Surely he scorneth the scorners
That make a mock at sin, a jest of religion, that scoff at the doctrines of the Gospel and the professors of it; these the Lord looks upon, laughs at, and has them in derision. The Greek version and two apostles render it, "he resisteth the proud", ( 1 Peter 5:5 ) ( James 4:6 ) . Such who are haughty and arrogant, that exalt themselves and despise others; as those of a pharisaical spirit are and do, are abhorred and despised by the Lord; he sets himself against them, is their enemy, "and scatters [them] in the imagination of their hearts", ( Luke 1:51 ) . L'Empereur observes F12 that this version is quite agreeable to the Hebrew text and the sense of Jewish writers: R. Alshech says, that (Myul) , rendered "scorners", are such who will not look upon the divine Being, but go on boldly in sin, as if there was no God; and Kimchi explains the word by (Myagtm) , who exalt themselves, or are proud; and because proud men yield to none, but resist others, hence the verb is used, by the Septuagint, to resist; agreeably to which the Targum is,
``he shall drive away;''and Alshech,
``he shall destroy;''and Gersom,
``God shall make others mock them;''which is, to resist them; but he giveth grace unto the lowly;
or humble souls; such who are made truly sensible of sin, and lie low in their own sight on account of it; who, sensible of the imperfection and insufficiency of their own righteousness, submit to the righteousness of Christ; ascribe their salvation, and all the blessings of it, to the free grace of God; own the deficiency of their duties, and disclaim all merit in them; think the worst of themselves, and the best of others; and humble themselves under the mighty hand of God, and are patient under every adverse dispensation of Providence; knowing what their deserts are, how undeserving of any favour, and how deserving of the divine displeasure. Now God first gives grace to these persons to make them thus humble and lowly which they are not naturally, and then he gives them more grace, according to his promise; and it is in proof of God's giving more grace to such persons that the Apostle James produces this passage, ( Proverbs 4:6 ) . Grace is God's gift, first and last, what is had in first conversion, in after supplies, and for perseverance to the end: sanctifying, justifying, pardoning, and adopting grace, are the pure gifts of God, of his own favour and good will, without any merit, motive, or condition in the creature; and which he gives liberally and bountifully; for not favour with men is here meant, as some think, but the grace of God.
F12 Not. in Mos. Kimchi (odoiporia) , p. 34, 35.