)." 5 Every word of Eloah is pure;

   A shield is He for those who hide themselves in Him.

6 Add thou not to His words,

   Lest He convict thee and thou becomest a liar.

Although the tetrastich is an independent proverb, yet it is connected to the foregoing Neûm [utterance, Proverbs 30:1]. The more limited a man is in his knowledge of God - viz. in that which presents itself to him lumine naturae, - so much the more thankful must he be that God has revealed Himself in history, and so much the more firmly has he to hold fast by the pure word of the divine revelation. In the dependent relation of Proverbs 30:5 to Psalm 18:31 (2 Samuel 22:31), and of Proverbs 30:6 to Deuteronomy 4:2, there is no doubt the self-testimony of God given to Israel, and recorded in the book of the Tôra, is here meant. כּל־אמרת is to be judged after πᾶσα γραφή, 2 Timothy 3:16, not: every declaration of God, wherever promulgated, but: every declaration within the revelation lying before us. The primary passage Psalm 18:31 has not כל here, but, instead of it, לכל החסים, and instead of אמרת אלוהּ it has יהוה 'אם; his change of the name of Jahve is also not favourable to the opinion that Proverbs 30:5. is a part of the Neûm, viz., that it is the answer thereto. The proverb in this contains traces of the Book of Job, with which in many respects that Neûm harmonizes; in the Book of Job, אלוהּ (with שׁדּי) is the prevailing name of God; whereas in the Book of Proverbs it occurs only in the passage before us. Mhlau, p. 41, notes it as an Arabism. צרף (Arab. ṣaraf, to turn, to change) is the usual word for the changing process of smelting; צרוּף signifies solid, pure, i.e., purified by separating: God's word is, without exception, like pure, massive gold. Regarding חסה, to hide oneself, vid., under Psalm 2:12;: God is a shield for those who make Him, as revealed in His word, their refuge. The part. חסה occurs, according to the Masora, three times written defectively, - Proverbs 14:32; 2 Samuel 22:31; Nehemiah 1:7; in the passage before us it is to be written לחוסים; the proverbs of Agur and Lemuel have frequently the plena scriptio of the part. act. Kal, as well as of the fut. Kal, common to the Book of Job (vid., Mhlau, p. 65).

In 6a, after Aben Ezra's Moznajim 2b (11b of Heidenheim's edition), and Zachoth 53a (cf. Lipmann's ed.), and other witnesses (vid., Norzi), t sp (the ף with dagesh) is to be written, - the Cod. Jaman. and others defect. without ו, - not tôsf; for, since תּוסף (Exodus 10:28) is yet further abbreviated in this way, it necessarily loses

(Note: That both Shevas in tôsp are quiesc., vid., Kimchi, Michlol 155 a b, who is finally decided as to this. That the word should be read tôspe'al is the opinion of Chagg in הנוח 'ס (regarding the quiesc. letters), p. 6 of the Ed. by Dukes-Ewald.)

the aspiration of the tenuis, as in ילדתּ ( equals ילדת). The words of God are the announcements of His holy will, measured by His wisdom; they are then to be accepted as they are, and to be recognised and obeyed. He who adds anything to them, either by an overstraining of them or by repressing them, will not escape the righteous judgment of God: God will convict him of falsifying His word (הוכיח, Psalm 50:21; only here with ב of the obj.), and expose him as a liar - viz. by the dispensations which unmask the falsifier as such, and make manifest the falsehood of his doctrines as dangerous to souls and destructive to society. An example of this is found in the kingdom of Israel, in the destruction of which the curse of the human institution of its state religion, set up by Jeroboam, had no little share. Also the Jewish traditional law, although in itself necessary for the carrying over of the law into the praxis of private and public life, falls under the Deuteron. prohibition - which the poet here repeats - so far as it claimed for itself the same divine authority as that of the written law, and so far as it hindered obedience to the law - by the straining-at-a-gnat policy - and was hostile to piety. Or, to adduce an example of an addition more dogmatic than legal, what a fearful impulse was given to fleshly security by that overstraining of the promises in Genesis 17, which were connected with circumcision by the tradition, "the circumcised come not into hell," or by the overstraining of the prerogative attributed by Paul, Romans 9:4., to his people according to the Scriptures, in the principle, "All Israelites have a part in the future world!" Regarding the accentuation of the perf. consec. after פּן, vid., at Psalm 28:1. The penultima accent is always in pausa (cf. Proverbs 30:9 and Proverbs 30:10).

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