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cious perfume; so a small mixture of folly and indiscretion will tarnish the reputation of one who, in other respects, is very wise and honourable; and so much the more, because of the malignity and ingratitude of mankind, who are disposed rather to censure one error, than to commend many excellencies, and from whose minds one small miscarriage is sufficient to blot out the memory of all other deserts, as one little cloud can overshadow the whole body of the sun. It concerns us, therefore, to walk unblamably, that we may not, by the least oversight or folly, blemish our profession, or cause it to be offensive to others, Gen. xxxiv. 30; Phil. ii. 15; 1 Tim. vi. 1 ; 2 Cor. vi. 3; 1 Pet. ii. 15; much less by our leaven sour the whole mass, and infect many others, 1 Cor. v. 6; Gal. v. 9.-" Dead flies,” Alies of death, the genitive case in the place of an adjective, as Ps. ii. 9. and xxxi. 3; Rom. vii. 24 ; Phil. iii. 21; Judy. vii. 13; 2 Thes. ii.3; 2 Pet. ii. 1. This may be taken either actively, flies which cause death, as the plague of the locusts is called death, Exod. x. 17; and then the sense will be, poi. sonous Aies which render sweet ointment deadly or mortiferous, as instruments of death, Ps. vii. 14. i. e. which occasion death: or passively, Alies which are dead, and by their putrefaction taint the ointment in which they are dered,
drowned." Dead flies doth cause."
A plural noun with a verb singular, which may be ren
Any one of dead flies causes the ointment to stink,” as Exod. xxxi. 14 ; Rom. i. 20; thereby intimating the great mischief and damage that may arise from very small causes.
To send forth a stinking savour,” Heb. maketh to stink, denoting a continual exhalation of unsavouriness, When two verbs of the same tense are thus joined together, grammarians tell us, that the former has an adverbial signification; as Jer. xlii. 18. “ Humble yourselves, sit down,” i.e. sit humbly down: Hos. ix. 9. "
They have made deep, they have corrupted,” i. e. they have deeply corrupted: Rom. x. 20. “ Esaias is bold and saith,” i. e. speaketh boldly: so here, fætere facit, eructat, i. e. fætidè eructat, which is well rendered in our version." So doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. The note of similitude is wanting, as in many other places, Prov. xi. 22; Jer. xvii. 11; Ps. cxxv. 2. There is also an ellipsis of the verb, which is to be repeated out of the former branch of the sentence, as Gen. i. 29, 30. The more eminent any person is for wisdom and honour, the more circumspect ought he to be in his conversation, because a little folly and indisfretion will considerably diminish his reputa
tion; as spots are soonest discerned on the whitest garments, or as worms and moths usually feed upon the purest cloth, Nehem. vi. 11.
2. A wise man's heart is at his right hand; but a fool's heart at his left.
A similar kind of proverbial expression to ch. ii. 14. The right hand is generally the most fit and ready for action, and performs its operations most surely and expeditiously: the right hand is, therefore, the dearer of the two, Mat. v. 29, 30; and it is noted as an unusual circumstance when persons have been left. handed, or able to use both hands alike, Judg. iii. 21. and xx. 16; 1 Chron. xii. 2. The meaning is, A wise man's heart is ready and prepared for every good work; he'acts with judgment and design, weighs with mature advice and deliberation the circumstances, consequences, and probabilities of all his steps, that he may not afterwards have occasion for repentance and sorrow; he works by the guidance of his heart, Prov. xv. 22; Luke xiv. 28 30. But a fool is left-handed in his works, transacts all his business bunglingly, preposterously, inconsiderately: if he forms a plan, his hand is absent, and he does not execute it;
or if he goes about it, his heart is absent, and does not direct his hand. A wise man has the command of his heart, knows how to use it seasonably, opportunely, and in conformity to times, places, and persons, so that his undertakings may be successful and prosperous : on the contrary, a fool is transported with passion, amazed at difficulties, perplexed with uncertainties, at his wits' end, and knows not what to resolve, or which way to move ; fact, he conducts himself and his affairs as awkwardly and indecorously as a man would do whose right hand was tied behind him, and who had only the assistance of his left hand, Prov. ii. 10–15; iv. 26; xiii. 16; and xvi. 22, 23. Examples of this wisdom we have in Jacob, Gen. xxxii.; in Joseph, Gen. xli.; in David, 1 Sam. xvi. 18; in Abigail, 1 Sam. xxv.; in Jethro, Exod. xviii. 19; in the woman of Abel, 2 Sam. xx.; in Paud, Acts xxiji. 6; and of the contrary folly in the Israelites, Numb. xiv. 40 -45; in Rehoboam, 1 Kings xii. 8; and in the princes of Zoan, Isai. xix. 11–17.
3. Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him, and he saith to every one that he is a fool,
“ Yea also, when he that is a fool walketh by the way, his wisdom faileth him ;” not only in his private actions and undertakings, but in his intercourse with mankind; in his motions, gestures, behaviour, gait, countenance, and usual deportment; he is destitute of prudence and common discretion, and betrays the folly of his heart, by the affectedness of his conversation. "And he saith to every one that he is a fool.” The Septuagint renderit α λογείται πάντα αφροσύνη έσι, “ whatsoever he thinketh upon is folly.” Symmachus on Jerome, “ He suspecteth all men that they are fools :" to which the Vulgate corresponds, Cum ipse insipiens sit, omnes stultos æstimat: being a fool himself, he accounts all other men fools: as to him that has the jaundice, every object appears yellow; and to him that has a distempered palate, every thing sweet tastes bitter; or as to him that has a vertigenous brain, every fixed thing seems to turn round: so to a man made up of pride and folly, others much wiser than himself The Chaldee renders it, “ All men say that he is a fool :” but the most emphatical sense is as we read it: He saith to all men, that he is a fool: he so palpably discovers and, as it were, proclaims his own folly by his gestures and behaviour, as if he would himself tell the world that he is a fool, Prov. vi. 13; xii. 23; xii. 16; and xviii. 2; Jude ver. 13.