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Proverbs 20

CHAPTER 20

Proverbs 20:1-30 .

1. mocker--scorner. Such men are made by wine.
strong drink--made by spicing wine (compare Isaiah 5:11 Isaiah 5:22 ); and it may include wine.
raging--or boisterous as a drunkard.
deceived--literally, "erring," or reeling.

2. (Compare Proverbs 19:12 ). Men who resist authority injure themselves ( Romans 13:2 ).

3. to cease from strife--or, better, "to dwell from or without strife," denoting the habit of life.
fool . . . meddling--( Proverbs 17:14 ).

4. shall . . . beg--literally, "ask" (in this sense, Psalms 109:10 ).

5. Counsel . . . water--that is, deeply hidden ( Proverbs 18:4 , Psalms 13:2 ). The wise can discern well.

6. Boasters are unreliable.
goodness--or, "kind disposition."

7. The conduct of good men proclaims their sound principles. God's covenant and their good example secure blessing to their children ( Proverbs 4:26 , Psalms 112:1 Psalms 112:2 ).

8. As in Proverbs 14:35 , Proverbs 16:10 Proverbs 16:15 , this is the character of a good king, not of all kings.

9. The interrogation in the affirmative strengthens the implied negation (compare Job 15:14 , Ecclesiastes 7:20 ).

10. Various measures, implying that some are wrong (compare Proverbs 11:1 , 16:11 ).

11. The conduct of children even is the best test of principle (compare Matthew 7:16 ).

12. Hence, of course, God will know all you do ( Psalms 94:9 ).

13. Activity and diligence contrasted with sloth ( Proverbs 6:9 , 10:11 ).
lest . . . poverty--literally, "be deprived of inheritance."

14. when . . . his way--implying that he goes about boasting of his bargains.

15. The contrast denotes the greater value of knowledge (compare Proverbs 3:14-16 ).

16. Take his garment--implies severe exaction, justified by the surety's rashness.
a strange woman--by some readings "strangers," but the former here, and in Proverbs 27:13 , is allowable, and strengthens the sense. The debauchee is less reliable than the merely careless.

17. Bread . . . sweet--either as unlawfully ( Proverbs 9:17 ) or easily obtained.
mouth . . . gravel--well expresses the pain and grief given at last.

18. (Compare Proverbs 15:22 ). Be careful and considerate in important plans.

19. Those who love to tell news will hardly keep secrets.
flattereth . . . lips--(compare Margin; Proverbs 1:10 ).
meddle . . . him--literally, "join," or "associate with."

20. his lamp--(Compare Proverbs 13:9 , 24:20 ).

21. gotten hastily--contrary to God's providence ( Proverbs 28:20 ), implying its unjust or easy attainment; hence the man is punished, or spends freely what he got easily (compare Proverbs 20:17 ).

22. (Compare Psalms 27:14 , Romans 12:17-19 ).

23. (Compare Proverbs 20:10 , Proverbs 11:1 ).

24. Man's goings--literally, "Stately steppings of a strong man."
a man--any common man.
understand--or, "perceive."

25. devoureth . . . holy--or, better, "who rashly speaks promises," or "devotes what is holy," consecrating any thing. This suits better the last clause, which expresses a similar view of the results of rashly vowing.

26. (Compare Proverbs 20:8 ).
bringeth . . . over them--The wheel was used for threshing grain. The figure denotes severity (compare Amos 1:3 ).

27. The spirit . . . Lord--Men's minds are God's gifts, and thus able to search one another (compare Proverbs 20:5 , Proverbs 18:8 Proverbs 18:17 , 1 Corinthians 2:11 ).

28. (Compare Proverbs 3:3 , Proverbs 16:6 Proverbs 16:12 ).

29. The glory of young men . . . the beauty of old men--Each age has its peculiar excellence ( Proverbs 16:31 ).

30. blueness--literally, "joining," the process of uniting the edges of a wound throws off purulent matter.
stripes . . . belly--So punishment provides healing of soul ( Proverbs 18:8 ), by deterring from evil courses.

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