Proverbs 22:3
A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.
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(3) A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself, as the Israelites hid themselves within their houses from the destroying angel, Noah within the Ark, the Christians before the fall of Jerusalem (Luke 21:21) in Pella. (Comp. Isaiah 26:20.)

Proverbs 22:3. A prudent man foreseeth the evil, &c. — “He whose long experience and observation of things hath made him cautious and circumspect, foresees a calamity before it come, and withdraws himself from the danger into a place of safety; but an incautious and credulous person never foresees any danger, but goes on securely in his accustomed track, till it overtake him.” Thus Bishop Patrick. But in foreseeing temporal calamities, and discerning the methods by which we may escape them, as Mr. Scott justly observes, we can seldom proceed beyond probability, in either respect; but, in the concerns of the soul, faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners in the eternal state, and discerns Jesus Christ, as the refuge from this impending storm, and the penitent and believing soul flees to him, hides himself in him, and is safe, as Noah in the ark. But the careless and unbelieving go on, without concern, till they lift up their eyes in hell, being in torments.

22:1 We should be more careful to do that by which we may get and keep a good name, than to raise or add unto a great estate. 2. Divine Providence has so ordered it, that some are rich, and others poor, but all are guilty before God; and at the throne of God's grace the poor are as welcome as the rich. 3. Faith foresees the evil coming upon sinners, and looks to Jesus Christ as the sure refuge from the storm. 4. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. 5. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. 6. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Saviour. 7. This shows how important it is for every man to keep out of debt. As to the things of this life, there is a difference between the rich and the poor; but let the poor remember, it is the Lord that made the difference. 8. The power which many abuse, will soon fail them. 9. He that seeks to relieve the wants and miseries of others shall be blessed. 10. Profane scoffers and revilers disturb the peace. 11. God will be the Friend of a man in whose spirit there is no guile; this honour have all the saints. 12. God turns the counsels and designs of treacherous men to their own confusion. 13. The slothful man talks of a lion without, but considers not his real danger from the devil, that roaring lion within, and from his own slothfulness, which kills him. 14. The vile sin of licentiousness commonly besots the mind beyond recovery. 15. Sin is foolishness, it is in the heart, there is an inward inclination to sin: children bring it into the world with them; and it cleaves close to the soul. We all need to be corrected by our heavenly Father. 16. We are but stewards, and must distribute what God intrusts to our care, according to his will.Compare the margin reference. Another recognition of the oneness of a common humanity, overriding all distinctions of rank. 3. are punished—that is, for their temerity; for the evil is not necessarily punitive, as the prudent might otherwise be its objects. The evil; the calamity or judgment of God threatened and approaching.

Hideth himself; retireth to his strong tower, mentioned Proverbs 18:10; by prayer and repentance putteth himself under the protection of the Almighty. Compare Isaiah 26:20.

Pass on in their former road and course of sin, carelessly and securely, as travellers do in a road where they apprehend no danger.

A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself,.... A wise man, whose eyes are in his head, who looks about him and before him, and is cautious and careful of his conduct and behaviour; he foresees the evil of sin he is liable to be drawn into by such and such company, snares, and temptations; and therefore he keeps from them, and abstains from all appearance of evil, or what would lead him to it; and he foresees the evil of punishment, or the judgments of God that are coming on for sin; and he betakes himself to the Lord, to those hiding places and chambers of retreat and protection he has provided for his people, till the indignation be overpast; see Isaiah 26:20;

but the simple pass on, and are punished: foolish persons, devoid of the grace of God and the fear of him, go on careless and unconcerned in their sinful course of life, transgressing the law of God; they proceed from evil to evil, from lesser to greater sins; they go on in the broad road to destruction, and are punished with temporal judgments here, and with everlasting destruction hereafter.

A prudent man {c} foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished.

(c) That is, the punishment, which is prepared for the wicked and flees to God for help.

3. foreseeth] Rather, seeth.

are punished] Rather, suffer for it., R.V. text. “Heb. are mulcted” R.V. marg.; ἐζημιώθησαν, LXX.; afflictus est damno, Vulg. The proverb occurs again Proverbs 27:12.

Verse 3. - A prudent man foresesth the evil, and hideth himself. The whole verse is repeated in Proverbs 27:12. St. Jerome has callidus, and the LXX. has πανοῦργος, as the translation of עָרוּם (arum); but it must be taken in a good sense, as cautions, farseeing, prudent (see note on Proverbs 1:4) Such a man looks around, takes warning from little circumstances which might escape the observation of careless persons, and provides for his safety in good time. Thus the Christians at the siege of Jerusalem, believing Christ's warnings, retired to Pella, and wine saved. A Spanish proverb runs, "That which the fool does in the end, the wise man does at the beginning." The simple pass on, and are punished. The subject of the former hemistich is in the singular number, for a really prudent man is a comparatively rare bring; the second clause is plural, teaching us, as Hitzig observes, that many simple ones are found for one prudent. These silly persons, blundering blindly on their way, without circumspection or forethought, meet with immediate punishment, incur dangers, suffer less. A Cornish proverb runs, "He who will not be ruled by the rudder must be ruled by the rock." Septuagint, "An intelligent man (πανοῦργος) seeing a wicked man punished is himself forcibly instructed; but fools pass by, and are punished" (comp. Proverbs 21:11). Proverbs 22:3The group of proverbs beginning here terminates at Proverbs 22:7, where, like the preceding, it closes with a proverb of the rich and the poor.

3 The prudent seeth the evil, and hideth himself;

   But the simple go forward, and suffer injury.

This proverb repeats itself with insignificant variations, Proverbs 27:12. The Kerı̂ ונסתּר makes it more conformable to the words there used. The Chethı̂b is not to be read ויסתּר, for this Kal is inusit., but ויסּתר, or much rather ויּסּתר, since it is intended to be said what immediate consequence on the part of a prudent man arises from his perceiving an evil standing before him; he sees, e.g., the approaching overthrow of a decaying house, or in a sudden storm the fearful flood, and betimes betakes himself to a place of safety; the simple, on the contrary, go blindly forward into the threatening danger, and must bear the punishment of their carelessness. The fut. consec. 3a denotes the hiding of oneself as that which immediately follows from the being observant; the two perf. 3b, on the other hand, with or without ו, denote the going forward and meeting with punishment as occurring contemporaneously (cf. Psalm 48:6, and regarding these diverse forms of construction, at Habakkuk 3:10). "The interchange of the sing. and plur. gives us to understand that several or many simple ones are found for one prudent man" (Hitzig). The Niph. of ענשׁ signifies properly to be punished by pecuniary fine (Exodus 21:22) (cf. the post-bibl. קנס, קנס, to threaten punishment, which appears to have arisen from censere, to estimate, to lay on taxes); here it has the general meaning of being punished, viz., of the self-punishment of want of foresight.

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