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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, Proverbs 13:12

I imagine the heart becomes even sicker when it fears that desire will never come to pass. Here is the verse in a few different translations with commentary. I enjoy the different shades of meaning which come from slightly different translations.

New International Version (©1984)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.

New Living Translation (©2007)
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.

King James Bible
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but [when] the desire cometh, [it is] a tree of life.


Douay-Rheims Bible
Hope that is deferred afflicteth the soul: desire when it cometh is a tree of life.

Darby Bible Translation
Hope deferred maketh the heart sick; but the desire that cometh to pass is a tree of life.

World English Bible
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when longing is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.

Barnes' Notes on the Bible

When the desire cometh - The desire comes, it is a tree of life: i. e., the object of our desires is attained. Compare Proverbs 3:18.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick - When once a good is discovered, want of it felt, strong desire for the possession excited, and the promise of attainment made on grounds unsuspected, so that the reality of the thing and the certainity of the promise are manifest, hope posts forward to realize the blessing. Delay in the gratification pains the mind; the increase of the delay prostrates and sickens the heart; and if delay sickens the heart, ultimate disappointment kills it. But when the thing desired, hoped for, and expected comes, it is a tree of life, עץ חיים ets chaiyim, "the tree of lives;" it comforts and invigorates both body and soul. To the tree of lives, in the midst of the gardens of paradise, how frequent are the allusions in the writings of Solomon, and in other parts of the Holy Scriptures! What deep, and perhaps yet unknown, mysteries were in this tree!
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Hope deferred maketh the heart sick,.... That is, the object hoped for; if it is not enjoyed so soon as expected, at least if it is delayed any length of time, the mind becomes uneasy, the heart sinks and fails, and the man is dispirited and ready to despond, and give up all hope of enjoying the desired blessing; whether it be deliverance from any evil, or the possession of any good;

but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life; when that which is hoped and wished for, and has been long expected and desired, comes; when there is an accomplishment of men's wishes, it is as grateful to him as the tree of life was in Eden's garden; it gives him an unspeakable pleasure and delight...
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment!

10 comments:

Megs said...

Exactly what I needed to read today! :)

SavvyD said...

I hope you longing, your dream, and your desires are fulfilled. Thanks.

Sushi Girl said...

God has been giving me this verse lately..it's hard I KNOW..
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Jenny said...

Definitely something to think about. I've been concerned about Psalm 37:4 recently. Your post is timely.

SavvyD said...

I'm comforted by your responses to my post. Sometimes I feel like I am one of the few acknowledging how I truly feel.

Ashleycb said...

Amen, Amen, Amen. Thank you SavvyD for being honest about how you feel and seeking out answers to it....And posting those answers here online.

Yesterday, I read a blog that shed some light on this scripture as well:
http://sisterpastor.blogspot.com/2011/02/hope-deferred-makes-heart-sick.html

In addition to lamentation 3 (quoted by someone else above), she points out some important things about this verse....like how to stay grounded and hopeful even when there are no external "signs" suggesting that the desire is going to be fulfilled.

I would love to stay in conversation with you! I am a young african-american minister in seminary at Princeton Theological Seminary!

Christy H said...

Hope deferred makes the heart sick? I think that's an understatment in my situation. I have been waiting for more than 18years and so I am in a coma state at this point.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Christy...I'm in a coma state. Will someone please explain to me how u can hope when everything keeps coming against you even after seeking the Lord day and night? What's to hope for?

Anonymous said...

Stop and think your time on earth is but a blink of an eye. You will have eternity to dwell on GOD'S ANSWERS. So be still and know thaI AM!

Anonymous said...

I know the Lord hears my prayer. and if I know he hears me then I know also that He will give me whatever I ask for. this is His word in mark. when hope seems deferred, it is satan who is putting a mask upon your dreams and wants and needs. push him aside and say..it is written and then quote the Lords words. He has said...if you believe then you will receive. you receive not because you ask not. don't let satan fool you. wait upon the Lord and rejoice in this day. even if it seems hopeless. God is watching. He knows what you need even before you ask. so keep asking. keep knocking on His door. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. He has come to give you a hope and a dream and future...never to harm you. stand still and believe. don't let the devil fool you. your dreams will come to pass. it is His promise.