Proverbs 18:22 - Exposition
Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing. A good wife is meant, a virtuous, prudent helpmate, as in Proverbs 12:4 ; Proverbs 19:14 ; and 31. The epithet is omitted, because the moralist is thinking of the ideal wife, the one whoso union is blessed, who alone deserves the holy name of wife. Thus in Proverbs 19:4 we had the ideal man spoken of. Septuagint, εὖρε χάριτας , " findeth graces," viz. peace, union, plenty, ruder (see a different view, Ecclesiastes 7:26-28 ). And obtaineth favour of the Lord ( Proverbs 8:35 ; Proverbs 12:2 ); or, hath obtained ( Proverbs 3:13 ), as shown by the consort whom God has given him. Ratson, "good will," "favour," is rendered by the Septuagint ἱλαρότητα , and by the Vulgate, jucunditatem, "cheerfulness," "joyousness" (see on Proverbs 19:12 ). Ecclesiasticus 26:1, etc; "Blessed is the man that hath a good wife, for the number of his days shall be double. A virtuous ( ἀνδρεία ) woman rejoiceth her husband, and he shall fulfil the years of his life in peace. A good wife is a good portion which shall be given in the portion of them that fear the Lord." "A good wife," says the Talmud. "is a good gift; she shall be given to a man that feareth God." And again, "God did not make woman from man's head, that she should not rule over him; nor from his feet, that she should not be his slave; but from his side, that she should be near his heart". A Greek gnome runs—
γυνή δικαζα τοῦ βίου σωτηρία
The Septuagint and Vulgate here introduce a paragraph which is not in the Hebrew, and only partly in the Syriac. It seems to be a further explanation of the statement in the text, founded on the practice prevalent at the time when the Septuagint Version was composed, which appears to have made divorce a recognized necessity in the case of adultery: "He who casteth away a good a wife casteth away good things; but he who retaineth an adulteress is a fool and impious." The advice of Siracides concerning a wicked wife is austere: "If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh" (Ecclesiasticus 25:26). Nothing is here said about the marriage of divorced persons; but the absolute indissolubility of the marriage bond was never held among the Jews, a certain laxity being allowed because of the hardness of their heart ( Matthew 5:32 ; Matthew 19:8 , etc.). The original intently of the marriage contract was re-established by Christ.
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