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Bible Commentaries

Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 28


General observations on impiety, and religious integrity.

Verse 2

Proverbs 28:2. For the transgression of a land For the sins of a land, the succession of princes is frequent; for men of understanding and justice, the prince shall continue long; Houbigant: who renders the next verse, A powerful man oppressing the poor, is a sweeping shower, by which famine is prepared. Bishop Saunderson observes upon this third verse, which he understands according to the common translation. That it is in matters of power, as in matters of learning; they who have but a smattering of scholarship, are observed to be the forwardest to make ostentation of the few scraps they have, for fear there should be no notice taken of their learning, if they should not shew it when they can: and yet then they do it so untowardly, that when they think most of all to display their parts, they most of all, by some gross mistake or other, betray their ignorance. Just so it is in the case of power: when men of base spirits have gotten a little of it into their hands, they conceive their neighbours will not be sensible how important they are, if they do not, by some act or other, shew forth their power to the world. But, having minds too narrow to comprehend any great and generous way of doing so, they cannot frame any other method, than by trampling on those who are below them; which they do beyond all reason, and without any mercy. See his Sermons; Lord Bacon's Advanc. of Learning, b. viii. c. 2. and ver. 15.

Verse 9

Proverbs 28:9. He that turneth away his ear, &c.— "He who will not hearken to what God directs, nor do what he enjoins, has no reason to pretend to ask any thing of him, and in truth were better not to think of him at all: he had much rather we should not use his name at all, than only mention him in our oaths and blasphemies; and that we should never magnify his power, his providence, or his mercy, rather than make use of those discourses to seditious and sacrilegious purposes. If we live like heathens or infidels, our Christian prayers do but affront his majesty, and our praises depress his glory."

Verse 10

Proverbs 28:10. Whoso causeth the righteous, &c.— The LXX have another verse here: they read, The wicked shall pass by good things, and shall not enter into them.

Verse 12

Proverbs 28:12. A man is hidden Houbigant renders the verse, When just men have the rule, the citizens are much honoured; when a wicked man is in the chief place, they fall. See Proverbs 28:28. This is similar to a sentiment of Mr. Addison's:

When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, The post of honour is a private station.

Verse 15

Proverbs 28:15. A ranging bear A howling bear. Houbigant. Proverbs 28:16. The prince that wanteth understanding] The sense and opposition is better preserved in the LXX: A prince who is straitened in his revenues is generally a great oppressor; but he, &c.

Verse 17

Proverbs 28:17. A man that doeth violence Houbigant has it, If any man is an oppressor, and a lier in wait for blood, when he flieth to a pit, no man shall stop him. That is, according to Grotius, "Whoever oppresses others, so as to shed innocent blood, will not be withheld or stopped, if he should fly towards covered pitfalls; for the enormity of his crimes will steel every one's breast against him, and no one will shew the least pity towards him."

Verse 18

Proverbs 28:18. Shall fall at once Shall fall into a pit. Houbigant after the Syriac.

Verse 25

Proverbs 28:25. Shall be made fat Shall have more abundance. Houbigant. Shall be enriched. See chap. Proverbs 11:25.

Verse 26

Proverbs 28:26. He that trusteth in his own heart He who dependeth upon himself shall fall; but he who walketh warily shall be safe. Houbigant.

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Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 28". Coke's Commentary on the Holy Bible. 1801-1803.