Proverbs 8:36
But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(36) He that sinneth against me.—Rather, He that misses me does not find me. So in Greek, sin (ἁμαρτία) is a “missing” of the true object of life.

Proverbs 8:36. But he that sinneth against me — By the neglect or contempt of, or rebellion against my commands; wrongeth his own soul — Doth the greatest injury to his own soul: he even destroys it, and is guilty of the worst kind of murder, of soul-murder. All they that hate me — That reject and disobey my counsels, living in the commission of known sin, which, in God’s account, is hating him, as is here and elsewhere implied; love death — Not directly and intentionally, but by consequence, because they love those practices which they know will bring certain destruction upon them.

8:32-36 Surely we should hearken to Christ's voice with the readiness of children. Let us all be wise, and not refuse such mercy. Blessed are those who hear the Saviour's voice, and wait on him with daily reading, meditation, and prayer. The children of the world find time for vain amusements, without neglecting what they deem the one thing needful. Does it not show contempt of Wisdom's instructions, when people professing godliness, seek excuses for neglecting the means of grace? Christ is Wisdom, and he is Life to all believers; nor can we obtain God's favour, unless we find Christ, and are found in him. Those who offend Christ deceive themselves; sin is a wrong to the soul. Sinners die because they will die, which justifies God when he judges.Wisdom then is the only true life. The Word, the Light, is also the Life of man John 1:4. The eternal life is to know God and Christ John 17:3. 36. sinneth … me—or better, "missing me," as opposed to "finding" [Pr 8:35].

love death—act as if they did (compare Pr 17:9).

He that sinneth against me, by the neglect or contempt of or rebellion against my commands,

wrongeth his own soul; is guilty of self-murder and of soul-murder.

They that hate me, i.e. who reject and disobey my counsels, and live wickedly, which in God’s account is a hating of him, as is here implied and elsewhere, as Exodus 20:5 Deu 7:10 32:41.

Love death; not directly or intentionally, but by consequence, because they love those practices which they know will bring certain destruction upon them.

But he that sinneth against me,.... Or misses the mark, as the word (b) signifies; and which is observed by Aben Ezra; see Judges 20:16. Christ is the mark and scope of the counsels of God; of the covenant of grace; of the Scriptures; of the Gospel, the truths and promises of it; of the graces of the Spirit, and of all spiritual duties and services; and to whom we are to look for heaven and eternal happiness, Philippians 3:14; and such miss the mark who look for salvation elsewhere, either by the light of nature; or by the law of Moses; or by any moral performances, or any religious exercises; or by a mere profession of religion, even the best. The word is frequently used for sinning; which is an aberration or straying from, or missing, the mark of the law. Some sin against Christ doctrinally, who say he is not come in the flesh, or that Jesus is not the Christ; who deny his proper deity, his divine and eternal Sonship; and treat his blood, righteousness and salvation, with any degree of contempt: they sin against him practically that slight his Gospel, neglect his ordinances, transgress his laws, and evilly treat his people. Sinning against him is very aggravating; it is against him in whom all grace and mercy is, and from whom it comes to the sons of men; who is the Saviour of men from sin, and in whom alone salvation is. Wherefore everyone that thus sins against him

wrongeth his own soul; is injurious to it, and to the spiritual and eternal welfare of it; all sin is hurtful to the souls of men, especially sins against Christ; since there is no other Saviour but him, no other sacrifice for sin but his; and therefore to such there can be no other than a fearful looking for of judgment, that trample him under foot, and treat his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, in a contemptuous manner, Hebrews 10:26;

all they that hate me; as do the seed of the serpent, the whole world that lies in wickedness, all unregenerate persons, and even many professors of religion; they hate him privately, being without love to him, or loving others more than him; and positively and practically, by despising his Gospel, or not walking worthy of it; by disclaiming doctrines, casting off his yoke, and maltreating his people; all which arise from the corruption of their nature; for this hatred or enmity is original and natural; it is deeply rooted in their minds, and irreconcilable without the grace of God, and is always undeserved. Wherefore such are said to

love death; not formally and intentionally, for death in any shape cannot be desirable; not a corporeal death, and much less an eternal one; but interpretatively and consequentially, as they love that which brings death upon them both in body and soul, and so are reckoned to love death itself.

(b) "qui vero aberraverit a me", Michaelis.

But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. sinneth against] Or, “misseth,” R.V. marg. The Heb. word here used means primarily to miss the mark (as, for example, a slinger, Jdg 20:16). Then it is used commonly for missing the mark, or erring from the way, morally, i.e. sinning. Comp. the use of ἁιμαρτάνω in Greek.

Verse 36. - He that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul. So Septuagint and Vulgate. And the truth stated is obvious - he who refuses to obey Wisdom, and transgresses her wholesome rules, will smart for it. Every sin involves punishment, injures the spiritual life, and demands satisfaction. But Delitzsch and others take חֹטְאִי, "my sinning one," "my sinner," in the older sense of "missing," as Job 5:24, the derived meaning of "sinning" springing naturally from the idea of deviating from the right way or failing to hit the mark. So here the translation will be "he who misseth me," which is a good contrast to "whoso findeth me," of ver. 35. He who takes a path which does not lead to wisdom is guilty of moral suicide. All that hate me love death (Proverbs 7:27). "He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). They who will not hearken to Wisdom, and who scorn her counsels, do virtually love death, because they love the things and the practices which lead to death, temporal and spiritual Job 12:10, "They that sin are enemies to their own life" (comp. Wisd. 1:12).



Proverbs 8:36חטאי may, it is true, mean "my sinning one equals he who sins against me (חטא לי)," as קמי is frequently equivalent to קמים עלי; but the contrast of מצאי places it beyond a doubt that חטא stands here in its oldest signification: to miss something after which one runs (Proverbs 19:2), seeks (Job 5:24), at which one shoots (Hiph. Judges 20:16), etc., id non attingere quod petitur, Arab. âkhṭa, to miss, opposite to âṣab, to hit (Fl.). Just because it is the idea of missing, which, ethically applied, passes over into that of sin and guilt (of fault, mistake, false step, "Fehls, Fehlers, Fehltritts"), חטא can stand not only with the accusative of the subject in regard to which one errs, Leviticus 5:16, but also with the accusative of the subject which one forfeits, i.e., misses and loses, Proverbs 20:2, cf. Habakkuk 2:10; so that not only מאס נפשׁו, Proverbs 15:32 (animam suam nihili facit), but also חוטא נפשׁו, Proverbs 20:2 (animam suam pessumdat), is synonymous with חמס נפשׁו (animae suae h. e. sibi ipsi injuriam facit). Whoever misses Wisdom by taking some other way than that which leads to her, acts suicidally: all they who wilfully hate (Piel) wisdom love death, for wisdom is the tree of life, Proverbs 3:18; wisdom and life are one, 35a, as the Incarnate Wisdom saith, John 8:51, "If a man keep my sayings, he shall never see death." In the Logos, Wisdom has her self-existence; in Him she has her personification, her justification, and her truth.
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