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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 14:30

 

 

A tranquil heart is life to the body, But passion is rottenness to the bones.

Adam Clarke Commentary

A sound heart is the life of the flesh - A healthy state of the blood, and a proper circulation of that stream of life, is the grand cause, in the hand of God, of health and longevity. If the heart be diseased, life cannot be long continued.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-14.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Sound heart - literally, “heart of health,” that in which all emotions and appetites are in a healthy equilibrium. The contrast with this is the envy which eats, like a consuming disease, into the very bones and marrow of a man‘s moral life.


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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-14.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Proverbs 14:30

A sound heart is the life of the flesh.

Heart and health

A “sound heart” is a heart that gives its supreme affection to the supremely good. All other hearts are more or less rotten. Such a heart, the text informs us, is the condition of physical health; it is the very “life of the flesh.” True, science can demonstrate this fact in many ways. Physical health requires attention to certain laws; these laws to be attended to must be understood; the understanding of these laws requires study; the proper study of them is only insured by a supreme sympathy of heart with the law-giver. Every man’s experience, as well as science, attests this fact. The influence of the emotions of the heart upon the state of the body even the dullest recognises. The passions of grief, disappointment, anger, jealousy and revenge, in proportion to their strength derange the bodily system. On the other hand, pleasurable emotions give buoyancy and vigour to the body.

I. That a man’s bodily health, where the organisation is normally good, is very much in his own hands. Heaven has given us the means and the motives to cultivate happy conditions of the heart. “Keep thy heart with all diligence.” We infer from this fact--

II. That christianity is an indispensable agent in removing man’s physical diseases.

III. That medical science will always be ineffective until it practically concerns itself with the moral diseases and cures of the mind. The medical practitioner should know--

IV. That as the true morality of the world advances, the physical health of the world will improve. A drainage to carry away all the foul passions of the heart is the desideratum. The man who is most successful in his efforts, through Christianity, to promote a moral renovation of hearts is the greatest philanthropist. (D. Thomas, D.D.)

But envy is the rottenness of the bones.

The nature and character of envy

All the laws of nature, as far as they comprehend the duties we owe to one another, may be reduced to this one great principle of universal benevolence, viz., that we lay it down as the fixed and fundamental rule of all our actions, to do all manner of good, and to abstain from all manner of evil. The motives to this conduct, besides the beauty and agreeableness of it, are these--

1. That all mankind in reality consult their own interest best, when they contribute to the good of the whole.

2. That there is an intrinsic pleasure resulting from the practice of virtue.

3. That it recommends us to the love and esteem of all mankind. Anguish of heart, hatred, disesteem, and insecurity, are the natural rewards of iniquity, even in this world. This is nowhere more conspicuous than in the passion of vice and envy. A “sound heart,” is literally a heart of lenity or medicine. “Envy” is a leaven that sours and corrupts, sets all the humours upon the fret, and is the bane of all that is good and beautiful and desirable in life.

I. The nature and origin of envy; and who are they that are most subject to it. Envy is a pain or uneasiness, arising from an apprehension of the prosperity and good fortune of others; not because we suffer for their welfare, but merely because their condition is bettered. There is a strong jealousy of preeminence and superiority implanted in our nature by Almighty God, for wise and noble purposes. When this principle takes root in a good mind, it is called emulation. But when this principle meets with an evil, corrupt disposition, it degenerates into envy, the most malignant and hateful passion in human nature, the worst weed of the worst soil. This passion affects us chiefly in relation to our equals. If we find we have equalled or exceeded those of like birth, the natural consequence is joy and complacency; but if we are exceeded by them, emulation or envy. The persons most subject to envy are the covetous; men of little or mean spirits; men of extraordinary endowments and abilities, who cannot bear a rival; proud men; and old men.

II. The symptoms by which envy may be known.

1. When we find ourselves averse from doing a person good offices.

2. When we are pleased with the evil of others.

3. When we manifest a censorious disposition; silencing the good actions of others, or exposing the bad.

4. When we have a discontented, querulous, and quarrelsome disposition.

III. The ill effects of envy.

1. To the envious person it is “rottenness in his bones.” It wastes the body, and keeps the mind in a ferment. It kills our quiet and our virtue also.

2. It exposes a man to the just hatred and aversion of all mankind; and spreads its malignant influence wherever it comes.

IV. The best remedies for the cure of this pernicious passion.

1. Settle our opinion of things, and endeavour to take a right estimate of them, according to the law of God.

2. Make a right judgment of our own worth and abilities.

3. Reflect seriously upon the vanity and insignificancy of all worldly advantages.

4. Think of God, who takes pleasure in the happiness of all His creatures. (J. Delany.)


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Proverbs 14:30". The Biblical Illustrator. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/proverbs-14.html. 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"A tranquil heart is the life of the flesh; But envy is the rottenness of the bones."

"Bodily health comes with a tranquil mind, but passionate feelings are like rot in the bones."[33] However, it is wrong to limit the application of this to the physical body. The great Christian ideal is, "A quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:2). 1 Peter 3:4 and Acts 19:36 also echo the thoughts of this proverb.

"Calmness of spirit gives room for the development of all the virtues and graces of the Christian life."[34]


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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-14.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

A sound heart is the life of the flesh,.... A heart made so by the grace of God, in which are sound principles of truth, righteousness, and holiness; these preserve from sin, and so from many diseases; whereby the life of the flesh or body is kept safe and sound, or that is kept in health and vigour; or a "quiet heart"F8לב מרפא "cor leve", Baynus; "cor lene", Mercerus; "cor lenitatis", Gejerus, so Ben Melech. ; a heart free from wrath, anger, and envy, and such like passions and perturbations; this contributes much to the health of the body, and the comfort of life: or a "healing heart", or "spirit"F9"Animus sanans", Junius & Tremellius, so the Tigurine version; "sanator", Gussetius, p. 800. ; that is humane, kind, and friendly; that pities and heals the distresses of others, and makes up differences between persons at variance: such an one is "the life of fleshes"F11חיי בשרים "vitae carnium", Montanus; "vita carnium", V. L. Pagninus, Michaelis. , as in the original text; or of men, of the same flesh and blood; the life of others, as well as of his own flesh; such an one contributes to the comfortable living of others as well as of himself;

but envy the rottenness of the bones; a man that envies the happiness and prosperity of others, this preys upon his own spirits, and not only wastes his flesh, but weakens and consumes the stronger parts of his body, the bones; it is as a "moth" within him, as the Arabic version: the Targum is,

"as rottenness in wood, so is envy in the bones;'

hence OvidF12Amorum, l. 1. Eleg. 15. v. 1. & de Remed. Amor. l. 1. in fine. calls it "livor edax", and so MartialF13Epigr. l. 11. Ep. 21. .


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Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-14.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

A sound heart — both literally and figuratively, a source of health; in the latter sense, opposed to the known effect of evil passions on health.


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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

30 A quiet heart is the life of the body,

But covetousness is rottenness in the bones.

Heart, soul, flesh, is the O.T. trichotomy, Psalms 84:3; Psalms 16:9; the heart is the innermost region of the life, where all the rays of the bodily and the soul-life concentrate, and whence they again unfold themselves. The state of the heart, i.e. , of the central, spiritual, soul-inwardness of the man, exerts therefore on all sides a constraining influence on the bodily life, in the relation to the heart the surrounding life. Regarding לב מרפּא , vid ., at Proverbs 12:18. Thus is styled the quiet heart, which in its symmetrical harmony is like a calm and clear water-mirror, neither interrupted by the affections, nor broken through or secretly stirred by passion. By the close connection in which the corporeal life of man stands to the moral-religious determination of his intellectual and mediately his soul-life - this threefold life is as that of one personality, essentially one - the body has in such quiet of spirit the best means of preserving the life which furthers the well-being, and co-operates to the calming of all its disquietude; on the contrary, passion, whether it rage or move itself in stillness, is like the disease in the bones (Proverbs 12:4), which works onward till it breaks asunder the framework of the body, and with it the life of the body. The plur. בּשׂרים occurs only here; Böttcher, §695, says that it denotes the whole body; but בּשׂר also does not denote the half, בשׂרים is the surrogate of an abstr .: the body, i.e. , the bodily life in the totality of its functions, and in the entire manifoldness of its relations. Ewald translates bodies, but בשׂר signifies not the body, but its material, the animated matter; rather cf. the Arab. âbshâr , “corporeal, human nature,” but which (leaving out of view that this plur. belongs to a later period of the language) has the parallelism against it. Regarding קנאה (jealousy, zeal, envy, anger) Schultens is right: affectus inflammans aestuque indignationis fervidus , from קנא , Arab. ḳanâ , to be high red.


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Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-14.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

The foregoing verse showed how much our reputation, this how much our health, depends on the good government of our passions and the preserving of the temper of the mind. 1. A healing spirit, made up of love and meekness, a hearty, friendly, cheerful disposition, is the life of the flesh; it contributes to a good constitution of body; people grow fat with good humour. 2. A fretful, envious, discontented spirit, is its own punishment; it consumes the flesh, preys upon the animal spirits, makes the countenance pale, and is the rottenness of the bones. Those that see the prosperity of others and are grieved, let them gnash with their teeth and melt away, Psalm 112:10.

Rumpatur, quisquis rumpitur invidia.

Whoever bursts for envy, let him burst.


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

An upright, contented, and benevolent mind, tends to health.


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Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-14.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

A sound heart — Free from envy and inordinate passions.

Is life — Procures and maintains the health and vigour of the body.


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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

Bibliography
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-14.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 14:30 A sound heart [is] the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

Ver. 30. A sound heart is the life of the flesh.] A heart well freed from passions and perturbations holds out long, and enjoys good health; neither causeth it molestation of mind or want of welfare to others. It is the life of fleshes (in the plural); (a) not only its own, but other men’s bodies are the better, at least not the worse, for it; whereas the envious and angry man rangeth and rageth; and like a mad dog biting all he meets, sets them, as much as in him lies, all a-madding, and undoes them.

But envy is the rottenness of the bones.] A corroding and corrupting disease it is, like that which the physicians call Corruptio totius substantiae, it dries up the marrow; and because it cannot come at another man’s heart, this hell-hag feeds upon its own, tormenting the poor carcase without and within. It is the moth of the soul, and the worm, as the Hebrew word signifies, of the bones, those stronger parts of the body. It is the same to the whole man that rust is to iron, as Antisthenes affirmeth; it devoureth itself first, as the worm doth the nut it grows in. Socrates called it serram animae, the soul’s saw; and wished that envious men had more ears and eyes than others, that they might have the more torment by beholding and hearing of other men’s happinesses; for invidia simul peccat et plectitur, expedita iustitia. Like the viper, it is born by eating through the dam’s belly; like the bee, it loseth its sting and life together; like the little fly, to put out the candle, it burns itself; like the serpent Porphyrius, it drinks the most part of its own venom; like the viper that leaped upon St Paul’s hand to hurt him, but perished in the fire; or as the snake in the fable, that licked off her own tongue; as envying teeth to the file in the forge. In fine, "Envy slayeth the silly soul"; [Job 5:2] as it did that fellow in Pausanias, who, envying the glory of Theagenes, a famous wrestler, whipped his statue - set up in honour of him after his death - every night so long, till at length it fell upon him, and killed him. (b)


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-14.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 30. A sound heart is the life of the flesh, literally, "life of the members is a heart of composure"; for it is the tranquil spirit which is able to judge calmly and correctly, weighing all factors dispassionately; but envy the rottenness of the bones, for every form of passionate, violent seal sets aside calm consideration, indulges in foolish acts, and results in harm to the quick-tempered person's health and spiritual well-being.


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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-14.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 14:30. A sound heart A joyful or congratulating heart; a heart which is rejoiced at the prosperity of others, and which derives from thence the greatest satisfaction to itself. This is the import of the word מרפא marpei, which we render sound, according to Schultens; and certainly the contrast to the next clause is thus well preserved.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-14.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A sound heart; free from envy and such-like inordinate passions, which are commonly called the diseases of the soul, not only in sacred, but even in heathen writers. Or, as others render it, a healing heart; mild, and merciful, and kind to others, which is opposed to envy.

Is the life of the flesh; procureth and maintaineth the health and rigour of the whole body. But envy the rottenness of the bones; it wasteth the spirits, and consumeth even the strongest and most inward parts of the body.


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Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-14.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

30. A sound heart is… life of the flesh — Literally, a heart of healing. “A tranquil heart.” — Conant. “A soothing heart.” — Stuart. “A quiet heart.” — Noyes. “A quiet spirit.” — Zockler. The health of the heart, and the proper circulation of the blood, are the means of life and health to every part of the body. If the heart be diseased there can be no sound health nor great length of life. But the heart is here taken tropically for the moral state, moral or spiritual health, soundness of moral or religions principles, and the proper regulation of the passions and appetites. Such a state tends to life — natural, spiritual, and eternal.

But envy — Standing here, perhaps, as the representative of any intense evil passion.

The rottenness of the bones — An eating, corroding principle, acting slowly but surely; preventing and counteracting the effects of nourishment. On “envy,” compare Job 5:2; Psalms 112:10; Acts 7:9; Romans 1:29; James 4:5. On “rottenness of bones,” compare Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 17:22.


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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-14.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 14:30. A sound heart — Free from envy, and such like inordinate passions, which are commonly called the diseases of the soul, even in heathen, as well as in the sacred writers. Or, as others render לב מרפא, a healing heart, mild, merciful, and kind to others, which is opposed to envy; is the life of the flesh — Procures and maintains the health and vigour of the whole body; but envy the rottenness of the bones — It wasteth the spirits, or consumeth even the strongest and most inward parts of the body.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-14.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Bones. As a sound heart preserves the rest of the body, so a good intention often excuses from mortal sin, when the error is not gross. But envy corrupts the works which seem good, and which cannot bear a strict examination. (St. Gregory, Mor. v. 34.) (Worthington) --- Envy ruins the health. (Menan. ap. Gort.[Grotius?]) --- Septuagint, "a too sensible heart is the," &c. This is beautiful; but not quite conformable to the Hebrew.


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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-14.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.

A sound heart (is) the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones. A heart free from "envy," anger and every faulty affection toward one's neighbour, relieves the body of a great source of very many diseases; for it produces joy and peace, flowing from a good conscience, and is attended with the blessing of God. [Thus, marpee' (Hebrew #4832) is taken from rapa' (Hebrew #7495), to make sound]. An active sense is also included in a 'sound mind,' both sound itself and bringing soundness to others; which sense is implied also in the Hebrew for "flesh" being plural-`is life to the bodies of others.' Gejer, Maurer, etc., take it, 'a sedate' or 'tranquil heart' [from raapaah (Hebrew #7503), to remit or abate] - one free from all immoderate anger, hatred, and envy. So the Hebrew is taken (Ecclesiastes 10:4). In either ease, "a sound," or else a 'tranquil heart' stands opposed to "envy;" and "the life of the flesh" to "the rottenness of the bones" - namely, that which eats away all its marrow (Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 17:22).


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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-14.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(30) A sound heart—i.e., one in healthy condition, of which the passions and emotions are under control.


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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-14.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.
sound
4:23; Psalms 119:80; 2 Timothy 1:7
envy
Job 5:2; Psalms 112:10; Acts 7:9; Romans 1:29; James 4:5
rottenness
3:8; 12:4; 17:22

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-14.html.

Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary

CRITICAL NOTES.—

Pro . A sound heart, "a quiet heart." Envy, "passion," "perturbation."

MAIN HOMILETICS OF Pro

A SOUND HEART

The blessed effects of a contented spirit. The "sound heart" being here placed in contrast to "envy," shows that it means a spirit that is content with its lot in life—that is not ever reaching after the unattainable—that is not jealous of others who are in more favourable circumstances. Such a quietness of spirit is—

Pro . Favourable to bodily health. The mind of a passionate man wears out the bodily frame, and no passion that can possess the soul is more imperious and agitating, and consequently more injurious to health than envy. Jealousy is said to be as "cruel as the grave" (Son 8:6), and it is cruel not only to the objects of it, but also to him who allows it a dwelling-place in his spirit. Its withering effects are felt even in the body, it is "rottenness of the bones" in this sense. But a contented spirit goes a long way to promote and to preserve bodily health. A quiet spirit is a stranger to all those restless feelings which give sleepless nights and anxious days to the envious man.

II. It is indispensable to the attainment of a noble character. Calmness of spirit gives room for the development of all the graces and virtues which go to make up the "perfect man" (Eph ). Growth in nature demands some degree of quietness and calmness to develop itself. The mighty forest oak of a hundred years has attained its present noble dimensions by processes which have gone on for the most part in days and nights of stillness. So a character of moral strength and beauty can be formed only in the atmosphere of a calm and well-governed spirit.

OUTLINES AND SUGGESTIVE COMMENTS

"Envy" excitement of any kind; perturbation; a wise saw, perhaps, of the old hygiene, but true spiritually. Religion rejoices in peace. Mad passion may be overruled; but so can our lusts be. As much as lieth in us, we should have peace. The soul is a temple (1Co ), and "holiness becometh Thy house, O Lord, for ever" (Psa 93:5).—Miller.

The word sound signifies healthful, free from moral distempers—the distempers of "the inner man," such as discontent, malice, and envy. Strictly speaking a "sound heart"—a heart entirely free from the evil passions that belong to fallen nature—is not to be found. But in Scripture a sound heart, and even a perfect heart, are phrases used to signify the real sincerity and predominant rule of right principles and actions. Envy, perhaps the most odious in itself, and the most corroding and torturing to the spirit, is here called "rottenness of the bones"—not a mere surface sore, but a deep-seated disease; like caries, or inflammation in the substance of the bone itself.—Wardlaw.

I. The nature of envy. It is a pain, or uneasiness, arising from an apprehension of the prosperity and good fortune of others; not because we suffer from their welfare, nor that our condition may be bettered by our uneasiness, but merely because their condition is bettered. There is a strong jealousy of pre-eminence and superiority implanted in our nature by Almighty God, for wise and noble purposes, to excite to the pursuit of laudable attainments, and the imitation of good and great actions. This principle is emulation. It is also an uneasiness occasioned by the good fortunes of others; but not because we repine at their prosperity, but because we ourselves have not attained the same good success. Its effect is to excite us to great designs, but when it meets with a corrupt disposition it degenerates into envy, the most malignant passion in human nature, the worst weed of the worst soil. So far from stirring up to imitation, envy labours to taint and depreciate what it does not so much as attempt to equal.

II. The cure for envy.

1. That we endeavour to take a right estimate of things. The laws of God are the eternal standards of good and evil; what they declare valuable, or enjoin as wise, are truly so, and what they disclaim as hurtful or worthless are, in fact, to be so regarded.

2. That we try to make a right judgment of our own worth and abilities. If we do this, we shall find that there are others in the world at least as wise and as good as we are, and perhaps we shall also find, that if merit were the standard of honour and affluence, we should not abound altogether as much as we do.

3. Reflect seriously upon the vanity of all worldly advantage. Shall we envy him whose breath is in his nostrils? whose glory fadeth as the flower of grass?—Delany.

Envy is called a passion, and passion means suffering. The patient who is ill of envy is a sinner and a sufferer too. He is an object of pity. It is a mysterious and terrible disease. The nerves of sensation within the man are attached by some unseen hand to his neighbours all around him, so that every step of advancement which they make tears the fibres that lie next his heart. The wretch enjoys a moment's relief when the mystic cord is temporarily slackened by his neighbour's fall; but his agony immediately begins again, for he anticipates another twitch as soon as the fallen is restored to prosperity.… The cure of envy, as wrought by the love of Christ, is not only a deliverance from pain, it is, even in the present world, an unspeakable gain. That man will speedily grow rich who gets and puts into his bag not only all his own winnings, but also all the winnings of his neighbours.… The Nile, contrary to the analogy of other great streams, flows more than a thousand miles without receiving the waters of a single tributary; the consequence is, that it grows no greater as it courses over that vast line. Other rivers are every now and then receiving converging streams from the right and left, and thereby their volume continually increases until it reaches the sea. The happiness of man is like the flow of water in a river. If you enjoy nothing but what is your own, your tiny rivulet of contentment, so far from increasing, grows smaller by degrees, until it sinks unseen into the sand, and leaves you in a desert of despair; but when all the acquisitions of your neighbours go to swell its bulk, your enjoyment will flow like a river enriched by many affluents, growing ever greater as life approaches its close. It is some such river that makes glad the city of God.—Arnot.

Socrates called envy the soul's saw; and wished that envious men had more eyes and ears than others, that they might have the more torment by beholding and hearing other men's happiness.—Trapp.

Envy at last crawls forth from hell's dire throng,

Of all the direfull'st! Her black locks hung long,

Attired with curling serpents; her pale skin

Was almost dropped from her sharp bones within;

And at her breasts stuck vipers, which did prey

Upon her panting heart both night and day,

Sucking black blood from thence, which to repair,

Both day and night they left fresh poisons there.

Her garments were deep-stained in human gore,

And torn by her own hands, in which she bore

A knotted whip and bowl, which to the brim

Did with green gall and juice of wormwood swim;

With which, when she was drunk, she furious grew,

And lashed herself; thus from the accursed crew

Envy, the worst of fiends, herself presents,

Envy, good only when she herself torments.

Cowley.


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Bibliography
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Proverbs 14:30". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/phc/proverbs-14.html. Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1892.

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