Proverbs 28:8
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Whoever multiplies his wealth by interest and profit gathers it for him who is generous to the poor.

King James Bible
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

American Standard Version
He that augmenteth his substance by interest and increase, Gathereth it for him that hath pity on the poor.

Douay-Rheims Bible
He that heapeth together riches by usury and loan, gathereth them for him that will be bountiful to the poor.

English Revised Version
He that augmenteth his substance by usury and increase, gathereth it for him that hath pity on the poor.

Webster's Bible Translation
He that by usury and unjust gain increaseth his substance, he shall gather it for him that will pity the poor.

Proverbs 28:8 Parallel
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

There now follows a royal proverb, whose key-note is the same as that struck at Proverbs 25:2, which states how a country falls into the οὐκ ἀγαθόν of the rule of the many:

Through the wickedness of a land the rulers become many;

And through a man of wisdom, of knowledge, authority continues.

If the text presented בּפשׁע as Hitzig corrects, then one might think of a political revolt, according to the usage of the word, 1 Kings 12:19, etc.; but the word is בּפּשׁע,

(Note: Thus to be written with Gaja here and at Proverbs 29:6, after the rule of Metheg-Setzung, 42.)

and פּשׁע (from פּשׁע, dirumpere) is the breaking through of limits fixed by God, apostasy, irreligion, e.g., Micah 1:5. But that many rulers for a land arise from such a cause, shows a glance into the Book of Hosea, e.g., Hosea 7:16 : "They return, but not to the Most High (sursum); they are become like a deceitful bow; their princes shall then fall by the sword;" and Hosea 8:4 : "They set up kings, but not by me; they have made princes, and I knew it not." The history of the kingdom of Israel shows that a land which apostatizes from revealed religion becomes at once the victim of party spirit, and a subject of contention to many would-be rulers, whether the fate of the king whom it has rejected be merited or not. But what is now the contrast which 2b brings forward? The translation by Bertheau and also by Zckler is impossible: "but through intelligent, prudent men, he (the prince) continueth long." For 2a does not mean a frequent changing of the throne, which in itself may not be a punishment for the sins of the people, but the appearance at the same time of many pretenders to the throne, as was the case in the kingdom of Israel during the interregnum after the death of Jeroboam II, or in Rome at the time of the thirty tyrants; יאריך must thus refer to one of these "many" who usurp for a time the throne. בּאדם may also mean, Proverbs 23:28, inter homines; but אדם, with the adjective following, e.g., Proverbs 11:7; Proverbs 12:23; Proverbs 17:18; Proverbs 21:16, always denotes one; and that translation also changes the כּן into a "so," "then" introducing the concluding clause, which it altogether disregards as untranslatable. But equally impossible is Bttcher's: "among intelligent, prudent people, one continues (in the government)," for then the subject-conception on which it depends would be slurred over. Without doubt כּן is here a substantive, and just this subject-conception. That it may be a substantive has been already shown at Proverbs 11:19. There it denoted integrity (properly that which is right or genuine); and accordingly it means here, not the status quo (Fleischer: idem rerum status), but continuance, and that in a full sense: the jurisdiction (properly that which is upright and right), i.e., this, that right continues and is carried on in the land. Similarly Heidenheim, for he glosses כן by מכון הארץ; and Umbreit, who, however, unwarned by the accent, subordinates this כן [in the sense of "right"] to ידע as its object. Zckler, with Bertheau, finds a difficulty in the asyndeton מבין ידע. But these words also, Nehemiah 10:29, stand together as a formula; and that this formula is in the spirit and style of the Book of Proverbs, passages such as Proverbs 19:25; Proverbs 29:7

(Note: The three connected words ובאדם מבין ידע have, in Lwenstein, the accents Mercha, Mercha, Mugrash; but the Venetian, 1515, 20, Athias, v. d. Hooght, and Hahn, have rightly Tarcha, Mercha, Mugrash, - to place two Merchas in Ben-Naphtali's manner.)

show. A practical man, and one who is at the same time furnished with thorough knowledge, is thus spoken of, and prudence and knowledge of religious moral character and worth are meant. What a single man may do under certain circumstances is shown in Proverbs 21:22; Ecclesiastes 9:15. Here one has to think of a man of understanding and spirit at the helm of the State, perhaps as the nearest counsellor of the king. By means of such an one, right continues long (we do not need to supply להיות after "continues long"). If, on the one side, the State falls asunder by the evil conduct of the inhabitants of the land, on the other hand a single man who unites in himself sound understanding and higher knowledge, for a long time holds it together.

Proverbs 28:8 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

that by

Proverbs 13:22 A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

Job 27:16,17 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay...

Ecclesiastes 2:26 For God gives to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he gives travail...

unjust gain or by increase

Leviticus 25:36 Take you no usury of him, or increase: but fear your God; that your brother may live with you.

Ezekiel 18:8,13,17 He that has not given forth on usury, neither has taken any increase, that has withdrawn his hand from iniquity...


Proverbs 19:7 All the brothers of the poor do hate him: how much more do his friends go far from him? he pursues them with words...

2 Samuel 12:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

Cross References
Exodus 22:25
"If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.

Leviticus 25:36
Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.

Job 27:17
he may pile it up, but the righteous will wear it, and the innocent will divide the silver.

Psalm 72:13
He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

Proverbs 13:22
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, but the sinner's wealth is laid up for the righteous.

Proverbs 14:21
Whoever despises his neighbor is a sinner, but blessed is he who is generous to the poor.

Proverbs 14:31
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.

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