Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth:
– Proverbs 24:17
Verses 17-18 form a saying warning against taking pleasure in the adversities of your enemy. The word for enemy means a foe, or adversary. It is expressed in terms of a personal enemy. Falling and stumbling refer to falling down and tottering, but they figuratively express the experience of calamity or adversity. The word for rejoice means to brighten and the word for glad means to rejoice, or cheer up. The first part of this saying warns against gloating over your opponent, or taking delight in their downfalls. The traditional rabbinical teaching was to love your neighbor but hate your enemy (Matthew 5:43). Of course, Jesus corrected this wrong interpretation of the law (Matthew 5:44-48).