Proverbs 31:7

Proverbs 31:7

Let him drink, and forget his poverty
Which has been very pressing upon him, and afflicting to him; let him drink till he is cheerful, and forgets that he is a poor man; however, so far forgets as not to be troubled about it, and have any anxious thoughts how he must have food and raiment F11; and remember his misery no more;
the anguish of his mind because of his straitened circumstances; or "his labour" F12, as it may be rendered; so the Septuagint and Arabic versions, the labour of his body, the pains he takes to get a little food for himself and family. The Targum is,

``and remember his torn garments no more;''
his rags, a part of his poverty. Such virtue wine may have for the present to dispel care, than which it is said nothing can be better {m}; and to induce a forgetfulness of misery, poverty, and of other troubles. So the mixed wine Helena gave to Telemachus, called Nepenthe, which when drunk, had such an effect as to remove sorrow, and to bring on forgetfulness of past evils F14; and of which Diodorus Siculus F15 and Pliny F16 speak as of such use. The ancients used to call Bacchus, the god of wine, the son of forgetfulness; but Plutarch F17 thought he should rather be called the father of it. Some, by those that are "ready to perish", understand condemned malefactors, just going to die; and think the Jewish practice of giving wine mingled with myrrh or frankincense, or a stupefying potion to such that they might not be sensible of their misery F18, such as the Jews are supposed to otter to Christ, ( Mark 15:23 ) ; is grounded upon this passage; but the sense given is best: the whole may be applied in a spiritual manner to such persons who see themselves in a "perishing", state and condition; whose consciences are loaded with guilt, whose souls are filled with a sense of wrath, have a sight of sin, but not of a Saviour; behold a broken, cursing, damning law, the flaming sword of justice turning every way, but no righteousness to answer for them, no peace, no pardon, no stoning sacrifice but look upon themselves lost and undone: and so of "heavy hearts"; have a spirit of heaviness in them, a heaviness upon their spirits: a load of guilt on them too heavy to bear, so that they cannot look up: or are "bitter in soul"; sin is made bitter to them, and they weep bitterly for it: now to such persons "wine", in a spiritual sense, should be given; the Gospel, which is as the best wine, that, goes down sweetly, should be preached unto them; they should be told of the love of God and Christ to poor sinners, which is better than wine; and the blessings of grace should be set before them, as peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life, by Christ, the milk and wine to be had without money and without price; of these they should drink, or participate of, by faith, freely, largely, and to full satisfaction; by means of which they will "forget" their spiritual "poverty", and consider themselves as possessed of the riches of grace, as rich in faith, and heirs of a kingdom; and so remember no more their miserable estate by nature, and the anguish of their souls in the view of that; unless it be to magnify and adore the riches of God's grace in their deliverance.
FOOTNOTES:

F11 "Tunc dolor a curae rugaqae frontis abit", Ovid. de Arte Amandi, l. 1.
F12 (wlme) "laboris sui", Pagninus, Montanus.
F13 Cyprius poeta apud Suidam in voce (oinov) .
F14 Homer. Odyss. 4. v. 220, 221.
F15 Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 87, 88.
F16 Nat. Hist. l. 21, c. 21.
F17 Symposiac. l. 7. Probl. 5. p. 705.
F18 Vid. T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, s. 10. fol. 198. 4.
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