Proverbs 8:36
But he that sins against me wrongs his own soul: all they that hate me love death.
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(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.
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).

In this sentence, subordinating to itself these designations of time, the principal question is as to the meaning of אמון, Hofmann's interpretation (Schriftbew. i. 97) "continually" (inf. absol. in an adverbial sense) is a judicious idea, and אמן, to endure, remains indeed in אמת (stability); but in this sense, which נאמן represents, it is not otherwise used. Also מהימנתּא (believing, trusting) of the Targ. (Graec. Venet. πίστις, as if the word used were אמוּן) is linguistically inadmissible; the Hebr. האמין corresponds to the Aram. haimēn. One of these two only is possible: אמון means either opifex or alumnus. The meaning alumnus (Aquila, τιθηνουμένη; Meri and Malbim, אמון בחיק האל, ἐν τῷ κόλπῳ τοῦ Θεοῦ) would derive the word from אמן, to support, make firm, take care of; the form ought to have a passive sense (Symm. Theod. ἐστηριγμένη), as גּדול sa ,)חם, twined, pressed, strong, great, and be pointed נקד (with a moveable ā, different from the form בּגוד, חמוץ, Isaiah 1:17); and אמון, in the meaning nursling, foster-child, favourite (Schultens, Euchel, Elster, and others, also Rashi and Kimchi, who all find in אמון the meaning of education, גידול), would place itself with אמוּן, fostered, Lamentations 4:5, אמן, fosterer, אמנת ,reret, foster-mother. This is the meaning of the word according to the connection, for Wisdom appears further on as the child of God; as such she had her joy before Him; and particularly God's earth, where she rejoiced with the sons of men, was the scene of her mirth. But on this very account, because this is further said, we also lose nothing if אמון should be interpreted otherwise. And it is otherwise to be interpreted, for Wisdom is, in consequence of קנני (Proverbs 8:22), and חוללתי, which is twice used (Proverbs 8:24-25), God's own child; but the designation אמון would make Him to be the אמן of Wisdom; and the child which an אמן bears, Numbers 11:12, and fosters, Esther 2:7, is not his own. Hence it follows that אמון in this signification would be an ἅπαξ λεγόμενον; on the other hand, it really occurs elsewhere, Jeremiah 52:15 (vid., Hitzig l.c.), in the sense of opifex. This sense, which recommends itself to Ewald, Hitzig, Bertheau, and Zckler, lies also at the foundation of the ἁρμόζουσα of the lxx, מתקנא of the Syr., the cuncta componens of Jerome, and the designation of Wisdom as ἡ τῶν πάντων τεχνῖτις of the Book of Wisdom 7:21. The workmaster is called אמון, for which, Sol 7:2, אמן, or rather אמּן (ommân), Aram. and Mishn. אוּמן; not, perhaps, as he whom one entrusts with something in whom one confides or may confide in a work (vid., Fleischer, loc), but from אמן, to be firm, as one who is strong in his art, as perhaps also the right hand, which has the name ימין as being the artifex among the members. The word occurs also as an adjective in the sense of "experienced, skilful," and does not form a fem. according to the use of the word in this case before us, only because handicraft (אוּמנוּת) belongs to men, and not to women; also in the Greek, δημιουργός, in the sense of τὰ δημόσια (εἰς τὸ δημόσιον) ἐργαζόμενος, has no fem.; and in Lat., artifex is used as a substantive (e.g., in Pliny: artifex omnium natura), like an adj. of double gender. It is thus altogether according to rule that we read אמון and not אמונה (after the form בּגודה); also we would make a mistake if we translated the word by the German "Werkmeisterin" work-mistress, directress (Hitzig), for it is intended to be said that she took up the place of a workmaster with Him, whereby chiefly the artistic performances of a חרשׁ artificer are thought of. This self-designation of Wisdom is here very suitable; for after she has said that she was brought forth by God before the world was, and that she was present when it was created, this אמון now answers the question as to what God had in view when He gave to Wisdom her separate existence, and in what capacity she assisted in the creation of the world: it was she who transferred the creative thoughts originally existing in the creative will of God, and set in motion by His creative order, from their ideal into their real effectiveness, and, as it were, artistically carried out the delineations of the several creatures; she was the mediating cause, the demiurgic power which the divine creative activity made use of, as is said, Proverbs 3:19, "Jahve has by Wisdom founded the earth," and as the Jerusalem Targ. Genesis 1:1, in connection with Proverbs 8:22, translates: בחוּכמא ברא יי ית שׁמיּא וית ארעא.

But - this is now the question - does the further unfolding of the thoughts here agree with this interpretation of אמון? That we may not misunderstand what follows, we must first of all represent to ourselves, that if אמון meant the foster-child, Wisdom could not yet, in what follows, be thought of as a little child (Numbers 11:12), for that would be an idea without any meaning; to rejoice [spielen equals play] is certainly quite in accordance with youth, as 2 Samuel 2:14 shows (where שׂחק לפני is said of the sportive combat of youthful warriors before the captain), not exclusively little children. So, then, we must guard against interpreting שׁעשׁוּעים, with the lxx and Syr., in the sense of שׁעשׁוּעיו - an interpretation which the Targ., Jerome, the Graec. Venet., and Luther have happily avoided; for mention is not made here of what Wisdom is for Jahve, but of what she is in herself. The expression is to be judged after Psalm 109:4 (cf. Genesis 12:2), where Hitzig rightly translates, "I am wholly prayer;" but Bttcher, in a way characteristic of his mode of interpretation, prefers, "I am ointment" (vid., Neue Aehrenlese, No. 1222). The delight is meant which this mediating participation in God's creating work imparted to her - joy in the work in which she was engaged. The pluralet. שׁעשׁועים is to be understood here, not after Jeremiah 13:20, but after Isaiah 11:8; Psalm 119:70, where its root-word, the Pilpel שׁעשׁע (proceeding from the primary meaning of caressing, demulcere), signifies intransitively: to have his delight somewhere or in anything, to delight oneself - a synonym to the idea of play (cf. Aram. שׁעא, Ethpe. to play, Ethpa. to chatter); for play is in contrast to work, an occupation which has enjoyment in view. But the work, i.e., the occupation, which aims to do something useful, can also become a play if it costs no strenuous effort, or if the effort which it costs passes wholly into the background in presence of the pleasure which it yields. Thus Wisdom daily, i.e., during the whole course of creation, went forth in pure delight; and the activity with which she translated into fact the creative thoughts was a joyful noise in the sight of God, whose commands she obeyed with childlike devotion; cf. 2 Samuel 6:21, where David calls his dancing and leaping before the ark of the covenant a 'שׂחק לפני ה. But by preference, her delight was in the world, which is illustrated from the Persian Minokhired, which personifies Wisdom, and, among other things, says of her: "The creation of the earth, and its mingling with water, the springing up and the growth of the trees, all the different colours, the odour, the taste, and that which is pleasing in everything - all that is chiefly the endowment and the performance of Wisdom."

(Note: Vid., Spiegel's Grammatik der prsisprache, p. 162, cf. 182.)

She also there says that she was before all celestial and earthly beings, the first with Ormuzd, and that all that is celestial and earthly arose and also remains in existence by her. But the earth was the dearest object of her delight in the whole world; to help in establishing it (Proverbs 3:19) was her joyful occupation; to fashion it, and to provide it with the multiplicity of existences designed for it, was the most pleasant part of her creative activity. For the earth is the abode of man, and the heart-pleasure of Wisdom was with (את־, prep.) the children of men; with them she found her high enjoyment, these were her peculiar and dearest sphere of activity.

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