Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee,.... For wicked men are apt to hate those that publicly rebuke them, Amos 5:10. Hence minister's of the word are of all men most hated; though this also should be bore with, could it be thought, or there was any reason to believe, that the reproof would be of any service. The scorner here, and in the preceding verses, may not only design profane sinners, sensualists, and atheists, that despise all religion, and scoff at all that is good; but also proud scornful Pharisees, such who derided Christ himself, and trusted in themselves, and despised others, Christ and his apostles, and their ministrations, Luke 16:14; and such, as Christ came not to call them himself, so he bid his disciples let them alone, Matthew 9:13;
rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee; as David did Nathan; and who was determined to take kindly the reproof of any righteous man,
Ps 141:5. Such who are spiritually wise will be thankful for the reproof of Gospel ministers, and even of private Christians, and will love and esteem them for their faithfulness and uprightness, and for the good which they themselves receive hereby.