Proverbs 21

CHAPTER 21

Proverbs 21:1-31 .

1. rivers--irrigating channels ( Psalms 1:3 ), whose course was easily turned (compare Deuteronomy 11:10 ). God disposes even kings as He pleases ( Proverbs 16:9 , Psalms 33:15 ).

2. (Compare Proverbs 14:2 , 16:2-25 ).

3. (Compare Psalms 50:7-15 Isaiah 1:11 Isaiah 1:17 ).

4. high look--(Compare Margin; Psalms 131:1 ).
proud heart--or, "heart of breadth," one that is swollen (compare Psalms 101:5 ).
ploughing--better "lamp," a frequent figure for prosperity ( Proverbs 20:20 ); hence joy or delight.

5. The contrast is between steady industry and rashness (compare Proverbs 19:2 ).

6. The getting--or, "what is obtained" (compare Job 7:2 , Jeremiah 22:13 , Hebrew).
vanity . . . to and fro--as fleeting as chaff or stubble in the wind (compare Proverbs 20:17-21 Psalms 62:10 ). Such gettings are unsatisfactory.
them . . . death--act as if they did ( Proverbs 8:36 , 17:19 ).

7. robbery--or, "destruction," especially oppression, of which they are authors.
shall destroy--literally, "cut with a saw" ( 1 Kings 7:9 ), that is, utterly ruin them. Their sins shall be visited on them in kind.
to do judgment--what is just and right.

8. of man--any one; his way is opposed to truth, and also estranged from it. The pure proves himself such by his right conduct.

9. corner--a turret or arbor on the roof.
brawling--or contentious.
wide house--literally, "house of fellowship," large enough for several families.

10. So strongly does he desire to do evil ( Psalms 10:3 , Ecclesiastes 8:11 ), that he will not even spare his friend if in his way.

11. (Compare Proverbs 19:25 ). That which the simple learn by the terrors of punishment, the wise learn by teaching.

12. (Compare Psalms 37:35-38 , Psalms 73:17 Psalms 73:20 ).
house--family or interests.
overthroweth--either supply "God" (compare Proverbs 10:24 ), or the word is used impersonally.

13. The principles of retribution, often taught (compare Psalms 18:26 Matthew 7:1-12 ).

14. The effect of bribery ( Proverbs 17:23 ) is enhanced by secrecy, as the bribed person does not wish his motives made known.

15. But the just love right and need no bribes. The wicked at last meet destruction, though for a time happy in concealing corruption.

16. the way of understanding--(Compare Proverbs 12:26 , 14:22 ).
remain--that is, rest as at a journey's end; death will be his unchanging home.

17. Costly luxuries impoverish.

18. (Compare Proverbs 11:8 ). By suffering what they had devised for the righteous, or brought on them, the wicked became their ransom, in the usual sense of substitutes (compare Joshua 7:26 , Esther 7:9 ).

19. (Compare Proverbs 21:9 ).
wilderness--pasture, though uninhabitable ground ( Psalms 65:12 ).

20. The wise, by diligence and care, lay up and increase wealth, while fools
spend--literally, "swallow it up," greedily.

21. He who tries to act justly and kindly ( Psalms 34:14 ) will prosper and obtain justice and honor.

22. "Wisdom is better than strength" ( Ecclesiastes 7:19 , 9:15 ).
strength . . . thereof--that in which they confide.

23. (Compare Proverbs 13:2 Proverbs 13:3 , 3:6-10 ).

24. The reproachful name is deserved by those who treat others with anger and contempt.

25. desire--that is of ease and idleness brings him to starvation.

26. The sin of covetousness marks the sluggard, as the virtue of benevolence the righteous.

27. God regards the heart, and hypocrisy is more odious than open inconsistency.
wicked mind--or, "design" ( Proverbs 1:4 ).

28. (Compare Proverbs 19:5 ).
that heareth--or heeds instruction, and so grows wise.
speaketh constantly--or sincerely (compare Habakkuk 1:5 ), and hence is believed ( Proverbs 12:19 , 1:19 ).

29. hardeneth his face--is obstinate.
directeth . . . way--considers it, and acts advisedly.

30, 31. Men's best devices and reliances are vain compared with God's, or without His aid ( Proverbs 19:21 , Psalms 20:7 , 33:17 ).

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