The light of the righteous rejoices: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The light of the righteous rejoiceth—i.e., burns joyously, as the sun “rejoiceth as a giant to run his course” (Psalm 19:5). A distinction may be drawn between the “light” of the righteous and “lamp” of the wicked. The one walks in the “light” of God’s truth, and so his path becomes continually more plain (see above on Proverbs 6:23); the other walks by the glimmer of his own “lamp,” the “fire” and “sparks” of his own kindling (Isaiah 50:11), the fancies of his own devising, and so his end is darkness. But this distinction is not always observed (comp. Job 18:5-6, where “light” and “lamp” are both applied to the wicked.)Proverbs 13:9. The light of the righteous rejoiceth, &c. — Or, as Schultens renders it, The light of the righteous shall shine forth joyfully; but the darkening lamp of the wicked shall be put out — See note on Proverbs 4:18-19. The meaning seems to be, 1st, The comfort of good men is flourishing and lasting; their prosperity increases and makes them glad. 2d, The comfort of bad men is withering and dying; their lamp burns dim and faint; it looks melancholy, like a taper in an urn; and it will shortly be put out in litter darkness, Isaiah 50:11.Psalm 19:5; Job 38:7). Note also the distinction between the "light" and the "lamp." The righteous ones have the true light in them. That which belongs to the wicked is only derived and temporary, and even that shall be extinguished before long. Compare a like distinction in John 1:8; John 5:35.
rejoiceth—burns brightly, or continues, while the other, at best small, soon fails.The light; the prosperity or happiness, which is oft called a light or lamp in Scripture, and other authors.
Rejoiceth; shineth with a pleasant and constant brightness and glory; for this is opposed to the putting out in the next clause. Rejoicing is here ascribed to the light, as it is to the sun, Psalm 19:5, both metaphorically, because they would rejoice in it if they were capable of any such passions; and metonymically, because they refresh and cheer men’s spirits. So mountains and trees are said to rejoice, Psalm 65:12 96:12.
The lamp of the wicked shall be put out; their felicity shall have a sudden and a dismal end. Revelation 21:23;
but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out; the light of the righteous is like that of the sun, bright and pleasant; but the light of the wicked is like that of a lamp, lesser and not so agreeable, nor will it last; their prosperity is short lived, their joy is but for a moment; the pleasures of sin are but for a season; their candle soon goes out; it is put out in obscure darkness, and they themselves are reserved to blackness of darkness, Job 18:5; as prosperous and flourishing as the kingdom of antichrist has been or is, it will be full of darkness, Revelation 16:12.The light of the righteous rejoiceth: but the lamp of the wicked shall be put out.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)9. light … lamp] The change of word is doubtless designed. So our Lord is φῶς, and John Baptist λύχνος (John 8:12; John 5:35).
shall be put out] Comp. Proverbs 20:20, Proverbs 24:20.
The LXX. add to this verse:
“Deceitful souls go astray in sins;
But the righteous are pitiful and merciful.”Verse 9. - The light of the righteous rejoiceth; laetificat, Vulgate. But the verb is intransitive, and means "burn joyfully," bright and clear, as the sun rejoices as a strong man to run a race (Psalm 19:5). This light (or) is the grace and virtue which adorn the good man's life, and which beam through all his actions with a cheerful, kindly radiance (comp. Proverbs 4:18, 19). This is a true light, kindled in his heart by God, different from the lamp (ner) of the wicked, which is devised and lighted by themselves, and has no element of permanence, but soon shall be put out (Proverbs 24:20; comp. Proverbs 20:20; Job 18:5; John 1:8; John 5:35, where the distinction between "light" and "lamp" is maintained). The lamp of the wicked is the false show of wisdom or piety, which may glimmer and deceive for a time, but is ere long detected and brought to naught. There may be here an allusion to a common custom in the East. "No house, however poor," says Dr. Geikie ('Holy Land,' 1:117), "is left without a light burning in it all night; the housewife rising betimes to secure its continuance by replenishing the lamp with oil. If a lamp goes out, it is a fatal omen" (comp. 1 Kings 15:4; Jeremiah 25:10; Revelation 18:23). Septuagint, "The light of the righteous is everlasting; but the light of sinners is quenched." Then is introduced a couplet not found in the Hebrew, of which the latter part is borrowed from Psalm 37:21 or Psalms 112:5, "Crafty souls go astray in sins; righteous men show mercy and pity." The Vulgate inserts this paragraph after ver. 13.
He that openeth his lips, to him it is destruction.
3a is extended in Proverbs 21:23 to a distich. Mouth and soul stand in closest interchangeable relation, for speech is the most immediate and continuous expression of the soul; thus whoever guards his mouth keeps his soul (the Venet., with excellent rendering of the synonym, ὁ τηρῶν τὸ στόμα ἑαυτοῦ φυλάσσει τὴν ψυχὴν ἑαυτοῦ), for he watches that no sinful vain thoughts rise up in his soul and come forth in words, and because he thus keeps his soul, i.e., himself, safe from the destructive consequences of the sins of the tongue. On the contrary, he who opens wide his lips, i.e., cannot hold his mouth (lxx ὁ δὲ προπετὴς χείλεσιν), but expresses unexamined and unconsidered whatever comes into his mind and gives delight, he is destruction to himself (supply הוּא), or to him it is destruction (supply זאת); both interpretations are possible, the parallelism brings nearer the former, and the parallel Proverbs 18:7 brings nearer the latter. פּשׂק means to spread (Schultens diducere cum ruptura vel ad rupturam usque), here the lips, Pih. Ezekiel 16:25, the legs, Arab. fashkh, farshkh; vid., regarding the R. פש, to extend, to spread out, Fleischer in the supplements to the A. L. Z. 1843, Colossians 116. Regarding the Mishle word מחתּה, vid., under Proverbs 10:14.
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