Proverbs 3:31 MEANING

Proverbs 3:31
Verse 31. - Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways. The thought of strife in the preceding verse leads to that of oppression, and the precept is directed against fellowship with those who outrage the general law of benevolence and justice, Envy not; i.e. as Stuart, "Do not anxiously covet the booty which men of violence acquire." Success and wealth may follow from severity and extortion, but the man who acquires prosperity by these means is not to be envied even by the victim of his oppression (for the verb, see Proverbs 23:17; Proverbs 24:1, 19). The oppressor (ish khamas); literally, a man of violence (see margin). The expression occurs in Proverbs 14:29; Psalm 18:41, and in its plural form, ish khamamim, "man of violences," in 2 Samuel 22:49; Psalm 140:1, 4. The man of violence is one who "grinds the faces of the poor," and whose conduct is rapacious, violent, and unjust. And choose none of his ways; literally, and choose not all his ways, i.e. with a view to acquire the same wealth, greatness, and power. The LXX. renders this verse, "Do not acquire the hatred of evil men, neither be jealous of their ways," evidently from having taken tiv'khar, "choose," in the second hemistich, for tith'khan, "be jealous."

3:27-35 Our business is to observe the precepts of Christ, and to copy his example; to do justice, to love mercy, and to beware of covetousness; to be ready for every good work, avoiding needless strife, and bearing evils, if possible, rather than seeking redress by law. It will be found there is little got by striving. Let us not envy prosperous oppressors; far be it from the disciples of Christ to choose any of their ways. These truths may be despised by the covetous and luxurious, but everlasting contempt will be the portion of such scorners, while Divine favour is shown to the humble believer.Envy thou not the oppressor,.... The man that gets wealth and riches by acts of injustice, by oppressing the poor, by rapine and violence; do not envy his prosperity, and the substance he is possessed of; do not wish to be in his place and circumstances, to enjoy his affluence and ease; do not look upon his happiness with an envious eye and a fretting heart; he is far from being a happy man; his end will be bad; see Psalm 37:1;

and choose none of his ways; which he has used to get his riches in; do not follow him in them; for should you do as he has done, and get ever so much, since this would be with the loss of your souls, of what advantage would it be? He makes the best choice that chooses the "good part" that shall not be taken away, Luke 10:42; Christ, and the ways of Christ.

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