Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Proverbs 30:9

That I not be full and deny You and say, "Who is the Lord ?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Blasphemy;   Covetousness;   God;   Poverty;   Riches;   Thompson Chain Reference - Atheism;   Faith-Unbelief;   Infidelity;   Prosperity;   Prosperity-Adversity;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Contentment;   Riches;   Temptation;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Proverb, the Book of;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Poor;   Steal;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Wealth;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Pardon;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Deny;   Proverbs, Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Agur;   Jakeh;   Massa;   Prayer;   Proverbs, Book of;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Agur;   Deny;   Proverbs, Book of;  
Devotionals:
Daily Light on the Daily Path - Devotion for October 23;  

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

The special dangers of the two extremes. Wealth tempts to pride, unbelief, and a scorn like that of Pharaoh Exodus 5:2; poverty to, dishonesty, and then to perjury, or to the hypocritical profession of religion which is practically identical with it.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/proverbs-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Lest I be full, and deny thee,.... This is the dangerous consequence of riches, and the temptation they expose men unto; who, being full of the things of this world, are tempted to deny the Lord; not his being and perfections directly, but chiefly his providence; to deny that what they have, they have received of him, but attribute it to their own care, diligence, and industry; and now think they can live without him, without any dependence on his providence, having a large affluence of the things of life: yea, they may be said to deny him, when they forget the bounties of his providence; are not thankful to him for them; that flatter themselves with a continuance of them, without any regard to him, as if he had no concern in the affairs of life; see Deuteronomy 32:15;

and say, Who is the Lord? as Pharaoh did, Exodus 5:2. I am not obliged to him; I can live without him, I have enough of my own;

or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain; this is the snare that attends poverty; men, for want of food and raiment, are tempted to steal from their neighbours, which is a sin against the law of God, the eighth command; and then to cover the theft, when an oath is offered to purge them from the charge and suspicion of it, they take it, and so are guilty of false swearing, or taking the name of God not only in vain, but falsely, and so become guilty of the breach of the third command. Agur, a good man, is desirous he might not be exposed to temptations to such evils, and especially which so affected the honour and glory of God.

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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 Rights 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
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/proverbs-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, f Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].

(f) Meaning, that they who put their trust in their riches forget God and that by too much wealth men have an opportunity to the same.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/proverbs-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

deny — that is, puffed up by the pride of prosperity.

take the name  …  vain — This is not (Hebrew) the form (compare Exodus 20:7), but “take” rather denotes laying violent hold on any thing; that is, lest I assail God‘s name or attributes, as justice, mercy, etc., which the poor are tempted to do.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/proverbs-30.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Deny thee — By trusting to riches, which is a denial of God, and by unthankfulness for, and abuse of his mercies.

Who is the Lord — That I should serve him.

Lest I take — Use false oaths either to vindicate myself when I am suspected, or to gratify others, as poor men frequently do.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/proverbs-30.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Proverbs 30:9 Lest I be full, and deny [thee], and say, Who [is] the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God [in vain].

Ver. 9. Lest I be full and deny thee, &c.] Fulness breeds forgetfulness, saturity security Deuteronomy 32:14; {See Trapp on "Deuteronomy 32:14"} 1 Timothy 6:17 {See Trapp on "1 Timothy 6:17"} every grain of riches hath a vermin of pride and ambition in it. A man may desire them, as one desires a ship to pass over the sea from one country to another; but to many they prove hindrances to heaven, remoras to religious practices. Many in their low estate could serve God, but now resemble the moon, which never suffers eclipse but at her full, and that is by the earth’s interposition between the sun and herself. Even an Agur full fed may grow wanton, and be dipping his fingers in the devil’s sauce; yea, so far may he forget himself, as to deny the Lord (or as the Hebrew hath it, belie him), disgrace his housekeeping, and cast a slur upon his work and wages by his shameful apostasy; yea (as Pharoah-like), to ask, Who is the Lord? as if such were petty gods within themselves, and could by the help of their mammon do well enough without him. Solomon’s wealth did him more harm than his wisdom did him good. [Ecclesiastes 2:1-26] It was his abundance that drew out his spirits, and dissolved him, and brought him to so low an ebb in grace.

Or, lest I be poor and steal.] Necessity is a hard weapon; we use to say, Hunger is an evil counsellor, and poverty is bold or daring, as Horace calls it. (a) The baser sort of people in Swethland do always break the Sabbath, saying, that it is only for gentlemen to keep that day. And the poorer sort among us (some of them I mean that have learned no better) hold theft in them, petty larceny at least, a peccadillo, an excusable evil; for either we must steal, say they, or starve; the belly hath no ears; our poor children must not pine and perish, &c. And truly "men do not despise," - i.e., not so much despise - "a thief if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry," saith Solomon [Proverbs 6:30] in his argument that an adulterer is worse than a thief; though a thief be bad enough, shut out of heaven. [1 Corinthians 6:9] But if he steal for necessity - πεινωντι κλεπτειν εστ αναγκαιως εχον, saith the Greek proverb, there is no remedy but a harking stomach must be quieted - men do the more excuse him a tanto, though not a toto. But God saith flat and plain, "Thou shalt in no case steal." "Let him that stole steal no more," but let him labour with his hands, and depend upon God’s providence; let him prefer affliction before sin, and rather die than do wickedly. But want is a sore temptation, as Agur feared, and that good man felt, mentioned by Master Perkins, who being ready to starve, stole a lamb; and being about to eat of it with his poor children, and (as his manner was before meat) to crave a blessing, durst not do it, but fell into a great perplexity of conscience, acknowledged his fault to the owner, and promised restitution if ever able to make it.

And take the name of my God in vain.] He says not, Lest I, being poor, steal and be fined, burnt in the hand, whipped, &c. No; but "Lest I take thy name in vain"; that is, cause thy name to stink among the ungodly, open their mouths, break down the banks of blasphemy, by such a base sin, committed by such a forward professor. Good men take God’s name in vain no way so much as by confuting and shaming their profession by a scandalous conversation, such as becometh not the gospel of Christ; moreover, they count sin to be the greatest smart in sin, as being more sensible of the wound they therein give the glory of God, than of any personal punishment.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/proverbs-30.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Deny thee, by trusting to riches, which is a denial of God, Job 31:24-28, by unthankfulness for and abuse of his mercies, and by rebellion against him, and divers other courses and common practices of rich men, whereby God is denied in truth and in works, even when he is owned in words and in show.

Who is the Lord, that I should obey or serve him? I do not need him, I can live of my own without him. Lest by degrees I should arrive at downright atheism or infidelity, which is most incident to rich and great men, as is manifest from experience.

Take the name of my God in vain; use false oaths, either to vindictate myself when I am suspected or accused of theft, and my oath is required according to the law, Exodus 22:8-11, or to gratify others for filthy lucre, as poor men frequently do.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/proverbs-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

9.Deny thee — Hebrew, simply deny; fail to render suitable acknowledgments. Abundance too commonly begets pride, sensuality, and forgetfulness of our obligation to the great Giver. “Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked.” Deuteronomy 32:15. Poverty tempts to stealing and other illicit practices to supply our wants. Furthermore, the poor are apt to repine and murmur against Providence, and in their heart to accuse the divine Being of partiality. This is supposed to be the meaning of take the name of my God in vain — violate the name of God, by assailing or impugning the divine character. Some understand it of false swearing, or perjury, to which the thief is tempted in order to shield himself from punishment. See note on Proverbs 29:24.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/proverbs-30.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Proverbs 30:9. Lest I be full, and deny thee — By trusting to riches, which is a denial of God, and by un-thankfulness for, and the abuse of his mercies. And say, Who is the Lord — That I should obey or serve him? I do not need him: I can live without him. Lest by degrees, I should arrive at downright atheism or infidelity, which is most incident to rich and great men, as is manifest from experience. Or lest I be poor and steal — Lest, being in a state of poverty, I be under a strong temptation to dishonesty, and become injurious to others for my own relief; and take the name of my God in vain — Use false oaths, either to vindicate myself when I am suspected or accused of theft, and my oath is required according to the law, Exodus 22:8-11; or to gratify others for filthy lucre, as poor men frequently do.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/proverbs-30.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.

poor: i.e. from being dispossessed. Hebrew. yarash. See note on "poverty", Proverbs 6:11

take the name, &c. = assaileth Jehovah. Not a reference to the second Commandment.

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4. Accuse not a servant = Get not a servant accused. Note the Hiphil here; as in Psalms 101:5.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/proverbs-30.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(9) Lest I be full, and deny thee.—For “pride and fulness of bread” were among the sins which brought destruction on Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49). (Comp. Job 21:14-15.)

And take the name of my God in vain.—Literally, handle it roughly, irreverently; particularly in finding fault with His providence.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/proverbs-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
I be full
Deuteronomy 6:10-12; 8:10-14; 31:20; 32:15; Nehemiah 9:25,26; Job 31:24-28; Jeremiah 2:31; Ezekiel 16:14,15,49,50; Daniel 4:17,30; Hosea 13:6; Acts 12:22,23
deny thee
Heb. belie thee. Who.
Exodus 5:2; 2 Chronicles 32:15-17
or
6:30,31; Psalms 125:3
and take the name
29:24; Exodus 20:7; Leviticus 5:1; Matthew 26:72,74
Reciprocal: Exodus 22:11 - an oath of the Lord;  Leviticus 6:3 - sweareth;  Deuteronomy 6:11 - when thou;  Deuteronomy 8:11 - GeneralDeuteronomy 8:12 - Lest when;  Deuteronomy 17:17 - neither shall he;  Joshua 24:27 - deny;  1 Kings 8:31 - an oath be laid upon him;  2 Chronicles 6:22 - and an oath;  Job 21:15 - What is;  Job 31:28 - for;  Psalm 10:4 - will not;  Psalm 37:16 - GeneralProverbs 27:27 - enough;  Jeremiah 22:21 - I spake;  Jeremiah 43:2 - all the;  Ezekiel 28:5 - and thine;  Zechariah 5:3 - every one;  Matthew 19:23 - That;  Luke 6:25 - full;  Luke 16:4 - GeneralLuke 18:24 - How;  Luke 22:40 - Pray;  Ephesians 4:28 - him that;  1 Timothy 6:8 - General1 Timothy 6:17 - that they;  2 Timothy 2:12 - if we deny;  Revelation 3:8 - and hast not;  Revelation 3:17 - have need

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Proverbs 30:9". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/proverbs-30.html.