Proverbs 21:16
The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(16) Shall remain in the congregation of the dead.—Described in Isaiah 14:9; he shall not take part in the resurrection of Isaiah 26:19. A prophecy of retribution after death.

Proverbs 21:16. The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding — That forsaketh the rule of God’s word, and walketh after his own lusts; shall remain in the congregation of the dead — Shall, without repentance, be condemned to eternal death and destruction; Hebrew, בקהל רפאים, In the congregation of the Rephaim; his lot shall be among those wicked souls hereafter, namely, in the depths of Sheol; or the lowest and most wretched parts of it, where the lewd and dissolute go, Proverbs 9:18. See this considered at large in the note on Job 26:5.

21:9. It is best to shun bitter contention by pouring out the heart before God. For by prudence and patience, with constant prayer, the cross may be removed. 10. The evil desires of a wicked man's heart, lead to baseness in his conduct. 11. The simple may be made wise by punishments on the wicked, and by instructions to those who are willing to be taught. 12. Good men envy not the prosperity of evil-doers; they see there is a curse on them. 13. Such as oppress the poor by beating down wages, such as will not relieve according to their ability those in distress, and those in authority who neglect to do justice, stop their ears at the cry of the poor. But doubtless care is to be used in the exercise of charity. 14. If money can conquer the fury of the passions, shall reason, the fear of God, and the command of Christ, be too weak to bridle them? 15. There is true pleasure only in the practice of religion. 16. Of all wanderers in the ways of sin, those are in the most dangerous condition who turn aside into the ways of darkness. Yet there is hope even for them in the all-sufficient Saviour; but let them flee to him without delay. 17. A life of worldly pleasure brings ruin on men. 18. The righteous is often delivered out of trouble, and the wicked comes in his stead, and so seems as a ransom for him. 19. Unbridled passions spoil the comfort of all relations. 20. The plenty obtained by prudence, industry, and frugality, is desirable. But the foolish misspend what they have upon their lusts. 21. True repentance and faith will lead him that relies on the mercy of God in Christ, to follow after righteousness and mercy in his own conduct. 22. Those that have wisdom, often do great things, even against those confident of their strength. 23. It is our great concern to keep our souls from being entangled and disquieted. 24. Pride and haughtiness make men passionate; such continually deal in wrath, as if it were their trade to be angry. 25,26. Here is the misery of the slothful; their hands refuse to labour in an honest calling, by which they might get an honest livelihood; yet their hearts cease not to covet riches, pleasures, and honours, which cannot be obtained without labour. But the righteous and industrious have their desires satisfied. 27. When holiness is pretended, but wickedness intended, that especially is an abomination. 28. The doom of a false witness is certain. 29. A wicked man bids defiance to the terrors of the law and the rebukes of Providence. But a good man asks, What does God require of me? 30,31. Means are to be used, but, after all, our safety and salvation are only of the Lord. In our spiritual warfare we must arm ourselves with the whole armour of God; but our strength must be in the Lord, and in the power of his might.congregation of the dead - The Rephaim (compare the Proverbs 2:18 note).

Remain - i. e., "He shall find a resting place, but it shall be in Hades."

16. the way of understanding—(Compare Pr 12:26; 14:22).

remain—that is, rest as at a journey's end; death will be his unchanging home.

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding; that forsaketh the rule of God’s word, and walketh after his own lusts;

shall remain in the congregation of the dead; shall, without repentance, be condemned to eternal death or damnation.

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding,.... The way of getting understanding, the good ways and word of God; that wanders from the house of God, the assembly of the saints, where the Gospel is preached, and the ordinances are administered; that, instead of attending on them, where he might gain the understanding of divine and spiritual things, wanders about in the fields, gets into bad company, walks with them in their ways, and turns to his own, as a sheep that goes astray: he

shall remain in the congregation of the dead; among those that are spiritually dead, dead in trespasses and sins; such an one he himself is, and such he is like to continue, and not be written among the living in Jerusalem; or among those who die the second and eternal death, among the damned in hell; so Jarchi interprets it of the congregation of hell; and a large congregation that will be, but dreadful to have an abode with them. The words are rendered by the Septuagint, and the versions that follow that, "shall rest in the congregation of the giants"; which some interpret of devils, and others of the giants of the old world (b), damned spirits: resting with them does not design peace and quietness, for there will be none there; but a fixed settled abode, in opposition to wandering, in the preceding clause.

(b) See Mede's Discourse 7. p. 32.

The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. remain] Rather, rest; find his resting-place, the end of his wanderings, among the dead (Heb. Rephaim. See Proverbs 9:18 note). ἐν συναγωγῇ γιγάντων ἀναπαύσεται, LXX.

Verse 16. - The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding. (For הַשְׂכֵּל, "understanding," see note on Proverbs 1:3.) He who forsakes the way of wisdom, the path of virtue, the religious life, and thus becomes in proverbial language "a fool," he shall remain (rest, dwell) in the congregation of the dead; in coetu gigantum commorabitur. "The dead" is, in the Hebrew, rephaim, for which see note on Proverbs 2:18. The denunciation means primarily that the sinner shall soon be with the shades of the dead, shall meet with a speedy death. Wordsworth considers that the writer is saying in bitter irony that the evil man shall rest as a guest at a banquet, shall lie down and be regaled, but it will be in the company of the dead. The contrast seems to lie between the wandering and the rest, and this rest is regarded as penal; so that one must needs see here an intimation of retribution after death; and setup, Proverbs 24:14, 20. The Fathers regarded the Rephaim, "the giants," as the descendants of the rebel angels, in accordance with their interpretation of Genesis 6:1-4. Thus St. Gregory writes ('Moral.' 17:30), quoting our passage, "For whosoever forsakes the way of righteousness, to whose number does he join himself, saving to the number of the proud spirits?" Proverbs 21:1616 A man who wanders from the way of understanding,

     Shall dwell in the assembly of the dead.

Regarding השׂכּל, vid., Proverbs 1:3; and regarding רפאים, Proverbs 2:18. The verb נוּח means to repose, to take rest, Job 3:13, and to dwell anywhere, Proverbs 14:33; but originally like (Arab.) nâkh and hadd, to lay oneself down anywhere, and there to come to rest; and that is the idea which is here connected with ינוּח, for the figurative description of יאבד or ימוּת is formed after the designation of the subject, 16a: he who, forsaking the way of understanding, walks in the way of error, at length comes to the assembly of the dead; for every motion has an end, and every journey a goal, whether it be one that is self-appointed or which is appointed for him. Here also it is intimated that the way of the soul which loves wisdom and follows her goes in another direction than earthwards down into hades; hades and death, its background appear here as punishments, and it is true that as such one may escape them.

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