Proverbs 13:2
A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.
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(2) A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth.—See above on Proverbs 12:14.

Shall eat violence.—Comp. Proverbs 1:31; Proverbs 26:6.

13:1 There is great hope of those that reverence their parents. There is little hope of any who will not hear those that deal faithfully with them. 2. By our words we must be justified or condemned, Mt 12:37. 3. He that thinks before he speaks, that suppresses evil if he have thought it, keeps his soul from a great deal both of guilt and grief. Many a one is ruined by an ungoverned tongue. 4. The slothful desire the gains the diligent get, but hate the pains the diligent take; therefore they have nothing. This is especially true as to the soul. 5. Where sin reigns, the man is loathsome. If his conscience were awake, he would abhor himself, and repent in dust and ashes.The fruit of his mouth - Speech rightly used is itself good, and must therefore bring good fruit.

Eat violence - i. e., Bring upon itself repayment in kind for its deeds of evil.

2. shall eat—that is, obtain (Pr 12:14).

transgressors—as in Pr 2:22.

violence—or, "mischief" to themselves.

Shall eat good; shall receive much comfort, and credit, and benefit to himself.

By the fruit of his mouth; by his wise and profitable discourses.

The soul, i.e. the person, as the soul is oft used.

The transgressors; who transgress with their lips, as this general phrase may be restrained from the former clause.

Shall eat violence; shall have that violence and injury returned upon themselves, which they have offered to others in word or deed. A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth,.... Or, "of the mouth"; either another's or his own, since the word his is not in the text; though it is supplied by the Targum, Aben Ezra, the Vulgate Latin, and Syriac versions, as by us. The Septuagint and Arabic versions render it, "shall eat of the fruits of righteousness". I should choose to translate the whole thus: "a good man shall eat of the fruit of his mouth": so Aben Ezra interprets it, "a good man shall eat"; and so the Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it. The sense is, that a good man brings forth good things out of the good treasure of his heart by his mouth; which not only minister grace to the hearers, and are for the use of edifying to others, but also to himself; while he gives wholesome counsel and advice to others, it is of service to himself; while he comforts others, he comforts himself; and while he teaches and instructs others, he teaches and instructs himself: so a good minister of Jesus Christ, while he feeds others with knowledge and understanding, he himself is nourished up with the words of faith and good doctrine; so Jarchi refers it to a man's doctrine, and the reward of it here and hereafter;

but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence; Jarchi interprets it,

"the delight of transgressors is violence;'' (u).

that is, what their souls desire, choose, will, and take pleasure in, even using violence, and doing mischief to others; and to the same purpose is the note of Gersom: but Aben Ezra supplies it from the former clause, as we do; and the sense is, that the same measure they mete out to others shall be measured out to them again; what they give others to eat, they shall eat themselves, even the bread of violence; see Proverbs 4:16. And this will be the case of all perfidious and treacherous ones, as the word (w) used signifies; of false teachers and cruel persecutors; and of Babylon, of whom it will he said, "reward her as she rewarded you", Revelation 18:6.

(u) "Anima cupido praevaricatorum est violentis", Gussetius, p. 524. (w) "perfidiosorum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "perfidorum", Cocceius, Schultens.

A man shall eat good by the fruit {a} of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.

(a) If he uses his tongue to God's glory, and the profit of his neighbour, God will bless him.

2. Comp. with the first clause of this verse Proverbs 12:14.

the soul] i.e. the desire (Proverbs 6:30, and Proverbs 13:4 below), or appetite. His desire is to inflict violence on others; it shall be fed, or satisfied, by violence inflicted on him. This is more forcible and preserves the parallelism better than the desire of the treacherous is for violence, R.V. marg.Verse 2. - A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth (Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 18:20). By his kindly speech and wise counsels he shall gain the good will of his neighbours and the blessing of God. Schultens observes that the word rendered "good" (tob) means what is pleasant to taste and smell, while that translated "violence" (chamas) signifies literally what is crude and unripe. The soul of the transgressors shall eat violence (Proverbs 1:31). The Authorized Version introduces the verb from the first clause unnecessarily. The meaning of this rendering is that sinners, especially the treacherous, bring on themselves retribution; the injuries which they devise against others recoil on their own heads (Proverbs 10:6). The Hebrew is, "The soul (i.e. the desire, or delight) of the perfidious (is) violence." Such men have only one thing at heart, viz. to wrong their neighbour, and to increase their own property by any, even nefarious, precedings. Septuagint, "Of the fruits of righteousness the good man shall eat; but the lives of transgressors shall perish untimely." We take Proverbs 12:24-28 together as a group. In these verses the subject is the means of rising (in the world), and the two ways, the one of which leads to error, and the other to life.

24 The land of the diligent attains to dominion,

     But slothfulness will become tributary.

In Proverbs 10:4 רמיּה was adj., but to כּף standing beside it; here it is to be regarded as adj. to יד (sluggish hand) supplied from 24a, but may be equally regarded as a subst. (slothfulness) (vid., at Proverbs 12:27). Regarding חרוּץ, vid., p. 211. מס signifies tribute and service, i.e., tributary service rendered to a master. In Proverbs 11:29 עבד stands for it. It is still the experience of to-day, as it was of Solomon's time, that slothfulness (indolence) brings down to a state of servitude, if not even deeper, but that vigorous activity raises to dominion or to the position of a master, i.e., to independence, wealth, respect, and power.

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