Proverbs 10:7
The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
10:7. Both the just and the wicked must die; but between their souls there is a vast difference. 8. The wise in heart puts his knowledge in practice. 9. Dissemblers, after all their shuffling, will be exposed. 10. Trick and artifice will be no excuse for iniquity. 11. The good man's mouth is always open to teach, comfort, and correct others. 12. Where there is hatred, every thing stirs up strife. By bearing with each other, peace and harmony are preserved. 13. Those that foolishly go on in wicked ways, prepare rods for themselves. 14. Whatever knowledge may be useful, we must lay it up, that it may not be to seek when we want it. The wise gain this wisdom by reading, by hearing the word, by meditation, by prayer, by faith in Christ, who is made of God unto us wisdom. 15. This refers to the common mistakes both of rich and poor, as to their outward condition. Rich people's wealth exposes them to many dangers; while a poor man may live comfortably, if he is content, keeps a good conscience, and lives by faith. 16. Perhaps a righteous man has no more than what he works hard for, but that labour tends to life. 17. The traveller that has missed his way, and cannot bear to be told of it, and to be shown the right way, must err still. 18. He is especially a fool who thinks to hide anything from God; and malice is no better. 19. Those that speak much, speak much amiss. He that checks himself is a wise man, and therein consults his own peace. 20,21. The tongue of the just is sincere, freed from the dross of guile and evil design. Pious discourse is spiritual food to the needy. Fools die for want of a heart, so the word is; for want of thought.Covereth ... - The meaning is perhaps, the violence which the wicked has done is as a bandage over his mouth, reducing him to a silence and shame, like that of the leper Leviticus 13:45; Micah 3:7 or the condemned criminal Esther 7:8, whose "face is covered." 7. blessed—literally, "for a blessing," or praise.

shall rot—literally, "be worm-eaten," useless and disgusting.

Is blessed, i.e. honourable and acceptable to those who mention them. Compare Job 31:20 Psalm 62:5.

Shall rot; shall perish, and be cursed and detestable amongst men, shall stink above ground. The memory of the just is blessed,.... Men to whom he has been useful, either in temporals or spirituals, bless him, or wish all blessings to him while alive, whenever they make mention of his name; and after death they speak well of him, and pronounce him blessed; for such are had in everlasting remembrance; the memory of them is sweet and precious; their name is famous and valuable, and always spoken of with honour and commendation; see Psalm 112:6. The Jewish writers take it for a command, and render it, "let the memory of the just be blessed"; and say, that he that transgresses it breaks an affirmative precept; they make an abbreviation of the word by the initial letters, and join them to the names of their celebrated men;

but the name of the wicked shall rot; shall be forgotten, be buried in oblivion, and never mentioned: and though they may call their houses, lands, and cities, by their own names, in order to transmit their memory to posterity; yet these, by one means or another, are destroyed, and their memorials perish with them; see Ecclesiastes 8:10; and if their names are mentioned after they are gone, it is with detestation and abhorrence, as things putrefied are abhorred; so they leave an ill savour behind them, when the good name of the righteous is as precious ointment, Ecclesiastes 7:1. It is a saying of Cicero (a), that

"the life of the dead lies in the memory of the living.''

(a) Orat. 51. Philip. 9.

The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall {d} perish.

(d) Shall be vile and abhorred both by God and man, contrary to their own expectation, who think to make their name immortal.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 7. - The memory. The lasting, fragrant perfume of a holy life is contrasted with the noisomeness and quick decay of an evil name (comp. Psalm 72:17). As a commentator asks, "Who ever thinks of calling a child Judas or Nero?" In the introduction, chap. 1-9, there are larger sections of interconnected thoughts having one common aim. Even in Proverbs 6:1-19 there are manifestly three proverbial discourses distinguished from one another, shorter indeed, yet containing one fundamental thought. Such proverbs as are primarily designed to form one completed little whole of themselves, are not here to be met with. On the contrary, the Solomonic collection which now follows consists of pure distichs, for the most part antithetical, but at the same time going over all the forms of the technical proverb, as we have already shown; vid., p. 16. Accordingly the exposition must from this point onward renounce reproduced combinations of thought. The succession of proverbs here is nevertheless not one that is purely accidental or without thought; it is more than a happy accident when three of the same character stand together; the collector has connected together proverb with proverb according to certain common characteristics (Bertheau). And yet more than that: the mass separates itself into groups, not merely succeeding one another, but because a certain connection of ideas connects together a number of proverbs, in such a way that the succession is broken, and a new point of departure is arrived at (Hitzig). There is no comprehensive plan, such as Oetinger in his summary view of its contents supposes; the progressive unfolding follows no systematic scheme, but continuously wells forth. But that the editor, whom we take also to be the arranger of the contents of the book, did not throw them together by good chance, but in placing them together was guided by certain reasons, the very first proverb here shows, for it is chosen in conformity with the design of this book, which is specially dedicated to youth:

1 A wise son maketh glad his father;

   A foolish son is his mother's grief.

One sees here quite distinctly (cf. Hosea 13:13) that חכם (from חכם, properly to be thick, stout, solid, as πυκνός equals σοφός) is primarily a practical and ethical conception. Similar proverbs are found further on, but consisting of synonymous parallel members, in which either the father both times represents the parents, as Proverbs 17:21; Proverbs 23:24, or father and mother are separated, each being named in different members, as Proverbs 17:25; Proverbs 23:25, and particularly Proverbs 15:20, where 20a equals 1a of the above proverb. It is incorrect to say, with Hitzig, that this contrast draws the division after it: the division lies nearer in the synonymous distichs, and is there less liable to be misunderstood than in the antithetic. Thus, from this proverb before us, it might be concluded that grief on account of a befooled son going astray in bypaths, and not coming to the right way, falls principally on the mother, as (Sir. 3:9) is often the case in unfortunate marriages. The idea of the parents is in this way only separated, and the two members stand in suppletive interchangeable relationship. ישׂמּח is the middle of the clause, and is the usual form in connection; ישׂמּח is the pausal form. תּוּגה, from הוגה (יגה), has pass. , as תּורה, act. . "The expression of the pred. 1b is like Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 8:6; Proverbs 10:14.; cf. e.g., Arab. âlastaḳṣa furkat, oversharpening is dividing, i.e., effects it inquiries become or lead to separation (cf. our proverb, Allzuscharf macht scharig equals too much sharpening makes full of notches); Burckhardt, Sprchw. Nr. 337" (Fl.).

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