The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul—i.e., has enough for his wants. (See above on Proverbs 10:3.)
but the belly of the wicked shall want; not only spiritual food, which he has no appetite for, but corporeal food; he shall starve in the midst of plenty, not having a heart to put that food into his mouth, and fill his belly with it, as nature requires, through his covetousness; or, having spent his substance in rioting and wantonness, wants bread to satisfy the craving of his appetite.The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul: but the belly of the wicked shall want.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 25. - The righteous eateth to the satisfying of his soul (comp. Proverbs 10:3; Psalm 34:10). The good man has always enough to satisfy his wants, because he is temperate, and his substance has the blessing of God. "The chief thing for life," says Siracides (Ecclus. 29:21), "is water, and bread, and clothing, and a house to cover shame." The belly of the wicked shall want. The wicked are punished by penury and desires never satisfied. These different results are providentially ordered.
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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