Proverbs 9:8
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Proverbs 9:8-9. Reprove not a scorner — An incorrigible sinner, who despises and scornfully rejects the means of amendment. Thus physicians deny physic to persons in a desperate condition; lest he hate thee — Whereby thou wilt not only expose thyself, without necessity, to his malice and rage, but also make thyself utterly incapable of doing that good, which, possibly, thou mightest do by other more prudent and proper means. Rebuke a wise man — Who is opposed to the scorner, to intimate that scorners, however they are thought by themselves or others to be witty or wise, yet, in God’s account, and in truth, are fools; and he will love thee — Both for that faithfulness and charity which he perceives in thee, and for that benefit which he receives from thee. Give instruction to a wise man — In the Hebrew it is only give; for, as receiving is put for learning, (Proverbs 1:3,) so giving is put for teaching. And he will be yet wiser — This is an undoubted maxim, that a man disposed to learn, who and has already hearkened to the instructions of wisdom, will grow wiser by reprehension; and the advice given to a just, or righteous man, one truly desirous of knowing and practising his duty, will make him yet better, and much improve him in every branch of piety and virtue.

9:1-12 Christ has prepared ordinances to which his people are admitted, and by which nourishment is given here to those that believe in him, as well as mansions in heaven hereafter. The ministers of the gospel go forth to invite the guests. The call is general, and shuts out none that do not shut out themselves. Our Saviour came, not to call the righteous, but sinners; not the wise in their own eyes, who say they see. We must keep from the company and foolish pleasures of the ungodly, or we never can enjoy the pleasures of a holy life. It is vain to seek the company of wicked men in the hope of doing them good; we are far more likely to be corrupted by them. It is not enough to forsake the foolish, we must join those that walk in wisdom. There is no true wisdom but in the way of religion, no true life but in the end of that way. Here is the happiness of those that embrace it. A man cannot be profitable to God; it is for our own good. Observe the shame and ruin of those who slight it. God is not the Author of sin: and Satan can only tempt, he cannot force. Thou shalt bear the loss of that which thou scornest: it will add to thy condemnation.These verses seem somewhat to interrupt the continuity of the invitation which Wisdom utters. The order of thought is, however, this: "I speak to you, the simple, the open ones, for you have yet ears to hear: but from the scorner or evil doer, as such, I turn away." The words are illustrated by Matthew 13:11 ff. 7, 8. shame—(Compare Pr 3:35).

a blot—or, "stain on character." Both terms denote the evil done by others to one whose faithfulness secures a wise man's love.

Reprove not a scorner; an obstinate and incorrigible sinner, who scornfully rejects and despiseth the means of amendment. Thus physicians deny physic to persons in desperate condition.

Lest he hate thee; whereby thou wilt not only expose thyself without necessity to his malice and rage, but also make thyself utterly uncapable of doing him that good which possibly thou mightest do by other more prudent and proper means.

Rebuke a wise man; who is opposed to the scorner, to intimate that scorners, howsoever they are thought by themselves or others to be witty or wise, yet in God’s account, and in truth, are fools.

He will love thee; both for that faithfulness and charity which he perceiveth in thee, and for that benefit which he receiveth from thee.

Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee,.... For wicked men are apt to hate those that publicly rebuke them, Amos 5:10. Hence minister's of the word are of all men most hated; though this also should be bore with, could it be thought, or there was any reason to believe, that the reproof would be of any service. The scorner here, and in the preceding verses, may not only design profane sinners, sensualists, and atheists, that despise all religion, and scoff at all that is good; but also proud scornful Pharisees, such who derided Christ himself, and trusted in themselves, and despised others, Christ and his apostles, and their ministrations, Luke 16:14; and such, as Christ came not to call them himself, so he bid his disciples let them alone, Matthew 9:13;

rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee; as David did Nathan; and who was determined to take kindly the reproof of any righteous man, Psalm 141:5. Such who are spiritually wise will be thankful for the reproof of Gospel ministers, and even of private Christians, and will love and esteem them for their faithfulness and uprightness, and for the good which they themselves receive hereby.

Reprove not a {h} scorner, lest he shall hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.

(h) Meaning them who are incorrigible, which Christ calls dogs and swine: or he speaks this in comparison, not that the wicked should not be rebuked, but he shows their malice, and the small hope of the profit.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 8. - Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee (see the last note, and comp. Proverbs 15:12, and note there). There are times when reproof only hardens and exasperates. "It is not proper," says St. Gregory, "for the good man to fear lest the scorner should utter abuse at him when he is chidden, but lest, being drawn into hatred, he should be made worse" ('Moral.,' 8:67). "Bad men sometimes we spare, and not ourselves, if from the love of those we cease from the rebuking of them. Whence it is needful that we sometimes endure keeping to ourselves what they are, in order that they may learn in us by our good living what they are not" (ibid., 20:47, Oxford transl.). Rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. So Psalm 141:5, "Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me, it shall be as oil upon the head; let not my head refuse it" (comp. Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 25:12; Proverbs 27:6). Proverbs 9:8The ו in ויאהבך is that of consequence (apodosis imperativi): so he will love thee (as also Ewald now translates), not: that he may love thee (Syr., Targ.), for the author speaks here only of the consequence, not of something else, as an object kept in view. The exhortation influences the mocker less than nothing, so much the more it bears fruit with the wise. Thus the proverb is confirmed habenti dabitur, Matthew 13:12; Matthew 25:29.
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