His children shall seek to please the poor
In this and some following verses the miserable state of a wicked man is described, and which begins with his children, who are often visited in wrath for their parents' sins, especially when they tread in their steps, and follow their example; and it is an affliction to parents to see their children in distress, and particularly on their account, and even to be threatened with it. According to our version, the sense of this clause is, that after a wicked man's death his children shall seek to gain the good will and favour of the poor who have been oppressed by him, that they may not reproach them, or take revenge on them, or apply to the civil magistrate to have justice done them; but Jarchi renders the words,
``the poor shall oppress or destroy his children;''and so the margin of our Bible, who, being enraged with the ill usage of their parents, shall fall upon them in great wrath, and destroy them, ( Proverbs 28:3 ) ; and the same Jewish writer restrains the words to the men of Sodom, who were oppressive and cruel to the poor; or rather the sense is, that the children of the wicked man shall be reduced to such extreme poverty, that they shall even seek relief of the poor, and supplicate and entreat them to give them something out of their small pittance; with which others in a good measure agree, who render the words, "his children shall please, [being] poor" F14; it shall be a pleasure and satisfaction to those they have been injurious to, to see their children begging their bread from door to door, see ( Psalms 109:5 Psalms 109:10 ) ;
and his hands shall restore their goods:
or "for his hands" F15; and so are a reason why his children shall be so reduced after his death as to need the relief of others, because their parent, in his lifetime, was obliged to make restitution of his ill gotten goods, so that in the end he had nothing to leave his children at his death; for this restitution spoken of is not voluntary, but forced. Sephorno thinks reference is had to the Egyptians lending jewels and other riches to the Israelites, whereby they were obliged to repay six hundred thousand men for their service.
F14 (Myld wury wynb) "filii ejus placabunt, mendici", Montanus.
F15 So the English annotator.