13 those whose eyes are ever so haughty,
whose glances are so disdainful;
14 those whose teeth are swords
and whose jaws are set with knives
to devour the poor from the earth
and the needy from among mankind.
Here we have the two remaining traits of wretchedness, continued from verses eleven (ingratitude and hatred of authority) and twelve (self-righteous hypocrisy). Next comes those who are haughty and disdainful towards others. Those who have a skewed view of themselves are likely to also have a twisted view of others. While they see their own sin as complex and justifiable, they love to condemn the sins of others. This condescending attitude traps the haughty in a cycle of negativity. They are “always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
The fourth trait of wretchedness goes beyond the disdain of misconception into the realm of action. It is one thing to inwardly despise others, and another to be outwardly cruel to them. The prime target of such people is the poor and needy, who have little to defend them from the ruthless. These four traits seem to be in ascending order. The ungrateful, who despise authority, are likely to progress to self righteous hypocrisy, which leads to disdain of others, and finally to the abuse of those beneath them. Do you find yourself on this wretched path? Abandon it as quickly as you can! It will only lead you to misery.