Home > Hermeneutics > General statements are frequently to be limited, both in themselves and their application

General statements are frequently to be limited, both in themselves and their application

Arthur PinkThe limitation of general statements. General statements are frequently to be limited, both in themselves and their application. Many examples of this principle occur in the book of Proverbs, and obviously so, for a proverb or maxim is a broad principle expressed in a brief form, a moral truth set forth in condensed and universal language. Thus, “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it; and he that hateth suretiship is sure” (11:15) enunciates the general rule, yet there are exceptions thereto.

“Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers” (17:6), though that is far from being the case in every instance.

“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the Lord” (18:22), as many a man the writer included—has discovered; yet the experience of not a few has been quite to the contrary.

“Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it from him” (22:15), yet God reserves to Himself the sovereign right to make that good to whom He pleases—where He blesses not this means, the child is hardened in his perversity.

“Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings” (22:29),

though sometimes the most industrious meet with little material success.

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

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