We are apt to judge of men’s blessedness, at least in this world, by their wealth, and that they are more or less happy accordingly as they have more or less of this world’s goods; but Solomon here shows what a gross mistake it is, that we may be reconciled to a poor condition, and may neither covet riches ourselves nor envy those that have abundance. 1. Those that are rich, if by some they are respected for their riches, yet, to balance that, by others they are envied and struck at, and brought in danger of their lives, which therefore they are forced to ransom with their riches. Slay us not, for we have treasures in the field, Jer. 41:8. Under some tyrants, it has been crime enough to be rich; and how little is a man beholden to his wealth when it only serves to redeem that life which otherwise would not have been exposed! 2. Those that are poor, if by some, that should be their friends, they are despised and overlooked, yet, to balance that, they are also despised and overlooked by others that would be their enemies if they had any thing to lose: The poor hear not rebuke, are not censured, reproached, accused, nor brought into trouble, as the rich are; for nobody thinks it worth while to take notice of them. When the rich Jews were carried captives to Babylon the poor of the land were left, 2 Kgs. 25:12. Welcome nothing, once in seven years. Cantabit vacuus coram latrone viator—When a traveller is met by a robber he will rejoice at not having much property about him.
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