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Proverbs 24:17-18

Context

24:17 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, 1 

and when he stumbles do not let your heart rejoice,

24:18 lest the Lord see it, and be displeased, 2 

and turn his wrath away from him. 3 

1 sn The saying (vv. 17, 18) warns against gloating over the misfortune of one’s enemies. The prohibition is formed with two negated jussives “do not rejoice” and “let not be glad,” the second qualified by “your heart” as the subject, signifying the inner satisfaction of such a defeat.

2 tn Heb “and [it is] evil in his eyes.”

3 sn The judgment of God should strike a note of fear in the heart of people (e.g., Lev 19:17-18). His judgment is not to be taken lightly, or personalized as a victory. If that were to happen, then the Lord might take pity on the enemies in their calamity, for he champions the downtrodden and defeated. These are probably personal enemies; the imprecatory psalms and the prophetic oracles present a different set of circumstances for the downfall of God’s enemies – even the book of Proverbs says that brings joy to the community.



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