Proverbs 30:14
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
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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. Extortioners, and cruel oppressors, who grind the faces of the poor. There is a generation whose teeth are as swords,.... As sharp as swords; like such the beasts of prey have; cruel, barbarous, and inhuman creatures; see Psalm 57:4;

and their jaw teeth as knives; exceeding sharp and biting:

to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men: by their tyranny, oppression, and cruelty, to deprive them of the little they have; and even to take away their lives from them, and utterly destroy them; of this disposition are all tyrants and persecutors: such were Rome Pagan, compared to a red dragon in the times of the ten Heathen persecutions; and such is Rome Papal, signified by a beast, like a leopard, bear, and lion; and which has been drunk with the blood of the saints.

There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
14. Comp. Psalm 57:4.Verse 14. - A generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives. The fourth evil is insatiable cupidity, which leads to oppression and injurious treatment of the helpless and poor, which makes men as cruel and remorseless in destroying others and despoiling them of their substance, as the very steel which they use in their operations. Similarly, the psalmist speaks of his enemies as men "whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword" (Psalm 57:4; comp. Isaiah 9:12; Jeremiah 5:17). To devour the poor from off the earth; i.e. so as to be no more seen in the world. Amos 8:4, "Hear this, O ye that would swallow up the needy, and cause the poor of the land to fail" (comp. Psalm 14:4). In what now follows, the key-note struck in Proverbs 30:1 is continued. There follows a prayer to be kept in the truth, and to be preserved in the middle state, between poverty and riches. It is a Mashal-ode, vid., vol. i. p. 12. By the first prayer, "vanity and lies keep far from me," it is connected with the warning of Proverbs 30:6.

7 Two things I entreat from Thee,

   Refuse them not to me before Idie.

8 Vanity and lies keep far away from me

   Poverty and riches give me not:

   Cause me to eat the bread which is allotted to me,

9 Lest in satiety Ideny,

   And say: Who is Jahve?

   And lest, in becoming poor, Isteal,

   And profane the name of my God.

We begin with the settlement and explanation of the traditional punctuation. A monosyllable like שׁוא receives, if Legarmeh, always Mehuppach Legarmeh, while, on the contrary, the poly-syllable אשׂבּע has Asla Legarmeh. אל־תּתּן־לי, with double Makkeph and with Gaja in the third syllable before the tone (after the Metheg-Setzung, 28), is Ben-Asher's; whereas Ben-Naphtali prefers the punctuation אל־תּתּן לי (vid., Baer's Genesis, p. 79, note 3). Also פּן־אשׂבּע has (cf. פּן־ישׁתּה, Proverbs 31:5) Makkeph, and on the antepenultima Gaja (vid., Thorath Emeth, p. 32). The perf. consec. וכחשׁתּי has on the ult. the disjunctive Zinnor (Sarka), which always stands over the final letter; but that the ult. is also to be accented, is shown by the counter-tone Metheg, which is to be given to the first syllable. Also ואמרתּי has in correct Codd., e.g., Cod. 1294, the correct ultima toning of a perf. consec.; Kimchi in the Michlol 6b, as well as Aben Ezra in both of his Grammars, quotes only וגנבתּי ותפשׂתּי as toned on the penult. That וגנבתּי cannot be otherwise toned on account of the pausal accent, has been already remarked under 6b; the word, besides, belongs to the סף''פתתין בא, i.e., to those which preserve their Pathach unlengthened by one of the greater disjunctives; the Athnach has certainly in the three so-called metrical books only the disjunctive form of the Zakeph of the prose books. So much as to the form of the text.


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