| 1 The wicked flee when
no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.
2 For the transgression of a land many are the princes thereof: but by a man of understanding and knowledge the state thereof shall be prolonged.
3 A poor man that oppresseth the poor is like a sweeping rain which leaveth no food.
4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.
5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
- Flee By intense effort to protect ourselves we may develop unnatural,
imaginary fears. This does not mean we can ignore good judgment. It means
that we can be sure that if we are following the path on missions for God,
we are in his hands. Like Esther, we are ready to live or die
4 - Forsake ... keep the law When harmony is not always a sign of righteousness. People who obey God are hated by the wicked.
5 - Seek the Lord and understand It is true that trying to know God through His word allows Him to bless the mind. But our verse means more. You can think about it.
Better is the poor that walketh in his uprightness, than he that is perverse
in his ways, though he be rich.
7 Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
8 He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.
.9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
10 Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit: but the upright shall have good things in possession.
- Gather it for ... The greedy person may
by death or theft leave his money to someone who will help the poor.
9 - Turneth ... ear ... law This is caution against religion that is not in harmony with the law. "Law" is from torah which means "teaching." Sometimes it refers to the five books of Moses which includes the ten commandments and other commands and rules. From our verse we see the danger of religion not based on the Scriptures. As we learned from the Protestant Reformation, not all that seems good is supported from the Bible. We need to personally examine what we hold as doctrine.
The rich man is wise in his own conceit; but the poor that hath understanding
searcheth him out.
12 When righteous men do rejoice, there is great glory: but when the wicked rise, a man is hidden.
.13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.
14 Happy is the man that feareth alway: but he that hardeneth his heart shall fall into mischief.
.15 As a roaring lion, and a ranging bear; so is a wicked ruler over the poor people.
- Covereth How easy it is to protect our pride and excuse sin, or
worse, lie to hide it. How many famous (and not famous) people, in the
day of judgment will appear very differently than they do now.
13 - Confess ... forsake Confession is not enough. It is a mistake to suppose that because Jesus paid for our sins, we are free to follow our own ways.
14 - Happy ... feareth As we see by the contrast in the rest of the verse, this means fear to do wrong which is really fear of God or fear to displease Him, not because He wants to hurt us but because we see Him as an awesome God. We want Him to correct our deviations from righteousness ps119011, ph0212, ja0122. The Holy Spirit will help us ep0316, 1pe0122.
15 - Wicked ruler How often this has been and is the case. Instead of love and care for those who depend on us or the products sold, greed and hatred often rule.
| 16 The prince that wanteth
[who lacks] understanding is also a great oppressor: but he that
hateth covetousness shall prolong his days.
17 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay [stop] him.
18 Whoso walketh uprightly shall be saved: but he that is perverse in his ways shall fall at once.
19 He that tilleth his land shall have plenty of bread: but he that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
20 A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent.
- Oppressor See je2213
remembering to look at more than the first pointed to.
17 - Blood ... pit ... No one should stop the death (pit is the grave) of a murderer ge0905, ex2112. Of course the person who kills by accident could flee to a city of refuge nu3511.
18 - At once Literally "in one." The RSV reads "into a pit" referring to the pit of v17.
| 21 To have respect of
persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.
22 He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him.
.23 He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
24 Whoso robbeth his father or his mother, and saith, It is no transgression; the same is the companion of a destroyer.
- For a piece of bread For a bribe of small value, the wicked person
will hurt or help someone.
22 - Or "A miserly man hastens after wealth. . . ." RSV.
He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife: but he that putteth his
trust in the LORD shall be made fat.
26 He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
.27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.
28 When the wicked rise, men hide themselves: but when they perish, the righteous increase.
- Proud heart See on lu1814.
26 - Trusteth ... own heart Paul agrees 1co1012.
27 - Giveth ... poor Compare pr1917.