Proverbs 3:25
Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes.
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(25) Desolation of the wicked.—That is, the storm which overwhelms them.

3:21-26 Let us not suffer Christ's words to depart from us, but keep sound wisdom and discretion; then shall we walk safely in his ways. The natural life, and all that belongs to it, shall be under the protection of God's providence; the spiritual life, and all its interests, under the protection of his grace, so that we shall be kept from falling into sin or trouble.Under the form of this strong prohibition there is an equally strong promise. So safe will all thy ways be that to fear will be a sin. 25. Be not—or, "You shall not be."

sudden fear—what causes it (Pr 1:27), any unlooked-for evil (Ps 46:3; 91:12; 1Pe 3:14).

desolation—(Pr 1:27).

Be not afraid, i.e. thou shalt not be afraid. For that it is a promise, seems most probable from the context; only it is for greater emphasis delivered in the form of a precept; I allow thee and require thee not to be afraid, which is both thy duty and privilege.

Of sudden fear; for sudden and unexpected evils are most frightful and grievous. And fear is here put for the evils feared, as Proverbs 1:26,27, and oft elsewhere. The desolation of the wicked; either,

1. Actively, which they bring upon thee. Or, rather

2. Passively, which befalls them, when the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, as it is expressed, Isaiah 26:21; and thou mayst be apt to fear lest thou shouldst be involved in the common calamity; but fear not, for God will then hide thee in his chambers, as he promised, Isaiah 26:20. Be not afraid of sudden fear,.... Of anything terrible that comes unawares, unthought of, by any of the above things mentioned in the preceding note; or by any rumours and reports of danger being near at hand; always think thyself safe in the arms of Wisdom, and under the care of Israel's keeper, who neither slumbers nor sleeps;

neither of the desolation of the wicked when it cometh; either of the desolation which wicked men threaten to bring, and are suffered to bring, upon the godly for the sake of religion; either on their persons or goods, since suffering at their hands in such a cause is to the honour of saints, and for the glory of God; or of the desolation which comes upon the godly, for God is able to deliver him from it, as Noah and his family from the universal deluge, and Lot and his family from Sodom and Gomorrah; or if they promiscuously fall in it, nevertheless it will be well with them to all eternity.

{l} Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh.

(l) For when God destroys the wicked he will save his as he did Lot in Sodom.

25. Be not afraid] Dean Plumptre (Speaker’s Comm.) points out that, “under the form of this strong prohibition there is of course an equally strong promise,” so that these two verses add yet another to the advantages to be gained from Wisdom: it confers both strength and beauty (Proverbs 3:22); it preserves alike in action and in repose (Proverbs 3:23-24); it is equal to every emergency of life (Proverbs 3:25-26).

desolation] or, storm, R.V. marg.

of the wicked] This may mean, brought upon thee by the wicked. So Maurer, who compares, “rescue my soul from their destructions.” Psalm 35:17; and Vulg. irruentes tibi potentias impiorum. But it is perhaps better to understand it of the desolation or storm which comes upon the wicked. Comp. Psalm 91:8.

Proverbs 3:27-35. There is a marked change of style in these verses, and they are regarded by Maurer (who describes them as singularia aliqua prœcepta) and others as a separate section. The continuous address is exchanged for the concise sentences or “proverbs,” which form the bulk of the Book.Verse 25. - Be not afraid; al-tirah, is literally "fear thou not," the future with al preceding being used for the imperative in a dehortative sense, as in Genesis 46:3; Job 3:4, 6, 7 (see Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 127. 3, c); Vulgate, ne paveas. Others, however, render, as the LXX., οὐ φοβηθήσῃ, "Thou shalt not be afraid," in the sense of a promise. The verb yare, from which tirah, is here followed by min, as in Psalm 3:7; Psalm 27:1, and properly means "to be afraid from or before" some person or thing. Sudden; pithom, an adverb used adjectively (cf. like use of adverb khinnam in Proverbs 26:2). Fear (pakhad); as in Proverbs 1:16, the object which excites terror or fear, as any great disaster. The desolation of the wicked (shoath r'shaim) may be taken either

(1) as the desolation made by the violence of the wicked, the desolation or strum which they raise against the righteous (so the LXX., Vulgate, Mariana, Michaelis, Hitzig, and others); or

(2) the desolation which overtakes the wicked, the desolating vengeance executed upon them (so Doderlein, Lapide, Stuart, Muensch., Delitzsch, Wardlaw). The latter is probably the right interpretation, and agrees with the threatening language of Wisdom against her despisers, in Proverbs 1:27, where shdath also occurs. Iu the desolation which shall overwhelm the wicked he who has made Wisdom his guide shall be undismayed, for the Lord is his confidence. The passage was probably suggested by Proverbs 5:21, "Neither shalt thou be afraid of desolation when it cometh." Lee, in loc. cit., says the places are almost innumerable where this sentiment occurs. Compare the fearlessness of the man of integrity and justice, in Horace -

"Si fractus illabatur orbis,
Impavidum ferient ruinae."

(Horace, 'Od.,' 3:3, 7, 8.)

"Let Jove's dread arm with thunders rend the spheres,
Beneath the crush of worlds undaunted he appears."

(Francis's Trans.) This place of a mediatrix - the speaker here now continues - she had from the beginning. God's world-creating work was mediated by her:

19 Jahve hath by wisdom founded the earth,

     Established the heavens by understanding.

20 By His knowledge the water-floods broke forth,

     And the sky dropped down dew.

That wisdom is meant by which God planned the world-idea, and now also wrought it out; the wisdom in which God conceived the world ere it was framed, and by which also He gave external realization to His thoughts; the wisdom which is indeed an attribute of God and a characteristic of His actions, since she is a property of His nature, and His nature attests itself in her, but not less, as appears, not from this group of tetrastichs, but from all that has hitherto been said, and form the personal testimony, Proverbs 8:22., of which it is the praeludium, she goes forth as a divine power to which God has given to have life in herself. Considered apart from the connection of these discourses, this group of verses, as little as Jeremiah 10:2; Psalm 104:24, determines regarding the attributive interpretation; the Jerusalem Targum, I, when it translates, Genesis 1:1, בראשׁית by בּחוּכמא (בּחוּכמתא), combines Proverbs 8:22 with such passages as this before us. יסד (here with the tone thrown back) properly signifies, like the Arab. wasad, to lay fast, to found, for one gives to a fact the firm basis of its existence. The parallel Pil. of כּוּן (Arab. kân, cogn. כהן, see on Isaiah, p. 691) signifies to set up, to restore; here equivalent to, to give existence.

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