Proverbs 13:19
The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
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(19) But it is abomination to fools . . .—That is, though their clinging to evil prevents the attainment of such objects as are worth desiring. If the verse be interpreted “therefore it is abomination,” &c, the sense will be, “because the satisfaction of desire is pleasant, therefore fools will not give up anything, though evil, on which they have set their minds.”

Proverbs 13:19. The desire accomplished is sweet — Whatsoever men earnestly desire the enjoyment of, it is sweet to them; therefore sinners rejoice in the satisfaction of their sinful lusts, and abhor all restraint of them.

13:14. The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. 15. The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse. 16. It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. 17. Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves. 18. He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. 19. There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins. 20. Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. 21. When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous. 22. The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. 23. The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment. 24. He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter. 25. It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.The connection is somewhat obscure. Either, "Satisfied desire is pleasant, therefore it is an abomination to fools to depart from the evil on which their minds are set;" or, "Sweet is the satisfaction of desire, yet the wicked will not depart from the evil which makes that satisfaction impossible." 19. Self-denial, which fools will not endure, is essential to success. The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul; the satisfaction of a man’s desires by the enjoyment of the things desired is very acceptable to him; which may be taken either,

1. Of the desire of fools, which may be understood out of the next clause. So the sense of the verse is, It is sweet to sinners to indulge and satisfy their desires, which are wholly carnal and sinful, and for that reason they love sin, and hate the thoughts of leaving it, because their desires are wholly and fully set upon it. Or,

2. Of good desires, or of the desires of wise and good men, as the LXX., and Chaldee, and Syriac, and Arabic interpreters understand it, by the opposition of

fools in the next clause. So the sense may be this. The desires of good men are set upon what is good, and they rejoice when they attain to it, and are grieved when they fall short of it; but the desires of the wicked are set upon sin, and it is a pleasure to them to commit it, and an abomination to them to be hindered from it. Or rather,

3. Of desires in general. Whatsoever men do earnestly desire, the enjoyment of it is very sweet and grateful to them; and therefore sinners rejoice in the pursuit and satisfaction of their sinful lusts, and abhor all restraint and mortification of them. For this is certain and confessed, that many things are understood in these short proverbial speeches which are not expressed.

But; or, and, as this particle properly signifies; or, therefore, as it is frequently used.

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul,.... Whether the desire be after riches and honour, after wisdom and knowledge; or after the best things, the knowledge of God, and communion with him; an interest in Christ, and the blessings of his grace, as pardon, righteousness, &c. and a right and title to eternal glory and happiness, and the enjoyment of that: and how sweet are these things the soul desires, when they are possessed! see Proverbs 13:12; such are "the desires of the godly", as the Septuagint render the word;

but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil; they cannot bear the thoughts of parting with their lusts; they are so delightful to them, not knowing anything of the sweetness of the things before mentioned; and which they can never enjoy without departing from sin, to which they are exceedingly averse.

The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.
19. but] If with R.V. we retain but, we must understand desire in the first clause in a good sense, as in Proverbs 13:12 : q.d. in spite of the sweetness of good desires accomplished, fools will not forsake evil to attain to it. Balaam’s desire, “let me die the death of the righteous” (Numbers 23:10), would have been “sweet to his soul” in its accomplishment, but it was abomination to him to depart from “the wages of unrighteousness.” (2 Peter 2:15.)

Some, however, would understand the first clause as assigning a reason for what is stated in the second: Because the desire accomplished, &c., therefore it is abomination to fools to depart from the evil on which their heart is set.

Verse 19. - The desire accomplished (comp. ver. 12). This is usually taken to mean the desire of what is good and honest, when it is fulfilled and realized, is a source of highest joy and comfort to the wise. Septuagint, "The desires of the pious are sweet to the soul." But it is abomination to fools to depart from evil. The antithesis is not very obvious, but it may be: it is sweet to a good man to obtain his wish; but for a wicked man to leave, to abandon evil to which he clings so fondly, is a detestable alternative. Or the latter clause may mean that the wicked will not give up the evil which makes the satisfaction of their desire impossible. But it is best to take the first clause as a general statement, viz. the satisfaction of desire is pleasant to all men; then the latter member gives a special case and will signify, "For the sake of this pleasure bad men will not give up their evil wishes and plans; they will pursue what they have set their heart upon because they hate the idea of foregoing their evil designs." Septuagint, "The deeds of sinners are far from knowledge," i.e. from practical wisdom, prudence, and piety. The Vulgate introduces quite another thought, "Fools abhor those who flee from evil." Compare the passage in Wisd. 2, concerning the sinner's hatred of the good. Proverbs 13:19Two pairs of proverbs regarding fools and wise men, ranged together by catchwords.

19 Quickened desire is sweet to the soul,

     And it is an abomination to fools to avoid evil.

A synthetic distich, the first line of which, viewed by itself, is only a feebler expression of that which is said in Proverbs 13:12, for תּאוה נהיה is essentially of the same meaning as תאוה באה, not the desire that has just arisen and is not yet appeased (Umbreit, Hitzig, Zckler), which when expressed by a part. of the same verb would be הוה ( equals אשׁר היתה), but the desire that is appeased (Jerome, Luther, also Venet. ἔφεσις γενομένη, i.e., after Kimchi: in the fulfilling of past desire; on the contrary, the Syr., Targ. render the phrase נאוה of becoming desire). The Niph. נהיה denotes not the passing into a state of being, but the being carried out into historical reality, e.g., Ezekiel 21:12; Ezekiel 39:8, where it is connected with באה; it is always the expression of the completed fact to which there is a looking back, e.g., Judges 20:3; and this sense of the Niph. stands so fast, that it even means to be done, finished (brought to an end), to be out, to be done with anything, e.g., Daniel 2:1.

(Note: We have said, p. 156, that a Niph. in which the peculiar causative meaning of the Hiph. would be rendered passively is without example; we must here with נהיה add, that the Niph. of intransitive verbs denotes the entrance into the condition expressed by the Kal, and may certainly be regarded, according to our way of thinking, as passive of the Hiphil (Gesen. 51, 2). But the old language shows no ההוה to which נהיה (Arab. âinhaway, in Mutenebbi) stood as passive; in the Arab. also the seventh form, rightly regarded, is always formed from the first, vid., Fleischer's Beitrge, u.s.w., in the Sitzungs-Bericht. d. Schs. Gesellschaft d. Wiss. 1863, p. 172f.)

The sentence, that fulfilled desire does good to the soul, appears commonplace (Hitzig); but it is comprehensive enough on the ground of Hebrews 11 to cheer even a dying person, and conceals the ethically significant truth that the blessedness of vision is measured by the degree of the longing of faith. But the application of the clause in its pairing with 19b acquires another aspect. On this account, because the desire of the soul is pleasant in its fulfilment, fools abhor the renouncing of evil, for their desire is directed to that which is morally worthless and blameworthy, and the endeavour, which they closely and constantly adhere to, is to reach the attainment of this desire. This subordinate proposition of the conclusion is unexpressed. The pairing of the two lines of the proverb may have been occasioned by the resemblance in sound of תועבת and תּאוה. סוּר is n. actionis, like Proverbs 16:17, cf. 6. Besides, it in to be observed that the proverb speaks of fools and not of the godless. Folly is that which causes that men do not break free from evil, for it is the deceit of sinful lust which binds them fast thereto.

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