Proverbs 29:24
Whoever is partner with a thief hates his own soul: he hears cursing, and denudes it not.
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(24) Hateth his own soul.—See above on Proverbs 1:19.

He heareth cursing.—Rather, the oath or adjuration of the judge that anyone cognisant of the theft shall give information with regard to it. He hears and remains silent, and thus becoming the accomplice of the thief, he shares his punishment.

Proverbs 29:24. Whoso is partner with a thief — By receiving a share of stolen goods, upon condition of his concealing the theft; hateth his own soul — Acts as if he hated it; for he wounds and destroys it; he heareth cursing — He heareth the voice of swearing, as is said Leviticus 5:1; namely, the oath given to him by a judge, adjuring him, and other suspected persons, to give information concerning it; and bewrayeth it not — Which he was bound to do for the public good. The Vulgate reads, adjurantem audit, et non indicat: he hears him who adjures him, but will not declare. Dr. Waterland renders the clause, he is adjured and yet makes no discovery.29:19. Here is an unprofitable, slothful, wicked servant; one that serves not from conscience, or love, but from fear. 20. When a man is self-conceited, rash, and given to wrangling, there is more hope of the ignorant and profligate. 21. Good usage to a servant does not mean indulgence, which would ruin even a child. The body is a servant to the soul; those that humour it, and are over-tender of it, will find it forget its place. 22. An angry, passionate disposition makes men provoking to one another, and provoking to God. 23. Only those who humble themselves shall be exalted and established. 24. The receiver is as bad as the thief. 25. Many are ashamed to own Christ now; and he will not own them in the day of judgment. But he that trusts in the Lord will be saved from this snare.On the first discovery of the theft, the person wronged Judges 17:2, or the judge of the city (marginal reference), pronounced a solemn curse on the thief and on all who, knowing the offender, were unwilling to give evidence against him. The accomplice of the thief hears that curse, and yet is silent, and so falls under it, and "destroys his own soul." 24. hateth … soul—(Compare Pr 8:36).

heareth cursing—(Le 5:1), risks the punishment, rather than reveal truth.

Whoso is partner with a thief, by receiving a share of the stolen goods upon condition of his concealment of the theft,

hateth his own soul; he carrieth himself towards it as if he hated it; he woundeth and destroyeth it.

He heareth cursing; he heareth the voice of swearing, as is said, Leviticus 5:1; the oath given to him by a judge adjuring him and other suspected persons to give information concerning it; and

betrayeth it not; which he is bound to do, both by virtue of his oath, and for the public good, which ought to be preferred before all private contracts or friendships. Whoso is partner with a thief,.... That robs and steals, and raises away another man's property; which to do is sinful and contrary to the law of God, and punishable by it; and so it is to join with him in the theft, or to devise, or consent unto it; or to receive the stolen goods, or to hide and conceal them; or to hide the thief, or the theft, and not declare them; see Psalm 50:18. Such an one

hateth his own soul; that is, he is not careful of it, he is not concerned for its welfare as he should be; for otherwise no man, properly speaking, hates his own flesh or body, and much less his soul; but he is negligent of the good of it, and, for the sake of the mammon of unrighteousness, runs the risk of the ruin of it; by which he shows that he loves the world more than his own soul; when the profit of the whole world is nothing to the soul of man, Matthew 16:26; see Proverbs 8:36;

he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not; or "does not declare it" (b); he heareth the cursing of those that have lost their goods, and yet he does not declare where they are, and who is the author of the theft, though he knows; or, being suspected of being concerned in it, or, at least, of knowing who did it, be is had before a civil magistrate, and an oath is given him, which he takes, and yet he conceals the matter: which is an aggravation of his sin, and brings ruin to his soul. So the Targum,

"an oath is determined (or brought to him) and he confesseth not.''

Some understand this of a distinct evil, of hearing cursing and swearing, and taking the name of God in vain, and blasphemy against him; yet, through fear of incurring the displeasure of men, and being reckoned a busy body, or through indifference and want of zeal for the glory of God, do not discover it, or inform of it, to a proper person, for the punishment of such; see Leviticus 5:1; and render the words (c), as "he that is partner with a thief hateth his own soul; so he that heareth cursing, and betrayeth it not."

(b) "et non indicat", Junius & Tremellius, Mercerus, Cocceius, Schultens, Michaelis. (c) So Gejerus.

Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul: he heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not.
24. cursing] Rather, the adjuration, sc. of the judge (Leviticus 5:1), or of the owner of the lost property (Jdg 17:2), who puts him on his oath to divulge if he has knowledge of the theft.

bewrayeth] Rather, uttereth, as the same Heb. word is rendered both in A.V. and R.V. in Leviticus 5:1.Verse 24. - Whoso is partner with a thief hateth his own soul. The accomplice of a thief puts his own safety in danger. This is explained by what follows: He heareth cursing, and bewrayeth it not; better, he heareth the adjuration, and telleth not. This refers to the course of proceeding defined by Leviticus 5:1, and intimated in Judges 17:2. When a theft was committed, the person wronged or the judge pronounced an imprecation on the thief and on any one who was privy to the crime, and refrained from giving information; a witness who saw and knew of it, and was silent under this formal adjuration, has to bear his iniquity; he is not only an accomplice of a criminal, he is also a perjurer; one sin leads to another. Some commentators explain the first hemistich as referring only to the crime of receiving or using stolen goods, by which a man commits a crime and exposes himself to punishment; but it is best taken, as above, in connection with the second clause, and as elucidated thereby. 18 Without a revelation a people becomes ungovernable;

     But he that keepeth the law, happy is he.

Regarding the importance of this proverb for estimating the relation of the Chokma to prophecy, vid., vol. i. p. 41. חזון is, according to the sense, equivalent to נבוּאה, the prophetic revelation in itself, and as the contents of that which is proclaimed. Without spiritual preaching, proceeding from spiritual experience, a people is unrestrained (יפּרע, vid., regarding the punctuation at Proverbs 28:25, and regarding the fundamental meaning, at Proverbs 1:25); it becomes פּרע, disorderly, Exodus 32:25; wild und wst, as Luther translates. But in the second line, according to the unity of the antithesis, the words are spoken of the people, not of individuals. It is therefore not to be explained, with Hitzig: but whoever, in such a time, nevertheless holds to the law, it is well with him! Without doubt this proverb was coined at a time when the preaching of the prophets was in vogue; and therefore this, "but whoever, notwithstanding," is untenable; such a thought at that time could not at all arise; and besides this, תורה is in the Book of Proverbs a moveable conception, which is covered at least by the law in contradistinction to prophecy. Tôra denotes divine teaching, the word of God; whether that of the Sinaitic or that of the prophetic law (2 Chronicles 15:3, cf. e.g., Isaiah 1:10). While, on the one hand, a people is in a dissolute condition when the voice of the preacher, speaking from divine revelation, and enlightening their actions and sufferings by God's word, is silent amongst them (Psalm 74:9, cf. Amos 8:12); on the other hand, that same people are to be praised as happy when they show due reverence and fidelity to the word of God, both as written and as preached. That the word of God is preached among a people belongs to their condition of life; and they are only truly happy when they earnestly and willingly subordinate themselves to the word of God which they possess and have the opportunity of hearing. אשׁרהוּ (defective for אשׁריהוּ) is the older, and here the poetic kindred form to אשׁריו, Proverbs 14:21; Proverbs 16:20.

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