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9But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

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9. will be rich—have more than "food and raiment." Greek, "wish to be rich"; not merely are willing, but are resolved, and earnestly desire to have riches at any cost (Pr 28:20, 22). This wishing (not the riches themselves) is fatal to "contentment" (1Ti 6:6). Rich men are not told to cast away their riches, but not to "trust" in them, and to "do good" with them (1Ti 6:17, 18; Ps 62:10).

fall into temptation—not merely "are exposed to temptation," but actually "fall into" it. The falling into it is what we are to pray against, "Lead us not into temptation" (Jas 1:14); such a one is already in a sinful state, even before any overt act of sin. The Greek for "temptation" and "gain" contains a play on sounds—porasmus, peirasmus.

snare—a further step downwards (1Ti 3:7). He falls into "the snare of the devil."


hurtful—to those who fall into the snare. Compare Eph 4:22, "deceitful lusts" which deceive to one's deadly hurt.

lusts—With the one evil lust ("wish to be rich") many others join themselves: the one is the "root of all evils" (1Ti 6:10).

whichGreek, "whatever (lusts)."

drown—an awful descending climax from "fall into"; this is the last step in the terrible descent (Jas 1:15); translated "sink," Lu 5:7.

destruction … perditiondestruction in general (temporal or eternal), and perdition in particular, namely, that of body and soul in hell.