Proverbs 6:16
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
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(16) These six things doth the Lord hate . . .—Rather, six are the things which He hateth. It is a sort of climax:—He hates six things, but the seventh worse than all. This numerical form of proverb, to which the name of middah is given by later writers, is found also in Proverbs 30:15-16; Proverbs 30:18-19; Proverbs 30:21-23; Proverbs 30:29-31; Job 5:19; Amos 1:3 - Amos 2:1; Ecclesiasticus 23:16; Ecclesiasticus 25:7; Ecclesiasticus 26:5; Ecclesiasticus 26:28; and in all these instances the number first named is increased afterwards by one. This peculiarity is absent from the instances occurring in Proverbs 30:7-9; Proverbs 30:24-28; Ecclesiasticus 25:1-2.

Proverbs 6:16-19. These six things — Generally found in those men of Belial, described in the foregoing verses; doth the Lord hate — Namely, above many other sins, which have a worse name in the world; a proud look — Pride of heart, which commonly discovers itself by a man’s looks and gestures; a lying tongue — Lying and deceit in his common conversation. A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations — Whose practice it is to design and contrive wickedness. Feet that be swift in running to mischief — Such as greedily and readily execute their wicked designs, without any restraint or delay. A false witness that speaketh lies — Namely, in judgment: whereby this differs from the former lying, Proverbs 6:17; and him that soweth discord among brethren — That is, dear relations or friends.

6:12-19 If the slothful are to be condemned, who do nothing, much more those that do all the ill they can. Observe how such a man is described. He says and does every thing artfully, and with design. His ruin shall come without warning, and without relief. Here is a list of things hateful to God. Those sins are in a special manner provoking to God, which are hurtful to the comfort of human life. These things which God hates, we must hate in ourselves; it is nothing to hate them in others. Let us shun all such practices, and watch and pray against them; and avoid, with marked disapproval, all who are guilty of them, whatever may be their rank.A new section, but not a new subject. The closing words, "he that soweth discord" (Proverbs 6:19, compare Proverbs 6:14), lead us to identify the sketch as taken from the same character. With the recognized Hebrew form of climax (see Proverbs 30:15, Proverbs 30:18, Proverbs 30:24; Amos 1:1-15; 2; Job 5:19), the teacher here enumerates six qualities as detestable, and the seventh as worse than all (seven represents completeness), but all the seven in this instance belong to one man, the man of Belial Proverbs 6:12. 16-19. six … seven—a mode of speaking to arrest attention (Pr 30:15, 18; Job 5:19). Hate, to wit, above many other sins, which have a worse name in the world.

These six things doth the Lord hate,.... That is, the six following, which are all to be found in a man of Belial, a wicked man before described. There are other things besides these that God hates, and indeed more so; as sins against the first table, which more immediately strike at his being, horror, and glory; these being such as are against the second table, but are mentioned, as more especially appearing in the character of the above person; and must be hateful to God, as contrary to his nature, will, and law;

yea, seven are an abomination unto him; or, "the abomination of his soul" (c); what his soul abhors, or he abhors from his very heart: meaning not seven others, but one more along with the six, which make seven; a like way of speaking, see in Proverbs 30:15. Nor is the word "abomination" to be restrained to the "seventh", or "hatred" to the "sixth"; but they are all to be supposed to be hateful and abominable to the Lord; though some think the cardinal number is put for the ordinal, "seven" for the "seventh"; as if the seventh, which is sowing discord among brethren, was of all the most abominable, Proverbs 6:19; it being what was last mentioned in the character of the wicked man, Proverbs 6:14; and which seems to have given occasion to, and for the sake of which this enumeration is made.

(c) "abominatio ejus animae", Montanus, Vatablus, Mercerus, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.

These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
16. six … seven] To specify more precisely the traits that go to form the character of the man of Belial, and to lift them into the sphere of God’s judgement, that we may make a true estimate of them, they are these six, yea seven, for they are complete, and the shades of darkness, like the rays of light, are sevenfold, and Jehovah hates them, and they are the abomination of His soul.

Verse 16. - The whole structure and arrangement of the thoughts which occur in vers. 16-19 clearly show that this is not an independent section, but one closely allied to that which has just preceded. The object is to show that those evil qualities of deceit and malice which are disastrous to man are equally odious in the sight of Jehovah, and consequently within the scope of the Divine displeasure. These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him. The use of the numerical proverb, though common to the gnomic literature of Persia and Arabia, as Umbreit shows, is by our author confined to this single instance. Other examples occur in our book in the words of Agur the son of Jakeh (see Proverbs 30:7-9, 24-28), and the midda, the name given by later Jewish writers to this form of proverb, is observable in the ape-cryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus (see Proverbs 23:16; Proverbs 20:7 and Proverbs 26:5-28). When, as in the present instance, two numbers are given, the larger number corresponds with the things enumerated. So in Job 5:19. In Amos 1 and 2, however, there is an exception to this rule, where the numbers appear to be used indefinitely. As to the origin of the numerical proverb, the most probable explanation is that given by Hitzig and adopted by Zockler, namely, that it is due to the exigencies of parallelism. The author first adopts one number optionally, and then a second is employed as a parallel to it. Here, however, the number determined on in the writer's mind is the larger number seven, and the smaller number six is used as a rhetorical parallel. An examination of the following verses will show that the seven exactly measures the things which are described as odious to the Lord. The Authorized Version, so far as the numbers are concerned, exactly represents the original, which, by the use of the cardinal number "seven" (sheva), and not the ordinal "seventh," which would be sh'vii, shows that the things enumerated are equally an abomination in God's sight. The view therefore, that the seventh vice is odious to God in an especial degree above the others, is untenable, though it has found defenders in Lowenstein, Bertheau, and von Gerlach, and is supported by the Vulgate, Sex sunt quae odit Dominus, et septimum detestatur anima ejus. All the seven things are execrable, all are equally objects of the Divine abhorrence. Besides, we cannot imagine that the vice of sowing discord among brethren, of ver. 19, is more odious to God than the crime of shedding innocent blood of ver. 17. Unto him (Hebrew, naph'sho); literally, of his soul. Proverbs 6:16What now follows is not a separate section (Hitzig), but the corroborative continuation of that which precedes. The last word (מדנים, strife) before the threatening of punishment, 14b, is also here the last. The thought that no vice is a greater abomination to God than the (in fact satanical) striving to set men at variance who love one another, clothes itself in the form of the numerical proverb which we have already considered, pp. 12, 13. From that place we transfer the translation of this example of a Midda: -

16 There are six things which Jahve hateth,

     And seven are an abhorrence to His soul:

17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,

     And hands that shed innocent blood;

18 An heart that deviseth the thoughts of evil,

     Feet that hastily run to wickedness,

19 One that uttereth lies as a false witness,

     And he who soweth strife between brethren.

The sense is not, that the six things are hateful to God, and the seventh an abomination to Him besides (Lwenstein); the Midda-form in Amos 1:3-2:6, and in the proverb in Job 5:19, shows that the seven are to be numbered separately, and the seventh is the non plus ultra of all that is hated by God. We are not to translate: sex haecce odit, for המּה, הנּה, (הם, הן) points backwards and hitherwards, but not, as אלּה, forwards to that immediately following; in that case the words would be שׁשׁ אלה, or more correctly האלה שׁשׁ. But also Hitzig's explanation, "These six things (viz., Proverbs 6:12-15) Jahve hateth," is impossible; for (which is also against that haecce) the substantive pronoun המה nuonorp , הנה (ההמה, ההנה) is never, like the Chald. המּון (המּו), employed as an accus. in the sense of אתהם, אתהן, it is always (except where it is the virtual gen. connected with a preposition) only the nom., whether of the subject or of the predicate; and where it is the nom. of the predicate, as Deuteronomy 20:15; Isaiah 51:19, substantival clauses precede in which הנה (המה) represents the substantive verb, or, more correctly, in which the logical copula resulting from the connection of the clause itself remains unexpressed. Accordingly, 'שׂנא ה is a relative clause, and is therefore so accentuated here, as at Proverbs 30:15 and elsewhere: sex (sunt) ea quae Deus odit, et septem (sunt) abominatio animae ejus. Regarding the statement that the soul of God hates anything, vid., at Isaiah 1:14. תועבות, an error in the writing occasioned by the numeral (vid., Proverbs 26:25), is properly corrected by the Kerı̂; the poet had certainly the singular in view, as Proverbs 3:32; Proverbs 11:1, when he wrote תועבת. The first three characteristics are related to each other as mental, verbal, actual, denoted by the members of the body by means of which these characteristics come to light. The virtues are taken all together as a body (organism), and meekness is its head. Therefore there stands above all, as the sin of sins, the mentis elatae tumor, which expresses itself in elatum (grande) supercilium: עינים רמות, the feature of the רם, haughty (cf. Psalm 18:28 with 2 Samuel 22:28), is the opposite of the feature of the שׁח עינים, Job 22:29; עין is in the O.T. almost always (vid., Sol 4:9) fem., and adjectives of course form no dual. The second of these characteristics is the lying tongue, and the third the murderous hands. דּם־נקי is innocent blood as distinguished from דּם הנּקי, the blood of the innocent, Deuteronomy 19:13.

(Note: The writing דּם follows the Masoretic rule, vid., Kimchi, Michlol 205b, and Heidenheim under Deuteronomy 19:10, where in printed editions of the text (also in Norzi's) the irregular form דּם נקי is found. Besides, the Metheg is to be given to דּם־, so that one may not read it dom, as e.g., שׁשׁ־מאות, Genesis 7:11, that one may not read it שׁשׁ־.)

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