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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 13:8

 

 

The ransom of a man's life is his wealth, But the poor hears no rebuke.

Adam Clarke Commentary

The ransom of a man's life - Those who have riches have often much trouble with them; as they had much trouble to get them, so they have much trouble to keep them. In despotic countries, a rich man is often accused of some capital crime, and to save his life, though he may be quite innocent, is obliged to give up his riches; but the poor, in such countries, are put to no trouble.


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Bibliography
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/proverbs-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

On the one side is the seeming advantage of wealth. The rich man who gets out of many troubles often escapes from a just retribution by his money. But then the poor man in his turn is free from the risk of the threats and litigation that beset the rich. He “hears no rebuke” (the words are not used as in Proverbs 13:1) just as the dead “hear not the voice of the oppressor” Job 3:18 or the abuse of the envious.


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Bibliography
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-13.html. 1870.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

"The ransom of a man's life is his riches; But the poor heareth no threatening."

The background of this proverb is indicated by the word `ransom.' When a wealthy man is kidnapped, blackmailed or threatened in some way, his wealth can save his life. However the poor man will not be threatened in any such manner. "There are advantages and disadvantages in wealth. One with money can be exposed to robbery and extortion, but the poor are not so apt to be the object of extortion or blackmail."[14]


Copyright Statement
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 13:8". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/proverbs-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

The ransom of a man's life are his riches,.... As Benhadad's were to him, when he was in the hands of the king of Israel, 1 Kings 20:34; and as the treasures the ten men had in the field were to them, for the sake of which Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah, slew them not, Jeremiah 41:8. This is the advantage of riches when a man is taken captive in war, or by pirates, or is in the hands of thieves and robbers, he can redeem himself by his money; or when his life is in danger by diseases, he can procure healing medicines; or by famine, he can get food to preserve it, when a poor man cannot: but this is not to be done always, and is only to be understood of a temporal life; for, as to the spiritual and eternal redemption of the soul of man, that requires a greater ransom price than such corruptible things as silver and gold; nothing short of the precious blood of Christ is sufficient for that, Job 36:18. Moreover, these words may not so much design the convenience as the inconvenience of riches to men; since these often invite thieves to assault their persons, and break into their houses, and threaten their lives; and put wicked men upon forming schemes, and drawing up charges and accusations against them, purely to get their money; which bring their lives into danger, and which they can only redeem by their riches;

but the poor heareth not rebuke; no charge and accusation is brought against him; no rebuke or reproof is given him; no notice is taken of him, because nothing is to be got from him; he may sleep with his door unlocked, thieves will give him no disturbance; he may travel upon the road without being bid to standF3"Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator", Juvenal. Sat. 10. v. 23. . Jarchi interprets this of him that is poor in the law; that hearkens not to reproofs and admonitions, given him to depart from evil: but rather it may be applied to the poor in spirit; who trust not in themselves and their own righteousness, but in the grace of God and righteousness of Christ; who indeed hear the rebukes of good men, and take them kindly; and of bad men, and return not revilings for them; and also the rebukes of Providence, or the chastisements of their heavenly Father, yet they will never hear any rebuke in wrath from him here or hereafter; when the rich in their own conceit, who trust in their riches and righteousness, and think to ransom their souls from death by them, will have rebukes with flames of fire.


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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

Bibliography
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

The ransom of a man's life [is] his riches: but the poor c heareth not rebuke.

(c) For his poverty, he is not able to escape the threatenings, which the cruel oppressors use against him.

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Bibliography
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Riches save some from punishment, while others suffer because they will not heed the rebuke of sloth, which makes and keeps them poor.


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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
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 13:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-13.html. 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

8 A ransom for a man's life are his riches;

But the poor heareth no threatening.

Bertheau falls into error when he understands גּערה of warning; the contrast points to threatening with the loss of life. The wealth of the rich before the judgment is not here to be thought of; for apart from this, that the Torâ only in a single case permits, or rather ordains (Exodus 21:29.), ransom from the punishment of death, and declares it in all other cases inadmissible, Numbers 35:31. (one might indeed think of an administration of justice not strictly in accordance with the Mosaic law, or altogether accessible to bribery), 8b does not accord therewith, since the poor in such cases would fare ill, because one would lay hold on his person. But one may think e.g., on waylayers as those introduced as speaking Proverbs 1:11-14. The poor has no room to fear that such will threateningly point their swords against his breast, for there is nothing to be got from him: he has nothing, one sees it in him and he is known as such. But the rich is a valuable prize for them, and he has to congratulate himself if he is permitted to escape with his life. Also in the times of war and commotion it may be seen that riches endanger the life of their possessor, and that in fortunate cases they are given as a ransom for his life, while his poverty places the poor man in safety. To לא שׁמע Hitzig fittingly compares Job 3:18; Job 39:7: he does not hear, he has no need to hear. Michaelis, Umbreit, Löwenstein (who calls to remembrance the state of things under despotic governments, especially in the East) also explain 8b correctly; and Fleischer remarks: pauper minas hostiles non audit, i.e., non minatur ei hostis. Ewald's syntactic refinement: “Yet he became poor who never heard an accusation,” presents a thought not in harmony with 8a.


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The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament is a derivative of a public domain electronic edition.

Bibliography
Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kdo/proverbs-13.html. 1854-1889.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

We are apt to judge of men's blessedness, at least in this world, by their wealth, and that they are more or less happy accordingly as they have more or less of this world's goods; but Solomon here shows what a gross mistake it is, that we may be reconciled to a poor condition, and may neither covet riches ourselves nor envy those that have abundance. 1. Those that are rich, if by some they are respected for their riches, yet, to balance that, by others they are envied and struck at, and brought in danger of their lives, which therefore they are forced to ransom with their riches. Slay us not, for we have treasures in the field, Jeremiah 41:8. Under some tyrants, it has been crime enough to be rich; and how little is a man beholden to his wealth when it only serves to redeem that life which otherwise would not have been exposed! 2. Those that are poor, if by some, that should be their friends, they are despised and overlooked, yet, to balance that, they are also despised and overlooked by others that would be their enemies if they had any thing to lose: The poor hear not rebuke, are not censured, reproached, accused, nor brought into trouble, as the rich are; for nobody thinks it worth while to take notice of them. When the rich Jews were carried captives to Babylon the poor of the land were left, 2 Kings 25:12. Welcome nothing, once in seven years. Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator - When a traveller is met by a robber he will rejoice at not having much property about him.


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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
Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/proverbs-13.html. 1706.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Bible

Great riches often tempt to violence against those that possess them; but the poor are free from such perils.


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

Bibliography
Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary

on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhn/proverbs-13.html. 1706.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Riches - Riches enable a man to redeem his life when it is in greatest danger, and poverty preserves a man from many injuries. Because they are cautious, that they may not provoke others; and because they are esteemed objects of pity.

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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 13:8". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

on the Whole Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-13.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 13:8 The ransom of a man’s life [are] his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.

Ver. 8. The ransom of a man’s life are his riches.] They may help a man out at a dead lift, and get him a release out of captivity, or a lease of his life. "Slay us not," say they, [Jeremiah 41:8] "for we have treasures in the field. So he forebore, and slew them not among their brethren." Some read it thus: ‘The price of a man’s life are his riches.’ It costs him his life that he is rich; as Naboth, and as many Turkish viziers. In the days of Caligula the tyrant, publicum crimen fuit divitem fuisse, (a) it was crime enough to be rich. And in the reign of Henry II of France, many were burned for religion, as was pretended; but indeed to satiate the covetousness of Diana Valentina, the king’s mistress, to whom he had given all the confiscations of goods made in the kingdom for cause of heresy. (b)

But the poor heareth not rebuke.] He escapes many times as not considerable, as not worth a chiding, as under law. In a tragedy there is no place for a poor man but only to dance, as Arian hath observed upon Epictetus.


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Bibliography
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-13.html. 1865-1868.

The Popular Commentary by Paul E. Kretzmann

v. 8. The ransom of a man's life, that with which he may buy immunity for himself and possibly even save his life, are his riches; but the poor heareth not rebuke, that is, no warning or threatening will have any effect in his case, because he has nothing to give up to the robber or blackmailer.


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Bibliography
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/kpc/proverbs-13.html. 1921-23.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Proverbs 13:8. The ransom of a man's life are his riches Houbigant renders this, A man hath in his riches whence he may redeem himself; but the poor man findeth no redemption. Bishop Patrick paraphrases the passage thus: "Rich men are not always so happy as they are imagined, for their wealth sometimes only serves to make them accused of high crimes, and then to bring them off for a large sum of money, which they pay to save their lives: but nobody is apt to find fault with the poor, or to bring any charge against them." We may read the latter clause, The poor heareth no disturbance.


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Bibliography
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/proverbs-13.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

This verse sets forth, either,

1. The several advantages of riches and poverty. Riches enable a man to redeem his life when it is in greatest danger, and poverty preserves a man from those rebukes and injuries which endanger and oft destroy the rich. Or,

2. The convenience of poverty above riches. Riches frequently expose men to the peril of losing their lives by false accusers, or thieves, or tyrants, which they are forced to redeem with the loss of their riches; whereas poverty commonly secures men not only from such kinds of death, but even from rebukes and injuries; partly because such persons are cautious that they may not offend or provoke others; and partly because their persons and actions are neglected and slighted, and they are esteemed objects of pity.


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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-13.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

8. Ransom… man’s life… riches — Under a crushing despotism wealth sometimes causes men to be accused of serious crimes in order to extort money from them. This is done, also, under other circumstances by private threats of accusation, or of giving publicity to crimes or pretended crimes, — “blackmailing.” in the East a man has often to purchase his life by a part or the whole of his wealth. The second clause is more obscure; the most probable meaning is, the poor is free from such risks — no such accusations are brought against him for purposes of extortion.

Rebuke — May be rendered restraint, distraint, or distress, as these terms are used in law. He hears nothing of it. “The traveller who has nothing can sing in the presence of the robber.” — Juvenal. Following the Septuagint: some render נערה, (ge’harah,) “rebuke,” by threatenings. (So French, Noyes, and Zockler.) It does not clearly appear that the Hebrew word ever has this sense. Some understand the verse thus: Riches frequently buy off a man from punishment or other evils, yet, notwithstanding this obvious advantage, the poor man will not listen to those who “rebuke” him for his faults, which are the cause of his poverty. Conant translates: “The ransom of a man’s soul is his wealth, and the poor hear not rebuke;” and comments thus: “The ransom of the soul — its redemption from the power of ignorance and sin — is the true riches; and poor is he who heeds not rebuke, since instructive reproofs (Proverbs 6:23) are the way of life.” Miller is to the same effect.


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Bibliography
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-13.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The idea in this contrast is that a rich man may lose his money by having to buy himself out of trouble. A poor man is not the target of robbers and kidnappers because he has little money. The more money a person has the more financial obligations become his, but a poor man is free of these distractions. Another view is that the poor man cannot buy himself out of trouble since his means are limited. [Note: McKane, p458.]


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Bibliography
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/proverbs-13.html. 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 13:8. The ransom of a man’s life are his riches — This verse is considered by some as setting forth the several advantages of riches and poverty. Riches enable a man to redeem his life when it is in the greatest danger, and poverty preserves a man from those rebukes and injuries which endanger, and oft destroy the rich. Others again consider it as showing the convenience of poverty above riches. Riches frequently expose men to the peril of losing their lives by false accusers, thieves, or tyrants, which they are forced to redeem with the loss of their riches; whereas poverty commonly secures men not only from such kinds of death, but even from rebukes and injuries; partly because the poor are cautions that they may not offend or provoke others; and partly because their persons and actions are neglected and slighted, and they are esteemed objects of pity. Bishop Patrick paraphrases the passage in the latter of these senses, thus: “Rich men are not always so happy as they are imagined; for their wealth sometimes only serves to make them accused of high crimes, and then to bring them off with a huge sum of money, which they pay to save their lives; but nobody is apt to find fault with the poor, or to bring any charge against them.” Dr. Waterland renders the latter clause, The poor heareth no disturbance.


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Bibliography
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-13.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Reprehension. Or is not able to defend himself, like the rich. (Calmet) --- He is not exposed so much to great revolutions. (Bayn.)


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Bibliography
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/proverbs-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

ransom = covering. Hebrew. kopher.

the poor, &c.: i.e. poor [becometh he that] heeded not rebuke.


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Bibliography
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. The ransom of a man's life (are) his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke. If the rich man's life is in danger, he can often redeem himself by his riches (Proverbs 10:15; Proverbs 18:11); but the poor do not ever 'hear' threats -

i.e., the poor are not exposed to threats or envy affecting the safety of their life. On such "rebuke" cf. Isaiah 30:17. The rich deliver themselves from danger: the poor are free from it. If riches have their advantage, so has poverty its advantages. Juvenal says, (Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator), 'The traveler who has nothing to lose can sing in the highwayman's face.' The godly poor, above all, shall 'hear no rebuke' in the great day of the Lord (Isaiah 25:8; Job 3:18).


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Bibliography
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/proverbs-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) The ransom of a man’s life are his riches.—In times of trouble he may have to give them all to save his life. For the spiritual sense comp. Luke 16:9.

But the poor heareth not rebuke.—Or, threatening. (Comp. Job 3:18; Job 39:7.) He has no need to regard it; his poverty and insignificance are his protection.


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Bibliography
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor heareth not rebuke.
ransom
6:35; Exodus 21:30; Job 2:4; Psalms 49:6-10; Jeremiah 41:8; Matthew 16:26; 1 Peter 1:18,19
the poor
2 Kings 24:14; 25:12; Jeremiah 39:10; Zephaniah 3:12

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Bibliography
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 13:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-13.html.


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