A false witness that speaks lies, and he that sows discord among brothers.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)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. That speaketh lies, to wit, in judgment; whereby this differs from the former lying, Proverbs 6:17. Brethren; dear relations or friends.
and him that soweth discord among brethren; whether in a natural relation, or in a civil society, or in a religious community.A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)19. See Proverbs 6:12; Proverbs 6:14 notes.Verse 19. - The sixth thing is perjury. A false witness that speaketh lies; literally, he that breathes out, or utters, lies as a false witness. So the Vulgate, proferentem mendacia testem fallacem. The Hebrew puakh is "to breathe," "to blow," and in the hiph. form, which is used here (yaphiakh, hiph. future), it is "to blow out" or" utter," either in a bad sense, as in the present instance, and in Proverbs 6:19; Proverbs 14:5; Proverbs 19:5, 9 (cf. Psalm 10:5; Psalm 12:5); or in a good sense, "to utter the truth," as in Proverbs 12:17. Lies; Hebrew k'zavim, plural of kazav, "falsehood," "lying" (cf. Proverbs 21:25). A false witness (Hebrew, ed-k'zavim), as in margin, "a witness of lies." The expression, "as a false witness," as it appears in the original, is explanatory, and indicates the particular aspect under which the speaking of lies is regarded. Lying in its more general sense has been already spoken of in ver. 17. The vice which is here noted as odious to God is expressly forbidden in the moral code, "Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbour" (Exodus 20:16). But this, though the chief, is only one view of the case. Perjury may be employed, not only in ruining the innocent, but also in screen-tog the guilty. "Much hurt," says Muffet, in loc., "doth the deceitful and lying witness, for he corrupteth the judge, oppresseth the innocent, suppresseth the truth, and in the courts of justice sinneth against his own soul and the Lord himself most grievously." "He that speaketh lies as a false witness," again, may be the vile instrument in the hands of unscrupulous and inexorable enemies, as those employed against our Lord and Stephen. Perjury, too, destroys the security of communities. The shipwreck of society which it occasions may be seen in the frightful misery which ensued when the system of delatores was not only countenanced, but encouraged under the Roman empire. Truly speaking, he that lies as a false witness must be hateful to God. And he that soweth discord among brethren; the seventh and last thing in the enumeration, but not, as Delitzsch holds, the ne plus ultra of all that is hated of God. It closes, as in ver. 14, the series, but with the addition "among brethren;" thus emphatically stigmatizing the conduct of that man as diabolical who destroys the harmony and unity of those who ought to live together in brotherly affection, and who disturbs the peace of communities. Proverbs 10:10 (cf. Proverbs 16:30, qui oculos morsicat or connivet), Psalm 35:19, but also of the lips, Proverbs 16:30. Thus Lwenstein's explanation: who opens up the eyes, is incorrect. The verb קרץ unites in it the meanings of Arab. qrts, to pinch off with a sharp implement, and Arab. qrd, with a blunt instrument (Arab. miḳraḍ, pincers). It means to pince, to nip, as Arab. ḳarṣ, pincer - e.g., ḳarṣ balskyn alarsasat, he cuts off with the knife the leaden seal - hence frequently, to nip together the eyes, provincially: to wink ("zwickern," frequent. of "zwicken," to nip) with the eyes - the action of the deceiver, who thereby gives the sign to others that they help or at least do not hinder him from bantering and mocking, belying and deceiving a third person (Fl.); cf. Ali's proverb, "O God, pardon to us the culpable winking with the eye (ramzat)," and Fleischer's notes thereon, the Proverbs of Ali, p. 100f.
That the words which follow, בּרגליו מולל, are meant of discourse, i.e., the giving of signs, with the feet, and, so to say, significant oratio pedestris (lxx, Aben-Ezra, Bertheau, Hitzig, and others), is very improbable, since the usage of language has set apart the Piel מלּל for the meaning loqui, and מולל admits another suitable signification, for מולל means in Talmudic fricare, confricare - e.g., המולל מלילות, he who grinds the parched ears of corn (b. Beza 12b; Ma'seroth, iv. 5) - after which Syr., Targ., תכס (stamping), Aq. τρίβων, Symm. προστρίβων, Jerome, (qui) terit pede, and Rashi משׁפשׁף (grinding, scratching); it means one who scrapes with his feet, draws them backwards and forwards on the ground in order thereby to give a sign to others; also the Arab. mll, levem et agilem esse, which as the synonym of Arab. sr is connected with Arab. fı̂ of the way, signifies properly to move the feet quickly hither and thither (Fl.).
(Note: The root-idea of the Arab. mall is unquietness of motion; the Arab. noun mallt signifies the glow with its flickering light and burning: glowing ashes, inner agitation, external haste; Arab. malil (מלל) is the feverish patient, but also one quickly hastening away, and generally an impatient or hasty person (vid., Wetstein in Baudissin in his Job. Tischendorfianus, vii. 6). The grinding is made by means of a quick movement hither and thither; and so also is speaking, for the instrument of speech, particularly the tongue, is set in motion. Only the meaning praecidere, circumcidere, does not connect itself with that root-idea: מל in this signification appears to be a nance of מר, stringere.)
מרה appears here, in accordance with its primary signification (projicere, sc. brachium or digitum equals monstrare), connected with בּעצבּעתיו; another expression for this scornful, malicious δακτυλοδεικνεῖν is שׁלח אצבּע, Isaiah 58:9.
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