4. Wicked doers and speakers alike delight in calumny.
5. (Compare Proverbs 14:31 ).
glad at calamities--rejoicing in others' evil. Such are rightly punished by God, who knows their hearts.
9. seeketh love--(Compare Margin). The contrast is between the peace-maker and tale-bearer.
10. Reproof more affects the wise than severe scourging, fools.
11. Such meet just retribution ( 1 Kings 2:25 ).
a cruel messenger--one to inflict it.
12. They are less rational in anger than wild beasts.
14. letteth . . . water--as a breach in a dam.
before . . . meddled with--before strife has become sharp, or, by an explanation better suiting the figure, before it rolls on, or increases.
17. To the second of these parallel clauses, there is an accession of meaning, that is, that a brother's love is specially seen in adversity.
19. strife--contention is, and leads to, sin.
he that exalteth his gate--gratifies a vain love of costly building.
seeketh--or, "findeth," as if he sought (compare "loveth death," Proverbs 8:36 ).
20. The second clause advances on the first. The ill-natured fail of good, and the cavilling and fault-finding incur evil.
21. (Compare Proverbs 23:24 ). Different words are rendered by "fool," both denoting stupidity and impiety.
23. a gift . . . bosom--Money and other valuables were borne in a fold of the garment, called the bosom.
to pervert--that is, by bribery.
24. Wisdom . . . him--ever an object of regard, while a fool's affections are unsettled.
26. Also--that is, Equally to be avoided are other sins: punishing good subjects, or resisting good rulers.
27, 28. Prudence of speech is commended as is an excellent or calm spirit, not excited to vain conversation.