Do not slander a servant to his master,
lest he curse you, and you be held guilty.
There are those who curse their fathers
and do not bless their mothers.
There are those who are clean in their own eyes
but are not washed of their filth.
There are those—how lofty are their eyes,
how high their eyelids lift!
There are those whose teeth are swords,
whose fangs are knives,
to devour the poor from off the earth,
the needy from among mankind.
The leech has two daughters:
Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb,
the land never satisfied with water,
and the fire that never says, “Enough.”
These verses amply demonstrate what happens in life when the character in 7-9 is not developed. Certainly, if we breathe the spirit of 1-9, we shall be less and less disposed to make accusations in the spirit of 10. The different kinds of ugly and anti-social behaviour mentioned in 11-14 remind us that the alternative to integrity of character is not the negative absence of good qualities, but a positive presence of evil in the life. A progression may be intended and implied here: childhood arrogance, wildness and undisciplined youth, brutality. As Kidner says, pride corrupts 'a person's attitude to his superiors (11), to himself (12), to the world at large (13), and his supposed inferiors (14)'. In 15, 16, an even more frightening consequence of the refusal of the disciplines of the Word is seen. The theme is craving. We pointed out in an earlier Note (see on 27:20) that the essence of a wrong desire is that it cannot be satisfied. It is unsatisfiable. It must therefore be cut out and destroyed. Nothing but the Word has power to do this in a man. It is significant also that the verses follow immediately upon 11-14. Proud and arrogant as man is, his heart remains unsatisfied. He never gets what he asks of life. Even his cruelty (14) is not slaked. Augustine once prayed, 'O God, Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee'. This is the only answer to human craving; and it is as well that we see, in these verses, the grim and terrifying alternatives.