Proverbs 28:20 MEANING

Proverbs 28:20
(20) A faithful man, who is true to God and man, "shall abound with blessings" from God and man. Comp. Job's description of his own blameless life and the blessings attending it (Job 29).

Verse 20. - A faithful man shall abound with blessings. "Faithful," as in Proverbs 20:6, one on whom one can depend, honest and upright. Septuagint, ἀξιόπιστος. The blessings signified are such as come from God and man. Men will utter his name with praise and benediction (comp. Job 29:8, etc.), and God will show his approval by sending material prosperity. He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent (comp. ver. 22, and note there; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 21:5). One who is only anxious to become quickly rich, and is unscrupulous as to means, cannot be "a faithful man," and therefore cannot be blessed. Instead of "innocent," many expositors render "unpunished" (as Proverbs 17:5), which better contrasts with the blessings mentioned in the first hemistich, though the two ideas are coordinate. On this haste of covetousness, Juvenal writes ('Sat.,' 14:173) -

"Inde fere scelerum causae; nec plura venena
Miscuit aut ferro grassatur saepius ullum
Humanae mentis vitium, quam saeva cupido
Immodici census; nam dives qui fieri vult,
Et cito vult fieri. Sed quae reverentia legum,
Quis metus aut pudor est unquam properantis avari?"
The Septuagint waters down the gnome, "But the wicked shall not be unpunished."

28:18. Uprightness will give men holy security in the worst times; but the false and dishonest are never safe. 19. Those who are diligent, take the way to live comfortably. 20. The true way to be happy, is to be holy and honest; not to raise an estate suddenly, without regard to right or wrong. 21. Judgment is perverted, when any thing but pure right is considered. 22. He that hastens to be rich, never seriously thinks how quickly God may take his wealth from him, and leave him in poverty. 23. Upon reflection, most will have a better opinion of a faithful reprover than of a soothing flatterer.A faithful man shall abound with blessings,.... Or, "a man of faithfulness" (u). A very faithful man, that is truly so; that is so in a moral sense; true to his work, makes good his promises, fulfils his contracts, abides by the obligations he lays himself under; is faithful in every trust reposed in him, be it greater or lesser matters, in every station in which it is, and throughout the whole course of his life. Such a man abounds with the blessings and praises of men; all value him, and speak well of him: and with the blessings of divine Providence; he is "much in blessings" (w), as it may be rendered; as in receiving blessings from God, so in giving them to men; such a man is usually charitable and beneficent. And it may be understood of one that is faithful, in a spiritual and evangelic sense; for of such characters are the followers of the Lamb, Revelation 17:14. It is in the original, "a man of truths" (x); one that has the truth of grace in him; that knows the grace of God in truth; with whom the truth of the Gospel is; who has learnt it, known it, embraced it, values it, and abides by it; and who has a concern with Christ, who is the truth, who is formed, lives, and dwells in his heart; of whom he has made a good profession, and holds it fast, and whom he cleaves unto. The character of "faithful" belongs both to the true ministers of Christ, who preach the pure Gospel, and the whole of it; who seek not to please men, but God; and not themselves, and their own glory, but the things of Christ, and his glory; and continue to do so in the face of all opposition: and to private Christians, the faithful in Christ Jesus; who truly believe in him, stand by his truths, abide by his ordinances, and are faithful to one another, and continue so till death: these abound with the blessings of the covenant of grace, with all spiritual blessings in Christ, with the fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ; they have an abundance of grace in them, given them in conversion, faith, hope, love, humility, and many other graces, in the exercise of which they are made to abound; and they have an abundance of blessings of grace bestowed on them, pardon of sin, a justifying righteousness, adoption, meetness for and right unto eternal life; they have Christ, and all things along with him; so that they may be truly said to have all things, and abound;

but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent; he that is over anxious, and immoderately desirous of being rich, and pursues every method of obtaining his desires, with all his might and main; that labours night and day for it; though he takes no criminal nor unlawful methods, properly so called, nor does he do anything injurious to others, yet he is not innocent; that too much anxiety in him is criminal; nor is he free from covetousness; see Proverbs 23:4; and if he uses any unjust and unlawful means to acquire wealth, and resolves to be rich, right or wrong, "per fas, per nefas", he shall not be innocent, neither before God nor men: so the Targum renders it,

"he that runs into iniquity, that he may be rich;''

and indeed when a man hastily, or in a short time, becomes rich, though he cannot be directly charged with fraud and injustice, yet he is not innocent in the minds of men, or free from their suspicious and jealousies of him. A man that makes haste to be rich is opposed to him that is faithful and true to his word and contracts, and is the same that Juvenal (y) calls "avarus properans"; see 1 Timothy 6:9.

(u) "vir fidelitatum", Vatablus, Merceras, Piscator, Gejerus, Michaelis. (w) "multus benedictionibus", Montanus, Vatablus, Baynus, Michaeiis. (x) "Vir veritatum", Montanus. (y) Satyr. 14. v. 178.

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