Verse 1 There is great hope of those that reverence their parents. There is little hope of any who will not hear those that deal faithfully with them. Verse 2 . By our words we must be justified or condemned, ( Verse 3 ) . He that thinks before he speaks, that suppresses evil if he have thought it, keeps his soul from a great deal both of guilt and grief. Many a one is ruined by an ungoverned tongue. Verse 4 . The slothful desire the gains the diligent get, but hate the pains the diligent take; therefore they have nothing. This is especially true as to the soul. Verse 5 . Where sin reigns, the man is loathsome. If his conscience were awake, he would abhor himself, and repent in dust and ashes. Verse 6 . An honest desire to do right, preserves a man from fatal mistakes, better than a thousand fine-drawn distinctions. Verse 7 . Some who are really poor, trade and spend as if they were rich: this is sin, and will be shame, and it will end accordingly. Some that are really rich, would be thought to be poor: in this there is want of gratitude to God, want of justice and charity to others. There are many hypocrites, empty of grace, who will not be convinced of their poverty. There are many fearing Christians, who are spiritually rich, yet think themselves poor; by their doubts, and complaints, and griefs, they make themselves poor. Verse 8 . Great riches often tempt to violence against those that possess them; but the poor are free from such perils. Verse 9 . The light of the righteous is as that of the sun, which may be eclipsed and clouded, but will continue: the Spirit is their Light, he gives a fulness of joy: that of the wicked is as a lamp of their own kindling, easily put out. Verse 10 . All contentions, whether between private persons, families, churches, or nations, are begun and carried forward by pride. Disputes would be easily prevented or ended, if it were not for pride. Verse 11 . Wealth gotten by dishonesty or vice, has a secret curse, which will speedily waste it. Verse 12 . The delay of what is anxiously hoped for, is very painful to the mind; obtaining it is very pleasant. But spiritual blessings are chiefly intended. Verse 13 . He that stands in awe of God, and reverences his word, shall escape destruction, and be rewarded for his godly fear. Verse 14 . The rule by which the wise regulate their conduct, is a fountain yielding life and happiness. Verse 15 . The way of sinners is hard upon others, and hard to the sinner himself. The service of sin is slavery; the road to hell is strewed with the thorns and thistles that followed the curse. Verse 16 . It is folly to talk of things of which we know nothing, and to undertake what we are no way fit for. Verse 17 . Those that are wicked, and false to Christ and to the souls of men, do mischief, and fall into mischief; but those that are faithful, find sound words healing to others and to themselves. Verse 18 . He that scorns to be taught, will certainly be brought down. Verse 19 . There are in man strong desires after happiness; but never let those expect any thing truly sweet to their souls, who will not be persuaded to leave their sins. Verse 20 . Multitudes are brought to ruin by bad company. And all that make themselves wicked will be destroyed. Verse 21 . When God pursues sinners he is sure to overtake them; and he will reward the righteous. Verse 22 . The servant of God who is not anxious about riches, takes the best method of providing for his children. Verse 23 . The poor, yet industrious, thrive, though in a homely manner, while those who have great riches are often brought to poverty for want of judgment. Verse 24 . He acts as if he hated his child, who, by false indulgence, permits sinful habits to gather strength, which will bring sorrow here, and misery hereafter. Verse 25 . It is the misery of the wicked, that even their sensual appetites are always craving. The righteous feeds on the word and ordinances, to the satisfying of his soul with the promises of the gospel, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Bread of life.
Proverbs 13:1-25 .
1. (Compare Proverbs 6:1-5 , Proverbs 10:1 Proverbs 10:17 ).
2. shall eat--that is, obtain ( Proverbs 12:14 ).
transgressors--as in Proverbs 2:22 .
violence--or, "mischief" to themselves.
3. He . . . mouth . . . life--because evil speeches may provoke violence from others.
he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction--On last clause, compare Proverbs 10:14 .
4. (Compare Proverbs 12:11 Proverbs 12:27 ).
5. loathsome . . . shame--better, causeth shame and reproach (compare Proverbs 19:26 ), by slander, &c., which the righteous hates.
6. A sentiment of frequent recurrence, that piety benefits and sin injures.
7. In opposite ways men act hypocritically for gain of honor or wealth.
8. Riches save some from punishment, while others suffer because they will not heed the rebuke of sloth, which makes and keeps them poor.
9. light . . . lamp--prosperity; the first, the greater, and it
rejoiceth--burns brightly, or continues, while the other, at best small, soon fails.
10. The obstinacy which attends self-conceit, produces contention, which the well-advised, thus evincing modesty, avoid.
11. by vanity--or, "nothingness," that is, which is vain or useless to the public (as card playing or similar vices).
gathereth . . . labour--(Compare Margin), little by little, laboriously.
12. desire cometh--is realized.
a tree of life--or, "cause of happiness."
13. the word--that is, of advice, or, instruction (compare Proverbs 10:27 , 11:31 ).
14. (Compare Proverbs 10:11 ).
fountain--or, "source of life."
to depart--(compare Proverbs 1:2-4 ), or, "for departing," &c., and so gives life.
15. Right perception and action secure good will, while evil ways are difficult as a stony road. The wicked left of God find punishment of sin in sinning.
hard--or, "harsh" (compare Hebrew: Deuteronomy 21:4 , Jeremiah 5:15 ).
16. dealeth--acts with foresight.
a fool . . . folly--for want of caution.
17. A wicked--or, "unfaithful"
messenger falleth into mischief--or, "by mischief," or "evil," and so his errand fails. Contrasted is the character of the faithful, whose faithfulness benefits others.
18. (Compare Proverbs 10:17 , 12:1 ).
19. Self-denial, which fools will not endure, is essential to success.
20. The benefits of good and evil of bad society are contrasted.
21. (Compare Proverbs 11:31 ).
good . . . repaid--or, "He (God) will repay good."
22. wealth . . . just--While good men's estates remain in their families, God so orders that the gains of sinners enure to the just (compare Proverbs 28:8 , Psalms 37:18 Psalms 37:22 Psalms 37:26 , &c.).
23. The laboring poor prosper more than those who injudiciously or wickedly strive, by fraud and violence, to supersede the necessity of lawful labor.
24. spareth--or, "withholds."
hateth--or, acts as if he hated him (compare Proverbs 3:12 , 8:36 ).
chasteneth . . . betimes--or, "diligently seeks for him all useful discipline."
25. The comparative temporal prosperity of the righteous and wicked, rather than contentment and discontent, is noted.