When a man's ways please the LORD, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)When a man’s ways please the Lord . . .—Comp. Genesis 26:28; 2Chronicles 17:10-11.Proverbs 16:7. When a man’s ways please the Lord — The best way to have our enemies reconciled unto us, is for us first to be reconciled unto God; for such is the love which the Lord hath to pious and virtuous persons, that when all their designs and actions are such as he approves, he often inclines even those that were their foes to become their friends, disposing their hearts to kindness toward them.Hebrews 11:6; and when all his ways and actions are directed to the glory of God;
he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him; as Abimelech with Isaac, Esau with Jacob; and the enemies of the church and people of God with then, in the latter day, Revelation 3:9.When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 7. - When a man's ways please the Lord, which they can do only when they are religious, just, and charitable. He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him; to submit themselves. Experience proves that nothing succeeds like success. Where a man is prosperous and things go well with him, even ill-wishers are content to east away or to dissemble their dislike, and to live at peace with him. Thus Abimelech King of Gerar fawned upon Isaac because he saw that the Lord was with him (Genesis 26:27, etc.). This is the worldly side of the maxim. It has a higher aspect, and intimates the far reaching influence of goodness - how it disarms opposition, arouses reverence and love, gives no occasion for disputes, and spreads around an atmosphere of peace. To the Jews the maxim was taught by external circumstances. While they were doing the will of the Lord, their land was to be preserved from hostile attack (Exodus 34:24; 2 Chronicles 17:10). And Christians learn that it is only when they obey and fear God that they can overcome the assaults of the enemies of their soul - the devil, the world, and the flesh Talmud, "He who is agreeable to God is equally agreeable to men."
1 Man's are the counsels of the heart;
But the answer of the tongue cometh from Jahve.
Gesen., Ewald, and Bertheau incorrectly understand 1b of hearing, i.e., of a favourable response to what the tongue wishes; 1a speaks not of wishes, and the gen. after מענה (answer) is, as at Proverbs 15:23; Micah 3:7, and also here, by virtue of the parallelism, the gen. subjecti Proverbs 15:23 leads to the right sense, according to which a good answer is joy to him to whom it refers: it does not always happen to one to find the fitting and effective expression for that which he has in his mind; it is, as this cog. proverb expresses it, a gift from above (δοθήσεται, Matthew 10:19). But now, since מענה neither means answering, nor yet in general an expression (Euchel) or report (Lwenstein), and the meaning of the word at 4a is not here in question, one has to think of him whom the proverb has in view as one who has to give a reason, to give information, or generally - since ענה, like ἀμείβεσθαι, is not confined to the interchange of words - to solve a problem, and that such an one as requires reflection. The scheme (project, premeditation) which he in his heart contrives, is here described as מערכי־לב, from ערך, to arrange, to place together, metaphorically of the reflection, i.e., the consideration analyzing and putting a matter in order. These reflections, seeking at one time in one direction, and at another in another, the solution of the question, the unfolding of the problem, are the business of men; but the answer which finally the tongue gives, and which here, in conformity with the pregnant sense of מענה (vid., at Proverbs 15:23, Proverbs 15:28), will be regarded as right, appropriate, effective, thus generally the satisfying reply to the demand placed before him, is from God. It is a matter of experience which the preacher, the public speaker, the author, and every man to whom his calling or circumstances present a weighty, difficult theme, can attest. As the thoughts pursue one another in the mind, attempts are made, and again abandoned; the state of the heart is somewhat like that of chaos before the creation. But when, finally, the right thought and the right utterance for it are found, that which is found appears to us, not as if self-discovered, but as a gift; we regard it with the feeling that a higher power has influenced our thoughts and imaginings; the confession by us, ἡ ἱκανότης ἡμῶν ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ (2 Corinthians 3:5), in so far as we believe in a living God, is inevitable.
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