Proverbs 19:28
An ungodly witness scorns judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devours iniquity.
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(28) An ungodly (worthless) witness scorneth judgment.—Despises the orders of the Law to avoid perjury (Exodus 20:16; Leviticus 5:1). (Comp. 1Kings 8:31).

The mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.—As a dainty morsel. (Comp. Proverbs 18:8.)

Proverbs 19:28. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment — Hath no reverence to the place of justice, nor to the presence of God there, nor to that sacred and solemn work, of executing judgment, but, in spite of all, gives in a false testimony. And the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity — Uttereth it with as great greediness, delight, and ease, as they swallow down delicious meats and drinks; or, is as eager to commit it in word and deed, as if it were as necessary to their well-being as the food they eat. 19:27. It is the wisdom of young men to dread hearing such talk as puts loose and evil principles into the mind. 28. Those are the worst of sinners, who are glad of an opportunity to sin.Ungodly witness - literally, "Witness of Belial," "worthless," "untruthful."

Devoureth iniquity - Seizes on it eagerly, as a dainty, lives on it.

28. ungodly witness—(Compare Margin), one false by bad principles (compare Pr 6:12).

scorneth judgment—sets at naught the dictates of justice.

devoureth—literally, "swalloweth," as something delightful.

Scorneth judgment; hath no reverence to the place of justice, nor to the presence of God there, nor to that sacred and solemn work of executing judgment, but in spite of all gives in a false testimony.

Devoureth iniquity; uttereth with as great greediness, and delight, and ease, as they swallow down delicious meats and drinks. Compare Job 15:16. An ungodly witness scorneth judgment,.... Or, "a witness of Belial" (z). A false witness is not awed by the place of judgment where he is; nor by the judge before whom he is; nor by the law, the rule of judgment, nor by the punishment of perjury; he scorns all these, and scoffs at them, and proceeds in bearing a false testimony: or he covers that which is right and just, and eludes judgment by specious and sophistic arguments and pretences. Or this may be understood of a false teacher, that scorns the rule of judgment, or colours over things, to make them plausible, and seem to be agreeable to it;

and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity; greedily, and with pleasure commits it; as a hungry man takes in his food; or a thirsty man drinks down water: and in like manner are false doctrines imbibed by men of perverse minds.

(z) "testis Belijahal", Montanus, Tigurine version, Baynus.

An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked {k} devoureth iniquity.

(k) Takes a pleasure and delight in it, as gluttons and drunkards in delicate meats and drinks.

28. ungodly] Rather, worthless. See Proverbs 6:12, note.Verse 28. - An ungodly (worthless) witness scorneth judgment; derides the Law which denounces perjury and compels a witness to speak truth (Exodus 20:16; Leviticus 5:1), and, as is implied he bears false testimony, thus proving himself "a witness of Belial," according to the Hebrew term. Septuagint, "He who becometh security for a foolish child outrages judgment." The mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity; swallows it eagerly as a toothsome morsel (Proverbs 18:8). So we have in Job 15:16,"A man that drinketh iniquity like water" (see on Proverbs 26:6). Such a man will lie and slander with the utmost pleasure, living and battening on wickedness. Septuagint, "The mouth of the impious drinketh judgments (κρίσεις)," i.e. boldly transgresses the Law. The series makes a new departure with a proverb regarding the poor (cf. Proverbs 19:17):

A man's delight is his beneficence;

And better is a poor man than a liar.

The right interpretation will be that which presses upon תּאות no strange meaning, and which places the two parts of the verse in an inner mutual relation ethically right. In any case it lies nearer to interpret תאות, in relation to man, actively than passively: that which makes man worthy of desire (Rashi), adorns and distinguishes him (Kimchi, Aben-Ezra); or, that which is desired by man, is above all things sought for (Luzzatto); and, in like manner, the Heb. meaning for חסדּו lies nearer than the Aram. (vid., Proverbs 14:34): the pleasure of a man is his disgrace (Ralbag). Thus Bertheau's translation: the desire of a man is his charitas, must mean: that which brings to a man true joy is to act amiably. But is that, thus generally expressed, true? And if this were the thought, how much more correctly and distinctly would it be expressed by שׂמחה לאדם עשׂות חסד (cf. Proverbs 21:15)! Hitzig so rightly reminded by חסדו of the Pharisee who thanks God that he is not as other men; the word ought to have been חסד to remove every trace of self-satisfaction. Hitzig therefore proposes from the lxx and the Vulgate the text-correction מתּבוּאת no, and translates, "from the revenue of a man is his kind gift;" and Ewald, who is satisfied with תּבוּאת, "the gain of a man is his pious love." The latter is more judicious: חסד (love) distributed is in reality gain (according to Proverbs 19:17); but 22b corresponds rather with the former: "better is he who from want does not give תבואה, than he who could give and says he has nothing." But was there then need for that καρπός of the lxx? If a poor man is better than a lord given to lying - for אישׁ with רשׁ is a man of means and position - i.e., a poor man who would give willingly, but has nothing, than that man who will not give, and therefore lies, saying that he has nothing; then 22a means that the will of a man (cf. תאות, Proverbs 11:23) is his doing good (vid., regarding חסד, ad Proverbs 3:3), i.e., is its soul and very essence. Euchel, who accordingly translates: the philanthropy of a man consists properly in his goodwill, rightly compares the Rabbinical proverb, אחד המרבה ואחד הממעיט ובלבד שׁיתבוון, i.e., one may give more or less, it all depends on the intention, the disposition.

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