Ecclesiastes 7:7

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart.

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad,.... Which is to be understood either passively, when he is oppressed by others, or sees others oppressed; it raises indignation in him, disturbs his mind, and he is ready to pass a wrong judgment on the dispensations of Providence, and to say rash and unadvised things concerning them,

Psalms 73:2; or actively, of oppression with which he oppresses others; when he gives into such measures, his wisdom departs from him, his mind is besotted, he acts the part of a madman, and pierces himself through with many sorrows. Some understand this of wealth got in an ill way; or of gifts given to bribe men to do injury to others; and which the following clause is thought to explain;

and a gift destroyeth the heart; blinds the eyes of judges other ways wise; perverts their judgment, and causes them to pass a wrong sentence, as well as perverts justice: or, "and destroys the heart of gifts" {k}; a heart that is possessed of the gifts of wisdom and knowledge; or a munificent heart, a heart disposed to give bountifully and liberally, that oppression destroys and renders useless.

{k} hntm bl ta dbayw "et frangit cor dotibus praeclaris ornatum", Tigurine version; so some Jewish writers in Mercerus.