The righteous perisheth
Not eternally; he may fear he shall, by reason of sin and temptation; he may say his strength and hope are perished; and his peace and comfort may perish for a time; but he cannot perish everlastingly, because he is one that believes in Christ, and is justified by his righteousness, from whence he is denominated righteous; and such shall never perish, but have everlasting life: but the meaning is, that he perisheth as to his outward man, or dies corporeally, which is called perishing, ( Ecclesiastes 7:15 ) and so the Targum renders it,
``the righteous die.''
Or it may be rendered, "the righteous man is lost" F2
; not to himself, his death is a gain to him; but to the church, and to the world, which yet is not considered: and no man layeth it to heart
takes any notice of it, thinks at all about it, far from being concerned or grieved; instead of that, rather rejoice, and are pleased that they are rid of such persons; which will be the case when the witnesses are slain, ( Revelation 11:10
) . The Targum is,
``and no man lays my fear to heart;''
or on his heart; whereas such providences should lead men to fear the Lord, and seek to him, and serve him, as it did David, ( Psalms 12:1
) : and merciful men are taken away
or "gathered" F3
; out of the world, to their own people, to heaven; these are such who obtain mercy of the Lord, and show mercy to others, holy good men: the former character may respect the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, this his grace implanted in them, discovered by acts of mercy and goodness; for one and the same persons are intended: none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come
that there are evil times coming, great calamities, and sore judgments upon men; and therefore these righteous ones are gathered out of the world, and are gathered home, and safely housed in heaven, that they may escape the evil coming upon a wicked generation; and who yet have no thought about it, nor are they led to observe it as they might, from the removal of good men out of the world; see ( 2 Kings 22:20
) . All this may be applied to the martyrs of Jesus in times of Popish persecution; or to the removal of good men by an ordinary death before those times came.