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Proverbs 24:17

Saying 28

17 Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when they stumble, do not let your heart rejoice,

Read Proverbs 24:17 Using Other Translations

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles,
Don’t rejoice when your enemies fall; don’t be happy when they stumble.

What does Proverbs 24:17 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Proverbs 24:17

Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth
These words are spoken not to the wicked man, ( Proverbs 24:15 ) ; but to the just man, or Solomon's son, or the children of Wisdom; for by the "enemy" is meant such who are at enmity with the people of God, as the seed of the serpent, and those after the flesh, are: and when these "fall", saints should not "rejoice"; as when they fall into sin; for so to do would be to act as wicked "charity [which] rejoiceth not in iniquity", ( 1 Corinthians 13:6 ) : or rather when they fill into calamity and distress; for this is also the part which wicked men act towards the people of God, and should not be imitated in; see ( Obadiah 1:12 ) ( Micah 7:8 ) ( Revelation 11:10 ) . Joy may be expressed at the fall of the public enemies of God and his people, as was by the Israelites at the destruction of Pharaoh and his host, ( Exodus 15:1 ) ; and as will be by the church at the destruction of antichrist, and which they are called upon to do, ( Revelation 18:20 ) ( Revelation 19:1 Revelation 19:2 ) ; partly on account of their own deliverance and safety, and chiefly because of the glory of God, and of his justice displayed therein; see ( Psalms 58:10 ) ; but as private revenge is not to be sought, nor acted, so joy at the calamity and ruin of a private enemy, or a man's own enemy, should not be expressed; but rather he is to be pitied and helped; see ( Proverbs 25:21 Proverbs 25:22 ) ; for to love an enemy, and show regard to him, is the doctrine both of the Old and of the New Testament; and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth;
even secret joy should not be indulged, gladness in the heart, though it does not appear in the countenance, and is not expressed in words; no, not at the least appearance of mischief, when he only stumbles and is ready to fall; and much less should there be exultation and rejoicings made in an open manner at the utter ruin of him.

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