Proverbs 6:28
Can one go on hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
6:20-35 The word of God has something to say to us upon all occasions. Let not faithful reproofs ever make us uneasy. When we consider how much this sin abounds, how heinous adultery is in its own nature, of what evil consequence it is, and how certainly it destroys the spiritual life in the soul, we shall not wonder that the cautions against it are so often repeated. Let us notice the subjects of this chapter. Let us remember Him who willingly became our Surety, when we were strangers and enemies. And shall Christians, who have such prospects, motives, and examples, be slothful and careless? Shall we neglect what is pleasing to God, and what he will graciously reward? May we closely watch every sense by which poison can enter our minds or affections.The two forms of evil bring, each of them, their own penalty. By the one a man is brought to such poverty as to beg for "a piece of bread" (compare 1 Samuel 2:36): by the other and more deadly sin he incurs a peril which may affect his life. The second clause is very abrupt and emphatic in the original; "but as for a man's wife; she hunts for the precious life." 27-29. The guilt and danger most obvious. No text from Poole on this verse. Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? He cannot; if he sets his feet upon them, and continues them ever so little on them, they will be burnt, and much more if he walks upon them; and so if a man gives way to the burning lusts of his heart after a whorish woman, and commits adultery with her, though not with frequency, he will not escape punishment in one shape or another; and much more if he continues such a lewd course of life; such practices are extremely dangerous (q), and there is no possibility of being unhurt by them: see Job 31:12; the lake of fire and brimstone, everlasting burnings, will be the portion of those that commit fornication with the whore of Rome, Revelation 14:10.

(q) "Periculosae plenum opus aleae tractas: et incedis per ignes suppositos cineri doloso", Horat. Carmin. l. 2. Ode. 1.

Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 28. - Can one go upon hot coals, etc.? The repeated question is introduced by gin, "if," here equivalent to the Latin an, used in double questions, as in Genesis 24:21; Exodus 17:7; Judges 9:2, etc. Go; i.e. walk upon hot coals (Hebrew, al-haggekalim); literally, upon the hot coals. The Hebrew gakheleth is coals thoroughly ignited, as in Leviticus 16:12 and Proverbs 25:22; different from pekham of Proverbs 26:21, which is "a black coal," or, as Gesenius explains, charcoal unkindled. Be burned; Hebrew, tikkaveynah; i.e. be burned or scorched so as to leave a mark by burning, as in Isaiah 43:2; this being the force of the verb kavah. The flames of lust will certainly be visited with punishment, and with the stings of conscience. Job, speaking on this very subject, says a deviation from the paths of virtue "is a fire that consumeth to destruction." And to him who gives way to adultery it may be said, in the words of Horace, though with a different application from that in which they were used by that poet, "incedis per ignes suppositos cineri doloso." "You are walking over fire that lies hidden under deceitful ashes" (Gejerus). The representation of the good doctrine is now personified, and becomes identified with it.

When thou walkest, it will guide thee;

When thou liest down, it will keep watch over thee;

And when thou wakest, it will talk with thee.

The subject is the doctrine of wisdom, with which the representation of wisdom herself is identified. The futures are not expressive of a wish or of an admonition, but of a promise; the form of the third clause shows this. Thus, and in the same succession as in the schema Deuteronomy 6:7, cf. Proverbs 11:19, are the three circumstances of the outward life distinguished: going, lying down, and rising up. The punctuation בּהתהלכך, found here and there, is Ben-Naphtali's variant; Ben-Asher and also the Textus rec. reject the Metheg in this case, vid., Baer's Metheg-Setzung, 28. The verb נחה, with its Hiph. in a strengthened Kal-signification, is more frequently found in the Psalms than in the Proverbs; the Arab. nh' shows that it properly signifies to direct (dirigere), to give direction, to move in a definite direction. שׁמר with על, to take into protection, we had already Proverbs 2:11; this author has favourite forms of expression, in the repetition of which he takes delight. With lying down, sleeping is associated. והקיצות is, as Psalm 139:18, the hypoth. perf., according to Ewald, 357a: et ut expergefactus es, illa te compellabit. Bertheau incorrectly: she will make thee thoughtful. But apart from the fact that there is no evidence of the existence of this Hiph. in the language of the Bible, the personification demands a clearer figure. שׂיח (שׂוּח) signifies mental speech and audible speech (Genesis 24:63, poet., in the Talmudic

(Note: The conjecture thrown out by Wetstein, that (Arab.) shykh is equivalent to משׂיח (מסיח), speaker, is untenable, since the verb shakh, to be old, a so-called munsarif, i.e., conjugated throughout, is used in all forms, and thus is certainly the root of the shykh.)

a common word); with ב, speaking concerning something (fabulari de), Psalm 69:13; with the accus., that which is said of a thing, Psalm 145:5, or the address, briefly for שׂיח ל, Job 12:8 (as מגּן with accus. Proverbs 4:9 equals מגן ל): when thou art awake, wisdom will forthwith enter into conversation with thee, and fill thy thoughts with right matter, and give to thy hands the right direction and consecration.

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