Proverbs 15:27 MEANING

Proverbs 15:27
(27) He that is greedy of gain.--Ill-gotten gain, especially bribes, as is seen in the next line.

Troubleth his own house.--The word used of Achan (Joshua 7:25).

Gifts.--Bribes taken by a judge. (Ecclesiastes 7:7.)

Verse 27. - He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house (Proverbs 11:29). The special reference is doubtless to venal judges, who wrested judgment for lucre. Such malefactors were often reproved by the prophets (see Isaiah 1:23; Isaiah 10:1, etc.; Micah 3:11; Micah 7:3). But all ill-gotten gain brings sure retribution. The Greeks have many maxims to this effect. Thus -

Κέρδη πομηρὰ ζημίαν ἀεὶ φέρει And again -

Τὰ δ αἰσχρὰ κέρδη συμφορὰς ἐργάζεται

"Riches ill won bring ruin in their train." An avaricious man troubles his house in another sense. He harasses his family by stingy economies and his domestics by overwork and underfeeding, deprives his household of all comfort, and loses the blessing of God upon a righteous use of earthly wealth. The word "troubleth" (akar, "to trouble") reminds one of the story of Achan, who, in his greed, appropriated some of the spoil of the banned city Jericho, and brought destruction upon himself and his family, when, in punishment of the crime, he and all his were stoned in the Valley of Achor (Joshua 7:25). So the covetousness of Gehazi caused the infliction of the penalty of leprosy upon himself and his children (2 Kings 5:27). Professor Plumptre ('Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.) notes that the Chaldee Targum paraphrases this clause, referring especially to lucre gained by unrighteous judgments, thus: "He who gathers the mammon of unrighteousness destroys his house;" and he suggests that Christ's use of that phrase (Luke 16:9) may have had some connection with this proverb through the version then popularly used in the Palestinian synagogues. He that hateth gifts shall live (comp. Ecclesiastes 7:7). Primarily this refers to the judge or magistrate who is incorruptible, and gives just judgment, and dispenses his patronage without fear or favour; he shall "prolong his days" (Proverbs 28:16), And in all cases a man free from covetousness, who takes no bribes to blind his eyes withal, who makes no unjust gains, shall pass a long and happy life undisturbed by care. We see here a hope of immortality, to which integrity leads. The LXX., with the view of making the two clauses more marked in antithesis, restricts the application thus: "The receiver of gifts destroyeth himself; but he who hateth the receiving of gifts liveth." The Vulgate and Septuagint, after this verse, introduce a distich which recurs in Proverbs 16:6. The Septuagint transposes many of the verses at the end of this chapter and the beginning of the next.

15:25. Pride is the ruin of multitudes. But those who are in affliction God will support. 26. The thoughts of wicked men offend Him who knows the heart. 27. The covetous man lets none of his family have rest or enjoyment. And greediness of gain often tempts to projects that bring ruin. 28. A good man is proved to be a wise man by this; he governs his tongue well.He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house,.... Or "that covets a covetousness" (t), an evil one, as in Habakkuk 2:9; that seeks riches by unlawful means, that gathers the mammon of falsehood, or unrighteousness, as the Targum; he entails a curse and brings ruin and destruction upon his family; the Septuagint and Arabic versions are, he "destroys himself"; or "his own soul", as the Syriac version; it may be understood of a man that is over anxious and eager to be rich, and hurries on business, and gives his servants no proper time for food and rest; See Gill on Proverbs 11:29;

but he that hateth gifts shall live; that rejects them with abhorrence, when offered to bribe him to pervert judgment, or to do an unjust thing; otherwise gifts may be lawfully received from one friend by another; the sin is when they are given and taken for the sake of doing what is base and sinful; and a man that shakes his hand from receiving gifts on such a basis, he and his family shall prosper and increase in worldly things; and, doing this from a right principle of grace, shall live comfortably in a spiritual sense, and thrive and flourish in his soul, and live an eternal life hereafter; see Psalm 16:5.

(t) "appetens concupiscentiam", Montanus; "qui avaritiam inhiat" Tigurine version; "concupiscens concupiscentiam", Vatablus.

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