The merciful man does good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubles his own flesh.
The loving man does good to himself, while the cruel afflict their own souls. As examples of the former, see Joseph in prison (Genesis 40:6), the Kenites (1 Samuel 15:6), David and the Egyptian slave (1 Samuel 30:11-20), David's conduct to Jonathan (2 Samuel 9:7; 2 Samuel 21:7), Job praying for his friends (Job 42:10), the centurion and the Jews (Luke 7:2-10), the people of Melita to Paul (Acts 28:1-10). For examples of the latter, see Joseph's brethren (Genesis 37; Genesis 42:21), Adoni-bezek (Judges 1:6, 7), Agag (1 Samuel 15:33), Haman (Esther 9:25).
I. RELIGION APPEALS TO THE WHOLE RANGE OF OUR MOTIVES, FROM THE LOWEST TO THE HIGHEST. We should cultivate the higher, but not ignore the lower.
II. TO DO GOOD TO OTHERS IS TO DO CERTAIN GOOD TO OURSELVES. We thus make friends, and they are a defence.
III. TO INJURE OTHERS IS CERTAINLY TO INJURE OURSELVES. Thus we make enemies. And "he that hath a thousand friends bath not one to spare; he that hath an enemy shall meet him everywhere." - J.
Parallel VersesKJV: The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.