Proverbs 18:14

The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?

The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity,.... The spirit of a mighty man, as Jarchi; a man of spirit, that has a spirit of fortitude, even of natural fortitude, and especially of Christian fortitude; that has a spirit of might upon him, of power, and sound mind; a man of a Christian spirit, that is renewed in the spirit of his mind; who is a spiritual man, and has the Spirit of God in him, as well as a rational soul, an immaterial, immortal, and never dying substance. Such a man will bear up under many trials and exercises of life; will support under bodily infirmities; will take patiently the loss Of friends and of substance; endure reproach, and the loss of a good name, credit, and reputation, cheerfully, for righteousness's sake; and suffer persecution for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel, with an undaunted and unbroken spirit: the peace of conscience he feels within; the presence of God with him; the love of God shed abroad in his heart; seeing all his afflictions flowing from love, and working for his good; and having in view the glories of another world; he bears up under and goes through all afflictions with ease and pleasure; his conscience is clear, his heart is whole, his mind is easy; his wounds being healed, his sins pardoned, and his soul saved in Chris;

but a wounded spirit who can bear? or a "smitten" {w} one, smitten by the Lord; by the word of the Lord, which he uses as a hammer to break rocky hearts in pieces; by the law of God, which produces wrath, and a looking for of fiery indignation; by the Spirit of God, awakening the conscience, and convicting it of sin, righteousness, and judgment; which smitings are very grievous, though they tend to bring to repentance; are in order to healing, and are in love. Or, "a broken spirit" {x}, as in Proverbs 17:22; broken with a sense of sin, and with an excess of sorrow for it; when a man becomes lifeless and hopeless, has no hope of life and salvation, and is in the utmost confusion; all his measures and purposes are broken, as well as his heart; he knows not what to do, nor what way to take; he is disconsolate, and refuses to be comforted; and which for the present is intolerable: though the Lord has a regard to such, is nigh unto them; has sent his son to bind up their broken hearts; yea, has himself been broken for them; and happy it is for them that they fall on him and are broken, and not he on them. Or, "a wounded spirit"; with a view of sin, as committed against the omniscient and omnipotent Being, a pure and holy God; a righteous one, whose nature is infinite; and so sin committed against him requires an infinite satisfaction, which a creature cannot give; and a God also, who is the author of their beings, and the Father of their mercies; all which makes sin against him the more cutting and wounding: likewise they are wounded with a view of the evil nature of sin, and the aggravated circumstances that attend it; and with the terrors of the law, that are set in array against them. And such a spirit "who can bear?" not without the sight of a wounded Saviour; or without a view of atonement by his sacrifice; or without the discoveries and applications of pardoning grace; or without a sense of peace and reconciliation made by the blood of Christ; or without some hope of salvation by him; and unless the good Samaritan pours in oil and wine into the wounds, and binds them up.

{w} hakn "percussum", Pagninus, Baynus, Mercerus, Gejerus; "perculsum", Vatablus, Cocceius.
{x} "Contritum", Montanus, Gejerus, Michaelis; "fractum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator.