26 A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring.
It is here represented as a very lamentable thing, and a public grievance, and of ill consequence to many, like the troubling of a fountain and the corrupting of a spring, for the righteous to fall down before the wicked, that is, 1. For the righteous to fall into sin in the sight of the wicked--for them to do any thing unbecoming their profession, which is told in Gath, and published in the streets of Ashkelon, and in which the daughters of the Philistines rejoice. For those that have been in reputation for wisdom and honour to fall from their excellency, this troubles the fountains by grieving some, and corrupts the springs by infecting others and emboldening them to do likewise. 2. For the righteous to be oppressed, and run down, and trampled upon, by the violence or subtlety of evil men, to be displaced and thrust into obscurity, this is the troubling of the fountains of justice and corrupting the very springs of government, Pr 28:12,28,29:2. 3. For the righteous to be cowardly, to truckle to the wicked, to be afraid of opposing his wickedness and basely to yield to him, this is a reflection upon religion, a discouragement to good men, and strengthens the hands of sinners in their sins, and so is like a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring.